This is not a simple interview, and it’s definitely not just another episode. This is an hourlong (!) special on the state of hip-hop in the media today.

This special covers everything from the Imus-inspired backlash on Hip-hop to sexism/racism in the media to the Stop Snitching ‘movement” to the number of people that actually dictate what videos get played on BET and subsequently MTV (hint: it’s less than four).

The Background:

During the last few weeks, Hip-Hop has been under serious fire from the mainstream media – not only because of the backlash following Don Imus’ termination, but the more recent 60 minutes interview featuring Cam’ron and Anderson Cooper’s interpretation of the Stop Snitching mantra. So in order to bring some clarity to the situation, I spoke to several different community leaders, all of different backgrounds.

The Guests:

Aishah Simmons – An African-American feminist and activist documentary filmmaker, producer of the award-winning No!: The Rape Documentary, and perhaps best known to longtime listeners of the Mixtape Show as the older sister of Atlantic Recording artist DJ Drama (previously interviewed here).

John Robinson
– also known as Lil Sci – a producer, MC, and President of Shaman Work Recordings, which has put out releases from artists such as Emanon, CL Smooth, and MF Doom.

Willie D – a solo artist and core member of one of the most influential rap groups to ever come out of the South, the Geto Boys.

Davey D – Hip-hop historian, journalist, deejay, and community activist, whose website, Davey-D’s Hip-Hop Corner, is one of the oldest and most respected Hip-Hop sites on the net.

and David K Far-El – aka D-Brad, the former producer for BET’s Rap City and the creator of Spring Bling. He was fired some time after Viacom’s buyout of BET and is currently working on a book and DVD exposing the commodification of the nation’s biggest outlet and representation of Black and Hip-Hop culture.

The Next Step(s):

I encourage everyone to listen to this feature, pass it on (messageboards, myspace, wherever), and continue the discussion both here in the comments and elsewhere. Or hell, request this on your local community station (see below).

Community Radio:

If you are a radio programmer and are interested in airing this on your local college/community station,
Listen to
. It is standard radio format (56 minutes) and is completely clean by US FCC standards. If you have any questions, email me and we’ll talk.

So, yeah. What do you think? Hit the comments section.

Oh, and here’s the information on the instrumentals featured in this show:
Sun.NY – Soul of a Hustler
Common – The Light feat Erykah Badu
Lords Of The Underground – Tic-Toc
Goodie Mobb – Black Ice feat Outkast
Dead Prez – Hip-Hop
Black Star – Children’s Story
Naughty By Nature – Mourn You Till I Join You


  1. Yeah! Yeah! I was hoping for someone to highlight this because it’s important and I’m glad you were the one to do it it Dex. By the way, if you get a chance, go on to Youtube and search for Gil-Scott Heron on Hard Talk

  2. No doubt! Yeah, anything you can do to spread this around is much appreciated – more people need to hear about this! And funny thing you should mention Gil Scott-Heron too considering what’s in the next episode…

  3. I would like to thank you for posting the episode 71 thats really impowering
    to me! This has helped me shape my concerns about the way that hiphop is going now a days.
    This has helped me as a newly turned 18 year old young black male to open his eyes and make a difference!!!
    If you can please tell your guests that they changrd at least 1 listener
    for the better!


  4. EXCELLENT show!
    I really like how you ended with what Willie D said.

    “And funny thing you should mention Gil Scott-Heron too considering what’s in the next episode…”

    Awwww damn..looking forward to this episode..I am a HUGE GSH fan. Saw him live some years back. Good show! He’s done several of my ALL-TIME favorite songs: “Speed Kills”, “The Middle Of Your Day”, “A Sign Of The Ages”, “Or Down You Fall” and “The Needle’s Eye”



  5. Probably the deepest podcast I’ve ever heard, man. Thought-provoking, shocking, informative, just great all around.

    Willie D’s final comments were chillingly accurate in explaining that all the ills of the world won’t magically disappear through the power of censorship/responsible artistry: “…because it’s not about rap…”

    Also of note, D-Brad’s eerily simple summary of the end result of BET’s manipulation at the hands of Viacom: “…y’all are gettin’ screwed as fuck…” Christ.

    But other than that, an overall enlightning ‘cast, keep up the good work.


  6. Damn you’re on your shit. Great ep. So honest..it’s about time someone got real and broke it down. Educate the kids.

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  8. wow dex. been following your podcast for some time and alwys dug the music. so glad that someone is not only bumping the music but is talking a stand to shed light on it as well. as i have watched the music that shaped my youth (43 years stranded on this planet)turn into something else as it shapes my childrens youth i have always been on the lookout for things to show them “the balance” that once was to counteract “the hype” that now is. thank you

  9. Yea nice one dex. It just seems to me that rap isn’t given enough weight where freedom of expression is concerned. People are always bleeting on about how art shouldn’t be censored – nobody would think to ban offensive language in a book or a film, and the depiction or glorification of crime, particularly violent acts is positively reveered as something of artistic expression, which far outweighs censorship. Why is Hip Hop not treated as a legitimate art form?

  10. What more is there to say? Excellent, positive show. Being a GenX’er growing up listening to music of the “Golden Era” and having stopped watching TV 6 years ago because of the ridiculous media portrayals of our people, I’m excited that a kind of new “Renaissance” is already here – basically thriving from the instant-access technology and the explosion of the Internet as distribution mechanism. This is a special time, though, for those in their 30s to start connecting and communicating with our young folk in their 20s and teens about what real, positive change can mean – expressed through music, education and activism.

  11. Dex,

    Great show man, loved it.

    To weigh-in, I am VERY concerned for HIP HOP,… this is what got me thinking about this years ago before Tower Records folded…How come I cannot find my favorite artists in the stores? Censorship, (and like the interviewees said, it’s not censorship of cursing and the “n” word), it is censorship of truly ARTISTIC and intelligent hip hop. Dumile (MF DOOM) is probably one of the best known “underground artists” today, and really, no one knows who he is.

    The other side of this is I for one, cannot BELIEVE anyone stands up for the misogynistic, demoralizing lyrics in most of the heavily distributed rap today…Art, REAL ART isn’t about glorifying BS, it’s about conveying feelings and reflecting society in interesting ways…Yeah Willie D is right evil won’t leave the world if we clean up rap, still doesn’t mean rap needs to be dirty…the fact that he said “Clean up rap” means we can DEFINE rap as dirty…that should tell you something right there.

    Anyway, man, lot of emotions stirred up listening to that show…I’ma need to go listen to ep 56 just to chill out…

    one love ya’ll keep the dialogue going…sorry for rambling.

  12. This was a incredible episode DEX! Keep up the good work. I will re-air this one on our show. Much respect for broadcasting the truth and having passionate guests to articulate the subject! Im most definitely wit Willie D on this one. If you ban hip hop today that will not stop women from being h***, and it wont stop the killing and it dam sure wont cure racism. They use emotional issues such as this to separate us. So far its working. I ask humbly to everyone that reads this to do what you can to educate youth and anyone that lacks a proper understanding to a situation. Pointing fingers never solves anything, although responsibility has to be acknowledged for some of hip hops ignorance..


  13. Damn. Sorry I’ve been out of contact for a minute – I promise I’ll eventually get to all of the emails (if you sent one in the last week or so, I’m not ignoring you – just mad busy). On the real though, for everyone that supported on this one and added to the conversation, thanks. There’s still a lot more to be said on the subject, and if you all keep listening, I’ll keep making em…

    And as I said in the original post, there may be a couple radio stations that are looking at putting this feature into rotation. If you are a program director, please get at me and we’ll get it moving on your station as well – college, community, basement, whatever.

    and Mr Underground – that interview is dead! got an alternate link?

    watch for the next episode…

  14. And damn, I can’t remember if I thanked the guests as well. Shouts to everyone involved in the production of this thing.

  15. lol yeah i know dex, for some reason, the interview got taken out for some copyright issues but i’ll tell you if anything new comes up

  16. yeah, I figured. And I was really interested in seeing that one, too. damn.

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  18. Yo I am feeling the hip hop your playing on here. We are doing the video version of this…its called Graffic Audio. Id love if you checked it out. Keep doin what ya do, I love the shows!

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