The day started with an hour and a half wait in line for a 6:30 am bus heading to DC, which we ended up boarding at around 8 am. An additional hour and a half delay on the road had us concerned we were going to miss the event entirely, but we made it, albeit the last 45 minutes of it! We overheard a phone conversation on the bus mentioning that folks had gotten to the rally as early as 7:30 am.
Regardless, we got to experience the incredible energy of supposedly around 215,000 people; everywhere you looked, there were crowds that looked like they were in clusters of hundreds, and some of those crowds weren’t even on the mall grounds! Restaurants and coffee shops were completely packed, lines everywhere.
Even if there wasn’t a good view, or any view for that matter, of the stage, homemade signs illustrated the overall energy and attitude of the event: people with opinions were here to gather and express those opinions, and in the spirit of Comedy Central, express themselves in a witty, and many times, tongue-in-cheek manner...and more importantly, have a great, sane ol’ time doing it.
The event consisted of music, fun, and funny, but also an important message about working together and understanding each other in this country, eloquently summed up by John Stewart.
Let’s try to make everyday a sane day, even with our individual dealings and day-to-day lives. It’s the little things that add up to a bigger impact!
Here’s a video from the folks at IDEO with some thoughts on where books can go in future. To be honest, as a publisher I’m not sure how much of this is actually implementable without an army of people dedicated to developing the content - the video game industry is a good example; takes them years to develop a title for this very reason. Ok, so I hear someone saying “open source” - well, then how do you ensure the quality of the gatekeepers? You can’t.
Some nice ideas. I liked the page numbers on “Alice.”
If you’re a true hip hop head, you probably remember the exact spot where you were standing and the pair of sneakers you were wearing the first time you heard “Jazz Thing” by Gangstarr.
Hip hop and jazz, a ridiculous combination at the time. Even crazier to think bebop and swing records could be cut in with an 808 and a big boom bap beat. The craziest yet, the fact that a poet - a true lyricist could pull it all together with a butter-smooth voice and an on-point delivery, dropping the science of African music and the power of jazz.
Heads a little newer to the game could probably tell you the club they were at the first time they were blessed with “Mass Appeal.”
Here you had the evolution of gangster rap. Real stories from the urban landscape but with a bugged out beat and a neck-popping bassline. Think of all of those kids bobbing their heads while this joint played. Once again, Guru hit us with knowledge. A finely crafted lesson plan on what it takes to make it in the shady world of hip hop and what happens to phony rappers that stepped up false.
There’s probably even a hipster out there or a jazz afficianado that has their favorite joint from the Jazzmatazz catalog. Once again, Guru took risks and broke new ground in the music industry. Revisiting his jazz roots, here he grabbed old school jazz musicians and combined them with established, as well as up-and-coming hip hop artists. “Loungin’” led the way, but all four volumes reinvented the genre.
Regardless of your involvement with the culture, there’s no denying that Guru, born Keith Elam in Boston, Massachusetts, later representing Brooklyn to the fullest, had an influence on the game and all those involved. Whether you are a DJ, a beat-maker, an MC or just a fan, Guru’s presence no doubt effected how you approached your craft...and your headphones.
Sadly, Guru lost his battle with cancer on April 19th, 2010. After suffering from a heart attack in February, he was never able to properly recover and spent his final days in the hospital with his friend and long time collaborator Solaar.
While there’s a ton of drama surrounding his death and the future of his estate, there’s no question about his legacy and the long-term positive effect Guru will have on the industry and hip hop culture.
Peace and Blessings.
I call [blatant] Copyright Infringement. Check out aging pop sensations Train’s Soul Sister video and tell me they didn’t rip it straight off of Blu’s work, right down to the camera angles, and the trailing “stylistic” colored whitewash. Motherfuckers.
Here’s Blu’s video he did with David Ellis.
Blu, you might want to give Sony Music’s legal team a buzz and have them send you a nice check. For fuck’s sake.
And to think people credited him for cleaning up New York. ‘Nuf Said.
Often morose, but always entertaining, Chestnutt lived in Athens, GA, and began his career in the 80’s with an album produced by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. He died of complications related to an overdose of muscle relaxants on boxing day, last week. He was 45.
We try and stay away from politics usually but this was an interesting video we came across. In Indiana last week the Palin book tour abruptly decamped and tried of scramble out of town after Palin decided she didn’t really want to sign any more books. About 300 families who had spent over 6+ hours waiting for their books to be signed left disappointed after they were assured their books would be signed.