Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Day 3: Bodega Education Initiative 'Beyond The Mic'

The continuation of the 2011 Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest, which has been extremely on point for the past three days, decided to delve into the Hip Hop discussion from a cultural impact point of view. Held at The Higgins Hall Auditorium of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn right off of Lafayette St, the Bodega Education Initiative was an educational presentation that left everyone in the room with a pride to be incorporated into the Hip Hop world.

Councilman Ras Baraka opened the event with a few words on his history with Hip Hop. “Hip Hop represents a big black fist---a shout” he said in his thought-provoking speech. A screening of Copyright Criminals, a intensely fascinating documentary, gave a great report on the importance of sample-based music and the question on whether it’s valid to call music sampling ‘lazy’ and if it’s right to prosecute DJ’s and artists that sample music (the example of Gilbert O’Sullivan suing Biz Markie over the unauthorized sample of his song Alone Again (Naturally) on Biz’s Alone Again is definitely an eye-opener).

After the documentary, a discussion was held with Brooklyn Funk Productions Ysae Southwell, entertainment lawyer Matthew Middleton, The Bomb Squad’s Johnny Juice and Audio Two’s Milk Dee on board as panelists. All guys answered with a unanimous “no” when asked is sampling considered lazy. Ysae compared sampling to a mosaic and considers it “an orchestration” while Milk posed the question “How is sampling any different from one artist being influenced by another artist?”

When the discussion was over, individual panels were held throughout the venue, with The Hip Hop Journalism one being the main focus. Journalists Christopher Weingarten and Kelefa Sanneh, along with Hip Hop DX Editor-In Chief Jake Paine, sat on board to discuss the ever-burning question “is this the end of music journalism?” Weingarten commented that it’s “not at the end, but we’re in a ‘down.’ Budget is the main reason.”

Senior Vice President at Berklee College Of Music Dr. Larry Simpson closed the event with a few words of his own on the Hip Hop culture. “[Hip Hop] has impacted every aspect of life” he said in his speech. He also awarded the winner of the freestyle battle Emcee Jermaine with a Berklee Music Scholarship for a free course at the prestigious school, said to be the largest music college in the world and home to over 200 Grammy winners (think Esmeralda Spalding).

The day commenced with a performance by The J Dilla Ensemble (pictured above), a collection of musicians of various colors and creeds that really stole the show (the violin solo could only be described as dope). The positivity coming from this year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest is going on until Saturday, so get to Brooklyn and experience the movement! — Keenan Higgins

Check out http://www.bkhiphopfestival.com/2011/ to get a full schedule of the remaining events

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Nas Claimed Jay-Z Knew About R. Kelly's Predatory Behavior In Resurfaced Interview

R. Kelly's reported predatory behavior was painfully public for decades, leading many to dig in the archives to see just how many of his former collaborators knew of the singer's ways.

This week, a Nas interview with Wendy Williams resurfaced with the rapper angrily calling out Jay-Z for continuing to work with the singer after rumors continued to spread about Kelly's interest in teenage girls. The year was 2002 and for many hip-hop historians, the time of Nas' and Jay's infamous feud.

“That’s not my style,” Illmatic emcee said on Williams’ former 107.5 FM radio show. “I could have shown the R. Kelly video that everybody’s talking about and made fun of it and show pictures of Jay hanging out. You can’t tell me Jay didn’t see a 14-year-old girl come into the studio and sit on R. Kelly’s lap. You gonna tell me he didn’t see no 14-year-old girl come into the vicinity?"

In the early aughts, Jay and Kelly paired up to release Best of Both Worlds after their successful single collaborations, "Fiesta" (Remix) and "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" went to the top of the charts. 2002 was also the year recordings of Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old circulated around the country and later, the internet. In his interview, Nas brings up Kelly's problems and explained how he saw a "little problems" with his behavior.

“You’ve seen it go down. I’ve been around R. Kelly … I’ve been on tours with him. I didn’t see no 14-year-old, but I talked to the man and see there’s a little problem there. The brother needs help and I pray for him. I’m here for the people. I’m here to talk [about] the truth.”

Nearly 17 years before the 6-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly upended his sex cults, the unearthed discussion shows how complicit people were in the 52-year-old's perversions.

In an unearthed interview from 2002, #Nas tells #WendyWilliams that #JayZ had to have known about #RKelly and 14 year old girls when they worked on #BestOfBothWorlds

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:40am PST

A claim launched long before Surviving R.Kelly aired in January 2019, the rapper professes that both him and HOV knew that Kelly had taken a liking to young girls, though Nas asserts that he never saw young girls while with Kelly.

The Lifetime limited series was a 6-part exposé chronicling the generational abuse faced by young women and girls at the hands of the pied piper of R&B. Director dream hampton previously stated former colleagues of Kelly's declined to be interviewed for the doc including Jay-Z .

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Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.


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Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Creates New No. 1 Record On Amazon's Best-Selling Books List

Since the Nov. 2018 release of former First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, consumers have quickly purchased the enigmatic figure's prose, allowing the book to reach historic heights. According to CNN, Becoming created a new streak on Amazon for its longest-selling book, surpassing a two-month run atop the roster.

Obama's book knocked out the film-spawning passage Fifty Shades of Grey's streak, which hit stands in 2012. Becoming tells stories of Obama's upbringing to life in The White House and having her every move monitored. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Obama shared that she wasn't hesitant to peel back the covers on certain parts of her life.

"...because here's the thing that I realized: People always ask me, 'Why is it that you're so authentic?' 'How is it that people connect to you?' And I think it starts because I like me. I like my story and all the bumps and bruises," Obama said. "I think that's what makes me uniquely me. So I've always been open with my staff, with young people, with my friends. And the other thing, Oprah: I know that whether we like it or not, Barack and I are role models."

In addition to this feat, Becoming was also deemed Canada's bestselling print book for 2018.

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