Pirates hijacking large shipping vessels on the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden is a top news item this year, especially after the takeover of Saudi-owned Sirius Star which was carrying two million barrels of oil bound for the U.S.   Most recently, the news has been about combating and taking steps to “crack down” and “curb” this problem of piracy, which has been going on since the early ’90s, at the start of the country’s civil war.

There is always two or more sides to a story.  From what I understand, the region the Chinese are planning to control is so incredibly vast that military action will, without a doubt, prove ineffective.  Depressing economic situation and a lack of a central government are only two of the forces pushing young men in “cash-strapped, hungry Somalia” to piracy. What happens when life on land becomes unlivable, chaotic, poverty-stricken, when there is no work, no income?  Desperate people look towards the sea…

Check the new video from Mogadishu born, Ontario based emcee, K’naan, who recorded his entire album in Kingston, JA, thanks to his friends Stephen and Damian Marley who granted him access to their late father’s recording studio>>>



This made my day.

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog!”

Man what I would have paid to see one of those size tens connect… Respect to Muntazer al-Zaidi for his guts, creativity, and accuracy with a thrown shoe. Did he plan it? Was it a spontaneous expression of disgust? Apparently this is one of the most insulting, not to mention hilarious, things you can do in the Arab world.

The first sub-Saharan African country to get independence in the 1950s head to the polls today to vote for a new president and parliament.  Well, if you’re sick of the Obama-Memorabilia overkill, readjust your binoculars and take a look at this; Two young men with bodies painted in striking campaigning colors were spotted in the streets of Accra entertaining commuters and raising personal funds.  Pictures of men with their bodies painted with party colors, it seems, is a top visual choice for many internet news sites.



Willie Isz – In The Red

Big props to Noz, not simply because I am flagrantly swiping this song from Cocaine Blunts, but also for being an insightful and reliable blogger.

Willie Isz is Khujo Goodie and Jneiro Jarel, the most appealing (genuine and soulful) group to come out of the Dungeon Family collective in recent years. Khujo Goodie was/is a member of one of the rawrest Southern hiphop groups, Goodie Mob- a group which also possessed (perhaps even fundamentally, I must stress) a positive and uplifting spirit. Jneiro Jarel is also/partly responsible for a very open and progressive hiphop album, one of the best underground hiphop albums in recent memory.

Starvation, American politics, fear, unfairness, home foreclosures, a life of crime, being a son, and remaining optimistic and thankful in a world that is bleeding —are just a few of the things that this song is touching on. Jneiro Jarel’s production here harkens back to a time when DF and Organize Noized was at their most excellent, prompting Noz to note “Dude is on some serious Dungeonize shit,” and I cannot agree more.


Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO talking about racism in the context of this election. Just watch it.

This goes to a point that I don’t have time to talk about enough which I feel that a lot of people miss: a huge amount of the evil that is done and called racism is actually about class, rich people oppressing poor people and using any issue they can to keep people from recognizing that.

I feel like Race In America, as much as it shouldn’t be marginalized or ignored, is really a smoke screen for class warfare advocated for and perpetrated by people like the Republican party. I feel that the biggest differences are not between me and a black friend who grew up comfortable (aka rich in the eyes of 97% of the world), with two parents and access to education and resources, like me. I feel the gap is much greater between myself and someone who grew up in a much rougher situation, without all of those things and the outlook that arises out of that, whatever race they are.

Those gaps, the differences, are the cracks that racism grows in, along with the fear and resentment that arises when people fail to understand one another. When these differences are watered and fertilized and nursed and encouraged by people like Sarah Palin, trying to turn Barack into the ‘frightening other’ the ‘socialist’ the ‘muslim’ who ‘isn’t a real American’ all that she is trying to do is continue the familiar tactics of divide and conquer, to keep the have-nots at one another’s throats while the haves consolidate their wealth and power. The Republican’s are very, very explicit about this, with their policies of trickle down economics (table scraps anyone?) and belief that the free market will take care of everyone (everyone who matters anyway) and it is only through the use of things like racism that they are able to keep poor people divided enough to believe that someone like John McCain or Sarah Palin is on their side, one of them, with their best interests in mind.

We’re 32 hours out from the first polls closing. I’m confident but also deeply impatient. I was talking about some music business with someone on the phone last night and he said “We could meet Tuesday night?” I told him “I am not gonna be anywhere besides on the edge of my mom’s couch in front of the TV until Barack wins this fucking thing.”

It’s super-realness time America. God save us if he doesn’t win.

NEW YORK—According to an alarming new study published Monday in The Journal Of Applied Behavioral Science, the time-honored American activity of swaggering, an extremely arrogant manner of walking, has dropped by nearly 90 percent since 2007.

From The Onion article

For extra laughs –

Cindy McCain Claims She’s “Just Like Any Other Female Human”

Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans

12-Year-Old Boy Scouts Volunteer To Give Women Breast Exams

Did you notice how cool Barack was in the last debate? Have you notice how much gray hair has popped out of Barack’s head over the course of his campaign? Is Barack able to be himself? Can you really even get angry while in fear of being angry?

In that same/last debate, did you also notice how John McCain was blinking about a hundred thousand times a minute? Did you see the bulge in his neck? He was visibly upset, and you can tell by the way he was interrupting Barack and by his jagged responses.  Did you also notice in the second debate when McCain referred to Obama as “that one”? All Barack could do was just smile (and you know that somewhere in his bones, he would like to say that “this is some BS”.)

Anger is a natural emotion, but if you are black, Latino, a person of color, there’s no space in these United States for you to be angry.  It has taken me years to understand that as a black person, it is not acceptable to be angry in America.  People will be terrified of you, but this is not about me, (I am still angry and trying to realize the difference between proactive anger and reaction anger) this is about Brother Barack.

I pray that Our Beloved Brother Barack has some outlet.  I pray that he and Sister Michelle have some private conversations about black stress and internalized racism.  Black stress and internalized racism can lead to heart attacks and high blood pressure. I hear that he’s smoking again, that can only accelerate the process.

J. Edgar Hoover (FBI Director for a very long time) constantly referred to black people, specifically civil rights leaders (including MLK) as communists or socialists. In the last few days, McCain’s criticisms of Obama’s economic/tax policies of “spreading the wealth” as socialism echo those old attacks and accusations of black leaders.  That is racist and hypocritical, after McCain voted for the use of government funds to bail out Wall St.


Here’s what inspired this post… Brand new DB!

David Banner – When You Hear What I Got To Say

David Banner talks Election ’08 with DJ Hyphen from DJ Hyphen on Vimeo.


Tim Wise should not be one of the few white people in America who talk consistently about white privilege, but he is.


Doug Blackmon of the Wall Street Journal went to Mississippi and found some black McCains. They’re descendants of slaves owned by the white McCain’s in their plantation years one hundred fifty years ago. I’m sort of surprised that no one has brought this up before. No political dynamite here but another interesting, complicated American story.


General Steele of the Cocoa Brovas (formerly Smif n Wessun, if you don’t know look ’em up) recorded this tune over a Kanye beat expressing his thoughts about Obama’s candidacy, with Dutty Artz crew member Jahdan singing the chorus. Jahdan and Steele are longtime collaborators going all the way back to the Smif n Wessun classic ‘Sound Bwoy Buriel’, viewable below. I’ve been meaning to write a longer post about some of the things that have been great and inspirational about Obama’s candidacy. The fact that he inspires both people like Steele, Colin Powell and David Brooks to speak highly of him is a pretty crazy starting point. This guy inspires people across party lines and levels of interest in politics. I’ve met tons of people who previously didn’t give a damn about politics who have become engaged, interested and motivated because of Obama’s run. The other details which help us understand this, in a quick list, are:

1) The incredible level of skill and competency he’s shown in running his campaign. His current 11 point lead in the polls (Gallup) and incredible fundraising advantage based on small, internet based donations from voters, not corporations or lobbyists are good examples here.

2) His application of an organizing type model to the structure of his campaign. Basically by trusting volunteers to run the campaign skillfully and focusing campaign money on training people rather than paying operatives he’s created an unprecedented, incredible grassroots ground team that I think will change the way electoral politics is played. To use a cliche he’s applied the ‘give a man a fish/teach a man to fish’ saying to politics and struck political gold.

3) He’s very, very smart and talented. He can speak, write, talk policy and do it in a way that people can relate to and understand. I read his book “Dreams from my Father” and it’s great. If you are on the fence about him, have some questions, etc, READ THIS. It was written before his career in politics and it shows. It’s a very honest, thoughtful, often painful account of his early years and is an absolutely unique American story.

Steele says:

One day I was inspired to do this song.I know alot of people have their opinion about the whole election especially Obama.No I do not look at him as the savior of the “black” race.I thinkhe does represent the potential of “black” people.So I say he is a positive role model win or lose.Say what you want to as you sit on the sideline of life…Get up and Live(qoute from Nesta).This is a Kanye track that he gave Weezy,and Cynical surfed for the images,and my boy Jahdan(Noble Society)is on the Hook,and Mantecha on background vox.It’s all expression.

Sound Bwoy Buriel video:


I think that Republican’s and Democrats alike are having a similar moment today upon learning of John McCain’s vice-presidential announcement this morning. Who? What? Why? Her name is Sara Palin and she has been the governor of Alaska for a year and eight months. Before that she was mayor of a town of less than 10,000 which although she calls herself a ‘fiscal conservative’ (do these even exist anymore?) she left with $20 million in debt. McCain’s response to Obama’s wonderfully eloquent acceptance speech stomping him and the Repugnant-cans is to throw what’s being described by red and blue alike as a political hail-mary pass. But I ask: “At what? To where?” I think he just took the ball and threw it as long and far as he could down the field, in the wrong direction. While Republican’s were saying things like “Who?” and “I don’t know, I’ve never met her” this afternoon when asked for comment the rest of us were getting a crash course on a vice-presidential nominee we had never heard of.

Palin as Miss Wasilla, Alaska in 1984

The fact that nobody seemed to know anything about her, including those on her own side, seems like pretty strong evidence that McCain watched Barack Obama’s speech and convention last night, shit in his Depends, and desperately reached for the wildest wild card that he could play in order to first: draw attention away from a speech that pundits are calling masterful, brilliant, tough, confident and Republicans are comparing to Ronald Reagan (crazy, I know) and second: to frantically try to claim the mantle of change in an election where he is being portrayed as the incumbent in an environment deeply hostile to the current regime.

This leads me to ask: no, seriously, what was he thinking? Was he thinking that he would be able to swing some of the disgruntled Hillary supporters because his new running mate has a vagina? If this is the idea, not only will it not work but I can see it triggering a terrific backlash. First of all, Palin is the opposite of Clinton on policy positions. As someone who is pro-life, pro-gun, anti-environment (she’s against polar bears for god’s sake, didn’t she see those cute Coke commercials?) and vetoed solar, wind and coal initiatives as governor she is basically an evil anti-Clinton mirror twin from Bizarro World. Further she is a 44 year old former beauty queen political lightweight with zero, repeat, zero experience on the national scene. She is as far from Hillary as you can get and still be a female politician. The message I read from this from McCain to Hill’s supporters is: you’re women, she’s one of you, you’re all so blind and stupid that you won’t care that she’s diametrically opposed to everything Hillary fought for for years and years and endured terrible humiliation to get to, vote McCain. You might as well spray them with mace. Bonus negative million points: Hillary will be SO MAD about this that she is going to be back in this campaign spitting acid and SWINGING. So, way to go McCain. You did, I think, the only thing possible to motivate Clinton to campaign as hard as she possibly can for the man who beat her in the primaries.

Next: Age is officially on the table. The fact that McCain could, on his seventy second birthday, nominate a woman who is so deeply, clearly, dangerously unprepared to step in as commander in chief should he succumb to a fifth bout with cancer just illustrates to both sides how much McCain is willing to risk our national security and stop at nothing to win an election. And he accused Obama of being willing to lose a war to win an election? Are you kidding?

Lastly, McCain just picked up the experience stick he’s been beating Obama with all summer, really one of his few legitimate claims, no one can take away the fact that he’s been in Washington for 26 years, and broke it over his own head. By nominating a VP who is both younger, less experienced and also less known than Obama he’s effectively neutralized that argument for himself and his surrogates. The upside for him is that should he be elected he’s pulled an effective Bush-ist move in that absolutely no one will dare to assasinate him for fear that this woman will be running the country.

PS: to those of you are thinking: what is wrong with Matt Shadetek, why is he only talking about politics and writing these weird ranty essays and not talking about music? Well, sorry, this is what I’m thinking about right now and I’ll be damned if I can’t rant about in on my own blog. This is mainly because I feel so strongly that America needs to dump the Republicans and put Obama in the White House that I literally cannot shut up about it.

Oh and PPS: Fuck Daddy Yankee for endorsing McCain (another giant WTF?!?! with a biillion explanation points and question marks) and respect to Fat Joe for dissing him.  What a jackass!

I’m really hoping this is McCain’s “Macaca” moment. Interviewed and asked how many houses he owned: “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

Mannnnn. I can tell you exactly how much I’ve got in the bank right now (not enough), and how many houses I own: none. I also don’t have a staff to keep track of these things for me, I just remember. For someone who’s supposed to be running the country and keeping track of a lot more information than that, this is not a good look for the McCain campaign. David Gergen has been quoted again and again as saying “Obama needs a game-changer” due to the fact that he is not further ahead in the polls. This might be it.

Obama’s hitting hard on it now, something I’m happy to see since a lot of Democrats have opted not to fight dirty in these kind of fights in the past and some would argue lost because of it (Kerry’s swift boating anyone?) and I personally want a candidate that is gonna take it to the Republicans with two fists and throw mud, rocks and whatever else is handy in order to WIN. Let’s hope Obama and his surrogate’s stay on message with this one and just keep beating McCain with this right up to November. I don’t really see a lot of outs for the McCain people either, aside from attacking back, which they’re trying, using the same elitist celebrity tactics they’ve been on but I really doubt they can get much traction against this. Oh, and the number did come out, it’s not “More than four” (wtf kind of answer is that?!?!) it’s actually SEVEN, including houses on both coasts and more places in between. If you live in a swing state like Ohio, Florida or Virginia be sure to let as many people as you can know about this one.

For the two videos click through to watch the Obama commercial and remarks.

Also, while I’m talking about the election, which I’ve been following avidly, I’d just like to point out how quickly Obama’s organization has responded to this. McCain slipped up yesterday, I got this ad in an email from the campaign today. Talk about rapid response. McCain can’t rapidly respond to a question about his own financial life. If you want evidence of who will be a better head of the executive branch of our government look at how Obama is executing strategy for his campaign. A short list: A) record number of small, non-special interest donations due to excellent internet fund-raising B) volunteers on the ground in fifty states opening fights in places McCain thought he was safe and bleeding his already poorly organized resources C) the rapid and pointed response to this opportunity. Contrast this to Hillary’s campaign which was top-down, rife with infighting and only stayed afloat due to her own cash injections which she’s now taking a huge loss on and (sorry Clintonites) but you see who is ready to lead on day one.

Texans are buying more guns, fearing what will happen “if the wrong people get elected.

Any excuse to reuse this image.

The Knux – Bang Bang

The Knux (formerly known as The Knuckleheads) had a song about Cappuccino I didn’t like. Their new one is somewhat compatible with the news article above, not to mention the humidity. Bun and Wayne are cold and II Trill is > Trill, Mo– if you’re reading this.

Bun B f/ Lil Wayne – Damn I’m Cold