An Open Letter to Hip Hop from Afrika Bambaataa

afrika-bambaataa-pointPEACE AND BLESSING TO All of Our Family of Warriors, Thinkers and Leaders:

Hope your are in the best of Health and your families. I was sent your e-mail by the Zulu-staff . I have been living in Europe for the past couple of months and been waking as many up to what we’re, doing in the states cause in some places they have the same problems with radio,especially the ones that copy The United States formats or programming of music. Then there are those specials stations that do have a balance of Ma’at on the airwaves and you hear it all.

One thing that did bother me is that these so called Rap /Hip Hop radio stations here in some parts of Germany, France, Estonia, Croatia, Spain and even good old Great Britain underground play alot of the rap records with cursing. Their excuse is the people do not know the language anyway and my answer to them is, that is bull and you DJ’s know there are many that do know some type of English and many of your are playing the curse version cause your think that makes your hardcore and down with the tuff side of what your think the United States Hip Hop/Rap is all about. That your all are helping with the conspiracy to mess up minds all over the world. After I got finish with some of these so called Hip Hop/ Music show host ,you know they could not wait to get me out of their radio stations. Especially some of the jive ones who think they know it all about Hip Hop/Funk/Soul/Rock/Latin/Soca/Jazz/House/Techno in England and other places to many to name.

You can feel the phony in all of them and their are a very few I can say who really do not know what their doing but there are the rest of them that exactly know what they are doing to the airwaves. Guess what! their are many and I mean many over here in Europe who are also tired of their radio stations that play the same music over and over again,as well as their media of television. Also Family The NWO is getting in full swing here and Mr. Tony Blair of the United Kingdom (England) is talking strong now about their Smart cards that are coming and if he is speaking strong now about it, you know their children of the UK= USA will be following to.

Family there is so much work to be done that it is disgrace-full to see with all this chaos all over the world going on,all the problems in MaMa Afrika, In India, The States and South America with crazy things happening in Europe to and those of us that do have the serious knowledge, we know what is really going on and have to prepare now if we are to survive the onslaught that is coming. All the things I have been talking for years is on the move right before us and if you hear what brother Phil Valentine, Bobby Hemit,and many of the Meta physical community of higher learning have been dropping, it is about to get super serious. The people’s mind set all over this Great Planet is jacked up and the programming of these radio and T.V shows is playing a super big role to destroy Human mentality to think and to reason. If we can not get a movement of Humans to try and change the programming of these radio and T.V. stations which is just one step of many ,then we have some serious reactions of hell that will be all over this Earth.

I would like for your if you can and whomever else to put a list of solutions that we can put together with others on a cross the board scale that all states even other countries can follow in letting people know what can they do to help change the situations of programming of Radio and Television. We want to put as many things out with flyers to give out to all that will come out in November for The Meeting of The Mind, The Balance Of Ma’at. We are going for two days to address this situation and with these papers of solutions we are calling on everyone to be accountable to what is going on in their respected Cities, Towns, States, Countries to move into action cause if they do nothing ,Then They Deserve What They Get. Also we need to reach out to many Leaders, Thinkers, Activist, Religious Heads, Movers, Actionist to represent and come out with solutions to this event for Hip Hop History Month and to all that are doing something to make change, we must push, salute and help back to the fullest our support. Stop the Killing of the Mind.

I will be back soon. If Allah willing, but you can start speaking to Brother Yoda, Dr. Shaka ( and to whomever else for we can make a movement more successful. We all have been speaking, fighting, teaching,s truggling, winning some for a moment, losing some but keep on pushing to keep what we know is right to do.

As I said many times before The Lucerferians are on the move and the Armies of Almighty RA/Allah/Jah/Yaweh/Elohim/Anu/Theos/Shango/Zeus/Oden and whatever else people want to call the Supreme Force must Rise or The Empire will Strike Back to bring Hell all over This planet so called Earth.

May The Supreme Force Bless Us All and keep Us All Always Protected against All our Enemies.

Peace ,Unity, Love, Freedom or Death, Justice
The Spirit Of Professor X Lives On

Afrika Bambaataa
The Amen Ra of Universal Hip Hop Culture
Each One Teach One,Feed One,Help One,Live as One,Leave all Egos in the Garbage
Save Planet Earth

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner


Remembering Jam Master Jay in the Midst of Chaos.. 10 Years Later

Ten years ago today we lost one of Hip Hop’s dopest deejays and true pioneers, Jason Mizell aka Jam master Jay of the legendary group Run DMC He was shot in killed in his studio in Queens. Like so many who have been murdered , not just in Hip Hop but in our own community, his murder is still unsolved.. I republishing the piece I wrote the day after his death 10 years ago. Its sadly still relevant today..Please read, reflect and improve.. RIP Jam Master Jay…..(Jan 21 1965- Oct 30-2002)

Jay’s like King Midas, as I was told,
everything that he touched turned to gold.
He’s the greatest of the great, get it straight he’s great.
Claim fame cause his name is known in every state.
His name is Jay to see him play will make you say:
“God damn, that DJ made my day!”

-Run DMC… ‘Peter Piper’-

I’m not sure what exactly can be said at this time…All sorts of emotions are whirling inside my head and to be honest its hard to believe Jam Master Jay [Jason Mizell] is dead…Dude was 37 years old, had a wife and 3 kids.. I believe his oldest son is 15.. And if you ever met Jay, you knew he was a cool cat.. He didn’t bring a gangsta persona to the table. He wasn’t the type of cat who needed a bunch of body guards when he walked down the street. As far as I knew he wasn’t living foul, causing drama or somehow instigating any sort of ‘rap feud’ which are all but too frequent..

Jam Master Jay was a cool cat and it’s for that reason I don’t wanna do what we always seem to do when we encounter violent death….I don’t wanna simply ‘keep it moving’ and act like him being killed is no big deal..It is a big deal. I don’t wanna put a good face forward and stick the emotions of yet another violent death of another brotha in the back of my mind. There’s been one too many deaths and I no longer have room in the back of my mind. I don’t wanna fall back on old tired clich s and say things like ‘death is a part of life’ or ‘when it’s your time to go its your time to go’. That don’t cut it for me anymore. I don’t wanna act like this doesn’t bother me cause it really does. . I don’t wanna give into this unwritten code among us as Black men to not be phased by violent deaths because it’s an all too common occurrence..

I don’t wanna hold a candle, pour liquor on a curb or go on the radio station and play all my Run DMC records and rebroadcast all my old Run DMC interviews. I don’t want Jay’s death to be reduced to yet another tribute. It seems like in the past two or three years we’ve been doing a hell of a lot of tributes. In the past couple of year alone we’ve lost Big Pun and DJ Screw out of Houston to heart attacks. Too Poetic of the Grave Diggaz passed from cancer, but he courageously recorded his last album while he had the disease. We lost Aaliyah to a plane crash and Left Eye of TLC to a car crash. We lost San Francisco pioneering rapper Cougnut and San Jose’s D-Mac who died together in a car crash just days before the Sept 11th attacks. Days after the attack we lost Boogie Knight of the group The Boogie Boys. Many of us are still grieving from last moth’s the sudden death of Money Ray of the Cold Crush Brothers. He was diagnosed with cancer in August and died 5 weeks later.

And, Yo, I gotta be honest, I’m still recovering from the emotional upheaval of the sniper killings which just ended last week… I’m still asking questions with regards to Kenneth Bridges-co-founder of Matah. Why did this community activist and community leader have to be killed? Why was it another brother to be the one to take him out? I’m still trying to get over the haunting images of the distraught mother of the 35 year bus driver who was the last sniper victim. I’m still trying to process those heart breaking images….I’m still asking why?

I’m still asking why there are 94 murders in Oakland? And I’m really bothered by the fact that damn near everyone I knows someone who has been killed in the past few years.. And I’m still asking why we seem to take death so lightly? Why do we see life as so expandable? I keep asking myself what happened to the promises and commitments we all made when we came together in ’95 during the Million Man March? We promised to uplift and affirm life. What has happened since then? Why is loss of life no longer a big deal anymore? Why is Black life so cheap? What are we doing to ourselves and why? What’s going on? Will we ever get it together? Will we as Black people ever get it together…Will we ever get it together? I keep thinking about a song that poet D-Knowledge did a couple of years ago where he asks ‘Does Anyone Still Die of Old Age’?

I don’t know if we’ve been able to fully grieve and process all this death. Many of us are still left with unanswered questions as to why? Why did this have to happen? It seems like as soon as we start the
process we’re hit with another sudden death which means we wind up shoving a lot of feelings and emotions in the back of our minds, doing another tribute and moving on. This time around I don’t just wanna do
another tribute.. There’s just too many tributes to the point that it’s becoming routine and that’s bothersome for me… Jay’s death and for that matter anyone’s death should not be routine…

Maybe I’m feeling this way because I’m realizing that in many respects, I still never really got over the deaths of 2Pac and Biggie and Jay’s death is making me realize that.. There’s really been no closure despite all the VHI documentaries, articles, movie etc. This morning I was talking to my boy Pharrel over at Roc-A-Fella records
and he pointed out something that really hit home.. He told me.. ‘I hope they catch the guy who did this.. I hope they catch him because there have been way too many unsolved murders in Hip Hop’.

I kept thinking about that and all these names that ran through my mind..Scott La Rock, Freaky Tah of Lost Boyz, East Palo Alto’s Charizma, JoJo from Bored Stiff, Ray Luv‘s Dee jay DJ CAE, The Mac out of Vallejo, DJ Quick’s partner Mausberg, Pac’s homie, Yaki Kadafi, Oakland’s Seagram, 2 Pac and Biggie… The list goes on…There’s a whole lot of unsolved murders in rap and I don’t care what anyone says, that lack of closure has an effect.

And while one can easily make the case that there’s a lot of unsolved murders in our community in general, one would hope that we would be able to get to the bottom of some of these high profile slayings…The fact that we never seem to solve the murders of some of these artists the same way we don’t seem to be able to solve the murders of ‘Pookie’ or ‘Ray Ray’ from up the block, underscores the notion that in many circles the loss of Black life is no big deal…It don’t matter whether you’re a high profile artist or a d-boy on the local corner in the hood. It’s like we’re expected to die a quick and early death. And even sadder is the perceived circumstances of our deaths are all the same. In other words since last night, I’ve been fielding a lot of calls from local reporters who seem bent on making this connection to JMJ’s death with the deaths of 2Pac, East-West coast feuds and on going beefs in rap like Ja Rule vs DMX and Nas vs Jay-Z. This is not the Jam Master Jay I know.

It’s like cats are trying to make the case that perhaps Jay lead a crazy lifestyle that somehow invited the violence that befell him..I don’t wanna put JMJ in that category. Almost all the newscast and stories I’ve heard end with reporters trying to make that connection..”Jay Master Jay like 2Pac and the Notorious BIG’ is in a long line of rap stars who have died violently in a violent rap world“. Heck CNN has a poll on their website as we speak..asking who has the most musical influence 2Pac, Biggie or JMJ.. As innocent as it may seem to some, there’s something about that poll and the overall approach and questions raised that don’t sit well with me.

I don’t wanna say Jam Master Jay and 2Pac in the same breath. I don’t wanna compare him to Biggie. I don’t wanna say JMJ is in a long line of rap stars who died violently…Jay deserves his own space in our minds and hearts. We all need to take time out and reflect on Jay the musician, the pioneer, the man, the father, the husband, the friend, the associate and not categorize and compartmentalize him. I don’t wanna see him reduced to another violent casualty in a ‘violent rap world’ as one TV reporter described it.

Before asking questions about Hip Hop and violence let’s began by asking ‘Did you know Jam Master Jay?’ ‘How are you coping with this sudden loss of life?’ Are you sad? Are you angry? How will you deal with it and what changes will you try to bring about? ‘What type of man did you know JMJ to be?’ What did he mean to the community? What did he mean to his family?’ .. Words cannot express the hurt, sadness and anger I feel for this loss…

Please take time to hug those you love.. It should be obvious by one is promised tomorrow.. Please take time to say a prayer for Jay’s three kids and the wife he left behind Pray for the rest of his family and friends. One can only imagine what they must be going through. Pray that God gives them strength to get through the pain of his death..Pray that they be comforted..Lastly take time to reflect and allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to heal.. We’ve been hit with a lot of stuff over the past few years..

Your truly
Davey D


Below is a nice lecture JMJ gave to folks in Sidney, Australia talking about the important role deejays played..


Music Industry Execs Want NightClub & Hip Hop DJs to Pay Royalties for Songs-Case Before Appeals Court

Last week the eyes and ears of the country were focused on the Supreme Court as they started oral arguments around the constitutionality of key aspects of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Outside the Supreme Court things were contentious as advocates squared off with Tea Party types who opposed having HCR to be a requirement.Many said this case would be one for the history books…a landmark case for the ages.

Not too far from the Supreme Court sits the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. There another case of historic proportions is underway. The large crowds and onslaught of media trucks weren’t present, yet what comes of this Court of Appeals could have an immediate and long lasting impact for anyone who listens or plays music in today’s digital world. In these hallowed halls justices are debating copyright and who pays for what when it comes to music. The proceedings are entering it’s 4th week.

What’s at stake is whether or not the 3 appointed administrative judges who make up the US Copyright Royalty Board are constitutional. For those who don’t know, this 3 judge body which  consists of James Scott Sledge (Chief Copyright Royalty Judge), Stanley Wisniewski, and William J. Roberts are the ones who soley determine royalty rates and set terms for copyright statutory licenses. many have suggested these 3 individuals who are appointed by the Librarian of Congress are too powerful and need to have additional oversight.

For a long time very little attention was paid to this office, but in recent years the CRB has determined royalty rates for Internet radio, Satellite radio like Sirius XM, cable TV, cell phones, ring tones and anything else where music is broadcasted or transmitted digitally.  Many feel that over the years the rulings from CRB have been a Godsend for corporate copyright owners, major record labels, publishing houses who been able to collect enormous sums of money from digital music users.

The most recent rates set by the CRB, which will stay in effect to 2015, require commercial internet stations to pay upwards to $50,000 per station annually and .25 cent per song/ per listener. Many webcasters, including the world’s largest, Pandora as well as many others who own digital media businesses, have long complained thatCRB royalty rates were too high and crippling business.  On the other side, music industry tycoons have been clamoring to charge more. They said anyone using music in digital form hasn’t paid enough and needs to ante up  and help fill their coffers.  It’s a vicious tug of war that has led to CRB’s constitutionally being challenged.

It’ll be at least a year before the final arguments are heard in before the Appeals Court, in the meantime industry executives have been rushing to put ironclad laws in place, so in the event CRB is dismantled the rulings they enacted stay in place.

Industry tycoons wanna start charging DJs to play their songs

Industry tycoons are now turning their sights to Club and Mobile DJs and want to start charging them for the commercial and non commercial use of their songs. This added fee would be on top of what night clubs and restaurants already pay to organizations like ASCAP and BMI. They’ve been emboldened by a recent 9th Circuit court ruling where deejays were found to be in breach of copyright for playing music at Roscoe Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles.. You can read that case HERE

Industry big wigs are anxious to get a ruling on DJs just as American Idol executive Simon Cowell is set to launch a DJ Talent Show.. You can read about that HERE Many feel that the DJ talent show will move millions away from playing instruments and into the DJ realm which now thanks to digital tools  and mp3s make it easy for anyone to get involved in the profession. many are seeing the potential for huge dollar signs..Others see dollar signs but have a specific beef..

If Ernie Le Saviour has his the way music is presented will be forever changed

Ernie Le Saviour  a veteran musician, film maker and now music executive has been leading the charge.In a recent interview he said; “DJs have been illegally profiting off the hard work us musicians put in. They make thousands of dollars a night and we don’t see one red cent.”

Saviour continued, “What really chaps my hide, is these DJs have been illegally rearranging (mixing) and  ruining the composition of songs. A lot of hard work was put into making a song. As a professional flautist, one needs to understand that hours were spent perfecting the final product. We didn’t put our heart and soul into a song only to have some lazy, non-musicially inclined disc jockey to go tinkering and MIS-arranging our stuff”.

Saviour who is a flute player, can be heard playing in the back of classic songs like Flashlight by Parliament, Getaway by Earth Wind & Fire and most notably Paid in Full by Eric B & Rakim. He is scheduled to testify next week before the Court of Appeals. There he will plans to express his outrage at nightclub deejays..

Savior explains; Late last year, My son dragged me went to some fancy nightclub in Vegas where I had to pay 50 dollars to go see some bib Black guy with a 1960s style Afro and an Afro pick in his head spin records. My son was all excited and told me it Questluv. I thought it was strange, because this guy Questluv is a musician.. I see him every night on one the Jimmy Fallon show where plays drums..”

“Seeing him on the turntables troubled me. I kept asking myself; ‘Why would a professional drummer be deejaying? In my world that’s going backwards.  As a professional flautist, I would never stoop down and deejay.  It takes skillz to requires very little to spin”, said Saviour

DJs like Questluv have angered Ernie Le Saviour

He continued; “Anyway as the night goes on, we’re getting ready to leave when suddenly I hear this song ‘Paid in Full’. This is the song where I play both the transverse flute and the western style, Db piccolo better known as a soprano flute.  I’m excited and thinking this large crowd will get to hear a master musician. Then boom disappointment.. First problem This DJ Mr Questluv, sped the song up, so when you hear me playing my flute its in an F key when the original was done in a C…That was unacceptable”

Savior goes on; “Next problem is this Quest guy cuts off the flute mid stream, right before my crescendo. He repeats this over and over again.(Quest was back spinning)”

“I told my son, ‘That is not how the song was made’ . It made me look incompetent. As a professional a flautist I was embarrassed. Who gave this deejay permission to change the arrangement in my song.. in front of hundreds of people nevertheless.? I said to my son there ought to be law against this and I wanna be compensated”

Congressman John Conyers

Saviour expressed his outrage to fellow music executives. He called Congressman John Conyers who has doing lots of work to help musicians get paid through a performance royalty tax under HR 848. Conyers wants radio stations to pay for each song they air and may soon get his way.. Saviour who attended two briefings put on by Conyers, concluded: “If radio can pay, why can’t these damn deejays?”

The way current copyright laws are written now, Ernie Le Saviour is not entitled to any compensation accept what is determined by ASCAP or BMI.. If he has his way sections 114 and 115 of current copyright law will be re-written to add provisions that will apply to deejays and remixers.

Saviour says anyone who presents music in a digital form on popular platforms like Serato, Torque or any other digital music device, either as  deejay or any other presenter, should be required to obtain a compulsory license before rearranging a song in public. In other words you will not be allowed to, mix, remix or alter the song in anyway without the permission of the artist and copyright holders.  Saviour contends that the public has a right and reasonable expectation to hear the music as it was originally intended.

“Can you imagine if I ran up on stage and started playing the drums any old way and said it was a Questluv composition? It would be foul.. So I ask that people not mess with the arrangement of my flute. As a professional flautist I have standards and they can’t be respected, then we’ll have to legislate it.”

Saviour also wants deejays to pay similar rates like Internet Radio, 25 cent per song..he noted that with the new technology, digital devices can be checked remotely, so as soon as a deejay puts on a record, it will leave digital footprint allowing Saviour and other executives to collect royalties.. Thus far Saviour’s proposal is being well received and may get some favor before the Appeals Court.

Ernie Le Saviour will be address the Appeals Court of District of Columbia this Wednesday at 2pm EST.. If you would like to weigh in or get more info on how to support or oppose.. You can reach out HERE

written by Davey D