Lynne d Johnson



« April 2005 | Diary | June 2005 »

05.31.05 08:57 PM

labels want $ for video streams

As previously reported Universal Music Group (UMG), no longer intends to provide free video content to websites or cable television services. UMG, one of the largest recording labels, serving as parent company to Geffen Records,
Interscope Geffen A&M, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Motown Records, Universal Classics, Universal Records, Universal Music Enterprises, Universal Music Latino, Universal South, and Verve Music Group, has apparently set a trend with this business move.

Now SONY BMG has followed suit, and will possibly strike "a VOD distribution agreement with a yet unannounced leading online portal and is notifying all other digital music programmers they need to remove their Sony BMG video content from their services in the wake of the pact." Home of Arista Records, BMG Classics, BMG Heritage, BMG International Companies, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, Provident Music Group, RCA Records, RCA Victor Group, RLG - Nashville, Sony Classical, Sony Music International, Sony Music Nashville, Sony Wonder, Sony Urban Music, So So Def Records, and Verity Records, Sony BMG represents most of the major labels that Universal does not.

These recent developments, leave companies like Yahoo Launch and Viacaom, and other smaller companies, in a conundrum whereas they'll have to strategize alternative content plays that increase their reach and thereby increase revenue share in the VOD marketplace. Or these companies will instead have to pay portions of revenues earned from providing this content to these major labels. While there still remains a host of independent labels willing to provide video at no cost, these companies can by no means replace the amount of content, especially highly requested content, distributed by the larger labels.

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05.30.05 10:44 PM

the keys to my heart

i hate these memes, but after seeing this one at karsh's i decided why not...

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.
In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

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05.26.05 09:09 AM

this goes out to all the baby's mamas

have you heard the debate over fantasia barrino's song "baby mama?" as someone who was a young mother herself, fantasia intended for the song to empower young women who get pregnant early in life, and end up raising their children on their own. for the singer, the song's message had nothing to do with encouraging teen pregnancy.

as the debate rages on - whether the song is positive or negative — first become informed about it over at npr, where an interview with fantasia and both the opponents and proponents of the song can be heard, and then think about participating in this very out-of-hand live journal debate

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05.26.05 08:50 AM

man's best friend

having lived in new york for the majority of my natural life, customarily i'm rarely one befuddled by the various random acts of weirdness that i encounter on the new york city subway. and not that this morning's incident topped the list of oddities, it was just perhaps, a little bit peculiar.

i was on the express and had just transferred to the local. as most of the seats were filled, i stood on the side of the train on which the door does not open during local stops. at the first stop upon my entering the train, a lanky-blond model type with a leash attached to what appeared to be a labrador retriever. all eyes on them. all eyes bugged out, the model type and her pet positioned themselves on my left.

ok. so years ago when i started seeing people bring their dogs into stores and it was acceptable, i thught it was strange, especially considering the fact that many people who look like me are not accepted in some of these very same stores. all racism aside, personally, i feel pets belong on the ground, in your house/apartment or backyard, or maybe even your car, but in no way should others have to be subjected to your pet in an environment that is made for "humans."

the dog this morning wasn't that bad. the darn thing was quiet as it stood next to me, gasp, sniffing my bag and my leg. but is the subway anywhere for man's best friend to be?

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05.24.05 02:34 AM

best of e3

bulletproof.jpgXBOX 360

I stood in the center of a gigantic panaromic cinema that was created by xbox 360, gasping in awe. This gaming device has more features than can possibly be listed here in the small amount of time that I'm devoting to this entry. So click on the XBOX 360 link for full specs. If you're television is under 36", let's just say you won't fully reap the benefits of this device. This is sound and vision at its most superior.

50 Cent Bulletproof

If you're planning on getting the Xbox 360 during the holiday season, then you just might want to get this game. It's a whole lot of tough talk and action from "your favorite rapper." Watch his lyrics come to life in action-packed adventure play. Visually arresting, the graphics are highly realistic. The game also features a mash up of freestyles, beats, and videos. It's not the kind of game I'd buy my teenage niece, but you wanna-be gangstas are gonna' love it.

Scarface The World Is Yours

It looks like violence is in store for the new Xbox. In a What If Tony Survived scenario, Al Pacino's likeness and voice leads gamers on a dangerous mission.

Crime Life Gang Wars

Not to be outdone by Universal Vivendi's Bulletproof and The World Is Yours, Konami enlisted D12 to voice over and provide the music for this title. I wasn't impressed with the visuals, but the audience was captivated.

The Godfather The Game

From EA's press release "Gamers will create their own mob character in the game, putting themselves into the action while reliving classic moments from the fiction and experiencing original missions alongside memorable characters from the film. After a life of small-time jobs and petty thefts the player will be accepted into the Corleone family, America’s most famous criminal organization. It will be up to the player to carry out orders, earn respect and make New York City their own." If you ever wanted to become a Don, now's your chance.

True Crime

Activision's next True Crime is probably going to be a lot like the LA version, but since it will take place in a different city the makers will try to make it seem as different as possible. Go to the website now to guess the city and earn a chance at winning Marcus' tricked out ride.

Ahem, now that I've gotten your attention, I'll tell you what I really spent my time playing at E3. You've gotta' believe that after reviewing the trailers for all of that violence masked as entertainment I needed some games to chill out with.

After a battle of Konami's Dance Dance, I headed over to the Disney booth for a That's So Raven moment on Game Boy Advance. Then I went to check out the latest Sims on PSP, and later ventured into the forest with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Gamecube, but decided I enjoyed testing it out on Playstation much better.

To be honest, a lot of my two days in LA was spent in meetings, at parties, driving a lot, and being interviewed for an article. It's the kind of trip that causes one to crash and burn.

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05.23.05 06:12 PM

tunes for the ipod

Nowadays, I get my ipod loaded with Other than its MP3 goodies, the site's pretty on time with its music reviews.

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05.20.05 04:03 PM

Site Programmer/Editor

GGL: Global Gaming League ( is a fast growing website for online videogame enthusiasts. We are undergoing a major upgrade of the news, information and feature content and its presentation on our site. We are looking for a talented editor to oversee this effort for our growing community of 1.3 million gamers.

Job responsibilities include:
Help establish the overall vision for content, coverage and attitude.

Direct and coordinate the layout, display, placement and content generated by GGL.

This information includes news of interest to the videogame demo, reviews, columns, features, postings, ESPN-style video game competition results (recent matches, upsets, etc.), tournament results, streaming media coverage and integrated advertising and sponsorship offerings on the entire site.

Will coordinate and add to contributions from two dozen reporter/editors, broadcasters and GGL League Administrators.

Ability to create own editorial a plus

Helping to identify trends in gaming, online gaming in particular, and ensuring proper coverage

In depth video gaming knowledge highly desirable

Web based experience required (want individual to have knowledge of the technical aspects associated with layout, display of articles and streaming media along with insight into Policy & Procedure issues)

Will work closely with VP of Online Ad Sales and Sr. Management
5 years of pertinent work experience required

About GGL
GGL: Global Gaming League is a worldwide leader in organized competitive online and live video game tournaments and events (V-Sports). GGL services its worldwide community of videogame enthusiasts via its state-of-the-art online gaming network, lead by its destination website, its year-round live videogame events, and by providing a broad array of gaming-oriented services and content of deep interest to video gamers in the U.S. and abroad. Through these offerings, GGL creates an immersive entertainment experience for a rapidly growing community of connected gamers. For more information, visit

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05.19.05 01:43 PM

Room Service Productions E3 2005 Report

E3 Expo Jumps Off in the City of Angels

May 18, 2005 Brooklyn, NY- The epicenter of the gaming world from May 17th- 20th will be in Los Angeles, CA as the E3 Expo jumps off. The E3 Expo is THE convention for the gaming world. Publishers and developers large and small will be hitting the convention floor to showcase their products. This year's E3 will be a big one for hip-hop as various titles infused with the Hip-Hop aesthetic will be drawing a lot of attention. Snoop, 50 Cent and Ecko all have titles scheduled to drop in 2005 and will no doubt use the E3 to begin the marketing onslaught.

"This is our third year attending the E3 and we have seen the vibe change considerably," says Room Service Director of Business Development Greg Trani. "In 2003 we put in a lot of work trying to sell publishers on the value of marketing to a Hip-Hop audience. This year we anticipate more publishers looking to reach out to us to help broker some deals to bring in those Advergaming dollars." Indeed the market has changed as the gaming and music industry realize their audiences are more similar than not. Getting hot and relevant music tracks and images can bring much added value to many video game titles. Most recently there has been numerous hip hop music and lifestyle websites discussing the announcement of multi-platinum rapper The Game doing the title track for Madden 06'. Kevin Gill Global Brand Manager and Soundtrack Supervisor of the upcoming 25 to Life says 'In making 25 to Life this year's definitive urban online title, Room Service has proven to be one of our finest partners in supporting that vision."

Moreover, there is a question of how are these publishers going to make sure they are getting the most out of their new found partnerships with Hip- Hop's ruling class. "We feel that we understand the natural link between the two worlds. It has always been there," added marketing veteran and avid gamer Doug Nyce of Room Service. "Madden picked up on it a while ago and has secured an incredible market share. Hip-Hop is more than the music, it's a philosophy. Once you understand that; the bond between Hip-Hop and Gaming is elementary. We get it." "Room Service's access to key brand partners and deep understanding of tactical urban marketing supports our mission of providing exceptional design, production, and marketing-related services to our publishing and development partners," says Mike Betti of Highway 1 Productions.

The current game-console generation saw the emergence of video games as part of the pop-culture phenomenon. Halo 2's $125 million first-day sales surpassed Spider-Man's movie box-office opening-weekend sales record of $115 million. The buzz this year is all about next generation consoles. Playstation is said to be unveiling its PS3 as well as wallow in the success of its ultra cool PSP. Microsoft will be debuting its next generation, Xbox 360 a little bit before E3 live on MTV. There is also talk of Nintendo bringing its popular DS console online as well as possibly giving a sneak peak at their Nintendo Revolution set to launch in 2006.

Room Service Productions, Inc.

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05.19.05 01:38 PM

50 Cent Goes Video Mobile

This cat is definitely posting himself up to become an uber brand...

SmartVideo Shows Love To 50 Cent
by Shankar Gupta

SmartVideo, in partnership with the Digital Music Video Network, will in early June begin offering mobile phone-enabled music videos from the top artists--including U2, Eminem, Mariah Carey, and 50 Cent--in a free, ad-supported format. - Read the whole story

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05.19.05 01:23 PM

e3 highlights


so far the highlights of e3 have included seeing three of the wayans brothers - Keenen, Shawn, and Marlon

the 50 cent game is pure shoot 'em up - but that's not a highlight

dj rampage rocked the set at the urbanworldwireless e3 party - featuring the announcement of Big Daddy Kane ringtones (see Kane warm up the crowd in the above pic)

I originally started this diary-like entry on my sidekick on the plane, going into detail about the flight, and then what happened at the airport, and the car rental, and the meetings I had. Then I realized, that even if I wrote it like it was a memoir, that it would probably bore the hell out of most people.

So I'll do my best to play some new games today and talk about that at some point tomorrow.

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05.17.05 11:27 PM

on the road again


Well it looks like I'm on the road again. Since January it seems I've been traveling once-a-month, or thereabouts.

Jan - it was Cannes, France for midem 2005
Mar - it was Austin, TX for SXSW Interactive
Apr - it was Seattle, WA for EMP Pop Conference
Apr - it was Phoenix, AZ for vacation
May - it's Los Angeles, CA for E3 Expo
Jun - it's going to be Atlanta, GA for Vibe Musicfest

Hopefully this time I'll have some time to write some entries while on the road.

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05.17.05 05:39 PM

contagious media showdown launch party

Launch Party and Panel

Thursday, May 19th, 6:30-9pm
New York, NY 10011
Tel. 212.937.6581
Fax: 212.937.6582
Click here to RSVP

Join James Hong (co-founder, Hot or Not), Nick Denton (founder, Gawker Media), Chelsea Peretti (co-creator, BlackPeopleLoveUs, the Rejection Line), Jeff Mack (Product Manager, Alexa Internet),and host Jonah Peretti for the launch of the Contagious Media Showdown. Can this panel of experts predict which entries will take home the big prizes in the competition? Can they anticipate the tastes of the unwashed masses? We will see, as each panelist goes on record by picking his favorite sites and explaining why he thinks they will spread widely. Then we will remove the password from the official Contagious Media Server, simultaneously making all the entries open to the public. The experts can prognosticate, but only the people can crown the winners.

Drinks and music by DJ Pete Miser follow

$10 general admission
Free for Eyebeam members
Space is limited, please RSVP

If you are a journalists or blogger interested in covering the event,
please contact Perry Lowe for more information at 212-937-6580 x 222.

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05.17.05 12:06 AM

Standing with Assata

Statement from the Hands off Assata Coalition
Contact: dream hampton, MXG, dreamhampton[at]

On May 3, 2005, the United States Justice Department announced it was raising its bounty of $100,000 for the capture of Sister Assata Shakur to $1,000,000. For over two decades, Sister Assata has been living as a political exile in the Republic of Cuba. This is part of a long campaign to capture or kill Sister Assata since her escape in 1979, and part of the historical assault against the Black Liberation Movement.

Who is Assata Shakur?
Assata Shakur, born Joanne Deborah Byron in July 16, 1947, in Wilmington, North Carolina, grew up in the segregated South. When she was a college student in New York she decided to participate in the freedom movement of people of African descent against racism and white supremacy. Her thirst to do something for her people led her to the Black Panther Party (BPP) in New York City. She participated in a program teaching Black youth their culture and history and other service programs of the BPP. In 1969, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director J. Edgar Hoover labeled the BPP “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” Through its counter-intelligence program, COINTELPRO, the FBI and other police agencies waged a low-intensity war on the BPP and other Black freedom organizations. Activists were assassinated, incarcerated and forced into exile. When New York Panthers came under attack Assata went into hiding and joined the underground movement called the Black Liberation Army (BLA). She became one of the major targets of the United States government.

Her Capture, Conviction and Escape
On May 3, 1971, Assata and two other Panthers forced underground, Zayd Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped by New Jersey Highway patrolmen on the New Jersey Turnpike. The patrolman stated the young Blacks were “suspicious” since their vehicle had Vermont license plates. The subsequent chain of events is not clear, but a shoot out ensued and Zayd Shakur and one of the highway patrolmen, Werner Foerster, were killed. Assata, after complying with police orders, was immediately shot and paralyzed with wounds from .357 magnum gun fire from the Highway patrolman James Harper. Sundiata was captured the next day in the New Jersey swamplands. Tests on Assata demonstrated she had not fired a weapon. In spite of that fact she had not fired a weapon and was paralyzed through the entire gun battle, she was convicted by an all-white jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey and sentenced to life plus sixty-five years for the death of Zayd Shakur and the highway patrolman. Sundiata was also convicted and given a sentence of life plus sixty-five years. After years of being incarcerated in male facilities or prison units with dangerous criminals and hate groups, like members of the Manson family and white supremacist gangs, on November 2, 1979, Assata with the aid of the BLA and white friends of the Black Liberation Movement. In 1984, she was given political asylum in Cuba.

Since her Escape
The recent bounty placed on her head is only a continuation of a pursuit to re-capture her for over two decades. Assata Shakur is one of the most sought after fugitives in United States history. Since her escape, twenty-six years ago, the FBI has committed an agent to her re-capture. Two Black activists Mutulu Shakur (the step-father of Tupac Shakur) and Sekou Odinga, white activist Marilyn Buck and Italian national Silvia Baraldini were all convicted for freeing Assata from prison. In 1997, New Jersey police made a request to Pope John Paul II to ask Fidel Castro to return Assata to incarceration in the United States In 1998, the United States House of Representatives called for the government of Cuba to return Assata to the custody of the state of New Jersey. Several people have been offered financial pay offs or coerced with threats of criminal charges to cooperate with government plans to re-capture Assata. In 2003, the father of Assata’s daughter Kikuya, Kamau Sadiki was convicted in Atlanta for the killing of a police officer in 1971. Approached by the FBI in 2000, Mr. Sadiki was offered money to inform and possibly participate in the re-capture of Assata. When he refused, he was told if he didn’t cooperate he would die in prison since he has Hepatitis C, Cirrhosis of the Liver and Sarcoidosis.

Particularly after the publication of her autobiography Assata: The Autobiography of a Revolutionary, Assata Shakur has been an inspiration for Black activists, the Hip Hop generation, and human rights supporters worldwide. She has become a symbol of resistance. Similar to Malcolm X, her story represents the triumph and power of the human spirit. Her image has been invoked in Hip Hop lyrics. From exile, she has continued to support the freedom of Black people and struggles against racism and the human rights abuses. Enemies of the Black freedom movement want to crush and contain this inspirational figure.

The placing of Assata on the domestic terrorist list only confirms the fears of the Black liberation movement and human rights activist concerning George Bush’s “war on terrorism.” “The war on terrorism” is a means for the right-wing in the United States to eliminate its political enemies. Through vehicles like the Patriot Act, the “war on terrorism” gives justification for abuses of a modern day COINTELPRO.

COINTELPRO and the War on the Black Freedom movement
In the 1950s, during the Cold war, the FBI started COINTEPRO. As the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum Black Activists, like Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Williams, Ella Baker, and Bayard Rustin became the primary targets of COINTELPRO. When the federal government did not respond to the demands of the nonviolent movement and also did not protect activists and Black communities from the violence of segregationist many activists moved toward Black Power and armed resistance to get human rights and freedom. Fearful of the assertive Black Power movement, the United States government used programs like COINTELPRO to destroy the Black movement.

Assata Shakur was forced underground, incarcerated, and forced into exile due to the repression of the United States government. In 1971, due to activists expropriating documents from an FBI office and leaking theses documents to the press, COINTELPRO was revealed to the American public and the world. Due to the abuses of the FBI, a congressional committee was developed under the leadership of United States Senator Frank Church of Idaho. While the Church committee did put monitoring and accountability measures on the FBI (which have been now eliminated under the Patriot Act after the events of September 11, 2001), no remedies were offered to individuals, organizations and communities who were targeted and whose human rights were violated by COINTELPRO.

Instead of seeking reconciliation of political conflict, the attempt to re-capture Assata only accelerates political and racial conflict in the United States and internationally. In other countries around the world, including South Africa, Turkey, Morocco, Ukraine, Peru, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Ghana, Belgium, governments have established a review the abuses of their police agencies on opposition movements in their countries as a gesture towards reconciliation. The United States has never sought reconciliation with the targets of COINTELPRO. The pursuit of Assata promotes more conflict in that rather than choosing an alternative dispute mechanism it chooses to continue the criminalization of the Black Liberation movement. Moreover, it encourages the mercenary invasion of a sovereign nation, the Republic of Cuba, and encourages global conflict. We oppose the sending of mercenaries and bounty hunters to apprehend Sister Assata Shakur. The United States government must acknowledge its abuses and grant amnesty to political prisoners and exiles.

As supporters of Human rights, we call for:

1) the end of the pursuit of Assata Shakur by immediately removing her name from the domestic terrorist list and repealing the bounty placed on her head.
2) the rejection of mercenary attacks on the sovereign nation of Cuba
3) the de-criminalization of the Black Liberation movement, particularly given the political nature of the conflict of the 1960s and 70s, and the abuses of COINTELPRO.
4) Congress to impanel an independent Truth Commission as a alternative dispute mechanism, to finish the mission of the Church Committee and of the cases of political prisoners and exiles, including Assata Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Mutulu Shakur, Sekou Odinga, Kamau Sadiki and Marilyn Buck.
5) That the United States Congress implement remedies and restitution for the communities, organizations and individuals who were targeted and whose human rights were violated due to COINTELPRO.
6) The repeal of the Patriot Act.

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05.16.05 03:14 PM

don't believe the hype

Proving that the hip-hop music and fashion industries are far more hype than reality-based, russell simmons divulges:

"the amount of hype that goes on when I discuss the value of Phat Farm,"


"It is how you develop an image for companies. So in other words, you give out false statements to mislead the public so they will then increase in their mind the value of your company,"

Like any of us thought anything different.The New York Times article written by Jeff Leads further reports:

The strategy seemed to work. In February 2003, for instance, Mr. Simmons appeared on CNBC saying that Phat Fashions was "doing $350 million" in sales. In fact, Phat Fashions' revenue for 2002 totaled $14.3 million, according to court papers and the company.

Maybe this strategy could work for you also. (I'm sitcking my tongue inside my cheek right now)

Life and Def

Life and Def

The original hip-hop mogul, Russell Simmons is one of the most innovative and influential figures in modern American business and culture. Life and Def provides the blueprint of how he went from a kid running the streets of Queens, New York, to the creator of a multimillion-dollar empire of culture-defining enterprises, including everything from music to fashion, advertising to film, and media to politics.

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05.16.05 10:35 AM

Job Opportunity - Web Editor, American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier public interest organization devoted to the defense of the Bill of Rights, seeks a full time Web Editor.

The Web Editor will develop, oversee and maintain the website as an inspiring, high-quality information resource for public, internal, press, member and donor audiences. The Editor reports to the Director of Internet Programs and helps coordinate web communications with ACLU directors and managers across all departments.


* Managing editorial process for web content, including vetting, editing and posting of web material submitted by ACLU staff; troubleshooting production problems with web and technical staff;
* Leading weekly editorial meetings; maintaining Editorial Calendar for web site and enforcing cross-departmental participation in planning and production, working with Internet director;
* Overseeing site enhancements such as publishing system improvements, web template changes, and site redesigns, working with vendors and IT department;
* Advising on layout and design issues to ensure Web site’s effectiveness for outreach to all institutional audiences;
* Coordinating editorial planning with departmental staffs in communications, development, legislative and legal departments, as well as with vendors and outside designers;
* Analyzing content, traffic, usage and overall information needs;
* Performing other tasks as assigned.
* Help deepen knowledge and understanding of key programmatic areas, civil liberties in general and ACLU mission and background among web visitors, e-subscribers, members and the general public;
* Writing original content.

Applicants must have:

* BA in Journalism, English or Communications;
* Minimum of three years experience managing online content;
* Well-developed leadership and collaboration skills;
* Excellent writing and editing skills;
* Experience managing communications and/or editorial projects in a cross-departmental setting;
* Experience working with web authoring and publishing software such as Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark, Coldfusion, PHP;
* Demonstrated interests in civil rights or civil liberties;
* Some marketing experience preferred.

Salary is commensurate with experience, within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale. Excellent benefits provided.

Candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, writing sample prepared for website presentation and desired salary range by no later than May 21, 2005. References are required. Send to:

American Civil Liberties Union
Communications Department
Attn: LS-EMC [COMM-22]
125 Broad Street – 18th Fl.
New York, NY 10004

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color persons with disabilities, and lesbians and gay men to apply.

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05.12.05 10:18 PM

isn't it wonderfull


if all goes as planned - i'll have a wonder-full night tomorrow celebrating the music of
Stevie Wonder

Check out:
Stevie Wonder - Greatest Hits

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05.12.05 04:30 PM

say dave chappelle's crazy 7 times

Trent says:

Say it isn't so. It looks like Dave Chappelle is literally out of his mind.

corey asks:

chappelle in psych clinic?

santagati asks:

Have You Seen This Negro?

Earl says:

Maybe was wrong

The fact that i found four black men in my regular reads who are concerned about or want to comment on Dave Chappelle's mental health, has me wondering 1)about the black male's connection to comic Dave Chappelle, and 2)about the black male's newfound openness in discussing mental health

Though I did find one or two women who decided that chappelle was to be the topic of the day. and well it looks like gawker did too.

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05.11.05 07:21 PM

i'm a blogher


Well, I spoke and blogher listened.

Looks like I've gotten myself on yet another panel:

In A Room of Your Own, I'll have to figure out how best to discuss what's been added to the schedule as:

Feminist hip-hop bloggers?
Negotiating a space dominated by men…much like the music.

If in fact I end up leading this panel, I'll need to identify more women to add to the discussion.

Right now, based on who and what I know about, I'm calling to my aid:

Jalylah Burrell
Tiffany B. Brown
Julianne Shepherd
Rachel Ramist
Miranda Jane
Sherella Gibbs
honeysoul (and i'm sorry i don't know your government name)

So now I have to put a shout out to these ladies and proposition them with presenting on this session, or even just soliciting ideas from them. But if you know of someone I should speak with, let me know. Unfortunately, I know, and intereact, with a much higher percentage of men on the web than I do women.

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05.10.05 10:38 PM

B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women In Hip-hop

From April 22 to June 11, 2005 a Women in Hip-Hop summit will take place in the Twin Cities to celebrate women’s accomplishments in all elements of hip-hop.

The event includes an art exhibit, workshops and dialogues, and a summit.

Check the b-girl be website for more info.

Here's a schedule of some of the events:

June 2

6:00 to 9:30 PM
The opening features artwork, black books, open mic, fashion, food and spoken word poetry. Also check out an all-female open mic in partnership with Minnesota Spoken Word Association (MNSWA). This is a featured event for Minneapolis MOSAIC.

6:00 to 7:00 PM
Shorty, Who You Rollin Wit?: Of B-Girls and A Hip-Hop Feminist Agenda
Featuring Gwendolyn D. Pough, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, Writing, and Rhetoric at Syracuse University.

June 3

NOON to 9:00 PM
For the first time ever in the Midwest, the Intermedia Arts building will be painted by an all-female crew. ZORI4 (Puerto Rico) will lead this collaboration of five female graffiti artists from across the United States. Guest artists ASIA ONE (Los Angeles), LADY PINK (New York), PHEM9 (Kansas City), SILOETTE (Phoenix), and TOO FLY (New York City) will paint with local women throughout the three days of the summit.

NOON to 1:30 PM
PANEL: Women in Hip-Hop Scholarship
Featuring Joyce Bell (Sociology, University of Minnesota), Aisha Durham (Communications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Kim Euell (MacArthur Fellow, University of Minnesota and Dramaturge at Penumbra Theatre), Dr. Gwendolyn Pough (Syracuse University), Juliana Pegues (former University of Minnesota C.A.F.S. Scholar) and Melisa Riviere (Anthropology/Global Studies, University of Minnesota).

1:45 to 3:15 PM
PANEL: Hip-Hop Activism
Featuring Kuttin Kandi (DJ/Poet/Writer/Activist), Mattie Weiss (League of Pissed Off Voters/Co-editor How to Get StupidWhiteMen Out of Office) and more.

3:30 to 5:00 PM
PANEL: Righting Lessons: Women in the Media
Featuring Asia One (Dancer/choreographer of music videos and feature films), Miranda Jane (former editor of The Source magazine) and Kandis Knight (columnist for The Pulse), K.E. Maori Holmes (Temple University and University of Pennsylvania).

7:00 PM
$7 ($4 for Intermedia Arts members and youth under 17)
Moving images on the big screen fuse with spoken word performances onstage in this interdisciplinary program. Words! Camera! Action! is presented in partnership with SASE The Write Place.

Nobody Knows My Name By Rachel Raimist
distributed by Women Make Movies
Nobody Knows My Name tells the story of women who are connected by their love of hip-hop. Performances by local spoken word artist Desdamona, dancer-choreographer Leah Nelson, and students from The St. Paul Central High School Theater Group will respond to the film.

June 4

NOON to 9:00 PM

NOON to 3:00 PM
B-GIRL: Asia One (Los Angeles)
DJ: DJ Kuttin Kandi (New York City)
GRAF: ZORI4 (Puerto Rico), Melisa Rivičre (Minneapolis) and guests

3:00 to 5:00 PM
A variety of shorts, documentaries and feature films about women rappers, female DJs and women in hip-hop.

USA PREMIERE: "rock it" (Video, 3 min, Germany, 2005)
Production: Jeannette Petri
"rock it" is a short movie about bgirlism, girls breakin`and breathin`! Featuring bgirls from the crews: Outbreak (UK), Dismissed (Switzerland), Da women touch (France), Female Artistics (Austria), Dirty Mamas (Germany) and Floor Visions (Spain).

PREMIERE: "Mixtress X: Hip-Hop's Unsung Heroine" (Video, 60 min, USA, 2005)
Producer/Director: Dante Kaba
Editor: Mario T. Lathan
Since the inception of hip-hop, female DJs have been vital to the development of the international music scene. Mistress X documents this untold story. Features DJ Kuttin Kandi, Cocoa Chanel, DJ Shorty, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and many more.

PREMIERE: "Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip Hop" (Video, 30 min, USA, 2005)
Producer/Director: Maori Holmes
Scene Not Heard features interviews with some of the originators and foremothers of Philly hip-hop such as Lady B and Ursula Rucker, and presents current talents such as the Jazzyphatnastees and Miss Jade, and emerging talents such as Lady Alma, Walidah Imarishah and the dancers of Montäzh, as well as scholars, critics and local promoters.

7:00 PM
Rain or Shine
An all female crew featuring dance, DJs, rap and spoken word skills backed by the dopest beats. This cipher will leave you in awe of the amazing talents represented by local, national and international flava! Performances by B-Girl Asia One, B-Girl Shorty, B-Girl Beta, DJ Kuttin Kandi, MC Psalm One and all the hottest female Twin Cities MCs, poets, b-girls, and DJs represented.

10:00 PM
21+ age restricted
Co-produced by

June 5

NOON to 5:00 PM
B-Girl BBQ
Food, music, open mic, conversation and relaxation. Rain or shine at Intermedia Arts.

1:00 to 3:00 PM
A variety of shorts, documentaries and feature films about women rappers, female DJs and women in hip-hop.

MIDWEST PREMIERE: "Soundz of Spirit" (video, 60 min, USA, 2003)
Director/Producer: Joslyn Rose Lyons
This award-winning documentary explores the relationship between the creative process and spirituality in hip-hop culture. It features powerful performances and in-depth interviews with KRS-1, Andre 3000 of Outkast, Common, Cee-Lo, Talib Kweli, Mystic, Medusa, Dilated Peoples, Zion I, Aceyalone, DJ Q-bert, Living Legends, Saul Williams, Michael Franti and more.

B-Girl: The Movie
Director: Emily Dell
Angel (Jules Urich) is a b-girl struggling in the six-step, a fundamental move. Her coach, Carlos (Ogie Banks III) and her all-male crew doubt her skill and with a huge competition coming up, Angel has to prove her place among them.

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05.10.05 10:24 PM

CALL FOR WRITING - Hip Hop Feminism Anthology

Call for Submissions

Home Girls, Make Some Noise!: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology

Feminism, rap music, and Hip Hop culture, at first glance, do not appear to be likely cohorts. In the male-driven, testosterone filled world of Hip Hop culture and rap music labeling oneself a feminist is not a political stance easily taken. Thus, many women involved with Hip Hop culture do not take on the label of feminist even as their actions imply feminist beliefs and leanings. Much of the strong criticisms of rap music have been about the music’s sexism and misogyny. And much of the attention focused on sex and gender have been in terms of constructions of Black masculinity, and rap music as a vehicle for Black male posturing. A lot of attention has been paid to the impact rap music and the masculine space of Hip Hop culture has on the development of Black male identities. In this volume, the editors strive to understand constructions of Hip Hop feminism, gender, and sexuality in Hip Hop culture, rap music and these in transnational contexts.

We take the stance that Hip Hop is a cultural phenomenon that expands farther than rap music. Hip Hop has been defined by many as a way of life that encompasses everything from way of dress to manner of speech. Hip Hop as a culture originally included graffiti writing, d-jaying, break dancing, and rap music. It has recently expanded to include genres such as film, spoken word, autobiographies, literature, journalism, and activism. It has also expanded enough to include its own brand of feminism. The work of Hip Hop feminist writers such as Ayana Byrd, Denise Cooper, Eisa Davis, Eisa Nefertari Ulen, shani jamilla, dream hampton, Joan Morgan, Tara Roberts, Kristal Brent-Zook, and Angela Ards is expanding black feminist theory and black women’s intellectual traditions in fascinating ways. What started out as a few young black feminist women who loved Hip Hop and who tried to mesh that love with their feminist/womanist consciousness is now a rich body of articles, essays, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

We seek to complicate understandings of Hip Hop as a male space by including and identifying the women who were always involved with the culture and offering Hip Hop feminist critiques of the music and the culture. We seek to explore Hip Hop as a worldview, as an epistemology grounded in the experiences of communities of color under advanced capitalism, as a cultural site for rearticulating identity and sexual politics. We are particularly interested in seeing submissions of critical essays and cultural critiques, interviews, creative non-fiction and personal narratives, fiction, poetry, and artwork. We also encourage submissions from women working within the Hip Hop sphere, Hip Hop feminists and activists "on the ground," as well as scholars, writers, and journalists. We do not wish to reify the scholar/activist dichotomy, but we want to encourage as broad a discussion of the possibilities of Hip Hop Feminism as possible and we want to be sure multiple voices and perspectives are represented in the anthology. All work submitted must be original and should not have been published elsewhere.

Word Count/Page Limits:

Critical Essays and Cultural Critiques – 25 pages (including bibliography) 6500 words
Interviews – 10 pages/2500 words
Creative Non-Fiction and Personal Narratives – 20 pages/5000 words
Fiction – 20 pages/5000 words
Poetry/Rhymes – No more than 3 pages per poem/rhyme and 3 poems per poet/mc
Artwork – Up to three pieces per artist


Gwendolyn Pough is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, Writing, and Rhetoric at Syracuse University and the author of Check It While I Wreck It; Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture and the Public Sphere, Northeastern University Press 2004.

Elaine Richardson is an Associate Professor of English at Penn State University and the author of African American Literacies (2003) and the forthcoming Hip Hop Literacies both from Routledge Press.

Rachel Raimist is a Hip Hop feminist filmmaker, scholar and activist. Her film credits include the award-winning feature length documentaries Freestyle, Nobody Knows My Name, and Garbage, Gangsters, and Greed. She is a doctoral student in Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Aisha S. Durham is an essayist and Editorial Assistant for several cultural studies journals, including Qualitative Inquiry where her performance work is featured. Durham’s dissertation research examining Hip Hop feminism will be featured in an upcoming anthology and documentary about Hip Hop culture. She is a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Additional themes to be explored:

Has Hip Hop feminism moved beyond the conflicted stance of loving Hip Hop, being a feminist, and meshing the two? What is next? What should Hip Hop feminism be doing?

Now that we have at least two generations of women who identify as Hip Hop feminist, can we talk about multiple Hip Hop feminism(s), multiple Hip Hop feminist agendas?

On that generational note, how then does the Hip Hop feminist agenda mesh with the Black feminist agenda or womanist agenda of our predecessors and contemporaries who do not claim a Hip Hop sensibility?

We know that there are dedicated educators out there who are working in the trenches with no institutional support to bring feminist education and issues of sexuality, sexual health, and emotional well-being to our youth, but how can Hip Hop feminists work to ensure that feminist education is centered in the curricula of America’s schools, elementary through college for both male and female students?
n What are the defining contours of Hip Hop Feminism? If we are of the understanding that a Hip Hop feminist is more than just a woman who loves Hip Hop and feels conflicted about it, what does a Hip Hop feminism look like?

The continued sexual labor of women of color in a global market place now depending on virtual "mass mediated" sex labor (e.g. music video and pornography) as well as other forms of sex and gendered labor performed by women of color still policed.

Is Hip Hop feminism simply a US phenomenon? Should Hip Hop feminism have a global agenda? And how should Hip Hop feminism participate in the agendas of transnational feminism(s)?

What roles can Hip Hop feminism play in combating growing rate of incarcerated woman of color and the expanding prison industrial complex?

For additional information contact:

Elaine Richardson

Please send four copies of the submission by July 30, 2005 to:

Gwendolyn D. Pough
Women’s Studies Program
Syracuse University
208 Bowne Hall
Syracuse, New York 13244

and check out the hiphopfeminism yahoo group

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05.10.05 10:19 PM

journal of hip--hop call for papers

The Journal of HIp-Hop is now accepting submissions for Issue 2 themed Politics and Hip-Hop. Essays, art or editorials which intelligently address the efforts, past, present, and future, of HIp-Hop culture to influence politics.

In additions, submissions addressing Women in Hip-Hop, especially reflective essays/poems, which descirbe a personal relationship or experience in HIp-Hop will also be considered for publication. For submission guidelines visit

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05.10.05 03:04 AM

mail call


they came in the mail. after returning from vacation there was a mountain of packages and envelopes awaiting me. these three things i pulled out, b/c they interested me more than any of the contents contained w/in my vacation mail.

1. B-Girl Sessions The Best of Bahamadia 1993-2004

I can not wait to get this one on my iTunes and then migrate it over to the ipod. Not that she's a classic lyricist like MC Lyte, but Bahamadia is definitely gifted with the microphone. I guess there's only room for one or two female rappers after year. No one gets 15 or 10 year rap careers if their female, well they might, but there are no real dollars for studio time or marketing behind them. (Note to self: going platinum in the 'hood does not a hip-hop industry career make.)

New Black Man

by Mark Anthony Neal

I have been interested in Neal's work for quite some time, but he first touched me when he penned My Black Male Feminist Heroes, which actually initiated my interest in popmatters. At EMP he said he'd have the publisher send me a copy of his latest book. Of course I had no idea what it would be. Let's just say I started reading on the train ride this morning, and am not at all disappointed.

3. urbanworldwireless has launched the utmost marketing campaign as of late. Most recently, launching High Profile Mobile Marketing Campaigns in Fashion, Film and Music Industries, the company is also known as one of the first urban content initiatives in the mobile arena. They've been putting out mixtapes with ringtones and have exclusive content from Kid Capri, DJ Clue, Truth Hurts, and more, to offer for download on your cell. This mixtape I received the other day is hosted by Talib Kweli and features snippets from talks by many historical black figures.

4. And finally, though this arrived today and not while I was on vacation, was the first issue of The Journal of Hip-Hop. I first learned about it from Andrew J. Ryan, who teaches both technology and hip-hop courses. Met him on the web a few years back, because of our similar backgrounds I suppose. Can't wait to tear into the journal and see what scholars and students are talking about. (Note to self: time to hook up with Drew in person.)

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05.04.05 02:21 AM

old age is creeping up

I suppose it first dawned on me when my niece turned 15 in March. Now my height, or maybe a half-an-inch taller, she is a woman child and I can no longer lift her up and swing her around my back. I can no longer bend down on my knees and roll around on the floor with her, or let her climb atop my back while I give her a horsey ride. No longer can I call her by the various childhood nicknames I created for her, because she has crafted her very own. Names like bxgurl and ricanshawty, though she is from from being a rican of any kind. She is getting older and establishing her own identity in her own way. And, sheesh, I guess I'm getting older too. Though I dare not mention the year she was born, because it was the year I was granted my B.A. after transferring to my third college and switching to my fourth major. Mind you the first three all focused on computers and business, but it was that final one that sent me on a path of journalism.

But, yeah, try to change the subject and forget that I already told you her age and — this is not about my career, or even my niece, it's about my realizing that age is creeping up. My first grey hairs didn't impact this realization, for they spiked their stiff strands up through my scalp early on. There weren't a lot of signs or warnings actually, at least not until very recently.

Perhaps I started feeling it when my body's frame slightly widened and expanded and skipping a few meals had little to no effect on shaping it all back into place. I grew from childhood into adulthood as one of those in the cadre that comic Monique likes to call skinny bitches. But even these women have to work out a little harder when they start to get older. I ought to know.

I'm certain that my father's final living sibling passing away two weeks ago may have affected my preoccupation with aging. I know it reminded me of my mortality and that life is about living, and not always about doing.

Doing is not always living, is it?

Though to be quite honest, it wasn't even my niece's recent birthday, physical changes, marriages, deaths, and/or births surrounding me that brought me to this melancholy place. It was an email, from a high school buddy, who I became reacquainted with as an adult, that sent me reeling. The email said, "It seems they're putting together our high school reunion. Are you going?" And that's when it hit. It's been a long, long time since I graduated high school. And much like my undergraduate graduation date, I'm not going to be candid with the details, yet at this point I know that you're no fool and an estimation has already made it's way across your cerebral cortex.

I had a flash back to when I completed my MBA, and my mother happened to look at my resume and announced, "Wow, my baby sure has done a lot!" "Yeah, I suppose," I replied. What I was actually thinking was, "Well I hope I have, because I'm no longer your baby, but a grown ass woman and I better have done a few things with all this time."

A grown ass woman. That I am. A very grown woman, who probably has yet to do all the things she's wanted to do career or otherwise.

So I'm contemplating attending that reunion, though I'm not in touch with many folks from my senior year. Though over the years, I've run into them here and there. Which reminds me, that perhaps since I'm getting older, maybe I ought to stop being such a damn recluse.

And after posting this entry I take this quiz "What Age Do You Act?" that I picked up from Stephanie, and scoring somewhere within the range of my age I'm assured that as young in spirit as I may think I am, true adulthood has finally set in.

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05.02.05 04:15 PM

brooklyn hip-hop festival

hip-hop is getting really big y'all...

The First Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (BHF) is set to take place on Saturday, June 18th as an all-day outdoor event.

and then...

Hip-hop in Mount Vernon

"For a city on the brink of launching its own hip-hop museum, the timing couldn't be better: Tomorrow afternoon, Mount Vernon will host a live concert on City Hall Plaza, with a mix of local talent and a performance from the up-and-coming stars of the new BET reality series "Blowin' Up: Fatty Koo.''" >>>

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