BILL COSBY SOUNDS THE ALARM FOR â€˜STATE OF EMERGENCYâ€™
Socially Conscious Hip-Hop Project Launches
Oct. 19 Via Virtual Town Hall In New York City
Free track from Bill Cosbyâ€™s Cosnarati, State of Emergency
available at billcosby.com
LOS ANGELESâ€”Bill Cosby rekindles hip-hopâ€™s socially conscious flame on â€œBill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency,â€ an album of music with messages reflecting todayâ€™s most critical issues affecting young people. Created to engage listeners and lead them to take action, the CDâ€™s empowering and dialogue-provoking themes will be spread throughout the Internet via the comedian/actor/authorâ€™s extensive social media network and an interactive new web site, billcosby.com, designed to build a grassroots campaign of activist-led house parties and town halls.
On Oct. 19, Cosby and the Cosnarati Band will kick off the project with a virtual town hall meeting in New York City. Presented in association with Ustream, the town hall starts at 7pm EDT (4pm PDT) on urban radio station web sites across the country as well as billcosby.com and facebook.com/billcosby. A highlight of the 90-minute event will include a first time ever performance by Cosnarati specifically for the town hall event of a few songs from the record. The songs will be available at digital retailers on Oct. 20, to be followed by the albumâ€™s Nov. 24 physical and digital release.
During the town hall, Cosby will simultaneously relaunch billcosby.comâ€”supported by Blue State Digital, a leading online marketing agencyâ€”and announce the house party campaign. Visitors to the site will be able to obtain the â€œEmergencyâ€ CD, its lyrics and a copy of Cosbyâ€™s 2007 best-seller, â€œCome On People: On the Path From Victims to Victors.â€ Itâ€™s all part of a grassroots effort to foster ongoing community dialogue and action by way of listening parties held at homes, community centers, churches and other locales.
Cosby executive produced the project and conceived the songsâ€™ story concepts. “I don’t like referring to the music as ‘clean,â€ says Cosby, who does not rap or sing on the album. â€œWhat I like is what you’re not going to do. You’re not going to curse. You’re not going to put women down. You’re not going to put the glory of the gun somewhere. And you’re not going to put a whole lot of violence up front like that’s the thing that will cleanse you and make you feel better.”
Two years in the making, â€œState of Emergencyâ€ adds new meaning to the phrase â€œmessage in the music.â€ Tackling such social issues as self-respect, peer pressure, abuse and education, the CD is the aural companion to Cosbyâ€™s â€œCome on People,â€ co-authored with Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint. The projectâ€™s 14 tracks integrate frank, positive messages with a progressive mix of hip-hop, R&B, jazz, pop, funk and rock. The result is a strong, cohesive narrative that doesnâ€™t rely on profanity, misogyny, materialism or ego exercising to deliver its powerful impact.
â€œState of Emergencyâ€ was produced by Cosbyâ€™s longtime musical colleague, William â€œSpacemanâ€ Patterson. The musician/arrangerâ€™s extensive list of credits include â€œThe Cosby Show,â€ Miles Davis, LL Cool J, Eric Clapton and Alicia Keys. In addition to his production partner Ced-Gee, co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop group Ultramagnetic MCs, Patterson recruited three guest rappers for â€œState of Emergencyâ€: Jace the Great, Brother Hahz and Supa Nova Slom.
Brother Hahz and Jace the Great set the stage on the opening title track, which features a no-holds-barred chorus: â€œLet the horns blow; itâ€™s a state of emergency/This whole world needs surgery/Every soul breeds perjury/And I got the urge to speak my mind.â€ Other standout tracks include the New Orleans-jazzed â€œWhereâ€™s the Parade?,â€ which salutes powerful black women; the introspective â€œWhere Did I Go Wrong?â€; the funky yet hard-hitting â€œDadâ€™s Behind the Glassâ€: and the R&B-empowered â€œGet on Your Job.â€
Notes Patterson, â€œWe want people to receive â€™State of Emergencyâ€™ the way we made it: as a gift; an opportunity for dialogue between children and parents and an alternative to the cookie-cutter sound thatâ€™s out here. Hopefully, we can tear down some walls and be part of the solution, not the problem.â€
By using the universal language of music, â€œBill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergencyâ€ delivers a powerful wakeup callâ€”one that everyone should heed. â€œDo me a favor,â€ adds Cosby. â€œJust listen. Please.”