The first time I heard of Blackwater was around the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. We started hearing reports that there was a private army that was running around, guarding hotels and preventing people from taking refuge and seeking shelter as they fled from the horrors of the 9th Ward.
At first we thought they were security guards, but later learned they were navy seals, and ex military men who had come in from Iraq and were given full authority to shoot and kill, detain folks and basically run the show. The word was these guys were scary and out of control.
Those early reports were later confirmed by journalist Jeremy Scahill who went down to New Orleans and pretty much let us know that just like Saddam Hussein had his special Revolutionary Guard, George Bush and friends had their own army of sorts in the form of Blackwater..
Headed up by former elite Navy Seal and fundamentalist Christian, Erik Prince, Blackwater epitomized the growing trend to outsource all aspects o...
We sat down with Professor Mario Salas of San Antonio's NW Vista College and talked with him about the history of Black-Brown unity here in the United States and in Mexico.
Salas who is mixed Black and Mexican and a former Black Panther gave us a serious lesson that touched upon slavery, colonialism and the back drop behind some of the famous wars along the border of Mexico and Texas.
Salas started out by talking about the history between the Black Panthers and Brown Berets who are still active in San Antonio. He talked about how recently the Berets came to the aid of the African American community and helped them get a community radio station. he explained that the two groups were always able to work together because the Panthers didn't employ cultural nationalist politics. Both groups had a revolutionary philosophy which allowed for coalitions to form.
Salas talked about the original Rainbow Coalition which was conceived by Chairman Fred Hampton who headed up the Chicago ...
We spoke with popular Washington DC based blogger Carlos from DC about Black-Brown Unity and Immigration reform.. During the Immigration panel at netroots the topic of Black-Brown unity came up and generated a lot of discussion both within and outside of the panel. ..
In this discussion we cover a lot of ground. Also featured is our comrad Faviana Rodriguez, a popular artist out of Oakland. We build with her on this topic as well.
We start off the discussion talking about the role art and cultural expression play in politicizing people and moving folks to action..
I did an interview for Carlos' blog here are the links to that...
We sat down with Pittsburgh rap star Jasiri X who talked to us about all that was going on the city as they have been getting prepared for the upcoming G20 Summit.
Jasiri talked in great detail about the police department and how they have been making practice runs for the upcoming summit, in the Black community.
He talked about how the police have been showing up in the hood with army tanks and extra man power even though several officers have been killed in in neighborhoods outside the hood. Pittsburgh is becoming apolice state with all sorts of laws restricting people's movements being put into place
Jasiri talked about how officers have been put on notice that if they leak out any information about security plans for the upcoming G20 Summit, they will be terminated. Sadly no officer has been terminated for committing acts of brutality.
He noted how the city has been hiring police outside the city of Pittsburgh and how its caused a lot of tension and unrest.
We sat down with Bay Area rapper T-Kash who talked to us about his new album on Guerilla Funk Records and his new album 'Brians All Over the Streets'.
In this interview we cover a variety of topics including:
Transformation from ignorance and thuggery into cosnsciousness, Surviving the recession, survival tactics in the hood, what he learned from Boots Riley, What he learned from Paris, Obama's trip to the Middle East, being Black and Muslim in America, the state of the Black Church, Should Black folks in America be Christian, Is Religion Opiate for the Masses, Martial Arts, Chess and working with Adisa banjoko
We spoke w/ former Jurassic 5 rapper Charli2na who is now roling solo in the aftermath of the group's breakup.
We covered a number of topics including:
1-Charli2na speaks on his popping and strutting abilities. He came into Hip Hop and starde breakdancing..
2-We spoke about his Chi-Town upbringing and the influence house music had on him and his music.
3-We talked about his Curtis Mayfield inspired song 'Righteous Way'. He talks about how he wanted to write a song that connected various generations of his family. He sampled Curtis Mayfield's 'Making of You'
4-We spoke about today's hip hop audience and whether or not they will accept and appreciate history, complexity and depth. Charli2Na explained that he only knows how to speak to his audience in a mature way.
5-We spoke about Charli having a son going to college and how that impacted his out look on music and life in general
to be continued
We ran into some folks holding what they described as a 'grassroots' impromptu' rally opposing Obama's Healthcare plans in Danville, California. A lot of half truths and misinformation was passed along in this discussion, but we felt it was important to hear just where folks are coming from.. This is part of our continued coverage on healthcare reform..
We sat down and spoke with longtime Bay Area activist Rosa Cabberra who works in the healthcare industry. She gave us an insightful breakdown of Single Payer. She explained why it was the best option yet not on the table. She talked to us about impacting the political will of elected officials who have been reluctant to push for single payer for fear of Republican pushback..
In part 2 of our retrospective on Michael jackson and the Jackson 5 we are joined by Chuck D of Public Enemy who gives an insightful break down of the political influences that helped shaped Jackson music.
Chuck talks about the important role Gamble and Huff played in pushing Mike and his brothers. Author Ricky Vincent talks about how the message in the music is part of a much larger tradition within Black music.
Chuck D also talks about how some of Michael jacksons records which were used as breakbeats influenced him and made him embrace Hip hop more. In particular is the vintage cut 'Music's Taking Over'
Chuck also talks about the sample they used from MJ in the song By The Time I get to Arizona.
Chuck also talks about the important influence Michael jackson had in the realm of videos.
We play lots of Jacksons political songs as well as the cuts that inspired Chuck D.
We conclude the interview by talking about MJs War with Sony Music, his charitable works and...
Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 are considered steller musicians and entertainers who changed the game in major ways. Oftentimes when we speak of them they are presented as if they came out of nowhere and their musical prowess came out of a vacuum.
We sat down with Professor Ricky Vincent aka the Uhuru Maggot, author of the landmark book History of Funk. We sat down and walked through the history of MJ and the Jackson and talked in depth about their influences ranging from james Brown to Stevie Wonder. We talked in depth about their roots. MJ and his brother grew up in Gary, Indiana. Their father Joe Jackson spent alot of childhood and teenage years in Oakland, california. Vincent talked about the vibrant blues scene that was in full gear when Joe jackson was around in West Oakland.
We spoke about Michael jackson and his dancing history. We talked about his signature moves 'The Robot', Moonwaljk and locking and noted how these were popular dance styles well known in various...