Angel Haze Remixes ‘Same Love’, Resulting Track Is an Ode to Self Love

Angel Haze is no stranger to leveraging her platform – and her art-  to tackle uncomfortable subjects.  She’s also no stranger to remixing previous works to say something totally new and necessary in a way that only she can.

Case and point: the artist’s remix of Macklemore’s hit single Same Love.

From The Heist, Macklemore’s incredibly successful  second studio album, and collaboration with producer Ryan Lewis,  the original song has a lot of heart.  It’s received wide radio play and praise, including the VMAs for best video with a social message.  In a recent blog post describing the importance of the song, Macklemore said:

Every song I’ve ever put out, I have believed in.  But Same Love was different.  It was a moment that was way bigger than us.  Watching teenagers come up to me after shows, with tears in their eyes, gasping for breathe in attempts to find the right words to explain to me that they came out to their family after hearing the song…that reaffirms everything.  That.  Right there.  That is the reason why I do this.  That is no publicity stunt.  That is no calculated move.  That is art affecting the quality of people’s lives, the way that other artists influence mine.

Fan love and commercial acclaim aside, Macklemore has also received considerable grief for the song with some questioning the merits of a straight artist creating a gay rights ballad.

I can’t count myself among those kind of critics.  I was introduced to Same Love by a gay solider whose sincere and pure appreciation of the song was evident when she asked me if it’d be okay if she replayed it during a car ride that we shared last spring.  She was a friend of a friend and I didn’t know her but in her explanation of the song I knew that the song had impacted her.

I wouldn’t want to take that away from anybody.

Buzzfeed proclaims the remix “finally does justice” to the original song.

I don’t know about all that.

That said, this Angel Haze remix is wonderful and important for its own reasons.

Leveraging the same chorus as the original song –  featuring vocals from out artist Mary Lambert - Angel delivers a powerful account of her own struggles with her sexuality.

She begins the track with a warning to her mother, saying: “Hi Mom. I’m really scared right now- but, I have to…”

From there she holds nothing back.

I’ve transcribed her verses as best as I could: (more…)

Angel Haze Responds to Richard Cohen

Rapper Angel Haze has joined in the chorus of folks calling out Richard Cohen for his indefensible post- VMA column.

In case you missed it the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen suggested that there was a relationship between Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and the Steubenville Rape case and it went a little something like this:

“She’s a cheap act, no doubt about it, but for me her performance was an opportunity to discuss one of the summer’s most arresting pieces of journalism — a long New Yorker account of what became known as the Steubenville Rape. Cyrus should read it.”

After discussing the specifics of the Steubenville Rape for some time he circles back to how and why this is really about Miley:

“But let me also suggest that acts such as hers not only objectify women but debase them. They encourage a teenage culture that has set the women’s movement back on its heels. What is being celebrated is not sexuality but sexual exploitation, a mean casualness that deprives intimacy of all intimacy.”

Cohen has been taken to task for his piece and rightly so.  Fundamentally he’s not discussing “teenage” culture but perpetuating rape culture–namely the ongoing implication that the rape of a woman is hers to prevent.  By his logic Miley’s VMA performance somehow gives drunk frat dudes the okay because something about casual sex?

Angel Haze went after Cohen in an epic Twitter rant- previously, she’s told her own story.

In a song called “Cleaning Out My Closet” that samples music from Eminem’s song by the same name she offers a haunting and horrifying account of being sexually abused as a child. At one point she raps about coming to terms with what happened to her:

“And psychologically I was just as fucked as they come
I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump
I was afraid of myself, I had no love for myself
I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself
There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was
So I’d create the other people I would try to become
Sexuality came into play and with as scared as I was
I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls
I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health
I didn’t wanna be attracted to nobody else
I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stunt my own growth
But there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show
I never got to be a kid so that’s as far as I grow
My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know
My biggest problem was fear, and what being fearful could do
It made me run, it made me hide it made me scared of the truth
I’m not deranged anymore, I’m not the same anymore
I mean I’m sane but I’m insane but not the same as before”

Rape is a real thing that happens to real people.  Different people handle it differently. Some internalize the belief that it was somehow their fault — columns like Cohen’s serve to validate that assumption.

Richard Cohen is wrong.

You can listen to Angel Haze’s song in full below and check out the lyrics here.

Jasiri X Channels Mayor Bloomberg Responds to Kendrick Lamar’s Control Verse

Rapper Jasiri X

Earlier this month, in the verse tweeted round the world, Kendrick Lamar took the Internet by storm on Big Sean’s  unreleased track “Control” by declaring himself–an artist originally from Compton- The King of New York.

Lamar’s debut album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” draws heavily from his upbringing in Compton so much so that after it’s release Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke of it’s importance stating;

“Here is an album that people grappling with policy desperately need to hear.  It does what art does best in that it bids the monotony of numbers to sing.”

His control verse, however, was grounded in the sort of rap battles that were reminiscent of the good old days and it was exciting.   As Ice T tweeted;

“I love how ONE verse woke Hip Hop the F— up. It’s been a LONG time since people talked about ANYTHING someone said in their rhyme.”

The critically acclaimed rapper – nominated for 14 BET Hip-Hop awards – ignited a firestorm as rappers from East to West scrambled for a shot at Hip Hop’s Iron Throne.  Among them is a verse brought to you by artist Jasiri X who took a decidedly different approach in his response.

Rather then boast about himself– Jasiri channeled New York City Mayor Bloomberg.  The resulting verse tackles topics ranging from Occupy and Stop and Frisk to The Illuminant and Term Limits.

Arguably Jasiri’s verse is just as confrontational as Lamar’s– the difference is in who’s being targeted.

You can check out the lyrics below;

I’m a billionaire with a private army that leaves you really scared
One father had heart attack when we aimed at his silly head
I don’t think you understand he’s literally dead
Now I’m hearing these dumb rappers say my city is there’s?
Don’t make me call Commissioner Kelly
Cause Black and Brown get stopped and frisked on a daily
Handcuffs on they wrists and 45ths to they scullys
Shot in the back like Kimani or in they own bathroom like Ramarley
And I know Jay Z don’t like Harry Belafonte
But he like my little brother he looks at me very fondly
He’ll never get in the club but we let him carry the laundry
So you ignorant Black folks think he’s Illuminati
RIP Ed Koch I’m more ruthless than Giuliani
Getting rid of all the poor all they do is reduce the property
while I’m here all week with my boys on wall street
Penthouse all suites we don’t care where yall sleep
Ask occupy get on my bad side them shot will fly
Riot gear choppers high cockin when my coppers ride
Armored tanks, tear gas, tasers, night sticks
Flame throwers light shit mace in the face of white chicks
Build a statute of my likeness and put it in front of Rikers
For the Black men I mass incarcerated and indicted
The schools I turned private the hoods we gentrifying
Bye bye Bed Stuy Big up in heaven crying
I’ll though up some ice for the nicest MC
But you can tell Kendrick Lamar the King of New York is me
Bloomberg I got my own channel and news firm
They said I couldn’t run again so I bought me a new term
You’ll learn tell that judge and the federal government
That the constitution don’t apply to the 1%
We still stop and frisking from dawn until the lights out
In fact I saw a black man lurking round the White House
2016 that’s right Hillary I’ll show you what a Billie means
I can spend anything
New york Yankees I’ll just buy the wining team Dr. Evil really schemes I just need a mini me
These rappers must be kidding me listen I got drones
That will Christoper Dorner you burnt to a crisp in ya home
They all under surveillance from no name to famous
Asked the Hip-Hop police they said you all gave statements (more…)

EVERYBODY RAPSYNC: Elon James White and Jasiri X Respond to Stop and Frisk Ruling

On Monday, Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the New York City Stop & Frisk policy was unconstitutional and in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure. In response, New York City Mayor Bloomberg warned that the Judge didn’t “understand how policing works” and vowed to appeal the “dangerous” ruling on behalf of the city of New York.

In light of her decision, I checked in with Elon James White, founder of the award winning Podcast This Week In Blacknessand rapper Jasiri X, who in recent months had collaborated to give the Internet The 10 Frisk Commandments Remixfor their reactions.

The 10 Frisk Commandments takes a page from Biggie Smalls 10 Crack Commandments and sprang from an impromptu exchange at Netroots Nation last year.  The collaboration began as a song that featured Jasiri X in a video directed by Elon, and was remixed a year later and re-released in a video that features a variety of artists, activists and local politicians rap-syncing to the lyrics.

The ultimate takeaway being that racial profiling is a detrimental policy that impacts us all, a point that continues to evade Mayor Bloomberg who has explicitly stated that the end of the Stop and Frisk policy may result in “a lot of people dying,” as Jasiri notes:

The sad part is that Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly still don’t get it. They keep trying to make us believe that Stop and Frisk is for the benefit of Black and Brown communities. We don’t need another politician with a white savior complex, especially one who’s dangerous policies do more harm than good.

Indeed Jasiri’s rhymes, unlike Bloomberg’s bravado, are backed by statistics that indicate in the past two years out of all of the individuals stopped, nearly 90% were found guilty of no crime. Proponents of the policy champion it as being instrumental in saving “thousands of young Black and Hispanic men by removing guns from the streets” — when, indeed, findings suggest that almost one hundred percent of the time guns aren’t actually found on the individuals who are being stopped and frisked.

The ruling issued by the judge echos sentiments shared by Jasiri in the initial recording of the song when he raps;

Rule #10 a strong word call the Constitution
Or does it apply then to only white men
Is being Black and Brown probable cause Hell no
So why we getting stopped rain, sleet, hail, snow

Bloomberg – who has previously stated that “we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little” -despite statistics that show that over 80% of individuals stopped are Black or Hispanic- would have you believe that it’s for your own good.  What underlies his vendetta is the notion that black and brown people need to be policed for their own security.

The cultural and systemic implications of a policy like Stop and Frisk cannot be understated.  While they may be harder to measure, the fact is that this policy perpetuates the notion that men of a certain pigmentation are dangerous, suspect and that treating them accordingly is justified and conducive to their own preservation.

At the heart of The 10 Frisk Commandments is a God willing to degrade you to protect you from yourself.

Elon is not impressed:

I find the whole process and ruling a bit problematic. The ruling doesn’t bring me joy because we now know what many believe is “right”–young people of color are criminals until proven not to be. NYC had a law for dehumanizing us but this still happens in places without the law. I’m reminded of the old Chris Rock joke about folks wanting credit for doing the right thing. Ruling this unconstitutional was the least they could do and I will not praise them for realizing treating people who look like me like shit was bad.

In the age of Trayvon Martin and Anthony Stokes, the simple act of being a young man of color is in itself an act of deviance that warrants giving others pause.  What qualifies as an acceptable response to that deviance is what’s currently being debated.

Whether we stop and frisk them, shoot them, or deny them a heart transplant– the victims of what’s at the heart of this policy are people who deserve the right to exist in America with their dignity intact.

Asking for as much makes me sad.

This is pathetic.

If you concur, then rapsync.

Share the video– or make your own.

We may not have billions of dollars or access to all the bells and whistles of the New York City Mayor’s office– but we have the Internet, and thanks to The 10 Frisk Remix we have a soundtrack that lights the way forward.

Pair of Rick Perry’s Chick Fans Rap Faint Praises

 

Wow, meet a couple of Rick Perry’s fans, Candy Rapper and Double K who are um..not talented. And seem to have some daddy issues about presidential candidate Rick Perry. Here’s sample of of why they think Rick Perry should be president:

Country boy with big town dreams

His interns wishing he would make them scream

A lean mean fighting machine

He suits are so neat and clean…

Perry, Perry bitches yo Perry

Granted, they claim they were bored in downtown and put together the rap in ten minutes. But honestly, it sucks. Planking? Really? Tragic. I kinda hope Perry uses it in his campaign though.

 

[HT: Uproxx]


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