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Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice In New Video

Black Bane Puts Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch On Notice With New Video

DE SF 2

First Degree The D.E. takes on the Black Bane persona and looks to raise the thought, talent, and purpose in today’s rap music

By Fahrenheit Insight’s Jimmy Blog

   Just when America needs answers, The D.E. provides. In a quest to bolster hip hop consciousness, Sacramento rapper First Degree The D.E. calls out rap heavy weights Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch in new video, “Black Bane”, which can be seen HERE.

   First Degree The D.E. is a world renowned entertainer/activist and pioneer of Sacramento rap, has performed over 100 shows across the USA, and  is responsible for 55 projects in all. In addition to his uplifting message in the recording booth, First Degree is an active participant in South Sacramento community. The label he owns, Fahrenheit Records, had sold over 80,000 units world-wide , consists of artists stretching the West Coast,  and enjoys a 20 years history of quality, thoughtful, diverse music. Fahrenheit Records operates an award winning, world-wide online radio station called Fahrenheit Radio, and owns and operates 14 websites, including FirstDegreeTheDE.com, Sacramentorap.com, Californiarap.com, and USrapnews.com.

    The Fahrenheit Insight caught up with First Degree during the “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot at the 49er’s stadium in Santa Clara, CA. It was a cloudy evening with thousands of raucous, optimistic fans tailgating in the Levi Stadium paring lot for Monday Night Football’s opening of the 2015 season. The D.E.  gave us insight into the history and purpose behind Black Bane, and what it means to be a street vigilante. Who is First Degree Black Bane?

First Degree black bane 3First Degree The D.E. defines conscious lyricism with Fahrenheit’s 55 project, Black Bane The Misunderstood Genius Part 1

   Over his 20 year rap history, First Degree has put on many masks to deliver his message. This includes RoboDE, Blackulem, Shlumpulicious, and Super Black to name a few. Being Fahrenheit Records’ 55th project, the first thing The Fahrenheit Insight wanted to know about Black Bane was what the difference between it all the past First Degree characters.

   “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” First Degree explains. “Like the other recent characters I’ve portrayed on albums, I was told by the universe to take on this persona. I don’t just sit around and decide, ‘I’m gunna do this, or I’m gunna say that.’ God an His universe instructs me to do so, and I oblige.” He then went on to lay out the purpose of Black Bane.

   First Degree The D.E. went all out to detail the characteristics of Black Bane. He explained tat unlike the other characters he’s portrayed, Black Bane sees the world as a grey area, meaning there’s no definitive good or bad, just perspective. “Black Bane is a street vigilante. Once he’s locked onto a goal that’s just, he affiliates with the good and the bad in order to fulfill that purpose. He’s purpose is just, his means are questionable to some.”

Phonk Beta Black Bane

Long time Brotha Lynch producer Phonk Beta goes all the way live with his production on First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about Black Bane’s purpose and goals, First Degree related Black Bane’s vision of a fair society in which opportunities flow equally across all social and economic levels, the people are informed and inspired, and doing his part to help shed the effects of Jim Crow and return the people to the regalness that is within them. “This is what he calls fighting for the people. Black Bane just takes aggressive means and plays the role only he can play, in order to get the job did,” First Degree The D.E. asserts. He concludes, “To deliver this message, I relied on the Great Phonk Beta and challenged him to remind the people what makes him great, and he succeeded with an unbelievable array of superior, live shlumpage.”

When we got in the lab we asked ourselves how we can make this one bigger and better. We achieved that goal with thought, soul, effort, talent, time, patience, and purpose.

The Fahrenheit Record was given a copy of the First Degree Black Bane singles in preparation of this article. They include “Black Bane”, “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style”, and “Say Serra”.

First Degree Black Bane Annimated Face Oji

First Degree Black Bane through the eyes of Oji

Black Bane

The first single is the title track, Black Bane. It starts with First Degree and The Celebration (his kids), telling the story of Black Bane to a dark, aggressive, piano driven, Phonk Beta beat. The first line, “The cost to be boss, atroc-it-ties, that most can’t handle, that’s that’s why you boss, that’s why you bump my blamble, that and rap scandal” provides immediate insight into the mind of Black Bane. The chorus is a daunting 8 bars of dark singing, thunder, and whipping. Black Bane’s lyrics are hard, political, and thoughtful, “Not affected by ISIS, that’s way far, the man’s cookin books here, that’s on our radar.”

The First Degree Black Bane video is another genius animation from Fahrenheit’s Oji, filled with good guys, bad guys, and all in between. The ultra creative video details the many faces and duties of Black Bane and his allies. In addition, the video includes Eminem, Tech N9ne, and Brotha Lynch. When asked why they were included in the video, First Degree explains, “Oji and I saw this video as an opportunity to remind rap’s division leaders to have purpose in their music, before its too late. I’m in cahoots with Lynch as we speak, collaborating on Strange Music’s ‘Kevlar’ album, and that ‘Black Bane Part 2, The Underestimated Villan'”. The D.E. asserts, “its time for the Brotha Lynchs, the Phonk Betas, and the First Degrees to get back together in unison and continue this legacy we’ve created.” He finishes his thought by including that Brotha Lynch was on his way back from Kansas City laying vocals for Strange Music’s Strangulation 2 album, and would will be back at work the Sactown vet as soon as he gets back.

In this single, First Degree raps, “(I’m) banned from Strange Music Inc.” When asked to elaborate, The D.E. declined, citing that it wasn’t the time and a desire to move forward. Why did he put the line in the song, The Fahrenheit Insight wonders.

First Degree Black Bane 2

NFL Network films part of the First Degree The D.E. “I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style” video shoot, 49er Stadium with Empire Row

I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style

The second single from the Black Bane album is a dedication to West Coast 90’s rap pioneers and the influence it had on world-wide American culture. ‘I Wear Black Cuz Its Just My Style’ is a 90’s style Beta beat with live pianos and live guitar played by L.A.’s Eric Otis. The sound is a nice, unique mix between old school west coast sampling, a live Curtis funk band, and the Straight Outta Cmopton movie. The song’s title and theme came from a 90’s rap group consisting of The D.E.’s good friend Big Ron and Live Wire from the L.A. area.

The “Wear Black’ video was being shot at 49ers Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California the day of this interview. An official 49er’s tailgating pep rally, thrown by Arevalo Production’s Empire Row, served as the back drop. It was a nationally televised Monday Night Football game and the unveiling of the 49ers’ new black uniforms. It was a wild event, filled with Fahrenheit fans and 49er faithfuls alike. The scene is sure to jump off the camera as soon as the video is completed and released.

First Degree black bane 5First Degree utilizes green screen for the first time in Say Serra

Say Serra

The third Black Bane video is the most musical, lyrical, and entertaining of the bunch.” Say Serra” is a finely-crafted First Degree hit with its own sound and racially controversial lyrics that will have the streets buzzing for some time to come. This single has a hard, groovy, big production, live sound that has never and will never be duplicated. Once again, Phonk Beta is on the beat and live pianos, and Eric Otis is on the live Spanish guitar.

The Say Serra video is all D.E.. First Degree gets close up, entertains, dances, and delivers his unique brand of poetry, “That video’s gunna be up close and personal to leave no doubt what I’m sayin!” Oh boy.

When asked how one picks singles for the album, First Degree reiterates that he is a vessel of the universe and does what it instructs him to do. He also points out that local publication Sacramento News and Review leaked and reviewed one of the songs, ‘The Fahrenheit Record’, HERE. The article included reporter Raheem Hosseini’s funny individual experience with the informative song. The Fahrenheit Record mentions many Sacramento area reporters, and several of them, including the KCRA’s Edie Lambert, Kevin Riggs, and Sacramento Bee’s Chris Macias started the buzz by posting about the song on their Facebook pages.

d'angelo black messiah first degree black bane 8

D’Angelo Black Messiah played a roll in developing First Degree Black Bane

   When asked about what, if any, outside musician provided influence for Black Bane, First Degree bared a big grin and explained that the D’Angelo Black Messiah album was the first album in ten years that stimulated his mind. “D’Angelo is the greatest singing and producing entity of all time. I have never heard such funky, sticky, risky, smooth, forward thinking, live music ever. Michael Jackson is the best dancer ever, Phonk Beta is the best rap producer ever, and D’Angelo is the greatest singer/producer of all time, fa sho. I’ve listened to that album 100 times already.” First Degree goes on to justify that D’Angelos latest album Black Messiah is “gleaming with purpose” and “stimulates those that understand”. The D.E. states that Black Messiah is the reason he reached out to Phonk Beta and Eric Otis for live instrumentation.

First Degree also sites the current urban struggle, and a second meeting with hip hop legend Rakim that had influence on his new direction.

If the people take to the Black Bane album like the listeners that this reporter has witnessed, the West Coast rap game will have a new bar to try to live to.

First Degree Black Bane hits stores world-wide October 20, 2015. Live First Degree Black Bane performances will take place in the Seattle and Denver areas in December of 2015, with more locations to be announced. The album is produced by Phonk Beta, with additional production by Oji and Sultan Mir. Fahrenheit Records is distributed by City Hall Records and The Orchard.

More information can be found at FirstDegreeTheDE.com

Black Bane Cover

Fahrenheit Records’ 55th album, First Degree The D.E. “Black Bane” brings purpose to the underground rap game and hits stores October 20, 2015

I Hate Eminem, And Not Because He’s White | White Rap And The Transfer Of Power

I Hate Eminem, And Not Because He’s White  |  White Rap And The Transfer Of Power

By First Degree The D.E.

white rap eminem

 

I hate Eminem, and not because he’s White, so don’t go there.

Rap is purpose. When rap was started, it was the voice of the street. Although rap was created as Black art, there has always been artists of other races chiming in and contributing to its growth. Early pioneers like The Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and even Vanilla Ice brought diversity to the music. In the beginning, it wasn’t about race, it was about being a voice, uplifting, and entertaining the streets.

Fast forward 30 years, and rap is no longer owned by the streets, rap is owned by the suburbs. How did this happen? Rap’s transfer of power started with Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996, and a White household name rapper named Eminem. As a result, today’s version of rap is “rap lite”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking down on about the growth of rap music. Once rap caught on, I didn’t expect to be a “Black genre” for long. Rap is like a beautiful bird, keeping it caged in our region and culture would be doing the world an injustice. Rap is one of many contributions Black people have made to the planet. MCs come in all shapes and sizes, races, and nationalities. However, there is a big difference between the suburbs enjoying rap and owning rap.

Being in the rap game for over 20 years, I have the right to speak on its path. When we were starting up in the 90’s, there was no Sacramento rap, or Bay rap, etc. We were inventing a new genre. That’s why its transfer of power to the suburbs especially hurt.

As a result of rap’s transfer, artists that rap about the people began to be shunned, and those rapping about nothingness were celebrated. A dark turn rap had taken. Now days, rappers like myself, that do not recognize rap’s transfer of power and cater to the suburbs, are hated.

The average rap fan will not be connected to the transfer of rap power, and will see it from a detached, consumer’s perspective. However, all can understand, when you have been part of building something, you care about its whereabouts.

 

CLINTON GORE

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

     Over 90% of the 12 and up American population listens some form of radio in a week’s time. Millions are radio listeners, and rely on it for new music. Radio airwaves are supposed to be owned by the American public, but because the Federal government is the legal voice of the citizens, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacts policies and decides for the people when it comes to the airwaves.

     In the beginning of rap music, the FCC’s control over the airwaves wasn’t too much a conflict of interest. In the 90’s, mainstream as well as underground artists, could get their song on the radio. Conscious rap was the norm on hip hop radio stations. Militant artists like Public Enemy and Paris could get on the radio consistently. It was great, uplifting, and reassuring.

     Then, in search of free competition for ownership of the airwaves and the up-and-coming internet, President Bill Clinton signed into law The Telecommunications Act in 1996. The Act was the initial blow to the ownership of rap, basically clearing the way for corporations like Clear Channel to take control of radio. As a result, the corporations had become the deciders, and their purpose was money.

     The money the corporations were seeking was corporate advertising dollars. The difference between the retail dollar and the corporate advertising dollar is the control factor. As a corporate advertising dollar seeker, you don’t want to do anything to upset your advertisers. Advertisers had become radio’s lifeline and purpose. Advertisers like their rap light, purposeless, and non-talented. In their search for money, corporations had given advertisers control of rap.

     The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has done a horrible service to the American public. It has lead to less competition, less diversity, fewer views, cut off musicians, and stripped rap of what made it special, its raw purpose.

     The advertisers had become the deciders. Thanks, Bill.

white rap eminem 2

Eminem

     At its core, rap was about respect. When Eminem entered the game in the late 90’s his gimmick was talking real bad on his mom and abusing drugs. A high level of disrespect for rap was displayed by Eminem’s early work. Rap was being trampled on, and no one enjoyed this more than the suburbs. Ironically, N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre, was behind it all, earning him the nick-name “The Cracka Backa”. What once was a proud genre made by the street, for the street, was now becoming a suburbian toy in a suburbian toy box. The rap and the purpose of rap had diminished.

     Rap had officially changed hands. From that point on, when I heard Eminem’s voice, it was a symbol of defeat for something we built. This leads me to Tech N9ne and Strange Music.

 

white rap eminem tech n9neTech N9ne looks to business with Eminem

     I like Tech N9ne the person, I really do. However, the way Tech N9ne has been publically begging for Eminem’s attention makes me want to barf, it really does. Seeing rap’s top selling underground artist try to get more attention from the suburbs, and put value to the transfer of rap, literally makes me sick to my stomach. Tech is a cool dude, why this? Aren’t the juggalos enough? Is it Black seeking White acceptance? Seeing the constant begging made me reluctantly unlike him on Facebook.

     When Tech N9ne invited me to be on his “All 6’s and 7’s” album, with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Hopskin, and others, I was excited. I knew the following buzz would present a big stage. With a great stage, comes great responsibility. A lesson was in order. I came with Super Black’s “Listen Up, Ya Honkey”, and the world turned upside down!

 

white rap eminem first degreeFirst Degre The D.E.’s “Listen Up,Ya Honkey” Shocked The System

     “Listen Up, Ya Honkey” is not about all White people, it’s about racists! The song is often misunderstood. In response to the song, the juggalos started a “Ban First Degree” movement, which caught a little wave. Anti-First Degree sentiment was ramped up around the world, include occasional, random emails from Russia and other foreign lands. I was attacked from all over, it was great.
Before I got a chance to explain the song was just about racists, I was banned from the Strange Music message board. Why would Strange Music ban the very person that LITERALLY drove Brotha Lynch to their front door? Why would a contributing artist get shunned in favor of random, disrespectful, borderline racist consumers? Remember who owns rap, the suburbs.

 

white rap iggy azalea

Grammy Winning Rap Artist Ziggy Azalea

The Future Of Multi-Cultural Rap

     Rap is a world-wide collaborative effort now, and the Fahrenheit Movement reflects that. Fahrenheit’s range is as Black as Oakland’s Oji and his African vibe to Young Stroke’s Caucasian Gastonia, North Carolina. It’s as European as France’s Ghost D.E.S.T., as Latin as Las Vegas overlord M Sane, and as Japanese as Saterbagg’s stomping grounds. Fahrenheit’s purpose is purpose, a universal concept.

     Fahrenheit Records has recently signed some multi-cultural groups. If you wonder how someone with my views could sign non-black MCs, you have not been listening. Rap has blossomed, yet it’s about respect, and Fahrenheit is a leader in the rap game, not behind. In addition, Fahrenheit is a world-wide phenomenon. It’s much bigger than me. I just do my part.

     Most of the country doesn‘t know the Seattle area like the West Coast does. They have their own thing going on up there, it’s a unique vibe. Seattle’s urban little brother, Tacoma, is raw and ready to be heard by the world. It’s now their time. Tacomarap.com, coming soon, will keep you up on everything.

white rap blue nose musicBlue Nose Music’s 5ive 3re and Greg Double payed dues

     Tacoma’s Blue Nose Music is a multi-racial Fahrenheit group creating a buzz. Their leader, Greg Double, is a White MC. When Greg Double stepped in the game, he treated it with respect, didn’t use the “N” word, and respected the process by paying dues. This included respecting the OGs (Awall etc), hitting the street, getting on stage, and performing for the people. They deserved a chance because they are fun, and what Greg Double, Thunderchief, 5ive 3re, Cameron Couch, and United Kingdom’s Wynter Brown are trying to do is contribute to the game. Their album, “Release The Hounds” hits stores everywhere 2.17.15.

white rap eminem josh rizebergIt’s Josh Rizeberg’s (Of Beanz N Rize) time to be heard

     Beanz N Rize, also from Tacoma, is one of the most conscious rap duos of our era. Their music makes you want to be like them and know what they know. Josh Rizeberg and Cool Beanz are poetic, thoughtful MCs with an Egyptian twist. Josh Rizeberg, known for activism on the street and political level, feels that it’s important for suburbian MCs to acknowledge White privilege and racism in their music. Rize explains, “(Suburbian rappers) need to understand that Hip hop is, and originally was, a mouth-piece for the disenfranchised.” I couldn’t agree more. When I hear Beanz N Rize, I don’t hear a Jewish and Black rap group, I hear consciousness, which ascends race. The Beanz N Rize debut album hits stores 2.17.15.

white rap eminem biz markieBiz Markie and others made us laugh

     As well as rap being conscious, rap was made to be funny. Biz Markie, Flava Flav, Fresh Prince, 2 Live Crew, Bobby Jimmy, and many more, used to make us laugh. There’s nothing wrong with a good time! Fahrenheit has proudly launched Funnyrap.com dedicated to comedy rap that will have you rolling.

white rap eminem young strokeYoung Stroke isn’t a White rapper, he’s a funny rapper

     Fahrenheit only signs artists that have something wrong with them. Fahrenheit’s Sic Ill (Tacoma) and Young Stroke (San Diego/ North Carolina) are no exception. Once you get into Sic Ill and Young Stroke’s music, it won’t matter that one is a White rapper and one is Black, it will just matter that they make you laugh. I expect lots of controversy when those two’s albums drop this summer. I am looking forward to it.

white rap eminem beanz sic illCool Beanz and Sic Ill represent Tacoma well

     In a recent Facebook rant, Sic Ill reveals he has to defend his “pop-rap” to White MCs that don’t consider him a “real rapper”. His tirade included, “I’m Black! Get it through your thick skulls, you’re White! Rap is my s—,… there’s some other p—— in Seattle trying to clump their whiteness together at top and then they wonder why hip hop thinks they’re bulls—. Straight jackin’ Black people’s SMH.” The fact that Sic Ill feels the need to defend his rap to suburbian rappers is a symbol of the suburbs feeling they own rap. Again, it’s about respect.

Conclusion

     There is a silver lining in all of this. The good to come out of the Telecommunications Act is it freed up the little-known internet and brought more numbers to the rap genre. Through the “Twittagrams” and the “Instachats”, musicians are now just a few clicks away from their fans. Rap artists can connect directly with the people that matter to them. Sites like iTunes allow musicians to sell directly to their fans as well. There are now channels that corporations do not control.

     Despite the limits of radio and because of the internet, and support from Fahrenheit’s distributors City Hall Records and Orchard Music, Fahrenheit doesn’t need Target, or any other corporation, to approve its messages. Take that, corporation advertisers! Fahrenheit has even created our own online radio station, Fahrenheit Radio.

     Fahrenheit’s Greg Double of Blue Nose Music feels he and other White rappers can contribute to the rap genre, too. He reveals, “(Being a voice for the people) is not a skin tone issue at all. It’s a human condition that knows no boundaries.”

     The point is, a White rapper can be a good thing and contribute to the rap genre just like anyone else, as longs as he (or she, Ziggy Azalea) respects the game, like everyone else.

     Hits from the entire Fahrenheit roster will be featured in the upcoming album, “Fahrenheit Roll Call” due out in April of 2015.

white rap eminem recognize tacoma

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