Monday, November 13, 2006

done gone home!

We Talk Backers love Blogger and it's been a real nice party here, great hosts and all, but we took our act back home, to P+P, where your favorite blog now appears right on site, big and bold in the left-hand column! See you all there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

prez speech tag clouds

(via Boing Boing) Chirag Mehta created a tag cloud that illustrates the words presidents used most frequently in their speeches as a way to measure which issues they deemed important (or which issues they thought would win them the most support). Not surprisingly words like "Crime," "Deficit," and "Welfare" are prominent in Bill Clinton's cloud while "Terrorist" is the most prominent in G.W. Bush's cloud. Move the slider back and forth to find out what presidents have been talking about from 1776-2006. Here's the link.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

pop goes the rap reality/the white rapper experience

Question: When did VH1 start giving a shit about hip hop?
a) They were down from the start when they played Public Enemy videos in the late 80s/early 90s to give the burgeoning counterculture movement exposure.
b) They still don't give a shit about hip hop, but they do love the money and ratings it's starting to bring in for them.

If you answered both b) and c), you answered correctly.

In VH1's latest hip hop reality show, little rich kids get to play rap with some dude from Law and Order on "Ice-T's Rap School." Don't worry, he's got some street cred; he had a cameo in Breakin'. The premise is to take some prep school kids to the streets. They get to play with spray cans and hang out with Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel. (Mad props to the cats making the show for recognized the old school, son!) Through VH1, these kids and their parents will learn the power of hip hop. Because rich people need hip hop.

Hey poor kids who'd benefit a lot more from being given the opportunity to produce, record, and perform hip hop under the mentorship of rap pioneers, ya'll jealous much? Probably not as bitter as MC Serch, the host of VH1's next hip hop reality show: Ego Trip's White Rapper. Ego Trip, a collective of commentators on hip hop and race, are funny as hell. MC Serch isn't. He's just mad that no one recognizes him, which is sad because he did pave the way for white rappers who followed.

That's Pete Nice and MC Serch AKA 3rd Bass in the picture above. Serch is on the right with the high top fade and the name of his crew shaved into the back of his head (that you obviously can't see). They dropped classic rap records ("Pop Goes the Weasel," "Gas Face") and were among the first white emcees. But when they did it, they did it alongside black emcees. Even their DJ was black, so you know they were down. The show will be funny. But MC Serch's stance on white and other non-black rappers is pretty damn ignorant (I say "pretty damn" because I like 3rd Bass).

Excerpts from his myspace blog about the show and white rappers:

The premise of being a white rapper has gotten so white washed. I met white rappers, and please do not be afraid for what I am about to tell you, but I have talked to and dealt with white rappers who have...ready...NEVER PERFROMED IN FRONT OF BLACK PEOPLE!!!!. How is this possible? Are the black people so hard to find for white rappers? Are white rappers not going to black people to seek thier approval. HOW CAN WHITE RAPPER BE WHITE RAPPERS IF BLACK PEOPLE HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM RAP...

A white rapper cannot be considered a white rapper until he rips in front of a crowd of black people. I am not saying they all have to be black. You can have some spanish, some multi-racial kids mixed in there for flavor, I would even say Asain people. But if you are a white rapper that performs in front of a white crowd then you are not a rapper at all. You are a guy who is simulating what it feels like to rock a crowd.

Now I have some pretty strong thoughts about his argument, but white rapper Sage Francis' rebuttal is much stronger. Read Sage's Open Letter to MC Serch