Archive for March, 2011

Pray for the people of Japan

The images coming from Japan are just heartbreaking after they suffered a devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami and then the implosion and at this point near meltdown of there reactor. Amid the global financial crisis it is even worse because a strong Japan (currently the 3rd biggest economy) will help the global2011 Japan Crisis economic recovery. The stories of the destroyed cities and ports torn asunder by the tsunami are so sad. Then the battle to keep the reactors from melting down and contaminating the northern part of Japan are truly amazing. The plant evacuated nearly all of the 800 plus workers leaving behind a small brave crew of 150 to try to get the plant back to operational level and save the possibility of a meltdown. The workers must know that they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation and that this will considerably shrink their life expectancy. How brave are these men and women to know that they will possibly die but save there country and countrymen? Equally scary is twenty-three of the 104 nuclear reactors in the US were designed by General Electric the company that created the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan. These were built back in the 60’s so how out of date could they be?

UPDATE! 03-18-2011

A worker in the plant blogged about her experience the whole article you can read here. Here is a small exceprt of what she had to say:

In the midst of the tsunami alarm (last Friday), at 3am in the night when we couldn’t even see where we going, we carried on working to restore the reactors from where we were, right by the sea, with the realisation that this could be certain death,” she wrote on Tuesday. “The machine that cools the reactor is just by the ocean, and it was wrecked by the tsunami. Everyone worked desperately to try and restore it. Fighting fatigue and empty stomachs, we dragged ourselves back to work. There are many who haven’t gotten in touch with their family members, but are facing the present situation and working hard.

Unbelievable courage they are showing when it can almost certainly mean there death!!!

R.I.P. Nate Dogg (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011)

Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg

Nate Dogg passed away yesterday at the age of 41. Here is some short history of this great hip hop icon.

Nate Dogg was born in Long Beach, California. He was the friend and partner in the rap game with rappers Snoop Dogg, Warren G, RBX, Daz Dillinger and was the cousin of Butch Cassidy and Lil’ ½ Dead. He began singing as a child in the New Hope Baptist Church in Long Beach, and at Life Line Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where his father (Daniel Lee Hale) was a pastor. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school in Long Beach, California and left home to join the United States Marine Corps, serving for three years.

Nate, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, who all belonged to the Rollin 20 Crips gang formed a rap trio called 213, which recorded its first demo in the back of the famed V.I.P record store in Long Beach. The demo was later heard by Dr. Dre at a house party, who was impressed with Nate’s soulful voice.

Nate Dogg made his debut on The Chronic. Singing in what later become his trademark style, he was well-received by fans and critics alike, and would go on to sign with Death Row Records in 1993. Nate Dogg was also featured on Mista Grimm’s “Indosmoke” with Warren G. Then in 1994 he produced his first hit single “Regulate” with Warren G. Nate Dogg was also featured in many Tupac releases, including his collaboration record Thug Life: Volume I. In 1998, after a tumultuous time at Death Row Records, he released another album. The double album was titled G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2 and was followed up in late 2001 with Music & Me on Elektra Records. Music & Me peaked at number three on the Billboard hip-hop charts in 2001.

In 2002, Nate Dogg appeared on a celebrity episode of the Weakest Link, making it to the last three players before being eliminated by Xzibit and Young MC.

Nate Dogg was arrested in Arizona in April 2002 and was charged with firearms and drug offenses. He pleaded guilty in May 2002 and was subsequently sentenced to probation and community service. He was also ordered to attend drug counseling sessions.

Nate was generally more successful in collaborations with other hip-hop artists. As of 2004, Nate Dogg has featured in and contributed to over 40 chart singles.

After a number of delays and an original release date of April 2004, his self-titled album Nate Dogg was released on Affiliated Entertainment Group on June 3, 2008.

What is Hip-Hop?

What is Hip-Hop? Better yet what is music? Dictionary.com has the following

1.

an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color.

The most important part in that definition to me is “expresses ideas” and for me that was what I thought when I first heard Hip-Hop as a kid. It was a new way musically of “Expressing ideas”. Groups that came out were expressing how it was to live in their neighborhoods and cities. The art of “telling a story” cleverly while rhyming over a beat was an amazing refreshing new experience. It was originally laughed at and mocked as a passing fade and junk music. But now today in the present hip-hop is so main stream and ingrained in Americana that you can’t go a day without seeing something that has been influenced by the genre. But does the acceptance by the general public somehow diminish the edge that Hip-hop once had. Some would say yes that all A&R heads are looking for are turnkey groups with the same formula, saggy pants, foul-mouthed, misogynistic young men running around proclaiming how much money they have and how the party never stops. It is almost funny that so many of these young rappers don’t really come from the “hood” but actually grow up in suburbia. So where do you go to get back to that edge that new “fresh”, different vibe that first caught your ear all those many years ago. I thought I might not ever get that feeling again then I came across these young cats called “Odd Future“.  They are out of Los Angeles and the surrounding area and guess what they’re new, fresh, different. They are not the regular turnkey rapper super group. They happen to be kids who grew up with the internet, they know the vibe of it, they are in tune with their generation and they are different. Black kids who skate, wear vans and rap about anything that comes too their mind. I have to admit that visually and lyrically some of it might shock but that is what is so great about it. It’s the thought process of today’s teens.  Check them out here as they appeared on Jimmy Fallon back in February and watch Fallon’s face during performance.