By now maybe you've heard about the new court ruling on music sampling.  A Tennessee
federal appeals court ruled that "rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work -- even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music."  Obviously this has created quite a stir in the hip-hop community.  Most have expressed outrage and noted how unfair and biased the ruling is and how the judges don't understand the art of sampling.  Some have said that it was a good thing because it will force hip-hop producers to be more creative in hiding or manipulating their samples, or turn to more live instrumentation.  Still others stand by the rule saying that all musicians deserve to be compensated for their work, whether they're hired studio players or are heard through sampling.  No one, however, has expressed their view more eloquently than OkayPlayer Jahbaz Jackie Diggs.
"So I read the opinion myself:"
And although I don't like advertising this fact on the boards, I did go to law school, did practice entertainment law, did represent hip hop artists, producers, dj's, etc., and here's my take on the opinion:

It's a weak and dangerous decision. First, the opinion itself states that the judges "followed no existing judicial precedent" in rendering their decision. Which means, they looked at the existing case law, and decided for themselves that no other judges have ever looked at a similar situation, and therefore they were free to make up "new law." So they decide they are free to make up as a TOTALLY NEW RULE OF LAW that the well-established de minimis exception to copyright infringement should apply as it always had EXCEPT to sound recordings. This is based on their interpretation of the relevant portions of the copyright act, even though, as they noted, sampling wasn't really around or an issue at the time the relevant portions of the copyright act were passed!! So why did they do this: because they are facing hundreds of lawsuits brought by record companies and they need an easy "bright line rule" to get these cases dealt with and off the court's docket.

This is not a valid justification for making a new tortured interpretation of the copyright act.

Moreover, I question this conclusion, having looked at some cases myself. This is what some people describe as "judicial activism." So the judges admit they they are making up "new law" based on -- their own sense of right and wrong and -- articles written in journals published by law schools called "law review articles". Now, how are these 3 judges sitting in a court in Tennessee who were born and educated well before hip hop became an artistic phenomenon going to make up their own rules to an artform they clearly cannot understand? They don't have the resources (time or availability of neutral experts) to become educated on the artform to understand it enough to make comprehensive rules that balance the financial interests of the big record companies with the creative interests of the artists. Moreover, the vast majority of law review articles they looked at (apparently) were written by people with a vested interest in the outcome -- lawyers who represent record companies or the interests of the record companies. The judges admit this in the opinion.

What they should have done was decided that there's no governing case law, and because the copyright statute isn't really clear on this issue, to leave it to congress to amend the statute to come up with a law that specifically deals with this situation. The copyright act has specific provisions that deal with the situation in which someone wants to record a "Cover" of an existing song--which is an example of someone taking someone else's work and creating a new work out of it. It's called a compulsory license. Congress could just as easily come up with a rule on sampling.

Second, the decision states that it won't "stifle creativity", and that if artists want to sample, they can pay for a license.
What they don't understand is that the majority of productions involving sampled works are created by artists who are either (1) not signed to any record company or (2) are signed to relatively small independent record companies, which don't have the same resources as larger record companies to pay exorbitant sums for samples.

Third, the court says that there is "a large body of pre-1971 sound recordings that is not protected and is up for grabs as far as sampling is concerned." It is not clear what that means -- does that mean that the new rule regarding the inapplicability of the de minimis exception to sound recordings does not apply to all pre-1971 recordings?

Lastly, does anyone think there are unfairy discriminatory overtones to this decision? It's okay for a rock and roll artist to take 100% of someone else's song, so long as they re-record the lyrics and music, but it's not okay for a hip hop artist to sample 1/100th of a song, completely rework that 1/100th, and make a completely different song???? I think that smells funny.

I agree with him.  It is a pretty ignorant ruling because, for one, sampling is the root of hip-hop.  But like he said, a lot of sampling artists simply cannot afford to pay the high costs of clearing all of their samples.  Further, is it right to make someone pay for using a sample either so abstractly (eg: taking a 3 second vocal sample and modifying it beyond recognition) or minimally (eg: sample one tom on a record, which is far less than a second long, and use it throughout instead of, say, buying a drum kit and playing it yourself)?


Click here to watch a truly savage animated fan video for Aphex Twin's "Milkman."

Here is my list of singers who I think would sound good over Trent Reznor's music, i
n no particular order: Beth Orton, Res, Kelis, Debra Killings (sang on Big Boi's half of Outkast's double album), Sinead O'Connor, Sheryl Crow, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Tweedy.

Oh how I wish I could attend Dave Chappelle's block party.


Malcolm X on white liberals and conservatives in his speech God's Judgment of White America (The Chickens Come Home to Roost), December 4th, 1963.  Click here to read all of it; it's very interesting.
The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox.
The white liberals control the Negro and the Negro vote by controlling the Negro civil rights leaders. As long as they control the Negro civil rights leaders, they can also control and contain the Negro's struggle, and they can control the Negro's so-called revolt.

Bjork on working with Aphex Twin, from her site's message board 6/12/01:
me and richard have talked sometimes about working together , since 95 , but it has never happened , i guess he has suggested couple of times we do something and i couple of times but sometimes it is not about literally doing stuff , it is more a mutual support that is more important . i personally don´t think richard´s music needs vocals , it seems perfect as it is .

he came to my show in tokyo last night and it was great to see him . he told me earlier that in that german article he was misquoted .

i personlly think it is obviously a misquote because he knows how i work , we have several mutual friends i have worked with and it is everything but a "business affair" . most of the people i work with become family , matmos and me moved to manhattan and spent 8 months together before the tour just to prepare the beats for it . i find it very hard to work with people i don´t know well , if you look on the credit list of my album it is the same people over and over again .

i probably shouldn´t defend myself here but i was a little hurt because this was so untrue . but sometimes journalist on purpose frase questions and then edit the answers in a way that they want conflict between musicmakers . probably negative drama stuff will sell their papers better . which is a shame .


i´ll breath deeply and stop moaning .

thanks for listening ...
I'm so glad she set people straight on this because snobby IDM fans (still) have a lot of crazy theories/ideas/invented rumors about Richard turning her down and all that nonsense.

Here's an old entry I wrote that I kind of apologize for.  I jotted this down in January or February of this year on paper.  "
Is fat the new sexy or are overweight girls just feeling more comfortable with their body image now?"  *Sigh*

John Book's crack at a Cam'ron verse back in February.
okay, girls, fondle my poopy
make you more brown, hey check out my boy Snoopy
Had a lot of groupies, yes I said groupies
Eyes were droopy when I saw more groupies
Another car, it was laced with the real deal
Velvet shrugs, mahogany, bottle of milk, happy meal
Turn on the love light, and oh, wash the bananas
Slick it down, I watched a show for real, bananas
Bananarama followed Fun Boy Three
I'm one boy Chi-Ali, M-A-R-di
Chef-Boy-R-Dee, spaghetti in a tin can
You want me to be Dorothy, ha, I am the tin man
Ching chong Chinaman sitting on a fence
You know the song, two whites don't make it Wong
Ding dong, goin' back to Dark Horse discographies
Check out my biography, oops, results of my blood test
Negative, that means I can lick more areolaes
And if I was in paradise I'd trim more kolas
I can have a Dex and a Rollas
One time, pork rinds crunch, oh... rollas
Ralph Nader, got the hood confused with Darth Vader
I needed vagina, so I walked up and paid her
Made her, into the light saber
Put buns in her hair, where's the mayor, three salamis
Inside, coat of armor equals sperm
Killer Priest was about, out, route, you got gout
Fish and swim, Arby's equals America's Roast Beef, Yes Sir
I know you white, because I see Slick Rick for the measure
Treasure this, no I got a jar, treasure piss
I'm like a tissue, I miss you when I bend over
I'm more hedious than Star Jones crotch shots
You know what else, three times a lady, rice on gravy
Damn!  Speaking of John Book, the former All Music Guide writer and I are having a conversation about something that's always bothered/intrigued me.

I made a topic  "what's so hip-hop about walk this way?" with the message:
i've read that originally run-dmc did a song live where they rhymed original lyrics over a break in the song. i'm guessing aerosmith didn't want them to do that but saw the opportunity to leech off their success (their own career having grown cold in the '80s) so they suggested a collaborative cover of the song. i've never liked the song, i guess because it doesn't seem like hip-hop to me. run-dmc were a great hip-hop group but this one song is just a rock song with their vocals added to it. anyone think of it differently? maybe i'm missing something in the production because lyrically i just don't consider it the amazing musical crossover it's painted to be.
He replies:
"Availability of an open drum break on a non-soul album"
Thin Lizzy's "Johnny The Fox" and Billy Squier's "The Big Beat" are two more examples, but outside of a few key DJ's, there was absolutely no awareness of where all of the beats were coming from. Or in this case, to find an open part of a record and to manipulate that break over and over. Call it the Rick Rubin factor. Aerosmith had already moved to Geffen by this point (their DONE WITH MIRRORS album was meant to be their comeback but was primarily a flop), but with Def Jam being connected to Columbia at the time, all one had to do was make a few connections. Joe being Russell's brother, boom, magic.

Think about it though, beforehand you really didn't want to reveal the big chunk of your sample, which is why for awhile, you heard so many songs based around "The Big Beat" beat, whether it's "Here We Go" or that ATCQ freestyle on their live home video. You wanted as much out of those five seconds, without touching the part of the song with the guitars. For years, the only other part of "The Big Beat" people heard was that vocalized "I!"

Run-DMC were already becoming legends, Aerosmith desperately needed a boost after their failed comeback, and it was perfect timing. Hard rock and heavy metal was picking up again, but it was the mixture of smiley Bon Jovi, the rise of hair-metal, and respect for what was still considered hard by the mainstream (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio). The popularity of these *new* metal bands always brings back nostalgia for what came before, and in the 1970', Aerosmith could not be fucked with, the American version of Led Zeppelin by all means, right down to the "Aero" name. Aerosmith were doomed to become another 70's has-been band, as loads of groups were slowly coming back with the boost of a new cable network called MTV. Did we really need bands like Slade, Bachman Turner Overdrime, or worse, Molly Hatchet to come back? No.

Perfect timing. Aerosmith were able to prove that they still had what it takes, by latching onto one of the hottest groups at that time. Uniting hard rock with rap back then was a huge risk, because a younger generation never had to confront this, a musical battle between black and white. Now, white kids who had to hide their love for rap music didn't have to worry. Black kids who had an older brother or uncle into the "weird Satanic shit" could now admit to knowing who Aerosmith were, at the same time saying "if Aerosmith works, how about... Black Sabbath?"

It opened the doors greatly in terms of what could be sampled. It started a whole new genre. It made major labels aware of marketing opportunities with a form of "outsider" music. It also meant that the music was going to get bigger, and at least for the next five years it worked.

Had Run-DMC made a song just with the "Walk This Way" beat, no one would have said shit. The fact that you had Steven Tyler and Joe Perry in the video, with Run wiping his coked-up nose every few seconds, made it more appealing, especially when the video pretty much said "we're Run-DMC, and we're bigger than you now. You can come to us."
I reply:
i understood why aerosmith did it. it makes sense why run-dmc went along with it (although do you think they realized at the time how big the song would be? do you think they still wished they could have just sampled the break and did a real HIP-HOP song instead of just a couple black guys singing a pre-existing rock song?). i definitely agree it opened up the floodgates for collaboration between rock and rap but i think it wasn't by the musical merits of the song. you're right about it changing the way sampling was done but in this case it just wasn't sampling the way i'm used to because it had joe perry's live guitars and steven tyler's live vocals and it was a full cover of the song, not a loop.

damn, coked-up nose... brutal!
For a much better Run-DMC song with a rock sample check out the classic "Rock Box."


Old article on Dan The Automator's production techniques.  It took me two years to get around to reading this relatively short article!


Here is an interesting interview with Yeslam bin Laden, Osama's half-brother.  He rebuts a claim in Fahrenheit 9/11 about when his family and Saudi officials flew out of the country made and elaborates on the state of the bin Laden family.  One disturbing part is the very end when he won't say he would turn in his brother if he could.

All about Kanye's problems making videos for MTV.

I missed the ultimate show!  Again!

This article examines the usage of cell phones at concerts.  This shit pisses me off to no end.  At last August's Radiohead concert, which happened during a really bad month and I made it worse by [well, chances are if you care, you were there] so we already missed the first seven songs, the show was ultimately ruined by some asshole talking on his gawdamn cell phone, including during the apex, the Thom Yorke solo performance of one of my favorite songs, "I Will," when everyone else in the audience was silent and enrapt.  What's bitterly funny is it wasn't even an important or interesting call; he was talking to a friend in the SAME AUDIENCE for SEVERAL MINUTES in a lame attempt to see where they are.  I did my best attempt to shut him up by mocking him, but that only made me more furious and proved ineffective because of just how purely inconsiderate he was.  I should have just taken the cell phone and turned it off, which I think I will do next time.  I don't care if they hit me, I'll hit them back.  I'm tired of spending $50 or more on tickets only to have performances from my favorite bands mired by totally innane and pointless conversations by people on cell phones.  Forget the question why they spent their money on a ticket only to talk on the phone; the more important question is how to stop them from ruining other people's experience at the show.  My solution is to just outlaw the things (in other words, prohibit them from concerts; it's harsh but necessary).  Also, putting the phone up so some loser on the other end can "hear the show" looks really, really stupid and I'm sure the sound quality is utter crap.

Keeping on music, I'm starting to give music I've gotten sick of or never listened to much another chance.  Yesterday I listened to 12 Rounds' album Pleasant Smell, which was OK (about as good as the self-titled album by Prick, whose vocals still grate on my nerves).  I'm not mad I haven't been listening.  I put on Nirvana's Nevermind and In Utero earlier this month and those were great.  They didn't sound played out at all; I could definitely enjoy them, whereas when I used to listen to the radio I'd get bored of Nirvana pretty quickly since they used to be played all of the time.  I also listened to The Verve's debut EP, which, having
since discovered shoegazer music, I now think is fantastic.  That is to say, I "get it" more than I did in the late '90s.  I also found more to appreciate in Charles Mingus' Complete Town Hall Concert but I'm still not a jazz fan so it may never connect with me like it does for others.  As I type this I'm listening to Daft Punk's Discovery which is cool.  It's house-y but there're a lot of great ideas and tricks here, and there are definitely some jams.  Earlier this summer I listened to U2's Pop which I remarked would have been maybe their third best album (OK, fifth or so) if it had been produced differently.  The songs are really strong, they're just obscured by dumb techno ideas.  I also listened to Orbital's Snivilisation which has always been my least favorite out of their first four albums.  It's definitely a sleeper.  Who knows when I'll listen to Moby or Dave Matthews Band or Live; they may need a few more years.

I've been listening to the Jaylib album a lot this summer.  Can anyone else easily imagine Jay-Z and Common rapping over "The Heist"?  That would have been perfection.

Fantastic New Yorker article on my favorite album of the year, Madvillainy.

"Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs." -Edgard Varèse

Scroll down halfway for Aaron McGruder's commentary on the Bill Cosby issue.  Along the way he says a lot of interesting stuff, as always.  One of the least interesting things, but still very interesting, is this, and I'm only pasting this and not the finer quotes because this will appeal more to the general public.  On Bush:
He’s lyin’. He’s not that complicated, people. He’s been lyin’, he’s gonna keep lyin’, and, you know, it’s amazing. It’s--you know, the tough thing is you have… They’ve done an amazing job at selling poor-white America on an economic agenda which doesn’t benefit them and on a foreign policy agenda that doesn’t benefit them. And those people, um, I think, are largely being manipulated by race and xenophobia and ignorance. And religion, particularly religion.

Liberal activist and one of my favorite actresses goes way too far: Janeane Garofalo publicly calls Larry Elder a "house negro."  I have no doubt that Elder called Garofalo's bluff when she asked him to appear on her show after she made her comments, only for him to promptly accept and her to rescind the offer.  I think Garofalo has a coward streak in her, which is sad, and I think a lot of liberals are as snakelike as the people they claim to be idealogically opposed to.  They are definitely uncivil and mean-spirited.  They get way too worked up and instead of using the facts, which are on our side (I obviously consider myself a liberal), they resort to name calling, shouting, cynicism, and now co-opting black malcontent and struggle.  It's really pathetic and it shames us liberals who are in control of ourselves and don't need to flip out to take a stand. It also shames me as a fan of Garofalo personally and as an actress.


What do you prefer, silence or small talk?  I usually prefer silence, I'm pretty comfortable with it, but sometimes small talk can lead into a conversation that's actually interesting, informative, or meaningful.

More real talk from OkayPlayer.  It's not as smart as the previous entries but I basically agree with him, although of course lots of poor people are fat, too (see Super-Size Me about how McDonald's takes advantage of people without money to spend or the ability to cook a healthy meal).

i work at a "wellness center" (basically a gym for the bourgeois).. and there is a good amount of extremely overweight people up in here.. now, i'm not dissin chubby or big boned people at all.. but i don't really feel sorry for the really huge people.. i look at their extreme overweight condition as an example of the "more-is-better", take everything for granted, gluttoness attitude of americans and i just think about how their unnecessary eating habits can feed those that starve on the streets of the very same city some of these folk live in..
i don't hate these people or find them disgusting.. they are without question, just broken down individuals brainwashed by this fast food nation.. shit, we all eat TOO much.. most of us snack and eat when we are not exactly hungry, but just feel like "getting a bite to eat".. but this is an extremity.. maybe it is a sickness, maybe it is a disease, but to me, i can't help but see the symbolism of it all.. "welcome to the land of the overfed and empty handed"...


"Watching Black Thought live, you realize he's mastered the craft of hip-hop -- the perfect balance between not caring at all while putting every bit of his existence into his art." -Urb writer Derek Beres.  The new album by The Roots is proof of this.  Already a monster lyricist I have to wonder where he goes next?


As a follow-up to my Pitchfork essay, I just found out the only reviewer who was qualified to write hip-hop reviews was fired.  Rollie Pemberton, whose reviews I usually enjoyed on the rare occasions I checked the site, got the ax and here's the email before it disappears off of this here InterWeb.

From : Pitchfork: Ryan Schreiber <>
Reply-To :
Sent : July 12, 2004 4:45:14 PM
To: Rollie Pemberton <>
Subject : Re: a couple of reviews

Hey Rollie--

So I don't know quite how to go about this. I'll give it my best shot.

You've been on the staff a long time now, over a year. You have always been decent with the deadlines, making up most of what you miss, and you've poured an incredible amount of energy into the site. I've been putting a lot of work into editing the reviews you've been writing lately, though, and I'm sort of at a loss. I can't edit too much because that changes the intent of your review, but if I don't edit enough I continually end up with something I'm not sure is really there. At this point, I don't know if I can keep you on. I think you've improved a lot as a writer since you came on board last fall, and while I do think you're talented and that you're headed in the right direction, you should probably focus somewhat on clarity-- frequently in editing, I'm unsure of what you're trying to say, due to overcomplicated phrasing.

I am thankful for your contributions. You've helped me through any number of last-minute, just-need-one-more-review type nights, and I'm really appreciative of that. It's a rare thing for me to actually let someone go, but there are some instances where it can't be avoided. It's definitely the least enjoyable aspect of this job, and a difficult thing to do to someone who's put in so much time for just a few CDs in return. Unfortunately, I just don't see any way around it in this case.

I feel like absolute shit doing this to you, and I probably should after all the time and effort you've put into this gig, but I have to look out for the best interest of the site, and I'm just not sure your stuff fits. I hope, though, that this can be made into a positive thing. I do think you're a genuinely great writer, one that should be getting paid for his efforts (god knows I'm having a hard time getting checks out-- though I will pay you *soon* what I owe you for the reviews I've run). In fact, I would be thrilled to write you a recommendation if you should need one. Let me know if you need anything from me. And again, really sorry about this. It's been great working with you.


Emphasis added.  Anyway, RichDork is back to all-indie reviews so no reason for me to check even monthly.  Someone linked The Roots review which was a big joke so more now than ever I hope no one reading this expects anything credible in their reviews.

Let's get past this but keep on hip-hop for a hot minute.

The story of Rawkus Records.

Great interview with Saigon. I'm not sure who reading this would actually care but I found it fascinating and I can't wait until his album with Just Blaze comes out.

It's tricky when
you feel that someone
has done something
on your behalf

It's slippery when
your sense of justice
murmurs underneath
and you're asking yourself:

How am I going to make it right?

With a palmful of stars
I shake them like dice
I throw them on the table
until the desired constellation appears
and I ask myself:

How am I going to make it right?
 -Bjork, "Desired Constellation"


More wisdom (really!) from OkayPlayer!  Here's abstrak in a thread where some dummy urged people not to vote for Nader:

Why don't you devote your energy to posting reasons why John Kerry should drop out? Maybe you could get Bush to drop out too. They are taking votes away from Ralph Nader in the most important election ever.
I'm tired of hearing about Nader taking votes away from Kerry, while "progressives" remain silent about votes Kerry is taking away from people who will vote for him despite the fact that he offers them nothing.

This anti-Nader thing is anti-democratic and cowardly. Dean tried to play the "Republican money" card on Nader yesterday, asking him to renounce those contributors. Nader did, then he challenged Dean to get Kerry to give back contributions received from corporate criminals. Dean dodged the issue.

If Dean wanted any of the things he campaigned on, he'd still be running independently, because Kerry is more Bush than Dean. Dean (and his supporters) only exist to shore up a lost Democratic party that couldn't care less about its base.

Then, because the original poster put down "idealists":
Vote for Bush. I assume "pragmatic" means "they have a chance", so if the Dems vote for Bush and the Republicans vote for Bush, you can make sure that you don't "waste your vote".
It's obvious issues mean nothing to you. Anyone who cares about the issues would be an "idealist". By the way, is "idealist" a slur?
In response to a critic:
I'm just trying to apply the reasoning to Kerry that you apply to Nader.
Which issues do you care about? Are you pro-war, anti-civil rights, pro-free trade, anti-democracy? What issues make you want to vote for Kerry?
He also said, which was interesting and insightful:
Kerry is not a "progressive". He's not really even a liberal. He's a centrist, both in the tradition of Clinton and in the tradition of the Senates that he has served in. The reason the country has lurched to the right is that the Democrats have abandoned their base. There has been no opposition to Republicans "calling the tune". This sort of election shapes discourse in the country, and if the Republicans go hard right and the Dems go kinda right of center, the end result is still rightward drift.
A user named notnac posted this:
democrats been getting republican money for years

They're called corporate donations. And yes, Democrats get them too so that if they get to office they take it easy on these corporations who would rather have a Republican in office.
How about exposing that? Bet you they ain't giving that money back either.

Ironically, part of why I'm not voting for Kerry is all this Nader-blaming. It's weak, and has a tinge of anti-democracy. Maybe more than a tinge.

And there's a reason they're called third parties or independents. They're not part of your party and their vote doesn't belong to you. Part of running for president is winning more votes than ALL candidates involved. It's always gonna be like that. And if you start worrying about a third party or independent candidate who ain't from your party, then your campaign has real problems and is weak, weak, weak.

I MIGHT vote for Nader, but best believe that it just wouldn't otherwise go to Kerry or Bush. Don't believe the hype.

And finally, abstrak's "Reasons not to vote for Ralph Nader" (share this with people, please):
1. Ralph Nader opposes the war in Iraq and has called for the withdrawal of US troops. Of course Bush wants to continue the war, and Kerry voted to give Bush authority to unilaterally make war and wants to send more troops to Iraq.

2. Ralph Nader opposes tax cuts enacted by Bush and proposed by Kerry. Bush has cut taxes for the wealthy, while Kerry proposes a repeal of these cuts in favor of tax cuts for corporations. Tax cuts are destroying our schools and social programs because local and state funds must be redirected to programs previously covered with federal funds.

3. Ralph Nader opposes corporate money in politics, while Kerry and Bush have made these contributors their base.

4. Ralph Nader opposes "No Child Left Behind", George Bush's education plan which John Kerry voted for and which has weakened the country's public education system.

5. Ralph Nader opposes so-called free trade, while both Bush and Kerry have supported free trade, which has served to convert manufacturing jobs to lower paying service jobs.

6. Ralph Nader opposes continued support for Israeli persecution of Palestinians, while Bush and Kerry both support Ariel Sharon and the apartheid wall.

7. Ralph Nader will not appoint anti-choice Supreme Court Justices, while Kerry will not make a woman's right to choose a litmus test for judicial appointees and Bush opposes a woman's right to choose.

8. Ralph Nader supports a living wage, while Bush supports no minimum wage increase and Kerry supports an increase that maintains a poverty wage for working Americans.

9. Ralph Nader supports proportional representation, instant runoff voting, public funding of campaigns, debate access, and other electoral reforms. Bush and Kerry seek to perpetuate the winner-take-all two party duopoly that both of their parties have railed against. Significantly, they perpetuate this system in the face of "spoilers" from across the spectrum, seeking to silence opposition rather than reform the electoral system.

10. Ralph Nader opposes the PATRIOT Act, which Kerry voted for and Bush supports.

Ralph Nader's campaign follows a lifetime of public service and consumer advocacy and a childhood raised by recent Lebanese immigrants who ran a restaurant. Bush and Kerry come from the tradition that many other presidents have come from: the same privilege (Kerry is even wealthier than Bush), the same old money family (they're distant cousins), and the same secret society (Skull vs. Bones).

Remember, many bad things that have happened in the last four years are not actionable by the president alone. The president does not have the power to go to war. The president does not pass legislation or budgets. John Kerry has supported George Bush (prior to his campaign of course) far more than he has opposed him.

Ignore the polls: they only count "likely voters" (those who voted in 2000). If you did not vote, now is the time to do so. Vote conscience not charisma, and hope not fear.

How would you like to have that on your conscience?


Recall?  Here are ?uestlove's comments on the so far well-received new Roots album.

thank you for copping the new joint.
however, i must say (without "getting into it and pointing fingers) that this is not the final version that is questlove approved.

due to digital distortion and the compressed low end. we sent the record back to be mastered (when we did the red hot chilli run). the mistake i made was trusting that the editing and flawless seugs would still be restored.

much to my horror they were not. (compare and contrast rose stone's "everybody is a star" at the intro of the second part of "star" on the final copy and the copy that was a press copy (now a collectors item until interscope deems it worthy of me to go back and remaster this disasterous result) and notice how a matter of a 10th of a second can ruin the song.

or even the careless mix of "dont say nothin'" to "guns".

i counted about 12 mistakes that had me near depressed to the point of travis bricklisms.

i got my "promise" that i can restore the mistakes.

i know this shit is only visible to the naked ear and i probably ruined a good listen to a good 100,000 of you who didn't know any better. but its just that i can't even enjoy this record the way i want to--and it pains me to view this as "the retarded child" of my 7 kids...but this is how i see it.

love the songs, love the mixing,

but eff it up in mastering and it can ruin your whole day.


im on the case.


riq wants y'all to know that his lyrics were transcribed (a miracle) in ONE NIGHT by a friend of ours who got a "Few" terms wrong (we laughed at "stupid fans" on i dont care---as opposed to "super fans".
and cool is "kool" when it comes to herc.

and my name was NEVER ?uestlove Thompson.

let this be a lesson to other artists that this is a direct result of what happens when you multi task and lose focus...

sheeit i just learned that i missed out on a A- in entertainment weekly had i remembered to make my publicist give a notice that "duck down" was incomplete on the press copies.

next time im on everything two fold.

So much for finally having a record label on your side, with that mastering!  Hopefully this is the only bump in the road, as apparently Black Thought is predicting a huge first week?  At least the other mistakes were their own fault.


Me (7:20:41 PM): hahahahaha
Me (7:20:43 PM): funny shite!
You (7:21:08 PM): didn't you LOVE it
You (7:21:15 PM): wasn't it totally purrfect
Me (7:21:27 PM): status symbol, using different words to make customers feel good about paying $3 for a urine sample size cup of coffee instead of paying 50 cents for the same thing elsewhere but not getting the cup.. all about right!

The above is in reference to this "Star-Schmucks" animation I "just have to" put up on DNR.  After all these years it still boggles my mind how people can excuse Starbucks for what they do and allow themselves to continue giving the chain all their money.


Check out this great quote from DJ Shadow in this interview.  He sums up how I feel about underground hip-hop these last couple years, and why I don't "get" all the little names (mostly white guys but also half-whites and an albino) so-called "heads" are hailing as amazing indie emcees.

Interviewer: You love Hip-Hop. What's gotta change?
DJ Shadow: I think a lot of times when I criticize what's going on with Hip-Hop people take it and put their own kind of energy into the comments or make it fit their own opinion. Certainly I still love Hip-Hop and love contemporary Hip-Hop. I think if you only listen to underground Hip-Hop yes it does suck right now, underground Hip-Hop isn't where it's at. During the last four to five years I've spend time listening to people like Lil' Flip and Lil' Jon, it's very kinetic and energetic. I just think that people need to broaden their own perspectives. It's interesting to me that underground Hip-Hop used to be the cutting edge but now it's the dull edge of the blade.

Interviewer: So what do artists need to do to be cutting edge again?
DJ Shadow: You just have to set yourself apart from the crowd, it's hard, it's always going to be hard. A lot of people think they can talk about how great it used to be and get instant Hip-Hop credit but that's just played out.

You hear that? Dull edge of the blade.

Here's a great interview with Burt Bacharach and one with Isaac Hayes (also great except for the last two questions).


"A witty young student ran out of money and sold his school books. He wrote to his father and said, 'Congratulate me, father, for I am already making money from my studies.'"  Philogelos, A.D. 450

The truth about R. Kelly and his music (some of which I like) can be found in this excellent Village Voice article.


Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides.  Eye opening article "from the inside" that you should check out.

I strongly suggest renting or buying the DVD of Tupac: Resurrection to anyone wishing to better understand Tupac or hip-hop as a kind of music, or just wanting to see a good documentary.  Growing up I was a fan of him before and after his death.  I stopped listening to his music regularly for the last few years and this film reminded me just how much his music and his life has influenced my own outlook, from the heavy weight of the world on my shoulders to the sincere interest in people suffering in any and all ways to the rebellious/progressive radical attitude toward far-too-often corrupt systems.  I was also reminded just how much Tupac accomplished in his young life.  He was writing brilliant songs ("Brenda's Got A Baby," "Trapped," "Keep Ya Head Up," "I Get Around," his verse in "Same Song" by Digital Underground) when he was my age (21) and even younger, and even giving speeches to modern day Black Panthers and Malcolm X supporters like the New Afrikans.  He was a totally remarkable man and I think naysayers and people who freely admit they know little to nothing about him will be surprised to see how intelligent, driven, and gentle he was when they watch this film.  He definitely had two sides to him, and I've come to the conclusion that one was a nerd.  My old theory is that Intelligence + Passion = Nerdiness (so in other words, "nerd" doesn't mean "socially inept smart person" nor is it a blanket insult for all smart people who don't roll in the popular crowds), and Tupac definitely represented that when it comes to music and some of his life.  One scene in the film shows a list he made that was a soundtrack to his high school years.  What may not surprise you are names like Kool G Rap, EPMD, Stevie Wonder, and Bob Marley.  What may surprise you are Kate Bush, Don McLean (whose lyrics he talks elsewhere about influencing his rap lyrics), and the Les Miserables soundtrack.  Tupac was an art school kid and it's really heartwarming to see footage from those days.  He was not only a brilliant musical artist but a fantastic actor as well.  I can't help but feel sad after I see one of his films (including this one) because this is the musician death that has affected me most.  I liked Kurt Cobain but Tupac was so much more important to the world than Nirvana.  Maybe it's because Tupac's lyrics were more meaningful because they weren't as abstract, really giving comfort and advice (especially to minorities who, frankly, needed the support more than white America with Nirvana's ambiguous lyrics; there's a reason Tupac's called "Black Jesus" in the hood and people don't really remember Kurt on a daily basis) and addressed specific problems that had to be changed.  Kurt's death was another selfish suicide and the loss of one of many white rock singers; Tupac's death was a truly significant loss for blacks and people of all other races who found strength and inspiration in his music.  You know, sorry to racialize things, but it's the truth.


Happy summer. I just wanted to say I'm sorry Tripod messes with my pages so much. It always looks fine to me but I have a pop-up blocker. Putting cheater tags in the html code used to eliminate the pop-ups but I saw this month that if you don't have a blocker, not only do you get pop-ups, you get ads at the top of the screen. Just remember that I don't see that so that's why it looks crummy, because I don't plan for it. I'm strongly considering moving my page to a better server because there are free ones that don't do that. I can put this up on the private Conniption and Sonic Edge servers but I'd hate to lose the URL by not updating.

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