Lynne d Johnson



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03.28.05 11:59 AM

the real deal on women in/and hip-hip

last week, unable to attend the center for communication's "Images of Women in Hip Hop" - I looked to fellow feminist and hip-hop blogs for an account of the discussion, following are some highlights:

a little background on the discussion, leads us to funkdigi's comments on essence magazine's "Take Back The Music" campaign:

"On Essence Magazine's website you'll find a feature on video girls by Jeannine Amber. Again, some of Ms. Amber's most salient points include why a woman would want to risk being labeled a video hoe. According to Tawny, a video girl, the "hoochie girls"—the few that aggressively seek attention, often sexual, from artists—is not the norm in the biz. Most video girls aspire to the success of Melyssa Ford or Ester Baxter, video girls who have transcended, become today's mag pin-up girls and taken on a status of bonafied B-list celebrities in the hip-hop sphere. In reality most make as little as $100 a video, with the top ladies garnering upwards of $3000 per vid." >>>

julianne shepherd says that overall it was "two-and-a-half hours of unmitigated chaos," but reports that she dug a few basics from the mess, primarily

"1. The portrayal of women in hip-hop is a symptom of a larger problem, which includes a complex web of late-stage capitalism, media consolidation, and 600 years of American racism. [Karen Hunter: "You cant solve a problem unless you know where it starts."]" >>>

jeff gamble (funkdigi) posted on blogcritics:

"The event quickly became heated when rapper Remy Ma, 23, stated that as an artist, it was not her responsibility to rear other people's children. Remy went on to defend artists and how they present themselves to their fans and the general record buying public. Remy Ma's perspective seemingly centered around having credibility as an artist—a theme that would repeat itself throughout the discussion. "This is the way we (rappers) talk," said Remy." >>>

on media chin check, hashim posts he, jay, and funkdigi's reactions to the panel via a 3-way AIM convo, in which jay says:

"I think the event succeeded in dramatizing the need for us to explore these issues, but it failed to provide a safe space where we could actually start that exploration. It's a topic that sparks so much passion, that in order to have a constructive comversation about it, you need a solid structure set up to keep all that passion in check, so we can communicate effectively. And this event was just not moderated well enough for that to happen. So if anything, the biggest lesson tonight mght be that we all need to improve our communication skills, to be able to come together and have meaningful dialogue on the though things that really matter. Because let's be honest, that panel was a mess!" >>>

well here's to hoping that the feminism and hip-hop conference in chicago april 7 - april 9 fulfills its mission

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03.24.05 09:25 PM

of afros and angela

(L. to R. Lynne d Johnson, Coco Fusco)

my boy ron, founder and publisher of mosaic literary magazine, and pr guru at the bronx museum invited me to come out last night to lead a talk with coco fusco to discuss her video: A/K/A Mrs. George Gilbert for Bronx Museum of the Arts: Sample - Film, Music, Word & Performance.

From the Bronx Museum Newsletter: "This hybrid video blends fictional and documentary source material to tell the story of an FBI agent who confesses to his involvement in the nationwide search for Angela Davis, the famous radical philosopher and black activist who was on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list in 1970. Director Coco Fusco, 2004, 31 min. After the screening join culture writer Lynne d Johnson as she leads a discussion with the film's director."

all i kept thinking about was how much identitiy is wrapped up in hair, as well as how easy it is to mix fiction with fact. what lead fusco to make this film was that she was always interested in davis, but also interested in the many women who were arrested while the fbi searched for davis, as well as america's fascination with davis from the onset of her becoming a professor up to her arrest.

fusco uses this film to capture that fascination with a two-part narration discussion between a present-day female in search of the true angela davis story, and an fbi agent who was obsessed with her. a lot of the film focused on images of davis - the way the media and the law used photographs to program minds about who angela davis was.

before opening the floor up to q&a, i mainly asked fusco about what in her background lead her to this point. as well, i wanted to understand why she needed to tell this version of the story. and finally i wanted to know about her research process. i've already discussed what lead her to the project and why she needed to tell this version of the story, but left out the research topic purposely. fusco read every book, article, and legal document she could find. she also watched every movie she could get her hands on. all of this research got her to thinking about the women we've never heard about - those who were snatched up b/c they had afros or were light skinned - and there were others who didn't even fit either description. so in the film she juxtaposes fictional images of these women alongside davis. the research also got her thinking about all of the made up stories about angela davis and how they were held to be true - so instead fusco supposes a vision that could be linked more to reality. finally the research revealed how much people were still interested in davis and all of the memorabilia that exists (thanks to ebay of course).

the one thing that's a little creepy about the film is the agent's obsession with "the philosophy professor." at first he talks about her as just another target under surveillance, but it quickly moves to an obsession. an obsession with her voice, her hair, her smile. creeepy.

this film fosters an understanding of racial identity in terms of black hairstyles that represent power, particularly the afros of the late 60s - 70s. afros scared the beejuzus out of america, and from what i can tell, they still do (of course along with locs and cornrows, although most NBA and NFL brothas nowadays sport one or the other). and of course, like any other film that discusses cointelpro, light was shed on hoover's aim to destroy the black power movement.a lot was tied into this 31 minute presentation through mainly images of documents, clippings, and of course - phhotographic images.

i'm probably not being as articulate as i can be about this topic, because often it's hard for me to discuss things that i have a tangential relationship with.

overall, it was an interesting crowd that attended the screening and i know i enjoyed the film and the discussion - as did some SVA students who i rode home on the train with.

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03.24.05 05:57 PM

k-os' b-boy stance, dion's runnin'

don't you just love k-os' b-boy stance?

and here's a remix of the game's "runnin'" featuring dion

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03.24.05 11:19 AM

The Source Revamps

The Source Revamps, Adds Latino Edition
March 21, 2005
By Stephanie D. Smith

While hip-hop has become as all-American as McDonald's, music magazine The Source has struggled to cue up readers and advertisers.

The monthly's rate base of 500,000 was slashed to 430,000 in January, and ad pages have plummeted 20 percent through April to 245 compared to the same period in 2004, reported the Mediaweek Monitor. Conversely, urban lifestyle book Vibe, which has a 860,400 circ and has seen its ads jump 10 percent year to date, is successfully reaching readers eager for news on Jay-Z and Lil' Jon.

Adding to the challenge, The Source in recent months has had to contend with top-level departures. The magazine lost its editor in chief Kim Osorio, who has since been replaced by former deputy editor Fahiym Ratcliffe, as well as the managing editor.

Read the rest in MEDIAWEEK

Get the latest update from the best blog to ever cover the media world over at Kevin daily

And Jay posts sohh reports on dark days at the source

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03.18.05 07:43 PM

an open response to cinnamon

Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 19:42:44 -0500 [07:42:44 PM EST]
From: Lynne d Johnson
To: Cinnamon
Subject: BWB Panel

Thank you for commenting on my site. I probably should have contacted you first before linking to you, b/c I myself was not sure that you meant what you said in any way other than how you stated it. That's why I posed it as a question. I believe these types of dialogues should be had and I'm glad we can discuss it in this open forum known as the blogosphere.

When it comes to race, a lot of people in the dominant culture don't realize that when statements such as yours are made, that black people (often but not always) take the defensive and feel there is some deeper meaning implied, given the fact that racism is still such an ugly issue in our American society.

I'm glad you got to say your part, and I hope that in no way my posting part of your comment lead to any unwelcomed anger aimed at you.

Thank you

Lynne d Johnson

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03.17.05 05:25 PM

video - amerie: "1 Thing" - ciara: "oh"


i so love this song (it's my latest ringtone) - and so love this video

maybe amerie's career will stick this time and reach a tipping point (lol)...

peep the video, as if you haven't already (i see you trent)

real | wm | qt


and btw, no ciara is not a transvestite...

ciara "oh" featuring ludacris - video

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03.17.05 11:10 AM

blog walking 3.17.2005

this is the hip-hop edition...

Hashim discovers that Shia LaBeouf is a big hip-hop fan

Jeff Chang lays out the solesides-quannum story

jay ponders the death of hip-hop

sasha announces that the justo mixtape awards report is actually done

ian runs down the latest hot ish

uhmah park brilliantly untilizes Mase's lyrics: "Mase Can You Please Stop Smokin La La
Puff why try...I'm a thug, I'm a die high" to discuss why he likes to get blowed

sounds like exo wants cats to stop randomly linking to his posts, or something to that effect (ok, yeah, so why am i doing it? maybe i want to pull on his hair "just a lil bit")

government names links Juvenile f/ Wacko - "Sets Go Up," Joe Budden - "I'ma Hustler" freesyle, and Mullyman f/ Freeway and Black Lo - "From The Heart."

julianne is digging pitbull's freestyles

will wants you to peep his new style (he drinks evian) but i think the point is that he's got a review of Tanya Morgan: "Stay Tuned" on pitchfork media

todd kelly points us to a free dj low key mixtape

honey put up the bobby valentino - "Slow Down" and fat joe - "So Much More" videos

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03.16.05 02:52 PM

somebody please help me out on this one

Now that's exactly what I'm talking about. Can someone please read the post below and tell me I'm not tripping. Can someone please tell me that as this blogger proceeded to discuss the next panel that she went to - she never called the panelists well-spoken or intelligent. I'm trying really hard not to be overly sensitive about this, but would the following statement have been made about white people on a panel?


"The panels I'm attending today are all about people who aren't your typical blogger. The panel I attended this morning was titled "Blogging While Black". Of course there is no "Blogging While White". All of the panelists were well-spoken and intelligent and obviously knew a lot about what they were talking about. There were some differences in opinion on a few topics related to race and how it affects people's blogging style. Aaron of was mentioned. I would have loved to have seen him at this panel." >>>

cecily already weighs in on this one

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03.16.05 02:33 PM

Joshua “Fahiym” Ratcliffe Named Editor-In-Chief of The Source Magazine

March 16, 2005 Contact: Lulu Cohen
For Immediate Release

New York, NY- The Source is pleased to name a new Editor-In-Chief. Fahiym Ratcliffe assumes the prestigious role as Editor-In-Chief. He was previously Deputy Editor of the magazine. He held that post from November 2003 through March 2005. Prior to that, Ratcliffe was the Culture Editor for the magazine. Fahiym has been with The Source since December of 2000.

David Mays, Co-founder and CEO of The Source says, “We're really excited about Fahiym and are confident that he'll bring a fresh creative feel and solid leadership to the magazine. He has proven his editing and writing ability, and his knowledge of Hip-hop is far reaching."

Fayihm says, “Becoming Editor-In-Chief for The Source Magazine was a dream for me but now it’s a reality. I’m honored and excited to hold this esteemed position that is so significant within the Hip-hop community. Thank you David and Ray for giving me this opportunity and believing in my talents.”

Mays added, “We understand what a big change we’ve made and are positive that it’s the right choice for the new direction of the magazine. We wish our previous employees all the best in their new endeavors.”

Look for the new Millennium version of The Source in the June issue out in May. It will feature the Source 5.0 which is an interactive DVD/ audio disc that will be inserted into every issue.

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03.15.05 02:06 PM

pryde remix of common's "the corner"

pryde did this remix before hearing the original version. he got a copy of the a cappella vocal mix and brought it into his studio. he then locked the tempo and recorded all new music under the vocal track. he played and programmed all the instruments and did not use any song samples. wanting to establish his production skills, pryde welcomes feedback.

additionally, he shares some other remixes he did in the same fashion on his personal site,

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03.15.05 11:26 AM

a message to 50 from God

Since he left Korn last month to focus on Christianity, Brian "Head" Welch has delivered a sermon from the pulpit, traveled to Israel and been baptized in the Jordan River. Now he's turning his attention to saving souls — and he's decided to start with 50 Cent. >>>

Doesn't Brian know that God gave 50 his style?

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03.15.05 10:08 AM

more on SXSW BWB

a breakdown of the entire discussion at

photos on flickr by george

george's links

jason discusses the panel and clarifies a statement and posts photos on flickr too - but don't forget about the sxsw community blog

cecily holds off on comments to reflect

jed miller writing for personal democracy says: "Today, on the Blogging While Black panel, the discussion has the momentum and vitality of something still rare and excited to recognize itself. Lynne Johnson is moderating with a highly-structured but really productive list of questions."

meanwhile terry frazier says: "The next session was "Blogging While Black" and it was one of the better-, make that the best-, organized panel session I've seen so far. Moderator Lynne D. Johnson had a well thought-out set of questions for the panel and did a good job keeping the conversation focused and moving. George Kelly, Jason Toney, Tony Pierce, and Tiffany B. Brown made up the panel. Turns out Tiffany is a neighbor from just up the road in Stone Mountain, GA and Tony has recently published his own book (something I'm very interested in) via CafePress. The panel was excellent, with provocative questions, a wide range of opinions, and some interesting discussion on issues of color, culture, blogging. I'm going to try and hook up with Tony sometime on Tuesday, and with Tiffany after I return to ATL."

and you could always check technorati for updates you know

update 3.15.05 11:50 pm: matt from metafilter took a pic of the panel

and how could i forget to include tony's feedback about the panel

update 3/16/05: Emily @ worldchanging comments

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03.14.05 04:03 PM

these r my impressions...

post the blogging while black panel...

some of these statements could come from the core of my very soul, but then some of them could be made up

• much like curriculum of inclusion - the dominant culture is open to inclusion and/or diversity - but at the end of the day aren't really going to spend the time to do the research required to find the "others"

• when the dominant culture does have a fascination with the other, and the other is black, it's always the big bad black "negro" or the tragic mulatta who become the core of the obsessions

• the dominant culture always thinks that race shouldn't matter b/c we're all so diverse now and therefore the dominant culture feels that those of color are obsessed with the concept of race and need to stop talking about it so much (if we are all so diverse then please - do tell me the last time you had a person of color over for dinner?)

• white folks should never ever tell black folks that they did a good job at anything or that they speak well - most of the time black folks will be suspicious of this statement and are unable to see its genuineness for belief that you mean "you did well for a black person"

i'm sure i could come up with more of these, but i'm taking a break for now

go to full circle to read a blow-by-blow of SXSW: Bloggine While Black

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03.13.05 02:37 PM

dancing while black

The title of this post is kind of a personal joke between Jason and I, but if you read his LAist post, you might figure out just why.

And boy it was good to see DJ Mel again. Finally got to hear him spin live, and as he was cutting it up, Jason and I were 1-2 stepping the night away.

I also enjoyed dinner with the crew, and ran into Tiffany in the lobby, after a walk around town with Cecily.

Later after getting my eagle on at the film party, engaged in random conversation with two enlisted young army men about America's supposed spread on peace - but more on that later.

About to be late for the Gladwell Keynote, so I gotta' fill you in on yesterday's details and my observations later. Maybe I should take my copy of Tipping Point for him to sign, but rather it be my copy of Blink. Awww - I'm not a writer groupie - I'll leave the book in the room.

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03.12.05 02:05 PM

SXSW Interactive: Blogging While Black

Just landed in Austin - journal entries to begin forthwith, but in the meantime, this is why I'm here


SXSW Interactive
Blogging While Black
11:30 AM, Monday, March 14, 2005,
Austin, TX

Moderator: Lynne d Johnson


George Kelly

Kelly edits, a weblog on African-American sites, data and current events, and maintains a Bloggie-nominated personal weblog at

Jason Toney

Director of Web Development for Bunim/Murray Productions, Toney blogs at He earned a degree in Sociology with a minor in Creative Writing from George Washington University.

Tony Pierce

Pierce writes the busblog at in Hollywood. He has compiled two collections of blog posts and more than 50 photo essays.

Tiffany B Brown

Brown is a web author with the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a freelance web designer with her own firm, Webinista, LLC. She writes blogs about web development ( and wine (, and also manages, a community blog about race and gender.

Update 3.14.05: See George's photos on flickr

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03.10.05 06:18 PM

10 Play

This is the iTunes shuffle again - no smart playlist - the last ten songs that shuffled in my iTunes are:

Don't Love You - TV On the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes

Dirty (featuring Dirt McGirt)- Slum Village - Detroit Deli (A Taste Of Detroit)

Killing - The Rapture - Echoes

Together Forever - Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity

Sol Tapado (The Covered Sun) - Thievery Corporation - The Cosmic Game

Gerundio - Los Amigos Invisibles - The Venezuelan Zinga Son, Vol. 1

Air It Out - Jadakiss - Kiss Of Death

California - Lenny Kravitz - Baptism

Hey Big Brother (Single) - Rare Earth 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Rare Earth

Dude - Beenie Man faat. Ms Ting - Strictly The Best Volume 31

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03.08.05 10:01 PM

we interrupt this 50 mania...

To direct your attention to one of the most culturally important rap records hitting air waves and video channels right now...

Common's "The Corner" featuring The Last Poets and Produced by Kanye West - West directed the video too

This is hip-hop

If nothing else, perhaps those on the fringes can now better understand why heads got a love for the corner - and it's not just about selling drugs - it's the meeting place - where cats spit fire - where church services are held - where communities take action - the corner has deep history - and perhaps now it won't be misunderstood

At least we've got a glimpse at Rasheed's Lynn's next classic to be overlooked by the system. Geffen got the creative hip-hop on lock, from Common, to The Roots, to Talib Kweli, to Mos Def

go see what funkdigi has to say about and cop that link to the video

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03.08.05 05:38 PM

1,150,658 can't be wrong, can they?

The official Soundscan #s aren't in yet, but it's looking like: 50 CENT
THE MASSACRE, SHADY/AFTERMATH/INT, has sold 1,150,658 since release on March 3.


Who says people don't still eat beef?

update 3.9.05: Official #s - 50 Cent The Massacre: 1,140,368, according to SoundScan.

update (2) 3.9.05: According to Allhiphop - 50 Cent & The Game have decided to lay their beef to rest and will make a formal announcement at a press conference today (March 9) at the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture in NYC at 2:00 pm. "Game & I need to set an example in the community," 50 said today. "50 and I are proving that real situations and real problems can be solved with real talk," Game added.

update (3) 3.9.05: As if we need more 50 mania. Sirius Radio reports that G Unit Radio will overtake Eminem's Shade 45 all day on Saturday "with an innovative mix of shows and DJs produced by 50 Cent's own DJ, Whoo Kid."

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03.01.05 10:23 PM

experiments in blogging/journaling black

since i've been living in the dark lately, mainly dealing with issues related to work and personal life, i've missed out on a few developments that have been taking place

1. first there's afrodiary, which has been running since july 2001. it's launch date is a surprise to me, because these things are usually on my radar. the about section of afrodiary states:

" has been up and running since July of 2001. Its purpose is to provide a neat way to speak your mind and delve into the thoughts of others.
This site is maintained by Nick Scheiblauer, aka turgon, and the groovy afro design was created by Russ Duckworth. A lot of help and suggestions came from Becca, Deidre, and Sahar. Everything is running on a Linux machine using all Open Source software, adding a special degree of super funk groove to the mix.
Some usage guidelines:

* Enjoy yourself. That's what this is for.
* Write whatever you like in your journal. Obviously laws should not be broken.
* Pornographic images are not allowed.
* Harassment of other users is not permitted. This includes attempting to circumvent features of the site that are specifically designed to curb harassment, including but not limited to banning. This does not include getting into arguments with others where you get mad and name-calling ensues.
* Participate. Leave notes. Think. "

2. then there's kwire, "a social experiment that hopes to showcase, not debate, the myriad of complementary and opposing views found in the gamut of Black thought, identity and imagination.

It is a randomized feed reel of syndicated "black" blogs.They are not catergorize outside of title. This is an online social experiment and challenge to introduce yourself to a spectrum of black viewpoint and in some cases, darn good writing regardless of where you stand politically."

3. the black bloggers association was something i was emailed about, and then became refamiliar with through ronn back in jan, but am just now getting around to check it out. it looks like a lot of folks in my blogfam are over there doing something, and it kind of comes off the way that i had hoped the blogship would come off with hip-hop. it appears to be an aggregator as opposed to a central point that users have to ping.

and there are old faithfuls, such as

the niggerati network (an intellectual incubator community site for black folks), negrophile (an aggregator of data, articles, and blog entries from one who admires and supports black people and their culture) , vision circle (collaborative forward thinking), drylongso (news, political and cultural commentary, fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, contests, and events for thinking people of color.), electric skin ( focusing on articles that present new visions of art throughout the black diaspora), and hiphop blogs (a group weblog that covers hip-hop music and culture).

all of these experiments do much for bringing black bloggers (and those who think about black culture and issues) together in one space. group blog projects are often hard to keep going, but even for those experiments that don't end up working in the group format, there is a lot of thought provoking commentary and discussion going on. if there still exists the myth that black bloggers or of color bloggers don't exist, these projects set out to dispel that school of thought. being black and being a blogger does not always equate with a blogger who is black discussing only black-related issues and culture, but what it does mean is exactly all that's showcased by the various examples above.

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03.01.05 01:24 PM

beef entails record sales

I know it seems I'm on a 50 Cent craze lately, but if this isn't the greatest marketing story I've ever heard - I don't know what is.

So it starts off with a leak. The artist leaks a track, because he feels that the label isn't going to deliver his product in time for Valentine's Day. He leaks the track, and then subsequently, a video for said track, a XXX video, becomes an Internet phenomenon - widely searched for. Then before you know it, the making of said video appears on BET uncut with said video being aired. Around the same time the video leaked to web, the official first single video debuts with a making of on MTV.

Then tracks start leaking on the Web and on mixtapes.

And then beef starts erupting between 50 and the Game. 50 has always stated that Game doesn't seem like G Unit and that Spider Loc already seems more like fam. Read the XXL interview, read the Vibe interview. Words fly out on New York's Hot 97. Game is on 106 & Park, asserting that he's not sure whether he's a G Unit artist or an Aftermath artist. He states further that people are hating on his success. Meanwhile 50 claims that Game's album would be nothing w/out his assist. (Now would it make any sense for 50 to hate on Game, if he's signed to G Unit and 50s cashing a check on said project?)

All of this is erupting only days before the pushed up release of Massacre. And then some dude is reportedly shot in the lobby of Hot 97's bldg. while 50s on the air. First it was reported that the victim was down with 50s camp, but latest media chat affirms that cat is from LA - and therefore ignites further drama, if in fact Game and his camp attempted to enter the studio while 50 was on the air.

Is this a reality show or a marketing ploy? And if it's real - when will it end?

update 3.1.05: clyde smith over at prohiphop reveals a hack of the game's blackwallstreet forums, much in the same fashion as T.I. takeover of Luda's site. yet this one appears that mr. chuck taylor ( a reported username of the game) is sending out a message to 50, allegedly.

update 3.2.05: joey litman over at straight bangin' puts this beef into perspective

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