Back to Archives

Pres. Barack Obama

Plus: 25360 MC of The Year, XP.

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

My mother says, “All things are possible through the Lord!” Not to be religious and thangs like that, but following the inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama, I have to agree with Wyclef when he rapped, “Anything Can Happen” from his classic, The Carnival Part 1.

Less than four years ago rappers were rappin’ about how there would “never be a Black president” and the public at large held similar sentiments from everything that I have ever heard since Jesse (Jackson) ran in ’84 and ’88 respectively. What has occurred, I believe to be remarkable. Barack Obama did not run on a limited platform of race, nor class, nor gender. On Live From I-5 Radio last week, I had the opportunity to have the legendary DJ Polo (of Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo) on to share his thoughts on the life of The Notorious B.I.G. and the upcoming inauguration of Pres. Obama. “You know, cuzmo … Barack is not a president just for Black people — he is a president for everybody, and what I learned from his campaign is to pick your fights,” says Polo. “If somebody steps on your show, sometimes it’s best to just let that go — and you have already won! Cats don’t understand that, but by walking away you can win.” The wisdom of the GOD on the turntables, the OG producer — Polo’s words articulate the inspiration and raise level of thought and consciousness that many people have felt throughout Pres. Obama’s campaign. Let’s see how this pans out with all of the social, economic and unforeseen challenges lying in wait.

Also, check out the new film, Notorious about the life of Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls aka if you don’t know, now ya know … SUCKA! I appreciated the film for its candid portrayal of the Dead MC. From his upbringing with his traditional Jamaican family values-based mother, Voletta Wallace, to his excursions into street life and the struggles that accompany that choice, Notorious offers a valued perspective into the life of one of the best MCs to ever breathe on a microphone. Biggie was proof that people have a key role in their own destiny and their outcomes in life. Unfortunately, like many young men of color in this world of confusion and illusions — his life was cut short over nonsensical violence. Check the flick!

Now to some dope and uplifting news … I just got off the phone with The 25360 MC of The Year, XP. The ChicagOlympian is working on two new albums and here’s the treat — one of his albums features he and Bean One solely, and the other features XP on the production and microphone with a who’s who of some of the freshest MCs on the west coast. I’ll keep you posted. As I mentioned, the legendary homeboy DJ Polo graced Live From I-5 Radio last week and announced that he and Kool G. Rap are back in the studio and recording. This is a real treat, being that the two have not worked with each other in what seems like more than a decade! This reunion could not have come at a better time with EPMD’s latest, We Mean Business, hitting shelves last month! Hitting shelves? Please … I mean — look for it online. Most albums will be lucky to find a shelf these days!

I know most MC battles are testing grounds for lesser-know rappers looking for a way to make a name, but following the monster battle at The Royal in late 2008, wherein XP slaughtered the competition before edging out a certain Tacoma microphone killa — there is a joint that real MCs should put on their calendar. On Feb. 14 at The China Clipper in Olympia The LUVV For Hip-Hop Valentines Party looks to crown a champ for The 25360 … know about it!

Winners Train, Losers Complain … Do Yo’ Thang!!!

Peace & Love


Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. is an editor, writer and producer. A graduate of Washington State University and student at The Evergreen State College, he writes and edits the Pacific Northwest section of OZONE Magazine and hosts and produces Live From I-5 Radio (since ’89) every Friday at 3 p.m. on KAOS 89.3 FM ( in Olympia. He writes a weekly hip-hop column in the music section on the Weekly Volcano’s Web site.

comments powered by Disqus