Follow my new Instagram account for more frequent updates than this blog. I’m trying! The #DirtyHarvardSessions at Unplugdla last night was simply unforgettable and ineffable. You had to be there. Besides the American Voices look I’ve helped champion the band for, I am of the opinion it needs a booking agent and a domestic and world tour. Can I be y’all publicist/road manager/whatever? LOL.
Back to what’s in the headline about the U.S. Mint. I came across a Washington Post report earlier about the Black Lady Liberty that actually made news in the NYT also back on Jan. 13, so fresh news it ain’t – although the coin actually drops in April. In my opinion, the very idea of a black Lady Liberty represented on a $100 collectible coin is the equivalent of any of the futuristic concept car I’ve written about for Car Fanatics Blog. Peep the archive.
Generally speaking: It isn’t ready for production and mass consumption, but previews what’s to come and imagines the future. Plus, it’s going to generate some serious coin because it’s gold and collectors are suckers for unique items. This is definitely better than sneakers, right?
The bigger picture is that this U.S. Mint move is purely a marketing carrot stick with some serious effect social innovation (that’s a phrase I heard in today’s Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership info webinar).
Of course, Harriet Tubman is headed to the dub first.
Just like concept cars are meant to be ‘out there,’ creating a coin with an American-African woman is a gesture of powerful symbolism that hopefully trickles down at a time when its needed most.
Even under an executive branch as controversial and apparently, reckless, as President Donald Trump’s.
I’ve contributed to many media outlets over the years, including some of the leading outlets that cover hip-hop culture and rap music. For many writers, interviewing and being associating with name-brand artist matters. I never looked it that way. Even interviewing Nas – my favorite musician of all genres, for very personal reasons – was a rather straight-forward deal (Write questions, ask them, get answers, publish, move on to the next story).
My specific mission and purpose has and always will be to champion undiscovered and deserving talent. Pac Div in 2006. Skeme a few years later (Pistols and Palm Trees, funded by Baron Davis, is comparable to Illmatic). The premise to build a genuine fanbase around a consistent stream of dope music over a period of time is rather simple. To get commercialized? That’s another story. The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am broke that down to me when we chopped it up at the Record Plant in 2007 for what became a Critical Beatdown in The Source. Diddy turned down a chance to be a secondary quote for that piece, but I passed him in the hallway.
For what it’s worth, the latest artist I’m really championing is South Central LA-based Biz and his band, simply called Dirty Harvard Biz. I’ve heard some of the music from their forthcoming Heart Break Hotel LP and feel its a matter of time before their art ascends to new heights.
For what it’s worth, my contribution to the band’s success is at the grassroots level. After kicking it with Biz in person a few times after mostly interacting on the phone or social media, I drafted up a new band bio and helped DHB submit an application to American Voices. I really hope they get a shot because Biz and his bandmates feel like the authentic hip-hop and urban culture ambassadors in the vein of the prototype, my Brooklyn-via-Bay Area pal Toni Blackman, and her protege, Detroit-based Mahogany Jonz, whom I’ve had a chance to see live in concert in Lusaka, Zambia.
While we wait and see what happens with American Voices, Dirty Harvard Biz is doing what bands do: play shows. If you’re near Hollywood on Wednesday, do yourself a favor and dip by UNPLUGDLA for the next one. You will enjoy yourself. Trust.
It must be #OscarsSeason but it isn’t #OscarsSoWhite because … Ruth Negga? Ayo, I can’t with this preacher/author/clown. MED: niggality is a state of mind. Keep running in those circles all you want. I’m good. Moving to Dallas or Dar es Salaam and working on The American Opportunist is my scholarship and no man or woman alive is going to stop it.
I could care less about how race is perceived or not perceived in America by theatrical preachers who are also sociology professors and run their mouths to enrich their own people.
You do that, dude. I’m good.
One more thing: Tell Nas to tell Ben Horowitz to call me and contribute to a real estate capital fund to build a House of Blues in Dar es Salaam so Russians and other non-race-war-monger mobile global citizens can come down and see Distant Relatives and/or Antonique Smith and/or Dirty Harvard Biz band from South Central perform.