Dear Mr. Man… The Documentary

All of history’s greatest figures achieved success by having pistis, “trust; commitment; loyalty; engagement.”
Chess in the Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

Dear Mr. Man documentary

Might not be in the back of the bus
But it sure feel just the same
Ain’t nothing fair about welfare,
Ain’t no assistance in aids
Ain’t nothin’ affirmative about your actions
Till the people get paid

Where are the Black and Brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the late musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of the Dream Corps, and host of CNN’s The Messy Truth with Van Jones.

Prince Van Jones
Langston Hughes

We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
“Let American Be American Again”
By Langston Hughes

Continue reading

Prince Tribute Concert – Healthy Food is a Human Right

It’s not a crime to murder Black organizers in an operation run by the national political police.
~ Noam Chomsky

Prince Tribute Concert

The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from their destruction
You know I didn’t even care
They say two thousand zero, zero
Party over
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. Most blame Napster for this decline, but if you dig deeper you will find that Wall Street and government policy are the actual cause of the steep decline in music revenue. The death of Prince is a metaphor for the death of music and especially Black music.

Continue reading

Not a Crime to Murder Black Organizers

It’s not a crime to murder Black organizers in an operation run by the national political police.
~ Noam Chomsky

The Music Revolution

The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from their destruction
You know I didn’t even care
They say two thousand zero, zero
Party over
Oops, out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999
In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. Most blame Napster for this decline, but if you dig deeper you will find that Wall Street and government policy are the actual cause of the steep decline in music revenue. The death of Prince is a metaphor for the death of music and especially Black music.
From WNYC’s Soundcheck we heard that “There Were No Black Artists With Number One Singles in 2013:”
2013 marked the first-ever year since Billboard began charting Top 40 songs in 1958 that zero black artists made their way to the top of the singles chart.
The top spot on the Hot 100 — today’s version of the singles chart — was dominated by white acts throughout the past year. Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that white artists even sat atop the R&B and Hip-Hop Songs chart for 44 out of 52 weeks of 2013. Compare this to ten years ago, when every No. 1 Hot 100 single was performed by an artist of color.
Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell

(Left to Right) Junior Murvin, Bob Marley, Jacob Miller, and Chris Blackwell

Corporate culture is not conducive to developing musical talent and it is especially terrible at developing African-American musical talent. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Record, quoted in The Song Machine by John Seabrook:
I don’t think the music business lends itself very well to being a Wall Street business. You’re always working with individuals, with creative people, and the people your are trying to reach, by and large, don’t view music as a commodity but as a relationship with a band. It takes time to expand that relationship… 

Continue reading

WTF Happened to Black Music? The Revolution

In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. Today, six media giants control 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to (see below). This has a profound effect on the music that we get to hear.

The Revolution - Prince Tribute Concert

Everybody’s looking 4 the answers
How the story started and how it will end
What’s the use in half a story, half a dream
U have 2 climb all of the steps in between (yeah, we ride)
Everybody’s looking 4 the ladder
Everybody wants salvation of the soul
The steps U take are no easy road (the steps you take are no easy road)
(it’s not that easy)
But the reward is great
4 those who want 2 go (I do)
~ Prince
“[Prince] helped so many people. Most people don’t know that. He wanted to keep his charitable activities a secret. He wanted to keep his passion for underprivileged people between him and his god.”
Peace is more the absence of war

“We spent hours talking about [Prince’s] concerns about technology and getting those skills to inner city youth.”
Prince was a great musician

“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk…I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”

Continue reading

“Black Lives Matter” is Sad

Obviously Black lives matter, isn’t that sad. I think that it should depress people that we have to remind them that Black lives matter.
~ Soledad O’Brien

While Soledad’s O’Brien’s point is very valid, if explored deeper then you come to see that “Black Lives Matter” represents adopting a corporatist mindset. As Douglas Rushkoff writes in Life Inc, it represents succumbing:

to an ideology that has the same intellectual underpinnings and assumptions about human nature as—dare we say it—mid-twentieth-century fascism…. a culture, economy, and belief system that places market priorities above life itself.

Douglas Rushkoff

Continue reading