kelefa sanneh, Our Favorite Music Journalist With An Uncapitalized Name, runs down the current situation in today's Times.
According to the Times:
* Drama and Cannon are being charged with racketeering and helpd on $100,000 bond.
* The RIAA maintains that "a sound recording is either copyrighted or it's not." Since mix tape DJs have only implied permission to use the music they use, they're out of luck.
* The RIAA claims that Cannon and Drama were sent a cease-and-desist letter before the raid.
If you're unfamiliar with the situation, sanneh runs it down pretty effectively in his story, describing (accurately) the esteem in which these guys are held in the hip-hop community, the enthusiastic endorsements they get from artists, and so on.
And: VH1 gets comments from the RIAA: "We don't consider this being against mixtapes as some sort of class of product. We enforce our rights civilly or work with police against those who violate state law. Whether it's a mixtape or a compilation or whatever it's called, it doesn't really matter: If it's a product that's violating the law, it becomes a target."
Additionally: Eskay is reporting at XXL.com that Drama and Cannon have been released from jail.
Kool G. Rap (Produced by DJ Premier) - What's More Realer Than That (MP3)
Video: J. Smooth interviews the Ego Trip crew about The White Rapper Show
Sacha Baron Cohen on NPR's Day to Day
A Speach from Bill Moyers on Media Reform
The Jon Brian Show: an unaired VH1 pilot featuring Elliott Smith, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and many others.
Run visits Super Rockin' Mr. Magic's radio show in 1987 (on hip-hop radio legend DJ Stretch Armstrong's new blog)
Is publishing a joke book with quotations from famous comics intellectual property theft? (NPR)
Craig Mack is Back with "I Heard" (and it's very good)
Common & Bilal performing "Play Your Cards Right" on Leno (with Jeremy Piven on congos!)
This week we take an in-depth look at TRICKS AND TRICKERY. Our guest is the great Mal Sharpe, half of Coyle & Sharpe. If you heard him on this show from August, 2006 -- hear him again, five years ago! This show was originally broadcast January 10th, 2002.
He's performing this joint on Leno tonight, and if that goes up on YouTube, I'll POST THAT TOO!
And I'm here to say this: EVOLUTION OF ROBIN THICKE: SLEEPER ALBUM OF 2006! Just as CHERRY BLUE SKIES was SLEEPER ALBUM OF 2003!
And I don't care if his father is Alan Thicke, THAT JUST MAKES ME LIKE HIM MORE!
Additionally... when his song "Brand New Jones" comes on in the Nordstrom Rack, I JAM WHILE I SHOP, because THAT'S MY JAM.
No, Drama and Cannon (pictured left with Killer Mike) didn't get caught riding dirty. Instead, according to local television news, local authorities in Atlanta raided the recording studio & offices of The Aphilliates, confiscating quite literally everything -- including recording equipment, CDs, and even (from the looks of the film in the news report) promotional posters.
Seventeen people were detained, and DJ Drama and DJ Cannon were arrested. The news report refers repeatedly to "illegal CDs" -- gesturing towards what are clearly Gangsta Grillz mixtapes. She claims they'll be held as evidence, "and then eventually, they'll be destroyed."
In the clip, a representative of the Fulton County Sherriff's office, Major E.A. Platt, describes the CDs as "counterfeit CDs," and says, "statistics also show that you can make up to 900% profit, just on the resale of counterfeit CDs. So there's huge money to be made in it, and there's no stigma attached to it."
You know why there's no stigma? BECAUSE IT ISN'T ILLEGAL. THESE ARE LEGAL MIXTAPES. The record companies and artists have given their permission to these DJs to use these recordings, in the hopes of getting promotion in exchange.
And according to this scare-mongering report, "authorities say counterfeiting CDs typically goes hand-in-hand with other crimes."
It would be shocking how embarassingly ill-informed the story is ("we're told by some neighbors that DJ Drama and DJ Cannon are DJs on a local radio station on weekends..."), if the police involved weren't apparently even more poorly informed.
The layers of cultural ignorance and just-below-the-surface bigotry are so thick in this report that it's hard to even believe that it's real, but pictures of people's cars being towed away don't lie. One has to presume that Drama and Cannon have the money to hire a lawyer who will extricate them from this mess, but in the meantime... is this really where we're at in 2007? Seriously?
If anyone can find any more credible reports about this, please share them in the comments.
Mixunit.com, the largest online mixtape retailer, has pulled every mixtape from their online shelves.
New secretly-corporate online comedy portal SuperDeluxe.com launched today. Featured among its offerings is the above, from Dave Foley (and featuring a distinctly beardy Stephen Root).
Once upon a time:
Dave Foley on TSOYA
SFist visited Comedy Death Ray last night, part of the SF Sketchfest (of which TSOYA is a sponsor). The review is positive about the show as a whole, but vehemently negative about David Cross, the show's headliner.
The piece's author, Emily Cox, writes in the review: "Sadly, SFist was really disappointed (appalled might be the better word) by David Cross's routine. In addition to getting the smallest laughs from the crowd, it was the most blatant public display of bigotry we've witnessed in person."
Cross responded in the comments, writing in part:
"Emily, you can’t simply reduce everything I said, and it’s obvious (to most, at least) intent to merely being a vitriolic, bigoted soap-box lecture wherein I just say, “This is what Mormons believe, aren’t they fucking idiots?”. That is being either purposefully dishonest or at the very least, lazy and irresponsible. In addition, your numerous references to how poorly I was received seem put in there to bolster your position. This just wasn’t the case. Again, the set and entire evening were taped. I have the proof on tape. You have your clearly biased memory of events, which do not match reality."
Cross' comedy can sometimes tilt towards polemic, but Cox's language was really quite strong. Of course, as an anonymous commenter pointed out, DC didn't exactly deflate those allegations of bigotry by finishing up with, "Having said all that, I do think it’s astoundingly stupid and lazy to believe in Mormonism given it and it’s founder’s history."
Cross is clearly a man with strong opinions, and his passionate audience gives him no disincentive to share them. He's also one of our most gifted comics, and has been very good to The Sound in the past. Tough to know what to make of this situation.
Michael Showalter debuted his new web series, "The Michael Showalter Showalter" on College Humor today. You can watch below!
(by the by... this looked like a big white box in my Firefox, but it worked when I clicked the box, so if you see nothing, do not fret)
From Tracy Jordan.
Broadcast live from a cattle auction.
Jesse and Jordan discuss their relative sadness. Listeners have decided that Jesse is clearly sadder. Jesse's a professional podcaster -- a little sad. Jordan mentions that it's perhaps even sadder that he is the guy who sits in on the podcasts. Jordan mentions that a fear of sadness drives him to do stuff.
Is there a good kind of club that Jesse could join?
Two celebrity high fives... Matt Walsh of the Upright Citizens Brigade shares with us his top five holidays, most of which have to do with football. Then Jimmy Pardo & the Never Not Funny gang give us their top five Jimmy Pardo Ailments of 2006.
Jesse & Jordan answer a top five of personal questions sent in by listener Benedict Harris.
Wet or dry shave?
How much do you pay for haircuts?
Position on circumcision?
What are your best colors?
Jesse describes his nightmare experience at Blockbuster Video, featuring a man trying to rent a video without ID, a blockbuster account, or even filling out a form.
Then the larger question: Jesse's girlfriend Theresa is almost done watching every episode of Sex & The City. First of all, what do you think of the show? If you like it, why? If not, why?
Secondly... what show should she watch now that she's done with it?
* Join the Flickr Group and post pictures of you high-fiving! There will be a contest with rules soon.
* Personal questions for Jesse and Jordan? Whaddya got?
* What show should Theresa take up? Shouldn't be too nerdy, should be something with feelings that I could tolerate, but wouldn't feel bad if I missed.
* Haircut advice! Here's our hair. Whaddya think?
* Sex & the City -- what's your opinion of this international cultural phenomenon from 2002?
* Review the show on iTunes.
* Do you have a dispute Judge John Hodgman can solve on a future broadcast? Email it to us! Put Judge John in the subject line.
* Would you like to play Would You Rather with us on a future episode? Email us or give us a call at 206-984-4FUN.
Call 206-984-4FUN to share your thoughts on these ACTION ITEMS.
Hear Episode Seven
Our theme music: "Love You" by The Free Design, courtesy of The Free Design and Light in the Attic Records