Friday, May 30, 2008


Kevin Powell, April Silver of AKILA WORKSONGS,
Black & Male in America (BAMIA), and
present a
Townhall Meeting
Performance, & Booksigning
for the launch of

"Be a Father to Your Child:
Real Talk from Black Men on
Family, Love, and Fatherhood"

Event Hosted by
Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur of

June 2, 2008
7:00pm - 9:30pm

located at Brown Memorial Baptist Church
(Rev. Clinton M. Miller, Pastor)
438 Washington Avenue (at Gates Avenue)
Clinton Hill/Brooklyn, NY 11238

doors open at 6:30 | first come, first seated

Join the Discussion, Mix & Mingle with the Writers!
Buy the Book, Support a Cause! *

a groundbreaking anthology featuring
essays, poems, and interviews by

Aaron Lloyd • Adisa Banjoko • Alford Young, Jr. • Bakari Kitwana • Bill Stephney • Byron Hurt • Cheo Tyehimba • Davey D. • Dion Chavis • James Peterson • Kevin Powell • Kevin Williams • Lasana Hotep • Loren Harris • Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele • Mo Beasley • Rhymefest • Saddi Khali • Shaun Neblett • Steven G. Fullwood • Talib Kweli • Thabiti Boone • Timothy D. Jones • William Jelani Cobb

"Editor April R. Silver weaves together a seamless tapestry of essays, poems, lyrics, and interviews from both analytic and anecdotal perspectives- from the corner to the campus- to address issues of Black masculinity and fatherhood at the birth and maturation of hip hop culture." MORE BACKGROUND!

* Book project created to support the "Black Men and Boys Initiative." LEARN MORE!

Book Available at the JUNE 2 Event!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HHCF Fundraising for 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational

It's almost that time again. HHCF 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational is coming!

Hey folks!!! The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (501c3) is looking for donations and sponsorships for the 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational. RZA will defend his title (we're getting a new belt designed as we speak) against some of the best and baddest in the business!! MMA fighters, rappers and even some rock stars are lined up to get a shot at the title!!! Josh Waitzkin and Jennifer Shahade will be in the house...Its going down people!

HHCF also plans to have a huge scholastic tournament as well as new scholarship tournament. The HHCF cannot exist without you. We need your help, so we can help the children more effectively. We expect no less than 1500 people in attendance. Press from across the planet will be covering the event and we plan to have some new surprises as well!! To obtain our sponsorship package please email !!

Eternal thanks,
Adisa Banjoko

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wuchess is locked and loaded...

Yo, is about to launch...I have and idea when, but I can't say. What I CAN say, is that neither Hip-Hop, or chess will ever be the same after it drops. See you there soon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If your kids only learn one rap song- make it this one


Once the battle lines are drawn, stay strong

Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. Henry Ward Beecher


As an instructor, you come to realize that you cannot truly understand something until you have the ability to explain it someone else. In this way Red Belt, the new movie from Dave Mamet, is his attempt to explain to the masses what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is.

A word of warning however: those of you expecting the Enter the Dragon or Karate Kid to spark a revolution in Jiu Jitsu enrollment, Red Belt is not that movie. Red Belt is essentially a drama with large amount of the back and forth dialogue Mamet is known for. The main theme is not so much Jiu Jitsu itself in that Jiu Jitsu is as much a metaphor for one man’s value system that not necessarily compatible with the world of today about him.

Since we here at OntheMat rarely do movie reviews, we feel compelled to talk about this film on two levels, first and foremost on how successful of a movie this is and secondly if the portrayal of Jiu Jitsu rings as authentic.

Knowing what I was getting into definitely helped my enjoyment of the movie; people I attended with who were expecting a more straight forward action picture were bound to be disappointed. There are certainly some intense action sequences but this is hardly the focal point of the movie.

The story centers around instructor owner Mike Terry (a great performance by Chiwetel Eliofor), a man dedicated to Jiu Jitsu and the concepts of old world principles and honor. While he has a handful of loyal students and is content with his program, he’s also barely making rent on his studio. Tradition versus commercialization is certainly a theme that can resonate with many activities, but it will particularly hit home with an audience of Jiu Jitsu enthusiasts. A chance encounter a shaky Laura Black and an accidental gunshot through the academy window sets off a series of events that will take Mike through the seedier elements of Hollywood and the world of Mixed Martial Arts, which he initially disdains. It’s an enjoyable ride, filled with a few surprising plot twists I won’t give away here culminating in a MMA tournament that doesn’t exactly go as everyone would have expected. The ending is bound to controversial from a few different perspectives, but it invites the viewer to make several conclusions on their own.

Throughout the movie Mamet uses his opportunities to showcase Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, most obviously in the action sequences, but more often in the teachings and the words of wisdom from Mike Terry. I can see instructors and students alike uttering lines like “there’s always an escape” and “I teach people to prevail, not to win” across academies. As a vehicle to promote Jiu Jitsu it may not necessarily excite the uninformed view into wanted to sign up with a local academy, but it will certainly give them a lot to think about and hopefully an appreciation of the art. People well versed in Jiu Jitsu may have a few new insights because of Red Belt as well.

The authenticity of the Jiu Jitsu in Red belt is high, and fans of the art will certainly enjoy recognizing many people who worked on the film. Randy Couture has a fairly substantial speaking role . John Machado has a big role in this movie as well (fair to mention he had a starring role in his own movie, Brazilian Brawl which is somewhat of a cult classic among BJJ affecdionados). A major fight scene takes place Renato Magno (who also happens to be Mamet’s instructor) and Ricco Chipparelli. Ed O’ Neil, the actor who introduced Mamet to Jiu Jitsu and now a black belt himself, has a small walk on role as well. The legendary Dan Inosanto portrays the Grandmaster.

The action sequences showcase a number of popular moves, although sometimes because of the cinematic choices and direction the action is a bit hard to follow. It is nice that Mamet is able to showcase a few different aspects of Jiu Jitsu, including academy training, sport/sport fighting and self defense, the last one showcasing some version of stick fighting in addition to Jiu Jitsu. The action is for the most part believable and the final sequences are very exciting. A few points do require a bit of a suspension of disbelief; it’s a little difficult to believe that the California Athletic Commission would sanction the type of handicapping of bouts that Red Belt suggests (and in an interview Mamer does declare this was a work of Hollywood fiction, however I can vividly remember having train with one or both hands tied in my belt at times.)

In the end this Red Belt is an entertaining film and it portray Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a positive light, so it’s easy to recommend this film. Ultimately, this movie is about a modern day samurai and sticking to one’s principles in a corrupted world and I think (as Jiu Jitsu Jitsu students and instructors ourselves) we can certainly relate to the main character of Mike Terry.

Listen to the Fightworks Podcast Interview with Dave Mamet!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Focus hard and let go when attacking

On the attack your movement is swift and your cry shattering, as fast as thunder and lighting, as though coming from the sky, impossible to prepare for. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Sabertooth vs. Jrobi !!! Nice chess right here


Saturday, May 10, 2008

HHCF EXCLUSIVE: Flashback interview w/ Andre Nickatina from 2000

This Rap World: One on One with Andre Nickatina
By: Adisa Banjoko, The Bishop of Hip-Hop

I met Andre Nickatina in 1989 while taking a Black Psychology class at Skyline College. Over time we got cool and he knew I wrote for the Source. At the time, he rapped under the name Dre Dog. He invited me to his first show at an old club called One Up. He was kinda nervous that night. But he ripped it. Since then, he's made some serious history in the rap game.

Many of his raps are dark, violent and some of them have a lot of drug references. However, while I do not condone a lot of the content in his music- Andre Nickatina is a soldier of the rap game. He has stood the test of time like few others. This interview dropped shortly before the release of Tears of a Clown. He ended this with a serious insight to how important it is to be a good business man. I know a lot of HHCF folks want to be rappers or producers. So, please pay attention to how he closes this interview.

AB: What does the title, Tears of a Clown mean?

AN: Nothin'. Its a phrase that I thought went with the picture. It has no meaning behind it. I thought it would catch peoples ear. When I make and album, if people can't see it, I want it to sound good to them.

AB: Doze Green did the cover right? He's an O.G. graffiti!!

AN: Yep thats him.

AB: We're you trying to accomplish anything in particular with this album?

AN: Nope. I just throw out tapes to sell them until they can't be sold any more. Then I go back into the studio and make another one! I got no accomplishments, expectations or goals...Other than that I wanna get it to the people that wanna hear it. Ain't nothin' else to it.

AB: What's your favorite song on the album?

AN: My Rap World, is my favorite song on the album. It'll have a video to it soon. I was actually looking at a dictionary when I wrote the rap. I remember because I was looking at a rhyme dictionary. It helped me come up with the whole beginning- then I flowed with the rest. I wrote the song before I heard the beat though.

AB: Why do you think so many rappers from the Bay are supported by their own. Rappers in NY can't sell in NY. But when cat's out here see Andre Nickatina, San Quinn, Mac Mall, whoever. they're gonna pick it up. Why is that?

AN: I think its the hustle. People recognize the hustle. They wanna help you get to where you gonna go. The Bay Area is the foundation of people really doing their own independent thing. It went from cats looking for major deals to being like "We gonna sell these by ourselves". So people like, "If he's doing his own independent thing, I'll spend my last seven dollars on his tape". That reputation spread to the South. For a long time, you only had Tony Draper and Rap-a-Lot. 40 was out here doing his thing, and thats how he got down with the South. When you are independent like that you gonna meet more people- because you are doing for self. Thats how the Bay got put on the map. When you are independently hustlin' you know more about whats going on with your S!@#.

You meet more people. But when you on a record label, there are so many people doing things for you. They might have sold ten records, but they'll tell you they sold three!! Thats how dirty they get. Thats the difference between NY and the Bay Area.

AB: Do you think other cats outside of the Bay buy Andre Nickatina?

AN: Not necessarily.

AB: Do you care if people from Florida or NY buy your music?

AN: Nope, no, no...I feel whoever needs to buy my S!@# is the person who is gonna buy my S!@#. Its too many rappers out there. To much other music out there for me to be mad at anybody not buying my S!@#. I'm not in this for competition. I rap because I know there is a certain amount of people out there who will buy my S!@#. If they tune other people onto my stuff, then thats gravy to the situation. But I'm not worried if Florida or NY buys it. 'Cause I know Santa Rosa is buying my tapes. So, I'm gonna concentrate on Santa Rosa. I know people in Oakland are buying my tapes. So, I concentrate there. If you don't want my tapes that ain't no thing either- walk away.

AB: Do you hope to make movies in the future?

AN: I'm sure I might. If I branch out, I'll let you know right before it drops. I'm not gonna tell y'all that I gotta movie coming out. Then people be like "When ya movie droppin'" and I don't know [laughs]. You feel me? Let me say this though. I gotta lot of surprises. I don't even know what I'm gonna put out. But when I do, it'll be something to hold onto. When I do it, you gonna like it. Maybe somewhere down the line. No time soon. But I support anyone else doing it.

One quick thing. I wanna talk to all you cats out there rappin' man. You givin' up your ideas and your children- meaning your ideas...You give it to these record companies who giggle in your face at the time. Then, as soon as you sign on the dotted line- its war. You gotta fight for your money. You gotta fight for your rights. They know exactly what they are doing when they sign you. So, you gotta know WHY you are getting signed to them in the first place. Why you signing? Other than that, you just gonna give up classic stuff that you made and classics to come in the future that ain't even gonna be yours!

You goin' state to state, on the frontline. Goin' into all these hoods and running into all these gangstas, pranksters and thugs. While the record companies are sitting back on silk sheets sending their children to college! So all you rap cats man, you gonna have to dig into this technology. Know these books! I'm not gonna pretend that I read books all the time. But took licks for not knowin'!! In order you gonna have to get up on it. Other than that, you're signing your soul away. I'm not gonna tell you what to do to get there. If someone owe you five dollars, you want it back! Imagine if it was one hundred thousand dollars?! And you got no way of getting it back unless you bring firepower. And I don't mean guns...I mean lawyers or knowing the right way to get the money they owe you.

"You owe me this"! you'll say.

"How do I owe you this?" they gonna say.

If you don't break it down- you won't be gettin' jack S!@# back. I'm gonna tell you that now. You better break down how he owes you that money. If he say he ain't paying you after that, then you gotta get a lawyer. So, to all you rap cats, I love all rap cats that wanna BE rap cats. But there are new rules to the game. You gotta business man, and you gotta be a thug. You gotta be a business thug then!! You just can't be no ignorant thug. That time is gone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

HHCF EXCLUSIVE: 1996 Interview with Bay Area Legend Mac Mall

Mac Mall Interview from 1996
By: Adisa Banjoko, The Bishop of Hip-Hop

In 1996, Mac Mall was just getting ready to drop his Classic LP, Untouchable. His friend Young Lay had recently been shot, his early mentor DJ Cease was killed in an unrelated incident. Life was tough. But Mall, at 19 years old spoke like an OG about leaving Young Black Brother, about how stressful the streets can be and how the east/west beef ain't that real.

AB: First of all, why did you leave Young Black Brother Records?

Mac Mall: [chuckles] Whooo. You jump right into it, huh? Man...I thought it was time for me to be in control of my own destiny as far as music goes. Its already shady. I wanted to take control.

AB: How has it helped you, and how has urt you? What's the difference?

Mac Mall: It hasn't really hurt me. But the ways it helped me is- I have more options. I've got different people to help me in different markets. Its just bigger. I got more tools. I'm in communication with all of them.

AB: Who produced this album?

Mac Mall: Khayree, Mike Mosley, Ant Banks, 187 from Above the Law and Kokane, Harm, Winetime in Seattle.

AB: Where were you when you learned about the shooting of Young Lay.

Mac Mall: I was in LA when Lay got shot. I was recording with Hutch (187). I felt like "My potnah got shot!". I felt like anybody would feel. We grew up rappin' out the same camp. I called KMEL and told everybody to pray for him. Now he's in the new video "Get Right". Back! He made it 100%. He had a lot of people praying for him.

AB: Do you know anything about who did it?

Mac Mall: I don't think anybody knows who did but him, and whoever did it.

AB: Whats up with Ray Luv's DJ (DJ Cease) ? 'Cause he goes way back- like a vet.

Mac Mall: Thats my folks! Much love to him. If it wasn't for him I would not be here right now. Much love to Ray Luv. The Mac, may he rest in peace, Michael Robinson. Cease was DJ'ing back in 1981!! Thats MY folks...Mac Dres DJ. He gave me the first microphone that I EVER touched. He got killed. Its shocking. Times is crazy.

AB: How does all this affect your mind though. RBL's Mr. Cee just got shot. A lot of people up your way have been shot. How does this affect Mac Mall directly?

Mac Mall: If anything, it makes me colder. It makes me tighten up my game. I check with my folks to make sure we all on the same team. So we can all move though this. It makes me notice a lot and peep everything?

AB: Do you own a gun?

Mac Mall: Nope [chuckles].

AB: Do you vote?

Mac Mall: Nope.

AB: Do you not believe in the democratic system- or whats the deal?

Mac Mall: Nope. First of all, democrats and republicans- they don't give a f*** about us. We ain't even in that. The only things I would vote for are the smaller local laws they try to pass. But I got too much other s!@# on my mind to be thinking about that. They ain't thinkin' about me know way.

AB: How do you feel about all the east coast/west coast set trippin'.

Mac Mall: It seems like about 10% of it be like real funk. 90% of it seems like fools fighting over crumbs. What are we trippin' off? Lets flash on record companies or something. If you from the east, how you gonna diss a rapper from the west? If you from the west, how you gonna diss a rapper from the east? When its the fools behind the desks thats doin ya REAL bad- if you ain't got ya paperwork right. They doin' you real bad. Thats not me. I'm trying to get my paper right. It don;t matter where you from.

AB: What's the biggest assumption about you that people make about you thats not true.

Mac Mall: Mostly people be like "I thought you was gonna be all big headed and flashy" you know- stuck on myself.

AB: What are your three favorite movies?

Mac Mall: First, its a tie, between Supafly and The Mack. 'Cause its like Supafly DID It...He did his thing. His Caddy was an El Dorado drop, could have been a 75 with a Rolls Royce it on it. He had the Rolls Royce kit on the front! Thats why it was lookin' like that. Plus, he was in the game. They showed you how the police was was tryin' to get him 'cause he as poppin'. So he tried to get out. He had his lil freak. His lil sista, "Baby we finna get up outta here"! Fat bath tubs, condos, TV's!!

The Mack, 'cause thats The Bay. He said "I'm finna come outta jail and straight bubble! So, I Can relate with both of those movies. Second, Scarface! And King of New York!

AB: What? No Reservoir Dogs?

Mac Mall: I saw Reservoir Dogs. It was dope...But Point Break was hot.

AB: Your three top records?

Mac Mall: My first would be Pato Banton Mad Professor Catches Pato Banton, The Curtis Mayfield album with Runnin' Child, Mac Dre's Young Black Brotha...Oh and anything from Prince. Man, thats that song? Starfish and Coffee!

AB: What about books?

Mac Mall: Black Girl Lost by Donald Goines.

AB: I never read any of his books.

Mac Mall: Man you missin'! I'm serious. What else...The Great Gatsby. There is another one, by this Black dude, Nathaniel something- wrote for the Washington Post to something...I gotta remember that.

AB: Louis Farrakahan said he wanted to go to Africa to collect a billion dollars. He wants to circulate more money within the Black community. If you had a billion dollars to spend in the Black community- how would you spend it?

Mac Mall: Hospitals. A Black staff, Latinos, Asians...Then I'd probably create a TV company or a car company. Then education. Id' set up elementary schools. 'Cause its important when you start. I;d set up schools from kindergarten to seventh grade. Our kids would be doing algebra before they got to high school. I'd also figure how to make something besides welfare for my folks. East At. Louis, Detroit, Louisiana- set up something for my folks?

AB: do you believe in God? I'm curious.

Mac Mall: [ looks at me like he's offended] I had a guy in my video playing God. Dude told me that he didn't believe in God. I'm like "You breathing. I'm breathing. Theres a moon out there. You just happened to come and exist?" You can't go through all this stuff and not know its something else [controlling the universe]. I was raised Christian, when I got older I learned a bit about Islam. But I have my own belief and I know whats real. MY folks, my mother and my Grandmother taught me whats real.

AB: So back when you was young, what did your favorite saturday morning cartoons and cerals used to be?

Mac Mall: I'll say Tom and Jerry, He Man, Thundercats...

AB: What about Transformers?

Mac Mall : They wasn't harder than Thunder Cats! They had a Black dude with the nunchucks. You know that dude was Black [laughs]. My favorite cereals were Apple Jacks, Cookie Crisp.

AB: I never had Cookie Crisp.

Mac Mall: 'Cause it was like five dollas a box. Gettin that was like Christmas [laughs]. Man you'd be GOOD for some Cookie Crisp. Thats real. I gotta box of that at the house right now. Everybody listen about the album though. I got a fat cover, with a aligator - its called Untouchable. With all the s!@# being around me, its telling you I can't be touched. If I can handle a gator on the cover, I deal with this. Theres a lot of little haters out there. Y'all keep shootin' at the sky and a bomb is gonna drop on you. I'm not talkin' about the word Playa hatin what everybody in the industry uses. I'm talking about that old Filhy Phil playa hatin'. 'Cause Filthy Phil was the first person to say playa hatin!! I'm taking about all these fools that claim they a playa- but they hatin'. I'm trying to get my crew tight, my family tight. The industry people that hate one me, that hated on my 'cause I'm 19. But I wanna thank my manager Leila, 'cause she stuck with me. Mike Mosley....

AB: I heard Fat Joe got love for you. I'm lovin' that Firewater track!

Mac Mall: Fa sho. We goes around and kicks it. I dunno though. Maybe I don't be around the right people. I never had no problems out there. When go out there, I be we Joe. Me and Mike Mosely we be out there and we never have problems. Joe! Joey crack. He real. Game recognize game no matter where you at. With any real person, if you trip with them you got problems...If you don't you don't. I'm not gonna be like "Awww I'm finna go to the east coast" hella mad, when all of my enemies are in California. It be love. Everybody real seem to get along. But it be weak rappers, and fools trippin' off they money thats east coast west coast.

Uproxx Covers HHCF Founder plus, FREE PDF download of Bobby Bruce and the Bronx Available

The book Bobby Bruce & the Bronx by Adisa the Bishop is now available from this day forward FREE in PDF form. Please enjoy it and share ...