Monthly Archives: February 2009

Videos

K-os – 4,3,2,1

Videos

The Nonce – Mixtapes

Awareness

4080 weighs in on the Chris Brown fiasco

chris-brown-jv25I guarantee most of you readers have heard about the whole Chris Brown beating Rihanna situation.  It’s been all over the news for a while and frankly I think it’s incredibly absurd that this could happen.  I’m definitely with the crowd that’s reacting strongly to violence against women.  It’s unacceptable and genuinely makes me angry to hear about.

Still, I think my outrage pales in comparison to that of the black community.  This is an interesting phenomenon that has been popping up.  Besides Terrance Howard being a doofus and supporting Chris, most people seem to recognize the offensiveness of his actions.  The black community (if you think that there is one identifiable community) has reacted strongly and condemned Brown for what he allegedly did.

This ABC News article seems to do the best job so far of describing this reaction.  It especially seems to focus on this concept of violence as being a silent problem in the past.  Basically, the author suggests that the black community has tended to be more silent about victimizing women.  Now I’m not sure I agree with this as an idea, but it’s an interesting perspective.

Now, I want to make sure to be clear that we here at 4080 strongly condemn Brown’s actions.  The police should complete their investigation and he should be charged and prosecuted accordingly.

But, as that ABC article points out, there is a big impact on the kids who, at one point, idolized Brown.  He was a safer, cleaner entry into hip hop.  A guy who, at the very least, seemed to play nice.  Taking away this positive role model needs to be done carefully.  And, then again, there should be hope for reforming him as well.  Perhaps we really can turn this into something positive by demonstrating how acting this way will get you punished.  Brown just must do his best to gain forgiveness.

Music

Your Valentine’s Day Playlist from ‘The Corner’ on CFUV 101.9 FM

It’s urgirlash always bringing you the coolest in hip hop and R&B with my girl angieBfresh on ‘The Corner’ and now I am bringing it to the fans of 4080 records. With Valentine’s Day coming up soon I have the playlist to play for your significant other that is guaranteed to put you two in the mood. There are some classics, popular picks and up and coming artists featured on the playlist. Whether you have been together forever, going through some rough patches or have yet to tell someone how you feel, I have got you covered. Here is my pick for Valentine’s Day 2009.

1. “Sista” – Novel

2. “Cool” – Anthony Hamilton ft. David Banner

3. “We fight/we love”- Q-tip ft. Raphael Saadiq

4. “Crown Royal” – Jill Scott

5. “Until” – Musiq Soulchild

6. “If I have my way” – Chrisette Michele

7. “The Sweetest Thing” – Lauryn Hill

8. “Love of my life” – Common ft. Erykah Badu

9. “More than likely” – PM Dawn

10. “You are” – Estelle ft. John Legend

Enjoy!

Politics

Zimbabwe can see the light

12_wo_zimbabwe_politics_4We’ve talked this over and over, but now it honestly seems like something good is happening in Zimbabwe.  I know it’s been a minute since we did a politics post, but this needed to be said.

Zimbabwe is one of the worst economic situations in history.  It’s inflation rate is so high that most retailers don’t even take the local currency anymore.  In fact, Zimbabwe recently cut 12 zeros off the end of their currency just to make it reasonable.

Months ago, when it seemed clear that the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangrai had finally beaten Robert Mugabe, there was quite an uprising.  Eventually, Tsvangrai pulled out of the Presidental election run-off because he felt his supporters were getting attacked by government militas and thugs.

Things seemed hopeless.  Now, for quite a few months there have been talks of a power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangrai in order to allow the country to move forward.  Things kept falling apart because Mugabe didn’t want to concede control of some of the most important ministries, including the Home Ministry which controls the security services.

But finally things are better.  Morgan Tsvangrai has just been sworn in as the new Prime Minister.  Which means he actually does share authority with Mugabe.  As well, and perhaps most importantly for Zimbabwe, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti is now in charge of the Finance ministry.  This is tremendous news because the opposition now controls the ministry that may actually effect some change.

Perhaps there is some hope for the country yet.  As further emphasis, the two Deputy Prime Ministers are both MDC members, though one is from a breakaway faction.  The most worrisome situation is that the Zanu-PF and MDC are sharing control of the Home ministry.  There is little hope that an arrangement like this will work, but so far it’s the best deal we’ve seen.

Most papers out there seem to recognize the flaws of the arrangement.  The biggest fear is that it is simply a way for Mugabe to mask his actions and to get away with his crimes.  However, the Times Online takes particular umbrage with this arrangement.  They seem to fear the consequences:

This is not a government of unity, but of coercion and co-option. By joining it, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which Mr Tsvangirai has led for ten years at great personal risk, is in danger of legitimising the very tyranny it sought to end. MDC officials are to be installed in 13 ministries, but none will give Mr Tsvangirai the power to enforce as well as write new laws, let alone rebuild a country brought to its knees by violence, disease and artificial famine.

There is some truth to these statements.  It is true that there is a risk of legitimizing Mugabe’s government.  There is, however, hope.  If the MDC proves deft at political maneuvering they may persuade enough frightened voters out there to truly vote out Mugabe.

However, things are already off to a rough start.  Tsvangirai, as part of the deal, demanded that hundreds of political prisoners be released before he took his oath of office.  Mugabe ignored him.  Let’s just hope Tsvangirai won’t let himself be ignored.

[Source: BBC, Guardian, Times Online]

Quick

Stack that Memory

At the risk of becoming 4080YouTube, I thought I’d toss this up here.  It entertained me as another one of those silly little YouTube geekraps.

Music

M.I.A’s Grammy performance with the ‘Rap Pack’

At the Grammy’s a few nights ago, a very pregnant M.I.A. performed.  In fact, it was actually her due date!

In the words of Queen Latifah, this was a hip hop ‘rap pack’.  Yes, that was a Latifah play on the ‘rat pack’ nickname.  Still, it’s not everyday you’ll see M.I.A, Jay-Z, Kanye, TI and Lil’ Wayne all perform together on the same track.

It seemed to be one of the biggest hip hop Grammy performances in recent memory, which is definitely a good thing.  Plus, it’s not really that bad.

Music

J. Sands giving you a free mixtape

Sites all over the internet have been going crazy for this new mixtape.  Okay, definitely not new, since it came out back in Feb of 2007.  But somehow I, and many others, slept on this. 

J. Sands of Lone Catalysts fame decided to lay down a bunch of tracks over some Dilla beats.  The mixtape, entitled Mrs. Sands.

You can stream some of the tracks off Sands’ MySpace if you want a taste.  Not bad, check out the track “Love feat. Rashad“.  It’ll give you a good idea of what the album will sound like.

Grab it here. Or here.

[Source: MySpace]

Music

Why does everyone want to spoof The Fresh Prince?

For as long as I’ve been paying attention to hip hop, Will Smith (as The Fresh Prince) has always been a major presence.  It’s the squeaky-clean family fun type rap that everyone can get behind.  It was insanely successful and has continued to be huge in syndication for the last few years.

The iconic opening sequence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wil forever be burned into my memory, and not just because of the wicked neon clothing Smith rocks in it.

Here’s the extended intro (which is rare enough, and kind of interesting):

We posted about Shad’s parody of the sequence for a music video of The Old Prince Still Lives at Home.  This is an example of a good parody.

Shad – The Old Prince Still Lives At Home

And the kids over at Collegehumor have tried to parody it by making a “gangster” version. It’s not as good. Not to hate on these kids either. They get typecast as being mainly into fart jokes and frat boy antics, but they have definitely come up with some comedy gold in the past. This one just didn’t quite do it.

I guess I don’t have a real answer to my rhetorical headline.  Perhaps it’s just as simple as the fact that every person in our generation can sing along to the Fresh Prince intro.  Or maybe it’s something a little deeper.  People connect with it because it seems like such a big piece of our collective childhoods.

Music

Lil’ Wayne disappoints me, but may school Kanye

148688wayne_3Lil’ Wayne has decided that his next venture needs to be into the realm of rock music.  The album, titled Rebirth, has been getting surprisingly good press so far.  The first two singles (Prom Queen and Hot Revolver) have been getting all kinds of love from Pitchfork.

Pitchfork, quite frankly, is the last site I thought would get on the Wayne rock train, but I guess they were swayed by him somehow.

Critically, I should note that without a doubt I dig this album more than Kayne’s 808 and Heartbreaks.  At least Wayne is giving his new musical career a try without layers and layers of autotune.  Okay, that’s a lie.  There’s still a tremendous amount of autotune, but at least he’s not Kanye.  I frankly don’t understand why, when rappers try to do a rock album, they think all they need to do is just strap on a guitar and turn on the synth software.  I feel like there’s some potential here, but he’s copping out.

Here’s Prom Queen.

Focusing more on Hot Revolver, MTV says that “The opening guitar riffs are reminiscent of Tommy James and the Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now,” while the leadoff lyrics borrow from Green Day’s “Basket Case”: “She said, ‘Do you have the time/ To listen to me whine?'”.  An interesting choice, I think, considering Wayne’s not exactly known for following the same path as Green Day.  But

Here’s Hot Revolver.  Ignore the video itself, it’s just a composite of a bunch of other Wayne music videos.

Still, I can appreciate what these kids are trying to do.  It’s good to push yourself and try new things.