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Fans Are the New Record Labels

“Slave to a label but I own my masters/  Still get it poppin’ without artist and repertoire/” —Pharoahe Monch, “Desire,” Desire, 2007. Last week, LA Times Staff Writer Chris Lee revealed the details of Cash Money artist Drake’s blockbuster record deal. In addition to a $2 million advance payment, he “retains the publishing rights to… Read more »

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Livin’ in a Zoo: CNN’s Black in America II

Paul Scott “I’m kickin’ cold facts so true Feels like I’m livin’ in a zoo” Public Enemy Step Right up! In this cage we have the tame, “Negro-intellectualus.” Notice his freshly pressed shirt and creased pants. Go ahead and pet him. He won’t bite…However, watch out for this next animal, “Thug-ignoramus.” Beware of his gold… Read more »

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Ebonics 101: Big L & E. B. White Break Bread

“Euphemisms are misunderstood as mistakes/ But it’s a by-product of the ghetto music we make/” —Canibus, “Poet Laureate II,” Rip the Jacker, 2003. Of the many reasons Hip-Hop music dogged for, one of the most unremarkable is that it teaches bad English—broken English—Ebonics. Critics argue that it celebrates anti-intellectualism, with an emphasis on rhyme rather… Read more »

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