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Sparks - What the Hell Is It This Time?

Album:  Hippopotamus (Release date: 8 September 2017)

Label: Lil’ Beethoven - BMG

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Brand New Ratigan - Mr Hypocrite 2016 

YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT HIP HOP!...But I Love You! by Wise Intelligent

Today I took a trip to our local Barnes & Noble book seller. As I progressed towards the section for alternative medicine and home remedies I passed what seemed to be an unending plethora of literature on subjects ranging from War, Peace, Love, Hate, Horror, the Military, Serial Killers, Arts and Crafts, and Travel and Leisure. There were books on the history of Guns and Violence, Poverty and Hunger, Sickness and Disease, as well as Prostitution, Pimping, Feminism, LBGTQ and every sort of religious book the imagination could fathom. There were books on Capitalism, Communism, and Fascism. Some books promoting and others opposing either of the three ideological forms of government. They even had a well stocked children’s section. I walked past everything from Politics to Poetry and Self Help to Sexuality. Then there were books about music: Spirituals, Opera, Classical, Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll and even Hip Hop. There were Hip Hop books written by writers of varying backgrounds, social statuses and ethnicities, including, but not limited to Bakari Kitwana - one of my personal favorites. 

Not only did each book have a different author, each author also had a publisher, and each publisher was a company often owned or the subsidiary of another larger parent company. Barnes & Noble, among other book retailers, and the endless shelves of writers, publishers and publishing houses (both independent and commercial; mainstream or underground, mom & pop or chain) make up the world of LITERATURE! 

Within this wonderful world of literature there exists the Literatures of Freedom as well as the Literatures of exploitation, degradation, racism, sexism and other forms of unabashed mind fuckery. However, that bookstore, publisher and or publishing house carrying a book called “Pimp’s Up Ho’s Down” by Don Magic Juan, or a book that glorifies strippers and stripping at Diamond’s in Miami, does not make “LITERATURE” the “abuser” of women. It makes those individual authors and those particular books - what they are. 

No one would go as far as to say that “to be in love with Literature” is to “love your abuser.” I’ve never known anyone who made the intellectual leap that since you can find the mass exploitation of women in the pages of a book, magazine, and or periodical that books, magazines, and or periodical’s themselves “abuse women” or “hate women” or “exploit women”. To read is not to love your abuser. Is the exploitation of women real, you damn right!!! Must the exploitation of women be called out and confronted, hell yeah!!! But to say that to love Hip Hop in all its diversity is to “love your abuser” takes this must needed and important conversation in an unfortunate and sterile direction.

Hip Hop is like LITERATURE, it covers everything from politics, religion, history, race, triumph, struggle, victory, defeat, melancholy, humor, relationships, love, hate, sex, drugs, friendship, pimping, party, intelligence, ignorance, and bullshit. And just like Literature - misogyny, hyper masculinity, sex, money and murder make up a very small but hyper marketed fraction of Hip Hop content. 

To cast misogyny and hyper masculinity as what Hip Hop culture is all about in its entirety without any thought be given to the fact that the 10 to 20 misogynistic lyric purveying rap acts you see and hear in corporate controlled mainstream mediums represent a very particular brand of rap content selectively sought out, financed, recorded, produced, packaged, marketed and distributed by primarily but not exclusively NON-HIP HOP, rich white men over fifty (see Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group) - is indicative of someone who has a limited perspective and grasp about the culture of Hip Hop. If this is what you’re doing, I have to honestly say that, YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT HIP HOP!


HIP HOP is a culture wherein there exist elements of which rap music represents only one. Rap represents only one-fifth of what Hip Hop culture is, and within that single element there exists writers, producers and publishers of varying brands of Hip Hop/rap content. Hip Hop/Rap can only be your “abuser” if and when your perception of what Hip Hop is has been shaped by the major record company owning, mainstream media controlling rich old white men who DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT HIP HOP! and have chosen to ignore (and in some cases block) the thousands of Hip Hop artists around the globe recording music that consistently hold the people to a higher standard and in their proper esteem, from the mediums you obviously receive your cultural ques from. 

SO, WHAT I SUGGEST is that you turn your dial passed the “Put Ya Titties On Da Glass” and “These Ho’s Ain’t Loyal” songs that many women love to dance and sing along to in the club, just as you would walk passed the Don Magic Juan diamond studded, pimp-cup decorated book signing table and proceed to the section that has the brand of Literature (or Hip Hop content) you desire.

THAT “NIGGA” RAPPIN about you swallowing his babies and jizzing on your babies car seat is largely supported by the same female buying audience that decries it only after they’ve left the club and their car! A portion of this conversation must address that fact that women actively BUY that small but heavily marketed misogynistic and hyper masculine music. Those emcee’s rhyming about “This Iz Love”, the “Black Goddess” and the “Laws of Maat” are commercially and financially ignored at the point of purchase by too many of the same women who desperately need to hear and internalize their message of love, wisdom, strength and beauty. Those emcee’s rapping about raising his babies and loving his wife, woman and queen, is not in your mainstream playlist, neither your nightclub playlist or your Smartphone playlist. That shit you love does not define HIP HOP CULTURE or what it is.

I am NOT going in the direction of blaming the victim or trying to undermine the point that the exploitation of women in mainstream pop culture is a serious cancer that must be dealt with openly and honestly, but I am saying that suggesting that to love Hip Hop as a culture is to “love your abuser” is completely wrong. The shit  that you’re callin Hip Hop “culture” represents a manufactured, dumbed down, hyper marketed, hyper masculine rapper who makes up less than a speck of dust within the mosaic of rap music and even less in the constellation of Hip Hop CULTURE! So sadly, You don’t know shit about Hip Hop!…but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOU!!!

Wise Intelligent @wiseintelligent #UDon'tKnowShitAboutHipHop

And P.S

Here goes a small list of the MC’s and Rappers who seem to be always “forgotten” when this discussion comes up. In other words these are the Hip Hop artists that they won’t play on your misogynic and hyper masculine media platforms and don’t get brought up when talking about loving Hip Hop is like loving your abuser!

Jasiri X

Yasiin Bey

Talib Kweli 
Public Enemy 

David Banner
Sa-Roc the MC
Common 
Lupe Fiasco 
Wise Intelligent 

Blackalicious 
Dilated Peoples 

K'naan
Paris 
KRS-One 

Apani B Fly Mc

Bahamadia
Mr.Lif 
Masta Ace 
Killer Mike

Run the Jewels
Brother Ali 

Fashawn

Joey Bada$$

Chance the Rapper

Self Scientific

Murs
Jean Grae 

Hakim Green

Cee Knowledge & The Cosmic Funk Orchestra 

Kam

Mystic

Rebel Diaz

Narubi Selah

Georgia Ann Mulrow

Zion I

Jurassic 5

J-Live

J Rawls
Gangstarr 
Jeru Tha Damaja 

Outkast

Mike Flo

NYOIL

AKIR

Dead Prez
Sage Francis 
Aesop Rock 
Q-Tip 

Pharohe Monch

Killah Priest

Hell/Heaven Razah

Black Market Militia

Prince Poetry

Blu

Rasheed Chappell 

Magnum O

Stacey Epps

Divine RBG
Immortal Technique 

Rakim

Arrested Development 
Brand Nubian 

X-Clan

MC Lyte

The Hieroglyphics
Souls of Mischief 

Riders Against The Storm (RAS)

John Robinson

Kush
The Coup 

Street Sweeper Social Club
Living Legends

Saul Williams 

Michael Farnti

M.I.A.  
K-OS

staHHr

Joie Kathos

Super Nova Slom

Tiye Phoenix

Rah Digga

Kalik Scientific

Truth Universal

Cannibal Ox

C-Rayz Walz

Tarica June

The Roots 

The Reminders

X-Vandals 

Natural Bliss

Njeri Earth 

Binkis 

Yamin 

Black Collar Biz

Blueprint 

…and so, so many more

Brandy’s
Never Say Never
Legendary Status
16,000,000

United States
5× Platinum
4,600,000
5,400,000 + BMG Music Sales
United Kingdom
Platinum
300,000
Philippines
Platinum
15,000
Indonesia
Gold
35,000
Sweden
Gold
20,000
South Africa
Platinum
40,000
South Korea
Gold
5,000
Malaysia
Gold
5,000
Netherlands
Gold
20,000
Australia
Platinum
70,000
Denmark
Gold
10,000
Germany
Gold
100,000
Canada
4× Platinum
400,000
Belgium
Platinum
20,000
France
Gold
75,000
Japan
Platinum
250,000
New Zealand
Gold
7,500

Influenced by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, Norwood wanted to present a more mature facet of herself with the album, incorporating a ballad-heavy style and an adult contemporary feel into her urban-pop sound for the album.

Upon its release, Never Say Never facilitated Norwood in becoming a viable recording artist with media–crossing appeal. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 160,000 copies in its first week, the next week it manged to climb up a spot to #2 with another week of strong sales with 152,000 and remained 28 weeks within top 20 of the chart.

The album was supported by Brandy’s Never Say Never World Tour in 1999, which featured soldout performances in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and Canada. Never Say Never is listed in the Top 100 Best-selling albums in the US.

Critics
Daryl Easlea from BBC Music felt that the collection of smooth, mid-paced jams provided a snapshot of commercial R&B from the era. He described Never Say Never “as the epitome of a mixed bag. However, given that a lot of R&B in the late 90s sounds like an ornate musical box revolving, the album is an intelligent brew that deviates sufficiently from that template and plays to Brandy and executive producer Rodney Jerkins’s considerable strengths.”

The Spokesman-Review critic Richard Harrington was positive with the album, writing: “Brandy is co- writer on six of the album’s 14 songs and no matter their achievement lyrically, she finds herself grown-up and confident, without taking any false steps.

Rolling Stone magazine was generally positive with the album, giving it three stars out of five stars rating, and wrote: “Brandy exudes more pizazz than the Hanson brothers combined and bursts with enough naive charm to make Jewel look like a jaded sailor. Her second album bubbles with that same effervescence

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Elvis Presley - As Long as I Have You [Alternate Take 4]
Recorded January 16, 1958
Written by Ben Weisman and Fred Wise

“Let the stars fade and fall
And I won’t care at all
As long as I have you”

Audio: The Essential Elvis, Vol. 3: Hits Like Never Before / © BMG Music

I wanna be the very best,
Like no one ever was.
To catch them is my real test,
To train them is my cause.

I will travel across the land,
Searching far and wide.
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside

Pokemon, (gotta catch them all) its you and me
I know its my destiny
Pokemon, oh, you’re my best friend
In a world we must defend

Pokemon, (gotta catch them all) a heart so true
Our courage will pull us through
You teach me and I’ll teach you
(Po-ke-mon) Gotta catch ‘em all

Every challenge along the way
With courage I will face
I will battle every day
To claim my rightful place

Come with me, the time is right
There’s no better team
Arm in arm we’ll win the fight
It’s always been our dream

Pokemon!

(Gotta catch 'em all)

It’s you and me
I know it’s my destiny

Pokemon!

Oh, you’re my best friend,
In a world we must defend.

Pokemon!

A heart so true.
Our courage will pull us through.
You teach me and I’ll teach you.

Pokemon!

(Gotta catch 'em all)x5

Pokemon!

It’s you and me
I know it’s my destiny

Pokemon!

Oh, you’re my best friend,
In a world we must defend.

Pokemon!

A heart so true.
Our courage will pull us through.
You teach me and I’ll teach you.

POKEMON!
Gotta catch'em all!!
Gotta catch'em all!!
POKEMON!!!

For Anyone Boycotting Sony b/c of #FreeKesha

There’s currently 3-4 major record labels in the music industry, and they account for about 75% of music sales. These labels are Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, EMI, and Warner Music Group. So, if you’re boycotting Sony Music Entertainment because of #FreeKesha, know that you’ll have limited music choices, but here’s some minor labels with great artists you can listen to. (throughout doing my research, I was actually surprised how many minor record labels had famous musicians. But please note, some of the very famous musicians on this list no longer work with minor record labels & moved to bigger companies/retired/are dead/whatever).

Atlantic Records
•Melanie Martinez, Bruno Mars, Led Zeppelin, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, AC/DC, Skrillex, Rolling Stones, Paramore (?), & many more

Fueled By Ramen
•twenty one pilots, Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, & more

Glassnote Records
•Chvrches, Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, & much more

Equal Vision Records
•Pierce the Veil, We Came as Romans, I the Mighty, the Dear Hunter, & more

Dim Mak Records
•The Chainsmokers, Zedd, Steve Aoki, Borgore, & a ton of other EDM artists

Neon Gold Records
•Mariana and the Diamonds, Elie Goulding, Foxes, the Sound of Arrows, and a few more

Cherrytree Records
•Lady Gaga, Far East Movement, LMFAO, Natalia Kills, & more

Interscope Records
•Selena Gomez, Eminem, Madonna, Katy Perry, & more

Hollywood Records (Disney)
•Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, etc. (please note many of these celebrities have moved onto different recording labels)

Strange Music Inc.
•my friend really likes hip hop music and she told me to put this on the list

Run for Cover Records
•Tigers Jaw, Basement, Turnover, Title Flight, & a couple of others

Two Steps From Hell
•this is actually a music production company, but they’ve made music for Harry Potter, X-Men, and Pirates of the Caribbean

(please feel free to add more, correct me, and anything else. and as I said before, these might not be 100% accurate, and are subject to change).

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Music video by Cypress Hill performing Illusions. © 1995 Sony BMG Music Entertainment