Stakes is High: Major Mistakes found in Anthology of Rap

Members of the Anthology of Rap‘s advisory board speak out about the book’s errors. Plus: Grandmaster Caz lists the mistakes in his lyrics.
By Paul Devlin

On Nov. 4, I wrote a review of The Anthology of Rap, noting the book’s many transcription errors. Last week, I wrote a follow-up article on the Yale University Press book, enumerating further errors and pointing out that the majority of the mistakes discovered in the book so far—by me and by others—also appear in the transcriptions on Web sites like Online Hip-hop Lyrics Archive. In that follow-up article, I asked the editors to explain their transcription process, and they obliged, outlining a seven-step process. The primary source, they stated, was always the music itself: The editors say they typed out original transcriptions after listening to the songs. They then checked their lyrics against other sources—including sites like OHHLA—and also, when possible, asked the artists themselves to vet the lyrics. According to the editors, “nearly 30” artists reviewed the editors’ transcriptions.

I decided to reach out to one of the artists who checked his lyrics to see how that process worked. In the acknowledgements section of the book, the editors “offer special thanks to the following for reviewing transcriptions of their lyrics, offering insights into their craft, and generally providing support for this undertaking.” The editors then list the names of 29 rappers.

Among them is Grandmaster Caz, a hip-hop pioneer. Caz’s name jumped out at me because, in reading his songs as transcribed in the anthology, I’d noticed what I thought was a substantial mistake. So I got in touch with him and, earlier this week, visited him at his apartment in the Bronx. Reading through the book’s transcriptions of his work with me, he caught a series of errors.

Caz told me the editors asked him to check his lyrics, but not until October, when they sent him a hardcover copy of the book. (The book was published Nov. 9; I received a soft-cover galley over the summer.) Caz also told me he never signed off on the lyrics. I asked the editors why Caz is listed among the artists who checked their work. They didn’t respond to my queries.

continue reading this article here at Slatehttp://www.slate.com/id/2275145/

Tim Wise: Open Letter About the White Right Temper Tantrum

An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum

*NOTE: PLEASE RE-READ THE TITLE OF THIS ESSAY BEFORE GOING FURTHER. NOTICE, IT IS AIMED AT THE WHITE RIGHT. NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE. ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS ESSAY IS “ANTI-WHITE PEOPLE,” AS OPPOSED TO THAT SEGMENT OF THE WHITE COMMUNITY THAT IS RIGHT WING, CANNOT READ PLAIN ENGLISH. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.*

http://www.timwise.org/2010/11/an-open-letter-to-the-white-right-on-the-occasion-of-your-recent-successful-temper-tantrum/
_____

For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.

Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

Real damned limited.

So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

Not much more now.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

Tick.

Tock.

I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.

You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.

‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you.

There have always been those who wanted to take the country back.

There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.

But they lost.

And you will lose.

So make a note of it.

Tweet it to yourself.

Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so.

It is coming, and soon.

This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking.

It is math.

Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math.

The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying.

You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time.

Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends.

Our ankles survive.

You do not.

Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do.

And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.

Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.

Because you’re on the endangered list.

And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.

In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.

There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle.

It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.

Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.

Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta.

And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council.

Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie.

Bottom line, this too shall pass.

So enjoy your tax cuts a while longer.

Go buy whatever you people buy when your taxes get cut: a new car or two, a bigger house, an island. Whatever.

Go back to trading your derivatives, engaging in rampant financial speculation that produces nothing of value, that turns the whole world into your personal casino. Whatever.

Play your hand, and for the love of God play it big. Real big. As in, shoot for the moon big. As in, try to privatize Social Security, and health care, and everything else. Whatever.

At least that way everyone will be able to see what you’re really about.

We’ve been trying to tell them, but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes, so “Go big or go home,”Bubba.

“Git ‘er Done.”

“Cowboy up,” or whatever other stupid catch phrase strikes your fancy.

Just promise you’ll do more than talk this time.

Please, or as one of your celluloid heroes might put it, “make my day.”

Do whatever you gotta do, but remember that those who are the victims of your greed and indifference take the long view.

They know, but you do not, that justice is not for the sprinters, but rather for the long distance runners who will be hitting their second wind, right about the time that you collapse from exhaustion.

They are like the tortoise to your hare.

They are like the San Francisco Giants, to your New York Yankees: a bunch that loses year after year after year, until they finally win.

You have had this confidence before, remember?

You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.

Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.

They have to study you, to pay careful attention, to adjust their body armor accordingly, and tomemorize your sleep patterns.

You, on the other hand, need know nothing whatsoever about them. And this, will surely prove politically fatal to you in the end. For it means you will not know their resolve. Will not fear it, as you should.

It means you will take their greatest strength — perseverance — and make of it a weakness, called losing.

But what you forget, or more to the point never knew, is that those who lose know how to lose, which is to say they know how to lose with dignity.

And those who suffer know how to suffer, which is to say they know how to survive: a skill that is in short supply amid the likes of you.

You, who could not survive the thought of minimal health care reform, or financial regulation, or a marginal tax rate equal to that which you paid just 10 years earlier, perhaps are under the illusion that everyone is as weak as you, as soft as you, as akin to petulant children as you are, as unable to cope with the smallest setback, the slightest challenge to the way you think your country should look and feel, and operate.

But they are not.

And they know how to regroup, and plot, and plan, and they are planning even now — we are — your destruction.

And I do not mean by that your physical destruction. We don’t play those games. We’re not into the whole “Second Amendment remedies, militia, armed resistance” bullshit that your side fetishizes, cuz, see, we don’t have to be. We don’t need guns.

We just have to be patient.

And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well…

Do you hear it?

The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.

So know this.

If you thought this election was payback for 2008, remember…

Payback, thy name is…

Temporary.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Digable Planets, Wise Intelligent, Killer Priest & Casual Touch Down in the Bay Area this Thanksgiving Weekend

Click HERE to listen to our interview w/ Wise Intelligent

The day after Thanksgiving Friday November 26 there will be two big events that folks will not want to miss.. First we have a special screening of the movie Cointel-Pro 101.. This will be followed with a community discussion featuring Killer Priest of Wu-Tang, Wise Intelligent of Poor Roghteous Teachers, Casual of Hiero and myself.. This is taking place at Madrone Studios in SF starting at 5:30pm..

We chopped it up with Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers about the upcoming discussion and concert..taking place Friday Nov 26.. here’s the link to our insightful conversation. Also on the show is Kamel Jacob Bell of Anhk Marketing who is the son of political prisoner Herman Bell http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65574

Later that night there will be an incredible concert featuring Digable Planets, Killer Priest, Wise Intelligent and Casual.. This is all going down at Club 6.. Yours Truly will be working the ones and twos

Click HERE to listen to our interview w/ Cee Knowledge aka Doodle Bug of Digable Planets

Below is our in depth interview w/ Cee Knowledge of the group Digable Planets.. Here he talks about a variety of topics including the humble origins of the group.. How Ladybug Meca wound up being a 3rd member. He talks about how the group developed its signature sound which many feel was a precursor to the Neo Soul sound that emerged years later..

Cee Knowledge talks about why the group broke up and the role label politics played in downplaying their second album ‘Blow Out Comb‘.  We conclude by speaking about the people they hope to work with as they undertake the challenges of working on new material.. Questlove from the Roots wants to be on board.. They would love to work with Shock G of Digital Underground.. Q-Tip is another one they’d like to build with especially since Digable saw the Native Tongues as huge influences..

Below is the link to our Hard Knock Radio interview w/ Cee Knowledge of Digable Planets. http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/65522


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