bigger then hip hop

African American culture exists.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen people being very demeaning or hostile toward African Americans, in regards to what culture we have or who we are as a people, and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people acting like we as African Americans are nothing but “slaves”, I’m sick of people acting like we’re “inferior to real Africans”, I’m sick of white people telling us we have no culture while trying to take effort for what we’ve made for ourselves. I’m sick of negativity toward African Americans by both the black community, and white society.

So I just want to make a point that we as African Americans have our own culture that no one else on this world has.

It’s a culture of hardships, struggle yet at the same time triumph. It’s the culture of forging traditions and customs from ourselves from what we have lost, and making that into something bigger than ourselves.

Our culture is music, hip hop, R&B, rap, blues, soul, rock (yes rock), gospel, etc…etc… Our culture is dance, praise dance, hip hop dance, street dance, etc…etc.. Our culture is the religion/faith we’ve made that got us this far, it’s the food we eat that is only unique to us!  It’s even the lingo/slang we use. It’s the way we dress, wear our hair because that in itself is a political statement and a testament to our culture. The natural hair movement started in the African American community, that is ours.

All that I’ve listed above and MORE is ours, and if someone tries to tell you that you don’t have a culture, then don’t fret because you do. they’re just to ignorant to see it or understand it.

If someone tries to tell you that you don’t belong in their culture, then don’t be upset, because you have your own culture that shows just not how strong you are as a race, but as a person.

Don’t be ashamed of being African American. Don’t be ashamed of not finding your roots, because you have your roots, you know your roots and culture. It is the culture we as a people have made for ourselves that shows our true testament of survival and no one can take that away from us, no one can claim that, no one can claim that we don’t have it because we do.

That is our culture, as African American people…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And this isn’t an attack on anyone, but it’s a way to uplift African American people, especially African American women because we are always trying to connect back to our roots. I just want all of us to know that we, as a race do have a culture and we should be proud by how we’ve constructed it! It isn’t slavery either, it’s what we’ve crafted from then to now.

Two decades after his death, Tupac Shakur is still the headline-generating, record-selling, contentious figure that he was in life. From DJ Funkmaster Flex’s recent tearful Tupac rant to the fresh diss tracks it generated in response, our obsession with the legend continues to grow. And it’s bigger than hip-hop. All Eyez On Me, Shakur’s long-awaited biopic, premieres June 16, a new Tupac documentary is also coming from director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), and the USA Network has a fall series (Unsolved) in the works that dramatizes the unsolved murders of Shakur and friend-turned-foe the Notorious B.I.G.

In advance of All Eyez On Me, I wanted to talk to friend and investigative reporter Ben Westhoff. He spent five years researching Shakur and the many theories surrounding his death for his book about the heyday of West Coast gangsta rap, Original Gangstas, now out in paperback.

All Songs +1: Why We’re Still Obsessed With Tupac

Photo: Steve Eichner/Getty Images
Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's Funky Drummer, Dies At 73

Clyde Stubblefield, the funk drummer whose work with James Brown made him one of the most sampled musicians in history, died Saturday morning in Madison, Wisc., his publicist confirmed. Stubblefield was 73; his publicist did not provide a cause of death.

For most of his career, Stubblefield was better known in sound than in name. He joined James Brown’s backing band in 1965, one of countless musicians on an ever-rotating roster. As he told NPR in 2015, the ensemble seemed to have more than enough drummers already when he showed up to audition. “I went on stage and there was five drum sets up there,” he explained. “And I’m going, ‘Wow, what do you need me for?’”

Still, his recordings with Brown managed to rise above the competition: Songs like “Cold Sweat,” “Say It Loud — I’m Black And I’m Proud” and “Mother Popcorn” are now revered as a gold standard for funk drumming. A generation later, he would have an even bigger impact on hip-hop, as the pattern he’d played on 1970’s “Funky Drummer” proved irresistible to producers. The track’s distinctive break, a sixteenth beat punctuated by deft, delicate snare hits, has been sampled on hundreds of songs. [Read More]


1. Izzo (H.O.V.A.) by Jay-Z

2. Grammy Family by Consequence

3. Let Me Tell You Something by T.I.

4. Heaven by John Legend

5. Encore by JAY Z

6. Angel by The Game

7. These Walls (Dirty MC Edit) by Nappy Roots

8. Otis by Jay-Z

9. Make Her Say by Kid Cudi

10. There Will Be Tears by Mr Hudson

11. Used To Love U by John Legend

12. Supernova by Mr Hudson

13. Rebuilding by Goodie Mob

14. Chi-City by Common

15. Knock Knock by Monica

16. More Or Less by Shyne

17. Do U Wanna Ride by Jay-Z

18. The Rape Over by Mos Def

19. Break My Heart by Common

20. GO! by Common

21.Ghetto by The Madd Rapper

22. Let’s Get Lifted by John Legend

23. D-12 World by D12

24. Live It Up by John Legend

25. Flashing Lights by Kanye West

26. Around My Way by Talib Kweli

27. Talk About Our Love by Brandy

28.Dreams by The Game

29.Selfish by Slum Village

30. Start The Show by Common

31. Not The One by The Madd Rapper

32. Paid The Price by Do Or Die

33. I Wanna Love U by Memphis Bleek

34. Straight No Chaser by Mr Hudson

35. Get Down by Beanie Sigel

36. You’re All Alone by The Madd Rapper

37.Didn’t I by Leela James

38. Swagga Like Us (Feat. Jay-Z, Kanye West & Lil’ Wayne] by T.I.

39. Ghetto by Smitty

40. Billie Jean 2008 Kanye West Mix (Thriller 25th Anniversary Remix) by Michael Jackson

41. Guess Who’s Back by Scarface

42. Hear The Song by Freeway

43.Stronger by Kanye West

44. The Cool by Lupe Fiasco

45. Another Summer by 213

46. Gettin’ It In by Jadakiss

47. No Problems by DJ Kayslay

48. 03’ Bonnie & Clyde by Jay-Z

49. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop by Dead Prez

50. Izzo (H.O.V.A.) by JAY Z

51. New World Symphony by Miri Ben-Ari

52. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly by Consequence

53. Brand New (Dirty Version) by Rhymefest

54.I Swear by Petey Pablo

55. Strawberry Bounce by Janet Jackson

56. Show Me A Good Time (Album Version (Explicit)) by Drake

57. One Last Time by Twista

58.I Got A Love by Jin

59.Dead Or Alive by Cam'ron

60. Let The Beat Build by Lil Wayne

61. Nothing Like It by Beanie Sigel

62. Still Dreaming by Nas

63. Get By by Talib Kweli

64. Lucifer by JAY Z

65. New God Flow.1 (Album Version (Explicit)) by Kanye West

66. Fly Away by Miri Ben-Ari

67. Sunshine by Mos Def

68. Slow Jamz by Twista

69. Party by Beyonc‚

70. I Try by Talib Kweli

71. Gangsta, Gangsta by Beanie Sigel

72. Stand Up by Ludacris

73. The Morning (Album Version (Explicit)) by Raekwon

74. You Don’t Know My Name by Alicia Keys

75. Everything I Love (Feat. Nas & Cee-Lo) by Diddy

76. Don’t Forget ‘Em by Consequence

77. Throw Your Hands (In The Air) (Dirty) by Mobb Deep

78. Where You Wanna Be by Brandy

79. I Changed My Mind by Keyshia Cole

80. Down by Chris Brown

81. Came Back For You by Lil’ Kim

82. The One (Album Version (Explicit)) by Kanye West

83. This Way by Dilated Peoples

84. Doin’ My Job by T.I.

85. Bull’s-Eye (Suddenly) by Syleena Johnson

86. Wouldn’t Get Far by The Game

87. It’s Alright by Leela James

88. Everything I Love by Diddy

89. Drive Slow by Paul Wall

90. Grown Man, Pt.2 by Young Gunz

91. My Life by Foxy Brown

92. Find Your Love by Drake

93. My Life (Feat. Mary J. Blige) by Fabolous

94. Higher by Do Or Die

95. I Want You by Janet Jackson

96. Chi Town by Da Brat

anonymous asked:

I want to write a fic for you one day and draw something in my style for you from your hip hop au.

OKAY!!! All is good…I’m calm…I’m all calm.. AGJSHGSJ WHAAHAH AHAHHAHA I’M NOT CALM!!!!! AMALAS DOWN!!!
OHHHHH this makes me incredible happy!! YES YES!!! Ohh please!!!!

It makes me so incredible happy when people wanna do something for the Hip Hop Au!! And it gets me incredible pumped to work on the Au again and update it!! YES YES YES!!!
Wahahahha I need something bigger to type in that caps!!!


Opinion | Bryson Tiller 🎼

I just started to admire Bryson Tiller enough to acknowledge him as one of my favorite R&B artists. I “slept on” him in modern language, but I am noticing how solid his songs are.

Last year, when his singles “Don’t” and “Exchange” burst onto the scene and acquired extensive air-play, I didn’t think that much of him. Maybe I considered him a one hit wonder or focused on bigger R&B and Hip-Hop acts but, after just discovering “Let Me Explain” and falling in love with “Teach Me a Lesson,” I finally perceived his talent. Also, seeing him publicly express his appreciation of black women by having his “Something Tells Me” music video feature African-American females from every part of the melanin rainbow made me admire him.

I understand now that he is an actual artist; he doesn’t prioritize Billboard Hot 100 positions and platinum plaques over genuine, genius music. Tiller explained that he loves ‘90s music, which I adore also, and that’s a reason why I am embracing his songs; they evoke '90s nostalgia, and I know R&B was at its peak during those years (and previous decades).

He reminds me of Omarion in regards to his musical style, and that is gratifying because I miss the sound of early 2000s music. Here is Tiller bringing back those sounds, and they are still cherished in an age where flip phones are now smartphones, R&B is less soul, and colorfully-dreaded trap-rappers are conquering Hip-Hop.

I am all for R&B expanding and elevating because it is my favorite genre, but old school vibes will always have a special place in my heart; thus, Bryson Tiller will have the piano key to it as long as he stays true to the genre he saluted.

The Boondocks’ “The Garden Party”

As a young black kid who was a lifelong fan of cartoons, I learned early on that there was a pink elephant in the room that the large majority of the cartoons I watched.  I never complained, but I couldn’t help but notice a dearth of characters that….looked like me.  I would see the occasional black supporting character (Susie Carmichael) or black best friend (Gerald Johanssen), but cartoons with a focus on black protagonists or black families were novel.  At the top of my head, the black cartoons I can remember from my childhood are The Proud Family, the short-lived C Bear and Jamal (don’t ask me how I remembered this!), the shorter-lived Waynehead (which I had never heard of until college), Bebe’s Kids (which I was too young to catch in theaters at the time), and Hammerman (which is one of the worst cartoons of all time so who cares).

Keep reading

What If Only Black People Had Superpowers? Real Issues of Race Ground New Series

Some people say that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby patterned the plight and persecution of the X-Men and mutantkind to the struggles African-Americans have – and continue – to face in America. But what if someone cut through the metaphor?

A new series titled Black explores the science fiction superhero paradigm and delves headlong into issues of race and also simply being an everyday person. Created by former DC editor Kwanza Osajyefo and artist/designer Tim Smith III, Black will be a six-issue series beginning later this year illustrated by Jamal Igle with covers by Khary Randolph.

The quartet of comic pros are currently raising capital to produce Black on Kickstarter, and with two weeks still remaining they’ve already surpassed their $29,999 goal – and in fact, have almost doubled it.

Newsarama spoke with all four individuals about this series, going from the high concept to the core characters of Kareem, Juncture and the mysterious O.

Nrama: Guys, what can you tell us about Black?

Kwanza Osajyefo: I think the logline on our Kickstarter sums it up — what if only Black people had superpowers?

I asked myself that question over 10 years ago, but in pursuing my editorial career, I had to put that idea aside.  

It is a question has a lot of implications. I think that’s why Black has had such an overwhelming response. The sci-fi superheroics are there and outcast trope is there, but everything is grounded in the very real issue of race that humanity struggles with.

Nrama: So in this world, only black people are superheroes – is that in terms of superpowers, or even broader in terms of non-powered superheroes like Batman not being permitted to exist?

Osajyefo: See, implications! You’re already working to grasp in your mind how the concept would play out.

I consider Black sci-fi before superhero. The capes and tights are done to death in comics. That isn’t to say such characters are off the table, but I think this story is grounded in a reality where someone swinging around on a wire might seem odd.

But it is fiction, so anything is possible.

Khary Randolph: These are the questions that ultimately drove me to jump on board. A good premise asks the question, and we’re here to provide (hopefully) entertaining answers. It’s part of the fun. How black does someone have to be to have superpowers? What if you’re mixed? Does it matter if it comes from your father or your mother’s side? We’ve all worked in other people’s universes for most of our careers, so the opportunity to create a brand new fiction and new set of rules is an intriguing prospect.

Nrama: In this I feel like it could be akin to some of the resistance by a segment of sports fans who are white who expressed anger, in the past and some today, of how African American athletes dominate many major sports. Sports stars and superheroes aren’t too far apart – but what are your real life touchstones you’re looking to as influence for creating Black?

Osajyefo: That’s an interesting perspective, but I don’t know that it parallels. It’s easy to imagine Black as something one-dimensional – an us versus them idea. I mean that is a symptom of sports – tribalism, politics, etc. right?

The influence behind Black is that in real life Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and hundreds of other people are not free to walk, stand, or live as they please without fear of persecution, persecution, violence, and death because of the color of their skin.

That is real.

Meanwhile, we read comics about characters lamenting their fringe status yet can take off their masks, not use their powers and walk around unassailed.

No one is pulling Wolverine over because he drives a nice car.

Randolph: I think like many people, I can identify with being an outsider. I’m a black man from Boston who grew up liking comic books, science fiction, and anime. I was born and raised in the inner city yet I was bussed to the suburbs every day from 3rd grade through high school. I know what it feels like to be different. It’s a familiar thing to a lot of people, which is why so many people gravitate to the concept of the X-Men in general. Our project just takes that to the next level, the 2016 version. The best comic books to me were always the ones that were fantastical, but still grounded in reality. And if they make you stop and think or question things, they are that much better for it.

Jamal Igle: For myself, I grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn during the 1980s and early 1990s. I grew up around gang violence, police actions, the Korean grocery store boycotts, and the Tawana Brawley case. I’ve been pulled aside by the police on a few occasions for “fitting the profile” and subjected to pat downs. I lost my best childhood friend to gun violence, a retribution killing that was solved quickly but left a gaping hole in my life. So there are a lot of elements that, from my own life, will shape my approach to Black.

Tim Smith III: “Black,” for me, is a way to answer some questions I have wondered about from my childhood reading comics, and then walking out my front door to come face-to-face with the reality of my identity. I lived in an all-black “hood.” I saw stuff kids should not see. But it was the norm, it was life as I knew it. But reading comics seemed to be this outlet where anything could happen, yet… I still did not see a trace of what I thought was the norm compared to the norm in the books. A book like Black can give me, as a creator, the freedom to express another aspect of a world with another possibility to what could be the norm in a non-normal setting.

Nrama: In the Kickstarter description, Black’s primary character is Kareem Jenkins. So who is Kareem, and what is his story?

Osajyefo: Kareem is an average Black kid growing up in a poor area of New York City. He’s not a bad kid, but growing up in his environment has exposed him to certain things that have significant impact on his character.

When he survives being gunned down by police, his life very much changes. The knowledge that only Blacks have superpowers and why it’s been suppressed from public knowledge weighs heavily on him.

He and other characters make choices that might not be black or white.

Nrama: There’s other characters listed on the Kickstarter – Juncture, Theodore Mann, Agent Adams, Agent Washington, and O. Can you tell us about the other major characters in this series?

Smith: I am going to let Kwanza speak on this one. But I’ll say that I love drawing and creating all the characters in Black! Each have such a unique feel and play their own role in the pages you will read.

Osajyefo: Juncture is head of a global organization that acts as a sort of underground railroad for Blacks with superpowers. Governments of the world all keep an eye out for any expression of powers so they can secure the individual(s) before anyone knows. Some governments experiment on them, others use them for covert ops, others just kill them. Juncture saves them, trains them, and tries to keep the peace because only a small fraction of Black people have powers. Yet the fear of only one group of people expressing powers would likely spark conflict across the planet.

Adams and Washington work for the U.S. government to capture empowered Blacks and as liaisons to Theodore Mann, head of a billion dollar mega-company on contract with the FBI, U.S. military, and CIA. His company is a family business that has benefitted from empowered Blacks for centuries – trying to understand, dissect, and replicate the phenomenon.

O is a mystery. He’s a terrorist operating deep in the shadows, toppling governments and taking a far more extreme approach than Juncture’s operation.

Nrama: Several of you have worked, or are working at comic book publishers, and have done creator-owned work in the past. What led you to pursue this as a Kickstarter project?

Osajyefo: I felt it was time and reached out to some talented colleagues I made over my years at Marvel and DC.

Randolph: I believed in Kwanza’s vision, to put it plainly. He’s a smart dude and knows how to sell an idea. [Laughs]

Plus, with age comes an increasing need to do things that matter. This isn’t the kind of story you could tell at a major publisher. So instead of complaining about the status quo, I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words. This book won’t change the world but the idea of being a part of something bigger than yourself was powerful and important. In hip-hop terms, “we do this for the culture.”

Igle: Kickstarters allow you to retain control over the project and make it easier from a financial standpoint to do a level of work that you feel comfortable with.

Smith: Kickstarter is a dream come true for a creator. I can work freely and directly with my audience. This will allow us to bring something that is from the heart, something we will stand behind 100%.

Nrama: Have you begun work on the actual book itself? If so, how far along are you?

Osajyefo: The characters are designed, the story is plotted – I would say, in the “Marvel way” in scripts. Very loose so I can collaborate with Jamal on pacing and plot points.

Nrama: How did the four of you connect first, and then come together for this project specifically?

Randolph: All black people comics know each other. [Laughs] I’m joking. Sort of.

But naw, these are people I’ve known for years and have tremendous respect for. And at the end of the day you want to do good work with good people. Kwanza and I have specifically talked about working together for years. Now seemed as good a time as any.

Igle: Khary and I have known each other for years, his studio is about a block from my house. I met Tim years ago at a convention and Kwanza and I worked together when he was my editor on Smallville for DC Digital.

Smith: I met Khary at a comic convention. I stopped and looked at his work as it caught my eye instantly. I don’t even think we introduced ourselves. Just me looking on as a fan. As time went by we would get to know each other more from the comic cons. I met Jamal at a show years ago. I loved his work and knew it from buying it in the stores! When I saw him at a table drawing, I was so excited to put a face to the art I had admired for so long. I even showed him my portfolio. He was so nice and professional. I made sure to talk to him as much as I could every chance I got. I have known Kwanza for years also! Doing work in the comic industry together made us grow as friends and professionals.

Osajyefo: I reached out to Tim a long time ago and we sat on this. Once I put my mind to actually producing this, I approached Jamal. Working with him at DC, he blew me away with his speed, detail, and storytelling skills. Jamal’s thumbnails are better than a lot of people’s finished pencils.

Khary… I’ve just always been a huge fan. His work has so much kinetic energy that I had to have him do covers. Thankfully he liked the concept and jumped right on. The result is that first piece we’ve been circulating around.

It speaks volumes.