Lynne d Johnson



« April 2002 | Diary | June 2002 »

05.30.02 09:27 PM

easy listening

Here's my playlist for the day:
Slum Village — Trinity
Me'shell Ndegeocello — Cookie: The Anthropological Mix Tape
The Best of Sizzla: The Story Unfolds
Blackalicious — Blazing Arrow
Nights Over Egypt — Qool Classics #4 Mixed by Qool DJ Marv
XLR8R Presents Incite:01 March/April 2002
Dancefloor FG 02 — Selectionne Par Didier Sinclair

Be sure to check out

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05.29.02 07:25 PM

cannes photo essay

I've decided to give you a view of my trip in images instead of words. More images to come soon. Perhaps the words will come to me later.

Cannes Pic
This begins our trip to Cannes

Antibes Street Pic
Somewhere on a backstreet

Star Wars Pic
Star Wars is a worldwide phenomenon

Tagging Pic
Really digging the tagging on the gate

Kenzo Pic
OK this picture was totally about the name brands

Freestyle Pic
Wherever there is an element of hip-hop culture I'll catch it

Barbarella Pic
I'm into symbols and signs so in seeing the rainbow it was cool to know that it was a symbol that translates over seas, besides I love house music just as much as hip-hop

Tagging 2 Pic
Graf culture pops up even when it isn't expected

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05.29.02 12:20 AM

nyc blogging

NYC Blogs
New York City Bloggers rule! What a novel idea. Mapping all NYC Bloggers according to their nearest subway stop. Thanks notorious for posting this link to your site.

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05.28.02 10:46 PM

red carpet

red carpet picAlthough Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" won the top prize at Cannes, my pick was Ken Loach's "Sweet Sixteen," which won the best screenplay prize. Of course it was the only film that I got to walk on the red carpet for, so maybe I am a little biased. It is definitely one of those films I'd expect to see at Angelika in New York. Here are the details about the film from the BBC:
The film tells the story of Liam (played be newcomer Martin Compston), who lives on a Strathclyde estate and is determined to enjoy the family life he's never had after his mum Jean (Michelle Coulter) gets out of prison. She is expected to be out in time for his 16th birthday. All he wants is his family back and a place for himself, his mum, his big sister Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton), and her wee boy Callum to live together - beyond the reach of wasters like Jean's boyfriend Stan (Gary McCormack) and his own grandfather (Tommy McKee). Liam's a budding entrepeneur with a brass neck and grand ideas. He discovers a caravan on the coast overlooking the Clyde estuary, and is determined to raise the cash to buy it - no mean feat for a skint teenager. Liam and his mates Pinball (William Ruane), Night-time (Junior Walker) and Side-kick (Gary Maitland) are up against it - in ways they would never imagine. Common sense tells him to drop the idea and bide his time. Only this time, Liam can't let go. Ever. "Liam's story is universal", says writer Paul Laverty. "He's come from a very tough background, where peoples' lives are marginalised and there is very little opportunity. There is so much poverty and alienation. The engine to the whole story is his determination to build a home for his mother and his sister - he craves a normal life, and the security that goes with that. But things conspire against him".

More pics and stories from Cannes to come soon. Right now I am catching up with my life.

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05.27.02 11:44 AM

post 9.11 and other ish

While in Cannes, I ran into a fellow New Yorker who had been so devastated by the events of 9.11. She had lived in the WTC area and has since moved to Chelsea. We discussed how others in the world, really couldn't understand how it felt to be a New Yorker that day, or even now. Although it seems like life is back to normal here, it really isn't. While I was away, my brother emailed me to tell me that he didn't want to leave Brooklyn because he heard that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to be a target for a future act of terrorism. To this day, I really can't fully explain how I was affected by 9.11, both emotionally and mentally. I did my best to collect my thoughts for, and I still don't think it speaks to how terribly my psyche was affected, and is still affected. The woman I was talking to in Cannes was with two of her French friends. They ended up in an argument after she stated that the French tend to side with the Arab nation. The argument was intense, and since I was not in Cannes to be stressed out I politely excused myself from the conversation.

It's interesting that when I arrived at the airport, my brother and his friend shoved the New York Times into my face. The images I saw made me relive 9.11 all over again. This detailed report in the Times practically broke down minute-to-minute events of the day. These were descriptions of the last communications from folks who were in the towers who had emailed or called friends and family members. Last night HBO also documented a 9.11 memoriam. The media has a way of making the old new again. Just when I thought I could move on and away from how I felt about 9.11, here were two media outlets reminding me of just how devastating it all was. I wonder about the families who had lost loved ones. Do they watch these programs or read these reports? How does it make them feel? How does reliving the events of the day, while talking to some strange reporter or documentarian, really make them feel?

Since I haven't unpacked yet, I am unable to post my photos from Cannes. At least that would make me feel better today. But in many ways, I am back to 9.11. I am stuck. Immobile. Unable to think clearly.

But there is good news. Although I know this service is a farce. I took three personality tests on emode yesterday. I have been getting into this ever since I took a personality, what type of manager are you test, in my organizational behavior course last semester. Then one of my internship supervisors gave me a test where I could learn about my learning style. I had also recently taken a test online that told me what kind of thinker I was. That one related my way of thinking to various philosphers. Although I don't buy all of what I learned about myself at emode, the three tests I took did kind of parallel these other tests I had taken. Following are my results for an IQ Test, Sexual Personality Test, and Right Job Test. I am a Word Warrior, sexually confident, and need to work in a creative and strategic environment.

Congratulations, Lynne! Your IQ score is 115.
This number is the result of a formula based on how many questions you answered correctly on Emode's Ultimate IQ test. The even better news is that at Emode, we've taken your IQ test one step further. During the test, you answered four different types of questions mathematical, visual-spatial, linguistic and logical. We were able to analyze how you did on each set of those questions, which allows us to shed light on the way your brain uniquely functions. At the same time, we compared your answers with others who have taken the test, and according to the sorts of questions you got correct, we can tell your Intellectual Type is a Word Warrior. The first thing we can tell you about that is you are equipped with a verbal arsenal that enables you to understand complex issues and communicate on a particularly high level. 55% of Word Warriors look forward to the future on their birthdays. Less than 6% complain about getting older.

Lynne, your sexual personality is Omega-PLDV-10.
Your sexual personality is determined by your sexual persona (Omega), 4 sexual scales (Emotional/Physical, Look/Touch, Daring/Modest, Verbal/Non-verbal), and your libido score (10). As an Omega, you are someone who feels sexy, looks sexy, and really knows the ropes when it comes to lovemaking. Your sex appeal is more overt than others and your sexual confidence and awareness are particularly high. How do we know this? How do we know that you focus more on the physical than the emotional connection with your partner while having sex? Because while you were taking the test, you answered different kinds of questions questions that measured what you're like in bed as well as your sex appeal, sexual confidence and sexual awareness. As an Omega, your sexual energy is so powerful, it might be challenging for you to gauge the sexual energy of others.

Lynne, the Right Job for you will allow you to be: Creative and Strategic
You need a job that lets you use your imagination as well as use your powers of persuasion. From that, we can tell your inventive personality is in tune with your emotions. You have a rich imagination that needs room to flourish in the workplace so it can be appreciated by colleagues, coworkers and clients.

Other good news I found when I got back was the tentative program for the American Studies Association Annual Meeting that will be held in Houston in November. There will be a panel on black music and technology, and it appears the entire contingent comes from afrofuturism. I will discuss "Hip-Hop's Transformers: Technologies of Production and Distribution in Hip-Hop."

Obsessed with these online tests lately. Took another IQ Test. And although the test at emode would rate me as possessing average intellectual abilities, this other one at iqtest says I am right on the border of entry level genius. My score was 129, and this is their breakdown:

100 The average IQ Score.
120 Smart enough to finish most college undergraduate level courses.
130 Entry level "genius" score.
140 Definitely genius level.
150 Less than 1/2 of 1% of all IQ test takers achieve this score or higher.

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05.26.02 06:07 PM

guess who's back?

Just got back to Brooklyn from the Cannes Film Festival today, and boy am I tired. I have plenty of pictures and thoughts to post, but in the meantime check out some commentary I wrote for Black Filmmaker Magazine. Although it is good to be back, I am so unprepared to jump back into the daily grind that is my life. I did have a pleasant welcome though. Since I live across the street from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as soon as I drove up to my street I was greeted by the sights, smells, and sounds of the outdoor African Market of Dance Africa. After securing a hot vegetarian meal and giving shout outs to all the artisans I know, I was treated to a free performance of dance as performed by young folks (apprx. ages 5—10). That alone got me in the mood to start my Brooklyn-based life again.

If I were not here, where would I be? Oftentimes, this three-day weekend finds me at DC Black Pride. Just before I left, I had asked Emil Wilbekin if that was where he would be this year as we remembered that was where we first met. He was of course jet setting again, so Black Pride was not on his agenda this year. It's a great place to be at this time of year, whether you are gay or straight. Speaking of Emil, he and Vibe Magazine were featured in The New York Times
on the 17th. Shout outs to George for posting the link in afrofuturism.

Why were Emil and Vibe featured in the NYT? It was a major accomplishment. Check it out:
"At the moment, Mr. Wilbekin sits on the edge of a cream-colored sofa in his large office overlooking Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill. The 34-year-old editor is quite animated, still in the afterglow of his glossy chronicle of hip-hop's big win at the National Magazine Awards earlier this month. Vibe beat out competitors including The New Yorker in the general-excellence category for magazines with circulations of 500,000 to 1 million. (Think "best picture" at the Oscars.)

I was also happy to return and find Trayc blogging again and to see Jason's new layout. More on Cannes to come later this week. Right now I have a lot of things to catch up on, specfically sleep.

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05.16.02 10:16 PM

it figures

As you can see, the commenting is back online. Figures it would happen right before I leave. I have been bustling around trying to finish some last minute ish. And folks are calling me back for interview after interview, trying to handle their biz before I go away. So maybe when I get back I'll be a new woman in so many new ways. I'm saying, even this whole friendship thing with D. is really taking off. We had a moment two weeks ago when it just seemed like it would't happen. There was still so much pain, hurt, ego shit. Breakups are hard, but trying to turn them turn them into something new is even harder sometimes. Anyway, this is definitely the last post before my jaunt. And I don't really have much to say anyway.

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05.14.02 10:07 PM

out like a light

The only thing I have on my mind, other than these three interviews I had between last week and this week and school work I have to finish, is the Cannes Film Festival. I leave for my trip on Friday and I am so looking forward to the French Riveria. I promise to take plenty of pics and post them when I come back. No blogging while I'm gone, and this just may be my last entry before leaving. Not fully decided on that one yet. I have so much to do before I leave. I am such a last minute chick. I leave you in good company though. Be sure to stop by and check out my fellow bloggers (and some of them journalers or diarists) while I'm away, but make sure you check back for me in about a week or two. I'm certain I'll have stories to share. This is probably the format I'll use to tell the stories of my travels.

I also hope that when I get back, my commenting system will be back online. Sometimes I feel like my online existence takes place in a vacum. Of course some of you email at times, and even catch me on AIM, but I like to hear all of your thoughts. Especially the thoughts of those bloggers/journalers/diarists out there who I have come to respect, either b/c of what they do with their lives or what they write online. Speaking of such folk, does anybody know where trayc is? Haven't heard much from her since the reboot. BTW, for a good breakdown on online journals vs. weblogs, check out I tend to think I fall more in the journal category than the blog domain. Although sometimes I tend to shift. Someone did once tell me that I was a walking contradiction.

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05.12.02 07:55 PM

getting black to basics

blackalicious picIf you're feeling Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow, as I am, then you might also be interested in what other folks have to say about it. Wondering if being signed to a major may have changed their sound? What about the fact that they are like De La, grown up hip-hop? Can the underground stay true to its roots, even on a major label? Let's see what the critics have to say.

Keith Harris of the Minneapolis City Pages says:

"Here the duo gave off more than a whiff of Afrocentric incense, complete with a stately womanist poetry reading from Nikki Giovanni, and prissy flute loops. At times the packaging was so conscious you wanted to buy the guys a 40. But while this would seem to make Blackalicious a perfect fit for MCA, a label that has all but made the Roots its house band, Gab and Xcel are too restless to slip into a single style. In other words, their skill and dexterity made an argument for their culture that's louder than all the distracting accouterments."

Oliver Wang of the San Franciscon Bay Guardian says:

"Their new Blazing Arrow, released on MCA Records, is one of the most mature hip-hop albums to come from the Bay since the Hieros' heyday in the early '90s. Blackalicious fuse the creative spark the duo displayed in their years with Solesides/Quannum and the corporate music industry's many production resources, creating a sound that's more fully realized than their ambitious but uneven Nia (Quannum Projects, 2000)."

Nate Deyoung of The Daily Northwestern says:

"The sheer musical diversity, coupled with an amazing understanding of subtlety, makes Blazing Arrow an enjoyable listen throughout. From the introduction that boasts a gospel choir accompanied by a funk organ to the Frank Zappa-esque "Chemical Calisthenics," the group experiments with many different arrangements while retaining cohesion through the distinct style of Chief Xcel, the group's producer. The know twirler also uses touches of finesse, as heard on the semi-automated sung chorus of "The Sky is Falling," that give each track another layer of depth."

Bret McCabe of the Baltimore City Paper reviews Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow and Anti-Pop Consortium's Arrhythmia in one bite:

"Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow is the more accessible of the two thanks to Xcel's way with infectious beats. Xcel culls from the same '70s sex-you-up funk as Outkast, only Xcel is more fond of feeding the soul with a groove instead of tickling the booty bone. Cuts such as "4,000 Miles" and "Chemical Calisthenics" (on which Gab freestyles wild) do roll with a party vibe, but Blackalicious' bread and butter is deft displays of wisdom and skill. "Paragraph President" and the splashing beat of the title track take West Coast positivity and tack it onto memorably catchy songs."

David Wollock ofEast Bay Express says:

"But one of Blazing Arrow's strengths is that Gab actually writes cohesive raps that stick to a particular theme, in contrast to so many hip-hop tunes that change course whenever the MC runs out of thematic punch lines. More importantly, while many indie, underground, or conscious rappers devote a lot of time pontificating on the degenerate state of hip-hop, pointing out the foibles of their gangsta/playa peers, songs on Arrow focus less on diagnosing hip-hop's diseased colon and more on Zenlike notions of faith, peace of mind, and the simple pleasures along the road of life. Blackalicious, it seems, is leading by example."

And Tony Ware of Creative Loafing Atlanta says:

"Yet for all Blazing Arrow's guest threads and patches, Gift of Gab's intuitive splattered syllables ultimately provide the most intricately patterned material. "Gab is an MC in the tradition of the greats, in that he sees himself as a musician first and foremost, and sees his voice as his instrument," Xcel says."

Stay tuned, I might be reviewing this joint soon myself. That is if I can get my editors to believe in me again. As you know, a person with three jobs, full time grad school, and a breakup that took several months to finalize, may not have all that much time to write. So yeah, I've missed a few deadlines and have probably strained some relationships. But hopefully these editors will see that my energy and enthusiasm are solid and I'm back on top of my game. And hopefully you'll get to see some more of my writing again soon. Also have another interview coming up this week, other than that CTC in Queens. Really don't want to give out too much information on that one, I'd really be pissed if I jinxed myself on it. Only if I get it will you folks hear about it.

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05.09.02 11:55 PM

the interviews begin

I don't want to jinx myself, so I won't go all that much into detail, but it seems like somebody's watching. Almost as soon as I blogged that I was looking for work, I started getting calls. Of course they are gigs I applied for, so I don't really think it had anything to do with blogging about it. I just think some of y'all were putting that positive energy out there for me. As I have said so many times before, my life has dramatically changed in the past year. Last year at this time I was hopelessly in love and the technology reporter/editor at BlackPlanet. This year, well, I am still in love, but no longer in the relationship because it officially ended in the final days of March.

Now, although I am still writing, it isn't necessarily about technology. I'm actually doing technology, and that brings me to the interview I had last night and the one I will have next week. Both gigs are to run CTCs, and one is in Brooklyn and the other in Queens. Of course it's non-profit money and not money. But hey, who wants to work for a nowadays anyway? Besides, perhaps it's time I put all of my skills and talk into action. You know, don't just talk about it, be about it. How can I go on and on about the digital divide if I'm not doing anything to help the little ones come up with some tech skills? Don't they deserve the same advantages that I had? Yeah, that's right, I'm old skool tech. I go back to the days of the punch card, the Commodore 64, and the original Apple. If you want to know more about my tech skills, check here. And if you have no idea what a CTC is, check out the Community Technology Centers' Network to learn more about what CTCs do. I know that if I get either one of these gigs, it means this is what I am supposed to be doing right now in this time in my life. Sure I'll continue to write and teach on the college level. But if this happens for me now, then I just have to believe that it was in the cards.

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05.07.02 02:15 PM


Only 10 days left before I go to the Cannes Film Festival. My classmates and I will be attending to observe the International marketplace. How's that for a supplement or perhaps, complement, to an Int'l Biz course? If I get nothing else out of this MBA in Media Management, at least I'll have the memories of this trip. Oh yeah, my third and final semester started last week, so I am a bit crazed again. Especially since I am trying to complete some freelance writing assignments before I go away. And I'm looking for another job. The course I was teaching-Technology, Culture, and Communication-at the College of Mount Saint Vincent ends this week. My computer teacher gig in the Adult and Family Learning Center at the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center ends the first week in June. I can carry my internship with the Technology for Learning Project throughout June, but I'll need more than just that and writing to pay my bills. So if you know of anything in NYC that might be suitable for my skills, give a shout. Just check my Bio to find out what I do. My resume is also there in PDF format. I'll be all finished with this MBA in August, with classes ending a week before my birthday. I'm just really looking forward to this trip, the completion of this program, and hopefully when it's all over I can begin to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up.

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05.06.02 09:27 PM

site updates

I'm starting to think of a redesign, because I'm getting tired of the layout although it has only been in this form since January. Some folks have suggested I switch over to Yaccs for commenting, but the thing is when I first signed up for Netcomments Yaccs was down. I know it's back up now, but I've made a donation to netcomments and trust that it will be back online shortly. Simply waiting.

I've added a couple of new articles to the Print Writing section of the site. I wrote an article on Anti-Pop Consortium for the current issue of XLR8R, and a piece on independent black filmmakers for Black Filmmaker Magazine. An excerpt of that article is currently online.

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05.05.02 11:50 PM

music and me

Nothing to say today. Just a little bit of music to share. Here's the playlist for the day:
Earth, Wind & Fire — Be Ever Wonderful
Ohio Players — Body Vibes
Roy Ayers Ubiquity — The Third Eye
Pharoah Sanders — The Creator Has A Master Plan
Alice Coltrane — A Love Supreme
Kruder & Dorfmeister — High Noon
Bob Marley — Sun is Shining
Zero 7 — Destiny
Jazzanova — Another New Day

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05.04.02 07:32 PM

love/a many splintered thing

Lately, there is this poem that keeps plaguing my mind. I didn't get it the first time I heard it though. It was during the taping of the first season of MTV Real World. It was the first time I met Kevin Powell. My cousin had known him a little while, and took me over to the Real World house in SOHO to meet him. During our visit, he had to go over to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe to give a reading. And this poem that has been plaguing my mind as of late, was the only thing I remembered him reading. I wanted to get it. For some reason I couldn't. Today, I guess I do, otherwise it would't be with me. I guess it just didn't hold much relevance for me back then. Do you get it? Here it goes:

love/a many splintered thing
i have this need to feel you
make love out of the sweat
itching our palms give
you to your mother so that she
can give birth to you create an
ocean where love sleeps peacefully
eat out of the same bed we flesh
orgasms scream where cobwebs
imprison courage cry where
your tears gripped my shoulders wrap
my tongue around your waist and
lick the rhythms of your walk
talk until a beat hits me where
it hits me where it hits me
in the space where my heart
used to be you know it's
blank now dark black no
commercials open land
waiting to be folded and smoothed
out like the note i slipped you yesterday
that said you are me am you we are
do not be afraid i want to
help you help me love a
many splintered thing i felt
yes his tongue slit my heart
as it parted your mouth
and i wanted to die yeah
rope myself with naivete
drink reflection: share a walk on
lenox avenue with a friend who
gets high on pain too many times
we step on eyelids and miss
the chance to l(i)ove the chance
to slide open a cloud with a kiss
when will trust not be for sale a
gun between the thighs a middle
finger aimed at the hungry a wish
stuffed inside two bodies crawling
on their tails scraping the bottom
of a dream
copyright 1995 by Kevin Powell

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05.02.02 11:11 PM


Wondering if my lapse in memory has been caused by some sort of miasma brought on by the leak in the cooling system of my car. I know I've wanted to blog the past few days, but I can never seem to remember anything I had to say.

Netcomments is still down, so I can't add commenting to my posts. I've added some new bloggers to my links page. But these are definitely not the things I was thinking of talking about. Hardcore's posts on love have been very helpful to me lately. It was nice to be reminded that there is no love greater than self-love.

Hmm...I really can't seem to remember what my thoughts were, they all seem terribly jumbled right now. Oh, here's one. Grand Theft Auto 3: what's the fascination? My sister bought my niece PS2 and said she bought that game title for herself. Nonetheless, my niece has become the expert. And I wonder what is this 12-year-old learning by playing this game? As an aside, I have to mention that the radio stations on there are quality, especially the reggae and hip-hop ones, but of course that is another matter altogether. The hip-hop station features Stretch Armstrong, and this guy really knows how to give underground hip-hopppers some shine. But anyway, back to my thoughts. The other day, after picking her up from dance class, my niece tells me she is going to teach my how to play Grand Theft Auto, and she adds, "Don't worry about the curses auntie, I keep the volume down and I scroll right through the text." Well, I guess I should be thankful for some things. Anyway, while watching her excited play, and her adrenalin boiling, I started to have some thoughts to self moments. 1. She is learning that if you want something shiny and new, you can take it. 2. You can get paid for killing people and beating them up. 3. If someone is in your way, all you have to do is run them over. 4. You don't have to take care of your possessions, because you can always replace them with other people's possessions. Now, don't get me wrong, this is a bright kid, with a pretty balanced life (ok too much IMing, 'Net games, PS2, GameBoy Advance, and Nintendo, but we won't get into that here) but nonetheless, she knows right from wrong. I wonder about the kids who don't, and who play games like these without any supervision. I'd like to add, my niece never plays this game alone. And I wonder if that even makes a difference. Hmm...

Some other thoughts that I think I've been thinking. Last night, got on the list to see Blackalicious and Black Lilly at SOBs. Thanks Heather Jones, whoever you may be. D. went with me, and that was interesting since we are working on transitioning our relationship into friendship. We did have a nice night together, I must add. The standout of the night though was Jazzy Fatnastees. These girls have been holding down this Black Lilly thing for quite some time. Bringing the soul of Philly to NYC. It used to be at Wetlands, and now has relocated to SOBs. Of course Philly folks get to see this on the regular—the coalition that folks like Jill Scott and Jaguar Wright have come through. But damn, those Fatnastees, are the type of songstresses (lol) that take you back to the '70s. Harmonies that just flow through your bones. They appear very uncompromising in their craft, in that they stay true to their sound and vocal stylings. No wonder they only had one album. Probably unwilling to sell out and turn their sound into the industry crafted R&B/hip-hop combination. I know I'm not doing them much justice here, but if you never heard them before go over to Amazon or CDNow and sample their music. If you don't already own their ish, trust, you'll want to purchase. To keep up-to-date on what they and other "neo-soul" and "funky hip-hop" folks are doing, go check out okayplayer. BTW, I've got lots to say about that label neo-soul, but I'll save it for another post.

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