barry-michael-cooper

As the screenwriter of New Jack City, Nino Brown was my fictional assemblage of a real life, slave trader transposed to the modernity of the 1980s. Nino Brown was a dark knight in the fraternal, genocidal order of (not the KKK) the CCC; the Crack Cocaine Constructionists. The progenitors (along with the Reagan administration – knowingly or unknowingly – and Oliver North) of the second wave of American slavery.

An American slave trade that came not with chains and whips but with crack rocks and AK-47s. Nino Brown was a chemical slave trader…

George Jackson was a rare animal in the late ’80s- he was a black Ivy League grad with a degree from Harvard University, and a Hollywood producer with political clout who’d been raised in Harlem. He’d run Richard Pryor’s production shingle, and been involved with Quincy Jones’ film production endeavors too. I met him in ’84 while he was putting together the deal for the cinematic confusion known as “Krush Groove”- the misguided attempt to capitalize on the heat surrounding the rap game that was conceived as a fictionalized account of the beginnings of the NYU based start up, Def Jam Recordings. I am an old friend of one of the founders of the label, and by the spring of the following year, I would be named, and briefly serve as the first head of promotion for the company. My all too brief tenure coincided with the end of preproduction, casting and principal photography of the film.

Later, George would also be involved with a film set in the world of Go Go, the DC based funk idiom that he’d gotten the legendary Chris Blackwell to release through his Island film distribution arm. Somehow, he’d also weaseled his way into the mix of another flick on the Island release slate called She’s Gotta Have It- a comedic look at sex that was the first film directed by Spike Lee. George was an operator.

George called me in ’88 or ’89 to pick my brain about a project he was working on about a Harlem based crack overlord for Warner Brothers Pictures. He asked what I though about the subject matter, and whether or not, I was hip to a journalist named Barry Michael Cooper who at the time, was covering two beats with distinction: the New York hip hop music industry and the nationally emerging crack trade. Cooper pioneered the coverage of both worlds with a keen eye for detail and an ear for dialogue. He also saw the parallels between both the thirst for fame in the crack entrepreneurs, and the ruthlessness of the young record execs building hip hop empires. As a result, he wrote a defining piece for the Village Voice about the genius production prodigy, Teddy Riley who because of his representation, had a foot in both worlds. In that article, Cooper coined the phrase that described the sound of the era: “new jack swing”.

At the time of Jackson’s call, I was an independent promotion executive working NY retail, clubs and radio for several clients/labels producing hot 12″ single releases aimed at the Black teen, and young adult market. These labels had enough taste to sign cool records, but insufficient juice to get them on the radio. By creating a groundswell for these records, I was making a comfortable living providing the needed access to turntables to DJ booths in hot clubs, in store play and the all important radio exposure that could determine the economic outcome of not only the single, but the album, and the careers of the label executives, producers, managers and artists involved.

One of the records that benefited from my juice was Woppit by B-Phats- the first credited production by Teddy Riley. The record along with his uncredited production on The Show by Doug E. Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew, that started the New Jack Swing movement.

People who make a living in the young adult and teen area’s of pop culture are very research driven. A guy who rents jets to high net worth individuals rents one to a young pop vocal group and is curious about how such a young bunch of guys that he’s never heard of can afford one of his planes. He asks a cousin in the industry, and decides to catch a show. The guy witnesses a New Kids On The Block show, and smells money falling out of people’s pockets. He then decides to put a couple of similar acts together, and thus, the Backstreet Boys, and N’Sync are born. A guy who has success with a standup vocal harmony group decides that he could increase his revenue streams if the group was white. He can’t do anything about that, so the creator of New Edition starts New Kids On The Block. And on, and on…

It’s no different for filmmakers. They are constantly looking to shoot material that has a preexisting following. When George Jackson saw the way the crack trade was ravaging inner city Black America in the ’80s, and people were getting rich from it, and that the Iran Contra hearings that featured Oliver North began to link CIA operations with the distribution of guns and drugs in the hood, in no time at all, he began to look for a story and a story teller. The aforementioned Mr. Copper is a story teller with prodigious talents. Barry Michael Cooper wrote the landmark screenplay for New Jack City, and George Jackson along with his partner Doug McHenry produced the film. The scion of the father of blaxploitaion, Mario Van Peebles directed it, and I was the key creative music executive on the project.

Irving Azoff is unquestionably the most powerful man in the music business. He chairs the board of directors for the entertainment behemoth, Live Nation. He controls acts, tours, venues and merchandising. He has been a titan in music and entertainment since the seventies. He was the chairman of the now defunct MCA Records during a hot streak they had in the ’80s, and at the end of the decade, he departed to form his own label. He struck a deal with Warner Brothers Records, and created a total service imprint called Giant Records. I was one of the first 8 executives hired to the label.

After a smooth as butter interview with Irving, where I was hired in about 20 minutes, I asked to have our relationship clarified with Warners. Irving described them as our partners. I was encouraged by his answer, and so, I went on to detail my understanding that Warners had an extremely exciting script in development, and that if we were to gain control of the potential soundtrack to this project, we would have a vehicle to launch us in the Black Music business. He picked up the phone and called the then Warner’s potentate, Mo Ostin. The former back room accountant who with the backing of Frank Sinatra had built Warners into the most important music company in the world. Under his watch, his company recorded both Prince, and Madonna. It was late ’89.

to be continued…

insideplaya from  A Little Payback

http://insideplaya.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/a-little-payback/

spin.com
Crack, a Tiffany Drug at Woolworth Prices: SPIN’s 1986 Feature | SPIN
In the late fall of 1985, one of my editors, Rudy Langlais, came to me and said he had a remarkable young writer, Barry Michael Cooper, who was black and living in Harlem, and had an incredible story about a new, cheap, readily accessible drug circulating the ghetto. It was a supercharged form of cocaine, called crack, and no one had reported on this yet. No one had even heard of it "downtown" (i.e. the entire rest of the world south of 110th street in NYC). When the story came in it was so well written and reported, and so alien from anything I had heard of, that I feared the writer made it up. The story was too good, too intact, too many colorful characters, too much dramatic, instant devastation. Lives, families, an entire community, were being shredded in weeks, not the years usually associated with drug addiction. People were selling their furniture, and themselves, for their next hit. It didn't seem real. I called a close friend, Bo Dietl, who was a detective in the 25th

so much to say about this.

I feel another black film renaissance coming... please?!?!

“Hollywood insists on rewinding those anachronistic ghost clocks of Mississippi, as long as the timekeepers are sympathetic white characters who retrofit the story from their sanitized and patronizing point of view." Barry Michael Cooper, screenwriter for New Jack City, Above the Rim and Sugar Hill most notably, wrote in response to the outrage behind the criticism of Spike Lee’s most recent film Red Hook which was shown at Sundance Film Festival last week. Awesome article by Brother Cooper here.

Cant wait to see Red Hook, Oversimplification of Her Beauty by Terance Nance, the new Ava DuVernay movie Middle of Nowhere, and the Matthew Cherry flick The Last Fall which Ive been tracking for almost a year now.

I feel another black film renaissance on the horizon. 20 years later, I believe we have a class who cannot be overlooked.

Song of the Martyrs: America’s #1 With a Bullet

For Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and the “Next Ones.”

by Barry Michael Cooper

We can’t see him anymore, but we can hear his song.

He is not here anymore; he was walking down the street with a friend, he was reckless eyeballing, he was an a$$hole who always got away (but not that night!), he was reaching for his wallet, he was kneed in the face and shot in the back in a subway station (and he wasn’t even resisting arrest).

He goes by many names; Michael (Brown). Emmett (Till). Trayvon (Martin). Amadou (Diallo). Oscar (Grant), to name a few.

There are more names.

Many more names.

There will always be more names.

His song is #1 with a bullet in America. It plays on repeat in the usTunes of the American soul.

Look close: he is wearing a hoodie, he is darker than me, he is big, he is young and strong. I don’t know him, but he looks suspicious. He is darker than me, and yeah, I know his kind.

Listen closer: his song plays on the lower frequencies of our collective unconscious; white noise filtered in the black light of colorless distortion. His song is loud. America has lowered the volume. But his song plays even louder. His song sounds dangerous because the lyrics are true. His song has rhythm. His song rhymes. America dances to it, without ever knowing the reason.

His song is the push-button of an explosive device marked N.I.G.G.E.R; a device detonated in the southern bonfires of Dixie-Land discontent, and feted at the Hotel Meurice in Paris. His song is the Ball-So-Hard-Boom-Bap of shrapnel from that explosive device; shrapnel soaked in the ghostly fluids of America’s molten pain, wrought in the cast-iron template of grief.

His song plays in the ears of an American President who looks just like him. An American President who faced the nation on 19 July 2013, and recounted how his song could have been the same song, too.

His song is the song many people don’t want to discuss (because some of U.S. believe that the historic election of the First African-American Commander-In-Chief, absolves U.S. from discussing his song from this time forth, and even, forever more).

His song is bereft of fear and loathing, yet bequeathed with anxiety and contempt.

His song is trapped in an alabaster box, filled with the pungent ink of night.

His song is the song of the martyrs, and it plays on repeat as we refuse to awake from sleep.

We are snoring; his song continues to ring in our ears…

(Dedicated to my Dad; who taught my brother and I the song of the martyrs; a long, long, time ago. GOD Rest his soul.)

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Watch New Jack City 1991 On ZMovie Online

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Watch New Jack City 1991 On ZMovie Online

Releasing Date: 8 / March / 1991 [USA]

The Director is: Mario Van Peebles

Writer and Produced By: Barry Michael Cooper / Thomas Lee Wright

Movie Genres: Crime / Drama / Thriller

Acted By: Wesley Snipes / Ice-T / Allen Payne / Chris Rock / Mario Van Peebles / Michael Michele

Runtime: 97 min

Releasing Country: USA

Movie Brief: Watch New Jack City 1991 On ZMovie Online :The crook Nino features a gang WHO decision themselves money money male siblings. They get into the chink enterprise and not almost immediately they create 1,000,000 greenbacks hebdomadally. A cop, Scotty, is once them. He tries to urge into the gang by holding Associate in Nursing ex-drug addict infiltrate the gang, however the strive goes wrong miserably. the sole factor that is still is that Scotty himself becomes a drug pusher.

Imdb Rating: 6.3/10