Friday, April 02, 2004


real killas wear pink

  • relays this incredible story: "The Pink Menace of Hip-Hop," where a high school principal in Indiana expressed concern over students wearing the color...PINK.

    Yes, that's right folks, rocking a pink t-shirt is being treated the same as rolling up in blue or red doo-rags. Amazing. We all have, of course, the above Killa Cam to blame for this, with a side of Andre 3000 thrown in. Who knew pink would ever become the new gangsta tone? Further signs that metrosexuality is not simply alive and well, but taking things to the next level? Maybe the Bloods will start wearing pink while the Crips can change from blue to a nice mauve?
    Next Details: "Gay Or Thug Rapper?"

  • Meanwhile, in another stunning story, reported by the EUR, Spelman College students have banned Nelly's bone marrow drive from their campus. In objecting to Nelly's misogynistic portrayal of women in his videos (specifically in his new video, "Tip Drill"), Spelman is making a very strong statement that one would hope would give Nelly, and other rappers, some pause. It's one thing to ban an artist from performing on campus, quite another to turn away a public health/social service activity and I'm sure this decision did not come easily or without debate.

    That said, this raises difficult questions about social priorities. Should concerns over public image trump public health? On the flipside, should a public icon be given a free pass on their sexism (or any other -isms) because they take up a good charity (in Nelly's case, his sister has leukimia so there is a personal motivation here beyond image)? I hope that Spelman does encourage other bone marrow drives to come to their campus just as I hope Nelly realizes that what he does in his videos and songs will have repercussions for him elsewhere.

  • reports on another potential controversy brewing over at the New York Times. It concerns a rising staff writer there, Jennifer 8. Lee, who apart from having the most contrived middle name I've ever seen, is being criticized of using her Harvard alum connectons to write her stories. Much of the flak against Lee seems to originate from a fluffy, February New York Sun profile that raised the hackles on some in the blogging community since it compares Lee with the late, great Katherine Graham.

    It's still a little unclear to me what the real concern is here. Especially in light of the recent Martha Stewart trial, I do wonder if this isn't some closeted resentment towards Lee as a rising woman within the NY Times ranks. Lee is not a Philip Glass or Jason Blair. She's not fabricating her stories. She is, however, relaying on her collegiate connections to help conduct research and it sounds like some of the concerns that are playing out are an implicit critique of Harvard cronyism and hell, that's something I can get behind (sorry Jon, Hua).

  • Can't Stop, Won't Stop writes a heartfelt eulogy for the late Ritchie Perez, Young Lords leader and social activist, who passed away last week.

  • My friend Joe Schloss finally has his book, Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip Hop coming out in July. Cop that shit.
    (spotted at I'm So Sincerr)

  • And finally, two words sure to change your life: Artificial jellyfish.
    (spotted at