The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35136   Message #479688
Posted By: Suffet
09-Jun-01 - 09:57 AM
Thread Name: Pinewoods - An evil Empire???
Subject: RE: Pinewoods - An evil Empire???
Since Larry mentions rap, it reminds me of a wonderful young group that came together in New York 5 or 6 years ago. They were called the Disciples of Hip Hop, and their rap songs were about serious social and political issues: immigrants' rights, police brutality, exploitation of the workers who actually produce the fashionable clothing, abuse of children and the elderly guns and the politics of the gun lobby, gentrification and the displacement of poor people from their own neighborhoods, etc.

So what happened to the Disciples? They were feautured in "The Source." "Vibe" gave them a glowing review. They played the Back to the Bronx Festival and made countless appearances at street fairs, political gatherings, and even some schools throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City. They appeared at the Donnell Branch of the New York Public Library, and PBS's "Rights and Wrongs" did a piece about them. They even performed at a Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Pumpkin Sail concert at South Street Seaport. Rap at a Clearwater event? Amazing!

But in the end, all of this was just "chump change" compared to what was getting promoted and what was getting airplay. I haven't heard of the Disciples in 2 years, so I can't say for sure what happened to them. I heard that some of them haved moved on to college or to jobs or to other things in life. The remaining Disciples have taken on some new members and I hear they are strictly Old School, That's the kind of stuff LL Cool-J, Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash, and the Fat Boys were doing. Also Debbie Harry when she was with Blondie. Bragging and erotic, for sure, but not the gangsta crap. I don't expect there's a huge liveligood to be made in that stuff, either, but it's certainly more than what the Disciples could have made by staying the course. The equivalent, I suppose, would be if Larry and Sorcha Dorcha gave up doing songs about contemporary political issues and confined themselves to "The Leaving of Liverpool," "The Wild Colonial Boy," "Fiddlers Green," and an occasional "Come Out You Black and Tans."

By the way, the Disciples of Hip Hop never did a New York Pinewoods concert. However, the NY Pinewoods program committee chairman at the time, David Kleiman, recommended them for the Back to the Bronx Festival and the Clearwater concert, both good venues for their message and their music.

--- Steve