Speaking on it. With the Dat Heat plug.
Set your TiVos, Little Rockers. Next Thursday, part three of CNN's "Black in America" airs at 8 p.m.
This one's called "The Black Man," and the narrative, best I can tell from fast-forwarding, focuses on two graduates of Central in 1968 (the year MLK was assassinated), James "Butch" Warren, who's an assistant superintendent for the Pulaski County Special School District and lives in Maumelle or Pleasant Valley or somewhere that looks affluent, and Akono Ekundayo, who's name used to be Kenneth Allen and who's a former crack addict and bank robber.
From the little that I saw, both men seem to have good stories, but CNN editors and host Soledad O'Brien, who's absolutely insufferable, shmaltz it up so much that's it's almost unwatchable.
BUT: Halfway through, the editor of Essence weighs in on the sorry state of commercial rap music and then, BAM, there's 607 leading a session at Hip-Hop School. His narrative arc doesn't last more than five minutes, though within that there's about 10 shots of 607 on the scene. Like: 607 at hip-hop school, 607 in the studio, 607 in concert, 607 getting kicked out of his apartment, 607 somewhere dark wearing fingerless gloves, 607 talking about his friend who was murdered when they were teenagers and how that pushed him down the right path.
That kind of compression is frustrating. 607's story needs more room to breath and no help from CNN's sentimentality. But all his quotes sound good and, as far as national exposure goes, this a great look. He and Lupe Fiasco, who's interview splices two 607 segments, are the only rappers presented in wholly positive lights and, in the broader hip-hop segment, you've got people like Michael Eric Dyson and Russell Simmons weighing in. So, it's pretty cool Six got to be the focus of that.
Look out also for interviews with Lil' JD and Young LS from hip-hop school and appearances by Epiphany, g-force, TJ Deeter, Chach Bursey, J-Dubb, Maxx, the back of G-Sizz's head, SJ and, briefly, anyone who caught 607's Vino's show way back when
in the first couple of rows.