Posts Tagged ‘hip-hop’


Date of Interview: 12/04/2012

Over the past two decades, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton has received commercial success and critical acclaim for speaking on wax – and in the streets – about social and political issues that directly affect the African-American community. Although known internationally as an ambassador of hip-hop and one of rap’s great icons, without question, “Big Boi” is Georgia’s beloved native son. From Atlanta to Savannah, Patton is well-regarded for his activist spirit and philanthropic efforts.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting upon “edutainment,” the birth of Stankonia Studios, and the importance of family.


OCEAN water has remarkably uniform chemical composition despite all of the various elements and creatures that reside within it. Even when controlled and uncontrolled substances are dumped into its waters, it pH level remains fairly neutral – being neither wholly basic nor acidic. So let us all – for a moment – skinny dip in the “odd waters” of Mister Frank’s OCEAN!

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Frank Ocean revealed via Tumblr that he was bisexual. (Lock-and-step: favorable news headlines were penned; fellow entertainers fawned over the announcement; and the singer-songwriters’ Twitter following increased substantially.) Without trivializing “the matter,” kudos is deserved to Frank Ocean for being open and honest about the man he claims himself to be. Shame on the media for treating his disclosure as some grand circus exhibition! And shame on America for failing to recall the pioneering life and works of James Baldwin – who traversed these waters decades earlier! (*sigh*) Without harping too long on shame, however, let us focus on the far more important issues – floating unnoticed, yet festering unequivocally – in Mister Frank’s OCEAN.


Date of Interview: 05/14/2012

Bram van Splunteren is a Dutch filmmaker and journalist. His hip-hop documentary – Big Fun in the Big Town (1986) – captures a series of extraordinary events during an incredible week in New York: Doug E Fresh beatboxing and philosophizing on the street in Harlem, Grandmaster Flash scratching records on his living room table, and LL Cool J discussing love raps at his grandmother’s house in Queens. Twenty-five years after its initial broadcasting on Dutch public television, 5 Day Weekend has made this rare, historical footage commercially available for the very first time.

In support of Big Fun in the Big Town’s worldwide release (DVD: May 22, 2012), Bram van Splunteren spoke with Clayton Perry about his passion for filmmaking, early radio resistance to hip-hop music, and the vital support received from Def Jam publicist Bill Adler.


Date of Interview: 04/08/2012

Over the past two decades, Greg Tate has garnered a reputation – and eventually dubbed by The Source magazine – as a “Godfather of hip-hop journalism.” Much of his most-popular writings were published during his stint as a staff writer with New York City’s Village Voice between 1987 and 2003. Greg Tate’s publications extended beyond the outlet, however, and include the following titles: Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (New York: Broadway Books, 2003) and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2003). His forthcoming works: Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (Duke University Press) and James Brown’s Body and the Revolution of the Mind (Riverhead Press).

A co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Greg Tate also serves as the leader of Burnt Sugar, an improvisational band that fuses funk, jazz, rock, and African music through experimental – yet cohesive – performance. Currently, he is serving as a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. In 2010, he was awarded a United States Artists fellowship, an organization whose mission statement is “to invest in America’s finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.”

In response to a “special request,” in support of the body of literature composed during his incredible journalism career, Greg Tate managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his love of hip-hop, the founding of Burnt Sugar, and an “unappreciated” De La Soul emcee.


Date of Interview: 03/01/2012

Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr., is the Pastor of The New Olivet Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to his pastoral duties, he is a member of Memphis City Schools’ Board of Commissioners, the Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy, and the Recording Academy.  Blending a lifetime of wide-ranging experiences, he released his critically-acclaimed book, Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy, in 2010.

Hip-Hop Is Not Our Enemy [digital; print] is an insider’s critique of the Black church’s role and responsibility in co-opting hip-hop culture. In support of the book, Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr., spoke with Clayton Perry about “hip-hop theology,” mainstream condemnation of hip-hop culture, and methods in which the church can connect with members of the hip-hop generation.


Warryn CampbellDate of Interview: 05/06/2011

When all things are considered, great music is quite simply great music. As a result, Warryn Campbell’s production talents have defied musical categorization – fluttering effervescently between the lines of hip-hop, Gospel and R&B. The diversity of his discography speaks for itself: Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Jennifer Hudson, R. Kelly, Yolanda Adams.

Warryn Campbell is also the founder of My Block Records, whose roster includes artist such as Mary Mary and Kelly Price. With the recent release of these artists’ respective albums, Something Big and Kelly, Warryn Campbell managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his internship at Death Row Records, the founding of My Block Records, and his production contribution to Our Stories Films’ Jumping the Broom.


Jessie JDate of Interview: 01/21/2011

After writing songs for Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, as well as touring as a supporting act for Chris Brown, Jessie J’s polished American debut seems less a surprise, when you consider that dreams are often deferred. But the past six years have been spent wisely, as Jessie J waited for her moment to shine.

The massive success of Jessie J’s underground buzz single, “Do It Like A Dude,” is due largely to her 300-plus performances in London and venues across Europe. Her tireless dedication has led to the opening of international floodgates; and Stateside, American audiences will be introduced to her work via “Price Tag” – a collaboration with B.o.B.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Who You Are (April 12, 2011), Jessie J managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on her father’s influence, her crazy haircuts and behind-the-scenes battles over her music artistry.


Waka Flocka FlameDate of Interview: 11/29/2010

2010 was an incredible year for Juaquin Malphurs. After a rocky start, which included a January robbery and shooting, the future of his career became slightly uncertain. But in spite of this setback, the underground buzz from “O Let’s Do It” boiled to uncontainable levels, and slowly but surely, Waka Flocka Flame became a recurrent name on the hip-hop scene.

To date, all of his singles have all attained moderate success of Billboard’s “Rap Songs” chart: “O Let’s Do It” (#7), “Hard in the Paint” (#20) and “No Hands” (#1). In addition, all of his official remixes have featured an all-star cast of fellow rappers – from Diddy and Rick Ross to Gucci Mane and T-Pain. In honor of these tremendous achievements, Wacka Flocka was nominated at BET’s Hip-Hop Awards under the “Rookie of the Year” and “Best Club Banger” categories, and MTV recognized him as the eighth hottest MC of 2010.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Flockaveli, Waka Flocka managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the influence of Machiavelli, the importance of authenticity, and the media’s misconceptions about “flocka” music.


NellyDate of Interview: 10/14/2010

With a genre-defying discography that includes “Hot in Herre,” “Dilemma” and his latest smash, “Just a Dream,” it is easy to see why Billboard Magazine recognized Nelly as the #3 artist of the decade (2000-2009). Taking his best-selling and chart-topping performances on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 into consideration, there is no refuting Nelly’s impact on the current generation of music entertainers. Even more impressive: this decade-long journey all began in St. Louis, Missouri – a city that is better-known for its jazz, blues and rock music exports.

On November 15, 2010, the “rapper-preneur” will release his fifth studio album, which has been aptly titled “5.0.” In support of this effort, Nelly managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his entry into the rap game, the legacy of M.C. Hammer, and the “business” side of the music business.


John Legend

Date of Interview: 09/17/2010

In less than a single decade, John Legend has made a mark upon the music industry that will never be erased. As a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, Legend has garnered respect not only for his chart-topping singles and smooth, velvety vocals, but he has also become one of the last mainstream vanguards of contemporary soul music. From Get Lifted, his 2004 debut, to Wake Up, (2010), his innovative collaboration with The Roots, John has blurred the lines of hip-hop, soul and inspirational music with seemingly little effort.

Outside of the world of music, John Legend has become well-known for his philanthropic efforts as well. In 2007, he started the “Show Me Campaign” and partnered with The Gap’s “Project Red” initiative. In the year that followed, he would also become heavily active in President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, where his performances of “If You’re Out There” and “Yes We Can” at the Democratic National Convention stood out as classic moments in our nation’s socio-political history. More recently, Legend has lent his celebrity and support to Harlem Village Academies, which was created to change the lives of children – and to change the world.

As Columbia Records’ promotional machine revved up for Wake Up, John Legend managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on childhood inspirations, America’s “invisible” population, and members of the Roots collective. (more…)