Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Justice In Sanford" (Hip Hop Please Don't Let U.S. Down)

By Barry Michael Cooper

"JUSTICE IN SANFORD (WATCH YOUR BACK); The New Hip Hop Benefit Concert Album Featuring Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rick "Rozay" Ro$$, 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, Lil' Wayne, T.I., Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli (Black Star), Common, Outkast, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Nas, Lupe Fiasco, The Clipse, Eminem, Yellawolf, 2 Chainz, Pharrell, and Kendrick Lamar. Special Guest Appearance by Chuck D and KRS One. Intro by Black Thought, ?uestlove and The Roots. Produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Dr. Dre. Featuring the lead single, "A Hoodie Ain't A Hood (Watch Your Back)." Proceeds will benefit the Justice 4 Trayvon Fund.

Dear Hip Hop:

Yeah, I know this is wishful thinking. If politics in 2008 was the new Hip Hop, then Hip Hop is the new political movement. Peep it: this is Your CDF; Career Defining Moment. And...we're waiting.

Don't let U.S. down.

Sincerely,

An Ol' Head from The Days of DJ Hollywood.

Be sure to order Barry Michael Cooper's debut anthology of street journalism from the 1980s (from his award winning reporting in The Village VoiceSpin Magazine, in addition to his more current essays on the Huffington Post), titled "Hooked On The American Dream-Vol.1: New Jack City Eats Its Young," which is now available on Kindle/Amazon. Don't have a Kindle? No problem; Amazon has a free app available for download, to read "Hooked On The American Dream-Vol.1: New Jack City Eats Its Young," on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Only $1.99! Click here to go to the Amazon site. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin: A Native Sun in the Shadow of the Hood


by Barry Michael Cooper

"Yet man is born into trouble, as the sparks fly upward."

Job 5:7

In the digital buzz constructed by the honeycomb of social networking, the murder of 17-year-old Travyon Martin swells with the poisonous sting of American racism. Until a few weeks ago--before the marches, the rallies, the trending topics, the blogposts, and the page one and lead TV news stories--Trayvon was a young Floridian growing up in Miami Gardens and known only to his family, friends, and classmates. A smaller circumference of people in Trayvon Martin's orbit, who could have never imagined the horror waiting for him on 26 February 2012, inside the gated cul de sac of Twin Lakes, located in Sanford, Fla. Trayvon’s parents--his mom, Sybrina Fulton, and his dad, Tracy Martin--knew their sun beamed with the promise of a bright future. Trayvon was Luke Skywalker in the land of Rick Ro$$. Trayvon rocked a hoodie, but it couldn't hide his shine. Trayvon Martin had a mind and a heart that was built by GOD, and lifted on the wings of his family's love.

It’s no wonder Travyon Martin wanted to be a pilot.

Maybe Trayvon saw a career in the United States Air Force or United Airlines. Maybe he could have been the commander of the first shuttle mission to Mars. However, on the night of 26 February, Trayvon Martin--who had gone to the neighborhood store to buy Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea during the half-time of the 2012 NBA All Star Game--became an HD Native Sun dimmed by a myopic world obscured by its opaque past, and mired in the quicksand of modern racial hatred. A quicksand vibrating with the thunderous discord of Jim Crow ghost clocks. Many in this country thought those ghost clocks stopped ticking on 20 January 2009; only to be rewound at the shock of seeing an African-American man being sworn into the Oval Office.