Author Topic: Chill EB and Me: Rappin' About Scientology - Village Voice (blog)  (Read 811 times)

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Chill EB and Me: Rappin' About Scientology - Village Voice (blog)
23 November 2011, 10:43 am
By Tony Ortega

Last night, rapper Chill EB showed up in the comments to the story we had written about his interesting career as a 1990s Bay Area up-and-comer who today is Scientology's in-house hip hop act.

What ensued was several hours of interaction, as the rapper dangled the possibility of an interview with the Voice while also defending himself from several of our readers, who seemed to be in an aggressive mood.

Finally, at about 2 am, Chill offered to meet through Twitter in order to exchange telephone numbers and have a conversation. Instead, a two-hour Direct Message dialogue ensued. After the jump, some background for those unsure who Chill EB is, and our exchange...

As we explained yesterday, Norman Berry, a/k/a Chill EB, started rapping in 1985, and by 1990 and 1991, he was having some success in the Bay Area scene, with several radio hits and steady television commercial work. Things then started to wind down, and in 1994, he decided to end his career.

In 2009, Chill resurfaced with the anti-psychiatry song "Y'all Better," which he has performed for Scientology audiences (the church hates the psychiatric profession with a passion). In the last year, Chill has been showing up at Scientology events, performing at the opening of new buildings, and earlier this year he recorded an official song and video for the International Association of Scientologists titled "Dauntless, Defiant, and Resolute." (During our conversation, I repeatedly refer to this official video as "the IAS" video.) That video was only for internal consumption, and has not been seen outside the church. But in the last few months, an IAS chapter in Copenhagen made its own, rather awkward, video set to the song, and last Thursday night the video leaked to YouTube. We quickly put it up, and it was then picked up by various news organizations.

Yesterday, we followed up our posting of the Copenhagen video by looking at Chill EB's entire career, from his hits in the early 1990s to other songs he has put out recently with Scientology connections. His video for "Define Better," an anti-psychiatry song, for example, links to the website of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology's anti-psychiatry front group.

During our conversation in the wee hours this morning, I repeatedly asked Chill about seeing the original, official IAS video, which has not leaked yet. He, meanwhile, tries to convince me that he only made the IAS song as retaliation for harassment he says he's been getting from Anonymous, through its website, (WWP), and in particular a user named OpenComment. [OpenComment turns out to be a YouTube account, not a WWP user. Chill for some reason expected me to be familiar with OpenComment, but I was not.] He also complained about my readers, one of whom revealed to Chill that he had such personal information about him as the names of his grown children. You will also see that I am awkwardly attempting, in some cases, to get a source to keep talking. But if I'm going to print this, it has to be warts and all, I figure.

With that as background, here's how our exchange began at about 2 am......

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« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 15:12 by mefree »
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