Archive for April, 2009

Real Films, Real People

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Filmmaker Haile Gerima (below) visited Syracuse to screen his film Teza last week during the Grassroots Media Convention.

I previously covered Chuck D when he spoke at the Convention a few years ago.


Haile Gerima

Teza is a very intimate portrait of a man who comes of age during the modernization of Ethiopia.

The deep exploration of character in Teza reminds me a lot of Charles Burnett’s films.

Gerima, who teaches at Howard University, says criticism and analysis are the bridge that joins the artist and the community.

“Cinema is not benign entertainment, but don’t confuse noise with culture,” he said.

Wale World

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009



With the strength of an energetic band and a sound full of Southern fried funk, the artist known as Wale,  (pronounced Wah-Lay) rocked the stage at Syracuse University’s Schine Underground last night. 

The new school Hip Hop artist, born of Nigerian parents, is making a name for himself (he was born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin). His impressive performance gave the (young, mostly white) audience an appreciation for Go-Go flavor that was made famous by pioneers such as EU, Rare Essence and Chuck Brown.  The crowd seemed very familiar with WALE’s sound and waited somewhat impatiently for him to hit the stage.  “We Want Wale!”

During Wale’s rendition of the Junkyard Band’s “Sardines” I saw a group of students, from either DC or Maryland, including SU Basketball player Arinze Onuaku, rocking to the Go-Go beat.  (Didn’t know the big man could move so fast).


Go-Go Beat