Lynne d Johnson



« February 2003 | Diary | April 2003 »

03.28.03 08:24 PM

this is how you're supposed to use IM at work

After chatting it up with Donald today, I am all the more awaiting his return to the blogosphere. Here are some excerpts is just about the whole damn conversation (edited) we had today:

dagarrat (12:36:46:00 PM): For some reason, this war has me really irritated at hip-hop even more than usual. It's kinda amplified the way I feel about hip-hop - how hip-hop has really failed Black culture. I see how powerless we are to even voice our concerns. And it's not like hip-hop has taught us that we deserve to be able to voice those concerns either ...

lynneluvah (12:37:41:00 PM): hmm...i'd really like to know more about your thoughts
lynneluvah (12:38:03:00 PM): hip hop in its current state is the epitome of american culture at least the hip hop that is at the commercial fore capitalism is what america is about and so is hip hop thus the connections run deep...hip hop has become as american as apple pie

dagarrat (12:39:10:00 PM): Exactly ... but what do Black people get in exchange for that? Can we honestly say that our children are better off because we have hip-hop?

lynneluvah (12:39:22:00 PM): no i am not saying that at all in terms of economic parity well, i think you know my answer hip hop has made it possible for more black folks to have jobs not just rapping building awareness, consciousness that's not hip hop
lynneluvah (12:40:26:00 PM): no i wouldn't say so but helping black youth move into the fabric of America (read white) out of jail, off the streets...hip hop has played a role, no?

dagarrat (12:42:19:00 PM): Yes, that's not hip-hop. But that's what we needed from hip-hop. We needed more than a few jobs and a whole lot of pipe dreams. We needed a structure of consciousness - and look at what we grew up with. What has hip-hop taught us (or told us) about ourselves? We needed so much more ...And look at what we got.

lynneluvah (12:43:13:00 PM): we got american i'm not saying it is a good thing We have finally become, well, American that's all I can say about it

dagarrat (12:43:33:00 PM): A few more tired magazines (no disrespect intended) to sell us plenty of low-quality shit that we don't need.
dagarrat (12:43:56:00 PM): And who would call hip-hop American?

lynneluvah (12:44:08:00 PM): I mean I read Mulatto America, The New HNIC, ... other stuff and i am not into it being the new civil rights movement nor a religion i mean hip hop it's just another aspect of culture
lynneluvah (12:44:46:00 PM): i don't think it ever meant to promise us anything, and i am not excusing it either but it is a product of this country in so many ways and it takes it to the next level and not in positive ways at all wait back to your ?

dagarrat (12:45:29:00 PM): No, hip-hop doesn't have to be about civil rights or activism - but the blaring message that hip-hop sends it that we don't love ourselves.

lynneluvah (12:45:36:00 PM): nowadays everyone is calling hip hop american especially since em is at the helm of it
lynneluvah (12:45:58:00 PM): but doesn't that generalize hip hop and bring it down to its base and base i mean as in fan base what the radio feeds what the distribution channels overtly and maximally push to the center stage
lynneluvah (12:46:37:00 PM): there is other hip hop music and activism i don't think you can blame hip hop itself but more you can look at transnational capitalism global domination of entertainment industry rests with america in film, tv, music, publications it helped hip hop to build its identitiy when it was first struggling to find itself
lynneluvah (12:48:51:00 PM): i think your contentions are valid but as devil's advocate, and as a cultural critic, i tend to look at all sides

dagarrat (12:48:59:00 PM): But look at hip-hop? It is overwhelmingly negative on so many different levels. Is that the price we pay to be part of a capitalist phenomenon - to sell the worst of ourselves?

lynneluvah (12:49:24:00 PM): it's also what christianity did to us, when we were slaves i think that at times we have to look at history in order to fully understand all of this
lynneluvah (12:49:46:00 PM): hip hop's most heard messages i agree are negative but as i said, there is so much more to hip hop than just the music, and even in music, more than what clear channel or the big 7 of the recording industry pushes

dagarrat (12:50:39:00 PM): I'm not really even talking about the commercial viability of hip-hop per se - I'm talking about how detrimental its messages have been to our culture over the last say 15 years ...

lynneluvah (12:50:42:00 PM): christianity, crack...hip hop and now you're going to have me start talking about conspiracy theories
lynneluvah (12:51:42:00 PM): and yes i agree, i think up there somewhere i said i did, but i need to look at the whole picture, dissect it from the inside out, like some spook who sat by the door type ish

dagarrat (12:51:55:00 PM): It makes me wonder if hip-hop artists could really be mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and sons and daughters ...

lynneluvah (12:52:39:00 PM): but they are, they are, and they are living the american dream to the nth exponential...and at times it's scary what is funny is how we always hear all this talk about white's ripping off black culture, but in many ways black folks still want to be white and that is what we have here, ruthless, nefarious

dagarrat (12:53:23:00 PM): I don't really believe that either - I think there might be a few artists who really blow up - but most artists are probably still livin in they momma's basement ...

lynneluvah (12:53:36:00 PM): Suge Knight=John Gotti, or some such scenario

dagarrat (12:53:58:00 PM): ... being pimped for their dreams by some gigantic conglomerate that don't give a damn ...

lynneluvah (12:54:35:00 PM): and that's true, most are still living in their momma's basement, and that's the interesting thing about the media industry, for all the cds that come out, all the books that get published, all the tv shows that air, those industries know that only about 10% if that much will succeed but they need the risk and failure, it's biz, it's not culture
lynneluvah (12:55:32:00 PM): i'm not disagreeing with you at all, i just, for myself, need to be clear about what is really happening here no longer do i look at hip hop and say that is "authentic" black culture

dagarrat (12:55:52:00 PM): And honey, you know that these record companies make money off of artists who shit never sees the light of day!

lynneluvah (12:56:08:00 PM): especially since most of who hip hop is being sold to and listened to by is white suburban males, young ones at that
lynneluvah (12:56:34:00 PM): it's another form of slavery on some levels as sharecropping was, it is a similar system that's why so many filmmakers, who want to make good films get discouraged it's a very similar thing

dagarrat (12:56:52:00 PM): See. We are allowing our kids to be pimped.

lynneluvah (12:57:03:00 PM): i mean you gotta think about what is happening in film too

dagarrat (12:57:05:00 PM): Because that's who's being exploited. Black youth.

lynneluvah (12:57:08:00 PM): it is in tandem to this

dagarrat (12:57:14:00 PM): yeah?

lynneluvah (12:57:35:00 PM): and i love that folks have discusssions about this and write about this, etc. etc. but the kid in the pjs or the young boy with the single mom, all he's seeing is dude up on 6th floor driving a range and he wants that too and he looks on tv and he sees it too and that's what he wants
lynneluvah (12:58:18:00 PM): i think it falls back to education education must be addressed more black folks with your way of thinking need to start organizations for youth, and as well open up independent schools

dagarrat (12:59:06:00 PM): Because the message is "Get a Hummer. Impress Your Friends." ... he doesn't stop to think how ridiculous it is to have a car that costs more than his home.

lynneluvah (12:59:17:00 PM): if in a hopeless world you see nothing else but pain, you don't give a fuck about consciousness, you just want to get paid
lynneluvah (12:59:34:00 PM): see we have to not be classist in this either
lynneluvah (12:59:49:00 PM): i mean i don't know your deal but i come from a two parent working class home and often i find i have to be very careful about how i talk about these subjects b/c i don't know what it is to go w/out a meal maybe to go w/out the latest name brand sneakers, but not w/out a meal

dagarrat (1:00:28:00 PM): Right, but that pain isn't - and it never WAS - the totality of our collective Black experience.

lynneluvah (1:00:38:00 PM): s'actly

dagarrat (1:00:51:00 PM): True ... that's the difficulty. Because class is important to consider, too.

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03.28.03 01:54 AM

decided to put it up anyway

Related to the post from March 13, here's at least one pic.

In case you can't figure it out: "It's gettin' hot in herre"

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03.26.03 10:25 PM

still nothing to say

Go download yourself some protest music. Some of this was lifted from Jay Smooth, whose blog shall now be added to my links list. Others, I heard about at my favorite discussion group afrofuturism. One came from Trent and another one I heard on the WBAI's Liquid Sound Lounge on Saturday. I realize I don't need to say anything b/c it is all being said.

The Beastie Boys - In A World Gone Mad

Zach De La Rocha and DJ Shadow - March of Death

Me'Shell Ndegeocello - Love & Forgiveness

Sarah Jones - Whose War?

Saul Williams - Pledge of Resistance

Lenny Kravitz - We Want Peace

And a bonus I picked up from east/west
R.E.M. - The Final Straw

Bonus 2: go peep
Davey D's list
of hip-hop anti-war songs.

While you're downloading, go read hardcore, he's been prolifically covering the current events of these times.

And from the
Bruce Banner.
Some Hip Hop fans might remember Eric B. & Rakim released Don't Sweat the Technique in 1992 on that album was a song called "Casualties of War" in which Rakim tells a story of being a American G.I. who in the middle of battle has a revelation and decides to fraggs his colleagues. Well that kinda sounds like what happened over the weekend in Kuwait city. Army Sgt. Asan Akbar who is a Muslim allegedly tossed a grenade on some other soilders killing one and injuring 12, Rakim who is a 5% (percenter) an offsplint of the Muslim religion rapped about the same efforts in 92 and after reading the words of this you might think he wrote the track over the weekend. This is bound to be a big debate soon but it's nothing new about fragging and dissent.
Go to the Army, be all you can be
Another dead soldier? Hell no, not me
So I start letting off ammunition in every direction
Allah is my only protection
But wait a minute, Saddam Hussein prays the same
and this is Asia, from where I came
I'm on the wrong side, so change the target
Shooting at the general; and where's the sergeant?
Blame it on John Hardy Hawkins for bringing me to America
Now it's mass hysteria
I get a rush when I see blood, dead bodies on the floor
The war is over, for now at least
Just because they lost it don't mean it's peace
It's a long way home, it's a lot to think about
Whole generation, left in doubt
Innocent families killed in the midst
It'll be more dead people after this
So I'm glad to be alive and walkin
Half of my platoon came home in coffins
Except the general, buried in the Storm
in bits and pieces no need to look for em
I played it slick and got away with it
Rigged it up so they would think they did it
Now I'm home on reserves and you can bet
when THEY call, I'm going AWOL
Cause it ain't no way I'm going back to war
when I don't know who or what I'm fighting for
lyrics courtesy of ohhla

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03.20.03 10:02 PM

ain't gonna study war no more

I don't have much to say. Go listen to some protest music. "Not In My Name," by Saul Williams with some remixes by Coldcut, DJ Spooky, and DJ Goo. Check it out at Not In Our Name. That is all there is to be said. Fa' shure!

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03.13.03 09:22 PM

no love for hip-hop

I think jimi izrael has his finger on the pulse with this one. Given that both Stephen Talty, author of Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture - A Social History , and Todd Boyd, author of The New HNIC: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop, seem to believe that for youth who have become the hip-hop generation, The Civil Rights Movement doesn't mean a lot. Instead of the elders, who helped many young'ins reap the benefits they so boldly enjoy (floss) today, dissing hip-hop they should either confront it in an open forum, or do the each-one-teach-one move, or better yet join forces with some of today's young protestors, who happen to be members of the so-called hip-hop generation. izrael, who writes the "What It Iz" column for who had "Stop Dissing Hip-Hop Nation," published in the LA Times today says, "I can't understand why the civil rights illuminati wake up only long enough to scold the young people." He closes with, "What's wrong, Mrs. Parks (respectfully), is that the hip generation gots love for you, but you gots no love for us." The message is clear. And it's real. Another version of this commentary ran on AlterNet today as "Rosa Parks: No Love for the Hip-Hop Generation." If you read izrael's latest column on Africana, he feels the hip-hop generation doesn't know a damn thing about activism, and that folks like Russell Simmons and Kevin Powell are definitely not in a position to lead them. My question to that one is, then who should they listen to? If the old guard ain't teaching, then who? And who are the right people to teach the hip-hop generation about organizing? Then again, the real question could be: Should the old skool sit down and shut up, or should they pass the torch, and do it properly?

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03.13.03 12:50 AM

posting no pics

I decided not to post any pics from Miami since all I took were photos of Nelly performing. Will probably use those for the slave, so I don't think I should use them here. But here are the details of my past weekend. Only details folks, I do not have lots of time for much commentary right now.
Arrived in Miami and was driven by private car to The National Hotel in South Beach. With not much time before the evening's affairs, I grabbed a bite to eat, turned on MTV to watch Battle of the Sexes, unwind, and get changed. We Internet and print media folk, along with some radio personalities, met in the lobby and made our way to Skybar in the Shore Club Hotel. We had catered food, and an open bar there. Later, we walked over to the Delano where we saw J Records' Clive Davis. One of the members of my group stopped to shake his hand. Both of these Ian Schrager Hotels are pretty ritzy. Some Miami hot shot came and gave us wrist bands for VIP entry to Prive. Even with the wrist bands it was hard to get in. Yes, yes, velvet rope and daunting lines. But I got in the joint. More on Skybar and Prive here. Stayed there pretty much until the wee hours of the morning.

Since I woke up late, only had time for a little jaunt down Lincoln Road. Been here before, so I knew there was nothing but restaurants and shopping. A sista has got to get her eat on. Walked along Collins Avenue a little bit. That is hotel strip, basically. Right outside The National, I was checking out this chick's boots, then I looked up, and was staring eye-to-eye with rapper, Foxy Brown. Axe really spent a lot of money on this weekend, because they chartered helicopters to fly us out to the Wellington Country Club in West Palm Beach for the Axe House Party. (Remix: The party was held at the Mida mansion. I had to add that b/c someone emailed me and thought I was a perp or poser for not saying that. I guess they didn't check my bio or writing credits, and thought I needed to say I was at this party to feel like a big timer. Little did the emailer know that party wasn't even my scene, and well you know, you read the non mover and shaker post.) It was wild. Andrew WK, Nelly, and others performed. DJ Z Trip was on point. The event lasted until morning, and we limoed back to the hotel. Of course I woke up late the next day, only to be driven to the airport for my flight back to NYC for a 60 degree weather drop. Felt great in Miami, but once I got back, SAD hit me once more. Glad that it is finally warming up again here this week.

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03.06.03 11:22 PM

miami and seattle bound

Any Miami bloggers out there? Well, I'll be down your way tomorrow - Sunday. I will be pretty much tied up with this here event but I am always looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers. And in case I forget to mention, I'll be out in Seattle, WA for this in April. So send an email if you're in either of these cities and let's figure out if we can hook up. And if you're visiting NYC any time soon, let me know that also.
Bonus: The latest in online music service offerings.
Looks like the recording industry is really trying to get into this online music business at full speed. Even Apple is on the bandwagon. (To view the following articles in their entirety, subscriptions are required. NYT-Free WSJ-Paid.)

"Apple to Launch Online Service For Digital-Music Subscriptions," by Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2003 :
"Apple Computer Inc. and major record labels are expected to launch an online music subscription service within several weeks, entertainment industry sources said."

"The service would allow Apple users to buy and download digital music for their Macintosh computers or iPod portable music players, the sources said on condition of anonymity."— More...

"The Internet as Jukebox, at a Price," by David Pogue, The New York Times, March 6, 2003:
"Befuddlement (n.): 1. Confusion resulting from failure to understand. 2. Loss of sense of direction, position, or relationship with one's surroundings. 3. The state of the recording industry as it tries to sell music on the Internet."

"The only thing record companies know for sure is that they want to kill off the insanely popular Sons of Napster: free music-sharing services like KaZaA, Gnutella and Morpheus. After all, the millions who use these services are in effect stealing music, depriving the five major labels of perfectly good money. But watching the record companies as they try to find a formula for a successful paid alternative is like watching five people play blindman's bluff on stilts."— More...

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03.05.03 09:12 PM

from hardcore to multimedia

Lately, I have been watching and sharing how hip-hop has been covered in the mainstream press. As well, how the music and culture are making inroads into nearly every form of media. I am talking major business moves developing. Without hip-hop there would be no Chappelle show. Hey, there would not have been a Chris Rock show or Arsenio either. Believe that. And let's not even mention Ali G. Trust me I do not want to mention him. But seriously, things are definitely happening. 50 cent sold 872,000 copies of his CD with only four days of sales his first week. With that major coup he broke the record for first week sales of a debut artist. Sure R. Kel knocked him out of the #1 spot. Sure there has been a lot of hype surrounding him. He is down with the million-dollar man and ultimate producer. But I think all of this activity as of late is really saying something. Something significant that folks need to analyze. Even down to Todd Boyd's latest book, The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip-Hop (NYU Press). Speaking of books, that is the latest topic of discussion in which you find hip-hop being mentioned. Hip-hop is having it's day in the world of publishing. Check it out...

"Rap, hardcore to hardcover ," by Rebecca Louie, Daily News, February 26, 2003 :
"Hip-hop culture has turned a page."

"The billion-dollar music genre, which already has the advertising and fashion businesses bouncing to its beat, has now infiltrated one of pop culture's less-frequented markets book publishing. Ranging from pricey coffee-table eye candy to practical reference and history books, the tomes are an effort to preserve hip-hop culture in more than just CDs and music videos."— More...

Bonus: sneak peak of Jay-Z interview in the April 2003 issue of Playboy. It actually looks like an interesting issue. I might have to cop that. (Remix: The April issue is no longer on the Playboy site, so you can't get the sneak peek. But it was an excellent interview. For one, Jay-Z plans to retire and he wants to run Universal.)

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03.04.03 10:35 PM

i am not a mover nor a shaker

Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a mover nor am I a shaker. According to Webster, a mover and shaker is someone who is active or influential in some field of endeavor. Alright, so I have a job that a lot of people seem to think makes me "big time." But yo, I am just a regular chick. I make mistakes. I do not know everything and everyone. I am not bumping and rubbing shoulders with celebrities and entrepreneurs.

This is not a rant. I am just learning how funny people are. I am simply a person who is going about her life's work, trying to make a difference, and doing what she is driven to do. Passion drives me. I use that to get me to my next step in life. The funny people seem to think folks with passion can help them out on various levels. It's like everybody wants something. I tend to more often help those who don't ask...but in whom I see drive, determination, and most of all, a gift. Be that gift humility, or just some blazing, ass-kicking talent. Again, this is not a rant. But nowadays, people look to me more and more as an entry into lots of things—be it a writing career, a party, a concert, an introduction to someone who is making moves, free publicity, whatever. Man, I am out here trying to get my game on just like everyone else. I am on the grind. On the daily.

I'd like to quote the words of Billie Holiday, right here: "Money, you've got lots of friends/ Crowding round the door/ When you're gone, spending ends/ They don't come no more." Everyone has a dream, this I know. But a dream is not made off of free handouts. A dream is not made off of badgering someone. When you reach what some view as a zenith, those some want so much. Often asking the impossible. Fact: a year ago, I was trying to make a dollar out of 50 Cents. Pun intended. Those of you who were with me then, when I was down and out, keeping my spirits up, get the utmost props. And the others, the vultures—those who love me for what I do and not who I am—well, you know who you are. I needn't say more.

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03.03.03 11:59 PM

winter sucks

I have lived in much colder climates, but never have I felt as terrible as I do this winter. My appetite for food is highly irregular, and I am gaining weight. I crave so many things that I normally do not eat. All these sweet and fatty things. My sexual appetite is waning. And that is a shock to the system. I am not lacking it, but just not wanting it as much. Go figure! I hate waking up in the morning. And often I am tired by midday. All I want to do is sleep. I rag on all the people closest to me. All the time. My procrastination syndrome has turned up a notch, so that all the side projects that I really love to be involved in (and they are damn good opportunities too) are passing me by. I kept thinking something was physically wrong with me. Yeak ok, the Dr. said low iron. But I have had that problem most of my life. It simply comes and goes. I feel like I am just dragging around, shiftless, and letting life pass me by. I don't want to do shit half the time, but curl up with a good book or some digital cable. And I hate TV. I haven't been to any events, although I get asked to go out all the time. It is starting to make me sick. So perhaps, I thought, I could be depressed. Or, just a little bit touched. In the head that is. But the truth is, there is really a name for what is going on with me. I could possibly have SAD. The Winter Doldrums are real folks. It's like the colder the day, the worse I feel.

Since I was 16, I have not felt my best from November until some time after the holidays---around January or February.My father died that year, a little before Thanksgiving and that has always had an affect on how I feel about the holidays overall. But I had gotten better over the years. Less the scrooge that I once was. Also, I always thought that since I was born in the summer, of course summer time was when I felt most right. But the way I feel this year, I just don't know. I need some sunshine. Some sunlight. Some peace of mind to peak my creative juices and flow. Hopefully, this trip to Miami this coming weekend will boost me up proper. If not I better seek some testing to see if I need light therapy.

So if you don't see me around here that often, just blame it on the lack of sunlight. The chilling and ripping winds. The weather changes that play with my emotions--up in the high 40s one day and down to the low 20s the next. The constant snow, rain, and clouds. All those damn clothes I have to wear. The bulky coat. The sweaters, the hats, the gloves. I care so little about my appearance that I bought some funky light blue snake-like, cowboy-like, high-heeled boots to perk me up last week. I was perked up alright, but it only lasted for a day. OK, back to the matter at hand. If it seems like I am not here often, or when I am I'm rambling, just note, it should all be over by April. You see, I also thought I was suffering from information glut, but it's more likely that I am less able to concentrate than I usually am. That I can handle all the information I have to deal with on the daily, but just not right now. Yep, my memory sucks. I have forgotten friends birthdays---which I never do. Forget to return people's phone calls. Oh and it gets much worse, but that is probably more than I need to share here.

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