interview Dubcnn Blog - Haywire (By Jonathan Hay)

      Dubcnn is always looking to expand its writing staff to include some of the best writers online and with this new Blog we are delighted to have lined up Jonathan Hay to present this series of articles that will fall under the newly formed Haywire Blog.

Whether it be a weekly dissection of the latest news and events or his historical glances at events gone by you are guaranteed to be entertained, informed and taken on a journey of thought that is sure to provoke discussion.


September 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008


September 2008


Haywire: Fourth Edition (Wednesday September 3rd, 2008)

Dr. Dre: The Aftermath of Tragedy
By Jonathan Hay

Parents don't expect to outlive their children. Unfortunately, tragedy has literally hit home for fêted music mogul, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. My heart goes out to the broken-hearted family of the deceased, who are excruciatingly suffering.

Right now, Dr. Dre is painfully dealing with the unfortunate loss of his son. The grieving process is unbearable and no amount of words could comfort such bereavement. As a parent, you will never have any greater pain in your life than losing your own child. Moreover, when you suffer through such a heightened emotional time of sadness and melancholy, you undoubtedly question God. I think during such severe and grueling times like these, many people become enraged and angry with God – feeling betrayed and even blasphemous toward Him. We are never really healed from such complete devastation. Forgive us Father for we know not what we do…

Many people say “Rest in Peace” to the departed; but it is the living that cannot seem to come to a peaceful rest. Mothers and Fathers who have suffered the loss of a child endure many sleepless nights of brutal insomnia, confused regrets, non-stop questions of ‘what-ifs,’ tears…and even shame. How can a parent really contend with the toughest loss of their life? The guilt, oh the unbearable guilt…

Right now, I am furious beyond belief over what I have been reading in the aftermath of this delicate and tragic event. And I have read so many foul statements from people -- so-called “fans” of Dr. Dre -- who have absolutely no sympathy or respect for his situation. Repeatedly, I have read statements like “Detox isn’t coming out now” “Detox this” and “Detox that” --- are you kidding me? This is a parent’s worst nightmare. Are we really this much of a Godless society? Have we lost our damn morals? What have we become? There are many more important things in the world than music. Forgive us Father for we know not what we do…

I would like to send a personal message to Andre Young, the mourning father: Forget the music, ignore all the negative talk, focus on your family and press deeper into God. A true Father and son moment is when we spend time alone with our Creator. I have no idea what kind of life your son lived -- what his beliefs were, his convictions -- but thankfully, we serve a God of extreme mercy and unconditional love. Thank you Father!

It takes a truly great man to be able to view this life, and all its unfortunate circumstances, from a perspective outside of our emotional anguish. Our unique calling comes from God’s own voice, and we are constantly being both tested and blessed everyday. Our divine faith will bring us to our knees, and we are held accountable to our distinctive purpose. Mr. Young, while the whole world is watching your every move, you have this miraculous opportunity to be an honorable witness who remains strong, obedient and righteous during this heartbreaking tragedy – a true example of loyalty and faith. Who you are internally is how you are defined…and shows what a man is made of. Stand tall, because no matter what happens, all things work together for good for those who love the Lord. You are a pillar of strength and grace, a good and faithful servant. Sleep well child, rest in His gentle peace.

---Jonathan Hay


May 2008


Haywire: Third Edition (Tuesday May 27th, 2008)

A blog about us: A must read.
By Jonathan Hay

We continue to mourn over an industry that has been reported as dead. The eulogy of the music industry reads gloomy and hopeless as we sit sulking as spectators, dressed from head to toe in the respectable color of death, and hiding sarcastic smiles behind our elephant tears. With everyone looking, we point our fingers and mock this dying business. Among the black tailored Armani suits and faint smell of embalming fluid, there seems to be a celebration in the air.
Where is the funeral music? Where are the flowers? The pallbearers? Will we carefully place its shell in the back of a hearse as police officers escort our flag-bearing cars to the nearest cemetery? Will we bury it in the ground forever and remember it only on special occasions by marking its grave with plastic flowers and ceramic angels?

I find it extremely ironic that so many of us are gloating at this so-called funeral. We seem to have bypassed the predictable elements of the memorial service and send it straight to be cremated and spread the ashes over the world.

Why are we entertained by the lack of entertainment revenue? Isn’t this the same business that pays our bills and feeds are families? Why are we attacking it so viciously? Don’t we feel somewhat accountable, or do we feel no responsibility to help? If this is the culture we love then where is our pride and love for our music? We just “Walk On By” as if we have Isaac Hayes playing in our iPod on our daily walk from Jerusalem to Jericho, walking right past the brothers we have robbed and almost beaten to death. Don’t we want to play the part of the Good Samaritan here? The parable here is that we are able to rise above our subpar behavior and attitude.

Ice Cube said in his song “Us”

“We can’t enjoy ourselves
Too, busy jealous of each other’s wealth
Coming up is just in me
But the black community is full of envy”

I want to reiterate those lyrics by Cube and change one word in the last line so it goes:

“…But the rap community is full of envy”

In the spirit of Queen Latifah, we all need a little “U.N.I.T.Y” -- there is way too much envy, jealousy and hatred. Hip-hop suffers from crab-in-a-bucket syndrome – a bunch of crabs trapped at the bottom of the bucket, when one of the crabs attempts to escape by climbing to the top the other crabs pull it back down to the bottom of the bucket so that it will have the same fate as the rest of them.

While we are scoffing and talking a lot of negativity, we have failed to realize that Hip-hop and the music industry is alive and well! Sure, there have been growing pains, but we are still here. We need a public morale boost to lift the spirits of everyone in this business. We should focus on the positive, like the fact that Apple has sold a staggering 4 billion singles, or how about the millions and millions of ringtones that have been sold. Think about all the digital sales and different money streams. Moreover, with mega-endorsement deals, corporate branding and product placement this business is not just one-dimensional anymore.

We, as the media, need to quit focusing on the “me.” The me-dia is excessively self-centered, indulgent and selfish. I hate that the word “media” even has “me” in it. It should more like “we-dea,” if you know what I’m saying. So, let’s dry our eyes, hang up our Armani suits and get excited about the culture that we live to love and love to live. Let us get inspired and revive this so-called dying industry – because after all, we are only evolving.
Take a look at us…

Shout out to O’Shea Jackson, a true activist and inspiration for many generations to come! Also, a big shout out to Sabrina, a true inspiration to me.

---Jonathan Hay


Haywire: Second Edition (Tuesday May 6th, 2008)

Lollipop: A Hard-To-Swallow Reality
By Jonathan Hay

This is a blog about the bittersweet reality behind the major hit single, “Lollipop” by Lil’ Wayne, featuring Static Major. This infectious single is currently the top song in the country, but sadly, where there is triumph there is often tragedy.

This tragedy really hits home for me. Static Major, known back home as Stephen Garrett, is from my hometown of Louisville, KY. We went to both Westport middle school and Waggener high school together. Although we attended the same schools, had some of the same classes, and hung around some of the same people, I wouldn’t say that Static and I were really close. Nevertheless, I remember him as being very outspoken, funny, and entertaining. We had the same business class together my freshman year of high school and I remember Static was always entertaining the class – either by rapping or singing along with our classmate Troy Dudley, while rhythmically tapping the desk to emulate a drum pattern, or joking around with his friend, Glen Woodrum.

Static went on to do major things. The tipping point began in 1996, when Static wrote a song for Ginuwine, called “Pony” (produced by Timbaland), that exploded, hitting #1 on the Billboard charts. He then followed with another smash record “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah, spinning his career into a snowball of success. He went on to write song after song for numerous major artists, inspiring our hometown and infectiously motivating the entire city. I remember seeing him in the Mall at St. Matthews walking around the food court, just after his group Playa released their critically acclaimed debut album Cheers to You on Def Jam Records. As I watched from across the food court, star-struck fans ambitiously swarmed around him, vying for his attention, like kids in a candy shop fighting for the last lollipop. He is truly a hometown hero.

I was planning to reunite with Static when I made it to the top -- and I always knew I would see him at the top. So, it was around February when I had just heard his promotional duet with Lil’ Wayne called “I Got My” and I knew that he was also featured on the first single “Lollipop” from Lil’ Wayne’s upcoming album, Tha Carter III. I was actually in the process of contacting him for an interview with one of the hip-hop publications I am writing for when I received the devastating call from back home, “Stephen Garrett is dead.” I was shocked. “He can’t be dead!” I thought, he was way too young and his impressive career was about to really take off – 2008 was sure to be the year of Static Major.

I guess I didn’t realize at the time that “at the top” would be so literal – as in, heaven -- when we all stand before the Lord on judgement day. But anyone who knows Static knows that he loved God and he was a believer. I know that Stephen Garrett is with the Lord now, because like it says, “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” (Isaiah 57:1-2).

Many years ago, Static touched so many people back home when he sang “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye To Yesterday,” at his own sister’s funeral -- now we are having a hard time saying goodbye to him. It has been officially reported that Stephen Garrett died February 25, 2008 at Baptist Hospital East (St. Matthews – Louisville, KY) of complications from a medical procedure – A failed medical procedure?! What?! Many people were enraged at the hospital when he passed away, “His death and illness are not related. His death was attributed only to the malice of the hospital,” says Smoke E. Digglera, friend and band mate of Static, on his MySpace blog.

Baptist Hospital East is right around the block from our former high school and only a block away from where I am sitting at this moment writing this story, as I am at my old Kentucky home for the Kentucky Derby with my family. I have decided I’m going to take it upon myself to take a closer look into this tragic and unfortunate situation and uncover the truth of what really happened on February 25th at Baptist Hospital East. Whatever I find will be reported right here exclusively at the Haywire blog. If someone is indeed carelessly responsible for the death of Stephen Garrett, then they should be held accountable and it should be brought to light.

If anyone has any information, please contact me directly at (310) 402-6949 or on MySpace.

I realize that the world loves Lil’ Wayne and Static Major’s “Lollipop” song, but personally, it’s hard for me to listen to. It is such a great accomplishment to have the #1 song in America but, man, the tragic events following this song are a hard reality for me to swallow, leaving a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

Stephen “Static Major” Garrett, cheers to you.

Shout out to the original St Matthew’s stomping crew: Mark Holzheimer, Jason Eisenmenger, Cody Johnle, Adam and Kyle Degener, Dennis Martin and Daniel Baldwin.

---Jonathan Hay


April 2008


Haywire: First Edition (Thursday April 24th, 2008)

More Than Words (My Introduction to Dubcnn)
By Jonathan Hay

Right now, I feel like a hungry emcee about to step into the vocal booth and spit over a hot West Coast track. I’m ready to spit -- ready to bring my verses, words, ideas and thoughts to the world.

If you really think about it, journalists are on the same page as emcees as we both write or type out our own personal expressions. Our writings are the acapellas written to the sound of the outside world - a journalist’s instrumental.

Traffic noise or everyday ambience outside your window is our rhythm…our music. The ongoing sounds heard from the Santa Monica Pier while breathlessly looking out across the Pacific Ocean, or like the noise driving down Wilshire Blvd. with the sound of the pulsating rain pouring down on the windshield wipers, on beat, like our own natural metronome. The cadence of life is all around us as we are synchronized like the traffic lights at an intersection.

Journalists are like emcees -- except our 16 bars are 16 sentences woven into paragraphs…and our paragraphs are like songs. This is our stage, and our demographic audience is the hip-hop community. These words are everything to me, as writing is my truest form of insight and heartfelt expression…and my most comfortable way of communicating to others. Just like an emcee, my goal to inspire you with a vocabulary of visions, hoping to add something to this sacred art-form of hip-hop. This is my microphone – not spoken, but written -- not heard, but read…as I speak through my microphone with columns, interviews, editorials…and words. This is our voice and Dubcnn is the platform.

Not only are journalists like emcees, but we are also like Producers. We sit in our studio apartments on our keyboard, developing concepts for the hip-hop world -- our keyboards, however, are attached to a monitor and our Pro-Tools is Microsoft Word. Spell Check and Thesaurus are our Auto-Tune and Reverb. I’ve even got my own personal DJ behind me to keep the words flowing…his name is DJ “iPod” and he randomly shuffles through my classic west-coast playlists, like Death Certificate, Amerikkka’s Nightmare, Niggaz4Life, Music To DriveBy, No One Can Do It Better, Doggystyle, Life is…Too Short, Livin’ Like Hustlers, Neva Again, The Chronic, Hall Of Game, etc. My DJ iPod is on-point tonight -- as he is inspiring me to bring these words to the masses.

Dubcnn is the label, the distributor and the publisher – they discover talented writers, develop them and release their words to the world. I’m surrounded by a great team of talented people and I’m happy to be a part of this team. I take these words very seriously, as I’m the new guy here with All Eyez On Me, like another west-coast classic, as I stand on this soap-box and quote ‘Pac: It’s Me Against The World.

I’m going to bring you all-exclusive interviews, right off the bat, from Nappy Roots and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan – with many more outside-the-box interviews, columns and editorials to follow. Don’t worry, my cell phone prefix is 310…so I will represent our own backyard as we explore all over the US…and even overseas. If an artist don’t have love for the West Coast, than I don’t have love for that artist.

On a side note, keep downloading that “Focus… Presents Dedicated” album, available for FREE, right here on this site! Focus… is one my people and I am honored to be working with him -- he keeps me focused.

Let’s grow, build, link and connect...we are family. I want to hear from you guys. I want to write and report your stories and your ideas. Call me at (310) 402-6949 or hit me up online on MySpace.

Shout-out to my man Teddy Riley, once again you are sitting on the throne!

---Jonathan Hay




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