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February 28, 2007

Listen and Learn [please get your read on...]

I've been getting a lot of "I'm writing my thesis about women in hip hop..." emails lately. I always tell them to check the Women In Hip Hop Resource list (I'm going to do an update soon).

Here are some (that write about my work and other important off the suggested reading list:

Total Chaos
Edited by Jeff Chang

The Vinyl Ain't Final
Edited by Dipa Basu and Sidney Lemelle

Check It While I Wreck It

Gwendolyn Pough

Hip Hop Matters
S. Craig Watkins

When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost
Joan Morgan

The Hip Hop Education Guidebook
Runell, Puerta, Diaz

and coming soon:
Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology
Editors Pough, Richardson, Durham and Raimist

Also, start listening to some *great* music. check these ladies:

Toni Blackman





Kuttin Kandi




Check this resources, organizations and other great sites:

Tools of War


Hip Hop Archive

Hip Hop Lives Here

Yahoo Hip Hop Feminism Group

and that's just a taste!

February 20, 2007

Tonight on PBS - on Hip-hop, Sexism and Misogyny


HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes takes an in-depth look at representations of manhood, sexism and homophobia in hip-hop culture. This groundbreaking documentary is a "loving critique" of certain disturbing developments in rap music culture from the point of view of a fan who challenges the art form's representations of masculinity. Leading hip-hop figures, including Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli, Chuck D., Russell Simmons are interviewed—and pressed—to answer some difficult questions about the violent and sexually explicit content of many hip-hop songs and videos. HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats and Rhymes premieres on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on February 20, 2007.


Sabrina Schmidt Gordon has been committed to educational, cultural and social advocacy programming for over a decade. Her editing debut garnered an Emmy for WGBH's Greater Boston Arts series. Gordon is also the Producer and Director of 180 Days, a documentary about the NYC Teaching Fellows Program, and Roughstars, a profile of the band at the forefront of the "rock and bounce" music scene in New York City.

STANLEY NELSON (Executive Producer)
Stanley Nelson, a 2002 MacArthur "genius" Fellow, is Executive Producer of Firelight Media, a not-for-profit documentary production company. His 2003 film, The Murder of Emmett Till, was broadcast nationally on PBS's American Experience. Nelson went on to win the Primetime Emmy for Best Directing for nonfiction and the highest honor in broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody award, among many others. His most recent film is Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple.

BYRON HURT (Producer/Director)
Byron Hurt is the producer of the award-winning documentary and underground classic, I Am A Man: Black Masculinity in America and Moving Memories: The Black Senior Video Yearbook. Hurt is a former Northeastern University football star and long-time gender violence prevention educator. For over five years, he was the associate director and founding member of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, the leading college-based rape and domestic violence prevention initiative for professional athletics. Over the past decade, Hurt has lectured at more than 100 college campuses and trained thousands on issues related to gender, race, sex, violence, music and visual media.

Contact Us:
African American, Urban, and Hip Hop Media Inquiries Are
Directed To April Silver of AKILA WORKSONGS Public Relations
pr@akilaworksongs.com • 718.756.8501

For Community Screenings, Please Contact:
Dennis Palmieri, National Community Relations Manager
Independent Television Service (ITVS)

Jessica Tully, National Campaign Coordinator
Independent Television Service (ITVS)


February 19, 2007

Girl Directs "The Condom Project"

OAKLAND - ANGELICA LUNA-ACOSTA remembers drifting to sleep during the "cheesy" sex education videos she and her classmates had to watch in fifth grade.

Few eyelids will be drooping this afternoon during the premiere of a student-made film, "The Condom Project."

Read on...

Listen to her interview HERE

February 18, 2007

Thought for the Day

Buy this poster (and other amazing socially conscious works) at Northland Poster Collective.

February 17, 2007

Youth Produced Video


Today I watched:

Slip of the Tongue

(Hate) Machine

Book 'Em: Undereducated, Overincarcerated

? ? ?

I am starting to research non-profits and community programs that put cameras in the hands of youth, especially girls and youth of color. What organizations in your area are doing this work? Please post a comment or email me.

B-Girl Be 2007

B-Girl Be Summit
June 28-July 1, 2007

B-Girl Be Visual Art Exhibition
June 21-August 11, 2007

For questions or to join the email list, email: bgirl@intermediaarts.org

February 16, 2007

Just ordered some new DVDs

One of my favorite photographers is now making films and multimedia.

Lauren Greenfield.

Her film is called THIN. Watch a trailer HERE. It is also a book and a travelling exhibit. You can order it here.

Synopsis: The HBO Documentary film Thin takes us inside the walls of Renfrew Center, a residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders, closely following four young women (ages 15 - 30) who have spent their lives starving themselves, often to the verge of death.

The other DVD I ordered (they are both from HBO films) is MIDDLESEXES

Synopsis: Redefining He and She sensitively explores the controversial subject of the blurring of gender as well as the serious social and family problems - even dangers - often faced by those whose gender may fall somewhere in between male and female.

February 15, 2007

Re-Mixing Hip Hop: Violence, Sex, Racism, and Other Controversial Questions about Popular Music

February 28 - March 1, 2007
SUNY Old Westbury
Duane L Jones Recital Hall, Campus Center
Office of Student Activities, 516-876-3067

This special two day conference, conceived and developed by SUNY College at Old Westbury Assistant Professor Amanda Frisken and Adjunct Professor Jermaine Archer, puts into public debate controversial issues in today's popular culture. The conference serves as a bridge Black History Month and Women's History Month.

I'll be screening Nobody Knows My Name and speaking on a panel with the powerhouse ladies, Toni Blackman and Angie Beatty.

Download the program

Total Chaos

I don't want to say my WHOLE life has been in total chaos, but with new baby, new husband, new mentee (we are editing CTT footage), and my desire to get my PhD this decade....

I am proud to be officially a part of Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is one of the most important global arts movements of the past two decades, moving beyond rap music to transform theater, dance, performance, poetry, literature, fashion, design, photography, painting, and film. Through essays, interviews, roundtable discussions, and more, Total Chaos provides a deep, incisive look at the hip-hop arts movement in the voices of its pioneers, innovators, and mavericks...

Introductory Essay by Jeff Chang

1 Harry Allen Dreams Of A Final Theory
2 Anthony "Amde" Hamilton of the Watts Prophets Nommo
3 Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Yet Another) Letter To A Young Poet
4 Jorge POPMASTER FABEL Pabon Physical Graffiti: A History Of Hip-Hop Dance
5 Joe Schloss The Art of Battling: An Interview With Alien Ness
6 Greg Tate, Vijay Prashad, Mark Anthony Neal, Brian Cross Got Next: A Roundtable on Identity and Aesthetics after Multiculturalism Roundtable

7 The Pure Movement and the Crooked Line: An Interview with Rennie Harris
8 Eisa Davis Found In Translation: The Emergence of Hip-Hop Theatre
9 Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kamilah Forbes, Traci Bartlow, and Javier Reyes From The Dope Spot To Broadway: A Roundtable on Hip-Hop Theatre, Dance, and Performance
10 Adam Mansbach On Lit Hop
11 Bill Adler Who Shot Ya: A History of Hip-Hop Photography
12 Cey Adams, Brent Rollins, and Sacha Jenkins Words And Images: A Roundtable on Graphic Design
13 Lydia Yee, with Nadine Robinson, Sanford Biggers, Luis Gispert, and Jackie Salloum Between the Studio and the Street: A Roundtable on Hip-Hop Visual Arts
14 Paul D. Miller The City In Public Vs. Private: Through a Scanner Darkly

15 Oliver Wang It Was Written: The Aesthetics of Hip-Hop Journalism
16 Kevin Coval "L-vis Is A Pioneer" or Legacy, the VH1 Special
17 Dave Tompkins Burn Rubber on Plastic Bubbles: The Art of Dave Funkenklein
18 Danyel Smith Black Talk and Hot Sex: Why Street Lit is Literature
19 Juba Kalamka and Tim'm West It's All One: A Conversation
20 Joel Tan Homothugdragsterism
21 robert karimi how I found my inner DJ
22 Joan Morgan and Mark Anthony Neal A Brand New Feminism: A Conversation

23 Suheir Hammad Brooklyn
24 Staceyann Chin Falling For Bob Marley
25 Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi Inventos Hip-Hop: An Interview
26 Shaheen Ariefdien and Nazli Abrahams Cape Flats Alchemy
27 Raquel Cepeda Afro-Blue: Incanting Yoruba Gods in Hip-Hop's Isms
28 Cristina Verán with Darryl DLT Thompson, Litefoot, Grant Leigh Saunders, Mohammed Yunus Rafiq, and JAAS Native Tongues: A Roundtable on Hip-Hop's Global Indigenous Movement

29 Walidah Imarisha Untitled Poem
30 Roberta Uno Theatres Crossing The Divide: A Baby Boomer's Defense of Hip-Hop Aesthetics
31 Eric Arnold, with Rachel Raimist, Kevin Epps, and Michael Wanguhu Put Your Camera Where My Eyes Can See: A Hip-Hop Film Roundtable
32 Codes And The B-Boy's Stigmata: An Interview with Jeffrey DOZE Green
33 Revolution: An Interview with Brett Cook-Dizney
34 Rha Goddess Scarcity & Exploitation: The Myth & Reality of the Struggling Hip-Hop Artist
35 Danny Hoch Towards A Hip-Hop Aesthetic: A Manifesto for the Hip-Hop Arts Movement

Hip-hop is one of the big ideas of this generation, a grand expression of our collective creative powers. But, when recognized at all, the hip-hop arts have often been divided into subcategorical themes—"spoken word poetry", "street literature", "post-multicultural theatre", "post-black art", "urban outsider art"—by critics trained to classify trees while lost in the forest. Perhaps this is simply because the hip-hop arts movement did not undertake to formally announce itself in such circles, as in Antonin Artaud's 1938 manifesto The Theater And Its Double or the 1971 Black Arts Movement anthology, The Black Aesthetic. Perhaps this is simply because, despite all the interest in the talking, the hip-hop arts movement has been chiefly concerned with doing, which is just what it has done, organically, for over three decades now.

Harry Allen, the pioneering hip-hop critic and the first self-proclaimed "hip-hop activist", likens the movement's development to the Big Bang. Its vanishing point is in the Bronx, somewhere around '68. Its "epoch of inflation" is the six-year period before recorded rap. Sometime between the middle and the end of that epoch, Afrika Bambaataa famously articulated the outlines of the hip-hop aesthetic by defining four primary "elements", its founding genres: DJing, MCing, graffiti writing, and b-boying/b-girling. In Allen's formulation, before 1979, together these constituted "one, never-to-reappear 'superforce,'" After that, anything could happen.

Sure enough, upon its Athena-like downtown appearance at the turn of the 80s, hip-hop seemed to have already outrun the avant-garde. Graffiti art was celebrated as a reaction to minimalism and conceptualism, an "outsider" art that correlated to postindustrial dislocation, confronted “drop-dead? government with kids-eye creativity, and encapsulated all that was transgressive and progressive in the moment. B-boying’s radically democratic reclamation of public space and its aggressive athleticism reinvigorated modern dance. DJing brought the noise for the postmodernists’ interest in rupture, repetition, and bricolage, and MCing seemed perfectly tailored for the poststructuralists’ obsession with textuality.

Hip-hop's internal creative force does not rest. In the time that it takes for a group of kids in the neighborhood to go from wide-eyed young'n's to confident teen arbiters of style, slang, swing, and swagger to grown-folk moving on and out (and then declaring the next set of kids to be the murderers of their natural-born hip-hop, which, of course, is completely true), the culture has turned over again, leaving the universe with a whole lot of new matter to deal with. So from kids battling in roller rinks, shopping malls, and city centers to teens showcasing in cultural centers and nightclubs, we have adults taking over the performance space, the theater stage, and the soundstage. From kids painting graffiti on trains to teens customizing canvases, we have adults rethinking painting, sculpture, graphic design, installation art, and architecture.

Why not? The alternative to an outsourcing, McJob world is to get busy. Maybe the new hip-hop universe must expand to fill the vacuum left by the old. If the hip-hop generation was the first to enjoy the freedoms of a post-civil rights world, they were also the first to see the repeal of many of those same freedoms. In the word of the Cuban rappers, we adopt the spirit of inventos, not merely building on the advantages afforded by the ever-shrinking revolution, but recognizing the necessity of starting fresh, making the something that we want to grow the nearly nothing that we got from the other thing that we were promised.

Enter the hip-hop artists. They share a desire to continue to break down boundaries between so-called high- and low-art, to bring the street into the art-space and the art-space into the street, to make urgent, truth-telling work that reflects the lives, loves, histories, hopes, and fears of their generation, the hip-hop generation. Heir to the Black Arts, the postmodernist and multiculturalist movements, head high amidst all of the terms batted about to try to frame the imperatives and urgencies of Now—such as post-Blackness, polyculturalism, globalism, and transnationalism—hip-hop is where flux, identity, revolution, and the masses mix, and keep on expanding.