Archive for the ‘Movie’ Category

October 14th was a typical Friday night in Harlem, a little windy but relatively calm until you reached 135th & Lenox.  As we walked by the Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture  we could smell the food trucks, see the flowing gowns and bowties, but the most intriguing sense was hearing the plethora of voices speaking about the rise of women in Film and TV!  This was the night African Voices hosted the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series event.  Kim Coles, the lively and forever funny mistress of ceremonies, presented Cathy Hughes (Radio One & TV One) with the Reel Sisters Hattie McDaniel Award and Naturi Naughton (from Power) with the Trailblazer Award.  This one event is a part of a two week celebration of women of color in film and media held in various venues throughout New York City.

Before all the awards went out, my associate, Juanita Miller and myself had the opportunity to walk the red carpet and speak with a few of the participants, the award winners, and Carolyn A. Butts, founder of Reel Sisters. Butts was clearly proud of the hard work that her and her team put in to coordinate such a successful event.  “I am very proud of my team for putting this together. This is our way of congratulating these pioneering women for the tremendous roles they play in promoting progress in film and media for women of color!” Butts excitedly stated.

Butts’ gratitude and excitement was contagious as Kim Coles also expressed her feelings towards the event and the progress of women of color in general. When asked if she was excited to host the awards, Coles said “I am honored to be a part of this event, let alone host it, and I am very excited to see Naturi Naughton & Cathy Hughes.  I’ve worked for Cathy for years and can’t wait to see her receive this prestigious award. And Naturi is doing a fantastic job for herself and paving the way for many more to come.”  Coles also mentioned that she is “all about lifting women of color’s voices and an advocate for women. I am also an advocate for men, just not at the expense of women.”  

Phyllis Stickney (The Inkwell & New Jack City actress) talked about her own involvement with uplifting women of color when she discussed her relatively new program designed to assist young women in transition called “Get Wit It.”  The program is filled with workshops to teach young women independence, life skills, and job preparation.  Stickney spoke intensely about the advancement of women of color stating “the support system has changed and we need to give these women an opportunity to have their right of passage!”

On that note, the red carpet was rolled up and we all proceeded to the show.  Kimberly Nichole’s (The Voice) fresh and powerful voice opened up the ceremony. Then Coles vibrantly took the stage and hosted with passion. The audience was very receptive to her boisterous personality and gave an abundant amount of applause when she expressed her view on the progress of women of color in media.  Coles talked about how important it is to stay relative in a world of fast growing technology and for all of us to empower and educate the young women of today.

After a brief video about the history of Hattie McDaniel who had the first black syndicated radio show, Hughes was presented the Hattie McDaniel Award by Kevin John Goff, McDaniel’s great grand-nephew. Hughes although having back pain at the time,  graciously got on stage as the crowd gave her a standing ovation and showed their gratefulness for her hard work.  She spoke eloquently, thanking Reel Sisters for the award and reminded the crowd that hard work does pay off.   She brought to light that her dedication to making it happen was not painless or easy.  Hughes stated, “I remember awhile back I was working day and night on Radio One, I thought I had the first black syndicated radio show and I was so happy!  Then someone told me about Hattie’s. I thought to myself: well then, I will have the first television station!” She gave many accolades to her mother who was “kind and gave everything she could to make someone’s day better ” and how she incorporates that mentality into her work.  Hughes then expressed her gratefulness to the organization for having the ceremony and the importance of women encouraging and helping each other in order to stay progressive.  

Meli’sa Morgan brought down the house with a halftime performance of her hit “Good Love.”  Shortly afterwards, the next announcement was for Naturi Naughton to accept her Trailblazer Award.  From 3LW to being a main character, Tasha on Power, Naughton has fought tooth and nail to make her presence known in the world of music and film. She gracefully took the stage and stood in shock as the crowd rose to give her applause.  In her acceptance speech Naughton mentioned she felt like she “was still blazing the trail” and gave a huge shout out to her parents for believing in her dream.  She represented East Orange, New Jersey giving “thanks to New Hope Union Baptist Church for inspiring her to have this dream and to all the fans making this dream a reality.” Naughton finished with thanking Hughes for opening doors. She added, “who knows if I’d be where I am at right now.”

When all was said and done, Coles wrapped up the ceremony giving thanks to Carolyn Butts, Film Festival Curator Lisa Durden and Council Members Jumaane Williams and Laurie Cumbo for their hard work and dedication to Reel Sisters.  Group photos of everyone involved were taken and then the celebrities took time to take selfies with their fans.  Once everyone dispersed, the attendees took pleasure in taking photos in front of the step and repeat and paid tribute to Reel Sisters for having the event.  As a women of color who is involved in the world of media, attending the ceremony was truly a delightful and eye opening experience.  The amount of support that the men and women have towards the education and empowerment of women of color made the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series Award Ceremony irrefutably necessary. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of Reel Sisters is bright and many women of color will have the opportunities to make their dream a reality because of its efforts.

*Michelle Zattoni is the Director of Public Relations for Lehigh Valley Faces in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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It’s no secret, to be successful in life employing strategy is imperative. More than proving to be a formidable tool against those inevitable obstacles, it offers organization amidst the ever-present chaos. For context, let’s consider the discipline of a chess strategist/player. The absence of emotion veils the calculations of the mind; that strategic design that is ultimately disclosed upon the surface of a mere checkered pattern with monarchical pieces. For all intents and purposes, the game of chess is life’s simulator. By way of opponent intent and the assessment of it, your willingness to enforce strategy supports self-sustainability, and if executed correctly, triumph over your worthy adversary. Just ask Maurice Ashley – chess strategist/aficionado and the first African American to receive the “Grandmaster” title from the World Chess Federation, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs).

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On this episode of TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio, D.D. Turner, C. Stats, and DJ Jay St. Paul kick it with chess Grandmaster, Maurice Ashley. With him, the crew discusses his journey towards becoming a world renowned chess player, his effort to continue to increase the game’s exposure, and why everyone should consider the game and its inherent strategies as a tool to help navigate life’s obstacles.
And as usual, DJ Jay St. Paul entertains us with a mix that effectively highlights the game of chess’ reference in Hip Hop music. Click below to listen.

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On this episode of TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio, D.D. Turner welcomes his older, Corey Turner, Esq. to the TCOHHL experience and together they kick it with celebrated DJ, Music Producer, Documentarian, Hip Hop purveyor/protector, and Host of the Fran Lover Show, Fran Lover. With a relationship that goes back more than 30 years [with origins firmly planted in the Linden Housing development located in the East New York section of Brooklyn – NYC], the discussion unfolds in a manner that proves familiar, insightful, nostalgic, and entertaining.

And regarding the playlist? Let’s just say we appropriately explore Hip Hop’s Rap music timeline through an unfiltered and undisturbed East New York lens.

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Click below to hear the episode.

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On this episode of TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio, D.D. Turner and C. Stats kick it with the King of Content, James ‘Kraze’ Billings. During our conversation we discuss his Long Island – New York roots, his journey towards becoming the King of Content, his past projects with FUBU and Audi, his Industry Muscle website and brand, his upcoming projects [including a documentaries on Hip Hop lyrical legends, Rakim Allah and Biz Markie] and a truly riveting discussion on Hip Hop’s cultural appropriation.

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And regarding the playlist? Not only do we open the show with a gap-bridging event, we satisfy your appetite with a pure and authentic Hip Hop experience.

On this episode of TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio, D.D. Turner and C. Stats kick it with the creators of the Tuskegee Heirs animated series, Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams. During our conversation, we discuss their respective roots, the artistry of animation, their amazing animated series, and the unparalleled history and courageousness of the Tuskegee Airmen.

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Also, to celebrate the life, legacy, and genius of the legendary musician, Prince, we open up the show with a self-authored poem by TCOHHL Radio co-founder, Ishmael Street, followed by a review of why Prince will forever be regarded as an icon. And don’t worry, you appetite for a pure and authentic Hip Hop experience will be thoroughly satisfied.

Youthful expression in Hip Hop has always been fundamental to the culture. After all, the youth collectively are and have always been responsible for the long-term sustainability and progressiveness of the culture. In a recent conversation, I went on record saying that Hip Hop and I are twins; there are very few recollected moments in my life in which Hip Hop hasn’t been a major fixture.

In this regard, DJ Kool Flash and I are similar. Where we differ however is DJ Kool Flash’s ability to profess her support of the culture [at her present age] in a way that is extremely passionate, expressive, and masterful.

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This week on TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio (4/20/2016), D.D. Turner and C. Stats kick it with the talented future legend, DJ Kool Flash. During our time spent with DJ Kool Flash, we discuss her Hip Hop roots, her favorite Hip Hop artists, and equally as exciting and riveting, her introduction and ongoing skill development as a Turntablist. And regarding the playlist? Let’s just say it bridges the musical gap and effectively celebrates those Hip Hop artists that started out young…Like DJ Kool Flash.

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By: D.D. Turner, Founder/Executive Producer/Host
TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio
Twitter: @TCOHHL_Radio/@HipHops_Wizard
Instagram: @HipHops_Wizard
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**You know the drill! Don’t be a #Turdbird! Visit mixcloud.com/tcohhl_radio to listen to our show archives. And while there, subscribe to our station to stay updated on our latest show releases.**

 

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Tonight, the dreaded Walkers return. With Alexandria in ruins, what’s next? So, I ask you, “How many Walkers have you killed?”
Get Ready. Aim steady for the head. Shoot or swing. And for God sakes man, don’t get bitten.

“…these are the words that I manifest. I Manifest.” – Gang Starr, Manifest (No More Mr. Nice Guy, 1989 – Wild Pitch Records/EMI Records)

Peace, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

With sincerity, I submit this manifesto of gratitude and appreciation for your concern. More to the point and specific to this document’s intent, I thank you for your candor; your willingness to acknowledge the plight of Black people [through your dialogue invoking joint, White Privilege II] and the origination of what has proven to be an insurmountable social obstacle against the system of White Privilege. Your efforts are commendable, and brave to boot. Your public observance of what has been an issue for nearly 500 years is regarded as sincerely empathetic and not trivial, for it suggests that you understand the proper way in which to address and impart reasoning unto your cultural peers for the purpose of contextualizing the very real idea of white privilege, cultural appropriation, and cultural subjugation. However, while your song content and approach are unique and brim with quality, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that the intent and goal aren’t. As I am sure you are aware, Hip Hop has always served as the initiate for social change, highlighting the adverse circumstances under which we were, are, and continue to be placed, per the ubiquitous nature of white privilege/supremacy.

Over the years, many of our beloved and legendary Emcees have worked to bring awareness to the problem while bolstering the richness and righteousness that is contained within us, the original man – “The maker, the owner, the cream of the planet Earth, Father of civilization, God of the Universe.” Legendary Emcees such as: KRS One – You Must Learn; PRT (Poor Righteous Teachers) – Shakiyla; X-Clan – Funkin’ Lesson; Lakim Shabazz – Black is Back; King Sun – Be Black; Big Daddy Kane – Young, Gifted, and Black ; Brand Nubians – Wake Up; Public Enemy – Fight The Power; Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five – The Message; Fearless Four – Problems of The World Today; Gang Starr – Royalty; Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) – Brown Skin Lady; Rakim – The Mystery; Nas – I Can, and a host of others that go unnamed but are equally recognized. Unfortunately, the gracious offerings of these artists wouldn’t surpass exposure beyond cultural relevance; the exception perhaps being those White brothers and sisters that were and continue to be avid Hip Hop supporters and/or historians.

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Macklemore and Ryan, the point of the aforementioned is not to convey nor pose opposition to your song, but, to simply acknowledge those that have come before you [as you’ve most notably done on DownTown feat. Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, and Grandmaster Melle Mel]and have leveraged the platform of Hip Hop culture as a means of effectuating social change, or in the least, spark the flame of cultural consideration amongst  White folks.

Regarding this matter, I found myself compelled to express my perspective. Not because I felt it necessary to align with the wayward backlash that you guys are being met with, but instead, to provide an articulate and respectful explanation of how we as Black folks potentially feel about your song, albeit gracious. On another note, I have to admit that I was somewhat indifferent about your career; I’d concur that your lyrical prowess is mostly enjoyable and your content/topics were interesting and sometimes even poignant but your songs never quite resonated with me. In fact, if I can be honest, I initially considered you to be just another White rapper using the benefit of implicit privilege, supremacy, carefree themes, flow patterns, suitable vocal inflections, and vocabulary to drive a career. A shift in my belief has since occurred causing me to depart from this perspective and see that in fact, White people can genuinely care about and be invested in the long-term sustainability of Black culture. The two of you have proven this through your public sincerity and gratitude for the incomparable contributions that Black culture has imparted unto the world.  You guys have possibly set the stage for change amongst White people and it is now time to execute.

Below are some recommendations of how you can further facilitate an understanding amongst your ethnic peers regarding the social dynamic between Black and White people and how it is impacted by the system of White Privilege.  Some recommended group talking points amongst White people are as follows:

  • Don’t be threatened by the assertion of Black [and Brown] Pride
  • Seek opportunities that support/reinforce empathy for the Black [and Brown] experience
  • Similarities between the Black and White racial/social experience is virtually non-existent
  • Understand that the statement, “Black Lives Matter” is not suggestive of racism or a disregard for White lives
  • Gentrification is a result of White Privilege and is a real and proven concept that forces cultural displacement
  • White flight is a result of White Privilege and is a real and proven concept that erodes the cultural diversity in a neighborhood, thereby, causing the inevitability of poverty as a result of ethnic stereotyping
  • Amongst Black people, Rioting is never a result of animalistic and/or apathetic manifestations. Instead, it is the result of hopelessness in the face of racial adversity, inequality, and injustice
  • Effectively, Black [and Brown] people can’t reasonably be regarded as racist amidst the looming shadows of systematic White Privilege/Supremacy

Again, I thank you [prospective Hip Hop Legends] for your willingness to create the basis upon which healthy dialogue regarding the issue of ethnic privilege will perhaps come to thrive. It is my hope that the perspective shared in this manifesto has merely served as additional context and has imparted suggestive instructions that look to contribute to a foundation of better understanding the Black experience.

Thank you in advance for the engagement. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

One,

D.D. Turner, Enforcer of Negritude

TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio

@TCOHHL_Radio

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Art, regardless of the medium, is subjective. When engaging art, individual interpretation affords us the opportunity to derive our own context regarding the inspiration and intent behind the work. Following this reasoning, one can appropriately deduce that, fundamentally Hip Hop provides the canvas of expression and the interpretive standards to which we adhere for the purpose of making a connection with its masterpieces. From Rap music to Graffiti to the pursuit of knowledge through education [institutional or otherwise], those of us that regard the culture’s elements as regular functions of our day-to-day lives generally do so in a manner that fits perfectly into the framework of our own individualism.

Introducing, Dan Lish; a consummate example of the aforementioned and a certified endorser of Hip Hop culture. As a talented visual artist and an ardent supporter of Hip Hop, Dan has proven that a place of mutuality can exist between two disciplines and the regular hampering of inhibition can be achieved when creativity and passion are always prioritized.

Real talk…Dan’s work is f@%king outstanding! Albeit a result of his individualism, Dan’s ability to visually interpret song content and the persona of some of Hip Hop’s most revered legends is inspiring, thought provoking, and surely endowed with the capacity to beckon intelligent and perspective driven Hip Hop conversation. To study his work is to submit to a realm of wonderment; forcing escapism to a magical destination where the cost of admission is limited to the mere engagement of subjectivity by one’s own interpretation. His choice of subtle colors and illustrative processes makes for a style that is completely his own; it allows those that indulge his masterpieces to not be lost in the over-saturation and blinding hues of bright colors. But instead, you find yourself swept away by Dan’s exertion of identified symbolism and its ability to portray the genius, iconic nature, and perhaps the interpreted innocence of our beloved Hip Hop legends.

Hip Hop has grown and its maturity is a mirror reflection of the intellect, skill, and creativity that it has fostered in us as its supporters. Consistently, Dan Lish provides evidence of this by allowing the synergy that exists between his life gift of intellect, skill, and creativity and his passion for Hip Hop in an effort to widen the culture’s perspective and further its social appeal and global relevance.

Visit http://www.egotripland.com/artist-dan-lish/ and http://danlish.com to see Dan’s artwork. Also, stay tuned for the upcoming “Dan Lish Episode” on TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) Radio (http://mixcloud.com/TCOHHL_Radio).

-D.D. Turner, TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend)

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DrDre-compton

Visualize this: A high risk surgical procedure that can either reinforce or destroy a reputation. The Surgeon leading the procedure works methodically, allowing his knowledge and experience to guide the delicate execution of his hands. The objective is implicit; don’t fuck this up! The intent of the procedure is to correct a problem, and above all else, restore some sense of hope and self-sustainability back to the life of the patient. The task is finally nearing completion. Regarding the Surgeon’s willingness to perform a corrective procedure, the past 16 years, according to his supporters, have been a period of assumed obsessiveness. The opportunity to experience his skill in an extensive capacity was thought to have been a thing of the past. But right when the fans of the Surgeon arrive at the edge of despair, prepared to release their hopes and dreams [of him showcasing his skills] into the darkened chasm of never-no-more, the Surgeon announces his completion. And the result? The long-awaited successful completion of a major surgery, proving that he hasn’t lost not even an ounce of skill.

More than restore quality of life, the good Doctor has rendered something masterful; his work somehow transcends the notion of individualized impact and provides healing unto several generations and perhaps, even insight unto those not privy to the significance of what he has achieved. This Surgeon is Compton, California and Hip Hop’s very own, Dr. Dre and the result of his execution is his latest release, Compton; an appropriate accompaniment to the feature film release, Straight Outta Compton.

“What the FUCK is going on with Detox?!” Albeit inarticulate, this was surely the collective sentiment of those of us yearning to recapture the moment when we first experienced Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut solo release, The Chronic. While the follow-up release, [Chronic] 2001, proved to deliver a satisfying schedule of bangers, it fell short of capturing the resonant impact of its predecessor. And while we managed to get a dose of the Doctor’s prescription over the years through his work with Eminem, 50 Cent, The Firm, Knoc-Turn’Al, Xzibit, Game, Snoop, and a host of others, none of this proved to be as potent of an elixir as hearing Dre over his own concoctions on a full-length project. And now that the day has arrived, those of us that found ourselves obsessing over this day, can now indulge in the experience that audible overdosing has to offer. And undoubtedly, this offers a formidable fix. No Detox needed!

Compton effectively syncs with the feel and tone of Kendrick Lamar’s recent release, To Pimp A Butterfly. It opens with an overview of Compton’s cultural history and offers transparency into the historical occurrence of the White-Flight phenomenon and the subsequent rise of deteriorated conditions following the influx of Black and Brown folks into the City. Following the intro, the album proceeds to convey a message; one that highlights the plight of Black and Brown existence in the inner-city and the assumptions that are perpetuated by the perspective of White Supremacy/Privilege ideology. But conversely, supported by its progressive sound, it imparts a sense of hope through Dre’s vulnerability; he offers full disclosure about the struggles of his life before success but without departing from the hardcore content that his fans have come to appreciate.

Ultimately, the project provides balance and confirms itself to not just be the continuation of Compton’s new sound, but more appropriately, the realization of an archetype that began more than 30 years prior as a result of the vision of the beloved Surgeon. That be Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. This shit knocks!!

By: D.D. Turner, #TCOHHL (The Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) / Chief Turd-Bird Annihilator

@TCOHHL_Radio (Twitter)

@hiphops_wizard (Twitter/IG)