Tuesday, February 18, 2014

South Bronx, '80s, from Photographer Steven Siegel

Siegel is another well-known photographer who documented the look of the South Bronx in the eighties. I'm not sure of the provenance of this photo.

This is the source of the one below. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rap lyrics research tool: Rap Stats

"Rap Stats...can help you figure out the migratory patterns of drug dealers, when hip-hop became big business, and whether money really is over bitches

Perform your own searches at http://rapgenius.com/rapstats and tweet your favorites with the #RapStats hashtag!"

For example, an illustration of the decline of "conscious rap":

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"Babylon": the Black British sound system/reggae scene

The Vimeo post describes Babylon thus: "A film of sheer sound and fury, the uncompromising subject matter (it all but anticipates the race riots that engulfed inner cities soon after release) and classic reggae soundtrack helped cement Babylon's reputation as one of the most powerful and historically significant documents about the black British experience ever made."

I found the film via Dangerous Minds, which has this (among other things) to say about the film:

"The soundclash scene with Jah Shaka near the film’s end is just a flat-out great piece of film-making...I lived in Brixton in 1983-84 myself...and walked past a couple of outdoor Jah Shaka parties that I probably would not have been all that welcome at (his PA system was so loud it felt like the music was thicker than the air, like some kind of dub humidity)... Babylon perfectly evokes the growing racial tensions—and intense feelings of doom—of inner city London life during the late 70s/early 80s that ultimately culminated in the fiery Brixton riots."