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Friday, December 18, 2009

Your Thoughts on HipHop: GO DJ EFCuttin says, "Money Has Screwed Up the Industry!"

As you have probably figured, this series on HipHop is gonna take us pretty far. How far and where, well that is entirely up to you. We will cover topics that you would have never, ever imaged were connected to HipHop. Then show you how much HipHop is woven into the very fabric of our American life, arguebly of the world. Don't sit back! Speak up! Get intrigued! And get your opinon out! In the process, I hope to get you lifted!!!

I was Blessed again, by a good friend who you all may know as EF Cuttin. I got to know him as Thomas Edwards. The real man behind GO DJ EFCuttin, who cracks crazy ass jokes on folks and keeps it all too real on Twitter. Get at him @EFCuttin, he will make ya laugh while expanding ya mind. Please enjoy this real education from someone who's been out there, beatin the streets with the rest and best of 'em.

Here is EF Cuttin's "Thoughts on HipHop," in his own words...


mia: What is your stage name? What is your government name?
GO DJ EFCuttin: my stage name is E.F.Cuttin. My govt. is Thomas Edwards.
mia: Is the music industry your primary job?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Yes it is...
mia: In the music industry, who do you work for? Or are you independent?
GO DJ EFCuttin: I'm affiliated with PCO Ent and the Go DJs, but I'm my own boss.
mia: If you are a DJ, producer, writer or an artist what is your content?
GO DJ EFCuttin: I'm a DJ/ content is varied, many different styles/genres...
mia: How long have you been in this profession?
GO DJ EFCuttin: I started DJing 4 real in 1983, I've made it my full time gig in 2005.
mia: What is your relationship with HipHop and music in general?
GO DJ EFCuttin: I feel I'm part of the 1st generation of this culture so Hip Hop is near and dear 2 me. I've been around music all my life and always had a record and record players.
mia: What is HipHop to you?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Hip Hop is the act of taking nothing/very little and making something very special in spite of your situation. An alternative 2 the street life that was claiming our youth...
mia: Do you think HipHop has a purpose and what?
GO DJ EFCuttin: It did once. We used HipHop 2 augment the education system by telling of accomplishments of people of color, something barely mentioned in "history" books.

mia: Are you influenced by HipHop and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Definitely. The raw passion and energy of hip hop is the fountain of youth. The DIY work ethic showed me I dont have 2 conform 2 be successful in life.
mia: When do you think HipHop was born?
GO DJ EFCuttin: 1973, when Kool Herc was rocking park jams in the BX...
mia: What is your understanding of the birth of HipHop as a music genre?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Hip Hop started out as the DJ rocking the breaks while B-Boys and girls got down.The MC was added 2 hype the DJ and do call & response...We started rapping over the breaks and it just skyrocketed...
mia: How often to you think about HipHop?
GO DJ EFCuttin: It's my job, my love, my life...
mia: How long do you think HipHop will be around?
GO DJ EFCuttin: That's a hard long as we elders continue 2 take an active role and are willing 2 teach,and the youth are willing 2 learn, then it'll be here 4ever...
mia: Do you remember the first HipHop song you heard?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Rappers Delight in '79...I was 9 years old and my older brother was playin it...I was sold ever since.
mia: How did it make you feel?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Like something big and new was about 2 happen...
mia: What are your 3 most favorite HipHop songs and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: (no order) 1) Eric B & Rakim-The Rhyme Goes On-sheer lyrical domination. 2) Nas-The World Is Yours-pure ear candy 3) Blu & Exile - My World Is - Great music 4rm Gen Next...
mia: Who is your favorite HipHop artist and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: 2 part answer...Current fave-Curren$y. Not even using bias, his output in the past 2 years is just phenomenal...All Time: Masta Ace. He makes incredible, thought out albums...period.
mia: Who is your least favorite HipHop artist and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: 2 many 2 name, but I'll start with Gucci Mane, Ron Browz, Webstar, OJ Da Juiceman, and the like...
mia: Do you think Rap and HipHop are the same and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: They are but they're not...Hip Hop is the parent, rap is the youngest child in the family...
mia: What, if any, would you change about HipHop?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Restore balance. Hammer was garbage IMO, but he had zero effect on my listening because I had options like NWA, PE, Cypress Hill, DeLa, etc on the we're stuck with LOL Smiley face 24/7...
mia: Do you think HipHop is used positively or negatively, and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Both...It is used positively when it informs,offers up solutions,and uplifts. Sadly though the powers that be in the broadcast business are not interested in any form of uplift...So we get inundated with tales glamorizing criminal activity, irresponsible sexuality,and overall hopelessness...

mia: Why do you think most HipHop videos and songs are filled with stunting, sexism and violence?
GO DJ EFCuttin: This incarnation we have right now is straight Rock N Roll. So celebrations of excess,  which in fact attracts women, are what we have. However, when U flaunt riches in the face of those less fortunate, the seeds 4 violent confrontation are sown...
mia: Why do people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds like HipHop?
GO DJ EFCutitin: There's something in it 4 everybody...
mia: Do you think HipHop is a global industry and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: No doubt...Goes back 2 the last question...HipHop is the pulse of the street, and the youth worldwide embraced it...
mia: Do you think HipHop is a commodity, and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Yes it is. Because corporations know they can reach certain demographics simply by using HipHop in their advertising...
mia: What do you think when you hear of people in third-world countries, bumping HipHop?
GO DJ EFCuttin: I love it, shows doubters they were in fact clueless 2 the power of this artform...
mia: Do you think HipHop transcends all languages, cultures and boundaries, and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Yes, because good thought provoking music and having fun knows no boundaries...
mia: Why is HipHop used worldwide to advertise a wide variety of commodities?
GO DJ EFCuttin: HipHop is the voice of the youth, the hip, and the cool. Thats who corporations always want buying their products...

mia: Do you think HipHop has a negative perception in the media, and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Because the media's job is 2 report the negative...good news doesn't garner ratings...also we do have some dummies out here doing dumb stuff...
mia: Do you think HipHop is under attack, if so why and by what?
GO DJ EFCuttin: HipHop has been under attack ever since it's birth. The older heads said it was noise and wouldn't last. 36 yrs. later it's still here. Now they want ppl 2 think the Jail Culture you have now is HipHop related...
mia: Do you think a person can stay conscious and achieve platinum success?
GO DJ EFCuttin: It is possible, but very difficult in 2day's "dark ages"...
mia: Why do you think is it more difficult for conscious artists to cross over?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Not 2 sound sexist, but women control this music. The main reason we have "club songs" are 4 the ladies. Ladies are not tryin 2 hear "Brown Skin lady" in the club, they can't shake their ass 2 it. Concious artists also have 2 meet the ladies halfway, put thought provoking lyrics over a danceable beat...
mia: Why do you think it is more difficult for a platinum artist to produce content of value and keep the support of their labels and radio stations?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Radio stations are not here 4 the music anymore. Strictly advertising driven now, labels are more interested in gettin into your pockets has screwed up the industry...
mia: Did you or have you ever paid (or received money) to have a song played on the radio/TV? If so, do you think it is right or wrong, a necessity or not and why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: No. It is wrong because the PD is putting his selfish needs ahead of ensuring the quality of his product. It shouldn't be a necessity, but sadly, it is.
mia: What is your opinion of the “Where Do You Stand: Why Platinum Artists Flee Underground?” series? Have you joined WHWN’s blog, if not why?
GO DJ EFCuttin: Very informative and enlightening. I'm joining 2day :-)
mia: Why did you take out time to complete the survey?
GO DJ EFCuttin: It was an honor 2 be asked 2 participate.
mia: It was my honor, thanks...Stay Blessed!

It was an honor to kick this series off with another fyre interview...stay tuned. This was GO DJ EF Cuttin in his words, unedited as I always promise to do. We hope you enjoyed.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Your Thoughts on HipHop: Mike "Vicious" Trampe of Maad Management

Yeah it's a recession. Yeah, most are pounding two, three jobs and a hustle to get things paid. So I need my fix, my head throbbing But not just any music my: HipHop. What do I want to hear? What do I feel? What's my mood? Shit crap on the air, as usual. Silence is always better.

My mind wonders: Where has HipHop gone?

I mean my Love. You know, the one Erykah and Common sung about in "Love of My Life." It's like that long lost love, that fix, that one thing you just can't get off your mind...why I love, take a breathe, why I feel so close to God and how He gets me up every morning and deal with this everyday stuff. Why it's...Music. HipHop.

Some dear friends Blessed me with their thoughts on HipHop. Mike "Vicious" Trampe was the first. He comes from Philly and straight hooked a sista up! I mean can I ask for more? Here are his thoughts unedited, as I always promise to do. He will surprise you with his honesty, dedication and how well he has gotten his "Star Playa" in order as Katt Williams would say. You gotta go to and find out for yourself. Artists. Advertisment. Honesty. Experience. Just check...

mia (texting): Give me five minutes and I'll call you.
Mike (texting): What you gotta do? Put on make up or sumin for a phone interview? LOL

Shit, I thought nah I'm just nervous. But why am I nervous? I mean nobody's had the guts to do something like this, so why am I nervous? I don't want to come off as an idiot asking lame questions, adding to the slaughter of my dear love, HipHop.

But no. He's cool. He's on our side...the side of HipHop.
This guy is crazy. This is gonna be crazy fun doing this...let's go!

Interview on October 12, 2009

WHWN ASK: What are your Thoughts on HipHop to Mike and these are the answers in his words...

mia: What is your stage name? What is your government name?
Mike: Mike “Vicious” Trampe
mia: Is the music industry your primary job?
Mike: Yes it is
mia: In the music industry, who do you work for? Or are you independent?
Mike: Cheri Media Group (HipHopDx.Com, EvilCollector.Com) I also own my own site (MaadManagement.Com).

mia: How long have you been in this profession?
Mike: 10 Years
mia: What is your relationship with HipHop and music in general?
Mike: HipHop is my first love, my best friend, my job, my profession, my hobby. Music in general is what kept me out of trouble. I owe my life to this artform.

mia: What is HipHop to you?
Mike: HipHop is an artform that brings together all races, religions, ages, etc….Its a way for people to express how they are feeling in poetry/rhyming. HipHop saved my life, kept me out of trouble and is the reason why I get up in the morning with a smile.
mia: Do you think HipHop has a purpose and what?
Mike: Yes, it gives opportunities to people who wouldn’t have them if HipHop was relevant.
mia: Are you influenced by HipHop and why?
Mike: Absolutely, HipHop has made me head in a different direction then a lot of my friends. While my friends were getting locked up, overdosing and getting into trouble I followed my dream and true calling, the hip hop life! I don’t know where I would be without it.
mia: When do you think HipHop was born?
Mike: Its hard to pin point the exact time but I believe around the mid to late 70’s.
mia: What is your understanding of the birth of HipHop as a music genre?
Mike: That it was born in the Bronx in the mid to late 70’s. It was something that caught the music industry by storm. From the drum patterns, to the rhyming and the whole urban culture that came with it.
mia: How often to you think about HipHop?
Mike: 24/7 365, theres not a second that goes by that hip hop isn’t influencing me somehow.
mia: How long do you think HipHop will be around?
Mike: HipHop as an artform and culture will be around forever, it will never die.
mia: Do you remember the first HipHop song you heard?
Mike: I heard a lot when I was younger (im 27 now) but the one that sticks out to me the most was Fresh Prince n Jazzy Jeff “You Saw My Blinker Bitch”
mia: How did it make you feel?
Mike: It made me feel amazed! I couldn’t believe someone could make a song about a car accident and describe it with such graphic details. He painted a story for me like I was in that court room. The language didn’t bother me b/c I feel it was necessary to describe the moment and actions.
mia: What are your 3 favorite HipHop songs and why?
Mike: "They Reminisce Over You" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth - That song is just so powerful, I cant explain the feelings I have when I hear it. "Summertime" By Will Smith & Dj Jazzy Jeff – do I need to explain? It’s the best feeling in the world when you hear that song and its about to be summer time.
"C.R.E.A.M" By Wu Tang Clan – that song started a revolution In hip hop! What a different sound from so many different artists, its classic!

mia: Who is your favorite HipHop artist and why?
Mike: I honestly cant name 1 favorite hip hop artist. There are so many talented artists that I listen too, but there isn’t one that just sticks out to me. Some are: Big L, Eminem, Rakim, Krs-One, Nas, Jay-Z, Big Pun, Royce da 5’9, Buckshot, etc…..
mia: Who is your least favorite HipHop artist and why?
Mike: There are no least favorite hip hop artists, rap artists are a different story! I must say Gucci Mane makes me sick to my stomach! Do I really have to explain? Dude caught a body, has mad jewelry and tats and that makes him a dope artists?? Get outta here!
mia: Do you think Rap and HipHop are the same and why?
Mike: Hell NO! Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you live!
mia: What, if any, would you change about HipHop?
Mike: I wish People would still buy albums and support artists! I wish ringtones were never invented, and that people at the labels would find a way to market/promote good music, theres a lane for everything, I cant understand how they cant find one for good substance in hip hop.

mia: Do you think HipHop is used positively or negatively, and why?
Mike: Again, Hip Hop yes b/c people still support the artform and culture. With rap its used negatively, with the jewelry, girls, violence with no lesson at the end, houses, cars. I don’t understand how people can relate to what rappers are saying, b/c I know the majority of the listeners are “balling”. And I know the majority of rappers don’t live the life they rap about either. And with the violence with no lesson at the end, I mean that emcees can tell a tale/story of violence and show their listeners that it’s the wrong path, the bad consequences it can bring. If you just talk about who you shot and how many guns you have how are you helping the youth?

mia: Why do you think most HipHop videos and songs are filled with stunting, sexism and violence?
Mike: Being a white male I have no problem saying this. I believe because the white suburban kids who live a good life see these kinds of things on tv and wanna understand the struggle of the urban communities. They wanna feel like they struggled too. When in reality most of the people struggling wanna get out of that living and live a positive life. The labels feed off of this because the majority of fans buying records are young and white. So what do you expect the artists to do? They are going to make records that the white kids are going to buy, even if they don’t live that life. If you ran a store and everyone kept asking for a certain product wouldn’t u get it and sell it? Even if its not what your store is about? Of course b/c you see the income it could bring in and you want to make that money b4 someone else does. Its pretty simple.
mia: Why do people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds like HipHop?
Mike: See question 6
mia: Do you think HipHop is a global industry and why?
Mike: Yes, b/c everyone in the whole world can relate to feelings, stories, etc in a rhyming fashion. Add in the drums, snares, hi hats, samples etc….Its a undeniable feeling!

mia: Do you think HipHop is a commodity, and why?
Mike: First you gotta understand what commodity means. A commodity is some good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. I mean yea because hip hop is very useful. It can be used to teach, explain, express as well as give thousands of jobs to people in the world.
mia: What do you think when you hear of people in third-world countries, bumping HipHop?
Mike: That’s awesome! Why cant they enjoy such a great art form? Hip Hop is for everyone as long as they represent it correctly.
mia: Do you think HipHop transcends all languages, cultures and boundaries, and why?
Mike: HipHop is a culture so there are no boundaries

mia: Why is HipHop used worldwide to advertise a wide variety of commodities?
Mike: B/c there is such a large demand for HipHop a lot of commodities are seeing that lane to bring in new customers, so they advertise to the HipHop fan base to bring in new money.
mia: Do you think HipHop has a negative perception in the media, and why?
Mike: Yes because the media is too ignorant to see the positive things in HipHop, They take the few negative events/incidents and they just focus on that. They wanna trash us so bad but the media needs HipHop to stay in business.
mia: Do you think HipHop is under attack, if so why and by what?
Mike: I think rap is under attack by the media, certain groups and parents. They see these rappers with guns, money, treating girls disrespectful and they think that this is all we do in this culture. They don’t understand how positive hiphop can be. Again, this all goes back to what the labels want the public to see, so the media just takes aim at whats “popular.”
mia: Do you think a person can stay conscious and achieve platinum success?
Mike: In this day and age no, but they absolutely can and should in my mind. It just takes the label to back them and market them right. Yes a lot of indie artists have gained success but if you don’t have the global marketing behind you (money, staff, etc) you wont see a platinum conscious artist.
mia: Why do you think is it more difficult for conscious artists to cross over?
Mike: Bad marketing, money problems, label backing. If they were put out there correctly they could sell.
mia: Why do you think it is more difficult for a platinum artist to produce content of value and keep the support of their labels and radio stations?
Mike: Because they have to make music for the people buying the records, and at this point the people buying the records wanna hear about girls, jewelry, guns and money. It goes back to question 22.
mia: Did you or have you ever paid (or received money) to have a song played on the radio/TV? If so, do you think it is right or wrong, a necessity or not and why?
Mike: I get offered money everyday to have stuff played, I wont stoop down to that level. I think its wrong b/c you giving the masses content based on money not your true feelings.
mia: What is your opinion of the “Where Do You Stand: Why Platinum Artists Flee Underground?” series? Have you joined WHWN’s blog,, if not why?
Mike: I thought they were very informative and I wish more blogspots would focus on intriguing topics like this. Theres so much video content and no thinking involved in sites nowadays. And I am signing up right now!
mia: Why did you take out time to complete the survey?

Mike: B/C Mia seemed like a real down to earth person who is in this industry b/c she truly cares about it ;D

And he's out!

This is mia and these are Mike's thoughts on HipHop. We hope you enjoyed. Please join the convo, can't wait to hear from ya!


You can find Mike at the following:

If comments are not shown please click on comments (next to the pencil symbol) below to view reader comments...and please leave yours too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Part 6: Where Do You Stand? Jill Scott says, "We're Beautiful People & We're In a State of Crisis"

Music Success

2000 - Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 2x Platinum

2001 - Experience: Jill Scott Gold

2004 - Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 Gold

2007 - Collaborations

2007 - The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 Gold

2008 - Live In Paris Gold

2009 - The No. 1 Lady Remixed

Why Do Platinum Artist Flee Underground?

Jill Scott splashed on stage with a smile and a voice as big as her heart. It is only natural that she would follow her beloved sister Erykah Badu in this series. Although the industry tried to make controversy between them with the song "You Got Me," which was originally sang with Jill then later recorded and release with Erykah. These two ladies showed America what it is like to be Lady Like by stunning the world in support of one another.

Here is the answer in her words...

"We can all see the effects of being false. We see our president. When somebody is just living for money, it becomes a detriment and that they may not be honoring the artist for fear. Fear stops your growth. You have to do this out of love, not out of fear of being broke. If that means paying to get into a venue so that you can perform, or performing for free. Do it because it's in you, not just because it looks good on you." August 2004

In the 2001 interview with Thelma Golden she was asked:

TG: You put a lot of importance on being real. What does that mean to you?

JS: Being myself--good, bad or indifferent--has been a trial, honestly. Because people see me in my videos and they see me in photos smiling, and they're like, "Oh, she's just a smiler, that's who she is." Sometimes I'm not smiling, or maybe I'm crying.

TG: How has success changed the way you live?

JS: Now everybody's looking at me, and it's been difficult to adjust to that. Sometimes it's a little heartbreaking for me. The success is great. But me? I'm still North-Philly Jill, who loves to catch the bus and walk the streets and not know where I'm going. But because my face is so familiar, I don't meet people genuinely anymore. And that hurts, I have to say.

TG: I saw you perform in New York, and it was amazing for was amazing was just being in that environment with so many people--particularly so many women--who were clearly just vibing off of what you had to say. It was an amazing experience that I don't think I'd ever had in public before.

JS: I really try to open myself wide and say, "Look, all right y'all, we don't talk to each other enough and I know everybody can't say what they need to say to me now, but I'm going to say what I need to say to you." Because we're beautiful people and we're in a state of crisis. We are. We don't like each other. We don't like ourselves.

TG: I know you started out in the spoken word scene in small clubs. How do you achieve that intimate feeling when you're singing in those big concert halls?

JS: The person onstage is very similar to myself, but it's not me. Before I go onstage, I have to go inside. I let fear go. I'm not worried if my shoes look right, or if my hair's standing up. I don't care about anything else but this moment right now, and it has an impact. I've seen people cry, I've seen people hug each other--people who don't know each other. It's a beautiful experience for me. It's like, "I'm glad you're here, you are welcome to be here, but I'm doing this because I need to."

When asked by Isoul H. Harris, "What is your motivation?" she replied:

I really like to smile. I want to do things in my life that make my pores smile, and my nose and teeth smile. And when I feel that glow, I feel so much closer to God.

Jill Scott is not pretenious and presents herself as a breath of fresh air. I hope you enjoyed tribute to another great artists. It's just Mia and these are her thoughts...Namaste.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Part 5: Where Do You Stand? Erykah Badu is “Freeing the Slaves and the Slaves Masters”

Music Success

1997 Baduizm 3 x Platinum
1997 Live 2 x Platinum
2000 Mama's Gun Platinum
2003 Worldwide Underground Gold
2008 New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) 345,000 & counting
2009 New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)

Why Do Platinum Artist Flee Underground?

Born Erica Abi Wright, in 1997 Erykah Badu broke the mold,literally, with Baduism. She hit the scene with the "Color Purple" tribute-style video "On & On" and intro hook - "Pick Yo Afro Daddy! 'Cause it's flat on one side. ..You need to pick afro daddy because it's flat on one side..." We instantly laughed as she talked about the broken promise of a trip to see Wu-Tang and then she floored us. Sent chills up and down our spines with that beat, that damn beat: Dat-dat-dat-dat-dat-datdatdatdat! Uh On and on/and on and on..."
The world knew one thing: God had Blessed us with another star. To date, she continues to mezemorize us because she is real and serious. Beautiful and goofy. Saultry and sassy. In her soft, demanding voice she puts us in our place and reminds us just how real life is when she expressed that she is "an artist. And I'm sensative about my shit." Then on stage, in a fully packed crowd, she free-styled Tyrone! Yeah, in one take. Her wit is impressive, but the knowledge she holds is backed it up and then some. Never to disappoint her audience by selling out and boast that she sometimes rocks a purse from the "thrift store," she continues to blow our minds with love, knowledge and respect for all humans.

Here is the answer in her words...

“If you want to get into the revolution, you’re going to be broke and you’re going to be beat, spiritually and physically at some point and it’s just the way it is. I’ve chosen that for better or for worse, because I know Kingdom come...That’s mathematics and science beginning to fit together and the time has come. We have no choice really. With that in mind, freedom is inevitable for all of us, not only the slaves, but the slave-master.”

“We just have to come up with the right dialogue and the right things to say in our music, because it’s something happening. Here, right now, we have the power to use our platforms to do that and it’s our pleasure to do that...[As a] soldier for the Most High, I have to do that job that I have to do, no matter what...When I figured out that I am not my head wrap, I am not my hair, I am not my skin, I am not this song, I freed myself from those labels and I was not going to let an industry define me. I’m going to define myself. I take my time putting out this music and do it when I feel ready to be consumed with all of the words and things and wind and stuff that people are going to throw at you. Crawfish, seasonally, go and hide because their shell becomes real soft and other crawfish can peck on them and kill them, yeah and they’ll attack them. So, when that shell gets soft, I have to go in and build up myself. So, I take my time in this industry. However, I know that I need the industry because I need that platform, because the Most High gave it to me to do some things,”interview with Dora Muhammad in 2005 .

Always inventive and keeping it fresh but strickly old school--honestly what music is now missing since the digital craze--you know that hiss and crackle when the needle drops. That moment of what one hopes is silence, but inevitably picks up background noise. Some have to balance a quarter on it just to get it to play...yeah now that's old school music! She dropped a "Pink Wax" album and in a 2008 interview with Siliva Authur, titled "The Brillance of Badu," is asked about it:

Q: Tell me about the “Pink Wax” album for DJs.
EB:This time I wanted to do something especially for the DJs so we’ve released a special 12-inch pink wax of two songs that I thought should be heard in clubs. The first song, “Real Thing”, features a Madlib track that was banging so hard that we decided to start a “Real Thing” Campaign. We sent out instrumental and a cappella versions of the song so that DJs, producers and fans can do their own remixes. On the other side of Pink Wax is a song called “The Healer.” It sets the tone of the project and I really want people to pay attention to this song. “The Healer” points out that all over the world, we don’t do anything together – we don’t pray together, we
don’t eat together, we don’t worship together, we don’t learn together, we don’t agree. But everybody nods their head to the same beat and that gives me the impression that hip-hop is bigger than religion, politics and the government. I
think it’s the healer of this world.
Unlike KRS-One who argues HipHop is a religion, she counters that it is bigger than a religion as demonstrated in her song, The Healer (Hip Hop),
(Humdi Lila Allah Jehova Yahweh Dios Ma'ad Jah) Rastafara fyah dance, sex, music, hip-hop It's bigger than religion hip-hop it's bigger than my niggas hip-hop it's bigger than the government (humdi luli lali lulo) This one fa' Dilla, hip-hop (humdi luli la, humdi luli la lilulo, humdi lulila humdi lulilaaa...)
We ain't dead said the children don't believe it We just made ourselves invisible underwater, stove-top, blue flame scientist come out with your scales up get baptized in the ocean of the hungry (Humdi luli lalilulo, Humdi lulilalilu) My niggas turn in to gods, walls come tumblin...(aaahhh)
(Humdi lila Allah jehova yahweh dios ma had ja) Rastafara fyah dance, sex, music, hip-hop It's bigger than religion hip-hop it's bigger than my niggas hip-hop it's bigger than the government (humdi luli lali lulo) This one is the healer, hip-hop (humdi luli la, humdi lulilalilulo, humdi lulila, humdi lulilaaaa)
Told you we aint dead yet we been livin' through your internet you don't have to believe everything you think we've been programmed wake up, we miss you. They call you indigo, we call you Africa. Go get baptized in the ocean of the people (Humdi luli lalulilo) say reboot, refresh, restart. Fresh page, new day, o.g.'s, new key...(humdi lulila, humdi lulila lilulo, humdi luli la, humdilulila)
Going back to the interview with Authur, she is asked:

Q: What kept you busy during the break between this new album and 2003’s “Worldwide Underground”?
EB: I’ve been producing. I produced a beautiful baby and I’ve created what I hope my fan will feel is some powerful music. I also started a label called Control Freaq Records. The ideal is to control the “frequency” of music. How it’s heard, when it’s heard, who hears it, and from whom it comes from. And that’s what Freaq is about – recalibrating and re-measuring the frequency of the music to get more positive message to the audiences. This label was also designed for artists who are pretty much established and who have created an audience for themselves on the internet. Our motto is “Freeing the Slaves and the Slaves Masters”. I’m talking about freeing up the master tapes that we, as artists, have to hand over to the label that we never own again. This message and this music belong to the artists.

"I Stay Woke"

Aware and always careful of how the industry trys to manipulate and control an artists' image she once said, "...there is nothing freaky about controlling your own image." In support I counter: any one is a freak if they allow the industry to control their image and sound. In the end is it really you or their personification of who you are, dipped in sterotypes and lies just to continue to mass produce their commericalized version of HipHop? We need to take our power back. Take HipHop back, which is you and I. But I digress...

How Erykah see's herself is best described in the end of the interview with Muhammad who asked, "Who is Erykah Badu?" She responds, “I can’t give you a precise true answer. I’m still trying to find that out, too. It’s too soon to say that. That would be for my children to say. I’m a sister who was made a philanthropist, an artist, a mother, a reflection of The Most High’s work.”

It's just Mia, and these are Erykah's thoughts as recorded by others. ARapperNamedBilal ask, "Are You a Part of the Problem or the Solution." Namaste.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Part 4: Where Do You Stand? Bob Marley "Didn't Come To Bow. He Came to Conquer!"

Bob Marley Photograhper, Kate Simon

Music Success:

1965 "The Wailing Wailers" The Wailers
1970 "Soul Rebels" The Wailers
1971 "Soul Revolution" The Wailers
1971 "Soul Revolution Part II" The Wailers
1971 "The Best of The Wailers" The Wailers
1973 "Catch a Fire" The Wailers
1973 "Burnin'" The Wailers
1974 "Rasta Revolution" The Wailers
1974 "Natty Dread" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1975 "Live!" Gold
1976 "Rastaman Vibration" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1977 "Exodus" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1978 "Babylon"
1978 "Kaya" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1979 "Survival" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1980 "Uprising" Bob Marley & The Wailers
1983 "Confrontation" Bob Marley & The Wailers (posthumous)
1991 (recorded in 1973) "Talkin' Blues"
2003 (recorded in 1976) "Live at the Roxy"
1984 "Legend" Diamond
1986 "Rebel Music"
1992 "Songs of Freedom" 7 x's Platinum
1995 "Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On" Gold
1997 "21 Winners: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers"
2001 "One Love: The Very Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers"
2002 (Anthology '69 - '78) "Bob Marley and The Wailers: Trenchtown Rock"
2005 "Gold"
2005 "Africa Unite: The Singles Collection"

Why Do Platinum Artists Flee Undgerground?

With statistics not begin collected until ten years after his death, Nesta Robert "Bob" Marley (later know as Robert Nesta Marley) has sold between 100 and 250 million records worldwide. Between 1991 and 2007 Bob Marley and The Wailers have sold in excess of 21 million records. Refusing to raise a fist fight, he survived a hail of bullets then two days later he still took the stage in protest with a soft, unwavering, militant-voice. When asked why, he responded "the people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?" Bob Marley remains the single figure largely responsible for bringing people of all colors and races together under the Rastafari Movement.

Here is the answer in his words...
"I didn't come to bow, you know. I came to conquer. I didn't come to bow. I came to conquer." 1979

"I really have no ambition, no. I only have one ting I'd like to see happen: I'd like for mankind to live together. Black, white, Chinese, anyone. You know."

In an Austrailian interview in April 1979, he was asked:

Interviewer 2: The thing is you've come under a fair amount of pressure too. You even managed to get yourself shot at at some stage.
Bob: Yeah, you find people wicked some places. Really wicked.
Interviewer: So you don't fear for your personal safety in any situation, say, in Jamaica?
Bob: My safety is secure y'know. You see, words good but you have to have action! Any man can come out and run up him mouth and blah, blah, boom, boom. But we want to see the works. That mean, you might find one who a big and who aggresive, because him don't go through the danger that I go through. The amount of thing that I go through I can take it cool, because me been through it. When you figure you taking it cool, you taking it cool through the fire. It's not outside the fire you're taking it cool, it's in a the fire. You can not give away your life on ego, then all you was was a bag of argument and then you die. You have to have some action, then that mean it can have some meaning... Interviewer: Bob can we go back to politics? You're a very political man, so this is why I ask the question... Bob: I would be glad if I was a political man. Interviewer: You don't think you are? Bob: No. Interviewer 2: Could you ever see yourself becoming a political leader? Bob: I don't see myself as a politician. I see myself as defending the right of His Majesty. I am a soldier in His Majesty army...
Bob Marley Photograhper, Kate Simon

Here is portions of their follow up interview:

Interviewer: You seem to be less interested in politics now. Bob: Well, I'm always interested in my people's right. But I will not push myself to a revolution without arms. Interviewer: As far as people like yourself are concerned, you mentioned to me last time that you're very concerned about what's going on in South Africa, and what's going on in Rhodesia. Is there anything do you think that people in Jamaica can do to help their brothers in Rhodesia and in South Africa? Anything directly? Bob: Well, we can do what we have to do. But we look at South Africa and the pressure that we face, and the struggle that we go through, we kow that the world must change. And the black people in South Africa is the greatest black people on the face of the Earth. Because they are capable to fight. We are not capable to fight, we are in chains. Now we are talking about people who are fighting for their rights. Now, the world, this Earth doesn't have no justice. Because what we are saying is what could we do in Jamaica as we are a people? His Majesty say that until the colour of a man skin is of no more significance to the colour of his eyes. That mean that justice is in the eyes of everyone. The black people and the white people. That mean, if the black people in Jamaica could do anything to help South Africa, then the white people anywhere could do the same. Because until a an skin is of no more significance to the colour of his eyes. Interviewer: So, it's as much my responsibility...? Bob: It is (as) much your responsibility as mine! Interviewer: Now, what about Is This Love? Bob: Well, after saying all these things you must really have some time when you take a cup of tea! So you say I wanna love you and treat you right, because you fighting for something. You got your enemy, and you got your people. The things you tell your enemy, you got to tell your people a different thing. You tell them I wanna love you and treat you right, we'll be together everyday and every night. Don't worry about a thing, everything is gonna be alright. Just keep on fighting with I. Interviewer: It's a love song. A happy song.
Bob: Well, it is one of them songs where words couldn't express the meaning, so we had to just put words to the melody! (laughs) Interviewer: That's the best quote of the year! "It's one of those songs where the words couldn't express the meaning, so they just had to put words to the melody." (laughs) Bob: You have deal with the people. You have to give what the people want, and then you have to give them what you know they're supposed to get. Interviewer: Do you think that now, you're far removed from working in the Chrysler factory, does it conjur up memories, do you think you can still relate to those people who are in fact living in the concerete jungle now? Bob: Oh, yeah man. I live with them in the concrete jungle, nothing has changed for me. I am just the same, nothing has changed for me. Interviewer: In what way? If you look at it, you're much more successful, you're playing large concerts... Bob: I'll tell you what. I have the same feelings. I am a Rastaman. Everything remain the same. I carry that same feeling. I didn't expect this world to be so crooked and corrupted. I thought people were people. Until I grew up and realised this guy hate me for nothing. When I check he hate me through history. He hate me because I'm black. He hate me because I live uptown, he hate me because I'm from the ghetto, he hate me because I'm from the country. Is just hatred run the Earth until Rastafari come and say "no! Peace and love is the way of life." Rasta is the only man preach peace and love. Because if the church preach peace and love, then them would a love Rastaman. Interviewer: Do you think that theres any possibilty ever of the human race believing in peace and love? Bob: No, no, not the human race. You have people who qualified to deal with peace and love. You have people who are qualified and searching for the people with their qualifications too . And they will meet. Interviewer: What happens to the ones who can't love? Bob: Well, I'm sorry for those who do not know what love is because love is all love is God. And if you can't love then you don't know about that.

Marley's life is best sumed up at the conclusion of his documentary titled, "Bob Marley: Prophecies & Messages,"
During his brief lifetime, he had risen from the ghettos of Kingston to become one of the most influential performers the world has ever seen. Through his music and words, he had almost single-handedly brought the sounds of reggae and the messge of Rastafari to millions around the globe. But despite his fame, he never lost tough with his own hunanity and his vision of a better, more just world for all people, regardless of their race, creed or color. In the end, he put his faith in the immortal words of the Emperor, 'Until the color of mans' skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes, the rule of international morality will remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.'"
I ask again, where do you stand? It's just Mia and these are Bob Marley's thoughts.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Part 3: Where Do You Stand? KRS-One Asks, "Are You Free or Have You Been Freed?"

Music Success:

Boogie Down Productions:
1987 Criminal Minded
1988 By All Means Necessary
1989 Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop
1990 Edutainment
1991 Live Hardcore Worldwide
1992 Sex and Violence

Solo Albums:
1993 Return of the Boom Bap
1995 KRS-One
1997 I Got Next
2000A Retrospective
2001 The Sneak Attack
2001 Strickly for Da Breakdancers & Emceez
2002 Spiritual Minded
2002 The Mix Tape
2003 Kristyles
2003 D.I.G.I.T.A.L.
2004 Keep Right
2006 Life
2008 Adventures in Emceein
2008 Maximum Strength

Collaborative Albums:

2007 Hip Hop Lives Marley Marl
2009 Survival Skills Buckshot
2009 The Teacha & The Student Pee-Doe
2009 Power To The B-Boyz Jay-Roc & Jakebeatz
TBA Royalty Check Freddie Foxxx

Records sold: Not published

Why Do Platinum Artist Flee Underground?

Lawrence Krishna Parker, a.k.a. KRS-One, never entered the music industry as a commercialized artist. Instead he is determine to remain a "raw HipHop" artist as his goal from the very start. He claims a spot in this series because he has earned the authority to say that he is "The Greatest Emcee of All Times." Who dare challenge him? What emcee has done as much for HipHop as he, even without the publicized record sales? He has written numerous records, had roles in numerous movies, written four books-including The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument-a spiritual guide to HipHop, taught at prestigious universities across the world and yet it was hard to find just one single statistic showing his musical sales. KRS-One does not conform to the music industries standards, period. And has proven he is still very relevant to the culture and music of HipHop today.

Here is the answer in his words...

"You cannot be rich and continue to produce raw HipHop...The youth today, the majority, are not seeking authenticity because the society in which they live doesn't ask them to be authentic. It ask them to be other people. To model roles. It ask them to do that. It doesn't ask them to be themselves. Because there are consequences to being yourself. So our young people don't be themselves. And as a result, they follow whatever trend is out there. And as a result, hopefully, you follow a good trend that last. But if you follow a lot of those trends, they don't last." ~Interview with RealTalkNY

Interview with RealBlack Tv February 2007

Quote taken from video:

Monica Medina: In Your song HipHop Lives, you have a verse that says: 'Every year I get newer/I'm the dust on the moon/I'm the trash in the sewer!' Explain to the audience the message you're trying to convey.

KRS-One: It's funny you picked that verse out of all verses. I'm trying to say that HipHop lives. 'I'm the dust on the moon!' means I'm star stuff. You know what it is? I can walk up to you and say 'Peace God' or 'What up my nigga!' [pausing] The controversial 'N-Word.' But we realize HipHop is all of it. HipHop is high scholarship and the lowest-based ignorance you can possibly image. 'I'm the dust on the moon! I'm the trash in the sewer!' I am the middle part,'I come back ever year and get newer/I'm the dust on the moon' I'm tryna say I'm all of it. Don't just look at me as a conscious rapper or a gangster rapper or a pimp or this or that. I'm all of it. When you say HipHop, we are all of it. All of us play a role. All of it makes everything else relevant. KRS-One would not be relevant if it wasn't for Snoop Dogg. Because everyone would say, 'That's regular KRS-One.' I would be the norm and that would be that. But because there is a Young Jeezy and a T.I. and a Snoop and all the gangsters and pimps out there doing their thing, and Bless their souls, KRS-One is able to shine. And so are they. Because the audience gets diversity. The same culture that produces Lil Kim, produces Lauryn Hill. What a Culture to be in? This is the coolest movement on Earth!

In a four part interview with Alex Jones in Austin Texas 2009:

KRS-One: We need to become 'free' people again.' Not 'freed people.' I'll say it again. We need to be 'free people' not 'freed' people. Just because we have an Emancipation Procrastination, does not mean we are actually free. What makes you free is your declaration within that you are free. If someone else can give you freedom, they can also take it away. When a lot of people were not free in America, Harriet Tubman was free. [laughing] Frederick Douglas was free. Nat Turner was free. So the point of the matter is this: Are You Free or Have You Been Freed?
Alex Jones: [barely audible] ...and the evil people actually respected the folks that stood to them...[inaudible] But what you said on the radio about their being grounded and you're dominate. [sic]
KRS-One: That's the point. Power looks for weakness.[a pause] Power looks for weakness. If you're standing firm and you say, 'I know the law. Not just the law of the land or sea. But I know the law. I know that justice...[thinking] I know that nature is just.' And if you're unnatural, out of nature, imbalanced yourself, the real war is not me against you. It's endurance. I'm going to out endure you. [in a laughing growl] The evil people trick themselves up trying to chase the righteous. It's when the righteous come out of their square and into their world and try to fight.
Alex Jones: When we start swinging, they didn't intend for us to fall in, but we gotta set it in motion.

KRS-One: Right. Say no. Just resist. Matter of fact, don't even recognize their authority. When you recognize their authority they got you....Seek peace. Stop the violence. Restore women to their rightful place in society...Nature is set up this way: Nature puts out a trillion sperm to fertilize one egg. What I say to my youth is: Are You The One? Maybe everyone in your class is bugging out. Your whole school maybe on fire with kids wild and carrying guns. But Are You The One? Nature has way with abundance. It puts out a lot of stuff looking for the one. So if you are gonna go along with the trend of 'let's just kill each other.' 'Let's disrespect each other.' Then you're part of nature's plan, as well. To be part of the excess. But if you think more of yourself than just being the excess, you'll do more for yourself. Are You The One? Everybody's not going to make it. But you have an opportunity to save yourself. Me? I'm a high school dropout. I left high school in eight grade. I got tired of them lying to me. I educated myself in the Brooklyn Public Library. Now I teach at Harvard and Yale. I just came from England. We taught at Oxford University. It doesn't matter what credential you have. The truth shall set you free!"
Where do you stand? Are you "free" or have you just been "freed?"
It's just Mia, and this are my thoughts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Part 2: Where Do You Stand? Prince is Free & Still On Top

Music Successes:
Prince has sold over 80 million records worldwide.

1979 - Prince - 1.25 Million
1980 - Dirty Mind - 1 Million
1981 - Controversy - 1 million
1982 - 1999 - 6 million
1984 - Purple Rain - 22 million
1985 - Around the World in a Day - 3 million
1986 - Parade - 2 million
1987 - Sign O the Times - 8 million
1988 - Lovesexy - 2 million
1989 - Batman - 2 million
1990 - Grafitti Bridge - 1.5 million
1991 - Diamonds & Pearls - 9 million
1992 - Love Symbol - 3 million
1993 - The Hits/B-Sides - 1.5 million
1994 - Come - 1 million
1995 - The Gold Experience - 1.5 million
1996 - Emancipation - 3 million
1999 - Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic - 1 million
2001 - The Very Best of Prince - 2.5 million
2004 - Musicology - 4 million
2006 - 3121 - 2 million
2007 - Planet Earth - 2.8 million
2009 - Lotusflow3r - 1 million

( reports these sales only reflect US, UK and Canada...this is just a fraction of his success.)

Why Do Platinum Artists Flee Underground?

Prince Rogers Nelson removed himself from the bonds of "slavery" held by his record label and went underground to successfully continue his multi-platinum career as an independent artist. Freeing himself of record labels and distribution companies, he used the of power giving away his music, the internet and his specially crafted talent to stay on top of the game.

Here is the answer in his words...

"One thing I'd like to say is that I don't live in a prison. I am not afraid of anything. I haven't built any walls around myself, and I am just like anyone else. I need love and water, and I'm not afraid of a backlash because, like I say, there are people who will support my habits as I have supported theirs. I don't really consider myself a superstar. " 1985 MTV interview
In a May 1997 interview with Spike Lee
"I really felt like a product, and then I started turning in work that reflected
that. I had no problem with people saying I was repeating myself. I knew where I was headed and just needed direction."

While under contract with Warner Brothers, in 1993 he changed his name and released the following statement

"The first step I have taken towards the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to the Love Symbol. Prince is the name that my mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros... I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name. "

Interview on Today show March 2004

Here is what he said in the most recent interview with Tavis Smiley April 28, 2009:

Prince: I like criticism. I like constructive criticism from smart people...When people criticize my work and attach my personality, it doesn't help me. I can't do anything with it. I don't know what they want. I asked writers this before and a lot of times they tell me they are just writing for each other. They are not really writing for...'Oh, I really got him that time.' I don't know nobody learns from it really.

Tavis: Who have you felt most often like in the ring fighting the record industry, like Jack [Johnson] or the opponent?

Prince: Oh, like Jack.

Tavis: Like Jack?

Prince: Yeah.

Tavis: Tell me why?

Prince: Well, because I knew I was right, you know. We talked about this in our very first interview, our first conversation together. It's obvious now those artists are suppose to own their master recordings. I mean in the future it will be unconsciousable to even think you can take somebody else’s creation and claim ownership to it.

[On the song “Dreamer”] “Oh well, when I saw the 'State of the Black Union,' Dick Gregory really moved me and a lot of my friends. I show it to everybody who comes over the house, especially white folks, because they need to hear that, you know, so that they know more about all of us. Because what he said affects all of us. He said something that really hit home about this phenomena of chemtrails and when I was a kid, I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and I’d say, “Oh, that’s cool – a jet just went over.” And then you started to see a whole bunch of them and the next you know, everybody in your neighborhood was fighting and arguing and you didn’t know why, okay? And you really didn’t know why. I mean, everybody was fighting. So he started riffing about the chemtrails and he started to say things that hit home so hard, and I would recommend that everybody try to get what he said online or wherever, and try to get a copy of it and just listen to it, because I was so moved that I had to write the song. The other thing is the first line of the song says I was born on the same plantation in the United States of the red, white and blue, and we live in a place now that feels just about like a plantation. We’re all indentured servants. When I found out there were eight presidents before George Washington, I wanted to smack somebody. I wanted to know why I was taught otherwise. Just tell me the whole story – I’ll fill in the blanks. But don’t tell me something that you think I’m supposed to know.”

Tavis: “We’re indentured servants and we’ve got a Black president now?”

Prince:” Well, I don’t vote. I don’t have nothing to do with it. I got no dog in that race.”

Tavis: And for those who would cuss me out and slap me in person if I didn’t ask you why didn’t ask you ‘Why?’”

Prince: First the reasons why is I’m Jehovah’s Witness, and for one, we’ve never voted. That’s not to say that I don’t think Barack Obama, President Obama is a very smart individual. He seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now. It’s very interesting I did a sold out concert in London. We played for twenty one nights in a row. All the concerts were sold out. When I would watch television over there and you’d see the United Nations feed, the direct feed from the United Nations, you’d hear them talk a lot about religion. You’d hear the bible mentioned constantly. This is not what we are use to in the United States. It’s almost as though there is no need for God. No need for religion and justice in politics. So there is supposed to be a separation of church and state over here. We can’t have a separation of state and morality, though.

On "Feel Better. Feel Good. Feel Wonderful"

It's about telling people to celebrate and stop hating. There are references in the song, though, to a record executive who we've had some pretty interesting conversations were we make reference to doing me like my brother Steve. What we believe happens is that you can put out a record Sound Scan refuses to count as many as they actually sell. But you get paid on what Sound Scan says you've actually sold. So if it's a low number then you only get paid on that number. Meanwhile when you go overseas and you check some of the titles and bar codes over there, they've already ripped you off several different times and several different ways. Also with the influx of the internet, with no sales, then you've really got your bank account emptied out. So we never really knew what Purple Rain sold. I don't know to this day. I only know what they tell me.

Prince challenged the music industry for control over his music and demanded payment for his royalties. To do this he sued for his freedrom from the music industry. Arguing that artists should control the rights to their music and make money doing so, he has shown no loss in popularity. Instead his music has became further enriched, by not being infiltrated with the very pop-culture that threatened to take his voice away, remix and remake it into something unrecognizable. His music has remained true to his limitless expressions of himself and the world around him as he renders it. He has shown that once an artists is free you can never lock down their soul.

So I must ask, where do you stand? As ARapperNamedBilal ask, "Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?"

It's just Mia and you will never guess who is next...


Friday, September 18, 2009

Part 1 - Where Do You Stand: Lauryn Hill Checks Your "Motives & Thoughts"

Music Successes:

w/The Fugees "Blunted on Reality" 2million records sold
w/The Fugees "The Score" Multi-platinum
Solo "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" 18 million
Solo "MTV Unplugged 2.0" Platinum

Question: Why Do Platinum Artists Flee Underground?

Lauryn Hill has successfully removed herself from the mass media and any attempt of them to reproduce or exploit for profit any part of her music and or image. Therefore what is found are snippets of the real Ms. Hill scattered in the media and on the internet.

The answer in her words:

"Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what people need. I've just retired from the fantasy part." ~ Ms. Hill MTV Unplugged 2.0 (2001)

Breaking her silence to protest the child molestation, rape and the pedophile corruption that swept the Catholic church, she perform "Damnable Heresies" and "Social Drugs" at the Vatican in December 2003 for Christmas. This is what she had to say:

"I am sorry if I am about to offend some of you. I did not accept my invitation to celebrate with you the birth of Christ. Instead I ask you why you are not in mourning for him in this place? I want to ask you, what have you got to say about the lives you have broken? What about the families who were expecting God and instead were cheated by the Devil? Who feels sorry for them, the men, women and children damaged psychologically, emotionally and mentally by the sexual perversions and abuse carried out by the people they believed in? Holy God is a witness to the corruption of your leadership, of the exploitation and abuses which are the minimum that can be said for the clergy. There is no acceptable excuse to defend the church."

She continues the battle cry with a call to the Vatican to "repent" and encouraged the crowd to "not seek blessings from man but from God."

Hill performs at Def Poetry Jam, Episode 1 (S01 E05) Air Date: 2005

"Motives & Thoughts"

Excerpts from the January 2006 interview for Essence magazine with Joan Morgan titled, "They Call Me Ms. Hill:"

Morgan: You experienced a great deal of success at a young age. How did you handle the demands of celebrity?

Hill: I don’t think I ever handled celebrity. For a period of time I had to step away entirely. There were many temptations, enticements, entrapments—whether it was the dependence on image or just some false sense of security. I created from such a sincere, pure place, but those enticements produced a very toxic situation for my creativity, my person. At 23, you don’t know how to handle that in a diplomatic manner, especially when everybody around you has been affected by the money, the fame, the attention. Celebrity itself becomes an addiction. One of my hopes for artists today is that they don’t get trapped in images that don’t really reflect who they are. Everybody is sort of bound to this supercool, supermature, superperfect, superconsistent image. It looks great on the shelf but it can also hurt people, and stunt their growth, because their image is growing, but their persons are not.
Morgan: After The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released, you became an icon for many young Black women who identified with your music and your image. Is that status ever oppressive?

Hill: I think what’s oppressive is anything outside the truth. If that icon status is the result of people’s appreciating the value of my honesty, then it’s well deserved and organic. It only becomes repressive when it’s founded on a false concept or image. And that’s what I’m constantly trying to remove myself from. People need to understand that the Lauryn Hill they were exposed to in the beginning was all that was allowed in that arena at that time. There was much more strength, spirit and passion, desire, curiosity, ambition and opinion that was not allowed in a small space designed for consumer mass appeal and dictated by very limited standards. I had to step away when I realized that for the sake of the machine, I was being way too compromised. I felt uncomfortable about having to smile in someone’s face when I really didn’t like them or even know them well enough to like them. I thought it was okay for me to write a song about something complicated if I was going through something complicated. But I discovered people could only acknowledge red and blue and I was somewhere between. I was purple. I had to fight for an identity that doesn’t fit in one of their boxes. I’m a whole woman. And when I can’t be whole, I have a problem. By the end I was like, “I’ve got to get out of here.”
Morgan: So you made a conscious decision to remove yourself from public life for a considerable time. What did you discover?

Hill: For two or three years I was away from all social interaction. There was no music. There was no television. It was a very introspective and complicated time because I had to really confront my fears and master every demonic thought about inferiority, about insecurity or the fear of being Black, young and gifted in this Western culture. It took a considerable amount of courage, faith and risk to gain the confidence to be myself. I had to deal with folks who weren’t happy about that. I was a young woman with an evolved mind who was not afraid of her beauty or her sexuality. For some people that’s uncomfortable. They didn’t understand how female and strong work together. Or young and wise. Or Black and divine.
Morgan: Is this a clarity that came with becoming Ms. Hill?

Hill: I’ve always been wise beyond my years. I’ve always been a teacher. When I was a child, I was teaching adults, because I was always learning. I’m Ms. Hill because I know I’m a wise woman. That is the respect I deserve.

June 12, 2009 TV One Blogs, The Spin, posts the following:


It was hard finding Ms. Hill's words not chopped up into propaganda to dismantle her music, style, message, image and causes. Even so in the rare interviews she did grant and impromptu protest she gave, one can only begin to get a glimpse into the mind of this genius. Crazy, never. Misunderstood, always as many artitsts that flee underground for their sanity are forced to live. Dave Chappelle sums it up best:

"Let me tell you something. People talk about Martin Lawrence. People use to always ask me, 'Is he crazy?' I use to hate that...When we did Blue Streak we were promoting it and Martin had a stroke and almost died and what ended up happening is I had to all the press for Martin. But it was really scary and at the time the public didn't know how bad he was. And then after that when I saw him I was like, 'Oh my God Martin, are you OK?' He said, 'I got the best sleep I've ever gotten in my life'...That's how tough he is. That's a tough dude...But let me ask you this: What is happening in Hollywood that a guy that tough will be on the street waiving a gun screaming, 'They're trying to kill me!' What's going on? Why is Dave Chappelle going to Africa?Why does Mariah Carey make a $100 million deal and takes her clothes off on TRL? A weak person cannot get to sit here and talk to you. Ain't no weak people talking to you. So what is happening in Hollywood? Nobody knows. The worse thing to call somebody is crazy. It's dismissive. I don't understand this person so their 'crazy.' That's bullshit. These people are not crazy, they strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick." ~Hulu Dave Chappelle on Inside the Actors Studio Season 12, Episode 1206 Original Airdate: February 12, 2006

In July 2005, USATODAY interviewed Ms. Hill as stating:

"If I make music now, it will only be to provide information to my own children. If other people benefit from it, then so be it....In order to bare one's soul, one has to display their whole vulnerability, which most people will never do. These people who bare their souls end up being the source of ridicule."
Where do you stand? As ARapperNamedBilal ask, "Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"

It's just Mia and these are their thoughts.

You will never guess who's next...

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