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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ben Gordon Weekend 2008

Fellow Mt. Vernon native and current Chicago Bull, Ben Gordon, is hosting the Ben Gordon Weekend '08, August 14-16th, in Mt. Vernon & Yonkers, NY (Click the flyer for a larger image). Besides being a great time for all who attend, this is primarily a fund raiser for the sports program in Mt. Vernon which recently had its budget cut from the next school year. If you're local, please try and make it to any of the events. I'm working directly for & with with the company that's producing the weekend and I'd LOVE to see your support.

If you cannot attend and would still like to support the cause, please contact me directly @ hiphopsince71@gmail.com and I'll let you know where to send your donations. We're still looking for sponsors as well so if the company you're working for is in the giving mood, please forward them my info.

One love...

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Governing parents...

New York Governer, David Patterson, has decided to sign a game bill into law. My new governor seems like a good guy, in general, but I just don't share his optimism that this law will enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

You know what will enhance the quality of lives of all New Yorkers? New Yorkers, especially PARENTS, paying attention to what their kids are playing.

My youngest son, 8 years of age, had a friend over just yesterday. The friend, who is also 8, told my son that his mom lets him play anything. ANYTHING. He mentioned two games in particular, Mortal Kombat and BMXXX. Now...I can sort of give his mom a pass for Mortal Kombat. According to my son's friend, she doesn't watch what he plays nor does she pay attention to what is purchased for him. That led me to believe that although she's paying for the games, she's not always the one physically purchasing them. If you don't really know about Mortal Kombat and it's infamous 'finishing moves' where you're literally killing your opponent AFTER you've beaten them, then I can see how you might let this one slip by.

But c'mon...BMXXX. The game SCREAMS adult content. Although the game itself doesn't exactly promote sexual intercourse in any way, there is nudity and videos of strippers doing what they do best which can only be seen by unlocking them as you play. The Playstation 2 version was censored by Sony but my son's friend had the fully un-censored GAMECUBE version.

I know life is hard. I know life 'comes at you fast'. I know life is 'dog eat dog'. You can use all the cliches you want about being busy, tired, run down, etc. But I will never understand how parents can just let their kids do any thing. Don't get me wrong. Things happen. Other people buy our kids gifts. Sometimes we ARE too busy to notice this and that. But when does the check and balance happen? When do YOU stop, check on your kids actions/whereabouts/etc. and evaluate the situation? When the government has to step in and protect our children from 'us', then something is wrong. So wrong, in fact, that this law is essentially powerless and a waste of our tax dollars.

I told my son's friend that my son was not allowed to play those games and I would appreciate it if he wouldn't bring them to my house again. He said okay and felt the need to reiterate to me that his mom let him play pretty much any M-Rated game. I told him that was fine if his mom lets him...but I think I know better. She probably doesn't even know what her son is playing. I could get all involved and stick my nose in their busy but I won't. It's simply not my place. The rules behind the village raising a child has changed and getting involved can get you sued and/or physically hurt. Hopefully Mrs. Mom will read my blog and realize that I'm talking about her. But then again, she's probably too tired or busy or run down to surf the web...

Bigg Russ

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scarface meets Jacque Cousteau.

Okay, file this one under NOW I've seen it all. According to the LA Times, among other sources, the navy intercepted a 33-foot submarine about 125 miles south of Puerto de Salina Cruz in Oaxaca state, Mexico. Simple research shows that Colombian authorities have captured over a dozen vessels over the past few years as well. What's really crazy though...is that this submarine was home made.


You ever have one of those moments when you asked yourself, "What have I accomplished today?"

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dark Knight returns...

So, I've lived in NY all my life but have never been to a movie premiere. My kids, on the other hand, seem to have the knack of doing things I never have. Both my son and my oldest daughter went to the The Dark Knight premiere tonight and got pics. My daughter actually got in to see the film (cue VERY jealous dad!!). I'll update with further pics and details later. For the moment, please see what my son's eye caught with his camera phone.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Mt. Vernon author is born...

Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of attending the first book signing for Peter W. Sherrill's first book, Black to the Future: From the Plantation to the Corporation. The signing was held at the AC-BAW center in Mt. Vernon, NY. Mr. Sherrill is a fellow Mt. Vernon native and I thought it only right to show up and support.

Mr. Sherrill was a plaintiff in the record setting Texaco discrimination case back in the mid-90's. In that case, a Texaco treasurer was indicted and the case was settled for $176 million dollars. Being the last plaintiff called to the stand, Mr. Sherrill had the opportunity to see and here it all. Just over 10 years later, he has published his first book detailing what he says is betrayal by his own people while fighting a system of corporate racism.

I have not read the book. I am also not posting this as a review. What I am doing here is respecting the fact that Mr. Sherrill decided to pen such a book. Most people don't feel it's important to share their knowledge of major events - especially those that seem to go against the grain. Mr. Sherrill has something to say and I think we should pay attention. Mr. Sherrill is an admittedly un-perfect human being. He does, however, feel that it's highly important for people, specifically 'Black' people to understand that our leaders are just as imperfect. Mr. Sherrill wants everyone to understand that you cannot rely solely on our leaders to walk through the fire with you 100% of the way. Social leaders have their own agendas like everyone else. You need to stay strong and believe in yourself and your higher power. Only then, will you succeed.

That being said, the event was very entertaining. I got to meet several nice, intelligent, strong people who care about Mt. Vernon and came to support Mr. Sherrill. As I too am planning some events for the near future, in Mt. Vernon, I can only hope to garner an equal amount of support as Mr. Sherrill received.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zulu! Zulu!!

The Mighty Universal Zulu Nation is having it's 35th Anniversary soon. The LEAST I could do is help get the word out. If you can make it, GREAT. If not, please lend your voice in spreading the word.

The location has yet to be determined but I'm sure it's going to be a blast. Save the date! I'll be volunteering there so I hope to meet EVERYONE!

Peace, Love, Unity & Havin' Fun!!

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How NOT to make a top 50 list...

BlackVoices.com is a web site I love. It's got A LOT of info, mostly trivial, but I enjoy reading it. They do give me some real news, without the spin you might expect.

That being said, BV has just pissed me off. They screwed up by posting this HORRENDOUS list of the Top 50 'Black' Movies of all time. The list is so utterly ridiculous, I would have to think the person who compiled the list doesn't know what a 'Black' movie is or hasn't seen many at all.

Seriously...The Wiz or anything movie containing "Madea" in the title should not be anywhere near a list like this. Similarly, any Top 50 Black Movies list NOT containing Hotel Rwanda or Hustle & Flow needs to be deleted immediately.

I was going to re-list them for you here but I just can't get my fingers to re-type such drivel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Hotness

There's a new film coming out called The Wackness. It's got something to do with some kid and his love of hip-hop or something or other. I have NO idea if the movie is good or not but the official mixtape of the movie produced by D-Nice is off the meter. Really though. It's all 90's hip-hop. Meaning GOOD. ;) Check it out for yourself (as well as D-Nice's Start of the Summer mixtape).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Missed it by THAT much...

There was a little known and very campy movie released in 1979 called Americathon. It was a brief look into our future, 1998 to be exact. Here's a summary of the film as ripped from Wikipedia:

The premise of the film is that, sometime in the then-near future (actually 1998), the USA has run out of oil, and many Americans are literally living in their (now stationary) cars and either jog or ride bicycles to travel. The federal government, housed in "The Western White House" (a sub-leased condominium in Marina del Rey, California), is near bankruptcy and in danger of being foreclosed by a cartel of Native Americans in control of Nike Inc. (which has been renamed "National Indian Knitting Enterprise"). President Chet Roosevelt (John Ritter) hires television consultant Eric McMerkin (Peter Riegert) to help produce a national raffle. Instead, they decide that the only way enough money can be raised to save America is to run a telethon, and hire TV celebrity Monty Rushmore (Harvey Korman) to host it.
What I find interesting is that it's now 2008. Sure, we haven't run out of oil per se but we sure are scrambling for it. The entire world knows we're paying too much for it. The price is only going to rise as well. I'm sure incidences of theft are only going to increase as well. I'm not calling for it but I'm sure more 'random' acts of violence is going to occur from the rise of gas prices. This might occur because the trapped cage effect has surely begun. In April, Americans drove 1.4 billion miles less than in April of '07 and 30 billion miles less overall since this same time last year. Once people start getting tired of traveling to the same places or feel that their options have been cut off, they'll start fighting back. Albeit, they'll be fighting the wrong people but fighting nonetheless because they won't have any other outlet for their anger.

People need to let it out every once in a while. No unlike the various riots of the past, I expect another. Except this time, I'm not sure if it's going to happen in L.A., Watts, Chicago, Harlem or Brixton even. But it's going to happen. If I'm where a riot happens though, I just hope to God I have enough gas in my tank to get away in time...