It’s been a while since we heard from former UMC member Kim Sharpton who is best known to us as NY Oil. Many recall the UMC for such songs as ‘Blue Cheese’ and ‘One to Grow On’. After the group broke up in the late 90s Kim went underground for a while and then re-emerged in 2005 with a controversial song called ‘Y’all Need to Be Lynched’. In this song Oil takes sharp jabs at a number of then current rap stars including Jim Jones for spewing misogynist and what he described as ‘coon-like’ messages.
The song firmly re-positioned NY Oil into the rap scene with his video being nominated for a Grammy. It also helped usher a new wave of underground conscious artists including acts like Jasiri X (Pittsburgh), Rebel Diaz (The Bronx) Hakim Green formerly of Channel Live (New York) Uno the Prophet (Boston), Ise Lyfe (Oakland), T-Kash (Oakland) Question (San Antonio) Public Offenders (Austin) Anita Tijoux (Chile) Invincible (Detroit) and numerous others. In fact the conscious movement in recent years has blossomed to include more than 200 artists who are now featured in a conscious artist data base compiled together by Uno the Prophet.
Last summer NY Oil took swipes at the conscious Hip Hop community accusing too many artists of being more interested in getting airplay then actually carrying a message. He said he was going to lay low for a while on the rap tip and work on some projects to push the envelop. He started an online radio show and began going in on people and highlighting issues. He briefly popped up in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and put together a well attended concert that included both mainstream and underground artists. It raised several thousand dollars for former presidential candidate Ron Daniel‘s foundation Haiti Support Project.
Today NY Oil is set to take things to another level. He recently inked a deal with BET to do a Thursday night show called the Conscious Countdown. Its a weekly venture that will feature a roundtable discussion with activists and socially conscious rap artists from around the country and videos both old and new that put forth what NY Oil described as ‘compelling’ messages that challenge the masses.
“I’m a man of action B”, NY Oil said in a recent interview. “I’m about making things happen”. He went on to explain that it took some doing, but he presented all the necessary facts and figures and had some hard negotiations with BET brass. In the end everything worked out. NY Oil will have complete creative control with plans to eventually launch a full 24 hour day channel on one of BET subchannels.
NY Oil also noted that there are so many people doing great stuff all over the country that need to have their activities highlighted. “I’m glad BET finally came around to see that we are more than dumbed down gangstas and comedians”, he said. “Activist and anyone doing anything positive needs to get at me… The way it stands now I’m the muthfuckin’ gate-keeper. I’m the head Negro in charge. If I don’t bless it on the Conscious Countdown show then shit is good as dead-So fall back if you half stepping. If you on some real ‘uplift the community’ vibe-get at me” NY Oil said.
NY concluded by explaining that the Conscious Countdown will have some classic videos from groups like Public Enemy, X-Clan, dead prez, Common and many others. The newer videos will come from members who are part of the Conscious Hip Hop database. NY explained that many of the artists like Rebel Diaz and Invincible have already put out well received videos. In fact some like Invincible’s ‘Lotus’ are mini-documentaries dealing with issues like gentrification. NY has his own film company called PEMG with a lot of young film makers who can sit down with artists and craft nice video.
“Look B..I’m tired of cats coming to the party with sloppy ass shit. It’s more then obvious video making at their lane… Me and Debra (Lee) was talking and we both decided , it’ll be in rappers best interests to slide us a few bucks and lets us do what we do”….”Give us at least 3Gs and we’ll make you a video and give you an interview and make you known to muthafuckas around the country.. Word is Born” NY Oil said.
The debut of Conscious Countdown will be next week Thursday April 8th.. The first round table will include Professor Cornel West, Congress woman Maxine Waters, Dr Marc Lamont Hill and Khloe Kadashian.
When pressed as to why he would include the reality show star on the Conscious Countdown, NY Oil replied ‘Its all about the ratings B.. lemme do what I do..I’m running shit and you’re not so ease up son-ease up”
If anyone is interested in getting on the Conscious Countdown Show hit up NY Oil via twitter at www.twitter.com/NYoil
To get a better understanding of how the Conscious Countdown came about peep this.. Here NY Oil explains how BET lisenced the song and produced the Y’all should Get Lynched video..
Below is a video That NY plans to play featuring Jay-Z and singer Chris Brown