[Jacktown] M-I-CROOKED's Year, by Alphonso Mayfield

First off, I really want to thank everyone for the love that I have received since I started writing this column. All the pounds and props I've been getting have been very appreciated. A lot happened this past year that helped put the M-I-CROOKED on the map. Of course, there is the obvious signing of David Banner and the subsequent release of his album "Mississippi," which sold 400,000 copies while being relatively slept on.

Banner's new opus entitled "Mississippi the Album 2: Baptized In Dirty Water," set to be released in a few weeks, will contain a surprise for some buyers. Five sweepstakes tickets, redeemable for $10,000 toward tuition at a university chosen by the buyers will be placed in the first 300,000 units sold.

While we are on the topic of universities, Banner's alma mater Southern (La.) University's administration reportedly blocked a free concert he was planning to throw for the student body for homecoming 2003. Banner is the former Student Association president at Southern.

The Southern DIGEST, the college's student newspaper, reported that the concert was cancelled after deejays at WEMX Max 94.1 FM, gave away copies of "Mississippi: The Album" to students. Reportedly, parents at Northeast High School demanded that the show be stopped.

"I am mad because the powers at Southern are the same powers that were there when I was there," Banner told The Southern DIGEST. "It is bad that a person has been blessed and has been so connected with Southern and the officials did me the way they did." Banner urged the students at Southern to stand up for their rights, adding that he might hold a concert near campus instead. "I scream Southern everywhere I go, and I can't even perform for my people, and I was going to do it for free," he told the paper.

Other artists drew national recognition to Mississippi this past year. Of course, the Reese and Bigalow fiasco occurred with their song "Never Scared" allegedly getting snatched by ATL's Bone Crusher. R&B, of course, fired back with a response song that's been getting radio airplay recently. I heard that the duo have been in ATL recording their new album for '04.

Then there's The Source article in September that spotlighted The New South. Unless you were under a rock you had to hear about that. The article mentioned all the major players in the state including Boo Da Boss Playa, David Banner, Reese and Bigalow and up-and-comers Donnie Cross and Xit Only.

Speaking of Donnie Cross and Xit Only, I was very inspired to see them actually blazing the campaign trail this fall. It's not often that you see rappers supporting political candidates that they believe in. Cross, Xit, Frog the Dragoon and the group Kan Mankind worked on the failed re-election campaign of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove. I asked Cross his rationale for working on the campaign. To be honest I was more than a little impressed when he told me that it was important for artists to get involved in the political process. We all should take a clue from that.

Lastly, I want to give props to Souf State Connected for the release of their project "Jacktown Music Vol. 1." Expect a review on hiphopcongress.com soon. Here's the latest on the release of Kamikaze's sophomore album "Too Broke to Ball"—it's still unreleased. However, I have heard some cuts, and Kamikaze deserves props for what sounds like a hot album. But I have been wrong before.

Also, I know I talked smack about reviewing projects and so on. I haven't forgotten; I just hope you would-be artists send your A-material because I'm harder to please than your girl when you forgot to pay the light bill.


Write Jacktown at [e-mail missing] Mail CDs and press materials to: P. O. Box 2047, Jackson, Miss., 39225.

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