Friday, January 30, 2009

Tag - You're Popular!

Tagging. Linking. Referencing. Whatever you want to call, make sure you do it!

Tagging is a salient feature of Web 2.0. technologies. According to "The State of the Live Web" by David Stifry, a tag is a way of categorizing or describing a topic, theme or words assigned by a creator on the web as a way of identification. As people link, reference or ‘tag’ each other on the network, the online community begins to flourish.

With the tagging feature, Technocrati has discovered an explosive growth with tagging indexes. With the large amount of tags used on the Internet, people are actively participating in a form of an online democracy. Users are collaborating, communicating, discovering and creating not only information, but budding friendships.

Tags are being used in videos, audio, podcasts and photos to represent various types of work. As Stifry observes, people are finding their own voice on the Internet, as well as finding their own unique element through others. Tags navigate what is “hot” at the moment and inform its audience about new and upcoming publications on the Internet.

Blogging, for example, is a great way to enhance democratic qualities on the web. According to Stifry, Technocrati tracks over 70 million weblogs and about 120,000 new weblogs are created worldwide everyday (that’s an unbelievable 1.4 blogs per second!). This expansive growth of blogging helps to:

1) Create and promote individuality and identity
2) Promote citizen journalism
3) Foster freedom of speech
4) Provide an equal opportunity (with those who have access to a computer and pay for Internet) to start a blog… FOR FREE (most of the time)!
5) Encourages social networking
6) A quick way to access information (hopefully truthful information at that!)
7) Encourage diversity (language, knowledge of different cultures)
8) (any of you bloggers got any other suggestions?)

What I found most interesting about this article was the rate increase of blogs during times of world crises. The example Stifry users is the war between Israel and Hezbollah. I would argue that the use of Web 2.0. technologies has provided great means for citizenship journalism to emerge. Citizens can provide a first-hand account and a variety of perspectives that are not constrained to a corporate capitalism newswire (AAAACHOO… FOX NEWS… bless me).

One question that sparked some interest and curiosity in me was Stifry’s mentioning of how audiences are having a hard time distinguishing blogs from other news sources, such as The only thing I am concerned with is spam blogs, or what Stifry calls “splogs”. What happens if a blog produces misinformation? Wouldn’t this then discredit the blog as an untruthful source of information?

I think we may be depending on too many un-“professional” sources instead of the most authenticated and objective ones such as the New York Times. I think there is a willingness and readiness to believe quickly in what we read and thus we need to be conscious and aware of what information has or has not been filtered properly.

I do agree with Stifry that tagging seems to be the fad for Search Engine Optimization pundits. It seems like a nice way to not only build a community, but also to build some sort of reciprocal system, kind of like a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” deal….You tag my blog I’ll tag yours!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama Video Spoof of "Put a Ring on it"

Now THIS is what I call political entertainment!

There seems to be a growing number of ways in which American patriotism can be expressed. From stick-on nails to song lyrics, spoof videos seem to be making their way onto the American political bandwagon of support.

Last night while I was lying in bed, I was watching the Late Night Show with David Letterman and saw an Obama spoof video of Beyonce's "Put a ring on it". YEAH. Some Obama impersonator shaking his thang to "Single Ladies" with the lyrics re-written to emulate Obama support. The Obama look-alike sings lyrics like "I got hope on lips, blackberry on my hips" and "If you voted for me change is on its way, know it! Oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh". And just you wait until you see the DANCING!

After watching the spoof of "Single Ladies", I searched around YouTube to find more videos of this creative comic genius. Sure enough, I found another Obama spoof of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" video. Combined, both videos have over SEVEN MILLION VIEWS... that's INSANE! Whoever this guy is, a) he's a political and comical genius and b) must be making ALOTA dollar dollar bills y'all!

"Obama Puts a Ring on it" (spoof off of Beyonce's "Put a Ring on it")

"Obama Does Whatever He Likes" (spoof off of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like")

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beyonce is a DIVA

I don't know about this one. I didn't really like Beyonce a while back in her early stages of Destiny's Child (especially with all the flak she was getting for being too selfish and being fussy about stealing the limelight from Kelly and Michelle), but I started to change my mind and really love her when she came out with her solo career.

But I'm still not sure about her recent album "I am Sasha Fierce". I wasn't all too impressed with "If I were a boy" (love the video... not so much the song), and "Put a Ring on it" - well that dance is RIDICULOUS (but I can't judge... since my roommates and I definitely tried to copy her dance moves... no names will be revealed).

But when Beyonce released the video of "Diva" with those CRAZY shades (and lyrics "A Diva is a female version of a hustlaaaa"), the Jay-Z influence is more obvious than EVER. Don't get me wrong, though. I LOVE Jay-Z. I'm just not sure how Beyonce-like this is. But who am I to say what she can and cannot be? She's B, and that's all she can be.

Watch Beyonce's "DIVA" video and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DJ Samantha Ronson... in London, ONTARIO?!


Although this is a Hip Hop blog, I decided to write about this exciting piece of information, since Dj Samantha Ronson, Lindsay Lohan's supposed lesbian lover, is playing just around the corner from WESTERN UNIVERSITY! This Thursday, January 29th, 2009, Dj Samantha Ronson will be playing at London's Mansion. Tickets are $25, so get on that!

Also, if you're unfamiliar with Sammy's music (yes we are on a nick-name basis right now), check our her MySpace page and tell me what you think. I checked out her Jay-'z "99 Problems" remix. It's not THAT spectacular and the beat is mediocre, but I still might check her out at Mansion in hopes of seeing Lindsa - AHEM, Samantha. Cough. Sorry.

Dj Samantha Ronson's MySpace

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lil Wayne Picks Up the Electric Guitar

I forgot to mention something that I'd say is pretty important considering I'm writing a blog on the Hip Hop world.... I LOVE LIL WAYNE. I have over 50-something songs of his and they have KILLER beats. His raps and rhythms are something you've never heard of and he's right up there with 2Pac, Biggie, Puffy and Jay-Z. Basically, he's a musical genius...

...but I was somewhat surprised to hear that he was coming out with a rock album... yeah I said it... ROCK. His latest album "The Rebirth" is said to hit stores April 7th, 2009. I loved his collaboration with Kevin Rudolf's "Let it Rock", but wasn't too sure if Lil Wayne could pull off his own rock album. But he's done it again folks! The new release of "Prom Queen" is pretty sick and I'm quite impressed. Have a listen for yourself and see if you think Weezy F Baby can pull off the rock scene!

Click HERE to listen to "PROM QUEEN"

Source: You Heard That New...?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Britney to Re-record "If You Seek Amy"

Oops - she did it again. Britney's in trouble. Ms. Spears was asked to re-record her song "If You Seek Amy" due to its subliminal messaging. I didn't see it at first, but when I found out I thought it was BRILLIANT. The lyrics "All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy" have something more to it. The "if you seek Amy" part sounds more like "F-U-C-K me". And when you put that together is sounds like "All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to F.U.C.K. me".

The only thing I'm wondering is why Britney is being asked to re-record that does not blatantly say the F-word, while explicit lyrics from Lil Wayne, Fiddy, Kanye and Jay-Z (that are aired on the radio and seen on TV all the time), remain in the song but it is so obvious what they are alluding to.

Poor Brit Brit.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fiddy's Filmmaking Firm

Fifty Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, has created his own film production company, "Cheetah Vision". And guess what?! He already has a movie in the making. Titled "The Dance", 50 Cent will co-star alongside Nicholas Cage in this dramatic film. The synopsis of the movie is about a a young city slugger that gets himself involved in crime in order to make a living for his younger brother after their mother's murder. Sounds pretty typical of Fiddy.... but considering I've only seen his "Get Rich or Die Trying" movie, I might as well go see this one!

Source: Hip Hop Galaxy

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Left-Eye's "Eye-Legacy"

Although Lisa Left-Eye Lopes isn't chasing Waterfalls anymore, she's bringing back her rhythm and rhymes in her second album "Eye-Legacy" to be released on January 27th, 2009.

A certain percentage of the sales from her album will go to the Lisa Lopes Foundation and her orphanage in Honduras. I just might pick one up!

Here are the track listings on her new cd:

"Spread Your Wings"AC (featuring Free)
"In The Life"BC (featuring Bobby Valentino)
"Legendary"BC (featuring Tupac)
"Let’s Just Do It" BC (featuring TLC & Missy Elliott)
"Block Party [Remix]" (featuring Lil Mama)
"Bounce"BC (featuring Chamillionaire and Bone Crusher)
"Let It Out"BC (featuring Wanya Morris)
"Through The Pain"BC (featuring Ryan Toby & Claudette Ortiz)
"Neva Will Eye Eva"BC
"Let’s Just Do It [Remix]" (featuring TLC & Missy Elliott)
"Crank It" (featuring Reigndrop Lopes)

You can check out Left Eye's website and listen to "Let's Just Do It" ft. Missy Elliott and TLC that will automatically start playing at Welcome to LeftEyeLegacy.

Source: Hip Hop Galaxy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


YEAH... MY MOM. Can you believe that?! The funny part is she probably didn't even know who he was!

I just saw LL Cool J open up for Janet Jackson a few months ago at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and it was definitely in my top five concert performances that I have seen. But I only got to see LL and his man muscles from a few seats back... my mom actually got a PICTURE WITH HIM!

This past week, my mom went to New York city on a business trip and met up with a few co-workers for a few drinks. Later, they noticed LL Cool J was sitting just a few booths away from them. According to my mom, this is what went down:

(Mom approaches LL Cool J): Are you LL Cool?
(yes, she DID forget the "J")

LL: Yeah, what's up?

(mom, however, did not realize that LL Cool J was that muscular man we saw open for Janet Jackson)

Mom: Can I get a picture with you? Do you mind?

LL: Yeah sure no problem!

(Mom proceeds to not only take a picture with LL, but buys his table a round of drinks and shots)

Yes - my mom IS a baller, and she's 'doin' it well!'


Monday, January 19, 2009

Jennifer Hudson - YOU GO GIRL!

Jennifer Hudson seems to be getting her spurts of fame over lengthy periods, but they are definitely ones to remember. I didn't follow her too much on American Idol; all I knew was that she had a good voice. But when I saw her in her debut film "Dreamgirls" (and then "Sex & The City"), she is not only an AMAZING singer but can actually act too.

Hudson will being showing off more of her talent on February 6th when she opens with the U.S. national anthem for the Super Bowl on February 1st. Moreover, Hudson is up for winning several awards at this year's Grammy Awards on February 8th for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song ("Spotlight"), Best R&B Album and Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Fantasia ("I'm his only woman").

I hope she does well at the Grammy's because I really believe she deserves recognition for her amazing talent. And ESPECIALLY with the incident regarding her family (both brother and mother murdered in October, 2008), Jennifer deserves a little uplifter in her life. YOU GO GIRL!

Source: SOulful Hip Hop

Is Fox Fact or Fiction? They Report, YOU Decide

As some of you may not know, I am currently attending the University of Western Ontario and studying in the Media, Information & Technoculture program. First of all, I must say, that I LOVE this program. I am in my fourth and final year and one of the classes that I am taking is "Blogging: for Passion, Politics or Profit". Our first mission is to post a blog on our newly-created blog page about the notorious Fox News from watching the documentary "OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism". Here is a little snippet of what I think about fact and fiction in world of journalism:  

After watching the documentary of Out-Foxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, I was somewhat shocked at the lack of professionalism that Fox News was emulating. Although I have heard of the Fox News Channel, I have yet to sit down for a full viewing of the show – and rightly so. Fox News claims to deliver uncensored and objective information to the public in what they label as their “Fair and Balanced” news segment, but what they stand for is the exact opposite.

The Fox News channel is a conservative, right wing organization that disseminates what seems to be their own constructed views and perceptions to the public. Bob McChesney, host of the radio program “Media Matters” and Professor at the Department of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, claims that the United States has a government that “controls the privatization of information… the public doesn’t participate!” Media, as described in the documentary, is the nervous system of democracy: what the people learn is what the media tells them, or in the case of Fox News, what the media does NOT tell the public.

It is quite obvious that some anchors, such as the notorious Bill O’Reilly at Fox News, refuse to listen to anyone who may challenge to break down the propagandist pillars. Among major media conglomerates, it is common for their perspectives to present a certain dominant opinion in their messages. Fox News, as an example, exerts a constant fear on its employees if they challenge the corporations’ attitudes on certain perspectives. Politics or figures that are brought on the show are often ridiculed, humiliated or discredited as being untruthful. Those that do attempt to defy Fox’s frames of reference, they are told to “Shut up!” and have their words twisted by the uncompromising and pathological liar, Bill O’Reilly. So much for their “Fair and Balanced” slogan!

On Fox News, anchors introduce anonymous sources with the standardized introductions of “Some officials” or “Some people say”. Fox offers these clever ways of inserting opinion and no trace of facts, simply because opinion cannot be proven false. Guest Republicans brought onto Fox News were the dominant characters on the show, whereas a mere 17% of Democrats were found to have a weak or faux representation as liberals. With strict Republican views and the under representation of Democratic opinion, Fox’s mandate of “Fair and Balanced” seems to be the exact opposite of what they are trying to offer to the public. News is distorted and the public sphere is expected to derive their own opinions from these fake “facts”.

What is more disturbing is the misrepresentation and falsification of information and the elimination of truth and objectivity. Because Fox News is a predominantly Republican news channel, Fox News journalists are often forced to report on long, uncut news segments of Republican issues that have no news value. During Ronald Reagan’s birthday, for instance, was portrayed as a holy day, where school children were filmed singing “Happy Birthday” to the president. The news journalist, however, was suspended because the news segment was ”not celebratory enough”. Moreover, during a Bush interview, the anchor was told not to focus on the campaign to avoid any controversial issues that may portray Bush in a negative light. Fox news was not only a dishonest channel, but a news channel that censored information to the public.

At the end of the documentary, we are given a small pep talk to change the way our media disseminates information. The public needs to confront these media moguls by encouraging more public involvement and participation to change these government policies on media. This is the people’s democracy and should not let corporations control power at our dispense!

Political Fashion A New Fad For Patriotism

THIS IS HILARIOUSLY HAWT. Just when I was thinking of getting myself one of those OBama t-shirts that seem to be sported by every other celebrity, including Madonna, Christina Millian, Beyonce, and even Fat Joe's Obama sneakers (I know right?!), I am definitely considering to get Obama NAILS instead. That's right - Obama glamour nails! Pictured above is Hip Hop/Rnb/Rap artist Eve, who, if you look closely, is showing off her political preference on her nails Obama's FACE. Excuse me... I'm just gonna head over to Shopper's now and see if I can find any nail acrylics with Stephen Harper's face on it...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

President's Inauguration Ball to Show Hip Hop Talent

I thought this was so cool when I heard it. Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and Faith Hill were among several that performed at the 2009 President's Inauguration Ball. The first dance, sung by Beyonce, was revealed to be Etta James's "At Last". I really do like that song, but I think I would have been more entertained to see Obama and Michelle rock out to "Put a Ring on it", or even better... "Bootylicious". Either way, that set up of talented Hip Hop and Rnb artists is pretty sick!

"Notorious" Hits Theatres in a Big Way

O.M.G. I think this is just as hilarious as 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Trying". BIGGIE SMALLS HAS A MOVIE!  "Notorious" hit theatres in the U.S. on January 16th and I can't wait until it comes to Canada. Christopher Wallace plays "Notorious B.I.G." in this George Tillman Jr. movie. I've only seen a few other movies of Tillman, including "Roll Bounce", "Beauty Shop" and "Barber Shop", which were funny but I wouldn't say were some of my favourites, to say the least. But c'mon, this is BIGGIE. When "Get Rich or Die Trying" came out to Western University in first year, a few of my friends and I all went to the theatre and enjoyed Fiddy's first attempts at being an actor - and it was EPIC. Although the real Biggie Smalls isn't playing his part (for obvious reasons), I am definitely giving this movie a chance. Even though it's rated "R", it can't be TOO gangster for me. Check out the trailer below - it looks FANTASTICAL.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

JT & T.I. Collaborate in "If I" Single

It's about time we heard from the "Sexy Back" star again. It has been almost 3 years since Justin Timberlake has made a splash in pop culture's sound waves, and I've been waiting for him to release another one of his trade mark tunes. But my cravings were satisfied with the release of JT's single with hip hop and rap artist T.I. called "If I" that was produced by none other than the urban hip hop and musical genius Timbaland. And I must say, JT (and of course T.I. and Timbaland) have yet to let me down. The guitar bass, JT's high vocals and T.I.'s smooth voice is what makes this song top notch in my books. There isn't a video out for this song yet, but you can still have a listen for yourself!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jay-Z Decked in ABCs

In what this American artist calls "typographic illustration", Evan Roth mashes musical interests and artistic talent to create incredibly unique portraits over the past 5 years. Follow the link below to view Roth's signature-style graphic masterpiece of hip hop's most highly-respected rappers, Jay-Z.