Lil Wayne – Can I Talk To You (Feat. Nutt Da Kidd & Mack Maine)

I’m not going to talk about this track (from The Leak V) It’s great, you already know… but what can we say about this new picture/image? Emotional, laughter, astonishment, what do you feel?
Lil Wayne threw away the pen and the pad, completely erasing the distance between himself and his art.

pictures courtesy of The Smoking Section.


Yes we did. Oh yes we did America.

I was riding over the bridge this morning on the subway and saw the American flag on top of the Brooklyn Bridge and felt different.

My sister quoted to me a great statement from President Elect Barack Hussein Obama, during the campaign. To paraphrase, she said that someone had asked him who Dr. King would have endorsed in this election. And he said that Dr. King wouldn’t have endorsed anyone, he would have put together a movement to pressure whoever took power. I agree. As Barack said, this is not the change that we have been waiting for, but an opportunity for it.

And yes I’m sure all my radical friends will have many things to say to deflate some of our euphoria at this. But to see Obama carry Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico… The southern states alone, for a black candidate for the most powerful office in the land to win in the former confederacy, with many individuals who sat in at lunch counters, rode buses and faced death against segregation and jim crow looking on, in their lifetimes, the mind just boggles. John Lewis was on MSNBC talking right after the win and he just looked, for lack of a better word, thunder-struck. Having not lived through those times I can only imagine what it must mean to have experienced the segregated south first hand, and then watch pieces of it vote for a black president.

“I just don’t know how to express myself.”


And make no mistake about it, it was NOT the black vote which elected President Elect Obama (I just love writing that). There are not enough black people in this country to do it. Millions of white voters looked at him and saw, if not themselves, someone they could trust with their security, prosperity and future. Even if we call it purely symbolic, it is a massive, awesome event.

And I’ll put on my critical hat, and watch every move he makes to see if he fulfills his tremendous promise, tomorrow. But today…. Man. I’m so happy.

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.

Let’s welcome Taliesin – DA representative and low end theoretician with a pair of strong, intriguing mixes floating around.  In this extensive post, Tally adjusts his critical lens to explore and scope out a wide range of issues– sampling, copyright, archiving, media, ethics, race, iconoclasm, racism, white privilege, hypocrisy… It’s tremendous, you should just read.  – Lamin


Moby’s 1999 album Play has sold ten million copies worldwide. I bought one myself from Barnes and Noble in the Spring of 2008 to better elucidate some questions I’d been floating about iconoclasm, music and sampling in the age of mechanical/digital reproduction . I hoped to use the album as a focal point for addressing these issues. As a material piece of cultural history Play is nothing extraordinary. Standard jewel case, eight page full color insert, two-color CD label. Photography from British fashion and documentary photographer Corinne Day. Five short essays on fundamentalism, veganism and Christianity. The usual list of production credits and sample clearances.

cover for Play
Copyright, sampling and intellectual property rights ownership are registers fraught with complexity in an age of digital representation and reproduction. As soon as a work of “art” is entirely represented by a series of knowable electrical signals or an infinitely reproducible code, questions of ownership are put into crisis. I have left leaning views regarding information and its inherent desire to be “free,” the laughably (unless you got an RIAA summons) inept response of the record industries to piracy, and my total lack of moral qualms in downloading the work of artists without paying them for the bits of information. What is interesting about Moby’s album Play is not how his work fits into mediascapes of rampant sharing and copyleft issues (although its ad revenue points to new/old models) , but the work itself as a package. By package I mean how the work is presented, its content, and how it is represented by secondary sources that make content out of commentary on, or inclusions of segments of the work itself.

Play appeared as a logical focal point for exploration of sampling and cultural appropriation because it is a work of art authored by a white man that heavily samples the work of black men and women. Sampling in music is about removal, reference, negation and recontextualization. To sample is both a technical act and part of a greater relationship between sound, ownership and authorship. From a technical standpoint sampling is the process of copying sound from one medium and reapplying it to another. Sound is a unique medium because it is ethereal and can only ever can be said to truly exist in the space between the source and the listener. Except for rare instances, sampling never causes the physical destruction of the original sound source. It is for this reason that from a material perspective, sampling does not immediately seem to fit under the auspices of iconoclasm. Musical artworks, however, are
constituted physically in their storage medium and in the sphere of social production. In the relationship between re-contextualized sound and authorship there are iconolastic possibilities traditionally reserved for the analysis of visual arts.

Protestant Post Iconoclasm Church Interior

The important questions to ask about Play revolve around the representation of the individual southern rural black voices sampled by Moby and how these voices and any assets they provide to the work as a whole are represented and addressed by what I am calling the “whole package” of the album. On one end of the spectrum appears the possibility of total cultural appropriation in the most negative sense. Moby, white electronic musician, strips black voices of their context, reaps huge material benefits and critical acclaim without acknowledging his cultural theft and the continuation of racist legacies in American music. OR Moby, white electronic musician, brings to light lost recordings of black cultural history, audiences reconsider their historical critical musical timelines, consumers seek out and support sampled artists and their estates bringing a huge influx of funds to ensure the continued support of rural arts. These simplified possible outcomes depend on how Moby and his label understand the meaning of the voices of southern blacks to be recorded, sampled, and released as part of a greater whole, Play , that is coded as white cultural output. Before Play can be placed on this theoretical gradient, a closer inspection of the material reality of the sample sources of the album must be completed.

contains the following cleared (i.e. acknowledged/payed for) samples:

Bessy Jones “Sometimes

Spoony G and The Treacherous Three “Love Rap

Bill Landford & the Landfordaires “Run on For a Long Time

Vera Hall “Trouble So Hard

Boy Blue “Joe Lee’s Rock”

The black voices that Moby appropriates for Play come almost entirely from the work of folklorist Alan Lomax. Lomax is a white man who is best known for his work traveling rural America and recording traditional American culture. His work yielded more than 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of motion picture film, and 2,450 videotapes. Lomax was (according to the organization that bears his name) “A believer in democracy for all local and ethnic cultures and their right to be represented equally in the media and the schools – a principle he called ‘cultural equity.”

The mission of the Association for Cultural Equity he founded is stated on their website as follows:

Alan Lomax hoped that cultural equity, the right of every culture to express and develop its distinctive heritage, would become one of the fundamental principles of human rights. ACE’s mission is to facilitate cultural equity through cultural feedback, the lifelong goal that inspired Alan Lomax’s career and for which the Library of Congress called him a Living Legend. Cultural feedback is an approach to research and public use that provides equity for the people whose music and oral traditions were until recently unrecorded and unrecognized. Cultural equity is the end result of collecting, archiving, repatriating and revitalizing the full range and diversity of the expressive traditions of the world’s people — stories, music, dance, cooking, costume. ACE’s mission is realized through a configuration of innovative projects that creatively use and expand upon Alan Lomax’s collected works and research on music and other forms of expressive culture including:

* The digitization of and free
access to a vast majority of Alan Lomax’s musical and scholarly files in an evolving website which is open to the public.

*The commercial distribution
of sound and video recordings from the Lomax collection linked to the payment of royalties to the original performers or their descendants.

*The repatriation of media
collections to libraries established in the areas where they were collected.

* A pilot project for cultural
feedback based on Lomax’s work in the Caribbean.

* A revisited performance style
research paradigm testing old and new hypotheses and including new statistical
techniques and breakthroughs in evolutionary anthropology.

While Moby shouts out “The Lomaxes” (Allen’s father recorded and brought (mostly black) cowboy songs among other things into American lore) in his liner notes, it’s questionable whether Moby really honors
the tenants of cultural equity (saving deep explorations of Lomax’s project for a later date) in his presentation of the disembodied black voices on/in Play.

The initial recontextualization of black cultural experience, by Lomax, performs a dual role of preservation and destruction. By recording traditional American folksongs, Lomax ensures that they are not lost to time. This is a function that recording always carries. Recording however, always misrepresents, or at least alters, that which it claims or can appear to be an exact reproduction of. The recorded vibrations of air pressure that we discuss as sound is always situated in a specific cultural, historical, geographical, temporal moment that is entirely lost no matter how much documentation a folklorist or other archivist attempts to complete. In this way the work of preservation comes into
question. Is there something wrong if gorgeous and haunting recordings of southern gospel traditionals are consumed as Play delivers them by an affluent audience without reflection (what ever the fuck that means) on the complex and violent history of slavery, oppression and racism from which they emerge? I believe there is.

When important parts of history are stripped from culture and expropriated for pure aesthetic value something valuable and essential is lost. The Lomax archives are important because they also spur interest in rediscovering a history that is often white washed in American public education. Because the
media is already awash with racial caricatures and rehashed minstrelsy, preservationists should not be the prime targets of criticisms about media representation. The power of these recordings speaks strongly about their historical position, and I imagine for many inspire a deep exploration of
American identity and history.

Moby’s work provides a different type of mediation however, from that of Allen Lomax and other archivists. While Lomax did indeed choose when and what to record, it is the really the technology of the
recording apparatus, in Lomax’s case 1/8” tape, that provides the essential link between the original sound and the listener. Moby’s mediation, the loading of an entire song, a complete hymnal, into ProTools (or equivalent DAW) and violently puncturing it through editing is a different kind of act. I agree with departed ethnomusicologist and cultural historian Tim Haslett when he

White Americans are actually terrified of Black
music’s aesthetic, political, and affective power. It is as if they understand
that for Black people, including artists, music is not a recreational activity,
it is a way of life and often a means of survival. It has to arrive via a white
mediator in order to be absorbed without damaging whiteness. This mediation
process is evident in the… success of the electronic artist, Moby.

The enormous power of Moby’s mediation is made clear in the commercial success of the licensing of the album’s songs for commercial purposes. The tracks have been licensed hundreds of times. Reviewers
of the album describe it as being “visceral”, “a spiritual epiphany,”
and having “uniquely affecting soul.”

Somehow Moby has tamed the crude and deep emotions of the Southern negro and created a music with all of the potent signifiers of hip (synth pads!!! safe minorities !!! bass beats!!!) and none of the burden of the lived experience of black folk. Can you imagine hundreds of advertisements that feature painfully honest and striped imagery of racism, rural poverty, death and god? Yet the potent themes are exactly what the vocals manage to do (for some) once run through and controlled by Moby’s studio. Once these words enter into the editing environment they loose their original context and retain only a vague hint of soulfulness, genuine lived experience, and foreign danger. These attributes provide an erotic thrill to Moby and his global audience when they are allowed intimate access to, and total control over the lives of blacks. When the harsh realities of the antebellum south that refuse aestheticization and corporate branding (lynching, prison slavery, endemic poverty, jim crow, and the limitation at every possible
turn of life success chance possibilities for blacks and natives…) emerge as the clear underpinning of the “soul” that is so beloved by white audiences, escape always and must be a mere eject button away. Play provides whites with the ability to imagine occupying the space of the other, the church hall, the front stoop, the chain gang without even breaking a sweat, much less addressing the continued legacy of slavery in America.

Looking back at Moby’s earlier career choices, Play appears on a continuum of artistic decisions that
consistently utilize reduced notions of blackness for emotional effect. An early 90’s track under his pseudonym Barrcuda “Party Time” also utilizes disembodied black voices. A black male voice shouts at various intervals “Its Party Time!” while a gospel choir moans “Ahhhhs” in the background. Another pseudonym of Moby’s, Voodoo Child, is also problematic. Evoking the tribal and crazy dangerous world of Voodoo practice (or Jimi), Voodoo Child is of course merely Richard Hall, middle class white man raised in Darien, Connecticut.

It appears that Moby is also aware of this position of privelege. In an interview he says, “The only way dance music culture has been accepted in the U.S. is when white people have done it. I’m white, so I can’t really complain, but the roots of dance music are gay, black and Latino. It’s weird that I’ve gotten a lot of attention when there are so many gay, black and Latino house producers from New York who never got any attention.”

Why then doesn’t Moby focus more the debt he owes to black artists, both those he samples and those whose legacy of electronic music he mines? I think what borders on iconoclasm may lie in the way samples are addressed in the total package of Play. There are no links to the sample sources on his website or that of his label. The liner notes don’t mention the cd comps (where the samples come from maybe these already are troubled), merely the artists and track titles. The artists whose voices he employs, already magnetically bound on tape are divested of all agency, even the freedom to sing the entirety of a song. Play doesn’t qualify as inconclastic because it didn’t break boundaries or cause a sensation, it merely continues plodding along appropriating and aesthetisizing the experience of black Americans, polishing them up and selling them off without looking back.

New Rupture Mix – tracklist, release date, info!

yes, we’re excited. this was becoming Rupture’s Detox.

Here’s something you can buy now – @ turntable lab, listen/download an excerpt from mudd up! ask about it, when you see him at upcoming shows.

some presents from the bearded man in the colorful sweater.


Lil Wayne – A Milli/Various Production – Pintman (Ghislain Poirier Mash)

I didn’t like the original “A Milli” beat, but I like this one… and according to Mr eel, the beat is from Various Diver 12″.


Ghislain Poirier feat. MC Zulu – Go Ballistic (Toddla T & Duckbeats Remix)




from a recent essay by M.A.N (about Coltrane, Lil Wayne, black masculinity, and the post-trauma blues)

Unlike historical figures like Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie who used their voices to create new sounds, Lil Wayne, like Coltrane is really using his voice to find alternative registers for what has clearly been a life lived in absurdity and pain–even if some of it might have been self inflicted. And perhaps it is as it should be, as Lil Wayne’s urges us to come to terms with the first edge of the Post-Katrina Blues.

Lil Wayne – Real Rap


A Blender magazine cover story offers a glimpse into the world of Wayne –

Like any rock star, Lil Wayne isn’t immune to self-mythologizing. To hear him tell it, he’s a superman: He describes surviving two bullets—one a self-inflicted accident at age 12 and one fired into his bus by an angry groupie—with chuckling élan; he’s an indefatigable hustler: “I’m always in the lab”; and he’s an artist beholden to no one but his own codeine-addled muse: “The word pressure is not in my vocabulary.”

But the man desperately needs a vacation. The first day we meet, he’s running 10 hours behind—handlers try to rouse him from bed throughout the day, but word keeps coming back that “he’s in a coma.” The next day, at his condo, he snaps at T for failing to pack enough cough syrup for the trip to Atlanta. “I thought you said you were doing it,” T protests.

“Me? Why would I say that?” Wayne snarls. “Since when is that my job?”

Strike the iron while it’s still hot. David Banner understands this, and he’s very quick too. Here, a track from his new album in which he samples “Lollipop” by Lil’ Wayne, a song which is currently, at this very moment topping charts the world over. Elsewhere on the album, Big Face samples Yung Joc, Young Dro, The Boondocks, and others. [audio:http://nyc.duttyartz.com/mp3s/DavidBanner-ShawtySay.mp3]
David Banner – Shawty Say

But here’s why I love David Banner also, because of songs like “Faith.” This song is meaningful and real. It is a spiritual, you know… the source from which gospel, blues, jazz, and hiphop came. Here, David Banner, an emcee from the American South expresses his deep, enduring faith during some extreme days, or troubling times. And although the Negro Spiritual is steeped in Christian doctrine, (“de-Africanizing” African people) the core of it, or rather the foundation and structure is on African rhythm.
David Banner – Faith

Adding a little zest and balance to that sublime track/post over at mudd up! There’s never enough Balla to go round. I’m not sure what this song is really about. It is a praise song for someone named Moussa Konate (who was a driver? an apprentice? I’ll have to consult my aunt or one of my cousins) but this doesn’t sound like a traditional praise song. This music was designed to blaze dance floors. What was Conakry nightlife like in 1968 or ’71? What about Lagos? or Freetown? I have a bunch of 7 and 12 inches serving as windows, looking into the past and discovering a part of your parents that they’ve abandon a long time ago. Maybe abandon is a strong word. Either way, expect more of these in the future.
Balla Et Ses Balladins – Samba

The Chief Commander of Juju Music Ebenezer Obey is also a praise-singer, combining the rich cultural and spiritual musical traditions of Yoruba people from the Ogun State in South-Western Nigeria with the excitement of Lagos highlife and Christian themes to create melodious, dance floor music and praise songs for the wealthy, famous and the powerful. Listen for the talking drums, which you can also hear these days in NYC underground/subway drummers.
Ebenezer Obey – Oro Nipa Lace

Last week I checked out Big Brother Ruptcha and Mr Two Sevens Klash (with his two-man dance group) at the New Museum. Needless to say, both men did their thing. While Rupture’s set was sort of weird (fitting for the name of the event was/is Get Weird) with nearly everyone (including yours truly) sitting down, listening, and watching on the big screen as Rupture’s magnified hands trash needles, thumps, and twists vinyls. There was applause and cheers, and a woman sitting in front of me gasped and shook her head in protest, expressing disagreement when Rupture threw an explicit SpankRock track in the mix. 77Klash has bangers, and beats like coconuts, but his set was too short. The title track to his new release you must hear (heavy, unrelenting bass pressure with equally weighty lyrics.)

If you never heard the song below, I don’t know what to say you… R.I.P. Joseph Hill. I think this is my favorite song ever.
Culture – Two Sevens Clash

(reggae pictures)

Jay Electronica is one of the most talked about, hyped, and anticipated rappers of the moment -to emerge from the underground, and rightly so. He possesses extraordinarily sharp lyrical skills, a remarkable and mystical vision, and new theories about y/our collapsing world you might want to hear. Jay is a native of New Orleans’ Magnolia Projects, home of Juvenile and bounce music, not that you’d be able to tell that by listening to his music, at least not immediately – he “spent the past dozen years roaming nomadically between nearly as many cities.”

Jay Electronica – Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)

Jay Electronica – Departure / Are You Watching Closely?

Jay Electronica – Dimethyltryptamine

Nas cosigns and confirms Jay Electronica will appear on his untitled album as a producer and as an emcee.

Nas – Hero

“Hero” produced by Polow da Don is the official single for that album.

Below is a picture of DJ Toomp, Nas, and Jay Elect in a studio somewhere.

Pic snagged from Jay’s MySpace

Do you ever see that stuff that be
when it get cold that is that shit you can’t see?
See that shit happens sometimes.
Yep, black ice…

some classic videos, choice quotes (italicize, without speech marks), + tunes from one of the greatest Southern rap groups (sheet, they were the first to use the words Dirty South to describe the music they create– in mid-90s ATL, Georgia.) There’s a rumor these guys were getting back together. Well, a little far-fetched, but imagine how many late-nineties rap-nerds/fan-boys/girls this reunion will make happy.

From 1995, Soul Food.

Cell Therapy

My mind won’t allow me to not be curious
My folk don’t understand so they don’t take it serious
But every now and then, I wonder if the gate was put up to keep crime out or to keep our asses in.


From 1998, Still Standing.

Black Ice” feat. OutKast

Who’s that looking over the shoulders of those writing dreams?
fiendin’ for the taste of menthol, missed class, stayed in the hall
Looking for a squeeze play, better yet a holiday…



From 1998, Still Standing.

The Don’t Dance No Mo’

I couldn’t find the video for the last one, but if you ever see it look for Sugar Lo, commonly known as Cee-Lo. He’s wonderful.

I first came across Goodie Mob in 1997/98 while I was in Guinea watching music videos from France via satellite TV, around the same time Sekouba Bambino released Kassa. I was 15 & in musical heaven.

I love Bun B. His last album “Trill” was sick, and I’m sure “II Trill” the new joint will be great. Here he is courtesy of the Fader talking about sociological dimensions of the hood, Barack, and 4 minutes worth of other stuff. This dude basically holds Houston down singlehandedly (if you never read his excellent polemic against the critics of southern rap, it’s sick) and is in my opinion almost everything you want from an MC, smart, articulate, ill with the flow and advises people to “defend your blocks/ and turn your projects into fort knox”.

edit: embed code is breaking my formatting, sorry, follow the link.