Jackson’s Death Ruled as a Homicide



This is such a sad story all the way around and even with this assertion form LAPD, its still mired in controversy. For starters we have a guy, Michael Jackson who had a serious drug addiction. His money and fame allowed him to continue getting drugs in spite of interventions from family and friends.  Jackson is not unique in having addictions, he’s just more well known and richer then most.  What have we as a society done to deal with this problem? It goes above and beyond MJ.

Next we have a police department that seems eager to make a name for itself. What better way then to verociously after the folks responsible for administering drugs to Jackson.  Now by no means am I suggesting that Conrad Murray or anyone else should be let off the hook. If they gave Jackson drugs then they should go to jail if that’s what caused his death. In the case of Murray whats being reported is unbelievable. He made bunch of phone calls, didn’t tell the EMR folks he gave him propophol. The whole thing stinks.

My concern is that this is a problem of epidemic proportions especially throughout Hollywood. Why wait till now? Why haven’t we seen this ‘stellar’ police work when we saw other stars  dealing with drug addictions? Why haven’t we seen LAPD dedicating themselves to shutting down the network of doctors who illegally administer drugs? Is this about putting a dent in a problem or making a name off the King of Pop?

-Davey D-

MICHAEL JACKSON DEATH RULED A HOMICIDE: Coroner finds lethal doses of propofol in singer’s body during autopsy.


Police say that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide

Police say that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide

L.A. County coroner’s officials found lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol after examining Michael Jackson’sbody, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed today in Houston, reports the Los Angeles Times.      

The search warrant states that Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, told Los Angeles Police Department detectives that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks. He had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line, according to the court records.       

But Murray told detectives he felt Jackson was becoming addicted to the substance and began trying to wean the pop star off the drugs. He lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams and mixed it with two other sedatives, lorazepam and midazolam. On June 23, two days before Jackson’s death, he administered those two medications and withheld the propofol. 

The arrest of Dr Conrad Murray may soon happen although he and his lawyers are maintaining his innocence

The arrest of Dr Conrad Murray may soon happen although he and his lawyers are maintaining his innocence

On the morning Jackson died, Murray tried to induce sleep without using propofol, according to the affidavit. He said he gave Jackson valium at 1:30 a.m. When that didn’t work, he said, he injected lorazepam intravenously at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m., when Jackson was still awake, Murray administered midazolam.       

Over the next few hours, Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after Jackson repeatedly demanded the drug, according to the court records.       

 Although Murray acknowledged to police that he administered propofol, authorities said they could find no evidence that he had purchased, ordered or obtained the medication under his medical license or Drug Enforcement Administration tracking number. However, police detectives saw about eight bottles of propofol in the house along with other vials and pills that had been prescribed to Jackson by Dr. Murray, Dr. Arnold Klein andDr. Allan Metzger.       

Other drugs that were confiscated in the search included valium, tamsulosin, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, trazodone and tizanidine. They also found propofol in Murray’s medical bag. Murray told detectives that he was not the first doctor to administer the powerful anesthetic to Jackson.      

At least two unidentified doctors gave Jackson propofol in Germany. Between March and April 2009, Murray said he called Las Vegas doctor David Adamsat Jackson’s request to arrange for Adams to administer propofol. Murray said he was present at a cosmetologist’s office, where Adams used propofol to sedate Jackson. Since he began treating Jackson, Murray said he repeatedly asked the pop star what other physicians were treating Jackson and what drugs they were prescribing. But Jackson declined to provide the information, Murray told authorities.

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Should Rap Artists Have a Morality Clause in Their Contracts?



DaveyD-leather-225This is an interesting concept (having a morality clause) that has obviously grown out of the frustration that many  feel when they hear about a high paid recording artists acting out in public or is accused of committing a crime. The most recent incident being a stash of drugs found in the home of Jadakiss who at press time was not arrested or wanted by police. While a morality clause may have some effect in the NFL or NBA it is likely not to work in the music arena for a number of reasons. 

First, the NFL and NBA are institutions that long ago had the foresight to see that having a good image could be profitable.  As a result they’ve worked hard to control their public image by taking a number of steps ranging from disallowing TV networks to use their name or likeness to imposing dress codes on players when appearing in public.  Their theory is that the league is bigger and more important then one individual player.

This has never been the cased with the music industry. Here we’re talking about an institution that has never been shy about flirting with unsavory elements in our society, either as performers or as behind the scenes executives and employees. Such associations have added to the lore and often cited ethos -sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. In other words, the music industry has thrived off  of having a bad boy rebellious image. Sadly much of that drama filled image is crafted and planned out with the same precision and calculation as the NFL and NBA seek  to move away from trouble.

Second point,  professional sports leagues have a  small number of people who get paid lots of money with very few entry points for one to rebound if they blow their opportunity. Hence its easier to police a sports league compared to the music business which has a lot more entry points. In the  NFL or NBA  players can barred or suspended.  There is no music industry that you can bar one from. You might restrict airplay or stop someone from performing at a concert , but they can always go and do things on the indy tip and record or perform somewhere else.  Putting the word banned or suspended next to their name  will probably result in an artist enjoying more notoriety thus increasing their popularity.

The NFL and NBA is one big institution that controls all aspects of its business. It controls TV, radio, magazines etc. the Music Bizis a made up of a bunch of  individual parts that have symbiotic relationships to one another.  Its by choice we all work hand in hand, but we don’t have to especially if we have economic interests at stake. For example, if Interscope records decides to suspend 50 Cent, that has little bearing on what I  do as a radio programmer. I may still play his music, show his video or highlight him in magazine.  In addition, oftentimes its members of an artists’ entourage that kick up dust and cause drama hitting,  Who do you suspend there?

Third point, The Music Industry has built its business around shady behavior. Controversy and beef are major selling points. Artists going to jail and having brushes with the law have far too often enhanced their attraction and validated them or their record labels who seem to be determined  to garner ‘street cred’. In short bad behavior is rewarded.

Here’s a couple ofexamples.  A few years ago Jay-Z stabbed record executive Lance Un Rivera after it was revealed that he was bootlegging Jigga’s music.  Was Jay-Z suspended? Did he stop receiving airplay? Did MTV/BET tell him he was no longer welcome at their award shows?  Hell naw. The incident made him seem more ‘real’ in the eyes of fans and sadly in the eyes of radio and video executives who often live vicariously through these artists. Some of these folks felt they themselves got street cred from playing or being in good with Jay-Z and his Roc-A-Fella Fam.

Now imagine if any of us stabbed a collegue? It would be a wrap unless we were former Vice President Dick Cheney who shot his boy in the face during a hunting trip-but lets not digress. My point here is Jay-Z was seen as a hero, not by young impressionable children, but by grown ass men and women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s who work in the music industry who make decisions to present or not present music and images to millions all over the world.

Another example involves The Game and his entourage a couple of years ago. They  came to a Washington DC radio station WYKS to do an interview and wound up and beating  down a popular DJ named X-Zulu. According to the story, they were angry when the DJ made what they felt was an off the cuff remark.  (according to reports he said the blue tooth headset one of Game’s people was wearing made them look like a Klingon from Star Trek fame). 

Radio One which owns WYKS was at first furious with Game and ceased playing his records. However, other stations around the country continued to play him without hesitation. Game later went back into the studio and recorded a new verse to his popular song ‘Hate it or Love It’ where he actually bragged about the incident which sent the deejay to the hospital. Many radio executives had no problem playing that song on their airwaves including Radio One. In fact WYKS eventually resumed playing Game.

The grumblings around the industry was that lots of money was put forth to make sure Game’s music was played and put in heavy rotation. When the station ceased playing his songs, the money (payola) was asked to be returned. Rather then do that the station opted to, play his music. Oh well, so much for morality clauses. If anything maybe its the executive in this industry that need morality clauses..

What I find fascinating about this is that record labels when needed can and do exert control over their artists. They control where artists can do interviews on major radio stations, what concerts they perform at and what magazine’s they grant interviews. This control is all tied into the type of promotion and managing of image that the labels feel they need to have in order to ensure a successful promotion of an album. If an artist doesn’t comply, the label doesn’t promote their record. Over the years I’ve seen labels shut down concerts, have station visits stopped and letters from their lawyers demanding we stop playing a record. Rarely have I seen them push to have us shut things down because an artist did something wrong to the community. I have seen this happen when record executives themselves got beaten up… Like I said a morality clause needs to be imposed upon record executives

something to ponder

-Davey D-

Goodell Effect not always good for NFL but may be good for rap music artist

by Ooh Papi


NFL logoRoger S.”The Hammer” Goodell is the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), he was chosen to succeed the retiring Paul Tagliabue in 2006. He is nicknamed “the hammer” because he has been very tough on most NFL players.

Most think he has been to tough at times in fact Terrell Owens said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been unfair to suspended quarterback Michael Vick and that the union and more players need to speak out. In an interview with ESPN’s George Smith, Owens said he was surprised more players haven’t spoken up in support of Vick and that, “the commissioner needs to go sit in jail for 23 months” to see what it’s like to sit behind bars.”I think it’s unfortunate,” Owens said. “I think the way the commissioner has handled it, I think it’s unfair to Michael Vick. I think he’s done the time for what he’s done. I don’t think it’s really fair for him to be suspended four more games. That’s almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.”

Remy Ma sghould've had a morality clause in her recording contract

Remy Ma sghould've had a morality clause in her recording contract

However his reputation for toughness has impressed many. In fact, his style may be making its way over to the Warner Music Group and other music labels. Attorney Lauren Raysor’s called a press conference today and asked record labels to put a“Goodell effect” into rappers contracts. For those who don’t know Raysor is the attorney who helped put Bronx rapper Remy Ma behind bars for shooting her client Makeda Barnes-Joseph.

Raysor propositioned that labels put a “morality clause” in their artists’ contracts, providing monetary incentive for artists to not engage in violent or criminal acts. She compared the music industry to the NFL, which enforces codes of conduct stricter than ever since the Republican raised Goodell took over.

Raysor made it clear she wasn’t trying to run amok on free speech / 1st Amendment rights or destroy gangsta rap lyrics and emphasized “It is your outside behavior we are talking about; we’re not talking about what you write.”

What Raysor wants to see become a contractual matter to prevent violence in hip hop is a contractual agreement from artist that will govern acts of contempt, scorn or ridicule that will tend to shock, insult or offend the community, or ridicule public morality or decency, or prejudice the company, producer, and others in the public or in the industry in general

Raysor is looking to meet with label execs in an effort put the morals clause into effect and if this dialogue is picked up in the blogosphere then it will surely be an anecdotal mark in the timeline of rap music’s evolution.

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The Media Crisis of 2009-Radio Needs to Embrace the Future



The Media Crisis of 2009

By Jerry Del Colliano

Jerry_Colliano-225Terry Teachout wrote an excellent article recently in The Wall Street Journal about lessons the media industry can learn from the last big technological and sociological revolution when television replaced radio.

In The New-Media Crisis of 1949 the author accurately framed the debate over what to do with the Internet, mobile space and social networking. Just as important, by inference he was giving us a view of what not to do.

My purpose in bringing this up is to add some additional content to the issue specifically targeting radio, music and new media.

Ironically, networks played a role in the previous technological revolution.

The early, popular radio shows were networked across the country and by 1949 — at the advent of commercial television — there were 85 million radios tuned in to hear these national programs.

By contrast, today, Repeater Radio and voice tracking exist not to offer one-of-a-kind talent to a nation but to offer one-of-a-kind cost savings to consolidators.

There were only 1.3 million TV sets in use — mostly on the East Coast — by 1949.

Unlike today — when the Internet, cell phone, social networking and file sharing became available for exactly the opposite reason — it was free and more readily available.

Some of my USC students felt that even though the Internet is everywhere, the devices upon which to access it were not available to all socioeconomic groups. So there was a parallel — televisions cost about half of what a new car would run you 60 years ago — and a laptop isn’t cheap today.

It was, as Teachout points out, that the rise of network TV due to the laying of coaxial cable between a number of major cities made the new medium available if not affordable.

Radio stars were big back in the day — so big that many didn’t want to cross over to television. Some did — successfully. Some did not. Careers, thus, were prolonged or eliminated by a radio star’s ability to make the transition to radio’s new competitor.

Today, we see radio groups embracing the Internet only in a cursory way — repurposing radio shows, streaming terrestrial formats online and inserting different and less expensive commercials.

That’s not much of a business plan for the future when there is no future in it.

Talent is mired in terrestrial radio unable or unwilling to see podcasting as the new radio, the Internet as simply a delivery system and not a format category and social networking the “coaxial cable” of the future — is not the product, not the content — only a component.

Fred Allen, one of the biggest radio stars that never made it in TV insisted that radio was still better because the listener “had to use his imagination” (quoting WSJ).


Doesn’t this kind of remind you of what is happening in the radio business right now in 2009?

The “for us or against us” attitude that permeates radio (i.e., you’re either a radio person or not). By radio person that would be someone who works in a terrestrial station and takes a lot of crap from management that doesn’t see the future. Dare to say that radio is over — and you’ll be lynched (figuratively speaking).

In the Journal article, three “lessons” were offered that I would like to comment on:

Lesson #1

“Network TV lost vast amounts of money in its early years. It was only because the existing radio networks were willing to subsidize TV that it survived—leaving CBS and NBC at the top of the heap in the ’50s and ’60s, just as they had been in the ’30s and ’40s. The old media of today have a similar chance to prosper tomorrow if they can survive the heavy financial losses that they’re incurring while they develop workable new-media business models”.


Can you see the difference already?

Radio groups today are not willing to subsidize their future competitor that is the Internet/mobile space. In fact, radio groups stubbornly refuse to invest anything in the burgeoning new technology.

Most large and small radio groups have no Internet strategy, limited understanding, no funds budgeted to the media that will likely surpass radio for good this time.

Unlike the early days of television where radio interests were developing radio with pictures, radio now is a minor player at best in the future of webcasting, mobile content and social networking.

Lesson # 2

“Established radio performers such as Benny and Hope, who embraced TV on its own visually oriented terms, flourished well into the ’60s. Everyone else—including Fred Allen—vanished into the dumpster of entertainment history. The same fate awaits contemporary old-media figures unwilling to grapple with the challenge of the new media, no matter how popular they may be today”.

That’s right — radio’s biggest names today will vanish like the dinosaurs into ancient history.

As I like to point out, the ones who will invest and innovate in new media — particularly podcasting — may go on and count themselves as the few and the fortunate to transcend a dying medium into a growing industry.

History repeats itself.

There is a reason why the old saw still rings true.

And why does history repeat itself?

Because we never seem to be willing to learn our lessons from it — so, any radio talent looking to end his or her career need simply to stay where they are in a medium that is about to be replaced by a new one in which radio has little interest.

Lesson #3

“Americans of all ages embraced TV unhesitatingly. They felt no loyalty to network radio, the medium that had entertained and informed them for a quarter-century. When something came along that they deemed superior, they switched off their radios without a second thought. That’s the biggest lesson taught by the new-media crisis of 1949. Nostalgia, like guilt, is a rope that wears thin”.

Radio people need to read and reread that last paragraph.

An entire new generation of 80 million are in the process of departing for new media leaving terrestrial radio with no growth potential and no real way to survive ten years from today. That is a fact.

Even older available listeners have taken to Facebook, downloading songs to iPods, embracing Twitter, watching YouTube — to mention a few — all at the expense of their radio listening time.

The monopoly radio had in cars for years has come to an end — the car radio is now called the entertainment center.

Satellite radio was to become the next radio and all it managed to do was be a costly part of this entertainment center not a stark contrast to its competitor — terrestrial radio.

Radio listeners have embraced new media and continue to gobble it up at a record pace. Still, radio groups exist as though they have no competition and everything is still beautiful.

The lessons are many but they are happening in real time and cannot be ignored.

There is a reason why radio operators in the 1940’s supported and subsidized its eventual replacement — television.

It’s because these leaders then saw a vision of the future and wanted to be part of it.

By contrast, today’s radio consolidators refuse to acknowledge let alone subsidize what may very well be their technological and sociological replacement — the Internet and mobile space for exactly the opposite reason.

They can’t see the vision and don’t want to be part of what it considers the enemy — not the future.

This Wall Street Journal piece is excellent if you have the time to read it — click here.

I hope this discussion has resonated with you as it has with me and I encourage you to share it with your media friends.

The richness of radio is its talented managers, salespeople and on-air performers. They are being forced to take their futures to new media without any industry leadership.

That did not happen in 1949.

But it must happen in 2009 if they are to find a place in the digital future.

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