Hip Hop is how I define myself. Hip Hop did not start in the late 70's. It started long ago, undefined, from several points around the globe culminating into what we now call Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a way, a feeling, a thought. This blog reflects my Hip Hop.

Thank you for paying attention.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let the man finish...

We human beings don't live in a completely humane world and that is unfortunate. We have been, are, and will continue to be our own worst enemy. We kill each other. We lie to each other. We step on each other. We cheat each other. We steal from each other. We do all types of terrible things to each other - without remorse - and consistently without fail. A quote I read recently which really opened my eyes to something I knew but never noticed stated, "The evening news usually opens with 'Good evening...' and then proceeds to show you why it is not."

Mr. Cee is caught in a whirlpool of shit. He's a Black male DJ with island roots who spins music with historically misogynistic and homo-sexually-feared based lyrics for an industry all but distributed by white hetero- AND homosexual men who apparently aren't afraid to make shit-loads of money from said music so long as everyone is happy. That's not a knock on them (for now) but that's pretty much how the world works. So long as the end justifies the mean, people will be comfortable on some level. In my humble opinion, the recording industry has LONG known who Cee was, inside and out. But hat is not his issue.

His issue is that he doesn't live with THOSE people. He only gets paid by them. Cee lives and most likely regularly interacts with people from HIS culture. The West Indian culture is NOTORIOUS for anti-homosexual rhetoric and feelings which has lead to public humiliation, shame and very often violence. This is not Cee's first time getting caught and the back-and-forth of his situation is frustrating to a fan of the music he plays because it removes the focus from the music. I've read many opinions being thrown around that he should just come clean and do what's 'right'. Well .... it's way to fucking easy to sit on the outside looking in and tell him - the man that's going through the problem - to just 'quit denying who you truly are' and 'free yourself'. As far as I can tell, he *IS* being free with himself. A little TOO free, if you ask me. (You shouldn't be getting arrested THIS many times in such a SHORT period of space.) We, the listeners from afar, are not 'his people' though. We're his fans and appreciators of what he does FOR AN INCOME. Whether we enjoy his talents or not SHOULD be the only thing that matters to Cee ... because that affects his INCOME.

We live in a very real world where Cee understands that stories as distracting as this tend to work on the side of the Universe which controls the negative forces. It's not like coming out as gay/bi is going to get him MORE spins on the radio. All it's going to get is people looking at him differently. And being looked at differently USUALLY affects your income NEGATIVELY. Rap music has inundated our ears for decades about keeping it real and there is nothing realer than making sure you keep making money to feed yourself and your family. He was keeping it real to himself and that's fine by me. He was shutting up to keep his belly full. Whom am I to judge?

Outside of whatever law or personal moral code he's broken with his wife, family and CLOSE friends, Mr. Cee did nothing wrong to ME ... except threatening to stop playing the music. His nickname is The Finisher and that's what I suggest we allow him to do ... finish his time on this Earth tackling his personal issues with whatever energy he's got left after blowing out the speakers.

Bigg Russ

Monday, September 9, 2013

Returning To Form...

When I started this blog, it was to rant/rave/share my views regarding rap music and any and all thinks pertaining to the culture of hip hop as I saw fit to discuss. Somewhere, along the way, I misplaced (not lost) my motivation to write. I say misplaced because I knew it wasn't gone entirely. I just knew I had to refocus. Eventually. Someday.

I haven't stopped loving hip hop, not in the slightest. My enjoyment simply became a lot more internal as the days passed after my last entry.  I found new music and did not care to share how I felt about it. I read stories, both funny and not, and did not care to discuss them. I simply couldn't find the strength to kill that end boss that kept me from saving my desire.

Thanks to some very special friends and occurrences over the past year, my desire to share is back. And that makes me happy. It should make you happy too because I've decided to expand my focus a bit from just hip hop. I'm going to start writing about other genres of music and art which I feel interacts or cross-breeds with hip hop on some level and shouldn't be missed. I look forward to sharing again. Thanks for being here.

Bigg Russ

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Untitled (...for Trayvon Martin)

So, a young adult - an openly gay, 21 year old Black man - admitted to me that he didn't know who Trayvon Martin was. He said, for lack of a better term, that he simply doesn't listen to or read the news because it's "all depressing" and "...why would I want to see that everyday?" After explaining to him what happened to Trayvon he did say that he heard of a kid getting killed in Florida but that was it. I explained to him that the news you RECEIVE must be filtered by YOU. I told him that it is simply unwise - in today's crazy world - to cut yourself from ALL news because you perceive it to be unattractive. I think he understood what I meant but at 21 years of age I don't expect him to get it well into his 30's.

My generation is in a very weird place because the struggle we just missed by a couple of years doesn't seem as real now. It was taught to us as history, something that happened 'back then' without fully grasping that some of us were actually products of that struggle. Many of us have nestled into a safe zone where our bank accounts have eased our fears, publicly, and our sense of accomplishment has outweighed our need to strengthen our self-worth. This truth has disabled our children. Some of us are doing so well or struggling against so many invisible adversaries that our children take it for granted. In this age of instant gratification, over-political correctness, and Matrix-like social interaction I feel we have collectively missed the point of being where we are in our lives. There are many exceptions to my feelings, of course. I know some children who are so in tune with their souls that they often reinforce my belief in reincarnation. On the back end, some of our children - and us - are so far off our center that we might as well be space debris floating randomly among the stars.

How can we solve this issue as well as our others? I don't know. There is so much one individual can do for so many. Although, I will always believe the best way we can handle a collective issue is by everyone doing the best they can - individually. We don't always need 'leaders' to help us find our way. Most of us know what's going on around us. Most of us have the wherewithal and power necessary to fight ... but we find that we don't want to be on the front line. We're consistently hoping that someone else will step up in our place to represent our problem. What we, as parents, fail to realize is that WE are supposed to represent our problems. We're not superheros but we have a responsibility to our children to feed them with as much knowledge as possible about who they are and what they can become.

The young man I mentioned earlier is my step-son. He knows who he is but I will not allow him to be uninformed and unprepared. At times, he can be naive about life, as most of us were at 21, but he's got a solid and at least open to hearing me when I rave and rant. Trayvon Martin's death was unfortunate and, by taking a look at George Zimmerman's profile, most likely unavoidable. The key to stopping this from happening again is knowledge. And I plan on sharing as much as I can...

Thanks for reading...

Bigg Russ

Wearing names that MATTER...

Buy it because you want to...not because you have to.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Color Purple: HD Edition 2012

I have a problem. It goes a little something like this: George Lucas shows up on The Daily Show with John Stewart to promote his new film, Red Tails. A film, George proclaims, has been a 23-year labor of love.  Okay, great. No problem. But then George does something that raised my eyebrow. Take a listen for yourself here.

Okay, so let me get this straight. George "Money Bags" Lucas personally finances a film that took 23 years to make, figuratively speaking.  Yet the film almost doesn't get released because 'Hollywood' wouldn't fund its distribution.

I call bull.

If George REALLY wanted to see this film get released, he wouldn't have had to go through normal distribution channels to get it done. He's GEORGE %#&#^% LUCAS. Translation: He *IS* Hollywood!!! George can get virtually anything he wants out of Hollywood. He would've phone half of Hollywood, "Hey, yeah...it's me. Your father. Yeah, the one who runs Industrial, Light & Magic. Yeah, you know...98.9% of all films in Hollywood get done with my company's resources whether you like it or not? Yeah, now you remember. Well, I need something done."With one simple interview, here is what the Lucasarts emperor accomplished and some random facts to consider:

1. If Red Tails fails, it's because it wasn't DISTRIBUTED or MARKETED correctly. Because, somehow Hollywood just has NO IDEA of how to market a 'Black' film. (Again, I call bull. If Meteor Man or B.A.P.S. can secure distribution...)

2. Black Americans are now -seemingly out of the blue - EMOTIONALLY interested in supporting something that 'Hollywood' wouldn't (or didn't know 'how' to) support. The Red Tails marketing onslaught began in the middle of 2011. TWENTY ELEVEN.  I heard about it. I saw the trailer. I was unmoved. Apparently so was everyone else.  I barely heard a peep from anyone of any race, color or creed about the film.

3. George made six movies about the future. A cast full of color. But only two Black people. Three if you count Jango Fett (Aborigine actor). And you already know the deal regarding Jar Jar Binks. Don't mistake George's interests as totally sincere. This is all about entertainment.

4. Red Tails is getting released on MLK weekend....a few weeks before Black History Month. Look at my face. Now look at what I typed. Now look at my face. Now look at what I typed. If you haven't gotten the message by now, just close your browser window and go back to sleep.

5. In a recent public message, Jon Bon Jovi said, "Last night I went to see a movie, it was explained not as Black History Film nor was it a Military History film, it was an American History Film. It is called RED TAILS and was made by the great George Lucas." Okay, everybody just calm down. Especially you, Jon. Hollywood wouldn't fund the film's distribution because of its 'all Black cast' but upon viewing the film one is to think that it's NOT a film about Black people?

"Ya know, Tyrone, I don't see you as Black. You're like... cool!" This madness must stop. Jon has basically given the 'go ahead' to anyone who thought this might be a 'Black' movie. "Oh, don't worry! You'll enjoy it! Yeah, they're Black...but it's not about *that*!" New Jersian, please.

I could go on but I think my point is clear. I am in no way, shape or form anti-Red Tails. Do I want to see the movie? No, not really. Will I see the movie? Eventually. It'll probably be a fun ride with those same four actors we see in every period piece about Blacks in the 40's-60's.
(That one guy with the square head, from The Great Debaters, just has an old classic look. It's like he was born for these rolls. It's simply amazing and not fair to people like Wesley Snipes!).

In the end, I just don't need George Lucas and the little marketing stormtroopers in his head trying to convince me that I should see it with subliminal messaging. And anyone getting caught up now waving a Red Tails flag after hearing George spit that nonsense should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hoodwinked, bamboozled, and led astray...

Go see the film because YOU want to see it.

As usual, thanks for reading...

Bigg Russ