Video: Erykah Badu Discovers Her African Ancestry

Written by Nigel D. / 05.20.14

The Roots Of…Erykah Badu discovers her African Ancestry for Okayafrica TV.

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Video: Corruption, Cocaine And Murder in Trinidad

Written by Nigel D. / 05.20.14

Around midnight on May 3, Dana Seetahal, a prominent attorney and senator in Trinidad and Tobago, had just left a casino in the capital of Port of Spain when her vehicle was stopped by another car blocking the road. A van pulled up alongside and let loose a burst of gunfire, killing her in a well orchestrated hit.

Her murder was one of approximately 170 that have occurred in the Caribbean nation so far this year, putting it on course for one of the highest murder rates in the world. The country saw only 93 murders in 1999. Last year, there were 407.

VICE News visited the slums of Port of Spain and spoke with police, activists, community leaders, and gangsters to understand the country’s decade-plus spike in killings. Many of the murders are attributed to ruthless and politically connected street gangs who control territories that are sometimes no larger than a city block. The gangs fight over lucrative government contracts meant to provide social services and combat unemployment.

But gang violence is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. Trinidad has become an important stop for drugs headed to West Africa and the United States. Many observers point to “the big fish” — the nameless political and business elites who are behind drug trafficking and the culture of endemic corruption and murder that come with it. They are accused of turning a country rich in oil and gas deposits into their own personal narco-state, fostering impunity through a web of bribes and murders. Unlike the profits from the energy industry, however, this phenomenon trickles all the way down to the street level.

via Vice News

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Video: Nas Reflects On His Debut Album On Fuse’s “Illmatic At 20″

Written by Nigel D. / 04.16.14

Nas and several others from music industry reflect on, “Illmmatic.” Check part two and three below.

via Fuse
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Video: Illmatic XX (Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q & More Speak On Illmatic)

Written by Nigel D. / 04.11.14

Check out our special feature with Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and more as they reflect on the twentieth anniversary of “Illmatic”.

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CNN’s Chicagoland: Chief Keef And Lil JoJo Conflict

Written by Nigel D. / 04.03.14

Lil JoJo was killed after taunting his rap rivals. The people he targeted were associated with rap superstar Chief Keef.

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Video: The Tanning Of America Ep 4. – All Around The World

Written by Nigel D. / 02.28.14

2000 – present: From Eminem to hip hop empires; Sean John and Rocawear; Vitamin Water and Beats by Dre; hip hop slang pervades the culture; Ice Cube, Ice T and Queen Latifah become loveable TV and film stars; the dawn of a new political movement in hip hop; Vote or Die; Hurricane Katrina and the election of the first African American president.
via VH1

Thoughts on the full, “The Tanning Of America,” documentary? Interesting to see how big the influence Hip Hop has on our society has grown. Record sales aren’t what they used to be but artists have found several other streams of revenue. What do you think is next for Hip Hop?

Video: The Tanning Of America Part 1 & 2
Video: The Tanning Of America Part 3

Props Yardie

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Video: The Tanning Of America Part 3

Written by Nigel D. / 02.27.14

1993 – 1999: The rise of Snoop and Dr. Dre, hip hop hits the suburbs; Tommy Hilfiger turns hip hop fashion into millions; Biggie and Puffy, Jay and Nas, Ghetto Fabulous and Bling; the influence of music videos; Vibe magazine; the rise of FUBU and Jacob the Jeweler; Will Smith saving the world in Independence Day; Mariah Carey teams with OBD to create “hip pop” and Time Magazine proclaiming America as a “hip hop nation.”
via VH1

Part three of, “The Tanning Of America,” brought back a lot of memories since it highlighted the era I grew up in and when Hip Hop blew up.

Video: The Tanning Of America Part 1 & 2

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