Home Malcolm X: A Graphic Bio. Rock the Bells Film Review “Tha Hip-Hop Doc” BET 1st Hip-Hop Awards Maxine Waters Deconstructing Tyrone Planet B-Boy


Planet B-Boy (2007) - Film Review by Kam Williams

An exhilarating homage which deservedly elevates the rubber-limbed performers to the level of world-class gymnasts. And to think that this internationally-embraced dance form was started somewhere in the ghetto by a poor kid with nothing more than a radio and an unbridled passion for self-expression.

Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography Written by Andrew Helfer Art by Randy DuBurke

"Helfer and DuBurke tell the story of Malcolm X's short life—his meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the two leaders describing the opposite ideological ends of the fight for civil rights; and his eventual assassination by other members of the Nation of Islam (NOI)—in narration and detailed black and white drawings, sharp as photographs in a newspaper . . . From his slow slide into the criminal—moving from hustler to dealer to the head of a ring of thieves for which he was finally sent to prison—to his jailhouse conversion to Islam, Helfer and DuBurke don't shy from any part of their subject's life . . . Helfer and DuBurke have created an evocative and studied look at not only Malcolm X but the racial conflict that defined and shaped him."—Publishers Weekly

Rock the Bells - Hip-Hop Documentary Chronicles Wu-Tang Clan’s Swan Song at 2004 Concert

As if hip-hop’s answer to Woodstock, the gathering gets uglier as it unfolds, and again and again it invariably falls to the ethnically-ambiguous Chang, conveniently ever on camera, to deal with each crisis, whether with cops concerned about contraband, artists upset about the crappy sound system, the often impatient and unruly patrons, or his overwhelmed employees. Though also featuring Redman, Dilated Peoples, MC Supernatural, Sage Francis, Eyedea & Abilities, Chalie 2na, and DJ Numark, the picture proves to be a fitting posthumous tribute to ODB and the Wu-Tang Clan, given their chosen genre’s mandate to keep it real.  Read Entire Article

Dr. Rani Whitfield  “Tha Hip-Hop Doc” Interview with Kam Williams

Rapes definitely occur in the prison, however, there is consensual sex among men as well. I’ve had inmates argue and debate with me on this issue.  They tell me that I don’t understand because I have never been incarcerated; that it’s a normal phenomenon to desire another man after being incarcerated for long periods of time. To some of the “long timers”, it is socially acceptable while incarcerated to have an ongoing relationship with another man, but not discussed upon exit from prison.  Read Entire Article

Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation

“Hip-hop, whose entire aesthetic, at least as promulgated on cable and Radio, seems to be based on the world’s oldest profession; all men are pimps and all the women are hos. As a whole, the Hip-Hop Generation has found prostitution to be an apt metaphor for American capitalism, which… has taken the literal and figurative pimping of black culture to new depth”  –Excerpted from Chapter 6, The Pole Test

Maxine Waters The Hip Hop Symposium Interview with Kam Williams

"I’m hoping to get the hip-hop community more involved with public policy makers, so that they could begin to influence the thinking of older and mainstream people. They can contribute tremendously in terms of dealing with the setting of public policy that really determines where this country is headed and how it’s going to get there. For instance, the FCC is having meetings all around the country. They were in L.A., and I was there taking them on about consolidation in the media, with the L.A. Times which is owned by the Tribune Company, along with WGN in Chicago, and 27 other TV stations, etcetera, etcetera. Now, wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the hip-hop community had been there with me and others who were prepared to take on the FCC?"  Read the Entire Interview

BET First Annual Hip-Hop Awards by Kam Williams

If there was ever any doubt that gangsta’ rap is a man’s game, Black Entertainment Television confirmed the fact that sisters need not apply at its First Annual Hip-Hop Awards. The event was staged in Atlanta, where it was hosted by pimp comedian Katt Williams, a protégé of Snoop Dogg known for his misogynistic brand of humor. Katt set the tone in monologue with remarks like the line where he referred to Venus and Serena Williams as natural disasters. And Ludacris added an exclamation point by being bleeped within seconds of kicking off the festivities with an expletive-laced rendition of one of his hits. Read Entire Article

TIp “T.I.” Harris - The ATL Interview with Kam Williams

Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. was born in Atlanta on September 25, 1980. The precocious poet began rhyming over beats at about the age of nine and signed a record deal with a major label while still in is teens. After trying out a variety of colorful nicknames such as “King of the South,” “Rubberband Man,” and “Tip,” the talented gangster rapper eventually settled on the simple sobriquet “T.I.” During his meteoric rise, he’s recorded four CDs, won both BET and Vibe Awards, and had each of his albums hit the top of the hip-hop charts.

Spreading his love has left T.I. the proud father of four children (Messiah YaMajesty, Domani Uriah, Deyjah, and King) from three different women. Lately, the seemingly incurable ladies man seems to have settled down with Tameka “Tiny” Cottle of the Georgia girl group Xscape.

No stranger to controversy, T.I. has cultivated considerable street cred courtesy of a drug conviction which led to a three-year sentence and incarceration. Post parole, another plus has been his highly-publicized feuds with fellow rappers like Lil’ Flip, Ludacris, Rick Ross and Lil’ Wayne, thus far only a war of words which threatens to escalate into an all out turf war over who is truly hip-hop’s “King of the South.”

Making his feature film debut in ATL, T.I. adds acting to his repertoire. Here, he shares his thoughts about his career, about making a movie in his hometown, and about his use of profanity in his rap songs. Read Entire Interview

50 Cent’s 2 Cents on Shooting Scenes, Samuel L., and His Son - The 50 Cent: Interviewed by Kam Williams

Born Curtis James Jackson, III in South Jamaica, Queens on July 6, 1975, 50 Cent has eclipsed his mentor Eminem as the pre-eminent gangsta’ rapper of the day. Like Marshall Mathers did with 8 Mile, Fitty decided to make his feature film debut by keeping it real with a semi-autobiographical docu-drama.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’, which was directed by Jim Sheridan and co-stars Terrence Howard and Joy Bryant, chronicles the efforts of an orphan-turned- drug dealer to extricate himself from a dead-end life on the streets to pursue a hip-hop career. Read Entire Interview

Karrine Steffans - The Video Vixen Interviewed by Kam Williams

When I first interviewed her a couple of years ago, Karrine Steffans was making the transition from Hip-Hop ho to legitimate Hollywood actress. She was then enjoying her big screen debut as Larenz Tate’s wife in A Man Apart, an action-adventure flick starring Vin Diesel. During that tame tete-a-tete, she never let on about the sordid, suicidal, sexually-depraved, alcohol and drug-addicted life she had been leading, despite being a single-mom. Nor did she discuss bottoming-out after an overdose which left her broke, blacklisted and living in a car with her little boy.

Because Karrine was such a shameless name-dropper, I distinctly remember repeatedly asking her about all of her famous friends. But every inquiry led to a very dull dead-end. Now, she has just published a tell-all autobiography, Confessions of a Video Vixen, which sits high atop most best seller lists. In it, she admits to sleeping with Puff Daddy, DMX, Xzibit, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Doctor Dre, Ice-T, Bobby Brown, Usher, Shaquille O’Neal and Vin Diesel, to name a few.  Read the Entire Interview

Usher - The In the Mix Interview with Kam Williams

Usher Raymond IV was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 14, 1978 to Jonnetta Patton, a single-mom who encouraged him to join the choir she directed when he was only six. In 1990, they moved along with his younger brother, James, to Atlanta where Usher began entering talent shows.

A couple of years later, with his mother serving as his manager, he signed on with Diddy as an R&B singer, and the rest, as they say, is musical history. Besides selling millions of CDs and winning a couple of Grammys, Usher He is also a co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This talented, teen heartthrob has been named one of People Magazine’s 21 Hottest Stars under 21, and was more recently voted #1 on BET’s list of the 25 Hottest Men of the Past 25 Years.

In 1998, he made his feature film debut in The Faculty, and followed that up with appearances in She’s All That, Light It Up and Texas Rangers. Here, he talks about In the Mix, a cross-cultural Mafia comedy where he stars as a DJ who falls in love with the daughter of a mob boss.  Read Entire Interview

Never Die Alone: Goines Adaptation Marks Cultural History By Tracy Grant

Capitalizing on the popularity of hip-hop culture, rap music, and the rise of urban novels, Fox Searchlight Pictures this month [March 2004] brings ‘Never Die Alone’ – a gritty, realistic look at the world of guns, money, power and drugs – to the big screen. ‘Never Die Alone’ stars rapper/actor DMX in an action film set in the shady underworld of street life, where cunning and violence are the keys to success. Read Entire Article

More Poetry!/Less Jam!
by Tara Betts

Poets are scrambling to get the commercial attention for their work, as an outlet for other opportunities. Despite the rush of some artists to get on the show, some poets feel that the popularization of poetry via Def Poetry Jam might destroy the integrity of poetry by people of color, and poets in general. Editor and poet Tony Medina makes this point clearly in the Bum Rush the Page introduction: A good number of folks running around calling themselves poets care less about poetry than about blowing up. When I first hit the New York scene running (some 12-odd years ago), we used the term blow up with regard to saying something political or profound, not about seeking some sort of fame or fortune. Poets I ran with talked about dropping bombs or blowing up the spot like rappers talked about dropping science it was about saying something deep and powerful--and leaving a hole in the stage! It is that same stage that haunts us today. Read the rest of this article








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