Friday, July 31

download: nasty nas (1991) [the official nas demo tape]

We all know that Illmatic was a classic hip hop album, so check out the music that got Nas' foot in the door allowing him the opportunity to make it. Shouts to ?uestlove for the heads up and for the drop. Rare and dope music ftw!


Nas "Understanding"

Nas "Deja Vu"

Nas "On The Real" (demo version)

Download here

(full post)

slaughterhouse bursts onto the scene...preview it here!

Many followers on the Internet have been hip to the Slaughterhouse fam for a while after they formed the super group late last year. For those who don't know, the group consists of Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Royce Da 5'9". If you are into lyrical,head-noddin' hip hop, this is for you! Their full length album will be released on August, 11, 2009 on E1 Music/Koch Records. The first single is the rock n'roll inspired , "The One" and here's the Rik Cordero directed video:

Here's a taste from the upcoming album, availabe for pre-order now!

Slaughterhouse "Not Tonight" produced by STREETRUNNERS

Slaughterhouse featuring Novel "Rain Drops" produced by Filthy Rockwell

Again, people...hip hop cannot die.

(full post)
Thursday, July 30

happy birthday (1981): stevie wonder

Stevie Wonder "Happy Birthday" (1981)
This song needs no comment!
Happy Birthday to miss Ashley!
Happy Birthday to the homie Morgan!

Wish I could be up there!

(full post)

sick -jonathan cuhn and community healthcare in cuba-mason, strug, beder

Emanuel Cleaver speaks on public health care

The health care debate has been going strong for a few weeks now. However, two things have been left out of the debate: 1) the disproportionate effect this will have either way on people of color, and 2) the single payer health care option. The book, Sick, by Cohn discusses single payer, and the study Community Health care in Cuba shows the effectiveness of national health care. In the end, if America is exceptional, shouldn't they be leading the world in the administration of health care for all?
(more after the jump)

Sick by Jonathan Cohn
Review by Salley Satel
In “Sick,” Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at The New Republic, lucidly shows how America’s system for financing medical care helps determine who gets proper medical attention — and who doesn’t. He tells this story through the experiences of ordinary people, like Cynthia Kline, a 55-year-old teacher in Cambridge, Mass., who suffered chest pain one afternoon and knew from prior experience that she was having a heart attack. She phoned 911, and when the paramedics arrived, Kline told them to take her to Mount Auburn Hospital, a nearby facility known for its intensive cardiac care unit. But since the emergency room there was full, the paramedics sped her to another facility, even closer than the first, only to discover, as Kline herself evidently suspected, that she needed an emergency catheterization — a procedure the staff at the second hospital was not able to perform. Two and a half hours after dialing 911, Cynthia Kline was dead.

This true-life story, at once disturbing and illuminating, encapsulates the larger drama of a failing system. “Overcrowding in E.R.’s, according to most experts, is actually a symptom of other systemic problems now plaguing medical care,” Cohn writes, “from the downsizing of less profitable hospital services such as psychiatric wards ... to the swelling ranks of people without health insurance, whose untreated chronic conditions are more likely to become serious medical crises.”

Community Health Care In Cuba
Susan E. Mason, David L. Strug, and Joan Beder
From the book's website
Interest in the Cuban health care model has grown over the years and despite ongoing changes in Cuban society, the pride and satisfaction Cuban citizens take in their health care system suggest that it will likely prevail in post-Castro Cuba. Susan E. Mason, David L. Strug, and Joan Beder have edited this collection of essays by contributors who are respected professionals in Cuba and the United States. Community Health Care in Cuba examines this closely integrated system in which community representatives, nurses, doctors, social workers, and other health care specialists work together to meet the health care needs of all Cuba's citizens. The collection features a first-hand look into the country's highly successful, integrated, and prevention-oriented health care model and includes interviews with the director of Cuba's National Medical Sciences Information Center (INFOMED) and the president of the Cuban Society of Social Workers in Health Care. Placing Cuba at the forefront as a model of international health care, this book illustrates how Cuba, despite its economic constraints, is able to deliver high-quality care to its citizens from a local to national level.

As always, expand your mind!

(full post)
artistnews| features african artists

Just saw Tolu Olorunda of's article featuring African artists, K’NAAN, M.anifest, Asa, and Tumi. We recently did an artist spotlight on Asa and yesterday we shared the new song, "Losing My Religion" from M.anifest and Sarah White. Check out the story from AHH here.

(full post)

wale on young hollywood

Wale interview on Verge to Emerge. My school makes an appearance. HU! I'm gonna keep the rest of my comments to myself. Shout out to Wale! Attention Deficit in stores soon.

(full post)
Wednesday, July 29

download: maxwell's BLACKsummer's night instrumentals remix ep by melo-x

After hearing the instrumental remix to one of my favorite cuts off Maxwell's, BLACKsummers'night,"Bad Habits", I had been looking forward to hearing this EP. Thanks to Melo-X for the freebie.
Download it here

Melo-X "Love Me (alarm)"

(full post)

titles for teaching: resources for the classroom

With the recent influx of young teachers via programs such as Teach For America, Teaching Fellows, and similar programs, many teachers now have the opportunity to begin to effect our own children albeit in the confines of these programs. While they do present some challenges, it is still the job of good instructors to introduce our children to their history as well. We would hope that this happens within the boundaries of the curriculum, however that is an ongoing struggle (see the Philadelphia model). Despite this, many teachers have found ways to introduce the material through after school programs, tutoring, and other avenues. Two of the more important works in the past century, African Glory by John Coleman Degraft-Johnson (1954), and The Negro by William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1915), are great for teachers looking to expose youth to their history, beginning where it begins of course...the African continent. This is something most traditional textbooks do not accomplish. These short, but complete introductory works encapsulate the history of people of African descent in a manner that is easy for middle and high school students to comprehend.

(more after the jump)

African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilizations
by J.C. Degraft Johnson
Tracing the history of Africans from the earliest civilizations (Egypt, Carthage, etc.) to the modern contact with Europeans, Johnson, born in Ghana, offers students a clear and concise journey through history. Destroying the mythology surrounding the period known as 'pre-colonial' Africa, this work will enlighten interested students of world history. This work is available from Black Classic Press .

The Negro
by W.E.B. DuBois
DuBois also begins the historical narrative in the most ancient of civilizations. From there DuBois discusses the civilizations of Kush, Egypt, Nubia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Songhay, and Ghana. Ending the work, he discusses the "Negro in the United States." A great work for teachers looking show students the link between African-Americans and Africans on the continent and in the West Indies.

While these works are great educational resources for intellectual stimulation in the classroom, they are also of course phenomenal choices for the avid reader. For us, its an essential add to any complete library. I'm not sure whether or not Degraft-Johnson and DuBois ever met but their work is strikingly similar written 39 years apart.

Expand your mind!

(full post)

chrisette michele on BET's Rising Icons

In case you missed it (I did because I rarely watch BET), here is Chrisette Michele's live performance on the show Rising Icons. In her rendition of "Be OK" and in the last few minutes of her the vid, she gets her Ella Fitzergald on, my oh my. Great story as well.

Shouts to honey soul for the heads up.

(full post)

"losing my religion:" s & m

S&M (Sarah White and M.anifest) "Losing My Religion"

The group S&M is a collaboration of Brookyln's Sarah White and Ghana's , M.anifest. This song embodies the fusion of their unique sounds. Dope. Shouts to the folks at soulbounce for the heads up and M.anifest for the free download.

(full post)
Tuesday, July 28

carlitta durand wants to say thank you

Carlitta thanks the fans. Good to see artists show this kind of gratitude. We appreciate the humility! If you haven't heard the new track, "Lose Your Way", check it out here.

(full post)

"black is the color of my true love's hair" (1959): nina simone

The enigmatic "high priestess of soul", Ms. Nina Simone gave the world light for over 50 years. Her musical career began at the age of four in little Tryon, North Carolina tailing behind her evangelist mother, Rev. Mary Kate Waymon. Her community started a fund in her name to attend musical school, and as she journeyed to Julliard among many stops, the world finally stop and paid attention in 1958 when she covered, "I Love You, Porgy" after being discovered singing in bars in Atlantic City. In 1959, she performed at the Town Hall in New York City and released the performance as a live album. Her performance, of "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" is indeed a timeless classic , it embodies all the elements that made Nina Simone the "high priestess of soul". Her voice, her skillful use of the piano, as well as her artistic use of silence. After this album Nina Simone went on to produce hits such as "I Want a Little Sugar in Bowl", "I Put a Spell on You", and the one time black national anthem, "Young, Gifted, and Black". She was also deeply involved in the protest tradition of the time and released songs such as "Brown Baby" and "Go Limp, Old Jim Crow." A good friend of Miriam "Mama Africa" Makeba, Simone left the US forever in 1974, disgusted with her record deal and the racial climate. She spent time in Liberia, Barbados, before recording more albums and making her transition in 2003 in the south of France. The testament to her enduring legacy can be found on the pages of her autobiography, I Put A Spell On You , released in 1993 and most noticeably in the music of today's soul stars.

Nina Simone "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (1959)

Nina Simone "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" Verve Remix

(Nina Simone video after the jump)

Nina Simone - I wish I knew how it would feel to be free from Ambroise Kritz on Vimeo.

(full post)

"lose your way:" nicolay featuring carlitta durand

Nicolay featuring Carlitta Durand "Lose Your Way"

We recently told you about the great things happening with the Foreign Exchange family. Here's the latest drop coming from the upcoming City Lights 2: Shibuya album from Nicolay. This soulful track features the talented Carlitta Durand. Thanks to Nicolay for the early drop. Enjoy!

(full post)

"magnetic arts: " dj honda feautring mos def

DJ Honda featuring Mos Def "Magnetic Arts"

Comes from DJ Honda's upcoming compiliation album, IV slated to be released August 5th. Collaborations rumored to include Kool G Rap and Buckshot. Stay tuned. Mos Def gives us the usual. If you haven't heard, The Ecstatic yet, follow this link it is available in stores now.

(full post)

"no fly zone:" willie the kid

Willie the Kid "No Fly Zone"

This single is track from Willie the Kid's upcoming release, The Fly presented by Gangsta Grillz. WTK goes in.

(full post)
Monday, July 27

video: pac div rips it

Saw this on okayplayer. Def had to repost. If you havent heard Pac Div yet, here's a quick taste. Their latest project Church League Champions is available for download here. This type of vid reminds me that hip hop can never die.

(full post)

"fragile" (rmx): chrisette michele featuring wale

Chrisette Michele featuring Wale "Fragile"

These two complement each other nicely. I saw them a lot while I was in DC. This single is a remix of the track from Chrisette Michele's Epiphany in stores now. The video for this song is being shot right now. If it's as nice as the video for Rising Up by the Roots the last time these two were together, then we'll be looking forward to it.

The Roots featuring Chrisette Michele and Wale "Rising Up"

(full post)

"holy are you:" rakim

Rakim "Holy Are You"

This single is the truth. The "God MC", Rakim is one of the most commonly evoked but heavily under-appreciated rappers in the history of hip hop. Largely responsible for the type of lyricism and word play popularized by the likes of Jay-Z. This newest single, "Holy Are You", released by the rapper on July 14th, is off his upcoming release, The Seventh Seal. It will be available on iTunes starting tomorrow, July 28th. Support one of the greatest, as this CD will be the first from his own label, Ra Records/G&E Trust and SMC recordings. The album is slated to be released sometime this fall. Check out this interview with Billboard here.

(full post)

video: "h.o.p.e.": cranston featuring tarik cranke

This inspiring music video is from a song entitled, "H.O.P.E.", featured on the soundtrack to the documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America. Photobucket
From the documentary website:

"Directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Stacy Peralta and Executive Produced by NBA star Baron Davis and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Stephen Luczo, CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA tells the story of the Crips and Bloods, South Los Angeles’ two most infamous African-American gangs.
Combining unprecedented access into the worlds of active gangs, CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA offers a compelling, character-driven documentary narrative which chronicles the decades-long cycle of destruction and despair that defines modern gang culture."

Definitely something to check out. We applaud everyone who had a hand in this work. Get involved. Host a screening. Spread the word. Visit the Website.

(full post)
Sunday, July 26

howard university homecoming: 2009 yardfest

For Yardfest this year the HU Homecoming Steering Committee will be accepting applications for potential performers. Yep, that's right. So if you are a real artist, make my first alumni Yardfest tight and go ahead and fill this out. Its due by August 15th. Click here for the application. Howard University's Homecoming Concert "Yardfest" is legendary and has launched many careers. Last year was unbelievable as Wale taped his Nike Boots video during the concert.Shout outs to the Howard University Homecoming Steering Committee 2009: Rhythm: The Pulse of the People for this and my man Jabari.

Keri Hilson performs during last year's concert.

(full post)

the black baseball tradition: congratulations to the newest members of baseball's hall of fame...rickey henderson and jim rice

The two latest additions to Baseball's Hall of Fame are seemingly
different types of players. Rickey Henderson, the most successful base stealer of all time and a member of the 3,000 hit club, and Jim Rice, a career .298 hitter and 3-time home run champ were no doubt different in terms of what they brought to a lineup.

There were even differences in how they made it to the Hall, Henderson a first-ballot selection, and Rice waited an unconscionable 15 years of eligibility. However they do share a common legacy and tradition: the Negro Leagues.

(much more after the jump)

The introduction of this unique approach to the Major Leagues after 1947 ushered in a dynamic change to the national pastime. The BJ and Justin Upton style of play was first introduced to the world in 1885. Notwithstanding the effects on the Black community, the Negro League's traditions live on. Moses Fleetwood Walker (the first Black man to play in the MLB) gave rise to a Jackie Robinson, who gave rise to a Hank Aaron, who gave rise to a Barry Bonds. Afro-Latino players such as Jose Mendez gave rise to a Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, and Jose Reyes. The Yunel Escobars of the world and the Robinson Canos (named for Jackie of course), are carriers of the torch left by some of the greatest players to play the game. Josh Gibson (800 + home runs) and Satchel Paige, quite possibly the greatest pitching-catching battery in baseball history, would have been considered all-time greats had they played full careers in the Major Leagues. Many current players such as Ken Griffey, Jr., Juan Pierre, Jimmy Rollins, and Cano have expressed an appreciation for these stars, yet a great deal of them have yet to be given their due. Remember this was not just a few teams, but a whole league. Even Henry "Hank" Aaron got his start for the Indianapolis Clowns. Baseball in the African-American and Afro-Latino world has a long tradition and without Cool Papa Bell we would not have gotten Maury Wills, and definitely not Carl Crawford. Many say that there has been a decline of Black players in Major League Baseball. I disagree, while there are less African-Americans, there are more Afro-Latinos who embody the same style of play. The maintenance of the Negro League legacy is secure. Let us not forget this tradition. Two important works that should occupy all baseball fans' bookshelf on the subject are:

This story recounts some of the legendary players and moments of Negro League History. Click here to check it out.

The Complete History is a comprehensive documentation of Negro League Baseball. Click here to check it out.

Stay up!

(full post)
Saturday, July 25

video: "summertime": dead prez

This Tao Ruspoli directed video is for the single "Summertime," off dead prez's latest release, Pulse of the People, available in stores now.
M-1 as of last week is in Gaza showing solidarity with the Palenstinian people, send one up for the brother.
By the way...def feelin this track...reminds me of summer in the city!

(full post)

just say ok!: the foreign exchange performs "i wanna know" in dc

This is a vid from last year during The Foreign Exchange's performance of "I Wanna Know", where Phonte gives the infamous life lesson..."just say ok!"....lemme hear ya say LIVE...IN... PEACE...great stuff.

(full post)
Friday, July 24

discover: asa

Born in France, and raised in Nigeria, Asa has taken the soul underground world by storm. A unique vocalist and talented songwriter, Asa has sold out venues in Europe with regularity. Her debut album, Asha was released January 27th, and is available everywhere music is sold.
A style that reminds us of india.arie and takes us back to one, Miriam Makeba, Asa has fans excited about her own unique and fresh sound. Her upbringing in Nigeria tells us alot. In an interview with Black Star News, she recounts her influences:

My father had a rich collection of music ranging from soul, afro beat, apala and church music, music on the street. I grew up in Festac. I remember after school, me and my brothers would go on the street and beat on any wooden surface that would give us the desired sound. And music, I don’t really know when I started because I was told I was singing. But as I grew and realized that music was a part of me, it was a habit, then it was a hobby and that's how it started. It was a dream and I wanted to become a musician and I through it in and out.

(more after the jump.)

Asa's music has been hailed as the 'revolution and revelation of Nigerian soul.' We definitely agree, and hear lots of Fela Kuti in her music. Working her way through various talent shows and setbacks, Asa returned to Paris and eventually landed opening gigs for artists such as Akon, John Legend, and Beyoncé. Her music touches on a myriad of topics. She tackles issues such as modern-day slavery, world peace, and in "So Beautiful" a homage to her mother. A metaphor-laden album, her soothing string and percussion filled tracks offer much to reflect upon. A few of the records in this 11-track debut are recorded in Yoruba, and as a guitarist, Asa speaks and plays for her people. On her website she states:
“I want my music to touch people. As an African, I want to give hope back to my people, but also to speak in their name. I want to show the world that something beautiful and positive can come out of the black continent and inspire young people all over the world.”

Check out her music here:

Asa's newest single "The Place To Be" (special thanks to jaguda )

Asa "So Beautiful"

Asa "Bi’ban ké"

and a live performance of "Jailer".

For more of this wonderful artist visit her website .
To preview and purchase her debut album, Asha click here

(full post)

the condition, elevation, emigration, and destiny of the colored people of the united states:
martin delany

book info: published originally in 1852; reprint 1993, Black Classic Press
author: Martin Robinson Delany (1812-1885), Black nationalist, author, physician, abolitionist, Civil War veteran

The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of Colored People is a timeless classic because it represents one of the earliest seminal works on the future of African Americans in the United States. Martin Robinson Delany was part of an early 19th century pantheon of defenders of Black humanity that included Maria Stewart, David Walker, and later Henry Highland Garnett, among many others. In Condition... , Delany outlines the history of the relationship between the American national body politic and the African. Delany’s foresight on national identity and anti-citizenry places his analysis at the head of later freedom fighters such as W.E.B. Dubois and modern day freedom fighters such as Kwame Ture. Delany utilizes a historical comparative framework to discuss the condition of not only the enslaved but free Blacks in the antebellum United States. Delany was also one of the first scholars to debunk the fictive myths of American national identity such as Christopher Columbus’ discovery. The work also explores the African American solidarity with Haiti, that we also saw with African Americans such as Nat Turner. Important discussions on colonization, abolition, and emancipation framed Delany’s criticism on who was allowed to ultimately shape the destiny of African Americans. Delany’s complete destruction of the ‘inferiority’ myth is instructive as well as impressive. Starting with an analysis on the initial use of African slaves, Delany shows that it was their proficiency in agriculture and genius that made them attractive to European settlers. Delany also devoted a large portion of the work to showing the specific cases of African American achievement in the beginning half of the 19th century in areas of education, music, business, military, medicine, and art. This also was aimed at destroying the myth of inferiority. Lastly by showing the unconstitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act, Delany concludes that even the free Blacks were not really citizens. Lastly, given the anti-citizenry of the free Black as well as the enslaved, Delany goes on to discuss possible places of relocation to achieve equality for these populations. Discussions on Liberia, which still can inform us today about the current situations there, Canada and South-Central America were all examined. The historian, the scholar, the interested, all of us must explore the work of Martin Robinson Delany, who in 1852, provided solutions that remain instructive if applied today.
(more after the jump)

quote: “Heretofore, it ever has been denied, that the United States recognized or knew the difference between the people—that the Constitution makes no distinction, but includes in this provisions, all the people alike. This is not true, and certainly is blind absurdity in us at least, who have suffered the dread consequences of this delusion, not now to see it.
“…We (northern freedmen) are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently, and unconcernedly—indifferently and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting to their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage.” (p. 170)

This particular analysis is instructive in the recent Gates arrest.

This title is available for purchase from Black Classic Press
Support our black owned publishing companies!

(full post)

slept on: zion I

I was introduced to Zion I's music in 2006, after hearing their cut "Temperature" on Goapele's Change it All Mixtape. Coming on the scene with 2000's Mind Over Matter, the Bay area duo's electronic hip-hop sound was attractive and I was suddenly bitter that it had taken me that long to get put on. Coming from the south, the only closely related style I was exposed to was Dungeon Family/Outkast (ATL stand up) and I thought that was it, not knowing there were a lot of other similar artists. Zion I deserves to be on the top shelf of hip-hop and DJ's around the world are getting the word. Described as a mix of drum-and-beat hip hop designed to inspire and unify the people, they represent the best of Bay area hip hop. Simply put Amplive and Zumbi are two of hottest we got and if you don't believe me... you will after this post. In an interview with prefixmag,Zumbi spoke on staying true and marketing themselves:

We can’t be anybody but ourselves. I think the challenge is to master what we do and bring people in and introduce 'em, 'cause I don’t think it’s a thing of making good music. I’ve never been that cat to follow anyone else. I’ve always been kind of on my own shit, and I think Amp is the same way, so I don’t think that’s a detraction. If anything, I’ve always respected that we’re unique and original. For us, I think that’s the plus -- I think that’s why we’ve been in the game. We’re still going so that’s one of the best attributes we have.

So this is for my folk back home who are still in that Gucci Mane coma, don't sleep one of the most talented duos out! After the jump, two classic Zion I tracks and two videos from songs off their latest album released January 27th and in stores now, The Take Over.

Zion I featuring The Grouch "Silly Puddy"

Zion I "The Bay"

Zion I "Coastin'" feat. K. Flay from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

Zion I "Geek To The Beat" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

For more, check out zion I's website
Purchase the album here: The Take Over

(full post)