In case you’re wondering Silent Jay is one of my fellow bloggers. Not to be confused with Jay Smooth or Jay Electronica, this is another Jay entirely. This one is silent…but not really. You can hear his voice in the video below. Continue reading
Hip-Hop will never be what it once was, there’s no getting around that.
It began as a form of expression that was of us, for us, and by us in many ways that it will never be again.
In today’s world the ideal hip-hop product is not one that rings true for those who shares the artists’ experiences, but one that provides a vivid, cinematic fantasy for those who will never share the experiences conveyed.”
Above is an excerpt from a post called “Rumors of our Death…” written by Jay Smooth and posted on his blog hiphopmusic.com on April 24, 2003. Yeah that’s right, 2003. That’s crazy to me for 2 reasons: Continue reading
Here on sofreshansogreen.com we’re in the middle of Black History Month Quotes and Jay Smooth Quotes Week. I’m interrupting the latter to bring you the words of Harry Allen as part of my response to comments on my post about Tavis Smiley ending his State of the Black Union address.
I made some glowing remarks about journalist Mr. Allen the Media Assassin in that post. For me, what those panels are missing are voices from persons like Harry Allen, Rosa Clemente and Jay Smooth.
Anyway, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Allen and his intelligence. He’s is considered by some to be the only Hip Hop journalist ever, cause he’s that dude. So rather than actually posting the love letters to Harry Allen’s brain that I will never send him with some quote, I’ve decided to post this instead and this is why. Continue reading
You asked for it based on your responses to the random quotes in the upper left hand section of this blog. Welcome to sofreshandsogreen.com’s Black History Month Jay Smooth Quotes Week!
My least favorite trend of recent years is how the term “freestyle” has been redefined as referring only to rhyming off-the-top, which has led to a vehement (and IMO irrational) disdain for performing written rhymes in any cypher or live venue.
I believe this mindset is entirely misguided, and can be terribly unhealthy for the art form.
I think this strict constructionism is often a product of insecurity, especially among younger heads who weren’t around for Hip-Hop’s early days or the Golden Age of ’85 to ’91 (or thereabouts). Without these credentials they need a concrete list of rules to which they can conform, and thus reassure themselves that they are “real” or “true”.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with putting together a system that helps you maintain a sense of tradition.
But you’ve got to keep it in perspective. A system of law should serve to protect your freedom, rather than take it away. ~Jay Smooth, blogger and vlogger, on Hip-Hop fundamentalists and freestyling
I had a conversation about this with a friend who wasn’t born in the 90s yet still wasn’t into rap during the Golden Era. She told me in a time when everything is prepackaged, written by a publicist and even reality shows are scripted we want a freestyle to really be off the dome. It’s the only thing that unscripted now in Hip Hop now.
Personally I like a freestyle to be off the top of your head if you’re going to call it a freestyle, however Continue reading
Harlem rapper Charles Hamilton has resurfaced after being dropped from his label last year and of course after several public embarrassments and fails.
He recently released what was called on one blog “a rather lengthy letter” to everyone on the internet. Yes, it is lengthy. Yes, it is very, very emo. [Read the letter HERE]
But I can respect a rapper or any entertainer who says look, in a lot of ways I’m overexposed. In a lot of ways that’s my fault. I can’t stop f-ing up, especially in public so I will take several mental health days and stop this painful spectacle from Continue reading
Talk show host Tavis Smiley has decided to end his annual State of the Black Union Conference. In 2005 the conference spawned the book “Covenant with Black America,” about issues in black community.
In more recent times the conference took a very critical tone towards President Barack Obama.
“[The State of the Black Union] doesn’t have the premium that it used to have – and that’s a good thing,” Tavis Smiley, The Associated Press.
Seems to me Obama as the first Black president was such a game changer conference regulars weren’t sure how to react. Which is fine because many of us didn’t, but I find their harsh tone is suspicious. As a nightly half-hour talk show host on PBS Smiley has facilitated many conversations about President Obama not being Black enough, acknowledging Black people, and not standing up for Black people enough.
I think the last criticism is valid because Continue reading
Publisher Merriam-Webster has offered new words for 2009 to be entered into their dictionaries. “Many of the new words address: concerns about the environment (carbon footprint, green collar), government activities (earmark, waterboarding),” and “pop culture (docusoap, fan fiction, flash mob, reggaeton)”. This year it seems there is some controversy though and not just from grammar cops like me. Green collar job promoters Green For All object to the popular dictionary’s definition of “green jobs”.
According to greenforall.org:
The dictionary defines “green-collar” as:
‘of, relating to, or involving actions for protecting the natural environment’.
This definition falls flat in a couple of different ways. Chief among them is that “Green-collar” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless it is in reference to jobs and the economy.
If dictionaries quoted organizations, Merriam-Webster could just use this simple Green For All definition:
A green-collar job is a blue-collar job, upgraded to improve the environment and fight climate change.”
In the greenforall.org article “Green-collar” defined… incorrectly.” “green collar” is further defined in relation to the phrase “blue collar”.
Merriam-Webster has also seen fit to “redefine” marriage by adding a second definition. True story. Never mind jokes about Adam and Steve and “no homo”, this has some conservatives pretty cranky. To read more check out “Gay marriage gets recognition – in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary” at nydailynews.com.
Here’s the complete list of new words for 2009 merriam-webster.com
GREEN FACT: Green For All founder, The Great Van Jones, now works for President Obama and you as Special Advisor, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).