Tag Archives: grandmaster caz

india and hip hop in nyc: zulu nation’s birthday and the smita patel retrospective @ MIAAC film fest

dear readers,

it’s around 11pm in nyc, i’m about to hit the town, hot 97 on the radio, kanye is sitting in with flex for a session, sounding strong too. before i head out, i had to let you know about two incredible events, both stretching over the days of this weekend, both dear to my heart. one hip hop, one indian.

the thing about smita patel is not only is she fine, but she was the female protagonist that steered the ship of the under studied indian new wave cinema movement. the indian new wave movement toed a brilliant line between abstraction from formulaic narratives and centering stories of the untouchable and female oppressed. i was in india when smita patel died in 1986; a tragic, early death that rocked the nation. but her art lives on, and the mahindra indo-american arts council film festival is doing a bad-ass retrospective of her work that deserves to be seen. including the revolutionary film, manthan (the churning): “based on a true story of a milk cooperative that led to an economic revolution in rural Gujarat, the film was financed by 500,000 members of a farming cooperative, each of whom donated one or two rupees to assure the film would be made.” dope. here’s a link to the MIAAC film festival: http://miaacfilmfest.org

the universal zulu nation is an enduring, membership driven society of hip hop founders, legends, and lovers worldwide. founded by hip hop architect afrika bambaata exactly 36 years ago, the zulu’s celebrate their birthday this weekend with a series of events. the line up for each event reads a cast list for beat street and wild style put together. that is, the folks performing at these events are a veritable who’s who map of iconic shapers of the hip hop culture. i’m talking grandmaster caz, chubb rock, black rob, cold crush brothers, big daddy kane, ultramagnetic mc’s, x-clan, soulsonic force, and i’m barely scratching the surface. a nice touch are the two kick-off events happening at a gym in the bronx near 149 and grand concourse, heart of the movement. here’s a link to the event list: http://www.zulunation.com

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one more thing before i go
when a break cat and a writer chick kiss
their lines spin in time no rhyme could diss
geometry of signs in the taste of his lips
dip dip baby dip

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have a great weekend readers.

love,
roopa singh

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wildstyle: a series on what next, future political goals

dear readers,

just came back from catching hip hop film classic, wildstyle, at filmfare in the 212. in the house were members of the rock steady crew, grandmaster caz, with a potential lady pink citing.  an incredible short flick on chronicling a samurai sharp yet endearing barbershop battle in which a swahili spitting rapper and lyrically dipped grandmaster caz go toe to toe.

director charlie ahearn, spoke before and after the film.  he offered lively anecdotes and attempts at bigger picture political links between the hip hop generation then and now.  ahearn dominated the mic while the film’s shining stars and culture’s ambassadors kicked it in the audience.

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film review: wildstyle

widlstyle was an uprock of colors, a rainbow of ryhme, and it was earnest. without being wimpy. for the first time, i saw it as a musical. the precedent for award winning broadway hit, the heights.

taking a look at the movie through the eyes of a survey of the gender dynamic circa hip hop’s labor pains reveals (surprise!) that a male dominated hip hop industry isn’t new. but the degree of equal inclusion on the basis of gender in wildstyle, with graf star lady pink and debbie harry both featured in powerful roles, was refreshing.

ladies, am i wrong or have  we been having some DRY times in the music and media industry?

introducing a series on future political goals

is it time to ask ourselves: what are our new thresholds?

i think so. because “yes we can” is only “yes we DID,” in one, albeit important, way.  aside from getting the obama’s in the white house, we are very much a society at “si se puede stage,” still.

im going to be writing a series on prospective political goals, domestic and international. starting from one and going to ten. they’ll drop on saturdays.  here goes number one.

1. bring back the public works projects.

that way you boost morale through beauty, pump money into main street, and support artists. artists cherry humanity’s sundae. decades of steadily drying streams of funding deprive the people of the love we should never have to forget. artists love is real love, it don’t come around during election time, it is a death defying constant. art makes me feel held.  in its grasp i am seen.  and beign an artist is my way of holding you.  so lets bring back the public works projects and freshen up our roads and bridges with murals, brighten the eyes of grade school children with song, quicken the confidence of high school students with dance, challenge the unhindered intelligence of college students to poetry, and nurture our teachers through film, for they are all stars

i think the news should help the nation organize.  so this my version of the news.  come back for more of all the news thats fit to flip.  saturday, installment two in the ten part series.

peace,

roopa singh, jd

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