Monday, September 29, 2008

LET’S GO METS?!! : Opening Notes on the Corruption of the New York Yankees

“It’s not that I don’t like Babe Ruth, I just don’t think he was the best of his time. Satchel Paige was striking people out from his wheel chair at age 63! And he was tenth best. There were nine Negro players better than him! It’s almost like saying - I won the New York City Marathon this year - but no Kenyans ran! It’s not a sport until brothers show up - it’s just a game.”
Chris Rock, Actor/Comedian

Sports are no longer competition of the greatest select athletes inspired to reach their best performance inspiring the masses as they entertain. In the history of the United States of America, it has never truly been such.

From the beginnings of American sport, one can begin with Christopher Columbus and his devils racing dogs with the prize being hunted Taino Indians. When one acknowledges the false declarations made in honor of their mysterious God (“I certify to you that, in the name of God…”) and the ensuing proclamations of what will be done (“we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them” –Christopher Columbus, it is all reminiscent of that dominating team we are programmed to take sides with and root for.

A perennial team that dominates, ultimately solidifying mundane connections to their powerful status as Americans. A team that is officially crowned “champion” of complete, fair and intense competition yet harkens the same hypocrisy of corruption, cheating and monopolistic practices of the country at large. A team whose name once associated itself with its land mass as with the land of the free (reign of savages) yet then chose the ideal to remind us of whom it shall oppress. As in the “the land of the brave”—the brave, those beautiful warriors lumpen as the oppressed Native American, we knew what the team was, what it is and what it always will be.

It bears significant mention that the late 18th – early 19th century motif of Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York serves as a diluted (i.e. the completely vacant presence of our Black people, the missing filth of sewers running through the middle of the streets, massive lack of basic hygiene on citizens and massive corruption of emerging public services and political organization), yet relevant reference point to understand. As this era of early New York City, it had white ethnic groups (Irish, Italian, etc.) fighting for respectability, economic fortitude and survival, itself. One of the key components in this struggle was Tammany Hall. Tammany Hall was the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in controlling New York City politics and helping immigrants (most notably the Irish) rise up in American politics from the 1790s to the 1960s. Put lightly, they controlled most Democratic Party nominations extending their brand of patronage in Manhattan for about 80 years. (

William S. Devery was the first police chief of the New York City Police Department in 1898. The pioneering corrupt swine was an internal force in Tammany Hall organization. According to his great grand nephew Bill Cleary, “no dirty deal could be made without his scrutiny. As Chief of Police in the late 19th Century, "Big Bill" was an established part of the Irish syndicate that controlled the police force and by extension...every aspect of city government.” With a motto of “Hear, say and do nothing. Eat, drink and pay nothing,” he and Frank Farrell, another Tammany Hall insider, finagled through the equally corrupt organized baseball league and bought a small Baltimore Orioles club in 1903. Able to find a location for them they were first known as the Highlanders as their location in the high altitude, dump site area of Manhattan between 165th and 168th Streets, Hilltop Park. Devery would extend patronage with the cleanup jobs (i.e. excavating rocks, flattening the field) and development of the stadium. A trend that continues to this day with the opening of the new Yankee Stadium.

The ultimate early theft is in the NY logo, with overlapping N and Y, that was put into use in 1909. The original NY was made by Louis B. Tiffany in 1877, whom designed it for the NYC Police Department’s medal of valor, honoring policemen killed in the line of duty. Awarded to the family and kin of the deceased, it was to honor their memory. Though the reality of the NYPD is essentially oppressive, with Devery's corruption more a highlight than aberration, the travesty is in their disrespect of their very own quest in conquest. As Devery stole the symbol, without recourse fiscally or otherwise, it would signal the norm in the Yankee organization through their history. Mirroring this was the eventual name change as they moved from Hilltop Park. Now they would be known as the Yankees.

A properly earned derogatory term that the legendary folk singer/revolutionary Victor Jara sang to note the wielders of imperialist oppression on the entire Americas, making legion with the Cuban followers, those anti-Castro gusanos, and rob half of Mexico, the now-mythically named, yet geographically actual and spiritually relevant, Aztlan Nation. The nature of America is embodied in the Yankee, the imperialist power, whom ignorant and/or careless of the cultures and peoples toppled, have only sought accumulation of resource by any means. Much of it was done in the tightly knit groups of monopolistic enterprise. This was also the reality of organized baseball’s early days.

The league developed where the Yankees, The Boston Red Sox and The Chicago White Sox were the powerhouse clubs, penned fancifully as a détente during the 1920’s. In reality, they were an allowed oligarchy of talent, revenue and exposure. Eventually, the Babe Ruth curse would be more than just a lucky premonition of Yankee dominance. It spelled the first time a player was successfully capitalized as a larger than life figure. This strategy of idolatry still benefits sports capitalism and hurts the quality of sports from players seeking that lonely spotlight by any means (i.e. Barry Bonds' self destruction through inflated abnormalities of Herculian feat) to the current immense sublimation it offers the people.

Far too often, the legal nature of the corporation as an individual, the conquering dictum appropriated as truly the honorable American way and the enforcement of unquestioned traditions excuse the predatory realities of capitalism and its eventual cooption of the said product or service. Almost as if the human, grafted or otherwise in their heart, mind and body, has very little control once an ounce of greed becomes the stew of oppression. Today, we then wonder what pot are we supposed to even piss in as this is the only meal in town. It is here where we should wonder if the fast of all things will be most right and exact. The legacy of organized baseball, epitomized by the New York Yankees, is one of exploitation and in many respects, is just another avenue of plunder in the wilderness of North America’s badly United States. It continues through to today’s dead Yankee stadium and tomorrow’s next undead Yankee stadium. For now, these are the opening notes of dishonor and disgrace.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

THE REAL MUSIC: Time to Disassociate and Associate PART 1

“Step back punk 'cause I'm a Latino/What I bring you is the hardcore lingo”
B-Real of Cypress Hill - "3 Lil Putos”(Black Sunday LP, 1993)

Hip hop music and culture was created, molded and furthered by African Americans, Caribbean Blacks and Latinos (particularly the Puerto Rican people). There is no way around this. We have historians and journalists of the time from Barry Michael Cooper and Nelson George to S.H. Fernando Jr. and Jeff Chang to verify and validate such claims. We have the artists of those times credited with its creation from Afrika Bambaataa and Kool Herc to Crazy Legs and Charlie Chase who were there with contributions and direct experiences.

But the music is sold and then immediately sold out. The biggest seller, that rap music, merging two of the founding elements of DJing and MCing, became predominate and is presented as solely an African American tradition. While the actual bio-chemical science and natural reality reveal us all alike in our genetic mental and physical structure (i.e. the groundbreaking works on melanin revealing it as that essential living chemical, with metaphysical properties, throughout all the organs, including skin), our only differences are in ways, means and residences making these myriad ethnicities and/or races of the actual hip hop co-creators. We’re all Original yet our people truly believe we are all different.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the most pathetic subgenre of Hip hop music. There are many from trip hop to techno that literally focus on particular aspects of the breakbeat or may leave out a crucial component of the general genre (i.e. rapping). Yet it is far more telling the subgenres that have no musical advancement to ever mention and only distinguish themselves via the particular ethnicity participating. Thus, Reggaeton, is a label of wretched waste a particular ethnicity can now call their own. And only their own.

Hip Hop music is a music of rebellion. The potential of all these different lifestyles and particular cultures of Original people colliding and forcing expression under squalid conditions in the South Bronx is the essential brilliance and major component of the essence of Hip Hop. In 80’s Freestyle, one will hear a more electronic dance music with breakbeats and Latinized elements (i.e. horn arrangements and keyboard portions) that feature singing as opposed to rapping. While the subgenre deserved a label as it only had elements of hip hop fused in it, it also had unique elements (i.e. singing) more predominately displayed. In retrospect, the swagger and style of many of the artists (i.e. Lisa Lisa) really are weaker precursors to the New Jack Swing of Teddy Riley and the Hip Hop R&B of Mary J. Blige. They are all influenced and derivative of Hip Hop music.

Yet the eventual distinction of Freestyle as Latin Hip Hop was the beginning of Latinos falling for the hype in two ways. Firstly, they didn’t see Latinos rapping meaning there were no stars to look to. In striving reaction, TKA becomes Hip Hop?!!! Louder than love this lust for equated fame was a cheap way to get stars. Secondly, the industry only focused on the image of the African American. Latinos also have been taught they are not wholly Black, as opposed to mildly derivative, where they have the soul, style and skill but none of the negritude. Couple this disassociation with journalists and scholars of this young genre being incomplete and ill treated, Latinos’ contributions and influence were ignored. Just as they were left out, other Hip Hop co-creators/Original people (i.e. the English colonized Caribbean) were embraced with little fanfare as to their descendancy. (How many know that the breakbeat founder, Kool Herc, the pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash and arguably the greatest MC of all time, KRS-One are of Jamaican, West Indian and Trinidadian descent, respectively?)

Freestyle Hip Hop fell because it was essentially a derivative music with its unique elements horribly done. While the breakbeat and electronic syncopation have its clear hip hop roots straight jacked and repeated endlessly (Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” of 1982 is the most clear, immediate example of the jacking) it’s most unique difference, singing, were done with no refinement. Freestyle singers hardly could hold a note, keep pace with any kind of timing and had little resonance or lasting character. Just watch any live performance of George Lamond then switch to Luther Vandross or Lisette Melendez then Whitney Houston to observe the massive gaps in skill, technique and execution. No label intended this music to last and it never could. They sucked.

But, it was fun. It had swagger and they really didn’t front as rappers or MCs furthering the culture the true way. They just had that ghetto swagger and it was peace. Another decade of the industry ignoring contributions combined with the little renown that excellent works such as Raquel Rivera’s New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) received, of which I had the honor of contributing insights to, continued the trend of ignorance. Link this with more and more misogyny, obsessive imagery and lyrics accorded to instant gratification for all things materialistic and batches and batches of disgusting, phony rappers. All abound with justifications of regional expansion (i.e. “let the South do them”), complex lyricism is not accessible (Wu-tang Clan isn’t relevant despite the cult following) and sampling laws have ruined that old classic way of producing (supposed ‘crate diggers’ are lazy and only those who can pay for easy pop finds succeed as with Kanye West) to name a few. This was all an excellent breeding ground for a new subgenre virus.

Reggaeton. It is a subgenre created as something rebellious took its trip around the world vacationing the tourist spots of our peoples’ minds. It’s a current mutation of a one beat driven pop idea with the most clichéd lyrics only a clever Klansmen/record executive would appreciate. It is not merely enough to say it is a degradation of the morality and ethics of a people. This would be using the Stanley Crouch-like veils of pompous morality to blame a music for the realities of an impoverished people. Yet, it is clear that Reggaeton is a sellout subgenre and its artists don’t reflect their reality realistically and/or seek to express themselves originally and cleverly.

The phantasm of Reggaeton is that instead of appropriating just the musical components of hip hop (i.e. there is literally only one breakbeat used in reggaeton) they also rob the lyrical component. By not singing the major lyric portions of the tracks (i.e. Freestyle), they raid the real Hip Hop of its swagger. Understand that Hip Hop has never been a classic music because of its musical composition alone. It is a classic music because of its marriage of artistically sampled music creating a bed of breakbeat for a lyricist to compose poetic prose of an unlimited quantity and ensuing quality never heard before. (Refer to Ras Kass“Nature of the Threat” which is a simple hard break and simple strings to guide the rough, rugged and righteous history lesson at the essay length of 1400 words.) For Reggaeton to be classified as such, it cannot have any of these characteristics. It is literally a subgenre of Hip Hop as a concentrated yet grafted dilution of its most artistic components

There are many supporting arguments for Reggaeton that only reach for illegitimate claims for its artistic validity and its rights of freedom. With such a wonderful record of classical musical genres from our people, this may be a natural reflex in hoping or expecting for the best. Many may argue that Hip Hop started in an infantile stage where the samples were overtly blatant and the lyrics were nothing but clever chants of an urban disc jockey. Yes, sir. However, the music was emerging from a culture already reaching levels of heightened rebellion (i.e. graffiti) and was not in the basking glow of immediate commercialization. The South Bronx was plenty of space for it to grow untampered.

The commercialization of Reggaeton is seen as amazing as the music has African roots. How is this so? From that old “Dem Bow” beat from Bobby “Digital” Dixon in 1990 through all the…all the…all those…all that…grafted “Dem Bow” beat. All music originates from us and it doesn’t legitimize it as a celebration of our ancestral roots automatically. By this standard, Led Zeppelin is pure African music. How so? Page and company jacked the blues ultimately making a psychedelic and funky concoction that is classic music. It’s Blacker than Reggaeton any day. It’s Black because it’s classic music with clear Black roots as its foundation and Black compositions and stylings in all of its progression. Hold that, Brits.

Reggaeton is labeled as “real” because it’s from those impoverished hoods and it finally speaks for the youth. This is all illusionary dumbing down of the concept of reppin’. As a Puerto Rican phenomenon, Reggaeton is harkened back to the classic salsa 70’s of Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto repping New York Puerto Rocks and Hector Lavoe, Ismael Rivera and Sonora Poncena going hard for the native Boricuas. With brashness, love of the common man and pure soul, it took about a decade and a half to commercially adulterate the genre into salsa romantica. Even Spanish rap of the 80’s and 90’s is lumped into that pop consolidation. To born universal truth, Reggaeton also belongs. Reggaeton’s acceptance into the mainstream of Puerto Rico and elsewhere means that the colonizers got hip to its potential.

The lyrics are as lustful as anything Frankie Ruiz sang with added expletives. More importantly, when the lyrics of a developing music reflect a colonized peoples’ thoughts and ideas, this more than likely means it must be tested. Does it just reflect mental slave boogie from massa or actual rebellious commentary with all the contradictions, hopes, desires, insights, anger, rage, sadness, happiness and creativity of the people. Ultimately, Reggaeton lyrically only has one aspect: the desires of a colonized youth who mildly taste the defecated splendor of Americana in their colony and are visually awash with the spicy lure of its grander stardom pitches toward them daily. Most pathetic is the swagger that my poor niggas come with on stage. They come with a million dollar strut shuffle and how can that happen when they lyrically only tell of tales of being a trick Donald Goines would kill off before chapter 2. When we are one-dimensional, then a one-dimensional music launched and advocated to rep us will be acceptable. That is not so and never will be so Reggaeton won’t do. Essentially, if these lyrics rep the Boricua hoods in Borinquen, niggas is weak hoping for wicked.

Reggaeton has also been bigged up as local entrepreneurs from DJ Nelson’s Flow Music, Daddy Yankee’s El Cartel Records, and Wisín and Yandel’s WY Records have done it with greater control of the music and better recouping of profit. Obviously a plus for a colonized people if it were actually true. These bigger profits are because all of the aforementioned labels are distributed by Machete Music, a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. Universal is the largest music business group in the industry so these profits are only larger crumbs. Regarding control, Reggaeton is by definition a limited genre and there is no need to control its artistic output; rather, the game is to be sold and never to be bold. A colonized slave people think up garbage all by themselves. That’s the point.

Luke Campbell released his recordings on his own Luke label and was a homegrown entrepreneur repping Miami. Final analysis: he voluntarily sold out our people with his slave lyrics. The music was weak, the productions sloppy and his technical rap skill was nil. Anyone anywhere can try a genre of music. It’s only with Hip Hop music derivatives that we salute them when they fail musically, lyrically and yet sell well. On a distant shot of associating our classic genres with overt sensuality and even sexuality as a justification for savaging out take note of the real Mardi Gras celebrations. As the well traveled musician/scholar Ned Sublette noted, “People have a very stereotyped idea of what New Orleans is…The number one thing anyone outside of New Orleans would say if I mentioned New Orleans was about beads and tits. The irony is that’s not even a part of New Orleans culture. That goes on for three blocks of Bourbon Street, and it’s done by tourists who come to perform their idea of what they think New Orleans is, but if a woman were to flash her protuberances at a real Mardi Gras parade on St. Charles, which is a family affair, she’d at the very least be given a stern talking-to.” It’s time to put all that Gasolina back in the tank.

With all this, Reggaeton has reached pop respectability and now has opened doors for greater evolution of the music. Here is the con. When it actually evolves, it will be Hip Hop music and no longer Reggaeton. By finally selling out, they now must do their best to salvage a grossly limited musical composition. Any Reggaeton song with a different breakbeat is no longer Reggaeton. Any Reggaeton song that doesn’t have a whore-inducing hook, weak, diluted posturing and pulsing, grafted swagger sayings, hip for a Telemundo commercial, is no longer a Reggaeton song. It is all then Hip Hop. If they actually rap, it’s just a Hip Hop song. If the beat is hardcore, shrewdly produced, with lyrics that are equally skillful, then it is a good hip hop song, not Reggaeton. It literally must be dance fodder for the one long stroke-grind to occur that makes it Reggaeton. Anything else are weak attempts to keep a subgenre alive and will play out like Chubby Checker’s myriad “Twist” tracks. Trying to badly blend Bachata’s broken appregio’s or horn arrangements from Merengue are coon shots in a barrel. This poor man’s eclectic approach would even make Wyclef Marley cringe.

Most importantly, songs in Spanish are not Reggaeton. A breakbeat and lyrics, of any language and style, are Hip Hop music. Zach De La Rocha and Rage Against the Machine are Hip Hop. Amazing revolutionary lyrics and energy backed by driving rock beats and a lead guitarist who plays guitar like a turntable. Everything But the Girl is under a wonderful influence of Hip Hop. Incredible music backed by breakbeats. Daddy Yankee is Menudo Kids on the Block's Backstreet. While Don Omar pushed Vanilla Ice up a notch when he tried to sing along with Hector Lavoe. A subgenre only identifiable as it deliberately limits the lyric's style and confines the breakbeat to one sample break and sugar coats it with endless hooks is not Hip Hop or a respectful subgenre. It isn’t about one wack artist selling out (and well), it’s about a selling-out formula being labeled an entire subgenre. A subgenre that lets Boricuas and other Latinos hypocritically claim they now have their own Latin Hip Hop genre.

The only supporting case they have is Tego Calderon. Sad to say he’s not a Reggaeton artist. He is an MC that has done some Reggaeton tracks. Clearly put, he is an average MC (If he grew up in Brooklyn, he’d have no chance) who deliberately makes some sellout tracks to hustle his catalogue. If Biggie was alive this is where P Diddy would have taken him. All those diluted “One More Chance” Remixes, “Big Poppas” and “Mo Money Mo Problems” contrasting his “Unbelievables” “Gimme Da Loots” and “Kick in da Doors” would be part of the Pimpaeton subgenre. So that the next sap happy rapper out of Bad Boy could just focus on what they do worse the best way. Pardon self. P Diddy’s made this band at least 4 times.

My aged advice for Tego Calderon, now 4 years old, is to disassociate from this subgenre by making an all Hip Hop album. How? Like that feature on Cypress Hill’s “Latin Thugs” (2004, Til Death Do Us Part LP), Tego needs to establish himself as an MC and give the hard beats and real rhymes. Ultimately, disassociation from Reggaeton is when the real MCs rapping in Spanish will be finally given their props deserved.

"Food for thought, hold down a fort/ Up in the Port of Riches, last seen giving stitches"
Dom Pachino aka The Puerto Rican Terrorist of Killarmy (Dirty Weaponry LP, 1998)


Part 2: The Association

While Reggaeton is everyone’s favorite coon music needing real MCs en espanol to disassociate from it, the lack of respect and dignity afforded Dominican Bachata is growing more and more prevalent. Even with the success of Aventura, the rest of the genre is not really benefitting in exposure or notoriety. Aventura even seems to have not clearly associated with the rest of the genre as it should. Why? Does this backyard, hick music deserve respect? Is all that crying and sobbing healthy for singing or listening? Is it as formulaic as the worst of subgenre viruses? Or is it a wonderfully developed bolero-blues based guitar music from a campesino/poor, yet honorable farmer foundation that captures the spirit, anguish and beauty of an impoverished, hurting people?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oh, Baws! Allow Me’s Anotha Prez-ent: The Politicizing of Our Energies

“One of the most relevant conventions in a long time. Actually stuff getting decided. Alignments are being made. Shifts are being observed. This is not one of those ho-hum ‘we know who the candidate is let’s move on.’ This is about negotiation which ultimately is what politics is about at its best…How are you gonna say that a guy who reaches the masses is elite… [when he has] form[ed] a coalition of interests that transcend race and gender…which has been stunning. There is always a legitimate critique to be made from the Left and progressives. Barack Obama understands that. That’s the nature of what we do on the left… If Blacks and Latinos vote, then it’s over…You’d have a huge say-so in this.”
-Michael Eric Dyson speaking to Davey D on Breakout FM on the 2008 Democratic National Convention and Barack Obama, the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States

“…Watching all of that frustration steered back into a more traditional political process. The problems stem far deeper than anything that Brother Obama can address, and eventually people are going to have to respond. I think maybe like a conduit for that expression. I have those same feelings too. I’m a Mexicano growing up in that colonized Southwest. I’m an artist, but I didn’t grow up wealthy…I would hate to see the flames of discontent be watered down by rhetorical visions of hope and change.”
Zach De La Rocha, the legendary MC of Rage Against the Machine & One Day As A Lion

Our Black, Brown and Yellow people were fed up. They were tired, as always, but the white people are fed up too. So we’re allowed to realize that we had to do something to stop the infiltration of our comforts. How dare a President overtly circumvent the laws of the land in the name of Patriot Acts? What gall he has to win our hearts and minds for war with a lie? What hypocrisy to condemn others as terrorist that have only engaged in activities alike the United States, albeit in weaker concentration? So George W. Bush must be impeached.

Countless research was done epitomized by the work of Vincent Bugliosi, the successful prosecutor of over 100 jury trials including Charles Manson. His book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder and others (i.e. The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens; What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception) and other authors (i.e. Naomi Klein, Ron Suskind, Jane Mayer) chronicled this emerging police state and the need for agitation and rebellion, all filled with legitimate resources and essential truths.

All of this impeachment talk began to quickly die down after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) of the House of Representatives said it wasn’t a good idea. Everyone expected the Democrats to get our troops out of the war. Clearly the troops, young adults they are, are still too brainwashed to not acknowledge and actualize the truth that all wars are destructive and fought for the establishment’s power, control and longevity. So this definitive gesture hinted at the Democrats blatant uselessness in promoting any desire of the people let alone their own promises. It also furthered the demand for us to wait out all of the 4 years left.

In comes Barack Obama, the face we need to see with the mind that will concede. As Amanda Ripley’s Time Magazine piece notes from the outset, a white woman made Obama what he is (Raising Obama, How His Mother Made Him Who He Is, Time Magazine, April 21, 2008). It is evermore clear when we are to be in awe that his ability to hustle many with nothing is an actual inherited gift and not just a handed down trick. “But Obama is his mother's son. In his wide-open rhetoric about what can be instead of what was, you see a hint of his mother's credulity. When Obama gets donations from people who have never believed in politics before, they're responding to his ability—passed down from his mother—to make a powerful argument (that happens to be very liberal) without using a trace of ideology,” notes Ripley. Believe it or not.

Generally, Obama is accepted as a Black man but his own momma kept him from being that. While Obama’s biological didn’t bother, it was the acceptance or rejection of her ignorant, condescendingly quasi-humanitarian ideals that shape him. Ripley tells the tale where “Years later Obama saw the film with his mother and thought about walking out. But looking at her in the theater, he glimpsed her 16-year-old self. ‘I suddenly realized,’ he wrote in his memoir, Dreams from My Father, ‘that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen ... was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of another life, warm, sensual, exotic, different.’” The film in question was 1959’s Black Orpheus, one of the most stereotypical movies ever produced depicting Brazilian samba in its most pathetic stereotypical exotification with a sensationalizing of poverty. So maybe we should wear ruffled shirts and conga drums over our shoulder and pound away as old white women dance around in a conga line with bananas on their head. This is the making of a leader who understands the people? Silly revolutionary I am.

Still, it is a worthless battle to wail against Fox News, CNN or any mainstream media exclusively(i.e. that “Sly Fox” off that nigga Nas’ new LP, Untitled) when they completely achieve their goals with our counterattacks. For those that seek to protect their demonic interests, they have fortifying supplementation (neo-conservative media masquerading as All American interests coverage) while those whom disagree have aimed all their resources in this direction. In doing this, we accept anything and/or anyone that has ideas that appear to be slightly different. In this case, the suggestion of slightly humane ideals and the acknowledgement of the need to end our frustration are lauded as revolutionary. Words as mundane as “Hope,” “Yes, we can,” “Change We Can Believe In” will do. It is because the standards that Obama adheres to are those of a white woman. Upon a Philadelphia speech on race months he noted that he was “consciously channeling his mother.” Obama says, “When it came to race, I don’t think she was entirely comfortable with the more aggressive or militant approaches to African American politics.” (Time Magazine, 4.21.08)

“Politics is the art of making people believe that they are in power when, in fact, they have none. It is a measure of how dire is the hour that they’ve passed the keys to the kingdom to a Black man”
-Mumia Abu Jamal,, June 19, 2008

But most are embracing Obama just because he is Black. He really is only African American, a striving citizen with the blood of the oppressed in him and the aspirations of his conquerors driving him. Still, examples abound in the reluctance of anything critical of him. When Tavis Smiley quit a 11 year run as a commentator for the Tom Joyner show it was Joyner who noted that, “The real reason is that he can't take the hate he's been getting regarding the Barack issue -- hate from the black people that he loves so much.” The criticisms stemmed from logical notes of the simplest kind. For instance, after Obama won the Iowa Caucus, Smiley noted, "Don't fall so madly in love [with Obama] that you surrender your power to hold people accountable. . . . I'm not saying overlook Senator Obama, but you now better be ready to look him over." (Washington Post, 4.12.08) Commentators disregarded the truth in all of Smiley’s proper journalistic inquiries by attacking him personally noting “he couldn’t take the heat.” A more valid observation would be, What’s the point when no one will even listen to the questions of inquiry?

Essentially, the successful pacification of a people depends on the desensitizing of the people’s morals, ethics and their resultant threshold of acceptance. This is done with a sick balance of extreme savagery and corruption that lowers the standard significantly. Eventually a once-rejected, incomplete solution is embraced. This is the true reality of the American political system in relation to the only thing that matters—the people.

Politics is the mere battle for these forums of presentation of our packaged demise. This presentation may come in an aggressive appeal to those few who benefit and those whom hope to someday benefit, yet only relate. These are the Republicans. As the masses are not directly included in this aforementioned group, there is the necessary presentation of the diluted solution. The leader that will actually have compassion for the people. They are allowed to fail and are martyred merely in their failure, not just their death. These are the Democrats.

There are levels to each and only reveals the pitiable nature of the system. Michael Eric Dyson, the Georgetown University Sociology professor and “100 percent Barack Obama supporter” summarily includes the protests outside of the Democratic National Convention as the proof of politics working in an upwardly progressive nature. These peaceful protests have led to hundreds of arrests, inhibitions of civil rights and dilutions of free speech as they exposed the corruption of the entire Presidential process. To include this in his justification of the political process is to make these horrendous events acceptable, diluting the standards we must have to judge freedom, justice and equality. Obama’s record and direction has and continues to be Clintonesque in its pro-big business stance, pro-Israel by any means necessary in their oppression of Palestine and disregards any particular reality the people desire addressed. According to Diop Olugbala of International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, when Obama was confronted he replied that he cannot speak out on behalf of those who have been historically oppressed for fear of offending other people. ( Even if he was consistent with this approach (and he is clearly not), this alone is the presenting of the ethos of a useless and spineless leader.

With this said, the end all argument appears to be against voting. Hardly just that yet we must begin with letting go of these wasted energies. It is too simplistically thought out that “Obama is the lesser of two evils.” If the evil John McCain (this is obvious yet please note that his hatred of humanity is not one of irrationality. McCain knows that this war has been one of the most successful triumphs they could have imagined. They have raised countless monies for themselves through government contracting, eroded cumbersome civil liberties and gotten better at killing. Killing has never been done with such a better proportion of civilian enemy deaths compared to soldier casualties. The efficiency of war has clearly bettered itself for the worse of us and the best of them.) is elected, it is not beneficial to the ruling class as one may think. For four more years, the enemy of the people will be vibrantly identifiable and thus focusing the peoples’ rage.

With Obama, the opposite occurs. People will absolutely be beside themselves. They will cry in Harlem. Ghostface Killah’s “We Made It” (“Fainted when the book mentioned me/Keep ballin’, new systems, high science) will bring warmth to the hearts of the blind just as the corny sugar sap of Will I Am and John Legend’s “Yes We Can.” While political pundits, analysts and observers will prophesize the peoples’ frustration with the rookie’s forthcoming failures, mishaps and missteps, a wonderful false unity will brew. The one that Obama shared where we let whites enjoy our arts and trials for their enjoyment and fascination. The one where we cause change through pioneering but will never revolutionize through actualization of ideals. The presidency of the United States of America is a controlled pulpit and the electoral process is a waste of immense energy. We waste time and energy in legitimizing a forum that is deliberately designed to secure it’s accumulation of capital (the mind and bodies of the Original Black, Brown and Yellow people and every resource that comes out of that) and it’s ensuing direction and manipulation of. If all that a President directs is controlled by others in power, how is he under our control? Why would the Presidency be allowed to be under our control? Quick exploratory research on the electoral process reveals that we only vote for promises to be kept. For the descendants of the enslaved and slaughtered, fighting for a promise to be kept by the ruling class can only be done in vain. America needs pacification so it will receive such. It says much that the level of pacification offered is a Black man yet it says so much more that it is already working…Let us not open our arms for another present from massa.

“Their [Democratic and Republican] political objectives are limited…We’re looking at a government that’s a paper tiger and wants to participate in a paper democracy…Hell no! I’m voting for Mumia Abu Jamal.”
M-1 of Dead Prez when asked of the Presidential campaign and his intention to vote



Wednesday, September 3, 2008


NOTE: The P.E.A.C.E. (Political Education And Civilization Enrichment) course is designed to educate (draw out that which is within the student) with the knowledge, useful information and the wisdom, tools to apply such, for a greater understanding of self. Simply put, the ways of this estranged world (P.E.) and the science of everything in life (C.E.). Taught at 2122 7th Avenue (126thst) in Harlem, New York every Thursday evening since 2000, the course is free to the public and open to any and all questions.

In encountering exceptionally talented brothers and sisters and many self-proclaimed revolutionaries, I offer a response on my sentiments on capitalism asked by a student of my course…

Capitalism is merely a most powerful weapon of choice used by the oppressor. To understand it better is to know the nature of what it really impedes. The way one lives is how one must teach. Thus, the focus is on a profound simplicity within rather than a search for liberating complexities of a westernized scientific model, where the external why's are sought. In other words, the tool of capitalism is obstructive and oppressive because it impedes something most essential to the life of humanity.

We may refer to the 120 lessons of the Nation of God and Earth for a superior pedagogical guide. Pedagogy is the science of teaching and without teaching how one is taught along with the lesson, the student never learns on his own. Now, the 18th degree in the 1-40 Lost and Found Muslim lesson #2 says, "What is the duty of a civilized person? The duty of a civilized person is to teach, he who is savage, civilization, righteousness, the knowledge of himself and the science of everything in life which is love, peace and happiness."

The first thing to reveal in this pedagogical order is Civilization. Here, one realized that the way and structure of the society is corrupt. With western society, we note that it is capitalism that promotes the acceleration of the society but not the betterment of the people. It is not even designed to promote the correction of its own flaws, be they the increased poverty, destruction of the resources (or capital) that initially are to be attained or the enlightenment of the classes that are positioned leisurely. In other words, the rich, once amassing a state where survival is not a bearing concern are still not embracing an enlightenment of higher concern. They merely amass more capital.

To realize this first step of civilization, one needs to support the above ideas with truths of research and study. Our own ancient civilizations (i.e. Kemit, the Moorish empires, the Olmec civilization, etc.) surpass this present one, easily in some cases, and may serve as an example throughout.

The second aspect of Righteousness is when a system is realized incorrect and ideas are purported to reform it, or in the extreme, destroy such and rebuild it. This is where most "conscious" people remain embracing simplistic anarchistic means to tackle such. Obsessive "isms" embraced as the only way dauntingly kill the student's course toward enlightenment. It is here in the activity of righteousness, or wisdom, that many feel they already understand. In reality they are exercising a fragment of knowledge uselessly.

When socialists assume that the structure is the problem solely and the actual biochemical imbalance and survival of the oppressor are not included, for example, they are assuming that people need only be led in the right direction. But how far gone are we from capitalism if people are still led? Another appropriate example is the anarchistic measures that merely frustrate the system. Hip Hop appeared this way but people underestimated the power of the Original peoples' expressive power. However, others flaunt stances that are irrelevant, i.e. homosexuality, that hurt the status quo but fail to realize that all savage societies engage in lifestyles that do not produce children (the fruit of life) and confuse the nature of family. Remember, the underlying thesis statement of Chancellor Williams' Destruction of Black Civilization is that the nation is destroyed through the community, the community destroyed through the family, the family destroyed through the child, the child left unborn through the father's displacement. The mother is left frontin' as a superwoman, Earth and God, Supreme Woman and Supreme Man, impossibly Willie Lynched up, out of her respective role.

The real righteousness to attain is to activate the wisdom that promotes a quest for understanding the principles of self that really matter. Realizing that activity now is to rid oneself of following and articulate, put into words, the nature of the principles that when seen are actualized and lived. Here these principles are identified better by seeing what capitalism impedes in this respect.

Knowledge of self is merely an awareness of self. Capitalism is a mandatory exchange of goods or legal tender for the necessities and/or luxuries needed or desired. These basic definitions are all that's needed. In realizing civilization (i.e. the enlightenment attained by former civilizations), activating a righteousness of wisdom where we are merely seeing our natural self in this context, we will understand that the true, natural accumulation is what has been halted and depressed by capitalism.

Often I say that the only reality of life is one of relationships where sharing is the only actuality, giving and receiving. Done naturally, we are sharing the talents and insight we experience and confirm with the utmost sincerity for the betterment of self and others. The 'love of a revolutionary' is here, where enlightenment of that one contradictory force to oppression is actualized. This is the essence of revolution, a cipher that will not, in the Marxist ideologies, revert back to oppression by new members. Rather, it is merely the cipher of Original life that has been acknowledged and has grown in depth. Life does not repeat itself, we renew our lives profoundly.

This revolution takes place only when the true natural accumulation is recognized, that of virtue. Virtue is not added deliberately without sacrificing its sincerity. Virtue is not accumulated out of necessity for there are no hells imposed by mysterious and/or outside forces. What is hell when there are no mistakes, only lessons being acknowledged, studied and learned? Virtue is seen when the loneliest one of such, the revolutionary, is using the tools around him to build models and forums to promote and reveal this awareness in himself and for all others willing. It is not by force as propagating the elevation of the people is as wasteful as demanding change of the oppressor—refer to Paulo Friere's The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

The real masters can use the tools of the oppressor and reveal their supreme nature, letting exposure of devilishment be a byproduct. With capitalism, there is a difference between being able to buy whatever you need or want and actually funding each and every idea one has. Mastering capitalism, as the latter, is as the elders have taught myself and many others, "to come to the people as the people." Forced to use a wrong system, revolution is to show the right ways, with and without such a tool.

It is here where the knowledge of oneself and every moment is reflected in every creation, in any environment. How is capitalism manipulated and the righteous principles we've found in socialism and other peaceful systems instilled? How do these Original people find themselves and build a community, merging the right ways of one with the exact manners of others?

This is the beginnings of the Science Of Everything In Life. This will soon be your next lesson.



LOVE, The Forum of Lavoe Revolt

It is in the vision of the pages tomorrow
to be founded with frayed droplets dried on the most select lines.
That they may likewise soil the eyes of our children,
witnessing the thoughts of an ancestor,
caught punctuated in the wonderful excitement of life.
Life itself when the soul song was sweet,
the woman was tender and
the surroundings were sheltered
yet all encompassing.
Alone of those two, him and her.

When one selflessly takes the responsibility to better see the natural reality of all things, they see the immensity of themselves in all things. This happens only in the moment. The moment where one will only share what is of the utmost necessity, all that can be understood. It is when something is given with the incalculable sincerity and magnificent intent present, as if a thousand children remain with only one meal to spare. The brevity in time, space or matter is no longer a hindrance. There must be something living shared that will promote the living infinitely.

It is then that we have come to the realization that the nature of all life is that of 'the relationship.' Most may leave the highest relationship unexplained, the creator and creation, as a macrocosmic occurrence they have no right in. The apologies of rituals, doctrines, prayers and violence for thousands of years all remind us. But this interdependent relationship is just as pure in all the microcosmic or daily ways we engage in.

And in all relationship(s) it is merely the reality of sharing that is being lived. Sharing, when what is received is understood with equanimity and what is given is naturally unconditional, we come to articulate the most supreme relationship of love. Equanimity, this objective, unbiased form of compassion, the lenses of sincerity that allow one to give for the mere beneficence of another, the seen and unseen. This is the essence of love.

In this world of illusory constructions, man is forced to trade legal tender for all his emoluments, saying one must earn all, hopefully gain everything and spend hours creating nothing. The only truth carried is the further degradation of survival. Nothing is shared for nothing is truly created. This has even been the difficulty of the greatest sages, for all ages past, to lack the potential forums to share the creations within. That most never were able to share with anyone for extended periods, if not their entire life, is a recurring tragedy of life.

It is with this nature of heart that Lavoe Revolt emerges. LAVOE or La Voz, the Voice, honorably exulted by Hector Juan Perez, finally manifesting REVOLT, as the 1971 Eddie Palmieri anthem ("Revolt/La Libertad Logico"), calling for Puerto Rico's independence. The Voice of Change, LAVOE REVOLT, presents the forum for swords to wield ideas, yield the essence of our lifestyle and finally share our understanding. The 999 other meals for our children, such sacred words that may nourish the starving.

Sacred Words, not holy with expectation, but wonderful with sincere searches for enlightenment or the mere inquisitiveness of observation. From the epic notes of an essay that becomes the manifesto of a movement to the clever critiques that poignantly praise or denounce the moment's likes and dislikes. Presented freely as a gift to the public, our people, it is our attempt to truly share a forum that is a testament to unconditional love, a reflection of all of us.


The Way of Lavoe Revolt

Who is missing our ever increasing ideas?
Who is not witnessing the elevation of our lifestyle?
Who is taking part in our greatest understanding?

The world has sought to empower as a niche. To share the utmost of thought, the insights of our way of life and all the revelations that enlightenall are after thoughts. Through justification, for pretentiousness or any other reason, the most culturally diverse, richest city in the world misses itself. Imagine a journal that scribes the peoples walks through the Harlem streets after the Apollo show times and gets to all those Brooklyn blocks from Sunset Park to Bedford Stuyvesant. One that visits Queens Shea Stadium from the Corona section and lives by the Bronx Tremont section dwarfed by those Yanks.

These Original peoples today are lost in the coverage of their victimization and being taught their next innovation from the next product placement or music video. They are truly unknown.

Who are they?

They are our African Americans, Latinos, Asians, the myriad minorities, the Black, Brown and Yellow peoples who are overflowing with consciousness and unchallenged novelty. They are the voices of change that will enliven all of New York City with their inspirations, an understanding waiting to be read, exposing the absorbing existence of a flourishing culture under immense repression and neglect.

LAVOE REVOLT, inspired by El Cantante (The Singer), Hector Lavoe, the salsa singer who captivated us all through otherworldly talent, charisma and musical integrity, represents the epitome of the peoples voice, the heart of what we will share. It is the Journal of New York City's Original Ideas, Lifestyle and Understanding.

This blog will be a special presentation of those Original Ideas, Lifestyle reflections and sincere understanding from Lavoe Revolt's Creator, Sunez.


Edward Sunez Rodriguez