Wednesday, 25 April 2007

False Media

Public Enemy completed their 58th tour with a performance here in Santa Cruz de Tenerife last Friday. Despite three flights, lost luggage and tired bodies, alert minds were present for the pre-concert press conference. Brother James, Professor Griff, Flava Flav and Chuck D stepped into the room, saying hello to all and shaking everybody´s hand….not sure how many musicians have presented themselves in that manner.

Connor, an Irish born, Canarian-raised radio presenter attending his first ever press conference, presented Public Enemy with a Canarian flag with the PE Logo embossed in the middle, nice touch. He raised the issue of immigration, I think trying to inform PE about what goes on here, and the media distortion of the situation. Either Chuck or Professor Griff, asked if there were people here before the Spanish came, and whether they were black or white. To the first part , several of us said yes, the Guanche, as to the second part of the question….somebody said they weren´t either, which threw a curve in Griff´s head, which was visible on his face, and the words “What does that mean?” came from his lips. I stepped to explain the Guanches roots, when some one else in the background interrupted to talk about the Phonecians. What the Phonecians had to do with Tenerife and the Guanches, who´se roots have been traced to the Berbers, I am not sure, and most of the other journalists in the room had that “What da fuck is he talking about?” face on them. Connor´s question never really got answered, but then it gave me the opportunity to raise the issue of False Media, presented by El Dia, one of the media sponsors/collaborators for the PE concert. The irony of El Dia being part of the PE concert, given their editorial stance and distortion under the banner of reporting when it comes to Africans arriving on Canarian shores seemed to wash over the heads of most, and the two promoters who book-ended the head table were quick to dispel any notion of political connections or sinister motivations, saying the link between them and the paper for the promotion on the concert had nothing to do with the editorial stance of El Dia. Griff said that they new nothing of El Dia´s history, which is natural, and that the promoter has to do what he was to do make sure he has the best promotion for his concerts, and take care of his business. I think I could have raised the issue in another manner, False media, we don´t need it do we? and hit it from another angle, however the shit did seem to hit the fan somewhat, creating a lively debate.

During the press conference we spoke about the N-word and the responsibility of us as artists, brothers, men, in trying to curtail the spread of niggativity. The two Russian visits we as Fun-da-mental had last year resulted in twice being greeted with this word or hearing it in a conversation between the vocalist Shamil and the promoter, who if I recall is a leading Hindu practitioner. I only think of going back to Russia now as an excuse for somebody to call be Nigger again, because that´s all they know. Yes, Fun-da-mental have been confirmed to play at an Anti-Racist event in St. Petersburg in July.

Chuck laid most of the blame at the feet of the corporate music labels whose number one priority is making ca$h money, social responsibility is of little consequence. Our responsibility at the end of the day has to overcome the corporations and PE are a classic example of doing it and leading by example.

Brother James spoke with me afterward on the origins of the word relating to dead, and that is how the white man considered us, since we no longer built Pyramids and were no longer scientists. The music we listen to dictates how we present ourselves and if all someone listens to is constant Nigga this and Nigga that, then that is what is going to be perceived as the norm. His iPod is loaded with classic soul and funk, Mavis Staples, Sly Stone, Funkadelic, Al Green, The Meters.

DJ Ripley hit me up a couple weeks back about the documentary by Byron Hurt,
Hip Hop - Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which examines the representations of gender roles that live and breath in hip hop and rap today.
Interview with Byron Hurt in Vibe magazine

I couldn´t help notice the Thugged out image for the ad for Vibe magazine, which is the main points of discussion of the film.

I asked Chuck about Don Imus, his one word response, ANUS.

Now, hears an head-shaker, Imus gets canned for calling some college women basketball players "nappy-headed hos" and yet Rush Limbaugh plays "Barack The Magic Negro" on his show and he is still on the air?

On a lighter note, check out ?uestlove on his Record Collection and why bootlegs are cool.

Chuck D on Flava Flav

Rich McLean aka Audio Shrapnel, who I consider one of the best DJ´s I have ever witnessed put together a 25 minute seamless mix of Fun-da-mental material from over the years for BBC Asian Network but they refused to transmit the mix. Mrs. Shrapnel gave me the news like this...

When I spoke to Aki he said "do a best of FDM, ya know, your own perception of what you think are the best material by us".
So Rich and I chose the tracks (16 tracks in 20 mins!!!), and I gave it to Aki the following day (tuesday).
By my understanding the asian network lot had it for at least 5 days but didn't listen to it. Fast forward to this tuesday and Rich gets a call saying they want to do a quick phone interview with him.
Rich being Mr Honesty says "so your happy with the content then?".
Meera from the show goes "what do you mean?"
Rich - "Well it's Fun-da-mental, it's got a strong political messages through it"
Meera - "Oh well, I have to get that cleared"
Rich - "Haven't you listened to it to check that?"
Meera - ""
A text was received by Aki from a bod at BBC Asian Network "if I knew about the content I would've got it cleared".

Clearly, no need for me to comment any further....

This week´s playlist....

Ear Conditioning at Radio Pimienta 100.3FM

24 April 2007

Radiohead · Climbing the Walls / Fila Brazillia Rmx (Parlophone)
Kode 9, Benny Ill & The Culprit · Fat Larry´s Skank (Tempa)
Mark One · Slope (Planet Mu)
Mike Ladd · Feb. 4 99 (For all those killed by cops) (Ozone)
DJ/Rupture · Descarriada / Rotator Rmx (Broklyn Beats)
African Head Charge Meets Professor Stretch · You Learn (OnU Sound)

Konono No.1 · Unguli Wele Wele (Crammed)
Sobanza Mimanisa · Kimwembo (Crammed)
Mad Tunes from around the world vol. 3 · Untitled and uncredited folk music from Greece (Metalanguage)

Grinderman · Depth Charge Ethel (Mute)
Wesley Willis · The Frogs (Sympathy for the record industry)
Kid Koala · Trick or Treat (Ninja Tunes)
Queens of the Stone Age · 3´s x 7´s (Interscope)
Queens of the Stone Age · Quick and to the Pointless (Interscope)

Little Axe · 15 to 4
Vernon Reid · Saint Cobain (Epic)
Georgia Anne Mudlrow · Patience (Stones Throw)
Public Enemy · Pump the Music, Pump the Sound (Guerilla Funk)
KRS-One · Sound of the Police (Jive)
Chuck D · Niggativity...Dare I disturb the Universe (Mercury)
Terrawrecka · Terradome (White label)

Fun-da-mental Radio Mix by Audio Shrapnel
Che bin 2
Cookbook diy
God devil
White tongue
Ja sha taan (jesus & mary chain remix)
Sliced lead
No more fear
Electro g-had
No more fear
English breakfast
Dog war
Mera mezab
Screbinicia massacre

The Roots and Lata Mageshkar · In the Music mix up
King L Man · Carcass featuring Arka /Tropico 28 and Scalper
Razhel the Godfather of Noyze · If your mother only knew
King L Man · One36 / El-P · I´ll Sleep When Your Dead Intro

Thanks to Audio Shrapnel, Aki, DJ Ripley, PE, Javi Jiminez, Dani, DJ MAD