Tag Archives: Hip-Hop Culture

A Sucker EMCEE, a one-man show from Craig “Mums” Grant | OkayPlayer

a sucker emcee

Article source: http://www.okayplayer.com/news/a-sucker-emcee-craig-mums-grant.html

In 2014, the LAByrinth Theater Company produced A Sucker EMCEE, a one-man show from Craig “Mums” Grant. Grant, a poet and actor, used hip-hop and rhymes to tell his life story, from a young boy in the Bronx to a great success in the acting field — he appeared on HBO’s OZ — to back to the Bronx again.

Three and a half years after the play’s initial run, the show is coming back, this time at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.

The show will have a limited six-show engagement. The original production team, which included director Jenny KoonsDJ Rich Medina and set designer David Meyer, are all returning, so expect the same quality as the initial show.

Tickets for A Sucker EMCEE are on sale now and cost $25 in advance and $35 at the door. The show will run from April 26 through April 30, 2017, so jump on this quickly.

April 26 through April 30th


FOUNDING FATHERS narrated by Chuck D

Video presented by Founding Fathers

A factual report about unsung DJ’s who contributed to the foundational principals of the music known today as Hip Hop. This documentary transports you to a journey back to the early underground disco days of the streets and parks throughout New York City.
-In memory of the late great Pete “DJ” Jones, Rest in Peace

Hip Hop + Veganism = Earth Day Wknd [HHIG]


April 21 – 22, 2016! CONFIRMED: Hip Hop’s STIC of dead prez, FREE

Vegan Meals, and Much More! Sponsored by Vegan Outreach, The Tour Will Declare Health and Wellness as “10th Element of Hip Hop”

Brooklyn, New York – Today, Hip Hop Is Green, an organization and national tour founded by health activist Keith Tucker, made two major announcements: (1) That New York City will be an official leg of the tour and that, (2) “health and wellness” is now declared as the 10th element of Hip Hop (see the Hip Hop Declaration of Peace). The NYC kickoff, sponsored by Vegan Outreach, will take place at various venues in Harlem on Earth Day weekend

Continue reading Hip Hop + Veganism = Earth Day Wknd [HHIG]

Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics | KNAU Arizona Public Radio

Chris Kindred for NPR Listen Listening… 0:00 /

Originally published on December 23, 2015 4:35 pm

Austin Martin, a junior at Brown University, stands in front of an eighth-grade class at Community Preparatory School in Providence, R.I. He’s here to test out the website he developed, which he hopes will help junior and senior high school students learn the vocabulary they’ll need for their college entrance exams.

He starts the class by connecting his laptop to a projector, and then he veers off the traditional path, away from rote memorization — and toward rap music.

A short song clip plays over speakers: “So rude that your mentality is distorting your reality.”

Martin zeroes in on the word “distort.”

“OK, so in this example,” he says to the class, “When they say ‘so rude that your mentality is distorting this reality,’ what do you think he means?”

The program is called Rhymes with Reason. He’s using rap lyrics to teach vocabulary, in the hope that some will connect more to popular music than they do to static words on a page.

This undergrad isn’t the first to think of using hip-hop in the classroom to engage students. The Hip-Hop Education Center, founded by New York University professor Martha Diaz, lists hundreds of programs that use hip-hop culture as a teaching tool.

But Martin says aggregating his lessons on a website for kids to use anywhere — at home, on their phone — sets his program apart.

Hip-hop, Martin says, is full of words students might need to know for the SAT or ACT. He’s amassed more than 450 examples so far.

“I just got out of high school. My sister is in high school,” says the 20-year-old Martin. “I’m in tune with that climate.”

In the classroom, most of the kids seem to understand that “distort” means to alter or change.

And then, like many English teachers, he asks the class to use the word in context. But not in a sentence. He wants them to write it in their own rap lyrics.

Here’s what student Tiffanie Pichardo comes up with: “You’re always distorting my brain, making me insane, the way you cross your arms and give me attitude, why don’t you go somewhere and don’t be rude.”

Micah Walker takes a different approach: “I went to court, but my opponent started to distort what I was saying, in fact they started fraying, from what that was the truth, and as a result, I came out with a broken tooth, but it’s OK ’cause it’s my turn to step into the booth.”

Grace Jordan raises her hand with another rhyme: “People think that I’m no good but their views are distorted. I’m the best; they’re wrong is what I retorted. Their minds are warped; they’re not in their right mind, ’cause smart people know I am the best. I’m the best that people can find.”

After the exercise on “distort,” the class moves on to “meticulous,” “complex” and “domain.”

They keep rapping right up until the bell rings — some want to keep going.

Eddie Moyé, the teacher in this eighth-grade class, says this enthusiasm isn’t unusual; the kids took to Rhymes with Reason right away.

“They were saying, ‘This is so much fun!’ ” he says. “They were saying, ‘Not to dis you, Mr. Moyé, but we like what Austin is doing with us,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have a problem with that.’ ”

Although he’s in an Ivy League college now, Martin says that he struggled in school. He was smart, but he says the things he was really intellectually curious about weren’t valued in the classroom.

“I knew every last thing there was to know about hip-hop and basketball,” he says. He could tell you incredibly detailed facts about rappers and NBA players.

“My favorite NBA player was Allen Iverson,” says Martin. “I could tell you what points-per-game average he had in 2004.” (It was 30.7.)

So why not tap into that enthusiasm to help kids like him, who might be turned off by traditional schoolwork.

He’s hoping Rhymes with Reason will do the trick.

After the class, Martin says he’s happy with how it went, particularly the way the students responded to their everyone else’s lyrics — saying “ooh” and “aah” when they heard a good rhyme.

“It’s really good to have that validation in the classroom for something you generated from your own mind,” he says.

Martin says Rhymes with Reason is still in the testing phase. It’s used in only a handful of classes, and he doesn’t yet have reliable data to show that it actually improves test scores or vocabulary.

But if the kids in Eddie Moyé’s eighth-grade class are anything to go by, Austin Martin is on to something.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



What motivates scientists and inventors? NPR’s Joe Palca has been exploring the power of the creative brain. And today, as part of his series Joe’s Big Idea, he has the story of a college student and entrepreneur. His online program uses hip-hop to teach vocabulary to teens.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: The program is called Rhymes with Reason, and it’s the invention of Austin Martin. Martin is a junior at Brown University. He’s invited me to go with him to a class at Community Preparatory School in Providence, where he’s testing the software.

AUSTIN MARTIN: So guys, how are you guys doing?


MARTIN: Cool. So today, we’re going to get into another lesson with Rhymes with Reason.

PALCA: Martin has attached his laptop to a projector so the class can see what he’s doing.

MARTIN: I think we might jump around a little bit just to get some, like – some fun words in there. 

PALCA: Martin decides to start out with the word distorting. He calls up a webpage with a music clip. He clicks the link.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Rapping) Glue it, to my heart I do it huge. And your attitude just blew it. So rude, it’s your mentality; it’s distorting your reality. Actually, the more you speak make me think where I’d rather be.

MARTIN: OK, so in this example, when they say so rudely your mentality’s distorting this reality, what do you think it means?

PALCA: Most of the kids seem to get it means altering or changing. Then he asks the class to use the word in context. But not in a simple sentence like we used to do but in a rap lyric, and this is where things get interesting. In a few minutes, hands start to shoot up.

TIFFANIE PICHARDO: You’re always distorting my brain, making me insane, the way you cross your arms and give me attitude. Why don’t you go somewhere and don’t be rude?

MICAH WALKER: March 31 I went to court, but my opponent started to distort what I was saying. In fact, they started fraying…

GRACE JORDAN: People think that I’m no good but their views are distorted. I’m the best; they’re wrong is what I retorted. Their minds are warped. They’re not in their right minds because smart people know I’m the best that people can find.

PALCA: That was Tiffanie Pichardo, Micah Walker and Grace Jordan.

EDDIE MOYE: Great job.

PALCA: Eddie Moye is the regular teacher in this eighth grade class. He says the kids took to Rhymes with Reason right away.

MOYE: And they were saying oh, this is so much fun, this is so much fun. And they were saying well, not to diss you, Mr. Moye, but we like what Austin’s doing with us. And I said I don’t have a problem with that.

PALCA: Although Rhymes with Reason inventor Austin Martin is now in an Ivy League college, there was a time when he struggled in school. He did excel in two subjects – hip-hop and basketball. He says he could tell you every last fact about every rapper, every NBA player.

MARTIN: My favorite NBA player was Allen Iverson. I could tell you what points-per-game average he had in 2004.

PALCA: It was 30.7, in case you’re interested. Anyway, Martin figured he’d take that kind of passion and use it to good advantage.

MARTIN: I wanted to find a way to finally make it so the intellectual engagement in hip-hop was rewarded in academic setting.

PALCA: He’s hoping Rhymes with Reason will do the trick.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: Oh, I’m so excited.

PALCA: The class has moved on from distorting to other words. The students try making lyrics with meticulous…

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: When I spit my bars, people think I’m meticulous. It comes naturally – OK, I lied. It’s ridiculous.

PALCA: …Or complex…

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: Rapping is complex. For example, all I can think to rhyme with complex is the word Rex.

PALCA: …Or domain.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #4: I am sick of people coming at my domain. I’m from Pawtucket – yeah, I’m repping the name. Best city in Rhode Island. It puts the rest to shame. Better keep up ’cause I’m in the fast lane.


PALCA: The kids seem reluctant to stop when the period is over.

MOYE: OK, ladies and gentlemen, please collect home books. Put them back in the home book locker, please.

PALCA: After we leave the school, I asked Martin whether he thought the session went well. He said yes, particularly the way kids responded to each other’s lyrics.

MARTIN: Seeing them – like, everyone say ooh and ah when they come up with a good rhyme – it’s really good to have validation in the classroom for something that you generated from your mind.

PALCA: Martin says Rhymes with Reason is still very much in the testing phase. It’s only being used in a handful of classes, and he’s not got reliable data yet showing it actually improves test scores. But if the kids in Eddie Moye’s eighth grade class are anything to go by, it looks like Austin Martin is onto something. Joe Palca, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Source: Hip-Hop Vocab: The Lexicon Is In The Lyrics | KNAU Arizona Public Radio#stream/0

Hidden Text: The Roots – What They Do w/ text

You have a message… beep…  date: 1996….

Peace Party People! Yo my dawg found this video. The videos show subtext stating that the video and the portrayals were not real. Big business removed the text to keep the illusion alive long enough for labels to get fat while having the common fan believe these artists were really living the lifestyles they showed in their videos. I think it was brilliant. But many people missed the full message and fell into the trap spawning the need for materialism and ignorance. Some believe that was a conscious time in hip-hop. Imagine were hip-hop would be if we got the message. Its been over 15 years since the video with text could be found online. The removing of the text was said to be because of a rap beef between the Roots and B.I.G… but don’t believe the hype.

Side note, I think there was more text. This could been done over.

Music video by The Roots performing What They Do. (C) 1996 Geffen Records. Director: Charles Stone III

Afrika Bambaataa: Punk Rockers Were 1st Euro-Americans to Accept Hip-Hop

Published on Mar 31, 2015

http://www.vladtv.com – The Godfather of Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa, sat down with VladTV to discuss his various nicknames, the origins of the culture and when exactly white people begin embracing Hip-Hop.

The legend says that most of his nicknames were given to him by people who recognized his role in progressing the culture. He also spoke on his relationship with fellow Hip Hop great Kool Herc, saying they were both the hottest DJ’s within their respective neighborhoods in The Bronx. He also revealed the origins of the term “Hip-Hop” itself, saying it came from the raps of Keith Cowboy and Lovebug Starski.

Bambaataa also reveals when white people actually started to embrace the culture, saying the punk rockers of downtown Manhattan were the first to show love from outside of the movement. He disagrees with Lord Jamar’s statements that Whites are “guests in the house of Hip-Hop,” saying in the early years you could make that argument. Today, however, Hip-Hop is a global phenomenon that has branched out to all people, similarly to religions having roots within one culture and eventually branching out to others.

Get a history lesson from the great Afrika Bambaataa above.

2015 Tools of War True School NYC Summer Park Jams

Sept. 17: Crotona Park Jams feat. GrandWizzard Theodore, PopMaster Fabel & DJ Slyce! BRONX

2015 Tools of War True School NYC Summer Park Jams presented by Rane & Friends of Crotona Park! Dedicated to Flyer King Buddy Esquire, Lucky Strike, B-Boy Zip & Take One

Every Thursday in September: CROTONA PARK! 
It’s Always About the DJs! 

Sept. 17: GrandWizzard Theodore, PopMaster Fabel & Slyce
Sept. 24: GrandMaster Caz, Jazzy Jay & more! 

Host: GrandMaster Caz. Sound: DJ Jazzy Jay
4-7:30pm. Enter Crotona Park at Crotona Park East & Charlotte St. Bronx NYC. 2 or 5 Train to 174th. Bronx NYC or BX 11, 15, 17, or 55. 

No Alcohol or Drugs. 
Still Photography is welcome but No Video/Filming. 
No Vending without permission. 
Do not go behind the ropes or on stage.


RANE dj.rane.com] (presenting)

Friends of Crotona Park: https://www.facebook.com/groups/135902836436195/

FABEL: www.facebook.com/pages/POPMASTER-FABEL/103857113001011?fref=ts

CORNELL HIP HOP COLLECTION http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/hiphop

BETWEEN THE COVERS RARE BOOKS www.betweenthecovers.com

BORN IN THE BRONX www.amazon.com/Born-Bronx-Visual-Record-Early/dp/0789315408

12INCHSKINZ: www.12inchskinz.com

SHURE: www.shure.com

SONY: www.sony.com

SERATO: www.serato.com

ODYSSEY: www.odysseygear.com

PEAVEY: peavey.com


JOE CONZO: www.JoeConzo.com

FRANCISCO REYES: www.mamboso.net

IGNACIO SOLTERO: http://deejaysoul.com/

MING HAN www.facebook.com/ming.han.79?fref=ts

NOISEMAKER MEDIA: www.NoisemakerMedia.com]

UNUSUAL SUSPECTS: http://unusualsuspectsshop.com/

ORTOFON: www.ortofon.com

AIAIAI: http://aiaiai.dk/

HUSH TOURS www.hushtours.com

UNIVERSAL ZULU NATION: www.zulunation.com

DMC USA www.dmcdjchamps.com

GMC Entertainment www.facebook.com/GRANDMASTERCAZ

DJ JAZZY JAY: /www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-Jazzy-Jay/374208923220?fref=ts 

More sponsors welcome – Trades in DJ Gear Possible! 
Contact toolsofwar@gmail.com

North America’s Finest Breakers on Sway in the Morning

Sway Calloway and Heather B interviews the bboy breakers of the Redbull BC 1 North America’s Finals.

Published on Aug 27, 2015

The World is Yours!, Its Mine its Mine its Mine!

nasIn a society that constantly affirms that we do not matter, with our constant disrespect in the media, politically, institutionally and our literal unaddressed murders, this artist, this song, this line came as a healing balm to remind us of the truth. When this song came out in 94’ the Black world of North America, specifically the East coast was still reeling from the horror of the crack/cocaine 80s and the recent importation of gang culture that was coming from the west.  We as a community were not seemingly sure where we were headed, who would take the lead, and what were the lessons of where we had been.   Although we still struggle with the knowledge of our past, present and future, songs like this articulated the need to get thinking and envisioning things to in fact prepare us for where we find ourselves in 2015.

Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones is our Shakespeare, fuck Shakey, he’s our Gilgamesh, John the Conqueror, Stagolee or something! and to link with the self-named, “chocolate boy wonder” (Pete Rock as producer) was a beautiful blend of melanin masculinity.  Nas and Pete Rock gave the young Hip Hop world an affirmation to keep tucked or manifested like a precious jewel.  In that one simple line our collective consciousness was stirred. Did we not become the generation obsessed with the Illuminati, how to go from Niggers to Gods, and Malcolm, Garvey, Huey?  We began to remember or believe what some of our elders and teachers were telling us. That there was a time when we ruled the world and just possibly, if we believe it, we could return to that time.

high john the conqueror

In the video Hip Hop met Scarface with the World is Yours statue prominent, juxtaposing the criminals (drug dealers) with the new public enemy…..Hip Hop.  The Hip Hop world knew once Illmatic dropped in 94 that we were being exposed to a modern day griot and we so needed his words at the time, caught up as many of us were with blunts, fighting, and fuckery.  It was a black and white video, taking us through the project halls of Queens Bridge, where Nas grew up to his new life as an upcoming rapper, sipping Dom P, watching Gandhi till im traumed and writing in my book of rhymes all the words past the margins.

Showing us better than he could tell us, that your life, our lives could be transformed if we believed, if we affirmed something new/old.  You must believe these affirmations as you sing them aloud to secure their power and fruition, yet it can be difficult to believe that you own or rule the world when you are surrounded by people struggling financially or being harassed by the police.

However with Nas saying the WORLD IS YOURS, and saying it like he meant it, like all our great ones do, with that passion and inflection, it was and still is an empowering line for Black Girls lost like me and my teenage homeboys and girls.  For many of us suffering under the institutional racism that is American education, we are inundated with slavery talk and at some point I believe for many African American students there is a kind of depression, frustration, whatever you want to call it, due to the sheer scope and sadness of our predicament/lot.  Garvey deported, Malcolm dead, Panthers done and we begin to just want to get by, get high or get over.  Nas and other artists of his kind helped to an extent save a generation of children, by planting seeds that would bloom pronouncedly for many of us in our 20s-30s.  Because if you review the news and statistics of that time, our post traumatic slave syndrome symptoms were manifesting and many of us were suffering from racial breakdowns.

 kara walkerracial fatigue

A racial breakdown is when one suffers from mental, emotional, or physical trauma from a society’s current of past policies and practices regarding race, class, and or gender.

One is hyper sensitive to racial inequalities prevalent in all aspects of Americana. Especially in the youth, who lack the experiences, constraints and discretion of their elders there is a tendency to, “Black out” and act either physically or verbally aggressive to loved one and strangers.

racial fatigue yes

This “blacking out” is due to spiritual/sensory overload partially due to ancestral memory which causes side effects including yet not limited to joining black power movements,  making trap music, becoming instagram vixens, producing many children by many women, saying you are no longer Black or African American or going bat shit conscious crazy-and there are many levels to all the crazy.

In the small suburban town I grew up, after we graduated High School, someone of African American descent went literally piece of paper crazy every year until the present, at least one person. Now magnify that across the U.S., add in the high rates of suicide in the Black community as well as the undiagnosed self-medicated crazy that everyone just refers to as “touched” or “special”, “alcoholic” or “moody” and we are at a mental health crisis moment with the roots going back centuries. It is time for healing, it is time to use whatever tools possible to navigate this illmatic-ness, and get some get happy, get free, save yourself kits for you and your loved ones. May these lines find a way to get you out of your bind.

The time is now to remember the affirmations of the past.  The time is always to dream big and expansive. To remember that we were never meant to be small, that we are here to let our lights shine and help others do the same.

world is yours statue

We must affirm that the world is ours and how many soul singers and rappers have to sing, or rhyme about it before we believe it?! We cannot manifest what we do not believe and last I checked we have been hearing about ruling the world since James Brown (If I ruled the world) to Marvin/Luther (If this world were mine) to Kurtis Blow (repeating JB’s : If I Ruled the World) to RZA (ITS YOURS!).  I know the world is mine, not just in a Black history; the Africans did if first line of thinking, but in the sense of that I am a flesh and blood, hue wombman naturally put on the Earth and therefore all things above and below should be mine. Not to simply own like a capitalist but to be one with and thrive like a humanist. The birds, the bees (peace to the bees), the trees, the people, I am yours and you are mine and since this world is mine, I will give you the key. Whose world is it? The world is Yours! Its mines its mines its mine—and yours as well.

Peace and love from Soul Force worker #1 Lola Fulani aka Bonita Applebum