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Intern for Contrabandit.com

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For the past 10 weeks of the Fall 2004 quarter, I've had the opportunity to work as intern for Contrabandit.com. Contrabandit ran by West Coast political and cultural editor of the Source Ryan Ford aims to provide an uninhabited voice for the hip-hop community as well as inform most of the Minority readers of politics, social and educational news and issues that occur in the world. As a History major, with my interest in Film and Television journalism, Contrabandit has allowed me to study contemporary and cultural history through the medium of Hip-Hop music. I looked at this internship as a starting point to acquiring work experience and possibly advancing into working within the field of entertainment journalism. But as an African-American student at UCLA, Contrabandit has allowed me to chronicle events within hip-hop as they happen and apply the broader historical significance as they occur. Being an African-American student, I view hip-hop as not only just a musical art form, but also as a voice and representation of an entire community. Unlike Jazz and R&B, Hip-Hop was a genre truly formed out of the African-American community after the post-civil rights movement and really feels uncorrupted by mainstream pop culture, where it sets the trend, instead of following the pack. ...read more.


Despite their efforts, the hip-hop community that was being courted by Simmons' HSAN paled in comparison to those of the voters in the Midwestern states. I always felt it was flawed to try to reach out to the hip-hop community as despite the growing numbers of minorities, who will soon grow to be an almost equal number to the majority of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) constituents, some of those minorities are turning towards the conservative ideology. Also there is no unity among this minority group. With more WASP senior citizens living longer, that aging Considering that ultimately the Presidential election was determined by the Midwest, as the Democratic Party hasn't carried southern states in years, where as California and New York (with a combined 86 electoral votes) are perennial Democratic strongholds. Interestingly, the Midwest won the election for Bush and to me it was a shame that the backlash of gay marriages and abortion (as reported by news affiliates as the determining reason for voting for Bush) were more important than the situation in Iraq, terrorism, and the turbulent economy. I never want to question anyone's beliefs or morals, but gay marriages and abortion should be an individual's choice. Most important to take from this election is hopefully maintaining the interest of registered voters beyond this Presidential election, as there are more issues that will arise within the coming years before the 2008 election. ...read more.


By organizing one awards event for on night, the sponsorship and advertising for the event generates more money in one night then the magazines do for the entire year. Even the awards presentations are staged, as more then likely the winner is determined by the artist that will appear, more than who deserves to win. When you look at the BET, Source, and Vibe awards, what they provide great revenue and backlash towards to the mainstream (white) award show are not able to properly honor the hip-hop artists that were annually disregarded for their work. Honestly for the most part the Grammy's and American Music Awards do base their nomination, and I'm sure, there awards recipient on mainstream success. But whereas the NAACP Image awards and Soul Train music awards were created to make up for these lack honors to Black performers, these proliferation of the other awards show, seems to be purely done as promotion. The experience that I take from my time working with Contrabandit, has been invaluable in applying the classroom knowledge I acquired from UCLA towards real world situations. Without the historical significance and ramification of events as they occurred and relating them to past events, I would not have been able to elaborate upon them in my writing for the website or convey the importance to my audience at the site. Anthony Kennedy 202-580-548 December 17, 2004 History 195 Final ...read more.

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