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‘Style Wars’ creator Henry Chalfant’s new website is street art heaven

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Ace photographer Henry Chalfant who produced the classic 1984 documentary on New York City graffiti artists and hip hop, Style Wars, has a new website and it’s a beauty. An incredible resource for anyone interested in street art, hip hop culture and outlaw artists, check out Henry’s site here. It will blow your mind.

These photos were cropped in order to fit the page. See them in their full glory on Henry’s webpage, where you can actually scroll along the full length of the subway car.
 
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Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Flying Lotus: Kill Your Co-workers
10.18.2010
08:41 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
Hip-hop
Music

Tags:
Flying Lotus
beeple

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“Kill Your Co-workers,” the latest video from the genre-hopping maestro of Los Angeles, Flying Lotus. From the new EP,  Pattern+Grid World.

Directed by beeple AKA Mike Winkelmann. Gorgeous!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Rain Dance: Better than Swan Lake?
10.07.2010
08:00 pm

Topics:
Art
Hip-hop

Tags:
Rain dance

 
Truly poetic. Enjoy. I know I sure did.

Thanks Brian Tibbetts!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Jay Smooth on the liabilities of Christine O’Donnell being ‘you’

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You can be sure that the next chapter of media star Christine O’Donnell’s career—the one that starts after she loses her bid for a Senate seat—will be even bigger than the one she’s writing with the media’s help now.

But her campaign evokes the limits of populist-driven politics, which is where your man Jay Smooth comes in. Jay is the founder of NYC’s longest-running hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad. He’s also a hip-hop generation activist and has also made a name as a grassroots common-sense political commentator for both his own Nil Doctrine and the Giant magazine blog.

It’s for the latter that he gives his perspective on why “I’m you” falls flat as a political meme.
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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N2ition Productions & the future of the hip-hop video

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Take a look at Brandon “N2ition” Riley’s video for rising Gary, IN rhymer Freddie Gibbs’s tune “The Ghetto” below, and you’ll notice that you’re looking at something different. The flossy clichés—bling, cars, cash—are absent. Instead, we see high school running tracks, lake beaches, and theatres. We see kids, grannies, murals, dirty piano keys, and broken basketball backboards.

In short, we see real atmosphere, an element that can take something as commodified and played-out as a hip-hop video into a profound direction. Says Riley:

I’m trying to take the hip-hop music video into a more cinematic direction. And I don’t mean cinematic as in ‘Let’s add dialogue at the beginning of the video and then jump into the club scene.’ It takes a real commitment from the artist and their team to believe in a track enough to come up with a unique concept and follow it through. To plan on taking 2-3 days to shoot it. To audition actors to play key roles, etc. You have to be inspired by the music first.

After making videos for his own rap group in college in Charleston SC, Riley started shooting for other acts and building his aesthetic. One of his vids became a top-20 finalist in a YouTube rap video contest judged by Common, 50 Cent and Polow The Don.

Since then, Riley’s made Chicago his home and has shot for local talent like Lungz, LED, Nascent, Big Law, Jay Star and others. His N2ition Productions continue to specialize in videos that eschew the vapid, party-up paradigm for a gritty tone that almost seems inspired by the ghosts of Midwestern blues.

Riley notes a bounty of video talent in his territory:

There are some other great directors in Chicago. Guys I’ve worked with like Travis Long from Ike Films and Noyz from Da Visionaryz and GL Joe from HYSTK. These guys are going to be national names in no time. They really have the borderline genius talent.

 

Upcoming N2ition projects include a video for “Linen” by Mikkey Halsted and Twista (“Some amazing shots of Chicago in the summer”), and another with LEP and Gucci Mane that he says “should be a nice Chicago anthem.”

And I’m supposed to be working some more with Freddie Gibbs in the near future. I also shot a documentary on Twista that should be out in November. But I’m just as excited about moving into more feature length projects. I just completed a feature with Ike Films and Ill be shooting something in early 2011 with Noyz from the Visionaryz…everything I learn on those shoots only makes my music videos that much better.

 
 

 
Bonus clips after the jump: Another N2ition production starring Gibbs working with Mikkey Halstead, plus some workingman’s-blues-style hip-hop from Jay Star.
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Christian rap version of ‘Baby Got Back’
09.08.2010
07:44 pm

Topics:
Belief
Hip-hop
Kooks
Pop Culture

Tags:
Christians
Sir Mix-A-Lot

 
Behold the berserk cluelessness of “Baby Got Book,” a super lame, not in the least funny or clever, Christian rap ditty set to the tune of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”

Isn’t that special?

Via American Jesus

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Public Enemy keeps sayin’ it in a brand new video

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Public Enemy’s explosion onto the American music scene in the mid-to-late-‘80s transformed the musical views of a lot of people, myself included. These guys were the full package. Sonically they fused hardcore New York rap style with militant black power lyrics and a dense, bombastic sample-heavy rhythm attack. Visually, they had a solidly political graphic style and tough, utilitarian fashion sense that accentuated their revolutionary attitude. PE were a dream come true for dorky college students like me who were in love with both serious anarcho-punk bands like the then-recently defunct Crass and black music in general—especially hip-hop. Their 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is a landmark in American pop music.

PE marks their entrance into collectors’ posterity via a 3-CD/3-DVD-photo-book-and-t-shirt box set with a new video for their summer single, “Say It Like It Really Is,” shot in the surprisingly peaceful surroundings of Niagra Falls. Older, but still dangerous minds.
 

 
After the jump: a 2007 video re-contextualizing of P.E.’s 1999 tune “I”, with Chuck D. surveying New Orleans’ Ninth Ward…
 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Rubble Kings: New York City street gangs and the music that brought them together

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From Shan Nicholson, director of Downtown Calling, comes this new documentary on New York City gangs called Rubble Kings.

From 1968 to 1975, gangs ruled New York City. Beyond the idealistic hopes of the civil rightsnmovement lay a unfocused rage. Neither law enforcement nor social agency could end the escalating bloodshed. Peace came only through the most unlikely and courageous of events that would change the world for generations to come by giving birth to hip-hop culture.

 
Via Stupefaction

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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