A Revolutionary Analysis of Sweetback      


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3/30/2005 6:51:30 AM
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A Revolutionary Analysis of Sweetback
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Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Executive Director David Hilliard and Hip-Hop Activist Raoul Juneja (a.k.a. Deejay Ra) released their long awaited second collaboration last week with "A Revolutionary Analysis of Sweetback" rap CD arriving on Canadian retail shelves through an unprecedented independent alliance between Hilliard's Panther Records and Juneja's Lyrical Knockout Entertainment labels with California's RUNT, Vancouver's SCRATCH and Ontario's SonicUnyon Distribution imprints.

 

Hilliard and Juneja's first collaboration, a book/DVD/CD giveaway tribute to "second-generation Black Panther" late rap icon Tupac Amaru Shakur, took place September 2003 across Canadian community radio stations and urban web sites branding Hilliard's Panther Records as a bridge between the 'civil rights' and 'hip-hop' generations, followed by Summer 2004 Toronto/Vancouver performances of legendary anti-apartheid Zimbabwe vocalist Thomas Mapfumo and the Panther Fugitives youth rap group (managed by Hilliard's son Dorion).

 

But it ended up being a February 2005 Spike Lee "Huey P. Newton Story" Canadian DVD release by acclaimed UrbanWorks/Ventura imprint which offered Hilliard and Juneja the necessary entertainment media interest to debut the Panther Fugitives on Canadian college radio ; lead emcee Jamiel Hassan having originally written his group's "Getting The Man's Foot Outta Ya BaadAsss" debut in-store single with powerhouse production team Melvin and Mario Van Peebles (who featured Jamiel's poetry-rap in their 2003 Toronto FilmFest selected "BaadAsss" and on the movie's SonyPictures Soundtrack).

 

As Chief of Staff David Hilliard's Black Panther Party free food, medical and legal 1960's global initiatives were being branded "the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States" by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Melvin Van Peebles' 1971 Black Power themed "Sweetback" film wasn't taken lightly by the country's cinema boards either, only two theatres in America agreeing to support what the late Ossie Davis described as "Melvin taking on the Hollywood machine on his own terms and changing the game."

 

Yet it was a grassroots newspaper's front page endorsement and independent radio's premiere of a funk group's film score that led sellout 1970's crowds of all races and ages to make "Sweetback" one of America's top-grossing independent films ever - as seen in epilogue interviews with Bill Cosby and David Hilliard during the credits of Mario's 2003 "BaadAsss" that newspaper was "The Black Panther," that endorsement was by Dr. Huey P. Newton, and that funk group was Earth, Wind and Fire
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