December 2005 Archives

New York's transit strike had Benzino so frustrated that he decided to call up and curse out Julia Beverly, the editor of Ozone Magazine who published a piece that labeled him "Most Successful Extortionist".

The voicemails have been released onto the web (download here), and as a public service I've transcribed the first one, and bits from the second:

MESSAGE MARKED URGENT: Heh JB, or whoever the fucking phone is this of Ozone Magazine. This is Benzino. My number is...

If I gotta read another negative shit about my magazine or me and your magazine, when I see you I'm gonna spit in your fucking face. Aight? You stupid fucking bitch. [States number again]. You fucking slut monkey.

If I read one more thing in your magazine I'm gonna come see you JB. You stupid bitch. You fuckin' cracker bitch.

New York's MTA Strike = Not Gangsta

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"I told you- no women, no kids!" - Tony Montana

Ya'll may have already heard about the transit strike that has shut down New York today. The short story is that the workers want more money, the bosses don't want to give it to them. Typical stuff.

Now that the Transit Worker's Union (TWU) is on strike, they plan to launch a media campaign to paint themselves as freedom fighters, who only want a fair wage to compensate them for driving buses in circles and doling out change from their token booths. They even started a blog to make clear their demands, such as the absolutely essential 24% raise to their average salary of $63,000. (By the way- why the heck am I working as a writer? I need to learn how to push a pedal!)

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Kim Osorio, the former Source editor in chief who is suing the mag for sexual harassment, is starting her own publication that covers mixtapes and uncovers women. She's calling it R.A.W.- RHYMES & WOMEN Mixtape Magazine. Think "Scratch" meets "King".

Now, like most male rap fans, I like mixtapes and I like women. So it feels like those two topics go well together in a new magazine, and I can imagine there's an audience for it.

However, shouldn't she wait until her sexual harassment case is over before launching a soft porn venture? Won't the jury feel a little hesitant to believe that she felt uncomfortable in The Source's oversexed environment, when her new gig includes picking the best model photo that shows just a hint of nipple?

There's two new blogs that are making a commotion in the Hip-Hop media circle- The Bible of Hip-Hop, which got its start bashing The Source, and Bitter Vibes, supposedly written by a disgruntled Vibe employee.

Lynne d Johnson already rapped The Bible of Hip-Hop on the knuckles for talking tough yet remaining anonymous. She writes:

"On the real though, it's like man up already. It's alright to criticize, but show your face"

Bitter Vibes deserves the same bloggy rebuke. If she's writing this about her editor-in-chief Mimi Valdez...

Why does that grown ass woman dress like a man? She is not a bad looking lady but come on now. You are the Editor in Chief of a magazine. Don't you think you should look clean at least one day out of the week?

...then she should at least reveal his government so Mimi can properly fire her.

In answer to the question posed in this post's title- hell's no!

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Everyone remembers Tupac putting out a platinum disc while locked up. But that was like, what- a decade ago? Who else has had success in the same circumstances?

Shyne, C-Murder, Cassidy, or Lil Kim? Flop, flop, floppity, flop.

Jim Farber wrote more about this in his NY Daily News article, "Jailed rappers face hard times in sales".

Lies, Damn Lies, and Press Releases

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How old does this man look to you?
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According to the press release, his name is K.I.D. and he's a young 23 years old. Yes, of course- he's in his early 20's with gray in his beard!

I hate to use an independent artist to make my point about these lying rappers, with their lying publicists, who send mags like SOHH press releases full of lies, but K.I.D.'s age claim is so flagrant and obvious I just had to point it out.

Forget stop snitching- let's make the slogan in the new year STOP LYING. Here are some lies rappers need to come clean on:

The sexual harassment claims former staff members Kim Osorio and Michelle Joyce are bringing against The Source dregs up a host of other gender issues in Hip-Hop. I'm hoping this situation can open up some dialogue with all of us and even spark some needed change in what we accept and don't accept in our culture.

If you haven't read the news on SOHH, or peeped our exclusive copy of the court documents, then let me give you a little snippet of what these women are saying happened there:

[Alvin] Childs saw Ms. Joyce sitting at her desk with a lollipop in her moth and stated, in substance, "I'll give you something to suck on." This statement totally degraded Ms. Joyce as a woman..."

And this:

On day during the 2004 Christmas holiday season, Mr Childs also heard Ms. Joyce was looking for a candy cane in the office and told her, in substance, that he had one but had already given it to another female at The Source who had to "lick it until the white came out"

As this case unfolds and we begin to talk about the specifics and the larger issues, let's establish some first principals, some base understanding that we should all agree on-

Russell Simmons vs. Jay-Z

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This photo is probably the best representation of Russell Simmons and Jay-Z's separate appraoches to Hip-Hop mogul-dom:
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Jay looks relaxed in his cream suit jacket and casual style turtle neck. If he had a pipe and notepad I would probbaly pay him $70 an hour to lay on his couch and tell him all my problems as a child. His shoulders are relaxed, his hand is in his pocket- he's comfortable with who he is and doesn't care who's looking at him.

Russell is wearing a baseball cap, striped shirt and puffy jacket. A good guess is that they're all from his own clothing line. Though he's twice my age and 20 times my worth, he dresses the same way I do. I can imagine hanging out with dude, and taking in a Knicks game (at home, not in the Garden). He's smiling, eager to please, and very aware that his photo is being taken.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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