E-PROPS
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E-PROPS

Brooklyn, NY | SELF

Brooklyn, NY | SELF
Band Hip Hop Reggae

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"Know thy Neighbor"

If you walk Ocean between Parkside and Lincoln, you might very well pass a handsome young man with a five o'clock shadow goatee wearing a Polo Sport winter jacket. In fact, he may look suspiciously like this:

I was lucky enough to be properly introduced to Eddy Petit Jr., a/k/a E Props, and we had a chance to rap (talk, not freestyle - my rhymes are weak these days) just oustide his building, near the drunken Grinch. I really didn't know what to expect, but as chance would have it he dropped some serious knowledge on me about "Q" culture from his unique vantage point.

Where to begin? Well, let's start with the fact that E is a
charismatic dude with a lot on his mind. He's a rapper, holds a Masters degree in Poli-Sci, grew up right here, has Haitian-born parents, and writes a mean blog entry on anything from music to Haitian politics. Check it out - he's got a refreshing perspective on lots of stuff. I think it bears emphasizing that meeting Eddy is proof positive that you never really know your neighbors 'til you talk to them awhile. Full disclosure: there's a lot of young black guys on my block I would love to talk to...but I've made the prudent (or fearful?) calculation that they really don't want to be talked at, especially by a middle-aged white guy in Target attire.

Eddy's got big ambitions, particularly for his entertainment company. He's calling it "Bushel," which I think is pretty awesome since I grew up in Iowa and I like the notion of a hip-hop company named after a large unit of, say, soybeans. And E can rap, as evident in this radio freestyle session with his talented friends Kris Kasanova and "Top & Razz." Locals Rapping There's some great lines here worth ingesting. I like the vibe these guys are stressing, and I like that they're pushing Flatbush as a viable "style."

Two things stuck with me after our too-brief conversation. One was Eddy talking about the schism between Jamaicans and Haitians, particularly when he was growing up. He definitely felt the hate, and told me a story about a Haitian kid getting set on fire by some Jamaican adversaries. Sounds like things have settle down a lot, but I'd love to know more about how different cultures from the Caribbean interact, especially that all-important second generation. Two was his reaction when I asked about gangs. Clearly this question annoyed him, and he said "Everyone's in a gang." And I instantly knew what a silly question it is. I mean, I'M IN A GANG. I've got my friends, my posse, my attitude and my values. The question people really want to know is about crime, and not so much gang on gang, but criminal on law-abiding-citizen. There have been gangs in New York since, well at least since "Gangs of New York." What we all want to know is this: when I'm walking home late at night, is someone going to slit my throat or steal my broach? The violence, for the most part, is territorial and the same stuff that young men argue about worldwide: respect, girls, and money. It's the guns we could do without. As we were talking, a friend of Eddy's walks by who had been shot during that nasty incident at the Parkside Donut shop a couple years back. Really, now, it's the guns, isn't it? If there hadn't been a gun involved, who knows, maybe the worst the slain Brian Scott would have suffered would have been some slingshot wounds to the neck.

I'll update you on E-Props' musical and spiritual quests as I become apprised. He's good people. - Theqatparkside.blogspot.com


"Know thy Neighbor"

If you walk Ocean between Parkside and Lincoln, you might very well pass a handsome young man with a five o'clock shadow goatee wearing a Polo Sport winter jacket. In fact, he may look suspiciously like this:

I was lucky enough to be properly introduced to Eddy Petit Jr., a/k/a E Props, and we had a chance to rap (talk, not freestyle - my rhymes are weak these days) just oustide his building, near the drunken Grinch. I really didn't know what to expect, but as chance would have it he dropped some serious knowledge on me about "Q" culture from his unique vantage point.

Where to begin? Well, let's start with the fact that E is a
charismatic dude with a lot on his mind. He's a rapper, holds a Masters degree in Poli-Sci, grew up right here, has Haitian-born parents, and writes a mean blog entry on anything from music to Haitian politics. Check it out - he's got a refreshing perspective on lots of stuff. I think it bears emphasizing that meeting Eddy is proof positive that you never really know your neighbors 'til you talk to them awhile. Full disclosure: there's a lot of young black guys on my block I would love to talk to...but I've made the prudent (or fearful?) calculation that they really don't want to be talked at, especially by a middle-aged white guy in Target attire.

Eddy's got big ambitions, particularly for his entertainment company. He's calling it "Bushel," which I think is pretty awesome since I grew up in Iowa and I like the notion of a hip-hop company named after a large unit of, say, soybeans. And E can rap, as evident in this radio freestyle session with his talented friends Kris Kasanova and "Top & Razz." Locals Rapping There's some great lines here worth ingesting. I like the vibe these guys are stressing, and I like that they're pushing Flatbush as a viable "style."

Two things stuck with me after our too-brief conversation. One was Eddy talking about the schism between Jamaicans and Haitians, particularly when he was growing up. He definitely felt the hate, and told me a story about a Haitian kid getting set on fire by some Jamaican adversaries. Sounds like things have settle down a lot, but I'd love to know more about how different cultures from the Caribbean interact, especially that all-important second generation. Two was his reaction when I asked about gangs. Clearly this question annoyed him, and he said "Everyone's in a gang." And I instantly knew what a silly question it is. I mean, I'M IN A GANG. I've got my friends, my posse, my attitude and my values. The question people really want to know is about crime, and not so much gang on gang, but criminal on law-abiding-citizen. There have been gangs in New York since, well at least since "Gangs of New York." What we all want to know is this: when I'm walking home late at night, is someone going to slit my throat or steal my broach? The violence, for the most part, is territorial and the same stuff that young men argue about worldwide: respect, girls, and money. It's the guns we could do without. As we were talking, a friend of Eddy's walks by who had been shot during that nasty incident at the Parkside Donut shop a couple years back. Really, now, it's the guns, isn't it? If there hadn't been a gun involved, who knows, maybe the worst the slain Brian Scott would have suffered would have been some slingshot wounds to the neck.

I'll update you on E-Props' musical and spiritual quests as I become apprised. He's good people. - Theqatparkside.blogspot.com


"Hiphop Artist, MBA, MPA"

We don't often hear of hip-hop artists with advanced degrees, but that phenomenon is becoming slightly more regular. We've read a lot about hip-hop artists taking college classes, earning college degrees, and even speaking and performing at colleges. The next logical step would of course be to get a Masters degree. What hip-hop artist wouldn't be a compelling student in an M.A. in sociology, cultural studies, or even political science program? The experience artists have with culture, travel, and business likely rivals some more traditional graduate students and even the teachers in those graduate programs.

Here's a brief list of hip-hop community members who have dabbled in if not successfully completed graduate education, with a brief look at the dues they've paid:

Sicari: Sicari Ware is a Detroit artist most closely associate with D-12 (Eminem's conglomerate). He's an experienced DJ and successful-break dancer. Education: M.P.A. completed at Kentucky State University.

E-PROPS: A Haitian-American hip-hop up-and-comer born in Brooklyn. Also and independent scholar with an interest in cultural theory. Education: Masters in political science completed at Brooklyn College.

Mick Boogie: By far the most famous member of this list (that I'm aware of). Mick Boogie is the unofficial Mixtape King. He's worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Talib Kweli. Education: Masters in marketing from John Carrol University.

DJ Shy: Popular Korean-American DJ in the LA area, unfortunately better know by the masses as a sex symbol than as an important feminist voice in the male-dominated DJ industry. Education: Masters in Heath Administration from University of Southern California.

David Banner: Popular southern rapper with a strong educational background. He's also an actor. Banner testified before Congress on African America Stereotypes in the Media. Education: M.Ed. from University of Maryland (although sources are conflicting, he either is one course short or is a class and a thesis short from earning the degree).

Other updates to the list? What is graduate education's place in hip-hop? How do degrees impact street cred?

- Hiphop Law.blogspot.com


"Hiphop Artist, MBA, MPA"

We don't often hear of hip-hop artists with advanced degrees, but that phenomenon is becoming slightly more regular. We've read a lot about hip-hop artists taking college classes, earning college degrees, and even speaking and performing at colleges. The next logical step would of course be to get a Masters degree. What hip-hop artist wouldn't be a compelling student in an M.A. in sociology, cultural studies, or even political science program? The experience artists have with culture, travel, and business likely rivals some more traditional graduate students and even the teachers in those graduate programs.

Here's a brief list of hip-hop community members who have dabbled in if not successfully completed graduate education, with a brief look at the dues they've paid:

Sicari: Sicari Ware is a Detroit artist most closely associate with D-12 (Eminem's conglomerate). He's an experienced DJ and successful-break dancer. Education: M.P.A. completed at Kentucky State University.

E-PROPS: A Haitian-American hip-hop up-and-comer born in Brooklyn. Also and independent scholar with an interest in cultural theory. Education: Masters in political science completed at Brooklyn College.

Mick Boogie: By far the most famous member of this list (that I'm aware of). Mick Boogie is the unofficial Mixtape King. He's worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Talib Kweli. Education: Masters in marketing from John Carrol University.

DJ Shy: Popular Korean-American DJ in the LA area, unfortunately better know by the masses as a sex symbol than as an important feminist voice in the male-dominated DJ industry. Education: Masters in Heath Administration from University of Southern California.

David Banner: Popular southern rapper with a strong educational background. He's also an actor. Banner testified before Congress on African America Stereotypes in the Media. Education: M.Ed. from University of Maryland (although sources are conflicting, he either is one course short or is a class and a thesis short from earning the degree).

Other updates to the list? What is graduate education's place in hip-hop? How do degrees impact street cred?

- Hiphop Law.blogspot.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

E-PROPS was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn to Haitian parents. At an early age, he showed an affinity for music, in particular Compas, the popular music of his parents’ native land. When E-PROPS was young, he could identify the music of different Compas bands by ear and would stare at album covers for hours. Being born in the late 1970’s in New York City’s melting pot, he was simultaneously exposed to Hip-Hop, early Dancehall, Funk, R&B, and later, 80’s Pop music.

E-PROPS performance debut began at family functions and local radio station events. When he was seven, EPROPS performed at a Haitian talent show held by Haitian radio station Moment Creole. The song Eddy performed was “Bolero” by Tabou Combo, a popular Compas song which featured a rap portion and EPROPS performed the entire selection. He lost this talent show to a young lady performing folklore. Ironically, she was declared the winner by his great grandmother. E-PROPS continued his musical development by penning song lyrics as early as seven years old and taking Guitar lessons at The Brooklyn Music School. E-PROPS was inspired by 80s icons Michael Jackson for his singing and dancing ability and Prince for his multi-instrumentalist capabilities and song-writing.

E-PROPS attended New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, considered to be one of the best High Schools in the nation. There, E-PROPS seemed to concentrate on Hip-hop even more. At Stuyvesant, E-PROPS would discuss the latest Hip-hop releases, teach a battle class and even wrote his senior thesis on Hip-hop, foreshadowing his later academic career. It was at Stuyvesant that E-PROPS recorded his first ever self-produced demo in 1992. It contained conventional Hip-hop and Dancehall remixes. With all this focus on Hip-hop, E-PROPS slacked on his regular studies and instead of the coveted Ivy League school E-PROPS ended up at Brooklyn College.

E-PROPS graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.A. in African Studies in 2001 and a M.A. in Political Science in 2004. Unlike in High School, the idea of Hip-hop in academia had turned into a somewhat acceptable notion as colleges such as Harvard began offering hip-hop classes. His love for Hip-hop and Black culture led him to develop a paper on Hip-hop entitled “Will Hip-hop Evolve into an African Religion?” This was a comparative study on Hip-hop and African Religions’ cultural practices. E-PROPS has presented the paper at several conferences and scholarly conventions, most recently in 2006, at the John Henrik Clarke-C.L.R. James, African World Research Institute, Firs World Conference held in Egypt.

In addition to being involved in music and academia, E-PROPS also stayed politically aware during the politicization of the Hip-hop culture. Continuing to support his community, E-PROPS rallied against the police brutality inflicted against Ahmadou Diallo, and Patrick Dorismond. He has supported the efforts to help Mumia Abu Jamal highlighting the prison-industrial complex. E-PROPS has also appeared on New York’s Radio Station, Hot 97 Street Soldiers, and participated in the Campaign for Dignity, led by Minster Conrad Muhammad now known as Reverend Conrad Tillard. All in all E-PROPS has witnessed the beginnings and development of The Hip-hop political movement in New York City and has emerged as a sort of historical archive of The Hip-hop Movement.

Today, E-PROPS’ ultimate goal is to utilize Hiphop as a means of social change by synergizing its Economic, cultural and political aspects. Towards that area E-PROPS has created various organizational entities such as A 501-c3 specializing in community based activities, The Balance, and also more politically based structures such as Props Consulting and an entity focused on real estate and economic development, PROPS Enterprises. Next on his agenda, E-PROPS plans on obtaining a PHD and Law Degree and serve as City Councilman.

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