On NPR: "Jay-Z and Beyonce were kind of used as pawns to help the developers…"

July 21, 2013







I can’t tell you how trashy and disgusting hip hop and contemporary R&B culture appears to me. I never liked it and it never spoke to my soul

Thousands gathered in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Saturday to protest Stand Your Ground laws and to show support forTrayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager shot and killed last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who wasfound not guilty by a jury in his murder case July 13. And Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among them.

actually most people I talk to say few people showed up…

….from what I’ve heard of the gathering in NYC this is not true. People are starting to become embarrassed by this story and narrative. Most admit behind closed doors that Trayvon was not the dead icon they had hoped for….

meanwhile….

(Atlantic Yards Report) OK, Jay-Z may be “bulletproof” in the music market, as some experts say, but some remember lingering taint from the role the hip-hip entrepreneur and cultural force played in the building of a certain Brooklyn arena.

From NPR, 7/19/13, Getting Real On Race After Zimmerman VerdictMARTIN: …But before we go, we do want to talk about Jay-Z’s album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” There’s new criticism – now people might remember that the singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte once said that Jay-Z and Beyonce need to take more social responsibility. Well, Jay-Z’s talking back on this album. I just want to play a short clip.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: I’m Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it’s time for our weekly visit to the barbershop, where the guys talk about what’s in the news and what’s on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week – our writer and culture critic Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Fernando Vila is the director of programming for Fusion. That’s a joint venture between ABC and Univision. He’s with us from Miami. Sportswriter and professor of journalism Kevin Blackistone is here in D.C. And also here in Washington this week – Mario Loyola. He’s normally with us from Austin, where he is with the National Review magazine and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, NICKELS AND DIMES”)
[I’m just trying to find common ground
‘fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down
Mr. Day O, major fail
Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now
Hublot homie, two door homie
You don’t know all the shit I do for the homies]

MARTIN: Oh, I had missed that lyric until you all pointed it out to me. Ouch, Kevin what are you saying? Is he overstepping? Is he giving his props to the elders? What’s up?

BLACKISTONE: Yeah, he’s overstepping. I mean, come on you can’t go after Harry Belafonte even though he went after you. Look, you are doing your thing, but we also know you don’t have the history and the narrative of Harry Belafonte. You know, you didn’t learn at the knee of Paul Robeson. You know, you didn’t write the check to get MLK out of the Birmingham jail. I mean, you didn’t do all of those sorts of things. You didn’t march on South Africa.

You know, you did “Big Pimpin,” which a lot of people would say is a misogynistic album, OK. I mean, it may be funky, but at the end – you know, you can look at the lyrics for yourself. And, you know – and most recently, with the whole Barclays Center up in Brooklyn, there’s a whole documentary out called “Battle of Brooklyn,” which shows how Jay-Z and Beyonce were kind of used as pawns to help the developers just steam roll over people in the Atlantic Yards neighborhood so that they could build that sparkling new arena there. So, you know, lay off of

Harry Belafonte.

It’s actually Battle for Brooklyn, but Blackistone gets the picture in a way many don’t.


Government Money trying to look like Government spent logo? #NETS #Brooklyn:

August 16, 2012

Does it come in Red White and Blue? No

(hoops) Brooklyn Nets Release Logo, Color Scheme: The Brooklyn Nets today introduced their black and white color scheme and logos as the team prepares for its move to the Barclays Center next season.
Created by Jay-Z, the Brooklyn Nets’ brand identity incorporates a timeless black and white color palette of the old New York subway signage system, including its clean “Roll Sign” typeface. The treatment celebrates the history and heritage of the city by drawing upon the familiar signage from when Brooklyn last had its own major professional team in 1957.
The Nets have two primary logos. One features a shield to symbolically identify the team with the strength and character of Brooklyn, and serves as a salute to the shield in the Nets’ past logo. The circular portion of the logo incorporates a prominent ‘B’ inside a basketball to proudly express the team’s new home borough, and includes the word Brooklyn below the shield. The other logo features a basketball with an iconic ‘B’ inside, along with a ‘Brooklyn New York’ mark surrounding a basketball.
“The Brooklyn Nets logos are another step we’ve made to usher the organization into a new era,” Jay-Z said. “The boldness of the designs demonstrates the confidence we have in our new direction. Along with our move to Brooklyn and a state-of-the-art arena, the new colors and logos are examples of our commitment to update and refine all aspects of the team.”
“Our black and white colors speak to Brooklyn’s strong traditions and grittiness and convey an uncompromising confidence,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said. “With its daring color display, the Brooklyn Nets logos are the new badges for Brooklyn and who better to design them than one of the world’s top tastemakers and Brooklyn’s own JAY Z. We are thrilled to launch our brand and to introduce the Brooklyn community to its new team. It’s an honor to bring major professional sports back to Brooklyn and to become part of the fabric of this great borough.”

With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook

The New York Times
by David M. Halbfinger
It’s a broadsheet war! Not to be outdone by today’s puffball Wall Street Journal interview with Bruce Ratner, The Times counters by tickling Jay-Z with feathers.

Mr. Ratner may have thought he was getting little more than a limited partner with a boldface name and a youthful following that could prove useful someday. But Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago. His influence on the project has been wildly disproportionate to his ownership stake — a scant one-fifteenth of one percent of the team. And so is the money he stands to make from it.
Now, with the long-delayed Barclays Center arena nearing opening night in September and the relocated Nets bidding in earnest for Brooklyn’s loyalties, Jay-Z will perform eight sold-out shows to kick things off. But away from center stage he has put his mark on almost every facet of the enterprise, his partners say.
He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (The N.B.A., insiders said, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.)
He even coached them on how to screen patrons for weapons without appearing too heavy-handed. (“Be mindful,” he advised oracularly, “and be sensitive.”)

article
NoLandGrab: Silly us! Here we were concerned about the arena’s security plan, when Hova had it under control all along.
Related coverage…
Atlantic Yards Report, NYT: Jay-Z & Nets have “written a new playbook for… strategic celebrity investor” (and generating unskeptical publicity)

“Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago,” the New York Times observes in a none-too-tough profile just posted, adding that “he and the Nets have effectively written a new playbook for how to deploy a strategic celebrity investor.”

The Times reports:

Mr. Carter’s involvement frustrated opponents of Mr. Ratner’s development plans in Brooklyn who saw the arena and proposed residential and office towers as a subsidized land grab that could ruin the neighborhood….
“Bringing in someone who grew up in public housing, with a rags-to-riches story, who could identify with Brooklyn and African-Americans, that was slick,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James, a critic of the project. Mr. Ratner played down Mr. Carter’s importance in overcoming opposition. “Had Jay-Z not come along,” he said, “we’d still have an arena.”

Ratner’s right. Jay-Z wasn’t important in overcoming opposition; actual full-time Brooklynites like the leaders of BUILD and ACORN, signatories of the not-so-credible Community Benefits Agreement, were far more important, given that they brought people to rallies and public hearings.
Jay-Z was important in generating publicity, and in getting journalists/tv hosts like Rosanna Scotto to turn into simpering fans. And he’s still generating publicity, as with this article.

That missing disclosure
I don’t know what the Times’s policy is any more: do they no longer feel obligated to disclose the parent company’s business relationship with Mr. Ratner? Wouldn’t that prompt readers to be a wee bit skeptical?

no doubt government infrastructure has always had fascinating logo designs. It’s how they sell the lies. It is a post modern irony here. A sports team paid by the public dollar trying to look like New Deal era type font.


No Land Grab: Doing The Wrong Thing: Spike Lee Won’t "Get Into the Politics of the Barclays Center"

July 10, 2012

(no land grab) Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn

“I’m not going to get into the politics of the Barclays Center; the thing is, it’s up, it’s a reality, and that’s just that.”
Yeah, that is a good point. Really, history shouldn’t be discussed at all because whatever happened is now” a reality and that’s just that.”
Spike Lee has spent a career discussing the politics of both current and historic events. But somehow the politics of the BARCLAYS Center is off limits? Even with the current, very current, scandal in which the bank is embroiled?
C’mon, this can’t be the same Spike Lee who once said, “I think it is very important that films make people look at what they’ve forgotten.”

article


Brookly Nets/Barclays Center Weathered Steel Company Demise

January 6, 2012
Media_httpwwwcrainsne_ajgfh

(crainsnewyork.com) The developer of the Barclays Center arena in downtown Brooklyn says that the year-end demise of the company that is fabricating the weathered steel for the arena’s distinctive façade will not result in any construction delays.
The 675,000-square-foot arena that will be home to the Brooklyn Nets is supposed to open this fall in time for the start of the basketball season. It is the first building to rise in the vast $4.9 billion, 14-apartment tower Atlantic Yards project being developed by Forest City Ratner Cos.
“We are concerned when any of our partners has problems, but we don’t believe it will affect our construction schedule,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, referring to steel fabricator ASI Limited having gone out of business. “We can still continue with construction.”
In a statement, a spokesman for Forest City said the site’s construction manager, Hunt, and the bonding company for ASI have developed an action plan. They have already started work on site and have developed several options for on-going fabrication. It didn’t specify the options.
According to a blog by SHoP Architects, the façade’s designer, it started working with ASI in the summer of 2010 to develop the process to weather the steel. Early last year, ASI started to process the 12,000 weathered-steel panels plus support rails that were needed for the arena. Those panels are combined into 921 large units that are used to enclose the center and build the canopy. The spokesman said that 57% of the 561 panels that will enclose the arena have been put up. He said the enclosure panels are critical because they protect the arena from the elements.
There was no answer to calls placed to Whitestown, Ind.-based ASI. Gregg Pasquarelli, a partner at SHoP Architects, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The Atlantic Yards Report, a watchdog blog about the controversial project, first reported the news about ASI. It also reported that a construction monitor report said the metal work for the exterior skin had an “early finish” date of May 13.


Marty Markowitz’s holiday card: "We got the Brooklyn Nets"

December 24, 2011

(Atlantic Yards Report) …The cover(Goodbye to Hurricane Irene) and the inside of Borough President Marty Markowitz’s holiday card. (Here’s some Brooklyn Paper analysis of Markowitz’s “gay marriage” theme.)
He’s so excited, he states, “We got the Brooklyn Nets,” even though they won’t arrive til next year.
By the way, Steve Buscemi, shooting for an Emmy, is no fan of Atlantic Yards.

yeah… great… people who like to sodomize their way into non pregnancy are worthy of the same government benefits as those who live a life where pregnancy is a reality that can change life as they know it… but hey… they have the Brooklyn Nets… and in a “Progressive”, “MoveOn dot Org” world… that is bliss. Ass monkeys!


Jay-Z, the 1%, and his decision to drop that "Occupy All Streets" t-shirt

November 14, 2011
(h/t Atlantic Yards Report) The New York Post reported: Jay-Z has pulled his $22 Rocawear t-shirts, which showed “Occupy Wall Street” altered to read “Occupy All Streets” after criticism of his company’s failure to share profits with protesters.

Another article on the Post web site, attributed to Newscore, slammed him harder:

Jay-Z, who has had 12 No. 1 albums, has spent much of his career promoting the massive accumulation of wealth and celebrating the people that do so.

The Jay-Z defense
On the other hand, those defending Jay-Z point out that, while he may be in the 1% of wealth, he’s earned it through creativity and drive, not through the crony capitalism and unfair rules that the Occupy protesters have decried.
That’s a significant point, except it breaks down when it comes to Jay-Z’s promotion of Atlantic Yards and the new Brooklyn arena.
Comments on Jay-Z from Gothamist
Gothamist quoted Occupy Wall Street spokesman Patrick Bruner:

Naturally there will be some bloodsuckers who come out of the woodwork. We have a screen-printers guild on camp, and it’s easy to find many other T-shirts that actually benefit the cause.

As to questions of appropriation, one Gothamist commentator, Daniel, made a salient point:

Exactly a sad tale of cultural appropriation of art forms, culture, and entertainment of poor whites starting with such exploitive black men like Elvis, through The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin blatantly lifting entire songs of the white man for the black man’s profit. Oh wait, that’s not how that happened! One cultural idea appropriated and all this outrage?

Where does Occupy All Streets come from?
To quote the Wall Street Journal (quoting uncredited ‘blogs’):

The Occupy Wall Street protesters can’t claim complete ownership over the “Occupy All Streets” phrase, however. As blogs have pointed out, that phrase appeared in the SlutWalk protests in Berlin.


Daylight at Night

November 10, 2011
According to the document, to facilitate early start of work, railyard flood lights are supposed to be turned on at 6am.


When the NETS finally win a championship it is proof that the end of the world is coming (Atlantic Yards Report) Can we believe the latest Atlantic Yards Construction Alert? (Sunrise is after 6:30 am.)

However, according to a neighbor who shot photos and video yesterday and posted them on Atlantic Yards Watch, the lights went on at about 4:30 am.
The impact on residents? Those at 700 Pacific Street, face “extreme excess light pollution,” blinding at times, according to the neighbor.