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Monday September 01, 2014
Feature of the Week

[There Is Only Now] Returning from Montezuma with revenge on their minds!

Souls of Mischief Review

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Lowkey & Immortal Technique - Voice of the Voiceless

From 7Thirty Promo:

Lowkey and Immortal Technique - Voices Of The Voiceless

Voices of the Voiceless is the long awaited first collaboration between two of the world's most conscious recording artists, Lowkey and Immortal Technique.

Lowkey who hails from London is the fastest rising star in British urban music having racked up over 100 shows in 2009 so far as well as giving talks and lectures at political events around the world. The rapper/poet of mixed Arab and British descent has been dubbed as "one of the best lyricists in the Western Hemisphere" by Benjamin Zephaniah and has been wowing audiences as a solo artist as well as in the Indie/Hip Hop superband Mongrel (made up of members of the Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles and Reverend and the Makers) for which Lowkey is a lead vocalist.

Immortal Technique has been dominating in the independent music arena for the last 5 years with his last two albums (Revolutionary Volume 2 and Third World) selling in their 10,000s on his independent label Viper Records as well as him touring the world drawing huge crowds in all continents.

Both artists are known for their no holds barred political commentaries and supreme lyrical ability and this single is a testament to that with its eerie production a perfect match for the hauntingly poignant lyrics.

Watch YouTube Snippet at .

Lowkey's Myspace page is .

Free Music Friday: Liberty Day Edition

This edition of Free Music Friday is dedicated to those forever affected by the tragic event that occured eight years ago. 9/11 will be the day we'll always remember, not only to Americans, but to people around the world. The families and friends of all victims will continue to stay in our hearts and prayers as we learn to never take life and liberty for granted. Rest In Peace.

And now for the free music...

DJ Smallz & Evident :: Evident Da Mixtape Chapter One

[It's the SOUTHERN SMOKE a-brewing on the water! DJ Smallz hooks up with this Corpus Christi rapper name Evident (not to be confused with Evidence) to bring you "Evident Da Mixtape Chapter One."]

1. Fear Factor Intro (feat. DJ Smallz)
2. It's Evident
3. I Grind
4. Single Girl
5. Kiss Me
6. Rockin' Ruff
7. Blame It
8. Criminal
9. Chapter 1
10. Freedom
11. Just My Imagination
12. Sweat
13. In My Room
14. Mr. Late Night
15. Flirtacious
16. Party Animal
17. Into Me
18. It's an Evident Outro

DJ Sugga Black & Team Sunshine Distribution :: Gunshine Gangstas

Dj Sugga Black - Gunshine Gangsta's - A MonsterLeak Exclusive

[Coming straight from Florida, DJ Sugga Black is giving away many of the Miami Heat joints for y'all for free. Whether you're in Florida or Alaska, you'll easily recognize the blazing humidity of the M-I-Yayo music that might melt your speakers.]

1. Plies - Cheif
2. Mighty Mike - Ride Wit the Fire
3. Brisco - Gameroom
4. Trina - That's My Attitude
5. 21 Reese - Party Till Tommorow
6. Fella - Iz U Fuckin
7. Armstrong - Rollie Pollie
8. Trick Daddy - Ruby Red
9. Chill - Cokeboy, Weedboy
10. Lo Boy - Git Ghetto
11. Mike G - Stripper
12. Rick Ross f/ Mario and Young Breed - Breakup (Remix)
13. Swords - How Deep is Your Love
14. Flo Rida f/ Ne-Yo - Be On You
15. P.I. Bang - Trap Keep Jumpin
16. BENISOUR - Work Keep Moving
17. Iceberg - My Potna Dem
18. Black Dada f/ Rick Ross - Imma Zoe Remix
19. Brisco - Sliding
20. Papa Duck - Pat Dat Pussy

E.Ness & 9th Wonder :: In The W.ide W.orld Of W.rap

[If y'all don't remember who E. Ness is, you'll probably recognize him from D-A, B-A, N-DEEEEEEEEE! Yep, that's right, that Diddy group. Just when it seems E.Ness was going to go straight to the top, the airplane engine halted as it ended up crashing to the grounds below. That's okay though 'cause in the underground, he found the acclaimed producer 9th Wonder to help fulfull his hunger again in this free mixtape entitled "In The W.ide W.orld Of W.rap." It's a wrap!]

1. Floww (prod. by 9th Wonder)
2. Can't Do What I Did (prod. by 9th Wonder)
3. Temptation (prod. by 9th Wonder)
4. Return of Da Mack (prod. by 9th Wonder)
5. I Wanna (prod. by 9th Wonder)
6. I See You ft. Keisha Shontelle (prod. by 9th Wonder)
7. Number In Da Phone (prod. by 9th Wonder)
8. Think It Over (prod. by Fatin)
9. Talk Dirty (prod. by Khrysis)
10. Get Ur Paper Out (prod. by 9th Wonder)
11. Too Ill (prod. by 9th Wonder)
12. Khrysis (prod. by Khrysis)

J.Period and K'NAAN :: The Messengers Digital EP (Episode 1: Fela Kuti)

[A while ago, I gave you a preview of J.Period and K'NAAN's upcoming digital EP "The Messenger." Well, it's finally here! Well...sorta. The EP is divided into three parts and this one is a tribute to the late great Fela Kuti! If you have any doubts on K'NAAN knowing his music, then this will prove you wrong. DEAD WRONG!]

1.  Introduction to Fela Kuti
2. Let’s Start (Messengers Remix)
3. Let Me Introduce Me (Messengers Remix)
4. Messengers and Prophets (Interlude)
5. Ololufe Mi (Messengers Remix)
6. Who is Fela? (Interlude)
7. Got My Dream (Messengers Remix)
8. The Story of Fela (Open & Close)
9. Gentleman feat. Bajah (Messengers Remix)
10. Perceptions of Africa (Interlude)
11. Africa (Messengers Remix)
12. Africa Unite (Outro)

J.Period and K'NAAN :: The Messengers Digital EP (Episode 2: Bob Marley)

[Okay, here's the second part of K'NAAN's "Messenger" EP and this time it's paying homage to the late Rastafarian Bob Marley. This has gotten ot be the longest EP I ever witness and guess what, it's for free! And guess what else, it won't be over yet because "Episode 3" should be on it's way next week (And no, that's not John Lennon (R.I.P.).]

1. Introduction to Bob Marley
2. Belly Full (Messenger Remix) (feat. Kardinal Official, Steele, and Bajah)
3. War Through Poetry/Sun is Shining (Interlude)
4. Shot the Sheriff (Messengers Remix)
5. Fighting a War (Interlude)
6. Johnny Was (Messengers Remix) (feat. Netic the Rebel)
7. Need You So (Wailers Interlude)
8. My Country/Small Axe (Messengers Remix)
9. Love Lights Burning (Interlude)
10. Fatima/Stur it Up (Messengers Remix)
11. Satisfy My Soul (Outro)

The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League :: The Grammy Kids (Hosted by Bigga Rankin)

[Quick! Name some songs produced by the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. If it's tricky for you, I can do it for you. Rick Ross' "Magnificent," Mary J. Blige "No One But You," and 2 Pistols "She Got It." Now I can only name those three sogns to tell you that they're some hot producers (pause), but I know you can figure out the rest. If you can't, then d/l this mixtape and you'll find more heat these Grammy kids has produced over the years. They ain't heroes, but they sure know how to make bangin' music.]

1. Juelz Santana - Into/Rumble Young Man Rumble
2. Young Jeezy - Done it All
3. B.G. f/ Young Jeezy - Hustle
4. Young Jeezy - We Jook
5. Rick Ross _ Billionaire
6. Slim E - Been Swagged Up
7. Rick Ross & Baby - Pop That Pussy
8. Young Jeezy - Don't Get Caught
9. Young Buck - Do It Myself
10. Young Jeezy - Bury Me a G
11. Rick Ross f/ Jay-Z - Maybach Music
12. Rick Ross f/ Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T-Pain - Maybach Music II
13. Rick Ross f/ Big Boi, Diddy, Special Ed - Magnificent (Remix)
14. Young Jeezy - Wordplay
15. Young Jeezy - Rock Song
16. Bun B & Colione - History in the Making
17. Prime f/ Blazed - Let it Go
18. Rick Ross f/ Magazene - Yacht Club
19. Supa Show - Pressure
20. John Legend - Ordinary People (Remix)/India.Aire - There's Hope (Remix)
21. Double D - Str8 Like That
22. Dave Young f/ 50 Cent - Drinking & Smoking
23. Keri Hilson f/ Ma$e - Who's That Girl
24. Certified & Pleasure P - Turn Off the Lights
25. Shareefa - Butterfly
26. Mary J. Blige - No One WIll Do
27. Young Capone f/ Mario - Choosin
28. 2 Pistols f/ T-Pain - She Got It
29. J. Holiday - We Are Good for Each Other
30. J. Holiday - Fallin
31. Laws - Rain
32. Bloodraw f/ T-Pain - My Way
33. Bigga Rankin Outro

Jozeemo & Bionik :: TV Land


[Last week, I gave you "Reservoir Dogs" and this week I'm giving you a solo Jozeemo mixtape entitled "TV Land." Jozeemo spits while producer Bionik make beats that has familiar television tunes with a lil' twist. Definitely tune in to this!] 

1. Big Bad A$$ Boss
2. Gimme a Break
3. Don't Trip
4. Reverend Truck Sermon
5. I Don't Call It (ft. Flaw)
6. The East
7. Car 54 (ft. Ja Dub and Jeffro)
8. Trick'in (ft. Ja Dub)
9. Nothin (ft. Carlitta Durand and Truck)
10. Story 2 Tell
11. Drug Deal Gone Wronf (ft. Ms. Blue)
12. It's Going Down
13. Me (ft. A.Y. Lee)

JUDAH & Dub MD :: Here, Enjoy (Instrumentals) (Mixed by DJ Beatstreet)

[People asked for it and JUDAH gives it to them. Becoming well-known as an up-and-coming producer, JUDAH drops a free beattape aptly titled "Here, Enjoy," featuring instrumentals of many heaters he has done such as Stat Quo, Wale, C-Ray Walz, and more.]

1. Intro - Skillz/Daytona Squared (Wale) (Produced By Judah)
2. Infected - C-Rayz Walz (Produced By Judah)
3. Studio 43 - Wale (Produced By Judah)
4. Lord Give Me Another Day - Bad Boy Records (E. Ness) (Produced By Judah)
5. Bump, Bump - Wale (Michael Jackson Tribute) (Produced By Judah)
6. Breaking Up - All the Lonely Souls Out There LOL (Produced By Judah)
7. Her Love - UCB (Produced By Judah)
8. 2008 Rap Up - JUDAH (Produced By Judah)
9. Coldplay x Jay-Z Viva La Hova (Produced By Judah)
10. Air Wacks - RAtheMC (Produced By Judah)
11. Kick Rocks - Tabi Bonney (Produced By Judah)
12. 2007 Rap Up - JUDAH (Produced By Judah)
13. Lovely Sweetness (Produced By Judah)
14. Love Leave (Produced By Judah)
15. Say - John Mayer x Jay-Z (Grammy Remix Album) (Produced By Judah)

Peter Bjorn and John :: "Re-Living Thing" (Mixed. Mick Boogie)

[For those who know who Peter Bjorn and John is know that they're aren't really that hip-hop. In fact, they're far from it. Ever so dependable Wikipedia describes their style as "Swedish indie rock." But many doesn't know that they are 100% pure hip-hop heads and they wanted to prove it. So they hollered at Mick Boogie to create a remix of this year's album "Living Thing" and make it hip-hop. And boy, he did! With guest appearances like Bun B, Rapper Big Pooh, GZA, and Black Milk, you'll think i'm posting up a soundtrack. Give this one a listen and these Swedish folks know how to make an old school hip-hop head say, "Represent!"] 

1. Naledge & Mickey Factz: Blue Period Picasso (remixed by nVMe)
2. Freebass 808 & Christian Rich: Living Thing (remixed by Apple Juice Kid)
3. Bun B & The Kid Daytona: Losing My Mind (remixed by 6th Sense)
4. Big Pooh, Chaundon & Phil Nash: Stay This Way (remixed by Jazzy Jeff)
5. Trouble Andrew & GLC: Lay It Down (remixed by The Kickdrums)
6. Talib Kweli & 6th Sense: I Want You (remixed by William Russell / Good Life Mike)
7. 88 Keys & Outasight: 4 Out Of 5 (remixed by 6th Sense)
8. U-N-I: Last Night (remixed by Remot)
9. GZA, Buckshot & Tabi Bonney: The Feeling (remixed by Marco Polo)
10. Big Sean, Black Milk & T3: Just The Past (remixed by nVMe)
11. Kardinal Offishall, Donnis & Henok Achido: It Just Don’t Move Me (remixed by Jet Audio)
12. Wale, Young Chris & Rhymefest: Nothing To Worry About (remixed by The Kickdrums)
13. Evidence, Jerreau & Fashawn: Amsterdam (remixed by Cookin’ Soul)

Thee Tom Hardy :: The Hardy Boy Mystery Tape: Curse of thee Green Faceded (Mixed by 9th Wonder & Don Cannon)
HHBM Back Artwork - FINAL

[NC emcee Thee Tom Hardy has gotten a hand from famed producer 9th WOnder to release this long-winded titled mixtape that'll keep the heads rockin' and toe tappin'! Some will probably listen to the joints on here and won't believe it's a white dude rockin't he mike like that. If there's only one thing he proves, is that in these days and age, white and black face doesn't matter. Because in the end, the only coolor that matters is green.] 

1. Thee Tom Hardy Show (prod. E. Jones)
2. Makin' It Laaast(prod. 9th Wonder)
3. Family Ties (feat. Big Remo & GQ) (prod. 9th Wonder)
4. Chillin' In My Bungalow (prod. Thee Band Geeks)
5. Afterschool Special (prod. 9th Wonder)
6. I'm Grinnin' (prod. 9th Wonder)
7. Make Her Mine (feat. Tyler Woods) (prod. E. Jones)
8. EXTRAordinary (prod. Fatin "10" Horton)
9. I'm The Ooh Child (feat. MURS) (prod. 9th Wonder)
10. Go Like This (feat. Reck Mason & GQ) (prod. Thee Band Geeks)
11. Rap $$$ (prod. 9th Wonder)
12. As We Shine (feat. Rapsody & D-Mal) (prod. 9th Wonder)
13. Dzamnit Dawg (feat. Ric Jones) (prod. 9th Wonder)
14. Okaaaaaay (feat. Rapsody & TP) (prod. 9th Wonder)
15. We Rap GR8 (feat. Harlem's Cash & Mikkey Halsted) (prod. 9th Wonder)
16. OMG!!!! (prod. 9th Wonder)
17. Boom Boom (prod. 9th Wonder)
18. Never Have Seen (prod. 9th Wonder)
19. Rap $$$ Roc-A-Fella RMX (feat. Young Chris & Freeway) (prod. 9th Wonder)

That's it for the "Liberty Day Edition" of "Free Music Fridays." If you have any free music you would like to share with the world, please e-mail me at If you're an artist with your free mixtape/album shown on this page and you want to send me a link re-up, corrections, and/or questions, e-mail me at, as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy y'all!  Two fangas, one love....

Jay-Z - Rapper, Mogul... Everyman?

On Wednesday night I was at the 40/40 Club (and yes, ESPN was on the screen) for an event that Jay-Z was hosting (big ups to Berk Communications for the invite). First off, I have to give Jay props for being at both this event and doing a concert somewhere else on the same night. I don’t know too many other artists that would even attempt to pull that off, let alone actually make it happen. Secondly, seeing Jay-Z up close and personal, albeit not for any sort of extended period of time, has left me with the idea that through all the fame and money and everything he says in his lyrics, Jay is very comfortable in the role of the everyman.

Read the full story at:

Ian Kamau's "September Nine Vol. 2" featuring Dan-e-o!

From Dan-e-o:


Download my boy Ian Kamau's latest mixtape, "September Nine Vol. 2" which
features a track we did together entitled "Legacy" (our tribute to Michael

"Legacy" will also appear on my forthcoming mixtape, "Dilla Pickles". But
in the meantime, click the link and fill your iPod up with some dope new

SEPTEMBER NINE VOL.2 (released 09/09/09)

"Dilla Pickles" mixtape coming soon!

Buy Dan-e-o's music!

Watch Dan-e-o's videos!
The Don Faraldo -
Dear Hip Hop -
Corrida De Toros -
T.N.T. -
Kama Sutra -

Is the Third Time a Charm or Did Blueprint 3 Bomb?

Is the Third Time a Charm or Did Blueprint 3 Bomb?
An editorial by Steve 'Flash' Juon

I've been getting feedback all week long on Jesal Padania's review of "The Blueprint 3" and I think it's finally time I speak on it and give my own two cents. Keep in mind this is not a correction of Jay Soul's review nor is it a revision of said review - this is just my own editorial thoughts on how BP3 compares to Jay's legacy of great albums over the last decade and a half.

First things first, let's examine the fact Jay-Z chose to title this album "The Blueprint 3." It's been almost seven full years since "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse" was released. In the interim Jay retired from rap, took over Def Jam, UNRETIRED from rap and left his position as CEO of Def Jam - not precisely in that chronological order but you get the gist. Few rappers can be said to have had more success with less focus as one can hardly begin to guess what Shawn Carter will do before he's already done it, changed his mind and done something else. Despite that turmoil he's kept on hitting us with classics like "The Black Album" and "American Gangster," proving that even as he neared his 40's he was still a relevant force in hip-hop and a pop culture icon to boot.

With so much history between now and then it seems strange to go back to The Blueprint series. The first volume suffered from tragically bad timing on its release date, but still managed to go down as a memorable and well regarded Jay-Z album. The unexpected sequel was ambitious, but at two discs long was a bit bloated. It may have been better for Mr. Carter to not go that route, but by choosing the name "The Blueprint 3" he had something to prove to his critics - he's still the archetype for all other rappers who want to follow the road to riches and diamond rings. When you're the self-proclaimed King of New York, the best rapper alive, and 40 is the new 30, why not put yourself on top by reminding everyone you've already done it twice before?

The problem is that history shows us that sequels are not always better than the original. Sylvester Stallone keeps getting older, and "Rocky" movies may continue to be entertaining, but they're not as good as the original nor are they as relevant to the mainstream. 40 is not the new 30 - 40 is still 40. Far from being a knock on Shawn Carter, I applaud his middle-aged hip-hop hustle. Rap music has grown up and blown up over the last 30 years, and now more than ever we should be embracing the artists and pioneers who have shown longevity instead of being flash-in-the-pan hip-hop acts. They are quite literally the blueprint for the future of the music and the culture - from Afrika Bambaataa to KRS-One to Grandmaster Flash to Ice-T to LL Cool J and so on. Furthermore as veterans go, Jay still has as much swagger as he did 15 years back if not far moreso. He's even challenging today's current rappers to be more creative and not just rely on gimmicks like Autotune to go gold, a challenge I hope more artists accept. Note that he's not saying NO ONE should use Autotune, just that everyone shouldn't ABUSE Autotune. That's a key distinction a lot of people were missing when Jay declared Autotune "D.O.A."

In the end though Jay's mistake is that naming his album "The Blueprint 3" automatically encouraged listeners and critics alike to compare his new work to things he did almost a decade ago. While BP3 is far from a terrible album, I can certainly understand where Jay Soul is coming from when the album is measured up to the rest of Jay's catalogue. There are at least a few songs on the album where Jigga seems to be phoning in it and resting on the laurels I've spent most of this editorial outlining, and there are at least a few beats that don't stand up to the dozens of classic songs he's had in this century alone. I've been asked many times this week how I would have scored the album if I had written the review and my simple answer is 7/10 across the board, because it's a good Jay-Z album, but it is FAR from the best album Jay has ever done - and it's not even better than the bloated BP2. At a time when the likes of Raekwon and Slaughterhouse are releasing potential albums of the year, Jay not only suffers by comparison to his own past, he suffers by comparison to his contemporaries in the present. This is far from reason for Jay to go BACK into retirement though. "The Blueprint 3" is still worth buying whether you're a long-time Jay-Z fan or a hip-hop head in general, but even at 40 it's clear that Shawn Carter is capable of much more than what this album offered.

Kwame Presents "What About BOB?" From Beyond Belief

Multi-platinum selling producer Kwame would like to introduce "What About BOB?," the debut album from Beyond Belief, the premiere artist on his boutique imprint Make Noise.

Beyond Belief - U Don't Know Me
* *

Beyond Belief - Work
* *

Beyond Belief - It's A Go
* *

Beyond Belief - What About BOB? (Album Stream)
* *

Beyond Belief - What About BOB? (FREE Album Download)
* *

Make sure you check out & follow Beyond Belief on twitter at for the latest updates.
Hip-Hop Videos - Random, Havoc, Panacea, Saigon

You know got'cha back! We're the cure for your Wednesday, hump day, middle of the work week blues with brand new hip-hop videos to enjoy, starting with Random's parody of Drake called "Worst I Ever Heard."

In case you didn't know and hadn't heard, "H Is Back."

Here's the latest Panacea update sent over by our friend K-Murdock!

Impulss represents for the Southern side of things on "Do It."

RR favorite Saigon is back with a new video for "Gotta Believe It."

Last but not least is the latest chapter in Eternia & MoSS' "Road to Release" featuring Jean Grae and MC Lyte.

Lil Flip's "Respect Me" Due Out Sept. 29th

The Lone Star State's Lil Flip aka Flip Gates to Drop New LP "Respect Me" September 29th

Distributed by E1 Entertainment (formerly Koch), prominent Indie High Powered Entertainment will release Lil Flip's"Respect Me" online and in stores everywhere 9/29

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 16, 2009 -- The Lone Star state's Lil Flip, aka Flip Gates, is back again and ready to seize his rightful spot among southern rap royalty with the High Powered Entertainment CD release Respect Me, online and in stores everywhere on September 29th.

Official Lil Flip Flyer
Official Lil Flip Flyer

With street inspired themes, state of the art rhymes, and cutting edge production, this album will most definitely keep heads banging and clubs jumping. A voracious prodigy of the late legendary mix tape visionary DJ Screw, Lil Flip has delivered a winner with Respect Me; a killer collection of 15 original certified anthems, produced by J Silva (Keyshia Cole, Lil Wayne, E-40, Daz Dillinger and more).

The title track "RESPECT ME", offers fans a glimpse into the rapper's past and present deeds, set to a hard driving beat. "SHAWTY WANNA THUGG", a swag strong Hip Hop/ R&B joint, meshes smooth vocals and Flip's magnetizing lyrics. "SWANGAZ ON BENTLEYS" is a lyrical wonderland of quick punch lines and infectious flow all topped off with a catchy, chopped and screwed hook. Other titles include the LP's 1st single; "Da #1 Fly Boy", "2 Steppin", "I Got To Be", "I'm Back" and more.

"The thing about this album is that it's so reflective of me, my music, life and lifestyle," says the laid back 28-year-old Lil Flip, "Trust me; everything I rap about is based on truth. So when I rhyme dirty style about the Bentleys, the clubs, the platinum, the girls, my life's lessons or whatever, it's not bragging, it's just fact."

The underground legendary rapper is constantly in the lab creating and striving to put out quality music for his loyal fans. Distributed by E1 Entertainment (formerly Koch), Respect Me is a solid full length LP that is sure to satiate any rap aficionado and garner Flip Gates, respect he deserves!

Want a sneak peek of RESPECT ME? Check out these links including the hot new single "Da #1 Fly Boy":




To learn more about Lil Flip or for music samples visit Lil_Flip_Myspace.

Q-Tip Kamaal The Abstract Video Footage

EXCLUSIVE Q-Tip Kamaal The Abstract Video Footage

Starting today, Jive/Battery Records will be releasing daily webisodes created by Q-Tip where he discusses every track of his highly anticipated album, Kamaal The Abstract, available everywhere September 15th.

There are a total of 11 webisodes: the first one can be found today at  The direct link to the video can be found here.

Be sure to check in everyday at for a new video.  Tomorrow we will release the second webisode where Q-Tip talks about the first track on the album “Feelin.”

Kamaal The Abstract is available for preorder at iTunes here.

All webisodes were shot by Mills Miller and produced by By Any Means.




Andreas Hale Is No Longer With BET

From Andreas Hale:

To friends, colleagues and those that should know,

As of today (September 8, 2009) I am no longer the Executive Editor of Music at

Upon entering the position at BET I said that I needed one year to see what really went on inside the belly of the beast. I needed 365 days to sleep with the enemy and infiltrate the system. One year to see if they REALLY wanted change at BET.

As someone who has been critical of BET for many years, it surprised many that I would leave my post at HipHopDX last year to take a position at BET. But it was an opportunity I absolutely had to take. I could no longer be critical of this company without accepting the opportunity to change it when given. Although I was hired to bring about change, I was systematically shut down. I wasn’t hired to make noise, I was hired to be silenced.

The truth of the matter is that everything that you thought was wrong with BET is true.

Over the past year I’ve seen a lot to reinforce my position that BET is too far gone in the negative to turn into a positive. We have all always thought the worst, but to actually see it in action is another thing in its entirety. The unprofessionalism, the tom foolery, the favors, the misappropriation of resources, the bad ideas that reinforce negative stereotypes, the emasculation of men, the meetings that break down in full fledged cursing battles, the unpaid overtime, the tears from employees scared for their underpaid and overworked positions and ultimately the unwillingness to change are all harsh realities that I’ve witnessed firsthand. 

That is not to say that there aren’t some good people who have sat in the offices of BET. Unfortunately, the good people are not in positions of power to instill any change. Instead, they work their fingers to the bone just to keep their jobs in this harsh economic climate. The other good people ran out of the door as soon as an another employment opportunity presented itself. To say BET was a revolving door would be an understatement.

I came in with a plan to provide balance and to deliver good music to the masses and help make BET relevant again - at least in the dot com world. Those attempts were shut down by out of touch executives who run a dot com but could barely turn on a computer. By those who judge their metrics by page views over absolute unique visitors (that‘s ad sales talk). By those who simply don’t understand the internet.

They brought me in because of my track record but never once took a look at my body of work. If they did, they would have known that I was the pen behind editorials such as “BET’s Coon Picnic” or were aware of the many times I have been critical of their award shows and programming. All they knew is that I played a major role in making a once unknown website into a online media outlet that surpassed theirs and they wanted a piece of the action. Too bad they never researched who I really was.

During my tenure I worked long hours and sometimes succeeded at bringing in decent content to try to reflect the change I wanted to achieve. But it wasn’t without opposition. While some interviews and content initiatives were able to make it through, many others were either shut down or met with ridicule.  I offered ideas to incorporate the blog world and to spotlight new talent before MTV did. Those ideas were met with comments such as “This isn’t HipHopDX” or “You don’t know what you are talking about.”

BET is not about the quality of your work. Rather, BET is about the relationships you have with powerful people within the company. BET is not about challenging. Instead, BET is about accepting and saying “yes.” If you have known or followed me over the years, you would know that these are things that simply are not in my character and ultimately resulted in my removal.

For the artists and labels that I have worked with for years, I tried. I did whatever I could to achieve that balance many of us wanted to see happen.  To the writers who wanted to writer for BET, I made an attempt but was never given a budget to work with.

Upon my arrival, I was told I would be given a staff. Not true. I had a staff of one to carry out daily operations on a website. I fought tooth and nail to accomplish the minimum (an embeddable player and a site people could navigate) and was constantly brushed off. It was a position that was set up for failure. But I endured as long as I could.

Alas, I have been removed from my position after infiltrating the system and the timing was perfect. I wasn’t let go because the site’s numbers were down. Not because I didn’t work hard. Simply because of a personality clash with an individual whose proverbial ass I didn’t kiss enough. Again, not about the work you do but about the relationships you keep and the sides you take.

I’d like to thank BET for covering the cost of my relocation to bring me to the great city of New York/New Jersey. I’d also like to thank them for putting me in close quarters with people who think like me and will hopefully work with in the near future. I’d also like to thank them for providing me enough controversial content that I observed firsthand and will make for many tales to be told.

I said it and I meant in: One year to either make changes or move on. I left HipHopDX on September 16th 2008. Today is September 8, 2009. Eight days short of a year. Most thought I wouldn’t even last that long. But in that year I’ve had my greatest fears about Black Entertainment Television affirmed. 

There is so much wrong with BET that I’d rather not break it down in a single email.

It is pretty good fodder for a book don’t you think?

As of today, Andreas Hale is a free agent.

Andreas Hale

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