Doing Good In the Hood: John Forte is back

March 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm (Doing good in the hood, East Coast, Hip Hop, Music) (, , , , , )

forteAfter being pardoned from prison, former Fugees affiliate John Forte has hit the ground running. Starting on March 31, he will work as a teacher at The City College of New York where he will work as part of the outreach program “In Arms Reach”, a group designed to help children of incarcerated parents. Forte will be teaching music composition as a means of dealing with negativity.

“John hopes that the catharsis of song composition will help children deal with the stigma of having a family member who is incarcerated and rebuild the spirit of those who have been traumatized or abandoned,” a representative for Forte told AllHipHop.com about the course.

Forte had received 14 years for drug possession when he was caught with 31 pounds of liquid cocaine. He had served almost half of the sentence when president Bush gave him a pardon last November. He’s also active on the music front too, doing music with Kanye West and Talib Kweli. He is also in the studio working on a third studio album. It’s good to see him doing even more for society even after paying his debt to it. Hopefully this won’t be the last we see of Forte, and he’ll continue to look out for his community and make music. Heck, maybe he can even get back with Wyclef and them.

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43 Year Old Douchebag Defaces Tupac Statue

June 24, 2008 at 3:18 pm (Bay Area, Hip Hop, Music, Politics) (, , , , , , , )

Last October, they caught Kenneth Anthony Wilson, the guy who defaced a statue of Tupac Shakur. As part of his ‘war on gangsta rap’, the 43 year old fucktard stuck several handbills with threats against the Tupac Center of the Arts, other rappers, and other rap labels. Recently, he released a manifesto explaining himself. Here is the part that got me laughing:

Wilson, who refers to himself as a “writer,” “artist,” and “Supa-hero,” claims the defacement was “my way of declaring an intellectual and artistic war against the gangsta rap community.”

Wilson justified his actions through his belief that Tupac and his mother Afeni Shakur are misleading the youth through Tupac’s image and message.

Lets see, you claim Tupac and gangsta rap is a bad influence, so he responds by speaking ill of a dead man, insulting his mother, threatening others simply because he disagrees with what they say, and defacing private property. While Tupac and other gangsta rappers certainly are far from perfect, Mr. Wilson doesn’t set a very good alternative for the youth that he accuses gangsta rappers of corrupting, and at 43 years of age, one is way too old to be doing juvenile things like this anyway. If he really wanted to be a ‘supa hero’, then why not try more positive things, such as opening his own art center (since he claims to be an ‘artist’), become a teacher, or become a little league coach? Instead he comes off as immature and hypocritical. It’s sad that while many of the gangsta rappers he despises so much have been known for giving back to their communities, the best he can do to lead the youth away from them is simply vandalize a statue of a dead man.

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Doing Good In The Hood: Jay-Z’s Trust Fund For Sean Bell’s Children

May 26, 2008 at 6:09 pm (Doing good in the hood, East Coast, Hip Hop, Music, Police Brutality, Politics) (, , , , )

Yeah, I know I’m late with this, but the real story is that something good has come out of the Sean Bell tragedy. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Sean Bell was gunned down by three plain clothes police officers the night before his wedding day. The three police officers were acquitted of all charges. While several rappers have voiced their disagreements with the verdict, some are doing even more. Rapper Jay-z has set up a stock-based trust fund for Sean Bell’s surviving children.  Jigga has already featured Sean’s widow in the Rocawear “I will not lose” ad campaign.  This is definitely a good look for Hova, and it’s nice to see someone care about survivors of police brutality.

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Doing Good In The Hood: RZA and The Hip Hop Chess Federation

April 13, 2008 at 7:19 pm (Doing good in the hood, Hip Hop, Music, Video Games) (, , , , , , , )

Rapping, producing, film scoring, acting, and now chess? Is there anything Bobby Digital CAN’T do? Wu Tang clan founder and producer Robert Diggs, a.k.a. “The RZA” was one of several hosts at this past Saturday’s “Martial Arts as a Path to Nonviolence” panel, which was one of the many activities that took place during the Hip Hop Chess Federation’s “Mind over Matter Chess and Grappling Exhibition”, which was held in Menlo Park, CA. He was joined by chess icon Josh Waitzkin and Mixed Martial Arts Champion Ralex Gracie as they discussed how practitioners of chess and the martial arts are trained in ways to avoid violence.

The Hip Hop Chess Federation was founded in 2007 by author and lecturer Adisa Banjoko and Leo Librian. Its purpose is to make use of martial arts, chess, and hip hop as a means to steer inner city youth away from nonviolence. Past events have included hip hop figures such as Immortal Technique, DJ QBert, and Bay area rapper San Quinn.

On a side note, Xbox Live players (well at least those who own the Xbox Live Arcade Game Chessmaster) can join the action and download new chess boards and even compete for various prizes.

Source: Allhiphop.com
Hip Hop Chess Federation

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Doing Good in The Hood: Cham says, “Don’t mess with Texas!”

April 6, 2008 at 5:54 pm (Doing good in the hood, Hip Hop, Music, The South)

Source:  Allhiphop.com:

First he cleaned up his music, now he’s cleaning up his community.  Rapper Chamillionarie is joining the “Don’t Mess with Texas” anti-littering campaign alongside Corpus Christi designer Todd Oldham.  The campaign is aimed at people under 25.  Oldham donated specially designed litterbags which will be given out on the “Roc the Bag Tour”, which will make stops in 16 cities to help promote the initiative.  The campaign will be directed at malls, concerts, and other places where texas youth hang out.

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Score: 50 Cent – 1, Goldigging Baby Momma – 0!

April 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm (child support, East Coast, Hip Hop, men's rights, Shits and giggles, women)

A Long Island housing court judge ruled this past Thursday that the mother of 50 Cent’s 10 year old son must vacate his $2.4 million dollar Dix Hills New York mansion along with 50’s son, her daughter from another relationship, and her boyfriend. The judge recognized 50 as the sole owner of the mansion, and she has until the end of the 2007-2008 school year to find housing. To add further insult to injury, she owes the rapper (born Curtis Jackson) $9000, and the child support payments that he was responsible for have been reduced from $25000 a month to $6700 a month due to an earlier hearing back in February. From Allhiphop.com:

In a February court appearance, a judge reduced the amount of child support 50 was responsible for from $25,000 to $6,700 per month, which was to provide Tompkins the funds needed to find a new home. The G-Unit boss and his attorney maintain she’s made no attempts to do so. “To have her living there with her boyfriend and several other people is inappropriate,” the artist said following the two hour hearing. “She’s in the house with people I’m not responsible to pay housing for.”

I say score one for 50. Living off money paid by your ex that’s supposed to belong to your son is one thing, but to be having other people in his house, and using your ex’s child support money to support them as well? Things like this are why our women are being looked upon as goldiggers. If anyone believes that 50 is heartlessly kicking out his ex and her kid, consider that he has been paying her over 300000 a year in tax-free child support payments, and 6700 a month is still more than many high waged professional jobs pay, so she has plenty of time and money to find a new living arrangement, Also having her boyfriend in there and him living off $50’s money is just plain wrong. That hoe needs to find a job and stop living off other people’s money. I’d hate to see what’s going to happen when the son turns 18.

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Doing Good In The Hood: Rappers and Thanksgiving Charities

November 22, 2007 at 10:47 pm (Doing good in the hood, Hip Hop, Music, The South, West Coast Rap)

I guess rappers aren’t such bad people after all. Of course you could have known that by reading some of the other articles on this site, but I digress. Thanksgiving is a time of year to spend with your family. Even though it’s supposed to be joyous, there are some who are disadvantaged economically, so they aren’t as able to enjoy today as much as others. Thankfully for them, the hip hop nation has recognized this, and several rappers are doing various things to help out the underprivileged in their communities.

ti.jpgTI, despite being on house arrest, is doing a lot this Thanksgiving to help out Atlanta. He donated 400 turkeys to needy families in Atlanta, helped raise over $150,000 (with the help of other celebrities such as Wyclef and Busta Rhymes) for the Hosea Williams “Feed the Hungry” foundation, and is hosting Thanksgiving dinner tonight at Atlanta’s Club Crucial from 6 – 9 pm. Despite what backpackers and haters may think, this act has nothing to do with his gun cases. He does a lot for ATL on a regular basis, and he and his uncle help rebuild houses for area residents.

ludacris.jpgHis formal rival Ludacris is also giving to Atlanta. Last Friday, the Ludacris foundation, ran by his mother Roberta Shields, hosted a turkey giveaway at New Piney Grove Baptist Church in Decatur, GA. They are also planning to host a Thanksgiving dinner for 450 of the area’s senior citizens. He’s been doing this for the past 5 years, while the Oprahs and Bill O’ Rielys have been blaming him for the downfall of American society.

chingy.jpgSt Louis Rapper Chingy has also been doing his thing this holiday season. Through his non-profit organization “Chingy for Change”, Chingy has been supplying Thanksgiving meals for less fortunate families in the St Louis area. A few months ago he recently gave away several scholarships to St Louis youth with the help of Hip hop pioneer Russell Simmons, and this year he plans to donate Christmas toys for the local boys and girl’s club. I don’t listen to Chingy, but it’s good to see him giving back to his community.

LA rapper Glasses Malone is also helping out on the westcoast. In what he said was the first of several initiatives to help improve conditions in the Ghetto, Glasses Malone hosted a turkey giveaway at music store “Vip Records”.

Seeing this stuff makes me wonder though…what are all these country and rock stars, who are supposed to be so much more better than us, doing to help out thier communities? Better what, what is Bill O’Riely doing to help out?

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Doing good in the hood: Master P’s Community Centers.

October 7, 2007 at 7:37 pm (Doing good in the hood, Hip Hop, Music, The South)

masterp.jpgAs of late, Master P has been one of the people jumping on the Don Imus “lets clean up or censor hip hop lyrics” bandwagon. But unlike other knee-jerked reactions from bourgeois talking heads in the black community (*cough*AlSharptonandJessieJackson*hack*), clergymen, soccer moms who know nothing about hip hop, and right-wing talk show hosts, P is actually being sincere about his efforts. Last month, Master P released Hip Hop History, an album done with his son Romeo that features no cursing or inappropriate lyrics. He and David Banner attended the congressional hearings on hip hop lyrics, and recently, Master P has announced his plans to build a series of youth centers in impoverished areas throughout several major cities throughout the US. The centers will feature gyms and libraries to benefit inner city youth. Even in bankruptcy, Master P is still doing his thing. It’s all about the tank though haters! UUUUUUUUGH!!!!!

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Hah! And they said hip hop was dead…

September 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm (East Coast, Hip Hop, Midwest rap, Music, Shits and giggles)

kanyewest.jpgI’m a bit late with this, but as you know, in an ill-advised publicity stunt, possibly set up by Interscope, 50 Cent has challenged Kanye West. Their albums, Curtis and Graduation dropped the same day, September 11th. Little while after that, country singer Kenny Chesney, in an equally ill-conceived publicity stunt, possibly encouraged by his own record label as well, also decided to throw his hat into the ring:

”It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist, until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200,”

Of course they don’t acknowledge you, you’re not a rapper. Well, as of last week, Kanye West pulled into a staggering lead with with over 950 thousand copies, making this year’s highest selling album thus far. 50 didn’t do badly himself, as he bought in over 64ok. In last place, Kenny boy could barely manage to pull over half that number, with over 370 thousand.

And they said hip hop was dead…

On a side note, 50 promised to retire if Kanye outsold him, and it remains to be seen if he will keep his word. As a fan of both artists, I hope this isn’t the case.

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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! When exactly does personal accountability come into play anymore?

July 29, 2007 at 7:57 pm (Hip Hop, Music, My muthafuckin self, My personal opinion, Politics)

vick.jpgFor those of you who don’t know, NFL superstar Michael Vick is suspected of running a dog fighting operation in his house. I seen what happens to these poor animals, and is Vick is indeed guilty, then I hope he gets punished to the full extent of the law. Now however, right wing talking heads and news outlets with little else to report on have discovered, that hip hop is to blame for dog fighting. However, dog fighting is a tradition that goes back to the days of the Roman Empire, which if I remember correctly was several of centuries before hip hop was created. This is little more of a continuation of the trend of making hip-hop the scapegoat for everything that’s wrong with society. This is nothing new, ever since the attacks on NWA back in the early 90s. However, this trend seems to be re-energized more since the whole Don Imus scandal.

There is no secret that there is a large amount of offensive lyrics in hip hop, but it’s no different from the images of blood and gore seen on movies, tv, and video games. There are also plenty of violent material in other forms of music. Eric Clapton sung about shooting the sheriff, Johnny Cash sung about shooting a man just to watch him die on “folson country blues”, and doing cocaine and killing his wife on “cocaine blues. Woodie Guthrie sang about an outlaw killing a cop in the song “Pretty boy Floyd”. Lets not even mention some of the lyrics in Heavy Metal music, or all the pop and R&B songs bashing men. Yet, these things aren’t even mentioned at all when there are discussions about violent music. If a rapper preformed any of these songs, we would never hear the end of it. Where are all the protests against the offensive material in these forms of music?  Why don’t these forms of music take the blame for society’s ills?

There are times when I wish we could go back to the prohibition era, or even the mid 1940s, before there was gangsta rap. I’m sure beside the whole WW2 thing going on, things must have been so peaceful back then. Seriously though, rather than making arguements about social conditions, living standards, mental health, parental upbringing, or anything else that COULD play a role in the violence in our society, I’ll pose these simple questions. There are millions of people around the world who listen to gangsta rap and play violent video games. By that logic, shouldn’t there be millions more cop killers, gang bangers, mass murderers, and psychopaths than those we see on the nightly news? Also, what accounts for the Jeffery Dahmers, Zodiac Killers, David Koreshs, Tim McVeighs, BTKs, and other psychos who clearly don’t listen to rap music?

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