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    Jay-Z is 1%, Not HipHop


    by Damon Sajnani

    Jay-Z has earned mountains of money from HipHop, but “his politics are diametrically opposed to the interest of Black liberation at home and abroad.” The music mogul identifies with an oligarchy whose interests are antithetical to Black liberation. “If the balance of one’s material promotes the interest of the oppressor, that rapper is not HipHop.

    “Hip-Hop Toure’, Hoe, Hay, Hoe...”


    by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    A recent Washington Post article by author and MSNBC personality Toure equates hip hop’s “failure” to combat the drug scourge with the damage inflicted by successive government “drug wars” in/against Black America. Toure creates a dangerous and distorted kind of moral equivalence, since his “premise is that hip-hop is equal somehow in power to monopoly capital and state power.” In reality, hip hop is a victim of the same forces that oppress Black people as a whole.

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    Decolonizing Our Occupations


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

    White privilege, the legacy of 500 years of European military and economic suppression of the rest of the planet, is manifest even in movements that purport to be transformational, like Occupy Wall Street. Beneath the politics of economic reordering lie notions that the “new” and overwhelmingly white movement somehow supersedes the centuries-old aspirations of Europe’s primary victims.

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    The Music Industry Reloads: It’s Not Dead Because We Didn’t Kill It!


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    Monopolies get over like fat rats no matter what the overall state of the economy – because they control the entire process. Competition is a farce, and the music industry is no different. “This is the kind of rivalry the powerful like. Coke and Pepsi, Democrats and Republicans, it assures success in the illusion of choice.”

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    Hip-Hop v. The U.S.? Brand Wars!

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    Hip-hop flourishes overseas while becoming grotesque and underdeveloped at home. In foreign lands, hip-hop is seen as part of the American brand, along with Barack Obama. But domestically, as the product of a “subnation” within the U.S., real hip hop is suppressed, just as are the political institutions of its creators. Black America must develop and reclaim its own brands on the cultural and political levels.

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    Black August and Crises of Hip-Hop as Euphemism

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor Jared A. Ball

    Hip-hop has become a meaningless word – or worse, a word shellacked with so many saleable commercial and political meanings that it becomes a weapon against the very people that originated the genre. A new film is circulating, with clarifying impact. “The film forces a real conflict over who defines hip-hop, who uses it for what and what those of us who claim to know better are actually doing to address these and related concerns.”

    Hip-Hop and the “Anti-Blackness Antagonism”

    by BAR columnist Jared A Ball, Ph.D.

    The world created by half a millennium of European conquest requires that Blacks be portrayed as non-human – which is why “we must begin to destroy the world.” That world works 24-7 to destroy Black people through the pervasive commercial imagery of “anti-Blackness.” These relentless assaults are more about enforcing the racial order, than monetary profit.


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    May Day and Hip-Hop Nationalism

    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Jared A. Ball
    If hip hop is more than a movement, but a “nation,” as some have suggested, then some militant hip hop nationalism is in order. Logically, such a militant hip hop nationalism would seek to seize control of the means of cultural production – which would earn a niche for hip hop in future May Day celebrations.

    Cultural Genocide: The Drums Fall Silent in Chocolate City

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

    Culture is the expression of collective personhood. The culture of Africa's descendants in the U.S. has been demonized, belittled and viewed as a threat ever since the days when slavemasters banned use of the drum. With the wholesale gentrification of urban America, a new wave of cultural ethnic cleansing is underway, as inner city entertainment venues are being closed, and owners of remaining night spots collude to squeeze original artists with substantial and established audiences out of commercial viability. Like coffee, some are too black, too strong.

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    Corporate Hip Hop, White Supremacy and Capitalism

    hiphopby Solomon Comissiong
    Huge media corporations literally bought up Hip Hop in the early to mid-1990s, imposing “cookie cutter themes of senseless violence, excessive materialism, and misogyny.” Progressive voices in rap were silenced. The clear message was, “the minute you dare try to step outside of the 'box' and attack their power structure, you will be omitted.”

    Banning Saggy Pants is the Wrong Conversation. Low Power Community Radio is the Right Conversation

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
    Local lawmakers in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities pretend to address crime and destructive aspects of corporate-delivered youth culture by targeting the appearance of black youth --- with local ordinances to file or jail the wearers of sagging pants and exposed thong straps.  But the public airwaves over which commercial youth culture is delivered are owned by the people and regulated by their elected representatives.  If regulators and legislators did their jobs, would the odious fare of BET, MTV and their commercial radio clones be the only messages permitted to reach the ears of young people?
    The Low Power Community Radio Act in Congress right now is a real solution to the problem of getting more positive choices and voices on the radio.  So why aren't black leaders rallying people around it? 

    Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization

    by Dr. Jared A. Ball, Ph.D., Communications Fellow

    What differentiates today's US empire from all others before it is control of media, including control of entertainment media, argues the emancipatory journalist and the man behind FreeMix Radio.  Hip-Hop has been colonized, appropriated commodified and thoroughly alienated from the communities which gave birth to it.

    Commerce is Killing the Spirit of Hip-Hop

    by Davey D

    Most young African Americans are dissatisfied with the daily menu of anti-social hip-hop music force-fed to the culture by huge corporations. Yet the "ultimate minstrel show," a product consumed mainly by young whites, is still deemed symptomatic of some peculiar Black pathology. Payola, once an under-the-table arrangement between disc jockeys and small labels, now homogenizes the playlists of broadcast outlets, nationwide. A genre that flourished through creative expression is dying under the weight of commercial corporate cynicism and greed.

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