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ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue66 (August 2018)

Article: Embers Still Burning by Jhantu Randall

August 11th marks the one year anniversary of the Alt-Right’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that took the life of activist Heather Heyer by a man who hit her intentionally with his car. The images of that day are forever engrained in the psyche of the American public. From images of Khaki clad college students holding tiki torches as they marched through the center of town screaming about Jewish people replacing them, to chanting the words “Blood and Soil,” which was a direct throwback to a past era that we all naively thought never would return.

As much as I wish I could offer some concrete answers, I can’t. I could never comprehend how that in 2018, we have a political party who openly gives a platform to this kind of rhetoric and another party who willingly jumps at the trap and plays directly into the narrative.

The idea of identity goes far beyond political affiliation at this point. People see their ethnic makeups as the binding factor in who they are, if anything hinders them in any way, regardless of the size of the inconvenience then the whole system must be rigged. This victimhood mentality is a down payment on at least a generation of people who will be content in never attempting to move towards any sense of upward mobility.

I bring up this story because as much as we as a collective ignore this message or just plain act like it doesn’t exist, the seeds of their hateful speech has already been released into the national dialogue. To reject that fact is to choose to walk away why the building you live in is caught in a 4 alarm blaze. This is where hip hop as a culture has failed at their own rules. Hip hop is and has always been sold as the voice of the voiceless, It was a space where any artist could step into a recording booth and let his truth out for the world to consume. In the age of the internet, this power has been increased substantially.

`Knowing this, I have to ask, why have a majority of artists actively avoided this topic?

I understand not addressing every individual occurrence, but to act as if this rhetoric isn't spreading and the message isn’t resonating with at least a small part of the population could be seen as blatantly irresponsible!

The mental gymnastics required to address the complexity of it can be exhausting, but you can safely assume that at least some fans have to deal with these clashes on almost a daily basis. From disproportionately being locked up with longer sentences in the criminal justice system, to being racially profiled on a friday night, you cant deny that there are people that ultimately see anyone who differs from them as lesser than.

Where can we go for an escape?

When the mass media even has us judging ourselves by the standards of those responsible for it, where does our argument lie? To blackballing Kaepernick and threatening entire organizations over symbols, to downplaying Lebron James for giving opportunities to those who are regularly ignored by those in power until election time, why are stories that expose a corrupt system met with such scorn?

With every image we consume, some of us are forced to hype ourselves up to be a success, yet when we reach our goals we’re met with suspicion and rumors of illegitimacy.

Like I stated earlier, I wish I had answers to how we could reroute this environment but instead all I can offer is a perspective based on the events I have seen and experienced. Some may reject this piece outright and I knew that as I was writing it, but unlike those broad groups I alluded to, I can’t stay silent! In trying times you can’t be neutral on a moving train, especially when the embers of division are consistently burning.


Hot On Tha Block This Week


Old Pasadena Historic Pubs & Trivia
Thursday, May 25 | 4:30 - 7:30pm & 6:00 - 9:00pm
Tickets: Member $80 | Non-Member $87
Experience the history of a few famous and infamous Old Pasadena watering holes and haunts. This guided tour of our original downtown includes stops at a handful of pubs, distinctive for their history, architecture and spirits. Tour-goer's can delight in beer tastings plus little-known facts and forgotten lore. Dinner and a set of flight glasses are included -- a great way to get to know historic Old Pasadena!

Chance the Rapper makes mockery of Mainstream Record Labels

DJ Akademiks Speaks on Chance The Rapper clowning Most Record Labels on his First Tour Stop of the 'Be Encouraged Tour'

Listen to "I Am Stronger" by K Gizzle

K GIZZLE aka GIZZLE Artist Musician Producer Performer a uniquE sounD and stylE with musiC Featured in the Horror movie COLLEGE TOWN MASSACRE. Performed at the Hosea Helps 2018... 

Vegan Rapper Drops Diss Track Against SeaWorld, The Circus, and The Zoo "If I had My Way, I'd Free Alla Da Animals"

The 19 song CD also features songs by some current Sunset Recording artists like Richtaste, Han Drabur, Respect, Joe Atman with the Riohc Choir, Federal Moguls (DJ Q Ball’s (Bloodhound Gang) side project) and Mister Sir while it licensed in tracks by established and legendary acts that are notably against animal cruelty by artists such as Vegan Boss, Gina Thompson and Bob Marley. The album is rounded off by some remixes by the likes of Boy George, Amos, Gavin Friday and DJ X vs. Sonic Solution which contributes a remix of the classic Supertramp hit song ‘The Logical Song [DJ Self Remix]’.

1st Avenue & Madison Street, Seattle, Washington by Mistah Wilson Photography

Tenacity & D.R.U.G.S. Beats «Discussions» Album Stream + Tracklist

Los Angeles based Rapper/Engineer Tenacity and Grammy nominated producer D.R.U.G.S. Beats recently joined forces to create the collaborative project, "Discussions". The musical duo’s first album together introduces 13 forward-thinking tracks that focus on a variety of societal issues and current events that have affected a vast amount of people around the world. D.R.U.G.S. Beats supplies a hard-hitting back drop for Tenacity to express raw emotions and share his point of view in a way that makes the listener feel as if they are part of the discussion.

The Street Corner Music affiliates are hoping to open some minds and bring awareness to those who struggle to relate to another’s individual struggle. “It’s very rare to hear music on popular radio that openly discusses bigotry, hate, prejudice, or even domestic abuse,” says Tenacity. “But I think it’s important to bring attention to these topics through music, especially since much of what this album centers upon is relatable…

EVENT: Dinner with Cheech Marin @ The Rose 4/20/17

Join us for an intimate evening with counterculture legend Cheech Marin as he takes the stage, sharing personal stories from his new memoir “CHEECH IS NOT MY REAL NAME: … But Don’t Call Me Chong”, and answers audience questions.

April 20, 2017

"No One Is Safe" A Profile on Chris Kemp and Dirtay

It was an unusually balmy August night heading to the No One is Safe record release party in Columbia City. It was the kind of night where there was something unexplainable accompanying the energy the city was holding. With all the projects being released in the local scene, if 2018 is “The Surgical Summer” then the Pacific Northwest is surely sharpening their scalpels.

Pulling up to the theatre, I walked for a few minutes on a rather vibrant block as I saw the surrounding bars, restaurants and cafe’s that lined the street. After glancing at my phone I was greeted by one of the headliners, Seattle rapper, Chris Kemp. Now, before we go any further, I have personally known this person for around 16 years, I know to a degree where he started and how far he’s come. My biggest challenge with this was to remain as unbiased as possible. We caught up a bit as live jazz music could be heard from the 2 artists playing in the venue, giving acknowledgements and introductions to the other perform…

Nipsey Hussle Explains The Importance of Ownership

Hard Knock Tv's Nick Huff Barili sits down with Nipsey Hussle for in-depth interview at Truth Studios. Part 2 starts with Nipsey giving advice to young artists sharing that its important to study your craft and own your masters. As the interview continues, Nipsey breaks down keys to building wealth. Part 2 ends with Nipsey talking about Rick Ross and Puff Daddy and the blueprints they laid out for building an empire. 

Mary Ellen Mark and Helena Christensen Discuss Photography

Mark and Mary are known for doing different types of work but are both highly regarded photographers in the industry. And to hear some of their stories is quite an interesting experience. At one point, Mary talks about visiting a morgue on Oaxaca and seeing things that she said really changed who she is.

Similarly, Helena talks about taking a course with Mary Ellen Mark and getting into the art form. My words aren’t going to do this half hour video any justice, so just watch it.

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