D.L. Chandler's frequent thoughts on the world of hip hop and beyond

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Have Speechwriter, Will Fool You b/w RUSSELL RUSH IS BACK!

While watching the president's State of The Union address on television Wednesday evening, I kept hearing the chorus from Definitive Jux recording group S.A. Smash’s song, “I’m A Robot‿ (an album I named as one of the best in 2003 for the magazine – all while looking at the eerie Laura Bush with her Stepford Wife hand waving. That was my own personal Twilight Zone moment but let’s really think about the meat of his message.

It’s known that I write for those of the so-called Hip Hop generation and this is a group I’m hoping stays just as informed as I strive to be. I’d like to think that some of you who read my words looking for jewels might find a few here and there.

But I challenge you all to pay attention to what’s going on in Congress and listen to the political talk shows and pundits. Much of what was discussed during the SOTU was about your future and the ability you’ll have to care for yourself in retirement age. Ask any parent, those retirement planning years now seem so far off but it will go by quickly. For every little bit you don’t do now, it will just be a larger hurdle to climb later. Realistically speaking, Social Security shouldn’t be the only retirement fund you rely on. Now if Puffy and the rest of the Hip Hop political hopefuls want to get behind something, I’d like to see them launch a campaign to empower young people to learn more about their finances and the laws behind them. They’re pretty quiet these days and this is just the type of hot button issue that will draw big time partisan battle lines –jumpstarting the necessary discussions to be had.

One of the most important Hip Hop albums of all time is Public Enemy’s “It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back‿. According to’s Nolan Strong, there will be a discussion about the legendary LP held at the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU. For me, this album notes the very first time I decided to be active in my community. I hope to travel up and witness this discussion as it meant so much to me as youth. I can still remember hearing cuts like “Bring The Noise‿ and “Rebel Without A Pause‿. That first line, “Yes, The Rhythm The Rebel/Without A Pause, I’m Lowering My Level‿ will forever be burned into my mind. Seventeen years later and this LP's worth is still clearly superior to a lot of today’s so-called classics.

A little news item that I almost overlooked was Mr. Russell Simmons rubbing elbows and slapping high-fives to Republican Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich. Simmons, as you can read in this article , seems to be moving a bit to the right with his support of Governor Ehrlich’s seemingly kind gestures. Truth be told, Ehrlich’s doesn’t seem to tow the party line when it comes to fixing problems in the state so I can actually get behind what he’s doing as well. It’s just a little interesting after how quiet Simmons has been on the political front that we see him resurface at a time such as this; He’s been active in other causes as of late. This isn’t a judgment of the man’s character – I will always maintain that however critical I may have been about Mr. Simmons, I never once didn’t have high hopes for his mission. That said I hope he makes a more vocal return to the political realm because things are certainly stalling right now and the politically minded Hip Hop movement needs a jumpstart.


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