Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bavu So Real... But Scion Isn't...

(Credited to Matt Sonzala @ HOUSTON SO REAL)

Toyota Scion Uses Hip-Hop To Sell Their Cars… Then Censors Hip-Hop Artist.

TEXAS, August 24, 2005. Austin based rapper Bavu Blakes was pleasantly surprised yesterday (Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005) when he got the call from Jay Cortez of Inform Ventures, LLC (info below) announcing that he had been selected from a pool of over 2,000 submissions as a Top Ten Finalist in the Scion: Nextup contest.

According to, the “Scion: Nextup contest is holding it's second annual emcee contest which gives unsigned emcees the chance to win a $50,000 marketing deal from Scion. Judges, DJ Premier, Green Lantern and Sean Cane will filter through the applicants to find the ten best. The online contest will then feature the top 10 underground artists original songs on the Scion: Nextup site for visitors to vote on. The emcee(s) with the highest number of votes will win. Prizes include $5000 in cash, the opportunity to perform at Scion events and a fully-produced music video for their winning song.”

Bavu Blakes received an affidavit stating that he was in the Top Ten – chosen by DJ Premier, Green Lantern and Sean Cane, and that voting would commence, online, Monday August 29th on the website

Today, he received a call, again from Jay Cortez, stating that he had been removed from the contest because of the political lyrics in his song “Black Gold.

The lyrics in question are:

1. "Now Bush and bin Laden got so much they rotten"
2. "Texas home of the real death row"
3. "What'd we really go to Iraq fo?"

In reference to line #2, Bavu Blakes was asked if he was referring to the Los Angeles based company Death Row Records.

While we understand that any corporate entity has the right to include whoever it wants in their promotions and marketing strategies, we find it quite funny that a company so hell bent on using hip-hop to promote it’s products would have the audacity to censor an artist.

Inform Ventures, the company working with Scion on this promotion has an interesting mission statement on it’s website

“Our environment is in transition. Information outlets have increased, forming a new infrastructure for the next generation. We create messages compatible with this new infrastructure then disseminate that message through our media and promotions network.”

And they censor the words of the people who they are presumably trying to reach.

Scion as a company has garnered a lot of praise and has also taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years for their co-opting of hip-hop music and culture to sell their cars. Does this action prove the nay sayers right? Find out for yourself. We feel as though Scion and Inform Ventures need to be taken to task for their decision. If they are so down with the streets and hip-hop culture then why are they trying to censor one of it’s strongest voices?

Chuck D once said that hip-hop is the CNN of the streets. If Scion and Inform Ventures can’t handle that, maybe they should just leave it alone.

We’d love to talk with you about this situation. Please feel free to call or email myself, Matt Sonzala at any time. Contact information for Bavu Blakes also follows.

Matt Sonzala, Pushermania Promotions
Email: matt at

Bavu Blakes

Jay Cortez
Inform Ventures, LLC
3361 Glendale Blvd., Suite 1
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Direct: 323.906.0728
Fax: 323.906.0725
Email: jay at


EASY...Typical Bullshit.... I heard the "Black Gold" Track (I think at the SA Show) it is what it is in terms of political correctness, but then again... it just shows how the corporate mind frame thinks in regards to the Hip Hop Culture... The whole "express ya self" sentiment died out years ago in the eyes of corporations that lure you with $$ and sponsorship bullshit.. then turn around and say... oh but you cant say this and you made reference to this... Would they have kept the track had he plainly spoke on SOARING GAS PRICES for their signature Vehicles...

They should just label it an UNSIGNED MC Search for songs that have nothing political, cussing or require any real train of thought... Then Vu would still be in contention....

It's one thing to makes subtle music/artist sacrifices if your signed to a label and their trying to market you efficiently, it's another thing to sacrifice artistry for a non-music coporation who is making $$$$$$$$$$ off of our culture, but offering jack shit in return...

FURTHERMORE... IM SUPRISED AS FUCK THAT DJ "WALK THRU THE UNDERGROUND HOLDING OUR TORCH" PREMIER ..Would judge a contest that was so blatant with it's censoring practices... brings to mind the whole "Yall Are Violating, Straight Up and Down" Rant on The Moment of Truth Album.... Matt just said that he hasn't heard from Premier yet, but hopes that he speaks on it...

Like The Legendary K-O Would Say.. FUCK'EM ALL

I know SCION didn't even listen to my submission... as I started it out with a Mr. Mr. Scarface Sample that said "I DONT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE CHATTER IN THE BACKGROUND"

That was ya boy simply making a point to them fools..


I aint got nothing against the vehicles...the hard-workers, sales folks, finance folks, etc.. that do their jobs on an everyday basis for their Scion employer.. BUT Simply the practices used for this contest in general... I can't even front...SCION has put together some memorable ass Hip-Hop shows with LEGENDS in the last year... Some that alot of my people have taken part of and showcased for, but the question remains at what PRICE ? and what is the Trade Off ? I guess it really aint different than the folks @ KOOL or MARLBORO that shove FREE PACKS of Cigarettes down ya throat at the clubs for filling out a survey... It basically boils down to a GIVE and TAKE... You Give folks your best and they find some way to TAKE it from you... One of lifes many cruel rules... Wack!


PS. for those that aint heard the "Black Gold" Joint.. Vu basically created a whole new song off the verse/topic he spit on my album cut from "The Lockdown Sessions" entitled "IMAGINE THAT".. Will post up the original joint soon cause some folks slept on that realness..... YUP!!


Blogger Mr.Blakes said...

PS. for those that aint heard the "Black Gold" Joint.. Vu basically created a whole new song off the verse/topic he spit on my album cut from "The Lockdown Sessions" entitled "IMAGINE THAT".. Will post up the original joint soon cause some folks slept on that realness..... YUP!!
good lookin out Zilla
we are the Black Gold, so whether labels rig it up or not we flow and we hustle our work... we are the commodity of the music industry, period. peace

10:12 AM  
Blogger Pushermania said...


12:11 PM  
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