Lynne d Johnson



« August 2007 | Diary | October 2007 »

09.28.07 12:19 PM

Contributing to Yet Another Blog

I couldn't keep up the pace at Popgadget, because I actually wanted to actually review the products before writing about them -- this process takes time. Requesting products, testing them out, writing about them. Sure it's easy if your just cobble together posts from other gadget blogs, but I wasn't going out like that. So I realized I didn't have time for that process, and for now no longer contribute.

So other than blogging here from time-to-time on my own site, I'm still blogging on my company's site over at Fast Company Now, and still contributing to techPresident, when I have something interesting to say about how candidates are using the Web -- though I've relegated myself to a mobile-specific focus, and because of that I haven't updated quite as much as I'd like.

Lately, I'm trying to represent Hip-Hop 2.0 over at BlackWeb 2.0, which might get old when and if 3.0 ever really kicks in, but for now it works, and I'm going to try and do my best to cover all that's hip-hop and 2.0, or not 2.0.

I may also have an occasional post at Cool Hunting some day soon, as I've got an outstanding invitation over there.

It's funny that earlier this year, on Vox, I asked the question: Has Blogging Run Its Course?, and there was a part of me that strongly felt it had. But then I witnessed the outpouring of votes and nominations for the BlackWeblog Awards and submissions to the SXSW Interactive panel picker, and realized that in many ways, the whole blogging thing is really just beginning. Sure, it's going to reach a critical mass and then bottom out at some point. But that point isn't now, or anywhere near now. And because I've always embraced it as an alternative form of journalism and personal essay, I'm sticking with the game.

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09.27.07 01:16 PM

Fonzworth Bentley: Next Generation Fashion Guru

Photo Credit: The New York Times

Lloyd Boston, fashion critic and author of Men of Color, Make Over Your Man, and Before You Put That On, is kind of in a tizzy. He finds his profession being devalued. In fact, The New York Times reports that this is what he feels about it all:

"is increasingly uncomfortable with the direction of his profession, which is being overshadowed by the arrival of similarly self-styled experts who are younger, cockier, snippier, zanier — but not necessarily more qualified to dispense advice on what to wear."

Makes you wonder though, that there is some merit to his claim. Consider Fonzworh Bentley for instance and the trajectory of his career. I think the Times says it best:

"Yes, you will also see people like Fonzworth Bentley, the former umbrella maid to Sean Combs who now comments on style for “Access Hollywood” and has written a new guide called “Advance Your Swagger.” His evangelical devotion to sartorial excellence, to chocolate Ralph Lauren Purple Label suits worn with lavender dress shirts, sounds almost demented, yet Mr. Bentley, who attributes his success to being recognized by important people for his fastidious style, said he is as qualified as anyone to comment on people’s attire."

And can you believe that Fonzworth had the nuts gall to say this:

“It bothers me when I see leading magazines lift up people as being icons of style who are wearing clip-on bow ties,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. This is going to sound a little mean, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. If you can’t drive a stick and you can’t tie a hand tie, you ain’t even a man.”

It's a very bizarre-o world we live in, innit?

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09.24.07 02:32 PM

Bill O'Reilly - Gangsta Rapper

I swear Jay Smooth is brilliant. In his latest illdoctrine video, he imagines Bill O'Reilly as a rapper. Original lyrics for "Made You Watch" over Nas' "Made You Look." This is what Vlogging was meant to be.

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09.24.07 01:13 PM

Black Women Blog


Now black women have their own BlogHer. Well sort of. As of this posting, about 10 black women have started blogging with The site creates a space for black women to network and share around a blogging community, and it looks like anyone who registers can blog. On one level, I have to say it's about time that something like this launched. Not to say that there aren't other sites where a community of black women blog,, has its own directory of regional and star black women bloggers. (Unfortunately it's not as easy to find them as it should be. No main landing page for the blogs, and the promotion box on the main home page doesn't clearly display that the blogs exist. You see "Hot Blogs" and "City Blogs," but it's unclear whether they're exclusive Honey blogs, are simply links to other blogs. But we love it anyway, since our girl SaucyDame has her Raspberry Beret blog there.)

But back to the matter at hand. BlackWomenBlog appears to be targeted to black women who want to discuss lifestyle, family, and relationship issues. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but I see the need nonetheless. Imagine what would have happened there when the whole Don Imus controversy erupted, or even most recent issues like what's happening to the kids in the Jena 6 case, or even the Juanita Bynum divorce drama. On the design and Web 2.0 front, there's lots lacking there, but again as I said, I understand the mission and perhaps adopting Web 2.0-like features, other than the blogs themselves, isn't exactly right for that particular community. And while the design leaves something to be desired, it's a clean presentation (except for the overkill on the Google text ads) and it's also a fairly navigable site. I just wish that after reading one post, I could easily get to another one, but I suppose that's what the tags implementation is for, though currently they're not clickable, but maybe they will be when there's more content.


From the site:


Making it easy for Black WOMEN to speak their mind, share their passions, and motivate a movement! is built on four powerful principles:

  1. It should be easy for Black WOMEN to connect with each other and with the world.
  2. The combined voices of Black WOMEN will create a positive, worldwide revolution.
  3. Unfiltered communication is best.
  4. The world’s Black women, Black men and Black children want the leadership provided by bloggers on is designed so that authors like yourself can publish articles and web pages in minutes.

We’ve provided all the tools you need – now it’s time for you to create your first Blog. Get started now. Publish your passion with!

We are located in Austin, Texas. We are affiliated with,,,, and"

From the press release:

"Austin, TX ( - Today a new website called launched. This blog site is the first to connect Black Women from around the world for the purpose of sharing ideas and supporting one another.

"We want every Black Woman to become a blogger on It's easy to register and it is free. And, we want everyone -- male or female -- to check into everyday to read the latest thoughts of Black Women from around the world," said JT Smart,'s blog relationship manager.

Studies indicate that more than 84% of Black Women in America are online. This number has been increasing dramatically over the past four years.

Website Publisher Susan Benjamin added, "Black women are so far flung nowadays that it can be difficult to reach out and spend time just chatting with another Black woman about everyday passions, such as men, our hair, issues our kids may be having at school, the latest fashions, politics, love, the weather, the local supermarket, dating, marriage, sex, parenting, pregnancy, art, poetry, recipes, religion, news, cooking, or anything else. Black Women can now get perspective from someone who's walked in their shoes. allows millions of Black Women all over the world to express their thoughts to other Black Women. I'm very excited about the sisterhood that will develop!" is free to join and blog. Current bloggers on include Black moms, wives, businesswomen, stay at home moms, single women, entrepreneurs, teachers, and athletes."

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09.24.07 10:21 AM

An All Day Conference on the N-Word

Is this ban the N-word thing going to far? Sure, I don't want to hear the word in every song that comes on the radio or that's played at a party, but I'm starting to wonder if we're drawing too much attention to the word.

What are your thoughts?

Either way you feel about it, there's an all-day conference coming up that deals with the word's usage.

LAID TO REST? The N-Word and Other Language of “Dissed” Respect

Friday, November 2, 2007
Pace University • Pleasantville, NY

Welcome Address
Special Guest: AUTUM ASHANTE, 8 year-old Conscious Poet

Featured Speaker: JULIAN CURRY, as seen on HBO's "Def Poetry Slam," profiled in Forbes Magazine (2003), and 2003 Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Champion

Lunch and Panel Discussion featuring:
WILBUR ALDRIDGE, Regional Director, NAACP Westchester/Rockland County Chapter
TAMIKA MALLORY, National Director of the National Action Network Decency Initiative
DAX-DEVLON ROSS, motivational speaker, mentor, teacher and author

Moderated by: MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, hip-hop feminist, fashion, lifestyle and pop culture commentator, and former executive fashion and beauty editor of ESSENCE magazine

Closing Featured Speaker: LEROY COMRIE, New York City Councilman (Queens)

From the conference organizers:

"Social scientists refer to words such as “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” and “wetback” as ethnophaulisms—terms of disparagement; pejorative words and phrases that are either intended to be or are often regarded as insulting, impolite or unkind. Such terms are regarded by many as the language of prejudice, yet, after a period of relative dormancy, the word “nigger” has been reborn in popular culture."

Click here for more information on: LAID TO REST? The N-Word and Other Language of “Dissed” Respect

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09.21.07 05:20 PM

Halo 3 Leak on the Interwebs

halo-3.gifRecent reports from detail thousands of downloads of Halo3, though Microsoft doesn't officially release the game until next Tuesday.

"High Street retailer Argos began selling the game in a select number of stores this week, but soon corrected its mistake. Microsoft told that it would not punish the retailer following the blunder."

It appears that the kids who got the game early started putting it on file-sharing services immediately. From InformationWeek:

"Numerous bloggers are reporting that purloined versions of Halo 3 are all over the Internet, available for play to Xbox 360 users who have modified their systems to defeatMicrosoft ( MSFT)'s copy protection software. Gaming industry bloggers at MaxConsole are reporting that one source of the illegal files is a hacking group called Paradogs. Also, a version of the game appeared to be available as a 7.3-Gbyte download from a peer-to-peer file sharing site called as of Friday morning."
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09.21.07 12:22 PM

The Roc Is In The Building

Aight, I have to admit I've been feeling a little less impressed by my boy Hov lately. Kingdom Come, just wasn't that great. And the few bars he spit on Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Rihanna, and others tracks, just wasn't in the pocket. His greatness seemed to be dimming. That was until I heard the remix of "I Get Money," with the three top Hip-Hop Cash Kings (50 Cent, Diddy, and Jay-Z). Jay-Z had a bit of interesting word play going on there.

But now he's really back at it. I don't think you can question his skills.

Listen to Jay-Z's "Blue Magic" recently played on Funkmaster Flex's show. Flex was also the first one to drop the "I Get Money (Forbes 1-2-3 Remix)."

(Nah Right gets credit for posting the "Blue Magic" track first.)

I don't think we need wonder anymore whether he's back in the lab working on that new joint. Besides, The New York Times already has the scoop.

"LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 — Jay-Z, the rap superstar and president of Def Jam Records, has quietly returned to the studio to record an album of new songs inspired by the forthcoming movie “American Gangster,” his first “concept” album and second CD in less than a year." (more)

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09.20.07 06:53 PM

Mimi Valdes to Head Latina

Mimi Valdes (photo: Mediabistro)
"Latina editorial director Betty Cortina has been telling staffers today that she's leaving the magazine, and she's set to be replaced by powerhouse former Vibe editor Mimi Valdes, a source tells Daily Intel. "It seems amicable," says the spy. "There was a new CEO hired in April, and there have been lots of changes since then. But this is the big one." Latina has a readership of 2 million. As far as we know, Valdes hasn't been up to much since she and much of her staff were rudely booted from Vibe last summer, so this is a coup."
(source: "Betty Cortina Out at ‘Latina,’ Former ‘Vibe’ Editor Mimi Valdes In," Daily Intelligencer)

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09.20.07 12:58 PM

VH1 Hip-Hop Panels in Brooklyn Oct. 6

vh1_hiphop.gifAs part of "VH1 Hip Hop Honors" weekend on Saturday October 6th Brooklyn Bodega and the Hip Hop Institute will be producing two panels at powerHouse Books in Brooklyn. The first panel will feature Andre Harrell, founder of Uptown Records, and Barry Michael Cooper who coined the term 'New Jack Swing,' and a host of others as they discuss the impact and legacy of the New Jack Swing movement. "The inclusion of New Jack Swing in this year's celebration threw me off. The first thing I thought was 'there are some real cultural historians at VH1 making these decisions.' Immediately we wanted to support their efforts in an intimate way," writes Room Service Group president and founder of the Hip Hop Institute, Wes Jackson. "As we talk about the current subgenres of Hip Hop like crunk, snap, and glitch it is important to document movements like New Jack Swing. What is known as New Jack Swing gave us Pharell, Bobby Brown, and Diddy. Having Andre Harrell and Barry Michael Cooper join us we will be getting the story straight from the horse's mouth."

The second panel will celebrate Q-Tip, Phife, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the legendary A Tribe Called Quest. The latest addition to the 2007 "VH1 Hip Hop Honors" honoree list, Tribe is universally recognized as one of the greatest to ever do it. The panel will feature critically acclaimed author Brian Coleman, author of Check The Technique, and Jive Records senior A&R, Jeff Sledge who helped create many Tribe classics while they were signed to the New York label. Jackson went on to add, "I think it is every Hip- Hop junkie's dream to sit down with members of Tribe as well as respected peers and colleagues to discuss these great albums. With our esteemed panel we will really speak on how this amazing group grew into such a powerful force while creating some of the best albums Hip-Hop has ever seen or heard."

A Tribe Called Quest, The birth and evolution of a legend

Jeff Sledge, Senior Director, Jive Records
Brian Coleman, author, Check The Technique
Eskay, writer,
Dallas Penn,, Internet celebrities
Lynne d Johnson, Senior Editor, Fast Company

Wes Jackson

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09.19.07 08:15 PM

NPR N&N Bloggers' Roundtable: Too Much O.J.?

News & Notes, September 19, 2007· This week, the panel takes up the latest in the O.J. Simpson legal drama, the private security firm Blackwater getting kicked out of Iraq, and talk of the GOP snubbing black voters.

Farai Chideya talks with Juliette Ochieng of Baldilocks; Lynne Johnson, senior editor of the online magazine Fast Company, who also blogs on her personal site; and Baratunde Thurston, who blogs for several sites, including Huffington Post and Jack & Jill Politics.


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09.14.07 12:05 PM

Follow Up: Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers?


I've proposed a panel for 2008 SXSW to answer that question. If you feel it's a conversation that needs to be had, even if you can't attend the event, you can go vote to make sure it happens.

Here's a summary of the idea I proposed:

In August 2007, Podtech Vlogger Loren Feldman got dressed up in black face (a tech nigga nonetheless) and asked the question, "Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers?" While Feldman's video drummed up controversy and was labeled as racist, it got the blogosphere thinking and talking. Especially the black tech bloggers. Here's your chance to discover that they really exist, and to learn how they think about technology, and well, people like Feldman.

Also, if you have a Website that launched in the calendar year 2007, you may be eligible for a Web award. Go check out the rules and be sure to enter your site.

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09.11.07 10:35 PM

Felicia Pride's The Message

the_message_felicia_pride.jpg Felicia Pride has a book, The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop's Greatest Songs, coming out October 7 and she also debuted a brand-fresh-spanking new site to complement it, replete with a soundtrack, excerpts from the book, and more. You Go Girl!!!

What Felicia Says:

"Yes, despite what some may believe, I do think there are lessons to be found and embraced in hip-hop songs. Hence my forthcoming book, THE MESSAGE: 100 LIFE LESSONS FROM HIP-HOP'S GREATEST SONGS. THE MESSAGE is a DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF for the hip-hop generation—a compendium of real wisdom that has been distilled from some of the greatest hip-hop songs."

The Book Info:

"In this book of life lessons culled from hip-hop culture, author Felicia Pride examines a wide range of hip-hop songs and artists, interpreting life through their lenses. Growing up with hip-hop, Pride has come to realize the way it shaped how she thinks, writes, and reacts, making her the person she is today. By incorporating her own experiences and reflections with the rapper's message, she focuses on the positive, motivational influence hip-hop has on its audience.

With each life lesson aptly titled after a hip-hop song, such as Kanye West's “Jesus Walks” or GangStarr's “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” The Message explores spirituality, success, love, business, and more through hip-hop. Pride infuses these essential truths with examples from rappers' lives and music, providing positive reflections on hip-hop culture. For example, she tells you how to study how those with staying power, such as Missy Elliott and Russell Simmons, handle their business and how to incorporate similar tactics into your own life: be creative, diversify, handle your business.

The Message shares the wisdom that Pride has learned from hip-hop, creating what is essentially a soundtrack to the hip-hopper's life."

To say I'm proud of Felicia is an understatement. I've been watching her work for awhile, and we've traveled many of the same paths -- Popmatters, Mosaic, and though I can't find where it was written now, Mark Anthony Neal put us in the same boat a few years back as some of the best writers (not just female) he came across writing about hip-hop at the time. So I'm feeling this book near and dear to my heart, just like the one -- Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don't Have Bruises by my Co-op City bredren Miles Marshall Lewis. They've both written amazing books about living a life of hip-hop that resonates with me very deeply, and besides their damn good writers too. (Another one of my hip-hop writer's inspirations is Toure, but that's another story for another time.)

I'm definitely pre-ordering a copy of Felicia's book, as you should also. This is probably the most creative personal reflection of hip-hop published yet. Just peep the excerpts and you'll understand my excitement.

On another note though, it's books like these that make me remember what my own mission in life is supposed to be. So if nothing else Felicia, you've inspired another scribe to stop lollygagging and being distracted by other tasks and life -- and to get back to the business of writing, and even perhaps get that book that's been in the writing stages for nearly 10 years.

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09.11.07 05:10 PM

2007 Flashback: 911 Reflections

view from above, originally uploaded by lynneluvah.

Six years later, and there is still a gaping hole in lower Manhattan. I work in the area now. 7 World Trade Center, and I walk by it everyday.

These email missives were originally posted on on September 14, 2001, and then republished there on September 11, 2002. As there appears to be no archives of stories at BlackVoices on AOL, I'll republish the real-time email missives I sent out on September 11, 2001 as the events unfolded.

Emails from Brooklyn

Over the course of the day I sent dozens, many dozens of emails to friends, family and listserves. Here is a sampling of the messages that day spawned.

Date: Tue Sep 11, 2001 09:19:00 AM Subject: Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center

Can see the fires out of my window. Just saw the reports on the news. Having problems obtaining any reports online at this time. But they have pretty much confirmed that both towers of the WTC have explosions.

Date: Tue Sep 11, 2001 10:19:00 aM Subject: Re: The world trade ctr!

One of the Towers just went down. Saw it from my window. The Pentagon has also been hit. Gov't officials and media still trying to confirm who is responsible for this. In downtown Brooklyn right now, it is a mess. All fire trucks and police cars are heading into Manhattan.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 10:30:22 -0400 Subject: Re: the second building just collapsed

i am crying
this is sad

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 11:54:41 -0400

Things in New York will never be the same again, I am sure.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 12:11:35 -0400

I saw everything from my Brooklyn apartment it was unbelievable. I was in the street awhile ago and traffic is backed up in Brooklyn. Folks are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Many of them with ash in their hair and on their clothes. I am just now beginning to smell it through my window. Until now, there was no odor.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 14:10:28 -0400

I no longer smell the smoke. I no longer hear the panic in the streets of Brooklyn, nor the ambulance, fire truck, and police sirens. It simply seems that all things are quiet. That everyone is in shock. I have to admit, before the buildings went down, I was glued to my window. Now I am glued to the TV.

My mother, who will be 70 in January, heard that something was going on, but didn't know quite what yet. She proceeded to lower Manhattan today for an appointment. Somehow she decided to reroute herself to the direction of home. Glad she did. She called me then, but I have not heard from her since.

There is no way to tell whether this is all over or not. There could be more on the horizon. A wind just breezed past my window, it is the smell of smoke again.

Date: Tue Sep 11, 200109:05:00 pM Subject: Re: Plane Crashes into World Trade Center

Somehow, I keep thinking about the book of Revelations.

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 09:34:00 PM

This has been a day unlike any day I have ever known. Or probably will ever know again. I walked into the street around 11 a.m. and there were people covered in soot, running, trying to get home. Sirens all damn day. Just on and on and on. I cannot even say I know what it feels like to be in one of those countries where there is war in abundance. But I do know, I was afraid today. I do know I cried. I do know I prayed. I feared for my safety. The safety of this country.

Tonight I go out. Police are circling around my neighborhood to protect the Muslims. The black smoke, dense like fog, entering my chest, causing me to cough. I have never experienced this before and hope I never will again.

I cannot imagine what it was like to be there up close. I cannot imagine the pain of the victim's families. War has not touched our soil since Pearl Harbor. This is a serious feeling of being totally vulnerable.

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 21:38:20 -0400

I live in downtown Brooklyn near a Mosque.

The cops are heavily patrolling the area. There is still black smoke, thick like fog, rising like a cloud, hovering above the city and Brooklyn. I am sure it is in NJ as well.

I pray for the victim's families.

world trade center site, originally uploaded by lynneluvah.

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09.10.07 04:18 PM

Open letter from Mos Def: Support for the Jena 6

Open letter from Mos Def

A Call to Action from Artist/ Activist Mos Def To African Americans of Influence and All Concerned Parties to Show Support for the “Jena 6” on Sept 20th

Artist/ Activist Mos Def is calling upon African Americans of influence and all concerned parties to join him in Jena, LA on Sept. 20th to rally and show support for the Jena 6, who are being treated very harshly by law enforcement in the State.

The Jena Six are a group of black students who are being charged with attempted murder for beating up a white student that was taunting them with racial slurs. This student also supported other white students that hung three nooses from the high schools "white tree," which sits in the front yard at their school. The charges could lead to sentences of 20 to 100 years in prison, of which civil rights advocates have decried as unfairly harsh.

Mos Def is asking African Americans of influence and concerned parties to join him in the fight against racial inequality and show solidarity for these young people, who are being treated very harshly by the law. The prosecution of these young men symbolizes a terrible miscarriage of justice, by punishing students who opposed segregation in their schools and disregarding the threatening acts of others who advocate it.

For more info on ways to get involved email To sign the petition please go to

Additional Info:

Video: Cornel West, Mos Def & Bill Maher on the Jena Six

Video: Jena Six, a photo story (Jena6)
by Michael David Murphy (whileseated)

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09.07.07 06:14 PM

Call for Papers: 2008 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project

It's been a while since I've done this one. I think I'm submitting a proposal this year. And it's not just for academics and journalists either, if you're a blogger or music enthusiast -- who writes about music in any form or fashion -- you should get down with this.


Shake, Rattle: Music, Conflict, and Change

April 10-13, 2008, Seattle, Washington

How does music resist, negate, struggle? Can pop music intensify vital confrontations, as well as ameliorating and concealing them? What happens when people are angry and silly love songs aren't enough? The migrations and global flows of peoples and cultures; the imbalanced struggles between groups, classes, and nations: what has music’s role been in these ongoing dramas? We invite presentations on any era, sound, or geographic region. Topics might include:

--In conjunction with the new EMP exhibit, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, how Latino musics have shaped the American soundscape and challenge black and white rock-pop paradigms, or more broadly, the unsettling effects of immigration, internal migration, displacement, assimilation, and colonization.

--How music enters politics: social movements and activist responses to crises such as New Orleans; entertainment's connection to ideology and propaganda; music within "cultural policy" and as part of the public sphere; debates over copyright, corporate power, and cultural democracy; performing dissent

--Social and musical fragmentation: segregation and constructions of whiteness, divisions of class and gender, versus musical categorization and niche marketing, from big genres to smaller forms such as "freak folk"

--"Revolution" as a recurrent theme in popular music, a social or technological reality it confronts, or an association with particular genres and decades of music.

--Clashes between communal, local, identity -- tradition, faith, nativism -- and cosmopolitan, global, modernization

--Music in times of war, economic crisis, adolescence, and other intense stress

--Agents of change: tipping points, latent historical shifts, carnivalesque subversions, and accidents or failures of consequence

--The sound of combative pop: what sets it apart?

Send proposals to Eric Weisbard at by December 17, 2007; please keep them to 250 words and a 50 word bio. Full panel proposals, bilingual submissions, and unusual approaches are welcome. For questions, contact the organizer or program committee members: Joshua Clover (UC Davis), Kandia Crazy Horse (editor, Rip it Up: The Black Experience in Rock 'n' Roll ), Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh) Holly George-Warren (author, Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry), Michelle Habell-Pallan (University of Washington), Michele Myers (KEXP), Ann Powers (LA Times), Joe Schloss (NYU), RJ Smith (Los Angeles magazine), Ned Sublette (author, Cuba and its Music), and Sam Vance (EMP).

The Pop Conference at EMP, now in its seventh year, joins academics, critics, writers of all kinds, and performers in a rare common discussion. The conference is sponsored by the Seattle Partnership for American Popular Music (Experience Music Project, the University of Washington School of Music, and KEXP 90.3 FM), through a grant from the Allen Foundation for Music. For more, go to

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09.04.07 06:39 PM

2007 Hip-Hop Journalism Conference: Registration Open

Rapidly emerging as the professional face of hip hop journalism, HHJA is excited to announce the 2007 HHJA Conference and Convention in Miami, Fl, October 19-20, 2007.

The 2007 HHJA Conference & Convention will feature presentations from all over the US and Canada (i.e. film screenings, discussion groups, workshops) centered on the theme of the conference: Integrity in Hip Hop Journalism. Register online at

Plus, learn the industry from some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop Journalism, including:

Kim Osorio, Executive Editor,
Jimi Izrael, hip hop journalist & NPR commentator
P. Frank Williams, Emmy Award winning author & producer
Dr. Edgar Tyson, hip hop scholar, researcher, & author

The 2007 HHJA Conference & Convention is the meeting place for hip-hop journalists, broadcasters, and media professionals from around the country and around the world.
To join and learn more about this new and extremely critical organization geared toward maintaining high standards for hip hop journalists, go to

Or email:

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09.04.07 03:47 PM

2007 AdColor Awards Call for Nominations

Usually, if I visit a site and a video automatically loads and starts playing, I'm annoyed. But interestingly, when I was pulled into DiversityInc today by this headline:

The New Don Imus: Craig Carton Mocks Asians, Turns in Immigrants, Outs Politicians

I found myself drawn to a large rectangle video ad playing in the upper right hand corner. The ad was created in some sort of sepia tone, which somewhat masked the images of the people who were talking. But I heard very strong voices that drew me in, granted as I watched the video I realized I knew a few of them (like Carol Watson of Tangerine-Watson.)

Anyway, the point is this, it was a good ad and it wasn't annoying. And it got its message across:

The Coalition’s first initiative is the AdColor Awards, a program that will honor outstanding diverse professionals at the junior, mid and senior levels in each segment of our industry. The event will take place on November 4, 2007 at the ANA Masters of Multicultural Marketing Conference—a perfect venue to highlight excellence in diversity. Close to 500 industry influencers are anticipated to attend from the agency, client and media side.

Watch for yourself, you'll see what I mean.

(Video credit: PSA Spot for Adcolor Awards)

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09.04.07 01:48 PM

Hillary Clinton on Civil Unions and Barack as VP on Ellen

On Ellen Degeneres this morning, Hillary Clinton talks about her Civil Union stance and her relationship to Barack Obama.

(Video Credit: Queerty)

(Video Credit: Queerty)

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09.04.07 12:13 PM

Call for Submissions: It Ain't My Fault: Blame it on Hip-Hop, Volume 4 Issue 1

Many believe rap music to be culpable for the failing within Black communities. Jay-Z and Lil’ Jon have become more popular targets than racism and poverty for political pundits and self-appointed race men. The WBL Journal staff is looking for submissions that address this re-emerging phenomenon. The overarching theme for this issue is “It Ain't My Fault: Blame it on Hip-Hop,” but below you will find themes to guide your research.

From C. Delores Tucker to Bill Cosby: Conservative Attacks in Black Face
In the past 10 years, we have seen a record number of Black and Latino men and women running for elected office as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The writer can delve into explanations for Black and Latino leaders’ support of more conservative candidates, such as Russell Simmons backing Michael Bloomberg in New York and Michael Steele in Maryland. Authors could also explore why some hip-hop artists, such as 50 Cent and Eazy E, and activists like Jeff Johnson are beginning to support more conservative candidates. One can also address Mr. Cosby’s disparaging remarks about hip-hop dialects and poor communities of color. One can also examine the Citizen Change and Vote or Die campaigns, their agendas and effectiveness. (Russell Simmons’ work with the Urban Leagues, "Hip-Hop Reads Project").

Panthers: Hip-Hop’s Black and Brown Radical Roots
Many people refer to hip-hop as a “multicultural movement.” Interestingly enough, very few hip-hop artists have made it a priority to move beyond discussing this phenomenon as a movement of multicultural consumers. The author should look at how hip-hop generation activists and organizers are moving beyond the black/white racial dichotomy of the 20th century. With the immigration debate, terror bills and the general xenophobia pumped out of your local TV and radio station, how are hip-hop generation youth moving beyond, working through or navigating around personal racial politics? What effect is this environment having upon the state of the individual communities in America across color lines? Ideally, authors should place hip-hop within a historical context of Black and Latino radical activists who worked across racial boundaries.

Parental Advisory: A History of Censoring Black Speech
The author can investigate and build a timeline of censorship of Black music and political speech. One can also explore the ramifications of such censorship. We are trying to convey a link between the two, and show that Black music and political commentary are often one in the same. Writers can also look at how government agencies such as the FBI and local police have followed rap artists such as NWA and 2 Live Crew, much like they did individuals and organizations like Amiri Baraka and the Black Panther Party. Tipper Gore, Bill Clinton, and Rush Limbaugh have all tried to use their influence to silence rappers, but to what end?

Ridin’ Dirty on 85: Rap’s Great Migration to the South
On their most basic level, articles covering this topic should look at how New York-based rap artists have responded to the great remigration of Black people and culture to the South. This section is intended to provide a contemporary look at the state of rap music and its migration to the south. This phenomenon should not be looked at in a vacuum but rather be tied to census data outlining the impact of African American Migration from the Northeast to the South and Midwest. This migration of culture need not just be tied to the music itself, but to the democratization of access to technology.

Same Old Song: The Blues, Gospel and Hip-hop
Firstly, one can document the critique from the religious establishment of Black popular music and contemporary gospel. In this section, we are especially interested in the effect of denigrating Black popular culture in African American Churches. It would also be important to look at examples of how churches have appropriated Black popular culture in the creation of “gospel happy hours,” “hip-hop choirs,” and even “hip-hop churches.” In addition, the author could explore the explosion of Christian hip-hop and the fusion of traditional gospel styles and hip-hop. One can also write about how fringe religious sects such as the Nation of Islam and the Five Percent Nation exploit hip-hop as a vehicle for proselytizing their dogma. It would be appropriate to examine the use of hip-hop to promote Islam, and how that stands in opposition or solidarity with Muslim and Christian communities. This article can consist of interviews, essays or scholarly reviews outlining the history of condemnation and celebrations of contemporary Black music by Black churches or mosques.

From Bridging the Gap to Passing the Torch: Where Do We Go From Here?
This article should examine bonds made between civil rights generation and current youth activists in attempts to make mutual progress.

Submission Forms
Scholarly Submissions
Research Papers
Visual Art
Creative Writing
Short Stories

Process of Submitting
All submissions are accepted on a continuous basis and need not be limited to the themes outlined below. All submissions designated as scholarly require an abstract of 150 words or less and up to five key words. All scholarly submissions should also follow the APA style guide. Please send all submissions to:, or in the case of compact discs: WB&L Journal / 1524 Newton. St. NW / Washington, D.C. 20010. Deadline for submission for this issue is November 19, 2007. The staff of WBL do not consider work that has been previously published and all authors should expect minimally a year before work will be published if selected.

All submissions should use the following format parameters as a guide and should be submitted as an attachment in 12 point, Times New Roman font. The author’s inability to submit work that reflects these parameters will impact whether work is chosen for publication in print and/or electronically.

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09.01.07 02:32 PM

Video of the Day: Brazilian Dutty Wine

From a party I attended in Brazil. Caught these two boys doing something that looked akin to the dutty wine.

Video Clip of a Brazilian Dance Party @ Barramares E So Alegria in Porto Seguro Brazil with "Mariacaipirinha" by Carlinhos Brown & DJ Dero dubbed over it.

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