Sunday, February 25, 2007

Episode 2 is Live

Democracy in Dakar, Episode 2
"Freedom of Speech"

In the second installment of this documentary series, several of the main candidates for President in Senegal are introduced against a backdrop of the campaigning on the street and the perspective of hip-hop crews from across Dakar.

The optimism that accompanies most elections is tempered with the reality of the emerging democracy in Senegal, including the suppression of criticism of the government, both through brute intimidation and more subtle means (bribery, lack of airplay, etc).

Episode 2 closes with the song "Yaa Tey" by Xuman, one of the most prominent political rappers from the group Pee Frois.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

bad bad apple

an interesting post on apple. i'm liking it cause i didn't get a mac when i got my new laptop. and cause i'm always fairly sure i don't like apple, even though it seems i should . . .

RIAA is insane.

I believe the technical term is schizophrenic. Anyway, the RIAA is the group that is supposed to be protecting and serving artists. Instead, for the past 5 years, they have been engaged in a huge series of mostly spectacularly unsuccessful suits against music fans. I read this digital music news thing where they compile many stories of interest. A few weeks ago, there was a great double story where the first was an announcement of the RIAA losing a case, and the second about a label paying the legal fees for a music fan who was sued by the RIAA. What this said to me was that even the labels who are part of the RIAA are helping fans who are being sued, then it's all over for the RIAA.

And then today, this story came out. Basically, the RIAA lost a case, and now are asking a judge to allow THEM NOT TO PAY the legal fees of the poor woman who they sued! Not only that, but they are asking the judge to accept some wacko theory that says if you have an open wifi connection and someone uses that connection to "steal" music, then you are liable! So I guess this means that drunk drivers are almost off the hook. After all, if the state made the road and allows you to drive drunk on the road, then the state must be liable for all damages when you crash into someone else. INSANE!

And then if you go to RIAA's site, you can read some seemingly sane articles about "important issues". But if you dig deep enough, you can find the two-sided insanity.

Our challenge as a music industry is all about how to make music relevant, and important in everyday life, and how to continue to foster a live music scene, and get people to recognize the important contributions of artists to daily life. And then to make sure that these artists get compensated fairly for these contributions. This is as much as PR battle as anything else. When the RIAA steps in to sue fans for spreading music, enjoying music, and does so in direct OPPOSITION to the artists and labels they serve, this PR battle is lost before it gets off the ground. Kind of like going into a war with faulty intelligence and re-directing important resources from another very important and real battle. What happens is you let the real bad guy get away, and make a whole bunch of "bad guys" out of regular people merely cause you've drawn an arbitrary line in the sand.

If you can't tell I'm wound up by this stuff, I'll post some video of me pulling out my hair. . . .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Episode 1

Live from Senegal

The first episode of African Underground: Democracy in Dakar is now available to watch worldwide!

Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions are in the process of filming 8 mini documentaries on location in Dakar Senegal documenting the role of hip-hop in their up and coming elections which are slated for February 25th 2007.

This first episode sets the stage explaining the realities of life in Dakar, the role of hip-hop in the 2000 elections and brings us into the current state of modern Dakar, hip-hop, youth and politics.

Featuring interviews with:

Keyti (classic Senegalese MC from groups such as Rapadio and the Dakar All-stars)
Eye Witness (underground MC from the Wa Geble crew)
Tigrim Bi (underground hip-hop crew from Pickine)
Birima Fall (Senegalese journalist/academic)
Baat Sen (Griot/Reggae singer)

You can watch the entire first episode here!

You can also see exclusive out takes from freestyle sessions with Tigrim Bi, Eye Witness, Keyti and Baat Sen at:

Episode 1 Credits:

African Underground: Democracy in Dakar
Produced By:
Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions

A Nomadic Wax/African Underground Project - Ben Herson
Filmed and Edited by Magee McIlvaine and Chris Moore

Featuring interviews with:
Keyti (Rapadio, Dakar All-stars)
Eye Witness (Wa Geble/Two Thou Productions)
Tigrim Bi
Baat Sen

Featuring music from African Underground: Depths of Dakar Produced by Ben Herson (Nomadic Wax and Dan Cantor (Notable Productions)
Intro Music by: Benny Beats (Nomadic Wax
Mixed by Dan Cantor (Notable Productions)
Closing Song: Omzo 'Li Guen Pt 2'
Produced by: Benny Beats and Dan Cantor

Thanks to:

Abdou Diop
Vivi Lapidus
Pape Cheikh
Bocar Sy
Serigne Cheikh
Dan Cantor
Gwendolyn Hopkins
Erich Ludwig
Breese McIlvaine
Brian Mencher
Waa Diop
Waa Teuw
Waa Sicap
Waa Thiaroy
Waa Geble
Waa Pickine

Eye Witness appears courtesy of Two Thou Productions (Norway) and Wa Geble (Thiaory)

African Underground and Nomadic Wax are registered trademarks of Nomadic Wax LLC. All rights reserved.

Democracy in Dakar is a collaborative project of Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions.

Episode 2 will launch Sat February 24th!

global hip hop tv

nomadic global hip hop tv

democracy in dakar tv

Thursday, February 08, 2007

the new project . . .

these are a bunch of images/buttons from a project i'm consulting on. wicked stuff man, check it out!