A Nationwide Response to Stop and Frisk.. Remix of 10 Frisk Commandments

Elon James White

Elon James White

Last year during the Netroots convention in Providence, Rhode Island, activist, comedian radio host Elon James White had grown weary of the Stop and Frisk practice that was being disproportionately being applied by NYPD to Black and Brown folks in New York City. He was acutely aware of it in his Brooklyn neighborhood which has been undergoing a lot of gentrification and noted that his Bed-Stuy neighborhood was suddenly playing host to swarms of police who were never present when he was growing up, but suddenly seemed to be there to ‘protect and serve’ the new more affluent residents who were moving in..

Elon decided to put his activism to work by doing more than speaking out and raising awareness via his radio show. He teamed up with Pittsburgh rapper/ activist Jasiri X who was growing weary of similar practices in his Pittsburgh neighborhood which had resulted in some high-profile cases of innocent people being severely beaten by police. One such case was that of Jordan Miles, an honor student and master violinist who performed for the First Lady Michele Obama. 

Jordan Miles is a 18 year old violinist who played for First Lady Michele Obama

Jordan Miles is a 18 year old violinist who played for First Lady Michele Obama

The 3 undercover cops dubbed the Jump Out Boys spotted Miles en route to his grandmother’s house. They saw Miles jumped out and demanded to know where his drugs and money was at. Fearing he was about to be robbed, because the cops never identified themselves, he ran.. The cops all martial arts experts, tackled him and beat him so bad that his mother didn’t recognize him. His flowing dreadlocks were pulled out on the left side of his head and Miles was left traumatized. In spite large protests and rallies, the cops were let off the hook with the police chief telling Jordan he should never run from police. The family is suing the department.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONPo-wslB40

Jasiri X Know thyself

Jasiri X

Incidents like these helped inform Jasiri X who was tapped by Elon to do a remake of a popular song done by the late Notorious BIG called 10 Crack Commandments. Elon wanted to see a song called the 10 Frisk Commandments. The purpose was to both raise awareness as well as give solid instructions to folks as to what to do if they encountered police during Stop-N-Frisk. The end result was this masterpiece of a song shown with a compelling video that Elon shot which is featured below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhHYN7uw3AM

Kimani Grey

Kimani Grey

In recent weeks Stop and Frisk has been in the headlines with the recent shooting death of Brooklyn resident Kamani Gray which touched off 3 days of unrest. Gray was accused of running when plain clothes approached him to stop and Frisk.  Police say Gray had a gun. Witnesses say he did not.. The shooting brought Stop and Frisk to the forefront of conversation.. Not too long after New York City acknowledged it had stopped over 5 million people with over 90% of them being Black or Brown with less than 10% found to be in violation of any law..

Raymond Kelly NYPD

Raymond Kelly NYPD

Stop and Frisk also wound up being put on trial where it was discovered through a number of police officers testifying that they had been ordered to meet quotas and to target particular types of people. This outraged Black and Brown New Yorkers.. Instead of trying to reduce tensions and make corrections.. NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly doubled down and said that Black people commit 70% of crimes and thus they need to be stopped and frisked even more. The judge presiding over the trial expressed grave concerns about the practice and the fact that so many innocent people have been stopped some with fatal consequence.

The case of Ramarley Graham of the Bronx is one glaring example. The cops responsible for killing an unarmed Graham who did not run and was shot and killed in front of mother and his 6 year old brother were just let off..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJQ6n9ry-Jg

With all this swirling around Elon decided to involves scores of people from around the country to do a remix of the 10 Frisk Commandments. We sat down with Elon and he explained that this is not just a New York problem. It takes on different names in other parts of the country including ‘Driving While Black‘, ‘Walking while Black‘ etc.. he felt it was important to connect the dots and look at some of the underlying causes behind this practice.. During our Hard Knock Radio interview, Elon talked at length about gentrification and what that has meant for Black and Brown Brooklyn residents like himself. He also gives a full break down of what went into the remix of 10 Frisk Commandments

You can listen to the full interview here

Hard Knock Radio logo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvadcGfYnz0&feature=youtu.be

Yahoo On The Road With John Legend A Huge Success

( 4UMF NEWS ) Yahoo On The Road With John Legend A Huge Success:

Yahoo-On-The-Road-With-John-Legend-A-Huge-SuccessManhattan was abuzz thanks to Yahoo! and john Legend. 4UMF was on the scene to report to you. The nine-time Grammy winning musician has teamed up with the internet powerhouse as part of the Yahoo! On The Road concert tour. Kicking off tonight at Washington Heights’ United Palace Theatre, the tour will stop in a different city every day for the entire month of May. Opening for Legend was R&B musician and singer Ryan Leslie.

RB-musician-and-singer-Ryan-LeslieLeslie stepped onto the stage dressed in all black with a number 13 Mozart jersey. With his gold medallion swinging, Leslie performed several songs off of Les Is More and the highly-anticipated album Black Mozart. Keeping the crowd entertained between sets, DJ Johnny Famous played a wide range of hits spanning over 30 years, spinning everything from Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back” to French Montana‘s “Pop That.”

By the time Legend made his way out, the packed audience was at a fever pitch. Accompanied by the Salomé Chamber Orchestra, Legend dove right into his set which included songs from his upcoming album Love In the Future to his 2004 debut Get Lifted album, including “Tonight (Best You Ever Had),” “Save Room” and “Used To Love U.”

Legend and Leslie weren’t the only ones that graced the stage. Funny man Craig Robinson, on hand to promote his upcoming movie Tyler Perry’s Peeples, came out to surprise the crowd and introduce Leslie. Comedian Michael Yo, a regular on Chelsea Lately, also made an appearance.

Yahoo-On-The-Road-With-John-Legend-A-Huge_SuccessDriving cross-country from New York to San Francisco, Yahoo! On The Road will be stopping in a different city every day. The tour will then jump the pond to Europe, starting in Berlin on June 11 and ending at the Yahoo! Wireless Festival in London on July 14. Other artists slated to perform at Yahoo! On The Road include Fall Out Boy, fun., Lumineers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, and Empire of the Sun,Musical performances will be streamed live for Yahoo! users everywhere at the Yahoo! On The Road site.The tour will also feature many of Yahoo!’s newly-reimagined products and experiences including Weather, Mail, Flickr, Yahoo! Music, and more.

Yahoo-On-The-Road-With-John-Legend“We’re excited to hit the road and engage with Yahoo! fans around the U.S. and Europe,” said Kathy Savitt, Chief Marketing Officer at Yahoo!. “Our mission is to make the world’s daily habits entertaining and inspiring; and nothing brings that to life more than surprising and delighting our users in their daily routines with some of the most popular names in music and entertainment.”

For each concert, Yahoo! will be giving away tickets to fans who show off their Yahoo! pride at the designated bus stop in each city (while supplies last). Getting a ticket will be as easy as uploading a photo with Flickr or downloading the new Yahoo! Weather app. For more information on the tour, tickets or to watch the performances from the comfort of your own home, head over to the official website here.

 

RIP Mayor Ed Koch: He Repped a Bygone Era in NY and Was an Enemy to Hip Hop

Mayor Ed KochWoke up this morning to hear that former New York City Mayor Ed Koch had died… According to the initial reports, he passed because of heart failure. For what seemed like decades, Koch was the face and symbol of New York.. When compared to current Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his predecessor Rudy Giuliani, Koch repped the New York of what is now a bygone era.. I’d rather have Koch over these two clowns, but make no mistake Koch was not a friend.. He was just an enemy we all got used to…

For those of us into Hip Hop, Koch was a constant presence and a major thorn in the side.. The Koch I remember was one who although a ‘liberal’ Democrat didn’t have a whole lotta love for Black and Puerto Ricans. He made us the scape goat for all the ills troubling the Big Apple and long before Chief William Bratton hit the scene along with Giuliani, it was Koch who came after poor folks on so-called quality of life crimes..

It was Koch who had abandoned buildings that ran along the commuter lines in the South Bronx painted with nice colors and fake people so that people traveling into the city would not see or noticed the devastation of areas many of us called home..The irony of that was Koch launched an all out war on spray can (graffiti) artists while he, himself was literally having walls painted in the Bronx…It was on Ed Koch’s watch that we saw the brutal death of graf artist Michael Stewart at the hands of NYC transit cops.. When you say Ed Koch, I think about that..

When you say Ed Koch I think of police shooting Eleanor Bumpurs to death with a 12 gauge shotgun as they tried to evict the unarmed emotionally disturbed woman from her apartment..

When you say Ed Koch, I think of the racial climate of hostility he fostered which culminated with the vicious attacks at Howard Beach when a mob of whites chased three Black teenagers across a freeway killing one.. Its hard to seperate Ed Koch from the drama he helped stir up..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZG31AbARSc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KO2b0kEpU

The Ed Koch I remember was one who sicced the police on early b-boys/B-girls when they set up to dance in the subways or downtown at Times Square which was actually pretty seedy (Pre-Disney upliftment)..He was the ultimate hater…It made everyone go in that much harder…

The Koch I remember was one who went after Jesse Jackson pretty hard when he ran for President and shocked everyone by winning several primaries.. Koch was a big hater  and that pissed off a lot of folks at the time.. Yes Koch repped a bygone era in New York and many will miss him..I just wanna be clear about missing the bygone era where he was a constant presence vs missing him when he used us as scapegoats for political gain…