Monthly Archives: May 2009



OK, I’m signing off for a while. The baby is due any day now so I need to get focused. Feel free to look around and peep some of my old posts. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

A 90s Hip-Hop Post Pt. II: West Coast



As promised here is my West Coast selection. Heavy on the gangsta tip, I know. What can I say? That was mostly what was poppin’ in Cali at the time. But there were some exceptions, Aceyalone, Freestyle Fellowship, the Nonce, Alkaholics, Pharcyde, Del and Hieroglyphics come to mind.

Plus we also had that DJ scratch madness goin’ on like crazy. I remember when I first moved to S.F. seeing FM 2.0 (Q-Bert, DJ Apollo and Mixmaster Mike) who later became the Invisible Skratch Piklz. Mixmaster Mike DJed a KRSONE show at the Duboce Theater which was epic. He later became the DJ for the Beastie Boys. QBert was totally insane. Here is a taste:

Deal with it…

Aceyalone: Mic Check (1995). If you haven’t heard this before, prepare to have your mind blown.

Too $hort: Money in the Ghetto (1993). Representing Oakland.

Alkaholics: The Next Level (1993) I met my man Mxx11 at an Alkaholics show. Been homees ever since.

RBL Posse: Bammer Weed (1992) I can’t believe this song used to get played on the radio in the Bay Area.

Del the Funky Homosapien: Catch a Bad One (1993). Is that a cello?

The Coup: Not Yet Free (1992). I still like this album, even if Boots is a Maoist and their other albums were not all that great.

Ice Cube: Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. Before he was in wack flicks Cube dropped a few good albums. This is from his first solo effort after NWA.

Spice 1: Peace to My 9 and East Bay Gangsta (1992). I hate to admit it, but I used to bump this so loud the neighbors called the cops on me and it was great in the car too, if your woofers could handle it.

Freestyle Fellowship: Innercity Boundaries (1993).  I posted this previously. Here it is again in case you missed it.

The Nonce: Mix Tapes and Keep it On (1995). Yes, I know what nonce means in the U.K.

Dr. Dre: Lil’ Ghetto Boy (feat. Snoop Dogg) (1992).

Souls of Mischief: 93 Till Infinity (1993). Oakland’s Hieroglyphics Crew.

Pharcyde: Soul Flower (1992). This one is for Bob.

DJ QBert tearing it up in 1991. Here he is again in 1998.

A 90s Hip-Hop Post Pt. I: East Coast


Some call it “The Golden Era.” This is not a definitive list, just a sample. West Coast post to follow.

Lord Finesse: You Know What I’m About (1992) and Shorties Kaught in the System (1994). Probably my favorite MC. He is also a dope producer and DJ.

Gang Starr: Just to Get a Rep (1991) and The Question Remains (1994). The Guru and DJ Premier. Nuff said.

Beatnuts: No Equal and Let Off a Couple (1993). Beatnuts always had the sickest beats.

KRS-ONE/BDP: The Original Way (1992),  Poisonous Products (1992) and MCs Act Like They Don’t Know (1995). I had the opportunity to see BDP a few times and they always came on the stage with like ten people and rocked the show from beginning to end.

Artifacts: Wrong Side of the Tracks (1995) For the graf heads.

Diamond D and the Psychotic Neurotics: F*ck What You Heard (1992). Seriously slept on.

Biggie Smalls: Machinegun Funk and Everyday Struggle (1994).

Eric Sermon: Focus (1995). Solo effort by half of EPMD.

Organized Konfusion: The Extinction Agenda and 3-2-1 (1994). Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch. One of the best rap groups.

Jeru the Damaja: D Original (1994) and You Can’t Stop the Prophet (1995). Whatever happened to Jeru?

Red Man: Can’t Wait (1994). RIP, Shaolin Alan. You are missed. This is for you.

Nas: It Ain’t Hard to Tell and Memory Lane (1994). When Illmatic dropped it turned hip-hop upside down. The lyrics, the flows, the beats. A mind-blowing first release.

Black Sheep: The Choice is Yours (1991).

Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth: Escape (1995). Another epic production.

KMD: What a Niggy Know? (1994). From the unreleased “Black Bastards” LP. MF Doom double bonus (not 90s but wtf).

Ultramagnetic MC’s: Raise It Up (1993). I know I have posted this before but it is that good to merit posting again.

Showbiz and AG: Soul Clap (1992). Can I get a soul clap? C’mon!Wu Tang Clan: Bring da Ruckus (1993). Another one of those albums that changed the sound of hip-hop.

De La Soul: Stakes is High (1995). Long Island’s Finest.

Black Moon: Who Got the Props? (1993). This is dedicated to the ones that kept frontin’…

Two Interfaith Events: Europe and U.S.A.


The first excerpt is from Arutz Sheva:

( A European rabbinical umbrella organization boycotted an interfaith conference on Monday after it was determined that Muslim delegates included members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

The meeting, co-hosted by the European Commission and the European Parliament, took place in Brussels, Belgium. It was intended to bring together four religious leaders from each participating faith community. Three of the Islamic delegates were members of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE).

In a statement explaining the decision not to attend the meeting, the Executive Director of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Rabbi Aba Dunner, said: “We do not consider it appropriate for organizations such as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, or individuals who made or endorsed anti-Semitic statements and who are clearly linked to radical Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood to be present.”

The Muslim invitees, according to the CER, are “extremists who are not representative of the vast majority of Europe’s Muslim citizens, who support dialogue and the democratic values of the European Union.” The statement noted that the interfaith initiative was a positive one, but that it was “undermined by the inclusion of people who are not interested in interfaith dialogue but in promoting divisive ideologies.”

The second item is from the 92Y Blog (sorry I missed this event):

Jews, Muslims and Shared History: How Understanding the Past Can Build a More Peaceful Future

Join former U.S. archivist Allen Weinstein and noted cultural scholar and writer Al Khemir for a wide-ranging, provocative discussion on how we can comprehend Middle East culture and history in a larger framework than the current eruptions of violence—exploring how we might develop greater appreciation of the commonalities between the people of the region.

Brief Biography

Most recently the Founding Director of the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, Dr. Al Khemir is an artist, television and film producer and author of a wide range of works including her recent novel The Blue Manuscript. She is also the author of ‘Waiting in the Future for the Past to Come‘ (1993) and the ground breaking essay ‘The Absent Mirror‘ (2005).

The Honorable Allen Weinstein is a Visiting Professor at The University of Maryland, College Park. As the Ninth Archivist of the United States he is widely credited with having made the story of American Democracy more accessible. He is a former Professor of History at Boston University, Georgetown University and Smith College and the recipient of many awards including The United Nations Peace Medal.

Monday Miscellany


The non-Zionist Bob from Brockley debates the anti-Zionists at Anarkismo.

Contentious Centrist on Holocaust Denial and Free Speech

Elder of Ziyon: Casualties of Truth

Kellie Strom (Airforce Amazons) discusses Afghanistan and Pakistan

Martin in the Margins on Michael Savage and Free Speech and Western Caricatures of Israel

Modernity Blog: Carnival of Socialism and Ahmadinejad

Poumista: Drawing Clear Lines

Roland (But I am a Liberal!) on Abe Greenwald’s premature obituary for liberal hawks

Snoopy (Simply Jews): UC Irvine Hatefest Starts Again

Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara


ray ford airplane drop

[Photo by Ray Ford]

Santa Barbara cannot seem to get a break from wildfires. In 2008, there was the Gap Fire followed by the Tea Fire and now they are dealing with the Jesusita Fire.

I know the area well. I used to hike and occasionally mountain bike on Jesusita Trail and Rattlesnake Canyon, even though biking was technically illegal and you could get a ticket. I have not been on the trail in years yet I still remember the sights, sounds and smells.

The fire spread down the canyon to Tunnel Road and the Botanical Gardens. Not sure how the plants have fared, but a century old building was destroyed. Two of my favorite places at the Gardens are the small redwood forest and the dam which was constructed by Chumash Indians under the instructions (demands) of Spanish missionaries. The Mission is down the stream about five to ten minutes away by car. When I was young, a group of friends hiked up the creek to a secluded spot and we built an impressive hut which included a woven roof and an old, empty spool of cable which we used as a table. The place was eventually occupied by a homeless person (or people) and subsequently destroyed by the park rangers.

Another place I worry about is Skofield Park. The Tea Fire came perilously close but did not destroy it. From the map, it looks like the Park may have made it though this fire as well. Skofield was the place to bbq on weekends for my friends and I. Eventually we had been going so long we got to know the ranger and his dogs and he would allow me to drive my truck out to the bbq site instead of leaving it in the parking lot. This meant we could crank up the tunes without having to lug a battery-powered boom-box out there. Our regular spot was on the down side of a slope on the far edge of the park, so we did not disturb any families or people trying to enjoy a quiet day outside.

But what I worry about the most are my friends, especially those in the path of the blaze. One of my high-school friends is in the evacuation zone and I am not sure if his family residence is still standing. Give me a call when you have a chance!

Done for the Semester


I am officially done teaching for the semester. All that is left is grading and I should be able to finish that by Sunday.

The main event occupying my brain space is the rapidly approaching due date of our baby. My wife and I have been frantically trying to clean and make space for all the new things a baby brings, like a crib, a stroller, all that stuff. Since we only have a little more than two weeks until the baby arrives, I will likely not be spending much time blogging. I imagine even less so the first two weeks.

Here are two items I intended to write longer posts about but have not found the time:

It looks like a couple more animal activist nutjobs activists were picked up by the state apparatus, this time in Southern California. Kevin Olliff (22) and Lindy Greene (61) were arrested and charged with stalking and conspiracy to commit the crime of threatening a public officer or school employee. The indictment claims both were members of the Animal Liberation Front whon targetted employees of the University of California, Los Angeles and POM Juice Company.

Sociologist William Robinson at the University of California, Santa Barbara is coming under fire for an email he sent to his students which compared the recent IDF operations in Gaza to the Nazi’s in WWII. Back in my rad lefty days I used to be really into Robinson’s work but it shouldn’t surprise me he is part of the hate Israel contingent. Bluetruth has more info. So does Ron Radosh (h/t to Bob and Jogo).

May Day Mayhem in San Francisco



The forces of social revolution attacked luxury stores in San Francisco’s Union Square to celebrate International Workers Day. This is from SF-IMC:

This action carried no demands. Its choice of geography and timing speak for themselves. It is safe to say that it inflicted the most property destruction San Francisco has seen in a very long time in an area usually deemed to be off limits to street actions and demonstrations. There were no arrests and upwards of $50,000 worth of damage was unleashed in a controlled and methodical manner that required intense cooperation among participants.

As to how this benefits workers or anyone besides the vandals seeking a cheap thrill is unclear. They did provide this comment:

Like fishermen turned pirates off the horn of Africa who have hijacked a primary artery of global capital as they defend their lives and communities, mass coordinated anti capitalist attacks across Greece that illustrate how an anarchist initiated insurrection can bring a state to its knees, or crews of friends taking over the streets of downtown Oakland in resistance to police violence, the May Day mutiny in San Francisco has revealed weak points for us to take note of and exploit. The illusion of an invincible corporate state able to crush or undermine all its enemies has been shattered. The forces of repression have no real defense against our evolving rebellions.

Yes, by attacking Prada, Armani, and other expensive stores, these crusty black-bloc vandals have “the system” quaking in its very boots. I’m sure.

While the event has been covered in the local news, the national media has been largely silent. Less than a month ago the Tea Party protesters were presented as raving right-wing lunatics by the NYT and others. Yet the Tea Parties–acknowledging their incendiary rhetoric and the involvement of a variety of unsavory elements–were peaceful. Weeks later, you have radical leftists running through the streets of SF busting windows and acting the fool and the msm says “ho hum, nothing to report here.”

On a more positive note, Bob from Brockley has a roundup of May Day events in the UK. Here is a roundup of global May Day demonstrations from the BBC.