I started this series on March 20, 2019, on my website. It was intended to be something of a chronicle, documenting what I’m going through, as I looked at the calendar and realized an intense confluence of potentially (and some certain) life-changing events all lining up ahead of me — that I believed would be of interest to those who know/follow me and maybe even to those who don’t.

I figured if nothing else, it would be a form of catharsis for me to help me prepare to cope with these 40 days and 40 nights, but I was finding…


Legacy institutions must include hip-hop culture in their programming in thoughtful, authentic ways.

I recently attended two events marking the opening of Black History Month at the Newark Library, in downtown Newark, New Jersey. This year, the library chose hip-hop as the theme of its celebratory programming, coinciding with the launch of a matching exhibition, “The World Is Yours — Hip Hop: Newark and Beyond,” featuring displays of memorabilia, photographs and other documentation of hip-hop’s vast artistic and cultural contributions.

One of the events, a panel billed “Hip-Hop: History, Activism, and Entrepreneurship,” welcomed several major figures from hip-hop’s musical history; Vinny “Vin Rock” Brown of Naughty By Nature fame, Vaughn “Cool V” Lee…


After mentioning him many times while he was alive, I have invoked the name and work of New York City independent artist/activist Daniel “Majesty” Sanchez in every talk or lecture I have delivered since his death.

Majesty, in many ways, personified hip-hop, so I feel it is incredibly important to inform or remind people of his contributions to humanity made through hip-hop, particularly those people who are unfamiliar with the true breadth and beauty of the music and culture that someone like Majesty exemplified.

As I reflect on what the passing of hip-hop media powerhouse Combat Jack means to me…


Groundbreaking podcast merges journalism, music & hip-hop

The danger in presenting a project that mixes hip-hop music and investigative journalism lies in the perception.

One might expect a very targeted podcast, perhaps delivering deeply reported investigations into aspects of the hip-hop world. This is actually not a bad idea (don’t steal it), and as the success of Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty has shown, there exists some general public interest in “insider” hip-hop matters.

On the other hand, the thought of a hip-hop and news podcast might conjure up images of Wolf Blitzer spitting overly enunciated bars about DACA or the latest North Korean…


Lonzo Ball, newly drafted point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, set off a fiery social-media fueled debate in the world of hip-hop with his recent comments regarding his taste in rap music, and Nas in particular.

“Y’all outdated man,” the 19-year old baller stated during the premiere of Facebook reality show Ball in the Family, when the discussion of ‘real’ hip-hop came up. “Don’t nobody listen to Nas anymore…Real hip-hop is Migos, Future…”

The response by Ball, whose opinionated comments regarding his taste in music have sparked similar discussions in the past, ignited an onslaught of commentary in and…


In an August 21, 2016 cover story titled ‘FDNY veteran ‘bad-mouths’ cops in double life as rapper,’ the New York Post exhibited an egregious, disrespectful bias against hip-hop artist and FDNY Captain Kaseem “Ka” Ryan, his music, the hip-hop community and its associated culture.

Mr. Ryan, in his spare time, exercises his constitutional right to expression as a recording artist. Some of his work is protest music, remonstrative in nature. However, cherry-picking his lyrics without context in an effort to paint Mr. Ryan as some sort of clandestine verbal terrorist, is a shameful example of ongoing media bias toward hip-hop music, its community and culture.

Adding fuel to the fire the tabloid unnecessarily ignited were comments by Ed Mullins, the head of the New York Police Department’s Sergeants Union. Mr. Mullins stated:

“As a New York City firefighter, he should be trying to bring…


Some (very) quick thoughts on debating I’ve seen from hip-hop folks regarding Netflix’s original series The Get Down. Slightly expanded on from my FB post.

I have to laugh sometimes at how purposefully polarizing people seem to feel the need to be. Like, with The Get Down and the criticism that it doesn’t totally and accurately depict all of the moving parts of the origins of hip-hop.

Many who support the show, or were involved, respond by (often quite emphatically) reminding people it’s not supposed to be a documentary. …


Six years had gone by. I was about to turn 31. After many stressful and turbulent days and nights, I went to work one day, and when I returned home, my family was gone.

It took about six months for the reality of the situation to settle in. My marriage was over. She caught me off guard that day, leaving with my children, a 7-year old and “Irish-twins” who were 5 and 4. Now it’s them living with my wife. My ex. Well, my soon-to-be ex.

All these new terms and phrases to incorporate into my daily vernacular. “The kids…


This statement was released via The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy, a non-profit organization that I founded, that is dedicated to increasing public awareness and understanding about hip-hop’s artistic and cultural importance.

Part of our role in advocating for greater understanding and appreciation of hip-hop’s artistic and cultural contributions is to ensure that the general public, including the hip-hop community at large, are communicated to in an accurate and respectable manner by media — both hip-hop’s own as well as “outside” media.

With serious allegations being leveled against Afrika Bambaataa, the head of the Universal Zulu Nation and the man many…


The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy Executive Director Manny Faces issued the following statement on Friday, February 26, 2016:

“We commend the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for naming streets in honor of hip-hop music and culture, and the late hip-hop recording artist Robert “PH” Diaz, respectively.

Recognizing the Bronx block that houses 1520 Sedgwick Avenue as “Hip Hop Boulevard” demonstrates reverence and hometown pride for the artistic and cultural phenomenon that DJ Kool Herc, Cindy Campbell, the building and surrounding neighborhood helped create.

Similarly, the naming of DeGraw Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues in Park…

Manny Faces

Journalist, new media professional, DJ, radio/event host, remixer. Founder: HipHopAdvocacy.org, BirthplaceMag.com, NYHipHopReport.com. Producer: USNewsBeat.com

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