[co-written with DJ Ripley]

It should be no surprise to anyone reading this blog that for those like the two of us (Ripley & bent) the “personal is political” mantra saturates our lives on and off the dancefloor. We are constantly thinking, talking, grinding, mixing and dubbing our way through the politics of music and dance in the 21st century. From the infamous “boobahton” Facebook debate of 2010 to exciting workshops we did at the Allied Media Conference this year, we question our own approaches and those of others to beats and booty-bouncing. It’s not about tearing anyone down or harshing a mellow, but quite simply about having the best parties and music culture possible.

We stand firmly in the camp of those who can both think critically and throw slamming dance parties at the same time (to quote Ripley). Or, in other words, we are those seeking, building, imagining “a utopia where everyone in the world considers the politics of their booty shaking” as Emynd so succinctly put it in this recent twitter mishmash convo. Consider it a snippet from a continuous discussion played out backward and forward through time online, in person, on the dancefloor and via mixtapes — one which defies easy conclusions. [i couldn’t get the whole thing to embed, so click the link!]


[View the story “Politics of booty shaking #1” on Storify]

Ripley ended the story with Emynd’s response because it summed up one of the motivating factors behind our and many folks’ involvement in music, but that’s only one way the conversation could have gone. Some of the points raised early on by Uncle Jesse connect to later arguments in the thread — he talks about “us” and “them” in the music, and suggest there are specific concerns about representation and race that matter, even painfully, to him as well as others. Jubilee is suspicious of the whole process of publicly engaging with these tricky questions in a medium like Twitter. This should remind us that many times these conversations may happen face to face — just because we don’t see them in the media doesn’t mean folks aren’t talking.

But we think there are good reasons to speak up as well and continue the discussion. On Twitter or other public (or privately-owned but sorta-public-acting) sites like Facebook, there are a lot more readers than there are speakers. And for a lot of people learning about scenes, or choosing where to get involved, the kinds of conversations that are visible are what shape who chooses to get involved. So alongside the possibility of sharing with the people in the debate or discussion, there is everything you communicate to the lurkers, to the readers, to the new faces, or those who have been silent up until now.

Since bent and Ripley, like so many others are “committed to resisting negative forces such as racism, misogyny, and homophobia in social spaces like dances, clubs, and bars” one way of doing that is to enter into the public debate and try to change its terms, to carve out a space for clearer language about what we’re really interested in — so many people get hung up on fake conflicts like thinking vs. dancing, or smart vs. fun/raw/sexy. But the existence of so many slamming parties and djs and producers and rappers who do it ALL (props to iBomba, Azucar, Maracuyeah!, Anthology of Booty, Cupcake Collective, Hey Queen, Precolumbian, Rizzla, D’hana, Le1f, Venus X, Chief Boima, and other Dutty Artz folks to name just a few) proves them wrong.

And another side effect of speaking out is that then people who are onto the same stuff can see you — for every grumpy naysayer in public on Twitter or YouTube comments there are ten emails, txts, DMs, or even just silent nods plus a bit more inspiration to carry on in the beautiful struggle!

If you follow Shadetek’s blog you know we have been thinking alot about digital marketing, how to monetize content, and keep making the music that we love. It has been a busy winter for DA, we linked with Leeor from Friends of Friends PR to help amplify and sharpen our message, Jace and I started to engineer Beyond Digital, a non-profit that funds international arts residencies and interventions, we joined forces with Emeka Alams from Gold Cost for a capsule line (and that’s just a taste of the plans that are not TOP SECRET, SECRET OR CONFIDENTIAL). Just to keep things hectic I moved to Kingston, AKA HUSTLE UNIVERSITY, where even the kid that opens the gate is just waiting to play you his newest riddims off a usbstick. MOVE QUICKLY AND GET WEIRD. Mine deep for the magic cambio strategy that converts cultural capital to liquid capital fast enough to keep us all eating.

With that in mind, I reached out in December to Stephanie Brown about an interview. She’s a Digital Marketing Manager for a major label in Canada. I wanted to know more about what exactly her job entailed- and what bets the people with the money and infrastructure are making on how to sell content. #realtalk bizness

T: As a Digital Marketing Manager for a major Label in Canada, what exactly are you responsible for?

S: I direct strategy for marketing our artists online in Canada. When we have an album coming out, marketing managers will meet with me to discuss what sort of promotional support we can give the release online, and where to best spend their ad dollars. The idea is to create awareness and hype about the artist by placing content on the entertainment and music sites that will get the greatest visibility in Canada. So, when the album finally drops, audiences will recognize the artist and hopefully be inclined to buy the album. I manage relationships with a number of partner sites who use our content from our artists (electronic press kits, interviews, etc) to support their editorial coverage, which is really a win-win situation. Additionally, I plan social media promos & contests, aid with online ad buys, and oversee our direct-to-consumer marketing channels.

T: Social media seems to be most powerful when an artist is directly communicating with fans- but obviously most big label social media is not being generated directly by the artist – who actually is sitting on the computer updating each artists facebook, myspace, etc- do you guys have back end access that streamlines all of this stuff?

S: We monitor our artist’s social media platforms in terms of numbers, just to see who’s gaining momentum. But aside from that, artist management is typically responsible for updating those properties. We offer suggestions, but the decision lies ultimately in the hands of management. For some of our domestic artists, we’ll post news and happenings on their Facebook and Twitter pages if we’re requested to do so. We’re always transparent about it, so we sign off on our posts as “Team” whoever. Many artists actually do post themselves, or work closely with their managers to establish their digital identity.

T: How is the balance understood between digital and more traditional marketing? Are marketing plans all done holistically or is digital and traditional really heavily divided?

S: The digital element of marketing plans is undoubtedly an important facet, but it is typically independent from television, print and radio. It’s always a point of reference, because we want to ensure that the messaging is cohesive across all mediums, but it’s still its own world. However, if we wanted to run an online promo on a large scale, we’d be sure to support it with traditional marketing. Those promos are typically those with a big budget and a kickass prize-like a meet and greet with an A-list artist in Australia, for example. The submissions would be collected and shared online, but we’d use print, radio, and TV to direct people to the contest website. Otherwise, a portion of the total marketing budget will simply be allotted to online, and then it’s up to me and the digital team to direct where to best spend it.

We need to organize and half Wikileaks like we are halping TPB.

A botnet is nothing more than thousands and thousands of networked computers following the instructions of a single remote authority. The machines tend to be running Windows and, conventionally, their owners are unaware that they are involved. During a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, each computer in the botnet repeatedly performs a simple task like pinging a web server somewhere else on the net.

Given a sufficiently large botnet, the server is so overwhelmed that no one can access any of the websites that it hosts.

join the botnet?

As far as I can tell, botnet participants usually join up accidently while flailing around in search of pr0n (or buying a computer in China.) During today’s DDoS attacks on Visa and Mastercard, however, it looks like a significant number of people voluntarily added their machines to the botnet.

Outrage through outtage? This-what-democracy-looks-like.com?


Barlow says “we’re all footsoldiers in this war” but we should resist war-like metaphors. Anons are not risking their lives when they “get behind the proxy” and join the DDoS attack on Visa. It’s a trap: no one but the U.S. government ever wins a War on Whatever.

This is about the failure of private institutions to steward our popular culture. But what makes us think they would? Will Soundcloud take down Assange’s old dubstep mixes?

We really need an anthem, Dutty Artz! What’s the sound of a volunteer botnet?

We are dropping  a 12 track tropical compilation just in time for when things start to get cold in New York and hot in Rio. Ten unreleased TROPICAL tunes + anthemic FUNKY THAT WE HAD TO COSIGN and A HEAVYWEIGHT NEW MASTER OF NGUZUNGUZU’s EL BEBE AMBIENTE. We feel bad that we have not kept up our LEGENDARY New York Tropical parties- but we just do not have time to promote a crew club night in New York- but maybe again in the future, with some good partners we would get into it again- because NEW YORK TROPICAL WAS A FUCKING BLESSING. The first time I went was before I had really started working with DA and everything about it was perfect. From the German Belgian installation art that slowly dissolved as the dancefloor spread to all surfaces, to the perfect Sangria, the heavy weight dancehall soundsytem that we rented from SoundMan Grimm, a crowd that reflected the diversity of the music…. basically NYT was one of the dopest party series I’ve ever taken part in (although sadly I never got to play caus I was busy learning things in school and hanging out in Europe).

For the comp we hooked up with DA resident internet excavator Seacrest Cheadle  892 u mean computer mean2 computer did u mean competitor a force that has been so next level for so long that it is basically my only internet news source. We have been dreaming of doing projects with him/it/her/zee since before the first .com crash but he’s basically the zeitgeist embodied and besides pretty regular appearances at Korea Town Karaoke Bars and Neurogenetic labs in undisclosed locations- she is damn near impossible to locate. but somewhere in the #based ether we convinced it them 2 make a deadline… and magically, it worked.

Our promo machine is at about cotton gin status at this point… so we just moving FWD looking towards a more cohesive way to reach a larger audience. I dont open or listen to almost any of the promo email I get, and you dont either. But some of it will keep coming but really this whole thing is about relationships. I, for one, am working on my relationship to the ocean and fresh fruit juice in Brazil. I suggest you keep a dream journal while you ask these questions.

There are also tracks on this compilation from important and soon to be important musicians like Lamin Fofana, Kingdom (flipping RITA INDIANA OMFG!), Lido Pimienta, Matt Shadetek, DJ /Rupture, Chief Boima, DJ Orion, Sonora, Salem,  Knight Magic,  La Ola Criminal, Maga Bo.

Tracks will be sold digitally via Hulk Share and on custom GuccixDuttyArtz all-over-print USB sticks

Joyful music for an expensive, shitty city with decaying infrastructure where DUTTY ARTZ lives & loves.




I told everybody I’m not playing no more anybody wanna try to out do me then we goin at it like next door neighbors. Believe dat

10lbs. 197kts. Very very real I don’t know what fake feel like.$410,000. Hola señor recession proof. T-Pain

Spotted @ RapRader