Monthly Archives: April 2010

CHECK THE LEVELS: RAS spends time with TRAE THA TRUTH in H-TOWN…

RAS was blessed with the opportunity to work for BET’s THE DEAL during SXSW 2010.  The gig with BET required us to interview Texas rappers Chamillionaire, Challie Boy, Paul Wall, Dorrough, and Trae Tha Truth.  Despite his enormous popularity throughout Texas and beyond, Tiger and I were entirely unaware of who Trae Tha Truth was until we met him at the Chamillionaire/Paul Wall show (SXSW: La Zona Rosa).

Despite our ignorance, Trae’s presence was immediately felt when he came through the backstage door with an entourage of at least 20 people behind him – straight Presidential status.  It seemed like everybody and their momma wanted to either shake his hand or take a quick photo with him.  He just smiled and welcomed all of the folks that came around.  In fact, when he left the backstage area to perform, his energy seemed to magnetically pull about 80% of the 100 or so of the backstage guests with him.  It was like a ghost town while he was rocking.

After his set, RAS had a chance to sit down with him and chop it up about his music, how/why he gives back to the ‘hood, and Houston rap/hip hop.  During our interview, Trae gave us a personal invitation to come down to “tha H” and kick it for a few days.  It just so happened that we were scheduled to perform at a Critical Resistance fundraiser in Houston only a week later.  As they say, timing is everything, right?

We rocked the fundraiser, and called Trae the next morning to see what was going down.  We met up a day later, and the rest is history.

Traveling with Trae was like having a key to the city.  He showed us mad love, and really went out of his way to be hospitable.  We shot more than 5 hours of footage during our three-day visit.  Over the next few days, we will be sharing this video with you.  The footage documented is a raw, uncut look into the man they call TRAE THA TRUTH.  We hope you learn something through the eyes of the camera.

A DAY WITH TRAE:

TRAE vs. 97.7 FM

Recently, Trae has been in the headlines due to an ongoing feud with 97.7 fm: ‘Houston’s Home for the Hip Hop Community.’  To learn more about the drama that has ensued, check out this open letter written by Matt Sonzala of austinsurreal.com:

“…When I heard about 97.9 The Box (KBXX) banning Trae tha Truth, I honestly brushed it off. Fact of the matter is, Trae has the support of the streets of Houston. And I figured that an MC of his stature in the community probably doesn’t really even need a station like The Box….”   READ MORE


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‘O’ is for Oligarchy

'Dem bellies full, but 'dem hungry..

Taken from April 9 Austin Chronicle editorial

by Michael Ventura

The Oxford English Dictionary‘s definition cites the clunky prose of American Political Science Review: “An oligarchy is an organization characterized by the fact that … the highest degree of authority … [is] free from control by any of the remainder of the [organization].”

“Oligarchy” is a big, bad word that defines a country we still call a republic.

The United States became an oligarchy slowly, in plain sight, without need of conspiracies. A Supreme Court ruling in 1896 granted corporations more rights than individuals. From the mid-19th century to today, town councils, state legislatures, and the federal government have given railroads, steel companies, oil companies, and the like every break possible. The outcome was what most people wanted: jobs, money, progress. The U.S. had the biggest and best commercial enterprises in history. For a while, especially after World War II, Americans lived high: Our population, just 5% or 6% of the world’s total, gobbled roughly 50% of the world’s resources.

That could not continue indefinitely.

read more…

R.I.P. Guru (emcee of world-renowned Gangstarr)

Gangstarr Logo

Guru made his transition into the realm of the ancestors yesterday morning.  He died of cancer-related illness at age 43.  An influential hip hop artist, to say the least, Guru was one-half of the legendary hip hop group, Gangstarr.  I got acquainted with Gangstarr right around the time that I truly fell in love with hip hop as an art form.  Of course, I had always loved the music, but Gangstarr, A Tribe Called Quest, Poor Righteous Teachers, Digable Planets, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, and more, got me excited about the ART.  Guru dropped endless jewels in his rhymes with a straight-forward flow that was rocksteady.  He is also responsible for bringing brothers like Jeru and Group Home into the Rap world.   More thoughts later, but I just had to take a moment to send my love and respect to Mr. Bald Head Slick.  Guru we miss you, but know, as you said, “no man is invincible, no plan is full proof, we all must meet our moment of truth.”

Guru on the cover of his third album, DAILY OPERATION

YOU KNOW MY STEEZ – Gangstarr from MOMENT OF TRUTH album

RAS set to perform at NAS/DAMIAN MARLEY post-show!

It’s official!  Riders Against the Storm will be rocking a LIVE SET at the NAS/DAMIAN MARLEY post-show on June 9, 2010 at STUBB’S BBQ in Austin, TX.  Mark you calendars now!  Special shout out to James Taylor of Giant Steps Productions for helping us line this up!  Stay tuned for more shows, events, ideas, and all!

In House Freestyle is coming to Austin in June!

Tiger and I are mad excited that TK and Yakim Parker, our partners-in-comedy, will be joining forces with us again for the Black Arts Movement (BAM) series here in Austin this June.  REUNITED and it feels soooo good!   If you don’t know, Tiger and I co-directed New England’s only ALL-BLACK sketch comedy group, In House Freestyle,for four years before packing our bags and moving to Austin, TX.  We traveled all over New England performing sketches to make people laugh, cry, and most importantly, think.

Everybody and they momma’s momma is talking about childhood diabetes now that the President’s wife made it her mission to stamp it out.  But, before Michelle, IHF was dealing with this serious community health concern through comedy.  Check out the clip below from our film/video INHOUSE:SKETCHING REALITY:

MICROWAVEDED  CAKE!

P.E.A.C.E (Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation) – Nola Darling spits fiya!

Think women ain’t rocking mics and holding it down?  Stop fronting.  You already know Tiger got that lyrical vicks to open up your chest, but these SISTARS named NOLA DARLING got it going on as well!  I found the video below when a friend (shouts to DJ STATIK!) posted their video on Facebook.  Check out these SISTARS on the move…
Quick Bio
Spit-fire flow, tongue in cheek sensibility, and an informed female perspective, fused with classic Hip Hop and innovative World sounds, make NOLA DARLING a powerful new voice in music. As singers AND emcees, the ladies of NOLA DARLING challenge the status quo, redefining the roles of women in Hip Hop and modern society.

KRS-ONE takes a stand against the National Hip Hop Museum project…

Taken from DAVEYD.COM

KRS1 speaks on behalf of the Hip Hop Pioneers the reason why they are boycotting the National Museum of Hip Hop. It sure changed the direction of the night.