Bambu for Women’s History Month

March 29, 2011

The two songs below are two small (and important) reasons why Bambu is one of my favorite artists/activists of any kind, anywhere

1. Something

March, in case you were unaware, is Women’s History Month. Los Angeles’ own, Bambu, leaks a song that takes a look at domestic violence from a personal perspective. The song speaks on his family history with violence in the home, as well as his own struggles with it, even touching on the normalcy of such violence against women in our own Hip Hop culture. For this one, DJ Phatrick stepped out from behind the turntables to produce, sampling Adele’s “Someone Like You.” A video is set to drop at the end of the month and the song will also be included on Bambu’s …Exact Change… re-release bonus EP, Short Changed, dropping on April 29, 2011 through Beatrock Music Label.

2. The Queen Is Dead…. an older song calling out sexism in the “conscious” and “progressive” elements…

Bambu explains the track here (track #5)

If you haven’t yet, also check out his “Old Man Raps” (explanation is track #7) and “Crooks and Rooks” videos, as well.

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Same old question: Where are the men?

November 2, 2010

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. However, according to sociologist Dr. Evan Stark, the term “domestic violence” is a bit of a misnomer: Up until they try to leave, abuse survivors experience “coercive control” — a spectrum of instrumental violence consisting of intimidation, isolation, and physical abuse meant to maintain an abuser’s power. Thus, the abuse survivors experience is not necessarily domestic, nor is it physically violent. As such, abuse survivors often face three difficult options: Stay with the abuser and live in terror, try to leave and risk serious harm, or try to neutralize their abuser.

Toward the end of last year, several women and children in the Portland-metro area tried to leave their abusers behind. As a result, their abusers murdered them. Under the lead of the Portland Women’s Crisis Line, the community responded with a vigil. During this month of October, 2010, my thoughts turn back to my experience at that vigil last year…

As horrific as these murders are, an abuser’s final homicidal tendencies are just the tip of the iceberg of what abuse survivors experience daily in our communities. They live their lives in an atrocious terror that is completely preventable, and their murders are flash points, like lightning on a stormy horizon. The storm of violence will continue to surge in our communities and terrorize our loved ones if we keep ignoring the warning signs and their underlying causes. When will we commit ourselves to acting as a community?

Let me clarify who I mean when I say, “we.” Read the rest of this entry »


DiezelP: Time for us to respect women

September 9, 2009

DiezelP writes over at What’s Happening PDX:

Will Hip-Hop Ever Reach Its Full Potential?

The Worth of Women

How will hip hop ever grow to its full potential when the very gender that reproduces our future artists, activists, columnists, producers, and entrepreneurs of our urban community are belittled to almost an object for the testosterone filled modern day rappers? When did the women of our culture become only useful for physical beauty and sexual activity? Why doesn’t Rap music uplift and inspire their female listeners to reach the same level of success males have?

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women in jazz

April 30, 2009

WOW. Grace Kelly. Y’all remember that, alright? Seriously. So I heard this amazing interpretation of “Ain’t No Sunshine” on the radio, waiting with baited breath to hear who the hell it was behind this crazy shee-it. Turns out, you have to qualify it as crazy youthful sixteen year old second-gen Korean American she-it to be accurate. Grace Kelly. Mood Changes.

In the liner notes, Don Heckman beautifully describes the casual sexism us men often carelessly throw around. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):
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