Lynne d Johnson



« September 2004 | Diary | November 2004 »

10.29.04 06:39 PM

the playlist

I know I said an audioblog but not today...waiting til the MT upgrade is finished and I might change design up a bit or at least the pic of myself that's in the header. But anyway - here's today's playlist, as if anyone cares what i've been listening to. BTW, it's a random playlist - you know iTunes shuffle.

1. Snoop Dogg & Pharrell - Drop It Like It's Hot
2. New Order - Ceremony
3. New Order - Blue Monday
4. Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.
5. Swayzak - State Of Grace
6. Spiritual South - Stars & Rockets
7. Aailiyah - Don't Worry
8. Thelonious Monk - Eronel (Take 3)
9. Angeleous - Spit 100% (F. Sinful)
10. Martina Topley - Sandpaper Kisses

I think 10 is enough....

Next time there'll be descriptions

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (0) |

10.28.04 01:37 PM

i want to audioblog

after several attempts in the past to share music with folks, i'm starting to think i should start an audio blog a la folks like oliver and jason. it'll actualy be a lot easier for me to keep up with an audioblog than this regular blog. for one, i have some mos def on mixtapes that sounds a lot more focused than the new album, though i'm not hating the new album. and it's that real east coast shit - with the focus on lyricism - wordsmiths - ya' know it.

anyway, i'm going to contemplate the audioblog thing while i contemplate this upgrade on MT, cuz comment spam is kicking my ass big time, especially when i don't post anything new or have been away from email for several days. (new sidekick II should remedy that email situation - shout outs to mister jt, my partner in crime on that one).

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (0) |

10.21.04 12:10 PM

these books are so killing it right now

And It Don't Stop: The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years edited by Raquel Cepeda's Peter L'Official says: "At its best, "And It Don't Stop" is a collection of hip-hop's most vital moments -- a historical documentation of the music's evolution and the journalism that evolved along with that music. Nelson George, one of the pioneers of hip-hop journalism and author of such works as "Hip-Hop America" and "Post-Soul Nation," writes in his foreword that the book serves as a record "not merely of artists and their records, but also a window into the popular dialogue that hip-hop has made possible."

That's The Joint! A Hip-Hop Studies Reader edited by Murray Forman and Mark Anthony Neal's Katori Hall says: ""That's the Joint!" is an eclectic collection of more than 40 previously published articles and essays that capture the emergence and growth of hip-hop culture. Colorfully titled essays such as "Never Trust a Big Butt and a Smile" by Tricia Rose, and "Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yourself" by Todd Boyd deconstruct hip-hop using a kaleidoscopic lens of research techniques drawn from sociology, musicology, linguistics, political science, feminist theory, and economics. Every article, written in the distinct style of its author, paints the multifaceted face of a multicultural reality."

Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don't Have Bruises by Miles Marshall Lewis

Greg Tate, author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk and Midnight Lightning: Race, Sex, Technology and Jimi Hendrix and editor of Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture says: "Lewis has composed an observant and urbane B-boy's rites of passage, one which deftly transports us from the Boogie Down better known as the Bronx to the Champs Elysees. Herein find a hip-hop bildungsroman told in prose full of buoyancy and bounce, generously stocked with revelations about black transatlantic culture and romance that are as much a generation's as the writer's own."

Da Capo Best Music Writing 2004: The Year's Finest Writing on Rock, Hip-hop, Jazz, Pop, Country, and More edited by Paul Bresnick and Mickey Hart

Yet to find any reviews on this one, but just know there's a piece written by me in there. So I'm realizing I need to get more of my writing on and a book deal.

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (0) |

10.20.04 04:42 PM

cop this ish...

listening to...



best music writing 2004



more to come...

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (0) |

10.15.04 02:32 PM

yo, Q is really getting his scribe on

My boy Q is on the come up - this piece is really showing his growth as a writer and a thinker.

"Holy hip-hop" aims for mainstream

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno
Special to The Denver Post

For years hip-hop music was perceived as a violent, misogynistic and materialistic segment of urban culture. Things changed this summer as multiplatinum rapper Kanye West released the inspirational hit record "Jesus Walks," rapper-turned-pastor Mase returned to the hip-hop industry, and embattled singer R. Kelly churned out a lauded gospel album.

Christian ethos has been filling hip-hop radio and television airwaves the past six months. Along with the success of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ," it seems Jesus Christ has become an "in" thing for at least a portion of pop culture.

But for a plethora of unknown underground rappers, Jesus has been the in thing for quite a while. Christian rappers are looking to ride a wave of acceptance for hip-hop with spirituality and meaning.

"In what I call holy hip-hop ... it's set apart for God," said Lewis Brown, 25, also known as Proxy, a Denver rapper looking to spread awareness of God through hip-hop. "Of course, we celebrate hip-hop culture and the art form, but we celebrate God first in every way."

Holy hip-hop, or what some call Christian hip-hop, first appeared in the late '80s and early '90s. Groups like SFC, Dynamic Twins and Stephen Wiley created hip-hop music with the message of the gospel. The scene was underground back then, and the most anyone really saw of holy hip-hop was what DC Talk was doing, which was considered too forced and manufactured to appeal to an urban crowd. The scene began to take off in the mid- to late '90s with groups such as Cross Movement, Grits and Gospel Gangstaz bringing more credibility and a better quality of music to the forefront. Now dozens of individual artists, groups and record labels rap about Jesus - and some are on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream.

"I think within the last five years there's been quite a bit of growth," said Sherice Sudds, chief executive and publisher of FEED Magazine, which covers the holy hip-hop industry. "I think that's mostly because the quality level is definitely changing. For the most part, the majority of Christian hip-hop that existed was all about the 'Jesus raps.' Now people are applying their faith to things that are relevant to people everyday. I think the change is long overdue."

A bridge or an island?

The success of mainstream acts who send a spiritual message - West, Mase and others among them - could open doors for lesser-known Christian rappers. The platinum achievement of Christian rock acts like P.O.D., Evanescence and Switchfoot is an inspiration to Christian hip-hop artists, but holy hip-hop is not supported by the Christian music industry, Christian radio or the mainstream hip-hop industry.

Can songs like West's "Jesus Walks" get the ball rolling?

"I don't think it's helped us at all," said Josh Niemyjski, general manager of Illect Records, a Christian hip-hop label that has a roster of 10 artists. "Kanye just sells more records. ... I disagree wholeheartedly with how people have embraced Kanye's 'Jesus Walks.'

"The album is like you go to church on Sunday and then you're slanging crack on Tuesday and filming porno movies the next day. What gives? It gives off a vibe that it's acceptable to do certain things which would be more probably like misrepresenting holy hip-hop."

Sudds of Feed Magazine has a different take on the situation. She chooses to look on the positive side of things.

"I think that we have to ... make an opportunity out of it," Sudds said. "I think what Kanye presents really is reality, and we can't negate the fact that that exists. I mean, do we condemn people for it? Just because Kanye raps about his contradictions on a record doesn't mean that Christians that rap about Christ consistently in their music don't have contradictions themselves."

"Just praying" for it to last

As for Mase, a multiplatinum rapper who left the industry in 1999 to become a Christian pastor and returned this summer with a new album, most Christian artists sees his transformation as genuine. Even though Mase sharply criticized hip-hop when he dropped out, Denver rapper Shawn MacDonald, also known as Complexx, can relate.

"Mase left for spiritual reasons," MacDonald said. "He felt he had to leave to get right with God, and that's the same thing I did. Now with Mase coming back into the secular industry and giving a new message, I think that's a good thing. It's a good thing because the secular world actually saw him leave for Christ."

Lewis Brown shares the hope that Mase stays on his present path. "I'm just praying for Mase's consistency," Brown said. "I'm praying that as a man he upholds what God has sent him to do."

Brown and MacDonald are working on various projects, with Brown scheduled to release "The 2nd Coming" early next year. MacDonald is building a home studio to help produce other up-and-coming artists. His former group, Like Minded, released an album earlier this year that featured his vocals on most songs.

With the mainstream's ear open to spiritual messages for the moment, maybe Christian hip-hop artists like MacDonald and Brown can slip in.

"The only thing that I'm concerned with about the release of Kanye's project and what Mase is doing, I don't want to see it become another trend," Sudds said. "Like we had the social-political stuff, then we had the gangsta rap, then we had the bling-bling rap and now we're going to be on the positive Jesus stuff.

"I think the popularity of spirituality and Christianity is just not within hip-hop," she said. "'The Passion" doing as well as it did just shows that the climate of the world is ready for something different.

"I'm just praying that it's going to be lasting."

Reverent rap

Here's a quick survey of Christian hip-hop. These albums are available at

Gospel Gangstaz, "Exodus": A pioneering West Coast hip-hop trio.

Grits, "Dichotomy A": A duo on the verge of breaking through to the mainstream.

Corey Red & Precise, "Resistance Iz Futile": An ultra-aggressive East Coast-style group.

Cross Movement, "Holy Culture": Often described as a Christian Wu-Tang Clan.

Procussions, "As Iron Sharpens Iron": Denver's own celebrates hip-hop and the Spirit.

KJ-52, "It's Pronounced Five-Two": Often compared to Eminem because he's white and sounds like him too.

New Breed, "Nine": A brother- and-sister group pushing the boundaries of thematic hip-hop.

Papa San, "God & I": Dancehall/

reggae music with a Christian theme.

The Tunnel Rats, "The Tunnel Rats": A collective of artists and groups coming together to create an album.

DJ Maj, "DJ Maj Presents: The Ring Leader: Mixtape Vol. 3": A mix of various Christian hip-

hop and R&B artists mixed by DJ Maj.

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (2) |

10.06.04 05:14 PM

what the...

I've been in hiatus mode lately due to recent office and home moves along with much other activity and it seems that the spam demons have totally vandalized my website. It's going to take some time to clean this mess up, even with good 'ole Jay Allen's MT Blacklist in place.

posted by lynne | | comment () | trackback (0) |


This weblog is powered by Movable Type 3.3 and licensed under a Creative Commons License.