I will admit as much I was and still am a listener of NPR I still find myself coming across stuff from them that is totally new to me. Tiny Desk Concert is one of those things. While going through things on Youtube, completely out of boredom waiting for game 2 of the NBA Finals to start, I saw Rapsody’s Tiny Desk Concert. Thought it was dope and then saw that this man had one as well. I’m Gregory Porter fan and feel his sound is needed in music.
July 18, 2016 by BOB BOILEN • Gregory Porter’s healing soul music sends a message of compassion, and he’s got a baritone voice that resonates love. When Porter visited NPR, we’d just learned that our colleague, photojournalist David Gilkey, had been killed while working on a story for NPR in Afghanistan. When Porter began singing the calmly beautiful “No Love Dying,” he may not have known how much it would mean to us. Yet this song of compassion and hope, from his Grammy-winning 2013 album Liquid Spirit, was just what we’d needed.
Porter and pianist Chip Crawford continued their thoughtful, entrancing set with “Take Me To The Alley” (the title track to Porter’s new album), a song about how we treat and think about those who live on society’s margins. Closing this Tiny Desk concert is “Don’t Be A Fool,” another new song of love, loyalty and trust. For us, Porter’s set provided a timely reminder that we can all use comfort, counsel and guidance — and that music can be serious and heartwarming without losing its sense of wonder and delight.
“No Love Dying”
“Take Me To The Alley”
“Don’t Be A Fool”
This is the second half of Microphone Check’s interview last year with producer and rapper Large Professor. You can listen to and read part one here www.npr.org/sections/microphone…he-world-of-hip-hop. Part two covers the making of Illmatic, Paul C’s role and Ali’s favorite Extra P lines.
I was going to post both parts at once but it is better to keep them separate Enjoy.
Last spring, way back in 2014, we sat down with Large Professor, partly on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Illmatic but mostly because he’s the reason for much of the New York rap we both love so much.
First off yes he title is a bit sensationalized, ok, heavily over sensationalized. That is because when I think about the story I heard on NPR’s Morning Edition I think about how African Americans aren’t asked, or guided towards banking. Every year around this time every business from car dealerships to rent to own places to retail store, even pawn shops will help people with your taxes in hopes you’ll spend that money at those places. Who doesn’t offer some assistance? BANKS. You never see some representative from a bank at some low paying jobs looking to help people save that tax money. There are no bank representative roaming the inner city dishing out flyers, cards, informing people about the newest sign up deals or even just asking people on the street do they have accounts. Now to be fair in the peirce I heard there were seminars given to those undocumented immigrants that were and or could be targets for being robbed. Of course that doesn’t say much because that same effort could have been given to those in low income areas. I also know that I’m bypassing the point of the story which was focused on those undocumented workers being robbed which is where the banks come in to help them save their money. Getting back to my point, African Americans in low income settings are wasting their money or saving it in unsafe places. The problem is like undocumented workers, African Americans aren’t that into saving money at banks, it’s some old school thinking where trust in the system just wasn’t happening. Today there needs to be some sort of trust not to mention some kind of reach out program from banks, it’s always the fact that check cashing places and pawn shops are on the corners of inner cities. That alone makes those in the inner city feel there is no need to deal with banks since the banks aren’t willing to open in the hood, hell close to the hood, there is a bank desert issue like there is with grocery stores. I personally find it odd and disrespectful to hear that Banks are willing to help one group of people who weren’t born here in America, that thought and statement makes me sound like my parents and their thoughts of how we as African Americans are really the second class citizens in our own country. Banks have never really made it a point to change that perspective inner city African Americans have, so to hear that banks are willing to extent a helping hand to undocumented workers makes me angry.
The same way one can say being on ware fare has become a family trait within the inner city so to is not banking. To be like you don’t banks because of what happened in 2008 is one thing but a good portion of inner city people have never attempted to use a bank as some sort of option of saving, even the debt card game like the Rush Cards aren’t being used. The walking ATM thing will be here and may even pass in certain cities but the fact a large amount of old to younger African Americans in inner cites not having a sense of banking will linger around as it has for decades. There should be classes in school to guide the youth to understand the benefits to working with a bank and hopefully that education could flow backwards towards older people in those youths family and most importantly be passed down to their children. The work force will be and has been going paperless more and more where the chance to have an account at a bank presents itself, which in one great way it helps eliminate the cash checking racket. Maybe the blame can be placed on community leaders, Hispanic community groups went out of their way to work with banks to help those walking around the cash all day being targets for robbery start a bank account. Why is that same approach not taken by those in the African American community?
I woke up this morning and heard NPR and out of the blue I heard some stupid, yes I;m saying stupid, study and poll about how teens need more sleep. The answer, start school later. Maybe I missed something but school has started later already. I remember being at school before seven when I was in high school. I also remember as my mom telling me my being tired was my fault. As teens we took on a whole new life, we stayed out later and went to bed later and school hours were the same, and as a result we were tired. I’m sure any adult reading this has had a similar teenage life. It’s part of growing up, waking to to go to school is that one major responsibility teens have, it has been for generations.
I remember my mom explaining to me how I need to figure out a solution to my tardy issue because when I get a job and go in late I will soon be out of a job. So what has happened as of late? Well teens have more things keeping them up for one. That reason alone is why we don’t let my girlfriend’s kids have a television in their room, when we first started living together the now thirteen year old played the Xbox all night until five when his mom would get up to shower. He and his older brother were always late or didn’t even go to school, grandma was their lifeline keeping them out of trouble such nonsense, ok so off track now. Now he gets the television in his room on the weekend and when he gets his iwhatever this Christmas he will have to fork that over before bedtime. Does it sound extreme, sure it does, but it works, he, the 13 year old, hasn’t been tardy due to walking out the house late. Maybe that should be looked at, what are these teens doing and how late are they doing it, there are so many devices out there now. Game console, tablets, phones, televisions and let’s not even get into parents lives. Are they home during the night or even awake to insure their children are in bed at a certain time? The segment spoke on how early school hours are in conflict with teens circadian rhythms and how teen don’t fall asleep before 11pm. The segment went as far as to throw teen car accidents in the mix, yes another reason why teens are bad drivers, can’t be practice makes perfect and teens are normally reckless by nature, it’s because they wake up early to go to school.
So the theory is have school start about eight something in the morning, of course in some places high school does start around that time and teens at those schools are still tired, so should they go to school at nine. Here is something, you go in later and come home later then parents will hate the long school day and then that becomes the new target. Here is something too, are those parents calling to teens jobs asking that they give them later clock in times as well? I mean has anyone went to a fast food place early in the morning on the weekends, there are teens there. Are parents saying teens shouldn’t have a Friday night life and have to wake up early to be at work by 6am or 7 am, and if so is that an issue for the teen or the place the teens work? What about teens who play sports, should an early practice Saturday morning should be canceled or pulled back too? How about parents stop coddling their kids. Their teens, the teens in the segment were 15 and 16 old enough to know the drill and should have adapted by now. If they can’t figure out how this waking up early works, or not early just in a timely manner to get to where they should be, then how is college going to work for them where there are classes 5am and or 6am? No mom is there to knock on doors. The fact they’d still want to go out and kick it late knowing they have an early class falls on them. And when you’re in high school time management falls on the teens not the schools or parents. These parents are so into having their way that their action to shift school hours are a quick fix to a natural problem. Again if they go up an hour and teens are still struggling to make it out the door then what, push the start time of school to 9am? What parents should do is talk to their kids about responsibility and being held accountable for their actions not trying to build a comfortable world around them. Who know’s I’m just a dude from hood and this is truly a suburbia issue where petitions make a difference not common sense of parents.
Ice – T has gotten a lot of press with this documentary, so much so that NPR and BBC The Strand had interviewed Ice – T about the flick. You can get all kind of clips from the film on youtube. Not sure how it did in the theaters, I know I know I saw it on Netflix. While watching a youtube clip where Ice – T talks about the film he let it be known a good portion of the artists in the film aren’t the major big dogs that are out now, He did say something about your favorite rappers favorite rapper is in the film. I have to honestly doubt that if you’re a Hip Hop fan today.
Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap is a real Hip Hop heads film, more so the MCs and those who remember what the “art of rap” is supposed to be. To Ice – T credit he does keep it real by actually going back to the true Gods of MCing. Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Kool Moe Dee. These dudes inspired the MCs like Rakim, KRS, Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh and many more who ended up becoming the blueprint and standard of what a MC/Rapper. The way Ice -T weaves through many MCs with many questions, one being how do you come up with the rhymes. From Caz to Rakim, Xzibit and Em, just hearing them explain what they go through to come up with their rhymes is cool. I mean hearing Immortal Technique say he starve himself and or box to get that rush to write is interesting. Also hearing the comradery between MCs was cool. Doug E. Fresh broke down A Melle Mel rhyme and that was some poetic shit that made me want to hear everything, Snoop and Em spitting Ice lines was cool too. Hearing KRS tell how he got into his first battle is the funniest and realest shit.
In a time where Hip Hop is heavily focused on the hook and beat leaving the lyrics and definitely content out of the equation the hear MCs explain why lyrics are important is refreshing. A good part is Salt and Ice- T talk about their significant other not listening to the words… Everyone whoever truly put thought into their lyrics could understand that conversation completely. Some people may know Ice-T for his role on Law & Order SVU and the show on E! but Ice -T is real Hip Hop dude this film has no fillers. There are no rappers in the film for the sake of trying to get younger viewers, this is still a nice addition to the long catalog of movies about Hip Hop. Just listening to what Snoop says alone is worth a view, he got deep with his final thoughts for the up and comers in the game. Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap comes off better than a those flicks by Quincy Jones III mainly because Ice-T is connecting with artist that get the art of rap. Every individual comes off well read and you feel the respect that have and seek as they talk about rhymes be it theirs or another rappers lines. A must see, good documentary.