We sat down with the Godfather of Funk George Clinton and talked about the state of music in 2012.. His relationship with Hip Hop.. We also went into great detail about his financial situation with respect who owns what when it comes to his catalogue.. Clinton talks about the shadiness of the industry and what he’s doing to fight back..Thus far there have been law suits and George working on a new project designed to make sure artist get their copyrights and the industry is flipped upside down.. Enjoy
Yesterday Hip Hop lost a pioneering figure and legend Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys. There’s so much one can say about him ranging from his pioneering status of being a member of one of the first successful white acts in Hip Hop (they sold more than 40 million albums) to his activism around Tibet and their independence movement and more recently around Occupy Wall Street.
It was pointed out by writer Dave Zirin that Yauch who had been battling cancer for the past 3 years was part of that infamous March last fall across the Brooklyn Bridge when police were shown beating and arresting over 700 protestors.Yauch risked arrest and bodily harm that day in his participation.. He was in the middle of cancer treatments when he marched.
We can talk about Yauch coming out of Punk Rock culture and and how there’s a rich and undervalued history that shows how early Hip Hop and Punk found kinship and natural alliance as members of both genres felt alienated and disenfranchised by society and back then, a disco laden, formulaic music industry.
We can talk about Yauch being part of a crew who under the musical production of Rick Rubin as writer Dan Charnas recently noted, helped usher Hip Hop from the Beat Box era to the sampling era. We can talk about how Run DMC introduced the world to the Beastie Boys and later the Beasties introduced the world to Public Enemy.
Heavy D is one of many iconic figures to pass away from health related ailments before the age of 50
Above and beyond his music career and activism, for many in the Hip Hop Generation Adam’s death underscores a very disturbing trend. Him dying at 47 is increasingly becoming commonplace where many of our icons, peers, family and friends are barely living to 50. In the past couple of years we’ve lost many legends including MIchael Jackson, Whitney Houston, J-Dilla, Guru, Professor X, Big Pun, Poetic, DJ Screw, Heavy D, Eyedea, MC Breed, Pimp C, Big Moe, ODB, Nate Dogg, Bernie Mac, and Special One of the Conscious Daughters just to name a few..
These names are on top of those we know and love who died violently or via accident like; Proof, Freaky Tah, Big L, Stack Bundles, Souljah Slim, Left Eye, Aaliyah, Dolla, M-Bone, Mac Dre, Left Eye and most recently football legend Junior Seau.
If we toss in names like Eazy E, Marvin Gaye,2Pac and Biggie the names of untimely death is a long one.
Yesterday someone attempting to be stoic & cavalier upon hearing about the death of Adam, asserted, ‘Oh well death is a part of life’..
I responded; ‘What kind of life is this when so many who we, know, luv and admire are all dying before the age of 50.’
This is not just about people dying at the hands of violence, but so many on the list of names I noted above, are dying from health related ailments. This is unacceptable and should not be ‘just a part of life’. That’s called settling.
During our tribute show around Adam’s death Paradise Grayof the group X-Clan came on and recounted his friendship with Adam. He also reminded our listeners how the Hip Hop Generation has grown up in a world during the Reagan era when society started dismantling safety nets. Our generation saw the beginning of repressive forces gutting and further privatizing healthcare and other much-needed services..
Paradise said we are now starting to see the results of that societal divestment with so many people checking out before age 50.
‘Many in Hip Hop never had health insurance’, Paradise said. This is an issue he knows all too well having lost two of his groups members to untimely health related death, Sugar Shaft and Professor X.
Here’s our Interview w/ Paradise Gray:
It’s not just health insurance when your sick, but the ability to go to the doctor, get routine check ups and be educated on ways top prevent early disease. Paradise said over the next 10 years things will get worse, because many never really took care of themselves or had the opportunity or resources and as a generation hits their late 40s and then 50s illnesses will start to emerge and yield serious consequences.
We lost Adam to cancer, but in recent times we’ve some like artist/activist DJ Kuttin’ Kandi and pioneering photographer Ernie Paniccioliwho have been saddled with massive medical bills after getting sick. Last year we were all out collecting money Ernie who was diagnosed with cancer as well as for the Father of Hip Hop Kool Herc who suffered from severe kidney stones and had no health insurance. Kandi who was recently had her heart stop and had to get emergency surgery is raising money for her care HERE
In the wake of Adam’s passing, the Hip Hop Generation has much to reflect upon. The Black Panthers who were a couple of generations ahead of us, had the good common sense to open up free health clinics for the community. This act may have saved countless lives. We within Hip Hop need to step our game up in a big way and take the vast amounts of money and resources we have access to and follow suit. We should do this for ourselves and do this for those in our ranks who are ailing. We should do this in memory of Adam who we saw emerge as a keen activist, generous and thoughtful man….
In 1861, the 1st year of the U.S. Civil War, the Secretary of State for the Confederate States of America Robert Tombs sent John Pickett as his envoy to Mexico City. Since Union forces had blockaded southern ports, Pickett’s mission was to persuade the government of President Benito Juarez to allow slave produced cotton from the U.S. south to be transported overland and loaded onto ships anchored in Mexican ports. The cotton was to eventually be sold to various European countries to help support the Confederate war effort.
Despite persistent attempts to gain Mexico’s approval the Mexican government refused and John Pickett’s mission failed. To compound Pickett’s failure and disappointment prior to his return empty handed to the U.S. south, he was thrown into jail in Mexico City after getting into a fist fight with a Union sympathizer there. U.S. rulers have been careful to exclude this event and any acknowledgement of the mutually beneficial history that Mexican and African people share.
The destiny of Africa’s scattered people has been impacted and decided in more countries than popular history has acknowledged. Mainstream history does not reveal how Africans benefited from France’s humiliating defeat at Puebla, Mexico on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is a fitting and spirited annual celebration which reminds us of Mexico’s heroic, although short-lived victory over Napoleon 3rd’s larger and better-armed forces.
Black people should also celebrate the French army’s defeat at the hands of Mexican forces for two reasons. First, Napoleon’s generals, who commanded the French invaders, supported the slave-holding Confederacy in the U.S. Second, Benito Juárez, the president of Mexico at that time, gave land to anti- colonial Black-Seminoles.
Napoleon III had hoped that the Confederacy would quickly win the U.S. Civil War, retain slavery and supply southern cotton to French textile mills. Napoleon was encouraged by the major Confederate victory over union forces at Bull Run. He envisioned an alliance between himself and slaveholding U.S. southerners to guarantee raw materials for French industry. Napoleon was well on his way to satisfying this ambition when the defenders at Puebla, although out- manned and out-gunned, interrupted his imperialist ambitions to conquer and subjugate Mexico’s people, and position himself side by side with those who held Africans in bondage.
The French forces, considered to be the best army of that day, were so contemptuous of Mexican forces that they attempted to push right through the center of Puebla’s defenders in their first assault. This tactical error cost the French over a thousand casualties, dead or wounded, strewn on the battlefield. The Mexican army was so heartened by their success that they left their positions and chased the humiliated French troops. The defeat of a Confederate ally such as Napoleon, is a historic event that descendants of enslaved Africans and all others who uphold democracy should celebrate with enthusiasm. It was President Benito Juárez who gave land to a faction of the Black-Seminole freedom fighters that had carried on a long and courageous war of liberation against Spanish and U.S. colonizers. It was certainly in the interest of Blacks on both sides of the Rio Grande, that the Juárez government which had befriended rebellious slaves, and whose predecessor had outlawed slavery, survive Napoleon’s invasion and continue in office.
It is interesting to note that Napoleon was urged to invade and overthrow the Mexican government by the brother of Austria’s emperor Archduke Maximilian. Maximilian’s involvement in the plot gives Africans even more cause to join with Chicano neighbors in celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Six years before Napoleon’s ill-fated invasion of Mexico,
Maximilian married Carlotta, sister of the infamous King Leopold 2nd of Belgium- a racist despot who was personally responsible for colonizing, mutilating and annihilating millions of Congolese in his drive for profits. It is also worth noting that during this period Europe’s ruling elites were busily plotting the conquest of non-Western people-often cooperating with one another and occasionally competing. By 1884 at the infamous Berlin Conference France, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands, joined by the U.S. as godfather, resolved their differences and divided the African continent among themselves.
Through shared misfortune – conquest and slavery – the histories of Mexicans and Blacks in this hemisphere have become inseparably linked. Few, if any, oppressed people have overcome adversity without assistance from allies. Indigenous and African people have been one another’s primary ally in many instances, since the beginning of the pillage, slavery and genocide initiated by Columbus in the Americas over 500 years ago. From Canada to the southern tip of South America, countless acts of joint resistance to colonization and slavery are central to the suppressed history of both peoples. Present-day Black and Brown conflicts whether at high school campuses, on the streets, on the big yard at San Quentin or between equally disempowered Latino and Black laborers in South L.A., rewards the same elites whose wealth and power are dependent upon divided and unorganized people of color.
Whether the flashpoint is Puebla or Chiapas, Cinco de Mayo is a perfect time to reflect upon and discuss the continuing resistance by Mexico’s people to domination, and when appropriate, the complimentary dynamics of the struggles for Black and Brown liberation. Cinco de Mayo is not to be commercialized by opportunists or trivialized as a one day superficial and lukewarm acknowledgement of Mexican culture. When honest accounts of history are finally written into textbooks, African and Mexican (Latino) youth will be be better able to affirm, deepen and project their long-established unity into the future.
written by Ron Wilkins (Professor & original LA Slauson)