Archive for the 'News and Politics' Category


Thoughts on the Government Shut Down

First and foremost… This is NOT one of those cases where we should be assigning blame to both parties equally.  The issue of the Affordable Care Act was settled four years ago when it was thoroughly debated and passed into law.  The president who supported it, was then convincingly re-elected.  No where in the Constitution does it say it is prudent for one party to shut down the government and use it as bargaining chip to repeal a law they don’t like.  If you don’t like a law, you repeal it through legislation…. Oh that’s right, you can’t because you don’t have adequate support to do so.  Funny how that works! The President SHOULD NOT negotiate with the Republican Party on this!  Doing so would validate this reckless and irresponsible tactic as legitimate.  The United States does not negotiate with terrorists, nor should it do so with people willing to risk our country’s well-being and good standing with our neighbors because they don’t like health care. Those who place political affiliation over country, are not patriots.

suicide elephantThe Republican Party is fond of drawing analogies between the budget and economy of the United States and household finance.  These analogies do not follow because the American family does not collect taxes or print its own money.  The analogy is a red herring that ignores the realities of macro-economics and geo-politics.  However, just for fun, let’s use the GOP’s favorite comparison to demonstrate how asinine their entire shutdown tactic is.

Let’s say that we are a fine upstanding family in the community.  We are trusted by our neighbors and are seen as the perfect modern household.  Our credit rating is over 800.  Banks and lenders will give us whatever we need because we always pay them back.  In fact, they are willing to lend us money at such low-interest rates they are practically paying us to take it.  All because we are the safest bet in the neighborhood.  Sure we have plenty of debt, but we use it as leverage for growth and have an abundance of assets.

But then, times get a little tougher.  The twins are going off to college at the same time and Becky needs braces.  The mother has a splendid idea!  Let’s have a family discussion to determine how we handle the finances!  But instead of keeping it private, let’s open up the doors and windows and let all of the neighbors watch!  We will invite our creditors, the mortgage lenders, everyone!  Then we will openly discuss which bills we will pay on time and which ones we will stiff.  We will openly admit that we don’t have Becky’s allowance at the moment and in mid discussion, Dad will get drunk and give one of the boys a black eye, Mom will pull out a bag of cocaine and snort it in front of everyone, and Uncle Jerry will fondle Becky on the couch.

This is what we are doing as a country right now.  We are broadcasting to the world that we are a mess and should not be trusted.


As if the Republican Party’s hypocrisy knew any bounds, they overwhelmingly passed a bill in the House a few days ago that would guarantee all furloughed Federal employees receive the back pay from the time they were out of work during the shut down (once the government has re-opened.)  Pretty nice of them huh?  Until you consider that this is the party obsessed with the size of government and what they see as reckless spending, yet they are willing to shut down the government, send thousands of workers home and then STILL pay them what they would have been paid had the government been open and they had been working.  The party of “fiscal responsibility,” is willing to pay thousands of people to sit at home and get NO PRODUCTIVITY in return for the money, just so they can have a temper tantrum.  What a crock of shit! Let them stew in it.


Pre-Order “The Way of the Doh Doh” EP by Mister Wise

Mister Wise, Team Demo, Depth Charge Studios, Zechariah Wise, Team DemolitionMy new single, “I Can’t Figure You Out,” is now making its way through promotional circulation, but you can get it now by pre-ordering the EP from our label store page.  Just put down the $4 for the EP, and you can immediately download, “I Can’t Figure You Out.” Then, when “The Way of the Doh Doh” EP drops on September 17th, you will receive an e-mail to download the full project.  Many thanks and enjoy!


Preview the New Single from Mister Wise – “I Can’t Figure You Out”


Check Out Harmony Muzik’s New Project – “Conflict of Interest”

Check out the new release from Harmony Muzik – “Conflict of Interest.” It was recorded and mixed at Depth Charge Studios by yours truly and features two tracks I produced for Team Demo Productions. Click on the link below for the download page.

Harmony Muzik – “Conflict of Interest”

Click Here for Download


Two Theories as to Why Mitt Won’t Show us His 2009 Tax Returns

1.) In 2009, the Internal Revenue Service instituted an amnesty program for individuals maintaining overseas accounts for the purposes of avoiding taxes. We already know that Romney has accounts overseas, but if any of these were illegal, and he took advantage of the amnesty program with the IRS, that information would be contained in that return. This would be an admittance of felony tax evasion and would be a death-blow to his hopes of becoming President.

2.) Mitt has made it a point that while he still owned interest in Bain Capital, he was not actively participating in its recent politically untenable practice of buying companies, laying off the employees and chopping up the assets for a profit. When one receives money from a pass-through entity (like Bain) one must declare if the income was passive, or non-passive. (Passive meaning one was merely an investor and not actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the enterprise. Non-passive meaning the opposite.) Non-passive income is taxed at a lower rate than passive income (I know this because I’m the majority shareholder of an “S” corporation.) If Mitt declared his income from Bain as non-passive to take the lower tax rate, it would demonstrate that he was in fact actively involved in the company’s activities or that he lied about it. Either way, it is political suicide.

This is all speculation of course, but it wouldn’t be necessary if Romney simply released his 2009 returns.


Guru and the Reaction to “Hip Hop Deaths”

Keith “Guru” Elam died this week of cardiac arrest at the age of 43.  He was one half of one of the greatest hip hop groups of all time.  I met him twice, most notably when I was 18 years old while still in high school and still under the spell of hip hop fanaticism which I would later outgrow by becoming a professional within the culture/ business I had been religiously following.  I was introduced to Guru as a local up and coming mc and producer with a bright future.  We chatted and I naively asked if he was looking for artists.  He wasn’t of course, but he took the time to tell me why.  He treated me like a colleague when we both knew damn well I was not.  This I’m sure was merely a reflection of his character, but his death and the subsequent fanfare has got me to thinking.

I did not know Guru.  In fact, I can think of several people with whom I spent more time, who have since passed away who evoked only a moment or two of reflection by my self before I carried on with the rest of my own life.  I am not a cold or callous person.  I have just had several devastating losses already in my life and will have plenty more as time goes on.  This is due to the fact that I am fortunate enough to have a lot of people who I love dearly, and one day, many of those individuals will most likely die before me.  Nothing is free.  The price of great love, is great loss.  It is for this reason I cannot share in the grief of someone I did not know.  If I were to allow myself to be affected by the death of every person whose work I enjoyed,  i would be miserable.  I did not know guru.  We are not related.  My condolences to his family and friends.

Many of my contemporaries react differently to the deaths of individuals they did not know.  They refer to deceased rappers as OUR icons, or OUR heroes.  They spend a week playing the music of the deceased and then add them to this running list of dead rappers that they can spout off at a moment’s notice.  This is clearly the craving of a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.  In my youth, I saw hip hop as that something the way they do.  I mistakenly thought of it as some kind of giant fraternity containing people of similar worldview, similar passions and similar ideals.  But this perception faded with every new hip hop enthusiast who made my acquaintance.  We weren’t the same at all.  Very few people actually shared my priorities, ideals and passion.  Hip Hop was not some club we had all signed up to join.  It did not have a test or a written code to which we all adhered.  The perception of Hip Hop and it’s values was different (sometimes drastically) with every individual pledging allegiance to it.  I realized that what I thought of as hip hop was only a tiny fraction of who I am as a person.  Hell, it was only a tiny fraction of who I am musically! I liberated myself from the religiosity and began doing what I wanted to do without any regard of how it relates to “hip hop.”

Guru and I didn’t share some sort of connection because we both create or enjoy hip hop music and that single commonality is not enough for me to do or feel anything unique when he passed away (I certainly wouldn’t expect him to do the same for me if the roles were reversed.)  I am not part of some big family with Guru and every other deceased rapper just because we all at one point enjoyed spitting rhymes.  I am not obligated to feel bad and post R.I.P. on message boards just because someone in the same profession met their demise.  It is not fair to a Guru or ANY other artist of his stature for a person like me to assume some kind of connection or relation just because we occasionally create the same genre of music.  How pretentious would that be of me?  “Yeah man, you know I feel you man because I’m like you.”  At the same time, I don’t want some arrogant kid to feel the same way towards me.  “Nah buddy, you ain’t like me.”   Just because we’ve both made a few beats doesn’t mean we have anything of significance in common.

It sucks when a person who brought enjoyment to our lives passes away. But unless you are a miserable human being, the list of these people should be in the thousands.  Death will eventually come to ALL of them and to you.  Fortunately, many of them are able to leave behind much of what brought us joy.  In the case of Guru- some very good records.  Enjoy them, and for the sake of your own happiness, save the grief for those who pass away who TRULY matter to YOU.

On a side note… I just received my first e-mail from a club promoter inviting me to a “R.I.P. Guru Party.” Now that’s classy. What a tool.


The Time to Support DMV Hip Hop is Now!

wale-attentiondeficitThere has never been a more crucial moment in the long history of hip hop music in the Washington, DC area. For the first time in a long time, a hip hop artist from DC is dropping a major label release. Wale’s “Attention Deficit,” hits stores on November 10th. For those of you DMV hip hop heads who for whatever reason, intend NOT to support Wale, please hear me out.

I hate the fact that hip hop music is so regionally identified. It is one of the many things I don’t like about hip hop. It seems that “where an artist is from” is the first question anyone asks when they hear something new. The world has become so small thanks to our new abilities to communicate with one another. Yet in hip hop, we want to group people by neighborhood. This practice is outdated but it is the reality and because of that, we now have an artist, Wale, who has been given the burden of seemingly carrying an entire city and region on his back.  It is not fair but it is what it is. Imagine for a moment, you are in a pitch black room. You cannot see a thing except for small little lights appearing and vanishing. Each of these lights looks like something on a christmas tree. They are not powerful enough to cast any glow on the rest of the room. You are still blind. Suddenly, a 60 watt light bulb ignites. It’s so bright it draws all your attention, but then you realize that it’s light has now made everything else in the room visible. You had no idea of the wonderful contents in the room, but now you can see them. The room is the DC hip hop scene, the 60 watt bulb is Wale, and the little lights are all those who came before him.

Over the past year, I have heard a ton of jealous and flat-out hateful garbage being spewed by DMV residents towards Wale. Everybody from so-called fans, to artists, to even local radio personalities. I don’t know what personal vendetta any of them have against Wale, but this self-serving ego-maniacal bullshit needs to stop right now. Maybe you don’t like his music or his style. Maybe you think YOU should be in his place. Maybe you think he doesn’t show love to DC (which is utterly ridiculous.) Whatever you feel about Wale personally is irrelevant. Wale is his own man with his own artistry who is going to do what he wants. But he also bears the burden of being a proxy for all of those talented artists who came before him who never got a shot, and all of those who have been sitting in the darkness hoping for a chance. LIke it or not, he is the DMV’s light bulb. It makes absolutely no sense for anyone who has been sitting in the dark with him to try to dim his brightness in any way. The entire room may be visible thanks to that light. Make it brighter! Buy his album!

In addition, I am proud to say that my DMV based production company, Team Demo, produced the street single, “Crime Wave”  for 50 Cent’s new album, “Before I self-Destruct.”  The album is available on itunes now and in stores on November 16th.  The better this album does, the more attention we get.  Which means more attention to the many DMV artists we produce.  Please support us in adding another small light to Wale’s glow! 

The time is now everybody.   There are a dozen or so super talented artists from the DMV that are ready for deals and opportunities RIGHT NOW!  Help make the light that is illuminating the room even brighter and before you know it, we all may need sunglasses.

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