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COINTELPRO and Hip-Hop

An evening with Dr. Jared Ball: Hip-Hop and COINTELPRO

This event convened by the Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle and their Eddie Conway Liberation Institute in Baltimore, MD. was a great honor and pleasure to participate in.  The goal was to try to help link the history of the Counter Intelligence Program to the historical shifts in hip-hop, popular culture and media.

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  1. IMO Likely the most popular / longest-lasting dark-skinned Black woman performer w a natural hair-style in the US context was Roberta Flack, who faded from the scene back in the early / mid 1980s. [There was also Sis Flack’s contemporary he Late-Great Miriam Makeba, but she was native to South Africa, & thus was much bigger & popular in Africa than in the US]

    Lauryn Hill won a Grammy back in 1998 for best Hip-Hop CD, but when they [= the ‘lame-stream’] saw she was a bit too radical & ‘inflexible’, & she then hooked-up w Bob Marley’s SON, she ended up being faded from main-stream exposure.
    The next dark-skinned natural-haired Black woman performer to make a quick impact on the main-stream scene, was India Arie- who burst on the scene along w Alicia Keys, as they both were up for Grammies back in 2002. But Sis India’s music, physical appearance & style was IMO a bit too Afro-Centric for the main-stream [= most whites], so she too was faded from main-stream exposure.

    I don’t know of any other dark-skinned / natural hair-styled sisters who’ve made even the kind of main-stream impact that even these sisters made- but if I’m wrong I can be corrected.

    If Beyonce’, Nikky & Rhianna are now the standard for Black femininity & beauty, IMO God Help Us! It ain’t just that Beyonce’ flaunts long straightened & weaved hair w extensions, but that she also always colors her hair BLONDE to Boot!! Plus many of her photo-cover shoots IMO have been photo-shopped to ‘lighten’ her skin-tone.
    – Nikky has even upped the ante vis-à-vis Beyonce’, by often coloring her straight extension hair [or is it a wig?]- PINK!!! In fact Nikky actively tries to physically emulate & project a Barbie Doll image!!! FYI: Ms Nikky, the real history of Barbie dolls, is originally Barbie was patterned after a frauline of Hitler’s NAZI regime!!! Some ‘model’ & ‘image’ for a Black woman to emulate- Huhh!!!
    – Then there’s Rhianna,whose schtick is all about openly flaunting her sexuality [aka Shaking Her ASS], which the other 2 do too, but Rhianna takes it to a whole nother level!!! Plus Rhianna vocally is IMO over-rated, though vocally she’s definitely better than Nikky.

    The fact is IMO neither Rhianna NOR Nikky are better-looking & definitely NOT as talented vocally &/or musically than either Sis Lauryn Hill or Sis India Arie- & IMO that also goes for Beyonce’[though she’s definitely more vocally talented than Nikky & Rhianna]. Yet Beyonce’, Nikky & Rhianna get ALL the lame-stream media HYPE, while Sis Lauryn & Sis India have effectively [& IMO actively] been faded into obscurity by the very same lame-stream. So Why Is That???!!

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    The main reason why IMO there’s a whole lot more to Tupac’s & Biggie’s murders than a so-called East-coast vs West-coast Hip-Hop rivalry, is because theirs along w Jam Master Jay’s murders [from 1996 to 2002], have NEVER been solved!!! All of these guys were GIANTS of Hip-Hop, yet NO-One ‘officially’ seems to even have a clue about their murders after 13 to 19 YRS!! [Note: No-one even tried to claim Jam Master Jay’s murder had JACK to do w a so-called East-coast vs West-coast rivalry]! Tupac was hit on the Vegas strip coming from a Mike Tyson fight. There were literally thousands IF NOT 10s of Thousands of folks on that strip at the time, in a city that NEVER Sleeps! Yet NO-One seems to even be able to describe the car [or at-least its license-plate], let alone describe the driver & shooter!!! IMO ain’t NO ‘homeboys’ from some East-coast / West-coast ‘Hood’, Hit Tupac, Biggie Nor Jay [such perps would usually spill the beans by now, if only just to brag]- Rather these are the MOs of Professional HITS!!!

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