Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rap lyrics, Brown funeral expenses, Van Halen, Notorious B.I.G. family sues L.A., Nuge robbery, RS turns 40, more

By Art Shimko

-- Music news and notes from the last few days...

-- As many people brought up in the wake of the Don Imus controversy, myself included, rap lyrics has its share of misogynistic and racist lyrics which are a detriment to the fans who purchase and consume such swill on a regular basis as well as impressionable youth and society. Well the subject was addressed recently as rap mogul Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network organized a meeting at [chairman and chief executive of U.S. music at Warner Music Group] Lyor Cohen's New York home to "discuss issues challenging the industry in the wake of controversy surrounding hip-hop and the First Amendment" which lasted hours without any conclusion. Those who attended included: Kevin Liles, executive vice president, Warner Music; L.A. Reid, chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group; Sylvia Rhone, president of Motown Records and executive vice president of Universal Music Group; Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America; and Damon Dash, Jay-Z's former Roc-A-Fella Records partner and rapper T.I. Simmons was on The Oprah Winfrey Show admitting there was a problem with rap lyrics but rappers' free speech shouldn't be stifled: "We're talking about a lot of these artists who come from the most extreme cases of poverty and ignorance ... And when they write a song, and they write it from their heart, and they're not educated, and they don't believe there's opportunity, they have a right, they have a right to say what's on their mind," he said. "Whether it's our sexism, our racism, our homophobia or our violence, the hip-hop community sometimes can be a good mirror of our dirt and sometimes the dirt that we try to cover up," Simmons said. "Pointing at the conditions that create these words from the rappers ... should be our No. 1 concern." Al Sharpton too wants in on the action and plans on challenging the industry and rap lyrics by deciding to not honor Def Jam artist L.A. Reid at his National Action Network convention in New York this week. I'm really all for free speech and artists' freedom of expression, what's considered art is always a moot point and I'd never want to see anyone's right to express their feelings in song lyrics yanked away but at the same time this issue needs to be addressed, because chastising a white guy for saying something considered by some to be racist while giving black people and rappers carte blanche to say those same words is bullshit. If you want respect, you need to respect yourselves and learn to respect others, it's really a simple lesson when you think about it.

-- Things never seem to end of James Brown, while the legendary singer died late last year his estate now owes $70,000 for the funeral services from Brown's burial back in March. "I'm just waiting on them to get some of this mess straightened out," said Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Ga., which handled Brown's funeral. "I really haven't pushed the issue, even though I'd like to have my money." According to Brown's trusted advisor Buddy Dallas a portion of the funeral costs where paid for by trustees but that Brown's children ran the bill up to $150,000. Louis Levenson, an attorney for Brown's six adult children stated that it was the trust's responsibilty to pay the bill saying it was a "reasonable" amount, also the children filed a motion to disclose acccounting records of their father's trust and estate before and after his death claiming the trustees tried to sell off Brown's assets against court orders and filed a motion asking a judge to change his ruling putting two special administrators watching the estate so that the children would have more control over the estate. A hearing is scheduled later this month to settle this and other bullshit with Brown's estate.

-- Speaking of never-ending sagas... The family of Christopher Wallace AKA Notorious B.I.G. are filing a second wrongful-death suit against the city of Los Angeles accusing rogue police officers of shooting and killing the rapper ten years ago. The suit is seeking unspecified damages for Wallace's widow, mother and two children. Former L.A. cop Rafael Perez and his ex-partner, Nino Durden were named in the suit as the men responsible for Wallace's death and the suit also claims that Perez was in cahoots with Death Row Records and Marion "Suge" Knight who denied responsibility for Wallace's death. The L.A. police department wouldn't comment on the suit.

-- Ronald "Tenad" Washington was identified by federal prosecutors an armed accomplice of a second unidentified gunman involved in the 2002 shooting death of Run-DMC member Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) inside his Queens recording studio. Washington is suspected of fatally shooting Tupac Shakur associate Randy Walker which he denies any involvement with as well as any connection with Jay's murder claiming that detectives forced him to fessing up about the murders and other crimes. A spokesperson for the Mizell family said, "We're relieved there's some information coming out, although we understand that it's not the full story."

-- Well it turns out that the bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap found in Germs drummer Don Bolles' car earlier this month did not in fact contain GHB as originally detected in a field drug test kit by the Newport Beach Police. A Orange County crime lab confirmed that no GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) was detected. Bolles is scheduled to appear in court on 5/18. "Mr. Bolles charges of felony drug possession charges have been proven false," said David Bronner President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "It's shocking that the DA's office is sitting on the lab results on the soap and hasn't dropped the charges already. Mr.Bolles has always been innocent in this case, but as long as these charges are pending he may not get a passport to travel out of the country to perform and is in major legal jeopardy," said Bronner who appeared in court last Friday to support Mr. Bolles. Bolles is scheduled to tour with The Germs this summer in Europe.

-- Eddie Van Halen makes his first post-rehab appearance on Friday during pre-race events at the Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event in Phoenix introducing a limited-edition series of Fender Stratocaster guitars and will be on hand to greet the drivers as they are introduced prior to race on Saturday.

-- A Concord Township, MI teenager confessed and was jailed for robbing Ted Nugent's home last week, among the items retrieved by local police were two all-terrain vehicles and two hunting crossbows. Police are looking for another teen involved in the crime. I hate The Nuge but seriously, you don't want to fuck with that guy.

-- Rolling Stone magazine is marking its 40th anniversary this year with three upcoming special issues. The first due out this week contains interviews with Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Steven Spielberg and others. The second issue, due out in June will focus on the Summer Of Love of 1967 and the third issue due out in November will focus on the future of music.

-- Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were among the many artists who gathered at Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday night to honor the late Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun who died last December.

-- Boy Sets Fire will hold its final gig ever at Philadelphia's Trocadeo on 6/9. Go to for more info.

-- Bob Dylan's XM Satellite Radio show Theme Time Radio Hour will return for a second season in September. XM will air a Memorial Day Weekend marathon beginning at 6PM EST on 5/26 on channel XM 15 (The Village).

-- Cowell Denies Disrespecting Virginia Tech

-- Ferry apologises for Nazi remarks

-- Belgrade horses may be drugged for Stones gig

-- Crash victim's condition upgraded; car hit by Godsmack lead singer

-- Despite Drop in CD Sales, Music Industry Is Upbeat

-- 'Fatal' blow to web broadcasters
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or referencing commentary from this site please include a link to as opposed to "Strong Style Shimko", "From The Mean Filipine Blog" or derivatives. Thank you~!

You can now receive up-to-the-minute updates from Strong Style Shimko in your email account through by clicking this link.

You can also subscribe by going to, scroll down the page and on the right side of the page you will see this bar:

Enter your email address in the white bar, press the "Subscribe me!" button and you should begin receiving Strong Style Shimko articles and updates in you inbox.

Note: you may have to check your spam inbox for these updates and mark them and "not spam" in order to receive the emails in your regular email inbox.

Again, we here at Strong Style Shimko: TheMeanFilipineBlog thank you for your continued support~!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home