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Posts from April 2010

New Video: R.A. The Rugged Man - "Uncommon Valor"

Shots Fired!: Rapper R.A. The Rugged Man

R.A. the Rugged Man -- "Uncommon Valor (A Vietnam Story)"

If you can't get enough of M.I.A's pornographic and violent video, then check out R.A. the Rugged Man's equally compelling and violent clip for his song, "Uncommon Valor (Vietnam Story)."

Directed by Tom Vujcic, the one-shot clip is dedicated to R.A.'s late father, Staff SGT. John A. Thorburn, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, who died on Jan. 7. Also honored are R.A.'s late three siblings who were all severely mentally challenged, presumably caused by the affects of Agent Orange, which his father contracted in the Vietnam War.

It's a powerful video for a powerful song.

**ADDED 4/28/10**

B.o.B -- "Letters From Vietnam"

Check out rapper B.o.B's song about love and war. This time, from the viewpoint of a soldier who is being shipped off to war after his girlfriend breaks up with him. B.o.B is singing(!) on the track.


Jedi Mind Tricks -- "Uncommon Valor" (F/ R.A. the Rugged Man) [Original Version]


By The Time They Get To Arizona: M.I.A. Vs. P.E.

Louder Than A Bomb: Public Enemy's Chuck D Car Exploding: Photo 'From By The Time I Get To Arizona' Video

Everyone on the Internet(s) is talking about M.I.A's violent, politcially-charged video for her song, "Born Free." Watching the clip, it's obvious that M.I.A and director Romain Gavras wanted to artfully and graphically convey their opposition against Arizona's Immigration Bill, which Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed into law. Critics of the measure, believe that the Senate Bill 1070 will most likely lead to unjust racial profiling of Latinos and other minorities by law enforcement. In M.I.A's extremely violent video, red-haired children are being arrested and transported to an isolated desert so armed officers can used them for target practice. Did I mentioned that the video is stunningly violent? M.I.A's video certainly is provocative, and it proves a point, albeit exaggeratedly.

However, I would rather watch Public Enemy's 1991 video, "By The Time I Get to Arizona." Granted the video has nothing to do with immigration laws in Arizona, but the group's  overall message is not too far off course (consensus: Arizona is on some bullshit).

The song deals with the late Arizona governor Evan Mecham, who in 1987, rescinded his state's January 18 observance of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. When local black community activists protested against the cancellation of the MLK holiday, Gov. Mecham reportedly told them, "You folks don't need another holiday, what you folks need are jobs."

Enter Public Enemy.

Undoubtedly, P.E.'s video "By the Time I Get to Arizona" was their most controversial militant video, as it depicts the assassination of (then) Gov. Mecham with a car bomb. Also, images of black people being mauled by dogs and P.E.'s security team, the S1W's, holding AK rifles didn't sit well with corporate America either. Back then, I can remember MTV announcing that they won't air P.E.'s video on Yo! MTV Raps unless the group edited the clip. I know that my local rap video show (in New Jersey) called Urban Xpressions aired the clip in its entirety. For me, as a young hip-hop head, this was a monumental event.

The video "By the Time I Get to Arizona" is classic P.E. -- bold and in your face. The legendary production team the Bomb Squad sampled the slinky guitars riffs from Mandrill's "Two Sisters of Mystery" and the funky bass lines from Jackson 5's "Walk on."

Chuck D's lyrics ring truer today as it did back in 1991. [*Blog Note: altered words in brackets]:

Lookin' for the governor/ Huh [she] ain't lovin' ya/

But here to trouble ya/ [She's] rubbin' ya wrong/

Get the point come along . . .

I urinated on the state/ While I was kickin' this song

Yeah, [she] appears to be fair /The cracker over there

[She's tryin'] to keep it yesteryear/ The good old days/

The same old ways/ That kept us dyin'. . .

Public Enemy's video may not be as bombastic as M.I.A's "Born Free" clip, but the message is clear. It's time to for us to get on that bus and head back to Arizona, so we can protest that state's immigration bill.


New Music: Slum Village - "Lock It Down"

Locking It Up: Slum Village

Slum Village -- "Lock It Down" (Radio Rip)

Props: Soul Dojo

What a joyous Monday morning!

Check out this radio rip of Slum Village's new joint "Lock It Down," which was produced by the late hip-hop meastro J Dilla. DJ House Shoes premiered the on his Soundwaves radio show on KPFK.

As far as I'm concerned, this song is official! Detroit, STAND UP!

Slum Village will release their new full-length LP Villa Manifesto is due out later this year.