Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Obama

Obsessing about Ranveer Singh’s Gully Boy? Watch these five essential hip-hop films/series next

“The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.
weekendRanveer Singh in a still from the film Gully Boy.The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.Barack Obama said that. That ought to be worth something.To some, it might seem as if Obama is simply stating the obvious. Of course, rap music is intelligent.We’ve heard Eminem rhyme about his daughters and Nas rap about his hood. But we’ve also heard Macklemore drawl about thrift shops and Badshah rap’ about chinchillas.
It’s a diverse genre, one that has transcended borders with universal themes of oppression and rebellion.Words like smart’, insightful’ and complex’ can be used to describe Gully Boy, the movie of the moment.Not only is it driven by music that isn’t Indian, it is directed by someone who has always made her preference for European cinema well known. And yet, it tells a story that is totally rooted in India – a section of India, in fact, that Zoya Akhtar has never set foot in, at least on film.
The challenges she faced are nothing to scoff at. In a country whose only real exposure to rap music is the popular stuff heard in Bollywood movies – keep in mind, Gully Boy is a Bollywood film – to introduce a whole new style of hip-hop, asli hip-hop’, isn’t easy.And yet, Gully Boy has been received with warmth. It was expected to do well, but its phenomenal box office opening suggests that it will play like a 90s Khan-driven musical romance.By the end of this weekend, many of you would have seen it. And it is perfectly fine for a lot of you to be curious – about a grimy new world, previously untouched by the gloss of Bollywood.
So after Gully Boy, here are five documentaries every rap music fan must watch:The Defiant OnesThe Defiant Ones, on Netflix, traces the history of the genre through the eyes of some of its biggest advocates, particularly pioneers Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, who did more to take rap music global than perhaps anyone else. You might also want to check out Rapture and Hip-Hop Evolution, two similarly themed series, also on Netflix.Something From Nothing: The Art of RapSomething From Nothing is a wonderful exploration about the techniques of rap music, and host Ice-T stages the coup to beat all coups by assembling the best rappers in the world – Ice Cube, Nas, Eminem – to talk about their craft in refreshingly passionate detail. But perhaps its most unexpected achievement is reminding audiences that once upon a time, Kanye West was talented.
Biggie TupacLike director Nick Broomfield’s other music documentary – a salacious account of rockstar Kurt Cobain’s suicide which suggested that his widow, Courtney Love might have been involved in his death – Biggie Tupac is a mostly sensational account of the biggest rivalry the rap industry has ever been seen. But beneath its blingy exterior, there lies a tale about a broken friendship, the corruption of art, and the tragic death of two of the brightest talents in rap music – The Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur.You might also want to check out Tupac: Resurrection, the Oscar-nominated film which allows the late rapper to tell his own story.Nas: Time is IllmaticEast Coast rapper Nas’ 1994 album, Illmatic, is often considered to be among the finest rap records ever produced.The documentary offers an inside look into Nas’ life, his childhood growing up in New York, and how it influenced his music, which went on to define the East Coast sound. It is among the rare movies to have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Dave Chappelle’s Block PartyThere’s a lot going on in Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. It’s essentially a concert film (directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Michel Gondry of all people), but it’s so much more than just a rap movie.It’s a celebration of a vibe – Boho Brooklyn at nighttime, populated by singers and songwriters and artists, all coming together as one – and it’s also a comedy, released immediately after Chappelle’s abrupt announcement that he was walking away from a $50 million deal to continue his show. Fair warning: might contain Kanye.

Please follow and like us:

US, Russia and Blackwater mercenaries plot different futures for Afghanistan

It would be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future, writes Saeed Naqvi. Two parallel peace processes on Afghanistan are underway.
In Doha, Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan has held extensive round of talks with Taleban leaders, spread over several days last month.
The authorship of this process is, quite jealously, America’s. But on February 5 and 6, Taliban and other Afghan political groups also met in Moscow.
A roadmap for the future, titled the Moscow Declaration was announced. Among its nine points is one which also suggests coordination with the Doha process – there is no jealous guarding of ownership of the peace process here.
Anyone interested in peace is the joint author. The declaration was immediately rubbished by the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
“Moscow declaration will not have impact on the peace process in Afghanistan” said palace spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri.I have Russian estimates of five years ago.
They may have changed, but in those days the Russians were convinced of 30 US bases in Afghanistan.Of these, the ones at Bagram, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Helmand, Shindand (Herat) and Mazar-e-Sharif were, by the sheer volume of masonry and architecture, not temporary.
These bases will remain. Are we then talking about a qualified departure?If the US is actually planning departure, why would it build a consulate in the heart of Mazar-e-Sharif on a scale which would dwarf large embassies? Renaissance is the only reasonable hotel in Mazar-e-Sharif.
It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future.
“All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.
”After Obama announced on December 1, 2009 the US intention to leave Afghanistan in July 2011, I had argued in a paper for the Observer Research Foundation that Americans can simply not leave Afghanistan. I have been proven right so far.
And now once again the “We are leaving” story has been let loose. True, this time the circumstances are different, but let us take a look.
Last July, Zalmay Khalilzad and Morgulov Igor Vladimirovich, Russia’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, (who was behind the scenes in the intra-Afghan dialogue in Moscow on February 5 and 6) attend a high power meet in New Delhi on regional issues.In a more cooperative world order, one would have expected the representatives of the US and Russia to exchange notes on Afghanistan.
What transpired was to the contrary. Vladimirovich made an allegation that startled the gathering.
“ISIS fighters were being flown to Northern Afghanistan from Syria” was the claim. The Afghan air space is under the control of the US and the government in Kabul.
“So, who is responsible?” Khalilzad offered a tepid denial. The denial lacked credibility because the Russian allegation had been preceded by another made by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatullah Khomenei.
In the course of his Friday address on January 30, 2018. Khomenei said, “The US transfer of IS terrorists to Afghanistan is aimed at creating a justification for its continued presence in the region.
”In countries surrounding Afghanistan, doubts about American intentions may be more muted but are just as strong. It is deeply ironical that Jihadism, terrorism and Islamism manufactured in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 80s, may be returning to complete the circle.
Indeed, there is a certain inevitability about Islamic militancy becoming a tool of American foreign policy. The triangular romance between Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh will ensure this state of affairs for as long as this romance lasts.
Let me explain the inevitability. When animal rights groups forced the famous annual fox hunt to stop in South India’s most Anglaise hill station Ooty, I expressed my curiosity to the master of the hunt: “What have you done to the hundreds of hounds of high pedigree trained diligently for the hunt?” The lovely canines had been transferred to an expensive kennel from where dog lovers could acquire them.
So now we know what to do with redundant foxhounds of high pedigree? What does a state like Saudi Arabia do with spare Islamic militants who have been heavily equipped and trained to kill at the cost of billions? They can only be relocated to newer theatres of conflict like Afghanistan. From here they can plague all the countries the US wishes to destabilize – Xinxiang in China, the Caucasus in Russia, Iran and Pakistan, too, if it does not behave according to the US diktat.
To make the confusion worse, Erik Prince, founder of the world’s biggest mercenary military company, which has mutated from Blackwater to Academi and Triple Canopy, is back in Afghanistan floating the idea of US troops to be replaced by Prince’s mercenary army. His plan that Afghanistan be administered by a “viceroy” was shot down by National Security Adviser H.
R. McMaster and Defence Secretary James Mattis.
After the two were shown the door, Prince has been all over Afghanistan again in and Khalilzad’s notice. The only person who has refused to meet him in Kabul is President Ghani.
The writer is a journalist based in IndiaTags:Analysis Saeed Naqvi Related PostsMemoryMagic Latch February 15, 2019News AnalysisA Gnarled Oak with a Broken Heart February 15, 2019Next Post Can everyone have health insurance in Pakistan? Leave a Reply Cancel replyThis site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please follow and like us: