Davey D Top 21 & Music Notes: Good bye Ms Melodie.. Brother Ali Gets Arrested ..Miller vs Finesse

Davey D’s Top 21 Music Chart:  07/19/12

01-Killer Mike– ‘Reagan


03-Lupe FiascoAround My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)

04-Jasiri X & Elon James  ‘10 Frisk Commandments

05-I Self Devine w/ Brother Ali  ‘Living Under Seige

06-Cihautl-CeWe Need U on the Front Lines

07-Yasiin Bey, dead prez & Mikeflo– ‘Made You Die (Trayvon Tribute)

08-Brother Ali w/ Nikki JeanShine On

09-Public EnemyI Shall Not be Moved

10-Georgia Ann Mudrow  w/ DeclaimeThe Few

11-Jasiri X– ‘Do We Need to Start a Riot?

12-D-Sharp Lightweight

13-B-DolanWhich Side Are On?

14-Dregs OneLetter to the President

15-Tiye PhoenixSkybound

16-RDACBX w/ Rebel DiazStop! Stop and Frisk

17-Aesop RockZero Dark Thirty

18-Hakim GreenMy name is Hak

19-Anita TijouxShock

20-El-PDrones Over Brooklyn

21-4Two7Butta on Ya Muffintop


Ms Melodie

Music Notes: First we wanna pay respects and offer condolences to the passing of a Hip Hop legend Ms Ramona Parker aka Ms Melodie. Sadly until yesterday she was written out of the minds of many Hip Hop fans who forgot her being one of the first commercially released female emcees.

She was a powerful figure who rolled w/ the BDP (Boogie Down Productions)Crew. Some suggested she was put on because she was married to Blastmaster KRS-One, but Ms Melodie could spit flows with the best.

Her best shining moments was the bars she spit on the landmark song Self-Destruction and her signature song ‘Live on Stage… My personal favorite was off the Diva album.. the Soul Train inspired  Remember When ? .Ms Melodie will be missed..along with icons like Donna Summers, MCA and Chuck Brown who we also lost this year..

Brother Ali got arrested over some real beef.. Beef with bankers

Props go out to Minneapolis artist Brother Ali for getting himself arrested a couple of weeks ago. No Ali wasn’t doing the Chris brown/ Drake number and tossing bottles in a club. He got arrested for standing up and helping Occupy a House that was scheduled to be foreclosed on by greedy bankers. That’s who we need to be tossing bottles at. bankers who have made record profits and yet still insist on fraudulently foreclosing on homes.

In this recent case, the Cruz family in Minneapolis attempted to make a payment online, which the bank refused. This triggered the bank to impose a two month fine, which the family couldn’t pay which then led to foreclosing proceedings. Such tactic are not unusual and in this particular case, lots of folks came out to help the family keep their home. One of them was Brother Ali who wound up being charged with trespassing when he refused to walk away and let the bankers keep the house.

This week we have a couple of joints featuring this hard-hitting Rhymesayer including ‘Shine On‘ featuring him and singer Nikki Jean and Living Under Seige‘ featuring his label mate I Self Devine.

Since we’re on the conscious tip, I wonder if San Francisco rapper Dregs One will show up at Oakland’s Fox Theater this Monday and perform his song ‘Letter to the President‘ which is a scathing critique of the president and some key issues he dropped the ball on. Dregs has been making a lot of noise both as a rapper and a commentator. He goes around with a camera and gives these great on the street commentaries called the Wake Up Report, like this one he did on gentrification.


Lord Finesse

Moving along, many of y’all have heard about the beef between legendary producer Lord Finesse and Mac Miller, the up and coming superstar out of Pittsburgh.. For those who don’t know, Finesse is suing Mac Miller for $10 million because Miller used the beat to his song ‘Hip 2 Da Game‘ for a mixtape song he titled ‘Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza‘.

I gotta be honest, I ain’t feeling the lawsuit.. In fact I think it’s wack for a number of reasons. We can start with how the music industry got lawsuit happy when it came to Hip Hop artists and went way overboard with licensing, regulating samples and just being anal over who owns a particular beat or riff. At the end of the day the music industry established a lucrative cottage industry that made a whole lot of non-music makers rich, while really short-changing and many cases handcuffed not just Hip Hop artists, but musicians in general.

When I heard Finesse wanted to sue Miller for using his  15-year-old song for a mixtape, I couldn’t separate his actions from that of record executive Aaron Fuchs of Tuff America music who came under fire when he went after the Beastie Boys in a lawsuit for music used in their landmark album Paul’s Boutique just days after MCA passed. many of us thought his behavior was mad shady.

Mac Miller

One would hate to see Finesse as shady, but its hard not to when it appears he’s going for a big payday vs defending some sort of egregious violation of his art..

From what it appears Finesse is upset for a couple of reasons. First, he wasn’t credited for his creation and two, even though it was a mixtape which was given away for free, Miller was able to make money off the song via his Youtube account which had 20 million views.  I say tough shyt.. Unless folks rapping over the beats to your song is a big issue, then I say brush it off and move on….As Hip Hoppers I say lets find another way to work these things out..

With respect to Lord Finesse, one might ask ‘did he give proper credit and share money with the late Oscar Peterson who he sample?’ Did he have Peterson come on tour, play live on any future creations?  Did he shout out his name and make his music known to folks far and wide back in ’95 when he dropped the song?

I’d be the first to argue that Finesse did what good musicians have always done.. He took a creation, flipped and made a name for himself off it. I understand that and accept it as a being part of Hip Hop.. However, over the years I’ve come to know and see the discomfort and unhappiness many musicians from past generations felt when they heard their music sampled and they didn’t get not even a handshake.. Many in my generation have been pretty callous and have literally told those elders, they ought to be happy because they were having their music exposed to new generations.. ironically, that’s pretty much what Miller been about when it comes to Finesse. He feels he’s exposing the DITC producer  to a new generation of rap fans..Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t..

Both Miller and Finesse owe Oscar Peterson some props

At the end of the day, I think Mac Miller’s fan got to know about Lord Finesse about as much as we who came up on Lord Finesse got to know about Oscar Peterson and any other music great he sampled. In other words we didn’t.. The name of the game for both Finesse and Miller was to create something for themselves. Finesse being a producer, flipped Peterson’s work and made a tight beat that he later used on his album. His end game was to show off his producer skillz..

Miller used Finesse’s beat for a mixtape where his goal was to show off his rhyme skillz. He wasn’t making beats. he was showing off his lyrics. so its ridiculous to somehow expect Miller to have flipped the beat like Finesse. Now if Miller bit rhymes from Finesse or Big L who Miller admired, then I could see the beef.

As for folks making money off the song.. In 2012 both Miller and Finesse have access to Youtube to exploit their works. Just so happens Miller got 20 million fans who probably could care less about the beat and were interested in what Miller had to say.. Yes, Miller may have gotten money from Youtube, but it’s not like Finesse doesn’t have access to the same outlets where he could post his work and get paid. In Hip Hop we have long jacked beats for our own come up projects.. We can’t get upset when someone snatches a 15-year-old song.. same way we didn’t want Peterson or any other artist upset with Finesse when he used their 15, 20-year-old songs.

In any case I think moving forward artist should develop some sort of code of conduct.. It would’ve been nice if Miller shouted out Finesse, included him in a video or had him produce a future track.. That’s a way to pay homage and give exposure. It’d be nice if Finesse did something for all the musicians he sampled. Maybe do a song with them or very deliberately expose them and their works to his wide fan base. Perhaps do a project with Peterson’s family..Don’t emulate and become like the industry executives who messed up the industry by suing everyone.. Miller and Finesse can come up with innovative ways to resolve their concerns and set a standard for others to follow. That’s my 3 cents..

Nas has just released one of his best albums ever..

As for this week’s chart, other highlights for the week are Nas‘ song ‘Daughters‘. His new album..Life is Good delivers on so many levels.. Nas is by far one of the best of the best and this is one of his best albums ever.. Songs like Stay produced by Large Professor and Where’s the love are works of brilliance.. Nas keeps improving his flow as he gets older.. .

Jasiri X of Pittsburgh is on fire with two songs we featured on this week’s chart including a great remake of Notorious BIG’s classic cut 10 Crack Commandments .. This is called 10 Frisk Commandments . The other song making noise is a militant anti-police brutality song called ‘Do We Need to Start a Riot?

If you’re not up on Chilean born emcee Ana Tijoux you need to be..Homegirl routinely sells out shows and kills it on the mic with every song and every performance. She’s been on the east coast in New York and Boston wooing large crowds.. She’s also been keeping her finger on the pulse by addressing key social issues. For example, in Chile there have been huge student led protests around the issue of education and proposed cuts.. Ana gets busy with this video and song called ‘Shock‘ The song is big in Chile..

She recently went to Arizona and was appalled at whats been going on around the issue of immigration and SB 1070. Hence Ana did a an acoustic reworking version of her hit song to address the issues facing Brown communities in Arizona.. props for stepping up and representing..

written by Davey D








20 comments on “Davey D Top 21 & Music Notes: Good bye Ms Melodie.. Brother Ali Gets Arrested ..Miller vs Finesse

  1. Brother ALi get’s props. More rappers should get arrested over things they can’t control. What a smart man.

  2. Davey D.,

    I like the video of Anna Tijoux. In 2006, My husband got talked into voluntary deportation without consulting me. One day I knew he was in the Immigration Detention in S.F., and the next day he was in Tijuana.

    My husband had been in the U.S. since he was 11 yrs old, and all of his family are here in the U.S.. I had to leave everything and move to Tijuana. We didn’t prepare for this move, and the government doesn’t help you when you take voluntary deportation. They just take you to Tijuana and kick you in the ass.

    When our money started running out, we stayed in La Migrante, It’s a place that helps Immigrants who are migrating back from the United States, and they also help people who are trying to migrate through mexico to the U.S. I stayed with ladies in a dorm and he stayed with the guys in another dorm. They give you chores and shelter and feed you.

    Our problem finding work was that you need documentation just like here. We had to travel to Guadalajara to find his birth certificate. You still need other documents before you can work. I was there illegally at first because I only had a drivers license no passport.

    Luckily we found work at a bar that had ladies dancing on the poles in Tijuana. I was a Waitress and he was a waiter. The first day we made 1 us dollar between the both of us. We were able to work there and get enough money to catch the bus to Guadalajara. The last week I worked there I found out that all of the ladies dancing on the poles were guys. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

    I got to see Mexico first hand, as we traveled through Mexico.We stayed in Tecate, Mexicalli, and Guadalajara for a while, and then we moved to Puerto Vallarta for a couple of years, and lastly we stayed in Nayarit. It’s tough learning how to go from making dollars to making pesos. I actually love Mexico, and we made the best out of a bad situation.

    I came back to go to school, as I wanted to bring artists to Mexico for shows but, I lacked the experience with the business side of it to seal the deal. My husband is still there struggling, I just went back 2 weeks ago to visit him. Supposedly my husband should be able to re-apply and come back soon. Now with all of the Immigration B.S. going on, I don’t know what will happen?

    Thanks for sharing the video, and also for keeping everyone informed about the countries Immigration issues.


    Debbie Nobrega

  3. Thanks for sharing ur families experience with all this.. Its sad to see that companies can cross the border but not people.. and in cases like your husband who was here since 11, you wind up being in dire straits.. Stories like your means its even more important to keep shining a flashlight on such atrocities..

  4. Many condolences to the family of Ms. Ramona Parker aka Ms. Melody. I am saddened to hear of her passing. She is the second person from The Stop The Violence Movement, that recorded “Self Destruction,” that has died, the first being Heavy D.
    Also, props goes out to Brother Ali for taking his stand against injustice, so much to the point where he was willing to get arrested for standing against what was not right. I am NOT celebrated going to jail, but just recognized the fact that he stood against corporate greed. We will probably hear other reports about another rapper being arrested, but will other stories highlight the fact that this is a rapper that stood up for social justice against greed?

    R.I.P to Ms. Melody! Check out the “My Philosophy” video by Boogie Down Productions (BDP/KRS-ONE) where KRS-ONE affectionately grabs her hand and holds it for a quick second just as he begins the song!
    Thanks again for another great article, Bro. Davey!

  5. Here is the “My Philosophy” video by Boogie Down Productions (BDP) / KRS-ONE that I mentioned earlier.

  6. Peace, Respect & Love! Davey D, Thanks for another very informative article! We are saddened at the passing of Ms. Melodie, a key member of BDP, she was a TRUE Hip Hop pioneers that always represented herself as a role model for women in Hip Hop to be BOLD, INTELLIGENT and CLASSY, she will be missed, Word!… Nuff respect to Brother Ali standing up for that family, I’d love to see more Hip Hop artists get involved in real life situations!… I’m not feelin’ the Lord Finesse lawsuit either, I agree that Hiphoppas should find others ways of dealing with issues like this! “Don’t emulate and become like the industry executives who messed up the industry by suing everyone.”, Word!… Big Props to NAS for droppin’ another CLASSIC Hip Hop album! I hope older Hiphoppas REALLY support this project and SHARE it with others! As a father of three daughters, I’m REALLY diggin’ the “Daughter” song, Word!…Thanks for highlighting some DOPE EDUTAINMENT, folks NEED to know who’s STILL using Rap music as a TOOL for social CHANGE! Big up to Hip Hop political artists Jasiri X and Anna Tijoux, I ADMIRE the COURAGE of BOTH of them, they will ALWAYS had my SUPPORT & RESPECT, Word!!

  7. Good knowledge.
    Ms. Melodie was definately a part of BDP. And, Dave you know who Larry Parker is then.
    Also, what about what Scott La Rock brought to the table. I believe he hooked in with krs.

    As a teen; prior to these guys blowin up I use to hang when I could at the Fever. Take that sub up past 3rd. Ave. bridge. Bein underage you had to have that connection.

    What some of these current arists should do is donate or give back to the foundation of their $$ really comes from. Because without them; where would they really be….

  8. The lawsuit is a good look. I’m tired of seeing hip hop legends and in general dope artists being ripped off and exploited by fakes that the industry pushes as being “saviours”.Mac Miller is fortunate that he got the lawsuit and not a beating, cause the truth is him and his label caked off the beat. That! Dave is not hip hop.

  9. Naw fam.. it don’t work like that.. you sound like my Uncles complaining about their jazz buddies who they felt needed to get a check from the music being used back in the days. How many checks been cut for Oscar before he died or his estate now? I recall sitting in rooms when u had industry execs offering $500 bounty for kids to listen to records from everyone from Def Jeff to a Lord Finesse and identify samples so they could launch lawsuits and get paid.. I thought that activity was wack..Sadly I know cats got taxed off those types of efforts..All I can say be careful what u wish for.. in this industry lots of folks can be sued for everything.. If Finesse gets a pay day off this.. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t get sued and hit up by someone who feels he ain’t give him his credit.. What’s Hip Hop is figuring out ways to change the industry dynamic so everyone comes away a winner..

  10. @Davey D: There’s no way on earth you can equate sampling (using a segment of a song, placing drums over, filtering etc) to what Miller did! You are the hip hop historian, you should know this. The way I see It, Oscar Peterson’s estate could have sued ages ago/hit him up for royalties but 1. they probably saw finesse was no MC Hammer/Mac Miller/gimmick and hadn’t made enough money to warrant a lawsuit 2. He skilfully made something NEW! out of a 7 min + song to they point where they didn’t know It was a sample. Mac Miller however indiscriminately ruined/ripped off the finesse beat. No sampling! Dude was on some, ” I’m gonna pay homage to make this old man relevant again” type shit. Loads of people have vocalled finesse beats for mixtapes. You know why their not getting sued? Cause most of them can actually rap, shouted him at the beginning of the song/credited him properly and didn’t get props for being Jewish white dudes with connections from Atlantic to help with their rap career. Guess what Davey this is not the first time he’s been caught out! Please analyse this footage to help your research on this matter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pv1_mmOTb8 No one should be scared of this lawsuit, the industry already had alot of producers by the balls when the Biz Markie incident happened. Now Its time for the industry (Mac Miller and friends) to pay!

  11. James stop it… If we wanna talk about History, this music industry has made billions of taxing artists for samples.. Talk to Chuck D or Bombsquad about how they were still paying for samples years after their albums came out.. If I get a chance I’ll post up the interview about how those new sounds producers were creating didn’t mean a damn thing in the minds of both label executives and quite a few musicians..Lets talk about Aaron Fuchs of Tuff City America who has brought up the rights to all sorts of obscure songs and has gone after everyone who samples snippets of his music.. Thats what the recent law suit directed at the Beastie Boys.. Paul’s Boutique was about..

    As I said I think those lawsuits and the attack on producers was wack from jump street and I think its wack now…But since the argument was about taking works of art and profiting off it.. than I say lawsuit or not, bread everyone out or accept as part of what we’ve always done in Hip Hop.. Long before sampling came along what were we doing rapping over funky ass beats we didn’t create.. From P-Funk to Chic..

    As I noted in the article.. for decades cats have taken popular beats and rapped over them in mix-tapes..Hell I got radio show tapes where cats have come on my show rapping over Finesse instrumentals.. Do we need to pay dude for that?? Its one thing if Miller was a producer like Finesse and tried to pass off Finesse’s work as a producer as his own.. The equivalent would be Miller using lyrics to a Rakim song and acting like it was his own.. Miller is not a producer he was showing off his rapping skillz and like every other damn emceee, he used a song that was funky to showcase his skillz..I gotta hundred mixtapes where cats have done that.. I been to hundreds of shows where artists came out rapping over someone else’s beat..

    Finesse song was not some new creation that he was working..Its damn near 20 years old ..It’s been sitting on Youtube for years available for the public to enjoy and for Finesses to profit off of if he bothered becoming a a partner like thousands of other musicians..

    Lastly with respect to Miller, him being Jewish and connected to Atlantic etc etc.. That’s not the issue at hand..When hasn’t this industry been about that? If we take issue with that we shouldn’t be engaging the industry at all.. Finesse shouldn’t have been signed with Stu Fine and Wild Pitch which has long had a troubled history with artists.. This entire industry has long ripped off Black folks yet, we didnt seem to care when we were getting signed to these outlets.. We weren’t fighting those causes when previous generations were getting ganked we were trying for ours.. Now when we get ‘ripped off’ we want the world to stop and everyone go to war.. If we wanna talk music history, lets talk about and be honest with the roles we all played in supporting a corrupt institution by loaning our talents and support..

    I said in the article, Miller is not innocent to this.. I said he like any other artists owes more than just a shoutout.. I specifically said Miller should’ve reached out regardless of whether or not the song was commercially released or not and breaded Finesse to do a song or two..That’s how u pay homage to a legend.. employ him.. Did I not say that James??

    At the end of the day these types of lawsuits open up flood gates that at the end of the day will benefit a small handful of people and stifle the continued creation of music..We don’t need SOPA or COPA type scenarios in music.. Whether me or you think Miller is a gimmick is irrelevant, far too many folks who are not gimmicks are in these industry cross-hairs.. and whats ultimately needed is rule changes, not a quick payday for one or two artists who we may consider legends..

  12. I think the question becomes : Are you trying to act as if you produced the sh.. or not?
    If your comin in like you did produce stuff : then I believe your fair game.
    If your adding your own creativity within reason ; whats wrong with that- your basically showing respect. I don’t believe in a lifetime street-tax.
    This goes beyond the music game.

  13. Boom! Thank U Nick.. Its that plain and simple.. emcees rap over anything that’s funky.. It could be Lord Finesse or the damn Mickey Mouse club break.. If he tried to pass this off as something he produced then yes miller is fair game.. and as I said on GP.. he should’ve got LF to do a song for him..

  14. @Davey D: Ok I’m back and I see you still haven’t checked out the video nor Its comments so I’m going to extract some quotes from this video’s comment section. This video is in reference to a song called La La La produced by some dudes from NY called up north productions. These guys took footage of Mac Miller running away when being confronted about not crediting them. Similarly to Kool Aid and Pizza, Mac Miller obtained millions views from It.
    “mac miller rapping to your beat is credit enough” Jay Cox
    “If It wasn’t for Mac That Beat would have never even got heard of” MarshallManCaleb
    “yeah you obviously don’t understand that Mac Miller is stealing material that these fellas worked hard on and didn’t give even a little bit of credit to them. If that doesn’t make him fake i don’t know what does. You can obviously see how panicked Miller got when they confronted him cause he knew he was in the wrong. Everyone is just hating on these guys cause they on Miller’s jock. You have no idea how far a little credit from a dude who is huge right now in the music industry can get you” burntbagelz
    “EVERYONES got Mac’s back on this one” tizazwatson444

    Thank you for telling me to stop but I will kindly decline that offer. Sample clearance or no sample clearance this is a case where he violated prior to the lawsuit and got away. Now he’s being called to court when he could have easily just complied with the cease and desist. Unwritten rules in hip hop on biting have nothing to do with this. If you want to rap over another persons beat, rename It and not call It _______ freestyle. You need proper permission.

  15. I saw the video..James.. and again I’ll repeat it.. wheres the credit for all the records used in someone’s work of art? Same story same scenario.. everybody played slick until brought into court.. Where’s the shout out and credit to Oscar Paterson? http://images.hhv.de/catalog/detail_big/00195/195988_1.jpg

    People discovered Paterson after they went digging.. Forget Lord Finesse for a minute lets say he rapped over Michael Jackson’s beat it or Good Times Chic.. All of us rapped over Chic back in the days.. Did we have to shout out Nile Rodgers? Was he waiting at the Fever or Studio 54 with a crew ready to mob on someone for making name for themselves by rapping off his song? Could u imagine Michael Jackson talking about he wanna beat someone down for rapping over Beat It? we would say its stupid bc everyone knows those two songs and knows who made them..

    The song is damn near 20 years old.. yeah in the age of Youtube.. Miller got 20 million views? why didnt Finesse get 20 million views? he has the song on the same platform.. and he’s the real deal? Like I said.. if Miller released that shyt commercially..I say get your money.. If he put it on a mixtape and blew up.. tough shyt.. deal with it and stop crying.. And for the last time.. as I noted, since we’re talking unwritten rules, Miller ideally should’ve put Finesse on and had him do a track.. The same way Finesse did Paterson.. (oh wait never mind-Finesse ain’t do that..) well in anycase James.. Miller should’ve gotten Finesse to do a track that would’ve been paying true homage..As far as permission is concerned.. I can list off dozens of songs where cats have rapped over shyt and changed the name.. with no permission.. Let’s start with Planet Rock by Bambaataa.. no mention of Kraftwerk anywhere on the song or credit.. and they didn’t get paid..How about the scores of Funky drummer joints that people have used and then renamed?

  16. C’mon davey stop playing devils advocate. Finesse has been one of a few producers to have been blessed to have worked with dudes like roy Ayers. Dudes like guru did a whole album with jazz legends. Your case of sampling jazz is void! In court when mac tries to argue that in his defense, he’s practically snitching on himself. You really think all the samples on his number 1 charting album (blue slide park) were cleared? That would be the end of him!

  17. That’s not the issue.. Here.. did Lord Finesse give credit for all those he sampled from including Oscar Paterson?? ans Nope.. Is Mac Miller a producer or someone who rapped over a beat for mixtape? ans No he ain’t a producer… The lawsuit is wack.. The lawsuits over sampling has ruined Hip Hop.. I’m sorry to see Finesse be apart of it..

  18. Regarding the Dregs One video– I appreciate him wanting to educate viewers about gentrification and the rising economic disparities in neighborhoods traditionally populated by people of color, but the message he gives at the end, saying “we should keep the people here that are from here and keep the outsiders out” is not a positive or inclusive one. For example, I am interested in moving to the Mission district from the East Bay because I will be working in SF for low-income high school students, does that make me an outsider that will contribute to gentrification and the like? Just a thought to chew on.

  19. Kareem I think ur an outsider when u move into a neighborhood w/ outsider mentality.. ie the folks who moved to Harlem and wanted to kick the drummers out of Marcus Garvey Park… The south of Market folks who moved in and wanted to dead all the nightclubs.. The folks moving into Lake Merrit who wanna turn a popular socceer field into a doggy park.. The folks who moved into East Austin and decided that Latinos who owned dogs needed to have new laws applied to them, like forcing them to keep dogs inside.. Those types of outsidisms is what Dregs is talking about.. I dont think u fall into that category

  20. Pingback: Some Random and Not So RandomThings I Remember from 2012 | Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

Let us know what u think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s