Chiddy Bang – Opposite of Kids

Ha. ATEtraks first interview. Their first interview too. There were five then, there are two now, but the headway they’ve made is certifiable and the music still stands strong. Word is that the track gets pretty decent radio play in the UK (then again, they were always the first to endorse anything dope before us pretentious Americans jumped on to it). This video is so adorable! My favorite is the “follow of the leader” — can I get a DOOM-esque cardboard helmet too?

If you haven’t already peeped it, download their mixtape Swelly Express.

-SamSun

A Night (Snowed In) At The Museum


Tomorrow night the weatherman is calling for a brutal snowstorm, and what better place to be snowbound in? Celebrate Black History Month and remember J Dilla. Live performances, art, and music will be on deck. Don’t know how to get to the museum? Try this, one of the greatest sites ever invented.

-Nakeya B.

Scanz Releases “Lights Please” Freestyle

Photography by Nakeya B.

Scanz leaks another track over J.Cole’s “Light’s Please”. This is a follow-up to the “Peace” freestyle over DJ Khalil #6 released last week.

Scanz is currently finishing his last semester at Drexel University’s Music Industry Program, as well as throwing a weekly party in Philly called Electric Butter. For those of you in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out. This Friday will not only mark the first party with Scanz (in collaboration with Philly-celebrated DJ Phsh), but also marks Scanz birthday (which just so happened to be this Monday)!

Also look out for the mixtape coming in June!

DOWNLOAD LINK

-SamSun

Nujabes Luv(Sic)

Really enjoyed this video. You prolly will too..

-SamSun

The Blak Roc Project

First time I had heard of The Black Keys was unfortunately late in the game– at this year’s Roots Picnic. The duo jammed hard, and as soon as I made my way home I downloaded their discography and they’ve been a mild obsession ever since. It’s pretty obvious why The Roots would pick them. Their sound is organically bluesy, but it gives a modern perspective on the genre. Can’t hate on it.  So imagine my surprise when I heard that The Black Keys were to release an album this November with a few big named artists in hip hop: Raekwon, RZA, Mos Def, Jim Jones, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monche and Nicole Wray, among a few others. Concocted by entrepreneurial genius Damon Dash, they call themselves Blac Roc. *cheeses* So much to be excited for.

Below is the track that’s featured on the trailer above. Features Jim Jones and Mos Def:

[DL] BlakRoc- Hoochie Coo

-SamSun

Big ups to Aditya for the tip.

NOLA DARLING + NINA SKY = SOB’s Ladies Night to Remember

DSC_0953

It’s been five long years since we were last graced with an LP from NINA SKY and much to our liking the wait is up. In anticipation of their upcoming sophomore album entitled Starting Today Nina Sky put on one hell of a show at SOBs in front of a packed and HEAVILY diverse crowd (Spanish, Black, White, old, young, gay, straight, women, and men- LOVED IT).  Opening the show was NOLA DARLING, another tag team of hip chicks with a lot of promise and a wicked sense of fashion.

More photos after the jump!

Andreas Hale Leaves BET


To those of you who are unacquainted, Andreas Hale was the former EIC of HipHopDX.com, a site whose popularity he established before he left last year to take the position of an executive editor at BET. News today is that he has left.. and not without an impression to leave. Even if BET isn’t your channel (it’s fondly referred to by a lot of people as Black Exploitation Television), this email sent today by Hale gives an interesting perspective on the stagnant position he felt he had at the station. It’s a courageous, heartfelt and peeved email that points out flaws, yet lends no apologies–that takes balls. I wonder what he’ll take over next…

-SamSun

“To friends, colleagues and those that should know,

As of today (September 8, 2009) I am no longer the Executive Editor of Music at BET.com.

Upon entering the position at BET I said that I needed one year to see what really went on inside the belly of the beast. I needed 365 days to sleep with the enemy and infiltrate the system. One year to see if they REALLY wanted change at BET.

As someone who has been critical of BET for many years, it surprised many that I would leave my post at HipHopDX last year to take a position at BET. But it was an opportunity I absolutely had to take. I could no longer be critical of this company without accepting the opportunity to change it when given. Although I was hired to bring about change, I was systematically shut down. I wasn’t hired to make noise, I was hired to be silenced.

The truth of the matter is that everything that you thought was wrong with BET is true.

Over the past year I’ve seen a lot to reinforce my position that BET is too far gone in the negative to turn into a positive. We have all always thought the worst, but to actually see it in action is another thing in its entirety. The unprofessionalism, the tom foolery, the favors, the misappropriation of resources, the bad ideas that reinforce negative stereotypes, the emasculation of men, the meetings that break down in full fledged cursing battles, the unpaid overtime, the tears from employees scared for their underpaid and overworked positions and ultimately the unwillingness to change are all harsh realities that I’ve witnessed firsthand.

That is not to say that there aren’t some good people who have sat in the offices of BET. Unfortunately, the good people are not in positions of power to instill any change. Instead, they work their fingers to the bone just to keep their jobs in this harsh economic climate. The other good people ran out of the door as soon as an another employment opportunity presented itself. To say BET was a revolving door would be an understatement.

I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again – at least in the dot com world. Those attempts were shut down by out of touch executives who run a dot com but could barely turn on a computer. By those who judge their metrics by page views over absolute unique visitors (that‘s ad sales talk). By those who simply don’t understand the internet.

They brought me in because of my track record but never once took a look at my body of work. If they did, they would have known that I was the pen behind editorials such as “BET’s Coon Picnic” or were aware of the many times I have been critical of their award shows and programming. All they knew is that I played a major role in making a once unknown website into a online media outlet that surpassed theirs and they wanted a piece of the action. Too bad they never researched who I really was.

During my tenure I worked long hours and sometimes succeeded at bringing in decent content to try to reflect the change I wanted to achieve. But it wasn’t without opposition. While some interviews and content initiatives were able to make it through, many others were either shut down or met with ridicule. I offered ideas to incorporate the blog world and to spotlight new talent before MTV did. Those ideas were met with comments such as “This isn’t HipHopDX” or “You don’t know what you are talking about.”

BET is not about the quality of your work. Rather, BET is about the relationships you have with powerful people within the company. BET is not about challenging. Instead, BET is about accepting and saying “yes.” If you have known or followed me over the years, you would know that these are things that simply are not in my character and ultimately resulted in my removal.

For the artists and labels that I have worked with for years, I tried. I did whatever I could to achieve that balance many of us wanted to see happen. To the writers who wanted to write for BET, I made an attempt but was never given a budget to work with.

Upon my arrival, I was told I would be given a staff. Not true. I had a staff of one to carry out daily operations on a website. I fought tooth and nail to accomplish the minimum (an embeddable player and a site people could navigate) and was constantly brushed off. It was a position that was set up for failure. But I endured as long as I could.

Alas, I have been removed from my position after infiltrating the system and the timing was perfect. I wasn’t let go because the site’s numbers were down. Not because I didn’t work hard. Simply because of a personality clash with an individual whose proverbial ass I didn’t kiss enough. Again, not about the work you do but about the relationships you keep and the sides you take.

I’d like to thank BET for covering the cost of my relocation to bring me to the great city of New York/New Jersey. I’d also like to thank them for putting me in close quarters with people who think like me and will hopefully work with in the near future. I’d also like to thank them for providing me enough controversial content that I observed firsthand and will make for many tales to be told.

I said it and I meant in: One year to either make changes or move on. I left HipHopDX on September 16th 2008. Today is September 8, 2009. Eight days short of a year. Most thought I wouldn’t even last that long. But in that year I’ve had my greatest fears about Black Entertainment Television affirmed.

There is so much wrong with BET that I’d rather not break it down in a single email.

It is pretty good fodder for a book don’t you think?
As of today, Andreas Hale is a free agent. “