3 Dope Songs from KRS-One that You Should Find Useful and Inspiring


KRS-One photo by B-Fresh

One thing we should do in this coming year is shed the industry frame-work that has been attached to our music. By that I mean we need to see Hip Hop offerings as timeless and something to be embraced when our spirits move us and not something that needs to be consumed to further a record label’s bottom line.. Far too many of us have been caught up in measuring the success of an artists or the importance of a particular song by artificial criteria like first week’s album sales or heavy rotation on the radio station claiming to be home to Hip Hop and R&B..

Even amongst folks who say they shun commercialism there is still a short-sighted criteria where the name of the game seems to be who got an album first or who got an exclusive..It’s a self-serving criteria that allows one to appear ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ but unfortunately what gets lost is the important messages and concepts put forth by an artist who finds him or herself quickly discarded and deemed irrelevant by the hipster type with the same reckless abandon as their commercial counterpart.

Music at its best is communal..It’s to be shared and upheld. It’s a sound track to our lives. Its healing to our wounded souls. It’s inspiring, in a world that seems hell-bent on keeping us down..Hopefully artists don’t get discouraged and start changing up their process by abandoning expressions that reflects what’s on their hearts to create throwaway product that fulfils the needs of  fast food consumers and not those who need true mental and audio nourishment.

So for folks who are tired of the same ole same ole, please keep in mind there’s a treasure chest of good solid music waiting to be discovered.. Lets go back to browsing and digging for music that moves us vs waiting for it to be served by the tentacles of an industry that doesn’t have our well-being in mind..

Click HERE to hear the Breakdown FM KRS-One interview we did at Rock the Bells

Today we wanna celebrate a tireless champion and prolific artist.. Blastmasta KRS-One tha Teacha ... Here’s 3 songs you should take in..The lyrics and video are on point, uplifting and stand the test of time.. Shout out to his producer who is also a dope artists Mad-Lion.

The first song is Aztechnical.. It came out late last year and addresses the issue of the Mayan calendar and prophecy and the Earth supposedly ending. Well as you know that day Dec 21 2012 has come and gone.. But as KRS explains, what was supposed to take place was us reaching a higher consciousness in our thinking.. He takes you there in this song..

The second song ‘Just Like That‘ deals with a topic that KRS has addressed on at least 3 or 4 different occasions.. His upbringing. For those of us who know KRS, we might be tempted to say ‘I heard this story’ before.. But for folks who are just getting acquainted to KRS, its inspiring as and gives us insight on how we might overcome rough times.. In short the message is timeless

The third song was released a few days after Hurricane Sandy… It’s probably his most important song and shows KRS at his best.. Here he gives sound advice as to what we should be doing in preparation for a natural disaster..The song is called ‘Disaster Kit

KRS-One Aztechnical


KRS-One Just Like That


KRS-One Disaster Kit


Good Bye Nate Dogg-He Marked an Important Era in Hip Hop

So much has been going on over the past few days that I never got a chance and properly reflect on the untimely passing of Nate Dogg.. Gone is a cat who was the cornerstone of an era..He was the soul of West coast Hip Hop. Nate was the ace in the hole, the clean up batter who you called to take your record over the top and make it a hit..He represented one of Hip Hop’s golden eras.. The G Funk Era

Nate Dogg was the constant  soundtrack for a whole lot of folks who are now looking back and saying to themselves.. Homie put it down for us...He helped give voice to a generation. His smooth vocals and catchy hooks were such that he could make dog shyt sound nice..I don’t say that to be funny, but if you stop and think for a minute Nate said some hard stuff in some of his songs, but you hardly noticed because he was so seductive with his sound…Take the song Regulate..I was playing it yesterday for my class and pointed out the irony of Nate singing about killing someone, but he did it so smooth, that we smiled and didn’t give it a second thought

Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Nate Dogg is about to make some bodies turn cold
now they droppin and yellin
it’s a tad bit late
Nate Dogg and Warren G had to regulate

I laid all them busters down
I let my gat explode
now I’m switching my mind back into freak mode
if you want skirts sit back and observe
I just left a gang of those over there on the curb

What was interesting about was Nate was he came on the scene at a time when people would frown and consider you a sell out for having singing on the hook. That sort of approach was most associated with R&B singers. Sure you had a few songs with Ki-Ci and JoJo, who were seen as legit,  but for most part singers on rap songs was not fully embraced until Nate Dogg came along and showed us how it should be done..

You listen to cuts off Nate’s album ‘Music and Me‘ and its clear that he was under rated… Cuts like ‘Another Short Story’ and ‘Nobody Does it Better’ which I think was his best song, bare that assertion out..




Seems like everyone has a Nate Dogg story to tell…myself included. .I met dude on several occasions and he was always chill. He was accessible, not hiding behind 50 bodyguards..and even though he was from gang infested Southern Cali, you didn’t get a menacing energy when he was around.. Nate Dogg was cool..

I recall when the landmark ‘Up in Smoke Tour’ came to the Bay Area. Nate had some legal issues and wasn’t gonna show. Tyrese was scheduled to take his place. People like Tyrese and agree he’s talented, but Nate was the cat singing damn near half the hooks so him not being there was a bit of a let down..

When Dr Dre took the stage, he ripped into the song ‘Next Episode‘. At the part when the song says ‘hold Up‘.. Instead of Tyrese, we heard Nate’s voice who suddenly appeared from behind the curtain. He had made it after all and upon hearing his voice, the crowd went nuts.. Everyone cheered and gave high fives and the show was on for real.. It was an incredible show and Nate being classy shared his singing duties with Tyrese who adlibed and added to what Nate was doing.. Dude will certainly be missed..RIP Nate.

written by Davey D


Japan’s Nuclear Fallout..Hip Hop artist Shingo 02 Speaks Out

We chopped it up with longtime Japanese nuclear activist and famed Hip Hop artists Shingo 02 about whats going on in Japan. For those who don’t know Shingo has been speaking out about the potential dangers of these plants. He’s led protests, put out mixtapes and more importantly several years ago issued a widely read report on the topic. Sadly many of his concerns have come to light.. We spoke with him about this the other day on our daily Hard Knock Radio show.. You can peep the interview here: HKR Intv w/ Shingo 02 on Japan’s Nuclear Fallout

Here’s a quick essay Shingo wrote the other day from his blog at http://e22.com/blog/2011/03/14/radiation-why-we-should-be-concerned/ We also encourage you to check out his other site called http://stop-rokkasho.org/information/


The following is a quick essay on what I believe to be technical misconceptions about radiation in the media.

First off, I understand people don’t have the patience to read more than a page of anything on the web. My main purpose here is to have something on here that I can be at peace with, for people to point to. That said, please read on, if you’re so inclined:

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People have sent me links to articles (both major and personal) stating that the nuclear disaster in Fukushima will be contained and shouldn’t be of any concern to the average citizen. Most seem to dismiss the potential effects of the intentional & unintentional leaks by blaming the media for sensationalism. Or are they?

For a lack of a better metaphor, just because an actor is having a public meltdown and the papers are right there to capitalize on it to sell more copies, it doesn’t mean that s/he isn’t.

While we all hope and pray the situation is not headed towards a Chernobyl-scale eruption, to assume the concerns are unfounded couldn’t be further from the truth. These articles do an excellent job explaining the basics of how a nuclear reactor works and its design to prevent a meltdown, but they all commonly seem to completely ignore these glaring points:

1. You should never equate the products of nuclear fission with background radiation, and other forms such as X-Rays.

The reason being, atomic fission splits Uranium (will write elements in caps) into dozens of combination of atoms, all of them highly radioactive. These radioactive isotopes do NOT exist in nature, because fission doesn’t happen on earth under normal circumstances, unless the Uranium is enriched by humans. (Fission was discovered in 1938, which lead to the atomic bomb and the same principles were applied to heating water, albeit at a much lower concentration.)

List of fission products: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fission_product_yield

(also, though I regret I haven’t done an english translation, I did post a Japanese report in 2006,
complete with diagrams here: www.e22.com/atom)

Some radioactive elements when ingested, will be mistaken as nutrients and stay in your body (since atoms in the same column of the periodic table have similar properties). Once stored in your body, they continue to affect the neighboring cells which could lead to uncontrolled genetic mutation = cancer. Example: Strontium acts like Calcium, Cesium acts like Potassium.

Measured by half-life, some dissipate after days, some stay on for years. Radioactivity is a term for high-energy electromagnetic waves, and sometimes they happened to be grouped with X-rays because of its ionizing nature. Ionizing roughly means that it is strong enough to break bonds of common molecules.

Therefore, just measuring the amount of radiation in arbitrary units and making judgements is the same thing as measuring the weight and ignoring the content. Counters are useful in detecting the presence of radioactivity, but what we really need to be aware of is what might be present, and where they originated.

2. Fission products are NOT the same as what happens when uranium decays. Uranium decays naturally over millions of years, through several steps and eventually settles into a stable form of Lead. Decaying does not stop, but fission will without the proper environment. If we are detecting any fission products, it is safe to assume that others in the dirty laundry basket are present as well.

3. The health effects of radiation exposure may depend on the person and age, but there is really NO safe limit for internal radiation, even at low-levels. Infants and fetuses are highly susceptible, because they are still developing critical organs and functions. Saying the opposite is quite irresponsible if you understand the consequences.

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In the case of the reactors in Japan, if the housings popped to release the pressure, and we’re also detecting traces of fission products, there could have been a compromise in the integrity of the reactor itself. We already know for certain there was nearly twice the maximum amount of pressure that it was designed for.

I don’t think it’s overreacting to err on the safe side. The main dividing issue is that undermining the effects of radiation is the main tactic used for decades by the proponents of the nuclear industry. If you think I sound I’m exaggerating, I recommend reading a study like this:

CHERNOBYL: 20 YEARS ON by ECCR (summary)

I have personally interviewed many scientists and engineers who have worked inside plants. They all had to leave in order to expose the truth with great conscience. Although the technology has improved, the principles have remained the same since its inception. We really need to realize that most “fears” regarding nuclear energy is indeed very true. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having such a big discussion in 2011.

Why do you think we haven’t had any new plants built in the US since Three Mile Island accident of 1979? Currently around 100, at one point the US government was aiming for 1000 nuclear power plants. The bottom line is nuclear plants are never safe nor economically viable, unless you’re heavily invested in Uranium.

Which side you want be on, is totally up to you.
Let’s keep working for the truth, for the people, for each other.