The Daily Show & Soulstice on Common x White House x Faux News

Posted in Artists, Comedy, Politics, Videos on May 14th, 2011 by Hyphen

When Sound Session debuted on KUBE six years ago, we had the pleasure of welcoming Common to the studio as our first guest.  We dedicated the entire show to his music and he regaled us with behind the scenes tales about his favorite songs off each of his classic albums.  Since then, we’ve had him on the show numerous times (remember this listening party?) and run into him at all sorts of events.  Throughout all this interaction, one thing has stood out to me above even the quality of his music: this is one of the nicest “celebrities” I’ve ever met.

Common has a way of talking to you so genuinely that you know he actually cares about what you’re discussing and more importantly, he cares about you.  Honestly, it’s kind of spooky.  Years after first talking about how I coached youth basketball, he asked me out of the blue: “are you still coaching kids?”  He’s just a great dude and an excellent representative of our culture.

This is not to say he’s without flaws, but much like 2Pac, he represents the natural duality that we all share in our morals/ethics and his music always reflects what he believes, even if it’s not popular.  He’s also grown as an artist and person over the years (haven’t we all?), which makes this Fox News pseudo-controversy all the more hysterical.  If you’ve been living under a rock, Jon Stewart can get you up to speed:

Not much more needs to be said (aside from PLEASE DON’T EVER EVEN PRETEND TO RAP, JON), but rapper SoulStice summed up his thoughts nicely in a recent email:

What’s the word?

I think I’m going to need a late pass on this one. I didn’t realize that Common had been invited to perform at the White House until after Sarah Palin had already gotten on the air and poo-pooed the whole thing.

My response to Common performing lyrics as poetry at the White House is probably as predictable as Sarah Palin’s. Yay! For me, this is a form of acknowledgement by those in power that the voice of my generation as expressed through hip hop is recognized not only for its entertainment value but for its social and political relevance. Never mind that this acknowledgement comes from a President that himself struggles for acceptance as part of mainstream America.

When Sarah Palin says that Common’s body of work doesn’t withstand the scrutiny of representing “all that’s good about America,” she does have a point. Common’s third album, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense (1997)” was a very influential one for me. On “Hungry,” Common raps:

“Downtown interracial lovers hold hands,
I breathe heavy like an old man…”

At the time, I remember reflecting on those lines for a while. Although in 1997 I hadn’t yet dated outside of my race (wasn’t the coolest move to make in my segregation-minded Chicagoland high school), I knew that one of my favorite artists and I felt differently on the subject of interracial relationships. Today, as part of an interracial marriage and father to a multi-ethnic child, my view on the subject is as diametrically opposed as ever to the view expressed on “Hungry.” Hopefully Common’s is too.

So no, Common’s body of work doesn’t withstand the scrutiny of representing “all that’s good about America.” But isn’t that bar too high? I wouldn’t pass that test. For that matter, neither would Palin, Hannity, O’Reilly or any of the right-wing (or otherwise) critics of Obama’s choice to bring Common to the White House. Even removing all of moral blemishes like the “Hungry” line from Common’s catalog, it wouldn’t clear the bar that Palin has set here. As an artist, Common has chosen to shine a light on some of the things that aren’t so good about America like police brutality and racial bias in the prison system. Would it be too much to ask for Palin and others to spend some time reflecting on the hard truths in lyrics like those before rushing to shoot the messenger?

I applaud the White House for hosting Common for a performance. Even with his imperfections, I think he’s done more to uplift America than any of the aforementioned pundits whose self-serving divisiveness does more to harm our social fabric than to strengthen it. On “G.O.D.,” another song from “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” Common spit another couple of lines that have stuck with me all these years:

“Long as you know it’s a being that’s supreme to you,
and let that show towards others in the things you do”

Words to live by.

peace —


It’s one thing for Faux News to do this to other news stories, but when they go after one of the members of our community, it annoys me to no end. They really shouldn’t speak on things that they have no concept of, but I suppose that’s par for the course throughout media, not just on Fox.

As our generation gets older, it’s up to people like you, me, and SoulStice to continue to bring sanity to these “debates.” We have an obligation to push the discourse in the right direction and away from the silliness.

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I heart British people

Posted in Comedy, News, Videos on April 30th, 2011 by Hyphen

When I woke up yesterday and begrudgingly started getting ready for work, I noticed my Twitter and Facebook timelines were filled with friends expressing their extreme hatred for all the media coverage of Will & Kate’s royal wedding.  Even though my dad is British and I have family there, honestly, I had no idea the wedding was even going down, let alone that it was this big of a deal…or at least that the media was trying to make it such an event.

While I understand why folks were so perturbed, I really couldn’t care less about the wedding or the media’s coverage of it.  Yeah, they blew it up to an absurd degree.  Um, that’s what they do.  Perhaps I’m a jaded media studies major, but I don’t see why any of this is surprising or discouraging.  Instead of getting annoyed by the coverage, I watched a little last night and above all, it reminded me how much I heart British people.  The wedding was so old fashioned…so banal…so proper…and the people looked so…utterly miserable.  THAT, my friends, is the British society I know and love.

I could write pages trying to explain the nuances of it all, but I think this Kate Middleton For The Win Tumblr site sums it all up brilliantly in every simple photo edit.  Go there.  Immediately!

In related news, I caught up on The Daily Show episodes I missed this week and I particularly enjoyed John Oliver returning to London to cover the wedding:

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Would you rather be evil or stupid?

Posted in Comedy, News, Videos on August 24th, 2010 by Hyphen
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party


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Lewis Black ethers Glenn Beck

Posted in Comedy, Politics, Videos on May 12th, 2010 by Hyphen

Granted, this is not difficult, but I’ll never get tired of people calling out Glenn Beck’s idiocy.

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El Prez – The Daily Show (mixtape)

Posted in Artists, Mixtapes on September 6th, 2008 by Hyphen

El Prez Front

My man El Prez from Los Angeles has been leaking new joints recently, but he just dropped the official mixtape for y’all to check out entitled The Daily Show.  If you’re a Sound Session listener, you may remember Prez from his “UAINTUPONTHIS!” joint with the U-N-I homies.  And if you remember that, you know dude is dope.  I would write more, but I need to get some ish ready for Rock The Bells later today at the Gorge.  Matter of fact, I think I’ll bump this on the way down to the show…

Tracklisting and download link after the jump! Shout to What Eye Thought for the drop.

Read more »

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Jon Stewart with that ETHER

Posted in Comedy, News, Politics, Videos on September 4th, 2008 by Hyphen

Hahahaha sonned. I love when the hypocrisy of these morons is pointed out so clearly. In their defense, “they are lying sacks of sh*t.”  Well said John.

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45+ reasons why Sarah Palin is the worst pick ever

Posted in News, Politics on September 2nd, 2008 by Hyphen

As I’m watching this horribly embarrassing Republican National Convention (the co-chair just called Sarah Palin “Sarah Pawlenty”…Freudian slip much?), I can’t believe these people even exist. Aside from the fact that I disagree with most of their core values, some of these people are downright crazy. That includes Mrs. Palin, who is clearly the worst Vice Presidential candidate ever selected. The Daily Kos posted up a long list of reasons why, so go ahead and get familiar with this woman right here.

Some of my favorites include believing that creationism should be taught in science class, fighting to remove polar bears from the endangered species list so she can drill more in Alaska, and leaving the tiny town of Wasilla in economic tatters after her mayoral stint. I’m not even going to talk about the idiocy of being anti-choice and anti-sex ed in schools when your own underage daughter is pregnant. How’d that whole abstinence thing work out for ya?

I could go on and on (…and on and on and on), but this is just ridiculous.

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Coldplay – Lost (live on the Daily Show)

Posted in Artists, Live Performances on June 29th, 2008 by Hyphen

(you may have to wait a minute to get the Hulu player to load the clip)

My favorite song out right now.  Chris Martin’s voice sounds ridiculous live and the end result is fire.

MC’s…who’s gonna be the first one of y’all to jump on that bridge and record something?  It’s open, just loop it a little and kill it.

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