Tag Archive: public enemy


 

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You can thank a Twitter conversation with the Media Assassin for today’s song choice.  Remembering the first time I heard this…

‘Human Nature’ was my first and still my number one anthem.  But this was my second and probably number two…

 

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Go to the Grammy Museum!

 

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My friends, I’m so high right now.

No, not the physical high of a great workout, or the spiritual high of love, but the artistic high of seeing and hearing so many of the things I loved and am inspired by in one place.

If you come here at all, you know my music geekdown runs a close second to film.  And right now, especially, the Grammy Museum in L.A. Live is on one.  The top floor is the warmup; you get the history of the award itself, American music and songwriting through the years, you can explore whatever genre of music you’re attracted to.

You go down a floor and you see a space dedicated to new Hall of Famers Public Enemy.  They got some of Chuck’s handwritten lyrics, one of Flav’s oversized clocks, an S1W uniform.  Hells yes!  And then you turn around…

And see a collection of Michael Jackson jackets from his solo career.  You got the sequined joint he wore when they opened the Victory tour in Kansas City, you got the autographed letterman’s jacket he was sporting at the beginning of Thriller.  OK I was really good now.  BUT IT AIN’T OVER YET SON!

The main exhibit right now is Ringo: Peace and Love, focused on the least celebrated Beatle.  But I tell you what, they put their foot into that exhibit.  The drum kit he used for ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Abbey Road’, the red jacket he wore for the rooftop concert.  Oh and did I mention you can get some interactive drum lessons from Ringo?  No?  Well did I mention you can step into the Yellow Submarine recording booth and sing the song (and hear yourself on playback)?  For any pop culture/music geek, it’s well worth the price of…

FREE!  Thanks to the City of Los Angeles, you have one more Wednesday to go down after 5 and enjoy the Grammy Museum on the house.  A must visit if you haven’t been in awhile (or ever).

Peace and Love.

 

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Flav is the court jester to be sure, but I can’t think of this weekend without thinking of this opening line:

‘Picture us cooling out on the 4th of July. And if you heard we were celebrating that’s a worldwide lie!’

And on that cheerful note enjoy the 4th!  Sunday we come back with some gravity (yeah consider this a warm up…)

 

Spike Lee’s third film takes place on the hottest day of the summer in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York.  I heard Spike say in an interview this week that while he didn’t know what he was doing on his first film, She’s Gotta Have It, and was finding his way with School Daze, with this film he finally felt like a ‘director’.  And it shows.

On to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  Fade in on a solo jazz version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  Follow that up with Rosie Perez working it out to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” as the opening credits kick in.  And that’s (literally) just the beginning…

Legacy:  Yes, this was the film debut of Rosie Perez and Martin Lawrence, but is that really the first thing you think about with this film?  As noted, this wasn’t Spike’s first film, and there were (and continue to be) black independent films with equally strong messages.  But moreso than any other film of its generation, Do the Right Thing really put Spike Lee and modern black cinema on the map.

Craft:  You know how you can watch a lot of 80s movies today and cringe at how dated they feel?  Not this film.  The 80s elements here feel (as they do in many classic films) as snapshots of the time they were created.   Radio Raheem’s massive boom box.  The box haircuts of Raheem and Mookie.  The conversation about how certain black celebrities (and now President’s?) go beyond the racist definition of what a ‘n—er’ is.  And how about the cast list?  Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Harris, Danny Aiello, John Turturro, Frank Vincent…yes sir!  And that’s just the talent in front of the camera!

Crossover:  In a big way.  The film was nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes, it made noise at the Cannes Film Festival, it was widely regarded as one of (if not) the best film of the year.  Kim Basinger made a point at the Oscars to tell the worldwide audience that it’s a shame that Do the Right Thing wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.  (And it was a shame.  Spike’s never been close to winning an Oscar, how is that possible?)  Anyway, the moral of the story is Spike Lee had arrived.

Apollo:  In the event you the reader haven’t seen the film yet, I won’t ruin the biggest ‘Apollo’ moment of the film.  Instead I’ll focus on the film’s coda:  two very good quotes.  The first from Dr. King, which references his belief that an eye for an eye eventually leaves everyone blind.  The second from Malcolm, which argues that self-defense is not violence; as a matter of fact it’s common sense.  The film does not in an explicit way express which way ‘is the right thing,’ it’s up to the viewer to decide for him or herself.  An argument that can continue into infinity…

The film countdown ends shortly…