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BarackTALK: The Real Critical Deal


I’ve known Kareem since he was an eager, creative teenager mature beyond his years.

He was mature enough to transcribe the longest of interviews. He was mature enough to sit in as I interviewed Kanye West and not act a fool. He was mature enough to act as my (and others’) intern as we worked at a Viacom-owned television network some years ago. Since overcoming a childhood in foster care, he’s now a graduate of Clark Atlanta, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and has amassed a myriad of other achievements.

Yet and still, Kareem is not employed, despite hurdling over insurmountable odds and seemingly doing all the right things in life. At 23, he’s strong, unrelenting, and will soon join AllHipHop as a part of an initiative spurned by the President Obama to get youth jobs, life skills, and competent mentors.

As a college graduate, Kareem could be considered one of the “lucky” fortunates. While the nation appears to be in an uptick, those around us – the people we know and touch – remain in dire straits. That is the charge of the president, as he prepares to address the nation today.

The fact is, the youth that peruse AllHipHop and similar sites are fundamentally disengaged, disillusioned, and fairly disgusted with the way the nation has treated them thus far. Many of them, like Kareem, remain optimistic, while some others have completely stopped buying into the notion that they can be helped into their own. There are others still, that never bought into it to begin with.

While at the White House recently, I saw firsthand that youth from all over the nation are like Kareem, but the general consensus in the room was these young people were exceptional. Another reoccurring theme from the mouths of these young adults was they simply needed a chance.

Right now, the president seeks another chance as well.

The time is crucial for the president, but far more crucial for the American people, whose lives and well-being hang literally in the balance. While he’s achieved much, for many, the presidency is wrought with shortcomings that are felt in a way that is all to real in 2012. Will the people – the real ones – give him a chance as we approach the presidential election? Will the president be able to win back the faith and support of the American people?

Right now, we see that change has indeed occurred, but it certainly is not the change the country expected back during election time in ’07/’08. Especially for our country’s young people like Kareem.

The time is critical.

Please join the discussion as AllHipHop.com, national non-profit organization, The League Of Young Voters Education Fund, and Rock The Vote prepare for the 2nd Annual #BarackTalk, a State of the Union roundtable discussion and watch party. The event starts at 7:30 pm tonight (January 24) and will stream live from Washington D.C. on www.AllHipHop.com and www.BarackTalk.com.

#BarackTalk panelists include rapper Rhymefest; activist Davey D; Goldie Taylor, leading news correspondent (TheGrio.com, MSNBC); Chuck Creekmur, co-founder of AllHipHop.com; and many more.

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  • ladynamor

    Apply this same story to hip hop and the way the 4 major labels are pimping artist and you will see why the underground is so angry. The rappers you endorse on here 24/7 like Jay-Z and Kanye and Lil Wayne and Baby are worse to the rap world than the GOP is to the black world. They literally eat money in pics while stealing peoples ideas. Just like the major corps. that hold us back. Then, people want to ndefend them as if they are helping people. In the last 5 years, how many NEW artist have made it. I mean really made it. Maybe 3-4. The same rotation of rappers and artist appear on here and every other media site everyday all day. Every once in a while you will introduce a new artist at the bottom of your page BUT it is the same 100 artist on here, on BET and MTV. If you ONLY promote the same 100 artist all the time, how are you helping indie artists really. You do not even tell the truth about their greed and ignorant ways of handling money. SMH, I wonder how long people are going to support this scheme between the media and the industry.  

    • ItGoesDownINtheDM

      capitolism my friend … with capitolism this shit will always be broken down into levels …. similar to school … you will have your straight A students which if you ask me sort of represents the 5% (rich to wealthy folks) …. you got your honorol students that get great consistent grades but dont achieve straight A status … i say these folks represent the middle class folks …. then you got the average grade folks who dont quite reach honor roll but they also aint failing … these are the folks who just do the bare minimum just to get by …. i say these folks represent the hoods accross america …. then you got the folks who get the bad grades and failing and are on the verge of dropping out or failing out of school …. these folks represent the Poor population and those who look to others to take care of them …….. the music industry and every other industry can be broken down the same …. with capitolism it puts everyone on different levels …… and its all based on money … in order to get money you gotta work … the harder you work or the harder you work to get better work the higher youll find youself up …… honestly its prob the most fairest system …… the only other way is for us to go back to growing our own food and building our own homes if we wanna get out of a monetary system … but then again it comes down to work …. the person that works the hardest will have the best homes and crops …. so even with that lifestyle u will still prob have complainers …………………………… shits deep

      • ladynamor

        Is that not what America is fighting for? It IS NOT A FAIR SYSTEM! I personally know people who work hard as hell and they will NEVER get the chance of an artist who is WILLING to degrade themselves. An artist willing to portray ignorance and flashy jewelry and gay innuendos is accepted before an underground artist who talks political and realistic. Be for real man!!!!!Obama is giving a speech tonight, and bet he will say it is unfair!!!!!You hear me, its all a design to keep SOME people back! I do not know who you are, but “maybe” you are lobbying for what is killing the music!!!!! Its not deep, its right in your face. It may be going over the peoples heads who are into the old model of business, but the future of hip hop is well aware of the fact that some of us are so clouded by money they can not see that the way we are portrayed in society is what ails us. Dumbing it down for money does not mean brag about materials that ONLY inner city kids will die for. THE FUTURE knows history and is well aware of other models of hip hop business that allowed up and coming artist to be heard and become famous. If Russel Simmons and Rick Rubin were able to come from a dorm room to where they are now, It should be easier for this generation to do the same, but it is not. There is a couple of labels under labels and those labels are hoarding and so on. We have studied the old radio shows with Mr. Magic’s World Premiers, We know about The Offspring who sold millions on their own. It has gotten so bad, an artist would not even say the name of an unknown artist like Jay-Z did with Fifty Cent back in the day, because look what happened!!!!Fifty got rich, and they don’t want that, do they? The media would receive money from sponsors no matter who they wanted to make look relevant. Your idea of a “perfect” system is corrupted by payola, favors and a need to fit into the scene. (i.e. get into the VIP room/afterparty) or money to “promote” this hot single, that is NOT HOT, but it will be once they program us like a jingle from a tv commercial played 100 times weekly. WE know this, YOU obviously do not, hence, people come on this site and shit on MOST of the stuff on here. Not because they are jealous, its just bad!!!!!! And then they get paid for the slop,,,,,,AND BRAG ABOUT IT!!!! You can not say that is some bullshit, unless you work for the system. If you do, you are outnumbered. The underground has decided the best way around this old model mentality, is to educate the future society. With the education and understanding of VULTURE CAPITOLISM, we can get back to the authentic Capitolism that made our country great and allowed Russell Simmons to have his own distro.

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        I never ever said the system is “perfect” but I did say its prob the most “fair” system … and to understand the system u have to know what. Makes it twerks … I don’t wanna get all long and drwn out but here it is simple n sweet … socially concious music only has so many avenues …. and as a person who has been behind the scenes and in focus group to sell music … its harder to sale the product not cause the public doesn’t want to hear but because the artist themselves don’t have the work ethic to push it nor do they have the insight to push it … the #1 give away is when that artist is worried about being played on the radio and @ clubs …. clubs def isn’t the avenue for concious music … radio is but that’s not something that will happen just cause u got an let’s heal the world song … and honestly one again being someone who has been in the shoes of someone trying to sell music …. most people want to hear upbeat up tempo music ….. I’ve heard it so many times ….. it get very deep…….. but in conclusion …. with youtbe and so many other outlets out there I have to first question the artist that is so concerned about a major label situation …. being in the game from my personal exp… rappers that consider themselves lyricist always want more than what they should be getting …. a lot of the trap rappers club rappers etc are just happy to be doing something they luv and don’t have crazy expectations and for the most part have a work ethic to back their talent … and they understand their lane and where to put their music so they can elevate … just my $0.03 😉

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        also prime examples of hard working artist are artist like Tech9 Mack Miller what yella wolf was before he signed to shady … the entire slaughter house before they became a group …. hard work pays off …. so like i said i def question anyone that says they are working hard with no results …. are they planning ..???? are they strategizing ????? are they always analyzing their plan for faults so they can learn from it and do better or try something else next time ????? an artist that truelly is working hard would like a major deal but really isnt too concerned unless its a deal thats plays in thier favor because they are good reguardless #cashmoney b4 the universal deal ……..

      • ladynamor

        Please do not play the race card. WE ALL KNOW the science behind Wack Miller and Yellow Stripe, Cmon man-Tech9 maybe but these other lames are the industries illusions. Next you gon say the Krayon chick right? GTFOH!

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        man they need to approve my orignal reply …. but in short heck no …. dont forget i said Wiz too …. and i can give you a long list of brothers coming up if need be … first keep in mind the slaughter house includes joe buddens, joel ortiz, royce da 59 & crooked iz … thats 3 brothers and 1 puerto rican lol …. all dudes who have been working thier ass offf and shit is paying off ………….. to name more Kendrick Lemar (working with dr dre) …. Meek Mills (mmg) …. The Hot Spitta aka Currensy (warner) ….. need more ??? no problem …. Freddie Gibbs (CTE) …. Jay Rock upcoming west coast mc getting shine from alot of indy grind hes doing out there …. Asap Rocky (warner) …. Wale (mmg) …  i can keep going if you want me to …. hey why not ……….. Charles Hamilton with his weird ass was signed with Interscope until he fucked his deal up ……. Cory Guns (ymcmb) ……. all of these guys have been really working thier ass off and the shit is paying off … most of these dudes ive been following before they had any appeal, marketing and promotions accross the nation ……

      • ladynamor

        All of these “rappers” or most of them fit the model money, drugs and nothing else!

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        no matter what i say youll pick something bad out and highlight it … that is a crazy mixture of artist that are getting thier shot from concious artist like Kendrick Lemar to more street artist like Meek Mills to just plain ole weird artist like Asap Rocky … my point was that hard work does pay off no matter your approach to the music … its a fact that going the concious route is one hard road to travel not cause the  labels dont want to promote but because like i said its a hard road to travel … so for one to come out and be successfull that person has to have the work ethic of diddy + more with the lyrical appeal of a 2pac or biggie …. Guys who come to mind and who i would also like to add to my list of real dudes working hard and its paying off for them and they happen to be concious artist getting they shine … J. Cole & Jay Electrionic … in conclusion we all encounter closed doors no one is exempt white black asian trap rapper concious rapper club rapper police office regular citzen etc………..  so take ya blinders off and go and get yours if you want it …. cause it def aint gonna get handed to ya !! 😉

  • rep87

    RECORD COMPANY PIMPING its been this way for years go independant

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  • ItGoesDownINtheDM

    and @ the end of the day DAY!! … NEVER say NEVER … imagin if that word was in MLK or Malcoms vocabulary … anything anyone today is facing is nothing in comparison to what they faced and help over come ….. real talk …. 😉

    • ladynamor

      You are thinking about artists getting signed. I am talking about indie labels getting played and recognized. There are indies who arent talking about what the industry is talking about, and the songs are club bangas! I never said underground made tree hugger music. I do not even think you know about the future music out there. I would name some but they may become victim to you and your intern friends.

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        with that kind of thinking thier going to stay “underground” …. it is what it is …. some gotta learn by experience my insight will eventually make sense to ya one day 😉

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        Yo Gotti fits your bill as one of those rappers the industry would embrace … however the industry isnt .. hes still very much indy … and his record dropped and and flopped hard than a wale out of water …….. no one is exempt … plan, strategize, restrategize, network, tour, collab, etc…….. its so much involved to the success of an artist n label its not enuff room to break it all down … but everyone and anyone has thier oppurtunity ……. sometimes and more than alot you gotta look @ the man in the mirror to find out why the oppurtunities you are reaching for arent available to you …….. its not always the other sides fault ………………… but also not saying in some cases its not …. but more than often it isnt ……………………………………………………………………….. thats just how folks roll …………………………. #blamegame

  • ItGoesDownINtheDM

    side note BRING THE IC BACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ladynamor

    @MrKevinWashington
    They dont even want to put my post on this subject obviously. but the artist you name are industry throwaway bullshit artist other than ortiz. the media and radio will not play indies unless they pay them. that is not a fair playing field, you are industry. i am underground. underground does basically the same music the industry does except it is from a real person who IS NOT under the scrutiny of a label exec. who reminds him of his obligations and his limits to artistic freedom EVERYDAY!Undergeround works as hard as anyone else. My company makes loot, Sold more than Soulja Boy, thats not the issue. Where are the new def jams? Why do I have to even know any of these labels practices in order to make it? People need to choose, underground or industry, period. if people want to listen to fake rap in skinny jeans claiming the hood and all that gay shit-industry is for you. im afemale and all i hear is dudes saying ALL that shit gay and fake! you think people dont send music to sites like this in the underground so they can get their music heard everyday? you dont think indie artists send their music to radio stations and hand carry it there and everything else. some people DO NOT want to get signed by a label. THE FUTURE wants to BE THE LABEL! these bought out sites are not promoting an indie that works real hard. where do you think all the ideas come from? they come from the streets and end up imitated by Weezy or Ross, or some dude in a contract who cant sell his records, so go and steal so and so off the internet. The industry is, and has been stealing music and ideas from hard working artists in the hood since the beginning. maybe it is too much for YOU to understand. you may think it is fair that an indie should have to pay a program director 50,000 dollars for a months radio rotation. the underground says, that is not fair. i only made 91,000 off of the cd. i have a family to feed. i thought you loved my song, everyone is playing it in the clubs, why cant you play us? Seems like you have to “play the game” to get your due, and THAT SHIT is fake as hell!!!!! The future will correct that homey. You are outnumbered. Choose your side, industry or underground. It may take a while for the indie to get there but it will happen, remember I said that. BTW, YO GOTTI SUCKS ASS MAN!!!! he is industry garbage!!!!!!! he failed for YOUR side homey! Underground is not in competition or striving to be on the major labels payroll, Nor are they jealous or envious of major labels artists money!!!! The underground just wants to be judged by who has the most talent, innovation and passion FIRST!!!!!!!! You do not seem to focus on real art. You are generally focused on $. SMH

  • Casor_Greener

    You clowns are on this page talking aboput artists in the rap game and not the topic at hand.  The rap game is for suckers, very few make a dime. Get a job.

    Forget these sucker a$$ rappers. They need to get real jobs.

    • ladynamor

      Clown, hip hop is my job, and this IS a hip hop site. YOU get your own blog site and stop using AHH to rant your irrelevance. SMH

      • Casor_Greener

        This is a hiphopsite but this is not a hip hop topic.  Take ya ass to the rap pages.  This is bigger than rap….no wonder so many of our people can’t find work.  Stuck on that bulls….

      • ladynamor

        Im the reason OUR people cant find work? I WORK FOOL! YOU ARE NOT AT WORK, YOU ARE ON AHH. YOU DIDNT EVEN COMMENT THE ARTICLE YOU SILLY BASTARD!!!!SMH, MAN GET OFF YOUR MOMS COMPUTER AND STFU!!!!!I AM THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER OBAMA IS TALKING ABOUT. I EMPLOY COLLEGE STUDENTS AT A BUSINESS I STARTED WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS. YOU GO GET A LIFE AND BE HONEST WITH YOUR OWN FAILED REALITIES. IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT THE ARTICLE, DONT LET ME STOP YOU BITCH! (IN RICK JAMES VOICE)

      • Casor_Greener

        Where did I say “YOU” were the reason our people can’t find work?  I’m talking about the fact that  a conversation that was supposed to be about the crucial times facing our first black President, got turned into a forum on the rap game.

        It’s like all we can talk about is rap.  Also, I’m at work too plus I own a small tax consultation business so you can miss me with all that extra jive talking.

      • s0rethumb

        Amen_Ra what do you expect from the “Planet of Children”?

  • So I read the article and was surprised at how many of us commented on it. So as i began to read, i noticed that you sorry muthafuckas are talking about rappers and record labels and shit. What shoes Yo Gotti was wearing last night. You mutha…. Still got love for my people tho!!

    • will smith

       I thought the comments were more informative than the article cuz’. You seem jealous to me. If you can read you can see that info. is important. You jus’ poppin off