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VanCity Report #3 - Connections Connections
Lauren Burrows
Email: host of "Rhymes and Reasons"
CITR 101.9 FM - Thurs. 3-5pm

---- START CONTENT HERE ---- It seems to be generally agreed upon that the war in Iraq has to do with oil. The "why" is whatís up for debate. I wonít go nutty here with all the possible reasons, but I think I found out why the attack was so swift and fierce.

I had a quick lesson in economics last night, and took a look at the International Monetary System: Then and Now. Hereís the short version. From 1880 - 1914 the "gold standard" provided fixed exchange rates around the world. After WWI, only US currency was convertible into gold. By 1971, when the gold standard was dropped entirely, OPEC agreed that all oil would be traded in US dollars.

However, in 1995, in response to the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq, the UN passed Resolution 986 and established the "oil-for-food" program. Enabling Iraq to essentially trade oil for humanitarian goods. At first, Iraq was permitted to sell $2 billion worth of oil every six months. In 1999, presumably as the program proved successful, the limit on Iraqi oil exports was removed by the UN Security Council.

Iraq was now *trading in euros*. Within two years, the euro began rising against the American dollar. Iran started to think about switching too, Venezuela began bartering oil with Cuba, and Russia was trying to get in on this euro action.

So THIS is the heart of the matter. A threat against the US dominance of world trade. I am glad to put another piece of the puzzle in place. I know that education is my weapon of choice.

So beware, and be aware.

Now, on to Hip Hop...

Old school Vancouver head 2-TONE has just released his album, "The Professional" on Integrity Records. The whole thing is dope, really diverse. His lyrics can get really heavy, but usually come across on an upbeat, sometimes even jazzy (?) beat. Seriously. Imagine an MC who also works in film / TV and kicks ass in Ultimate Fighting Championships. Define that. The lingerie show at the release party was an interesting twist. Iíd also like to say that the album cover art is very slick.

Every so often I get a random email from some rapper or producer I have never heard of, looking for radio play. I always encourage submissions (esp. Canadian) but donít always end up loving it - you know? Big surprise in store for me when DJ CRAIG RIP dropped by the studio. I emailed him on Wednesday, he was on-air with me on Thursday. Nice! Plus, he is a dope producer. He is all over the internet ( for instance) and has connected with MCs from North Carolina (Lord Cyrus) to Salt Spring Island (Skavenjah). To me thatís amazing.

Next amazing story is about THE WORDSMITHS and their album "Classic Composure". This one just appeared in my mailbox. A 4-man team, The Wordsmiths are Agent Orange (Oklahoma), Eternal and Madison (Harlem, NYC) and joc (Saskatoon). Hereís the madness, aside from Eternal and Madison none of them have ever met!?! Everybody rhymes, Agent Orange and Eternal make the beats, and their shit is hilarious. Some songs are deadly serious, but some tracks are just jokes, and the album balances all that. The website has got some serious design work on it, too.

Also, I have to mention SLAM CITY JAM. This was the 10th annual. Not bad. Damn...more hot skaters than you can shake a stick at. TONY HAWK ripped up the vert ramp to raise money for The Tony Hawk Foundation (a charity that supports public skateparks). Bad Religion, and guess who else? THE COUP and TALIB KWELI "aw yeah"...look for upcoming coverage of this event on

If youíve got some gossip, send it my way, Iím all over it -

Hit The Links:
2-Tone >>>
Integrity Records >>>
DJ Rip >>>
Wordsmith Music >>>
Slam City Jam >>>
Tony Hawk Foundation >>>


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