July 31, 2008

Where I'll be on Sept. 2


more info HERE

July 9, 2007

Appearance: 7/10 at MN Center for Photography

+ Second Tuesday Lecture + Photography's Relevance in Hip Hop

Tuesday, July 10, 7 p.m.
Minnesota Center for Photography
165 13th Ave NE
directions HERE

This Second Tuesday lecture will be devoted to the role of photography in hip hop, its relevance, its practice and its purpose. Hip-Hop photographer Rebecca McDonald will moderate a discussion between Michelle Spaise, photographer and Assistant Curator of the B-Girl Be Visual Art Exhibition, and scholar Rachel Raimist addressing the aesthetics of hop-hop, and how it is seen and interpreted through the camera lens.

You can VIEW some of my photos HERE, like these:

Only two weeks before Musicapolis, the Minnesota Center for Photography’s summer music festival taking place July 21, this Second Tuesday lecture will bring to the spotlight lecturers who embody and combine both hip-hop and photography in their work. Audience participation will be encouraged-- come join the community!

Continue reading "Appearance: 7/10 at MN Center for Photography" »

June 26, 2007

Total Chaos Podcast

The Walker panel on Total Chaos is available for viewing here:


In this piece are clips from the following films:
Nobody Knows My Name, directed by Rachel Raimist
Freestyle the Art of Rhyme, directed by Organic, videographer/co-editor: Rachel Raimist
Estilo Hip Hop, directed by Vee Bravo, videographer: Rachel Raimist

Estilo has a beautiful new trailer HERE:


June 4, 2007

June 14th Panel Discussion - Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop

Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop
Featuring Cey Adams, Jeff Chang, Roger Cummings, and Rachel Ramist
Thursday, June 14, 7 pm
Walker Art Center Cinema
Free tickets available at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk from 6 pm


Since its beginning, hip-hop has left its mark on theater, poetry, performance art, dance, visual arts, film, and video. Though it is one of the big ideas of this generation, hip-hop is often subcategorized into such themes as “spoken word poetry,? “street literature,? “post–black art,? or “urban art.? This panel discussion focuses on how hip-hop is expanding in ways that cannot be so easily defined.

Cey Adams’ graphics can be seen on countless album covers (Jay-Z, Method Man, Beastie Boys and have been featured in clothing lines (Sean John), movies, and TV shows (Belly, Next Friday, Chapelle’s Show).

Jeff Chang, author of the books Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, has written extensively on race, culture, politics, and the arts for numerous publications.

Roger Cummings is the cofounder and artistic director of Juxtaposition Arts, a North Minneapolis urban art center whose mission is to empower youth and community to use the arts to actualize their full potential.

Rachel Raimist is a Twin Cities–based filmmaker and director of Nobody Knows My Name, which chronicles the stories of five women in hip-hop.

Presented by WACTAC.

April 10, 2007

Restoring My Faith

Use hip-hop to uplift the people.

March 11, 2007

When Credit is Due

"To DJ Rob Swift, a vinyl recording is not merely a flat disc, but a four-dimensional field of events without boundary. As opposed to hearing a performance, listening to him scratch is akin to watching the quantm destruction of space-time."

-Harry Allen, Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin

Yesterday I got my advance copy of:

I've been watching/filming the X-men/X-ecutioners since day one. A few years back I copied all my Rob Swift footage and sent Mr. Rob a couple tapes. Didn't know if they would ever be useful or even interesting to him. He's got cameras following him across the globe and back.

I got to the end of the flick to find:


He gave me credit. Not "forgot" me. Not misspelled me. Not half credit (like only in the last tiny print of special thanks), but full and proper credit:
Archival Footage, Interviewers and Camera Operators.
Rachel Raimist

You may say, so what, big deal.

It is. When you've been down (read: bustin your ass) for so many years and rarely (read: most never) get any credit, it's big when someone pops up years later w/proper credit.

My girls and I have put in work in the music, marketing and journalism facets of the hip-hop industry for over a decade and rarely if ever got credit. i was the mind and the paperwork behind a street team and got no credit. i pitched many a DVD titles that got "borrowed" or straight stolen and made by funded male filmmakers. i can't even get into the boundless fruits of the the other ladies' labor.

Rob is a good dude: an excellent DJ, clean and sober, and an upstanding man in many ways.

As for the DVD, support it!

It is truly an intimate look into the life of the professional DJ. More than the background scratchmaker/crowd hyping vinyl crate carrier of most groups (which is all you really get to see on TV), Rob Swift and many men have made the turntable the featured act and has proven it is a beautiful and complex artform.

The DVD chronicles Rob's DJing life through the end of the X-ecutioners. Rob shares honest and revealing moments through the deals, the money, and the tough choices. He always remembers that it's about the art and about the expression. It's a beautiful watch for all the turntablist fans and true hip-hop fans. The film includes a never-seen-before- Rob and Bob moment (read: Rob Swift performs at the Knitting Factory with jazz legend Bob James), that I've kept in the archive, showed all my friends and cherished. Now you can share in my joy!

Bob and Rob

It is rare we get such an intimate look into the lives of those who bring real hip-hop, creativity and passion for the culture.

Check for DJ Rob Swift - homepage and myspace

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.


Continue reading "Tonight on PBS - on Hip-hop, Sexism and Misogyny" »

February 15, 2007

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...

Continue reading "Total Chaos" »

October 17, 2006

"You Better Call Tyrone..."

haven't gotten my hands on a copy, yet, but i am eager to:

Deconstructing Tyrone
A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation

Natalie Y. Moore and Natalie Hopkinson

Do you know Tyrone? That smooth-talking, irresistible fellow whose essence is full of swagger, rhythm, and flow? The militant revolutionary of the 1960s evolved into the pimp/thug of the hip-hop era? You know, the archetype converted into a hit single?

Tyrone is the Black man seen through the media lens, through stereotype, through the eyes of Black women. In Deconstructing Tyrone, journalists Natalie Y. Moore and Natalie Hopkinson examine Black masculinity from a variety of perspectives, looking not for consensus but for insight. With chapters on Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, on the complicated relationship between women and hip-hop, on babydaddies, on gay Black men on and off the so-called "down low," on strippers and their fathers, on Black men in the office, at school, and in jail, Deconstructing Tyrone presents a multifaceted picture of American Black men now.

“A deconstruction done in love… Breaks down the myths surrounding Black masculinity in a way that inspires hope and points the way toward change.— Gwendolyn D. Pough, author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture and the Public Sphere

"With compassion, wit, and keen intelligence, the authors have touched upon our rarely-spoken truths. Here is a vision of the complex, vibrant humanity living outside the bleak statistics and damning headlines." —William Jelani Cobb, author of To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic

“A magnificent job. Deconstructing Tyrone is thoughtfully and masterfully constructed, highly informative, and provocative. I, a child of the Black Power and Civil Rights era, found substantial relevance to my generation and to my own experience. Indeed, there is much in Deconstructing Tyrone that is universal, crossing lines of color, age, and nationality.?— Blanche Richardson, Marcus Bookstores

NATALIE Y. MOORE writes for numerous news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, the Seattle Times, the Detroit Metro-Times, Bitch,, and She lives in Chicago.

NATALIE HOPKINSON is a staff writer for the Washington Post and a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland–College Park. She lives in Washington, D.C.


October 11, 2006

Hip Hop Association Reel

Founded in March 2002, the Hip-Hop Association (H2A) was formed to facilitate, foster, and preserve Hip-Hop culture. Our mission is to utilize Hip-Hop culture as a tool to facilitate critical thinking, foster social change and unity, by empowering communities through the use of media, technology, education, and leadership development; while preserving Hip-Hop culture for future generations.

support the Hip Hop Assocation

August 18, 2006

Celebrate Twin Cities Hip Hop

Fresh off the phone with my girl Invincible, one of my favorite members of the all-female Anomalies crew. She was 6 hours away, headed this way, with a van full of youth she mentors in Detroit. She is slated to perform at this year's Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop on Sunday.

With: Sims and Mictlan, Black Blondie, Maria Isa, Leroy Smokes (today); Brother Ali, Truth Maze, Golden (Sat.); MC Lyte and the Chosen Few (Sun.), with DJ and dance battles and lots more.
When/where: 5 p.m. Fri.-Sat., First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls.
Tickets: $7 tonight, $13 Sat., $13 Sun., $22 for Sat.-Sun. pass. 612-338-8388 or 651-989-5151.
Also: Free outdoor events 4-7 p.m. Sat.-Sun. on 8th St. between Hennepin and 1st Avs.

Full Schedule Here

And much love goes out to Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune, for setting the record straight in today's paper:

KQ's off-base comments: Bad rap for the good guys
Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Usually an outpouring of positive vibes and do-gooder attitude, the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop lands this weekend with gritted teeth and crossed arms. And you probably won't believe me when I tell you who's to blame.
Read on...

To listen to the radio show: Go to Part 2 on August 4th at the 53rd Minute

+ + +

Update: The response to the article has been so strong they now have a blog open for comments. comment here!

July 24, 2006

Michigan Update - Film Festival Schedule


Hip Hop Film Festival at the Flint Institute of Arts
July 28-30, 2006

1120 East Kearsley Street
Flint, Michigan

An educational and entertaining experience featuring art, music, and 9 movies!
Admission: $6 per day, $15 weekend pass (call for group rates)

Friday, July 28

5:00 PM – Opening Night Party
An unveiling of a hip-hop inspired art installation in the FIA Lobby, conceived and organized by Michigan-based artist and curator Craig Paul Nowak, including works by the following artists: RIKU, John Fletcher, Serge Gay Jr., MINES, LaKela Brown, ARMY, KOSEK, FARS, Mike Smith. Before the feature films, there will be musical performances by Rosta Records artists Theory, G-Wiz, and Main Event, as well as screenings of locally-produced videos: “104-1/2 Street Short? and “Woman II Woman.?

6:00 PM – Nobody Knows My Name
(58 min., followed by discussion with director Rachel Raimist)
7:30 PM – Scratch (90 min.)

The Official Hip-Hop Film Festival After Party
9:30 PM to Midnight
Featuring performances by: The Chose In Few, Lost Elementz, 7 Chakraz, and Done Proper.
Admission is free with HHFF ticket stub; otherwise $5 donation is suggested.
101 Burton Street
(Across from Farmer’s Market, 1/4 mile west of I-475 on Robert T. Longway Boulevard in downtown Flint)

Saturday, July 29

11:00 AM – Workshop: “The Elements of Rhyme Style?
11:45 AM – Workshop: “The Basics of Hip Hop Production?
12:30 AM – Panel: “Representing Hip Hop on the Web?
1:30 PM – Style Wars (70 min.)
3:00 PM – The Freshest Kids (90 min.)
5:00 PM – Bomb the System (95 min.)
7:30 PM – Wild Style (82 min.)

Sunday, July 30

1:30 PM – What’s Up Fat Lip? (27 min.)
2:00 PM – Breath Control (73 min.)
3:30 PM – Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
(72 min., followed by discussion with filmmakers Kevin Fitzgerald, Todd Hickey, and Rachel Raimist)

The Flint Institute of Arts is a museum and art school located in the Flint Cultural Center in Flint, Michigan. Visitors can enjoy an active program of changing exhibitions, masterpieces from the special collection, weekly films, studio classes, and a variety of educational programs and special events throughout the year.
Contact: Charles Gentry, Assistant Curator of Film and Video Art

The History of Turntablism (“H.o.T?) at the Sloan Museum
Organized by the Art Café of Davison, Michigan, the “H.o.T? exhibition at the Sloan Museum will display antique and retro turntables, art, photography, videos, and other ephemera of DJ culture on Saturday, July 29th, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Cora Smilkovich, Executive Director
Curtis Kohl, Program Director
The Art Café
217 Shoppers Alley
Davison, MI 48423

July 20, 2006

2006 Hip Hop Political Convention - Starts Today!


July 20 - 23, Chicago, IL

Chicago is the host city for the second annual National Hip Hop Political Convention. The four day event, to be held at several sites, is expected to build upon the success of the first-ever National Hip Hop Political Convention, where in 2004, over 6000 members of the Hip Hop generation converged in Newark, NJ. This year’s convention focuses on training future leaders and equipping the generation to become accountable and responsible with Hip Hop, both the culture and its music.

The theme of the 2006 NHHPC is Money - Power - Respect. Programming is designed to educate members of the Hip Hop generation on how to earn, demand and work for all three.

Scheduled programming consists of Freedom School, a Film Festival, Issue Education, Town Hall Meetings, Panel Discussions, Concert/Block Party, Performances, "Down By Law" battles, afterparties and culminating vote on agenda by NHHPC National Assembly.

The plenary session for this year’s event will be “The Movement Continues,? an intergenerational dialogue between organizers and activists from the Civil Rights era and the Hip Hop generation.

The cost of registration for freedom school trainings is $35 for the general public. On-site registration is available. To register, please call 773.238.4533 or visit:

July 10, 2006

Links (of my emotions)

I'm really happy to read this - NO MORE UNCUT!

I'm really excited to see this - Heart of the Game
except review says: Documentaries should ask questions, explore subjects and universalize the story. "Heart of the Game" does none of these; it's too much game, not enough heart.
Still, I think it will be a great teachable moment.
May be good for this class I'm teaching in the Fall.

I'm really intrigued about this - short film made of just STILLS


I'm doubtful about this - Now that Lil Kim is Free Will She Fight For Other Prisoners?

I'm trying to feel content reminiscing about timing, listening to-
"Say Yes" by Floetry

I'm energized listening to this - YerbaBuena


I'm happy to be finally working on my entries for the ladies crew, check us out:

July 6, 2006

Call For Papers (on Hip Hop)

Call for Papers: Hip Hop and the Academy
Winter 2006: Popular Culture in the Academy: A Home for Hip Hop?
Deadline October 1, 2006

In an effort to engage teenagers in their learning, teachers are increasingly turning to popular culture for alternative texts and topics. Should educators use popular culture and hip hop as teaching tools? How do you feel when students are the experts? What contemporary texts have worked best with your students? How do you handle lyrics and lines that push at the boundary of school-appropriate material? How can we help students take a critical stance towards media images and advertising campaigns? California English is interested in publishing stories from your classroom describing how popular culture can be used as a springboard for deep and authentic learning.

Please send all submissions to California English editor, Carol Jago. Articles should be limited to 2,500 words. Please submit manuscripts via email to

+ + +

California State University in Northridge and University at Albany invite your papers concerning "Feminism, Race, Transnationalism & HipHop", they "especially invite submissions that highlight global and transnational perspectives on women, hip-hop from around the globe, and other forms of popular music." Deadline is Auggust 5th, see below for details.

Special Issue of Meridians
Women, Hip-Hop, and Popular Music

For a proposed special issue of Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism on the subject "Women, Hip-Hop, and Popular Music," we invite critical essays, creative work, and interviews or conversations with music artists/practitioners from a variety of disciplines, practices, and cultural scenes. Music may be broadly defined to include spoken word, dub poetry, DJs, low- and high-tech innovations, etc. We especially invite submissions that highlight global and transnational perspectives on women, hip-hop from around the globe, and other forms of popular music. We also invite submissions that highlight music from the past and other historical issues that shed light on contemporary music scenes. High priority will be given to submissions that utilize critical race feminist analyses.

Subjects covered may include but are not limited to the following:
- popular music and feminist consciousness (performers, political activists, lyricists, producers, compilers of music CD/albums, club and radio DJs, etc. who engage in “feminist? and social justice issues).
- marginal pop music personas (e.g. Enya, Zap Mama, Sade, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Ani Difranco, Björk).
- historical recoveries and research of women’s popular music in the past.
- marginalization of women musicians (including vocalists and rappers) in music industries and/or academic studies.
- representations of women in popular music, the media, public performances, etc.
- music at the movies (marketing of movie soundtracks, silent movie era, movie portrayals of music artists, Bollywood playback singers and item girls, etc.).
- local artists, global markets, world music scenes (cross-cultural efforts by women music artists to increase their profiles, cultural appropriations, and/or globalizing trends).
- appropriation of women’s music (male and/or mainstream takeover of female music expressions).
- hip-hop, popular music, and the prison or military industrial complex.
- teaching hip-hop and popular music in the feminist classroom.

Essays should not exceed 9,000 words or 35 pages, including all endnotes and references (typed and double-spaced, using Chicago style); abstracts should be 150 words.
Please send email attachments in Word format

R. Dianne Bartlow
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8251
Phone: (818)677-2097

Janell Hobson
University at Albany, SUNY
1400 Washington Avenue, SS 341
Albany, NY 12222
Phone: (518) 442-5575;

April 26, 2006

Check This: The Vinyl Ain't Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture

I just got word that my contributor copy of THE VINYL AIN'T FINAL Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture is en route!


The anthology is edited by Dipannita Basu and Sidney Lemelle.

This is the publisher's description: In the preface of The Vinyl Aint Final, Robin Kelley exclaims Hip Hop is Dead! Long Live Hip Hop, and the rest of the contributors in this edited volume respond by providing critical perspectives that bridge the gap between American-orientated hip hop and its global reach.

From the front lines of hip hop culture and music in the USA, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Hawaii, Tanzania, Cuba, Samoa and South Africa, academics, poets, practitioners, journalists, and political commentators explore hip hop -- both as a culture and as a commodity. From the political economy of the South African music industry to the cultural resistance forged by Afro-Asian hip hop, this potent mix of contributors provides a unique critical insight into the implications of hip hop globally and locally. Indispensable for fans of hip hop culture and music, this book will also appeal to anyone interested in cultural production, cultural politics and the implications of the huge variety of forms hip hop encompasses.

The Table of Contents:
Foreword by Robin D.G. Kelley

Introduction by Dipannita Basu and Sidney Lemelle


1. For the People, TRIBUTE, and REDBONE. by Umar Bin Hassan

2. A Rap Thing, On Rapping Rap. and For Mario: Homeland and Hip Hop, by Mumia Abu-Jamal

3. Hip Hop: As a Culture and Generation by Dipannita Basu

4. Nobody Knows My Name and an interview with the Director Rachel Raimist: A Female Hip Hop Film Maker by Dipannita Basu and Laura Harris

5. From Azeem to Zion-I: The Evolution of Global Consciousness in Bay Area Hip Hop by Eric K. Arnold

6. Head Rush: Hip Hop and a Hawaiian Nation On the Rise. by Adria L. Imada

7. War At 33 1/3: Culture and Politics Across the Afro-Asian Atlantic. by Sohail Daulatzai


8. Deathening Silence: The Terms of (Non) Political Commentary Rap by John Hutnyk

9. 'Keeping it Real in a Different Hood: African-Americanization and Hip Hop in Germany by Tim Brown

10. Africa on Their Mind: Rap, Blackness and Citizenship in France by Veronique Helenon

11. Cuban Hip Hop: Underground Revolution by Annelise Wunderlich

12. Between Our Islands We Dance: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora by April K. Henderson

13. Negotiating Ethnicity and Authenticity in Tokyos Club Harlem by Rhiannon Fink

14. Globalization and Gangster Rap: Hip Hop in the Post Apartheid City by Zine Magubane

15. 'Ni Wapi Tunakwenda: Hip Hop Culture and The Children of Arusha by Sidney J.Lemelle


About the Contributors


August 1, 2005

just playing?? what do u think?


i just got an email from my advisor with this file attached. damn, hov. how could u? supposedly this girl was taking unauthorized photos of him. and?!??? he's lucky that girl wasn't me. and to think i've actually put money in that man's pocket.

UPDATE: so t his is supposedly part of a 30 second clip with hov laughing afterwards. she is supposedly an employee. funny? still, not. i don't care if you are playing or not. even if one of my boys mushes me in the face, im still not thinking it's funny or amusing. does he mush beyonce in the face in a crowded room? footage soon to be released...

not funny. period.

hype or no hype. audio or no audio - it's not funny to me. maybe i've gotten old and bitter and seen too much in the rap game. 10 years in the industry will do that to you.

i've been backstage toooo many times to see this play out over and over.. like all the "funny" shots of girls getting their asses smacked like the rest of the backstage film. case in point (pun intended), i've seen r&b singers turn music conventions (that used to be fun to urban network), turn into the super pimp and literal hoe convention. one year he paraded his hoes off to execs who prompty paid and escorted them up to their rooms.

so whether it's funny, intended to be funny, just "playing" or not - LADIES we are getting mushed in the face, the a**, and in the pockets and we are always left at the butt of the joke.

+ + +

what's always interesting to me is that what drives traffic (and sparks comments) on my blog is always this kind of bs.

stop the violence, make jokes FUNNY, increase the peace & positivity.

July 25, 2005

10 Years of RSE

a few nites ago i was on assignment for URB mag , MASSV section. ive been shooting rap/hip-hop events for them for a couple years. the issue goes to print really quickly, so look for it (with an event review by one of my favorite songstress/performers, sarah white), in about a month or so. i was reading about people's responses and excitement about the show on message boards (which are not usually my thing, but i was curious). then i read a short piece about the show by desdamona on her blog. i'm not from msp and i don't truly understand the history but i'm learning. although i never heard of most of RSE's roster until i moved here about 2 years ago.

some of the photos will be printed but here's little preview with a track by one of my favorite's brother ali (i hope he's cool with the music use. if not, ill take it down).

so check it out here:
View the Video by Clicking Image or Click HERE

u should check out the artists, the music and upcoming events at:

RSE website

July 8, 2005

teaching (hip hop) with technology

i just got off the phone with Tracey Salisbury from the Dept. of African American Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is teaching an online course entitled "Historical Perspectives: Hip Hop Culture, Economics and Politics. I found the syllabus here. We did a phone interview that will be shared with her students online, where they can post comments, reactions and questions. She is using the online forum for discussion posting, reading reflections and questions. She has a great syllabus, great readings, and great "guest speakers" (no, not just me! Joan Morgan (!) was doing an interview right after me. She's great, read her book!

when i get a link to the online content (if it's accessible to those outside of students), i will link it. if not, ill ask her for access to the content and serve it here.

very generally, she asked me about:
-my motivation to make "nobody knows my name"
-the film was started almost a decade ago
-why hasn't there been more films? access to tools?
-choices, music videos, why not direct rap videos?
-upcoming hip hop moms doc

tracey has also done interviews with various ladies that i deeply respect like MJ. check her interview out here

i want to teach hip hop online too! that's coming next.... maybe my dept would allow me to do some online classes. i know someone taught intro online. it's time to expand this, and i think i may be just the person to do it...

April 27, 2005


Info Courtesy of Christie Z Pabon -

An Official REACHip-Hop Press Release
Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hop

April 27, 2005: Join REACHip-Hop at 11 am to confront urban broadcasters and
advertisers at The 7th Annual Power of Urban Radio Symposium being held at the
Grand Hyatt Hotel on Park Avenue at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, NY

The Power of Urban Radio Symposium, co-hosted by Barry Mayo, General Manager
of Hot 97, will bring together over 300 of the country's leading national
marketers, their advertising agency partners and senior executives from leading
broadcast corporations to discuss and learn how to effectively target urban

REACHip-Hop coalition will gather at 11 am to advise broadcasters that the
best way to connect to the urban audience and utilize public airwaves is to
first serve the community interest by immediately ceasing the promotion of racist
and misogynistic content.

REACHip-Hop wants to make it clear to symposium attendees that marketing to
urban consumers should not mean their degradation through constant airing of
the "N" word and other racial slurs as well as misogynistic content. Likewise it
should also not include violent promotions like "Smack Fest" and shock jock
stunts like airing "The Tsunami Song" which had nothing to do with Hip Hop.
Should successful marketing to the multi-cultural Hip Hop community depend on
airing songs that glamorize criminal behavior and glorify substance abuse and
other social ills? Does targeting this demographic necessitate playing lyrical
content which calls women "b*tches" and "ho's"?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that it is illegal to
broadcast sexually explicit content from 6 am to 10 pm, but songs with
adult-themes are plaguing the airwaves and targeting children. It is illegal to play
obscene content at any time, yet words like b*tch , ho and the N word are
used daily on urban radio. Why do advertisers support this behavior and why do
broadcasters think this is acceptable?

Hot 97 (NYC) and Power 106 (LA), both owned by Emmis Communications, are the
#1 urban Hip Hop radio stations in the United States. Emmis sets the pace for
what the other radio stations will do to market more effectively across the
country. Executives at Emmis surprisingly admit they do not understand Hip Hop,
yet continue to promote racist and obscene lyrical content.

"The younger end of the audience is very much interested in these street
records. If Hot 97 doesn't play them, we run the potential at some point of being
viewed by the audience as a sellout......I mean, there are a lot of things
about the hip-hop culture that I cringe about. And look, I'm a 50-year-old white
guy. I don't understand it...I mean, do you understand everything you promote
or that you are about? I don't think so."
Rick Cummings, Vice President, Emmis Communications
Hannity & Colmes Show (FOX News) 3/8/05

"That's the hip-hop culture," Smulyan said. "Do I condone some of the lyrics
in hip-hop music? No. No more than I do Rush Limbaugh's show.....We reflect
contemporary culture."

Jeff Smulyan, Chairman/CEO, Emmis Communications
The Indianapolis Star 3/27/05

"I find it interesting that Rick Cummings admits that he does not understand
Hip Hop culture. I can only assume that this is his excuse to continue to
promote negative stereotypes and sexually explicit content," says Lisa Fager
REACHip-Hop advisory board member and Industry Ears, President. "On the other hand
Jeff Smulyan thinks misogyny and racism ARE Hip Hop culture."

REACHip-Hop founder, Candice Custodio aka DJ Kuttin Kandi explains, "Unlike
Rush Limbaugh's audience, the Hot 97 audience is not made up of adult males,
instead it caters to the youngest demographic - those not mature enough to
always understand the indecent and obscene content."


1. REACHip-Hop is joining The Council Against Hate Media (CAHM) in asking New
York City to divest their stock in Emmis Communications. Stock in a company
whose radio station broadcasts racial stereotypes and misogynistic lyrics is
not socially responsible. Help us continue to make investors and advertisers
aware of the community's growing disgust with Hot 97's antics. As a result of
Hot 97's poor decision to air "The Tsunami Song", Sri Lankans are asking
President Bill Clinton to speak out against Hot 97. British Parliament has denounced
Hot 97. Al Sharpton, Essence magazine, Zulu Nation, New York City
Councilmembers, KRS One and foreign dignitaries are all speaking out against Hot 97.

2. ARBITRON: If you receive an Arbitron diary, DO NOT LIST Hot 97 or any
other urban station promoting racist or misogynistic content anywhere in the
diary. If just a mere 3% do not list radio stations which play offensive lyrics,
radio broadcaster's bottom line will be drastically effected. Stations need to
know what you listen to so they can better meet your needs. They respond to
your input by improving their programming. In the New York area Arbitron sends
out over 10,000 diaries for each quarterly survey. Each diary represents
hundreds of households. Arbitron tries to reach numerous zip codes and all ethnic

3. FCC: File an FCC complaint form at FCC complaints
must be placed in a broadcasters public file and will be reviewed when the
broadcasters license is up for renewal. Filing a complaint is more legally
binding than sending an email or a letter to the radio station because the FCC is
able to track the complaint and hold the broadcaster accountable.

# # #


Since January 2005, the coalition has been centrally involved in the growing
protest movement against Hot 97. With a long history of radio programming that
is racist, sexist, and obscene, Hot 97 produced and broadcast an offensive
parody of the We Are The World song which became known as The Tsunami Song.

The parody included bold racial slurs and unapologetically mocked the deaths
of Asians and Africans. In the aftermath of one of the world's most
devastating natural disasters, Hot 97s racist Tsunami Song parody was broadcast
continuously for 4 days in late January 2005. Though it was played exclusively on Hot
97 airwaves, it was disseminated internationally via that stations website.
The song not only offended people across the world, but especially the 5
million people abroad and in the United States. People around the world called for
immediate action against the radio station. In New York, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop has
been at the forefront of that movement.

On March 4, the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition held a protest at Union Square in
New York City. The protest generated a great deal of coverage in local and
national media, but most importantly it led to increased support from youth,
artists, politicians, educators, and grassroots organizations. Additionally, the
coalition was instrumental in raising awareness about Hot 97's Smackfest, a
violent and degrading competition in which women take turns smacking each other
across the face for a cash prize. As a result of the coalition's sustained
pressure on the radio station, the office of New York State Attorney General Elliot
Spitzer is currently conducting an investigation into the Smackfest.


ReacHip-Hop Coalition is dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal
representation of the diversity of Hip Hop Culture, including, but not
limited to; race/ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation,
religion, and disability. We are a pro-active body made up of activists, artists,
teachers, performers, organizers, and individuals all dedicated to positive change
within our communities. We believe Hip Hops true legacy belongs to the
people, and we strive to utilize Hip Hop as a vehicle of social and political
justice to promote education, information, and empowerment for the masses, while
preventing the dissemination of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and

For more information about REACHip-Hop please visit