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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.

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