Look Alive Killa!:Vacationland

A shameless personal note to start this one, i’ve often joked that me,MF DOOM and billy woods are all the same kinda person in that we’re all african-caribbean weirdos who read alot, overthink things and hate showing our faces on the internet. The difference with woods being that his reasoning is more out of circumstance rather than paranoia about about the internet.

That paranoia, the distrust, seeing friends go down paths where you know the conclusion of it all before they do. He can be as caustic and bone dry as Mark E. Smith circa 1984,whip smart but at the same time would advise you not to take him as some kind of wise sage.  dead politicial figures,specters  not only that but he’s got the kind of sports refferences that i know certain armchair pundits would lose their minds over. Hes like Gerard Manley Hopkins if instead of Jesuism was raised on historical geopoilitics,ESPN,Battle of Algiers and dark web listings of old weed strains.

The albums he did as one half of Super Chron Flight Brothers was filled with these kind of allusions,contradictions and dicotomies, it’s reflected through the concept of a day sat infront of the TV but that lens is warped and refracted to talk about the 2009 financial crash & memories the grimey,nasty days of 42nd Street pre-cleanup.

On “Stay Schemin” you get the sense from Rick Ross and co. that the fun and games of being bastards getting away with heists and crime capers is over, Ross’ doesn’t want to go to court but at least he can afford to get a good lawyer, at least French Montana can stash his krills up on the roof for next time, for the dealers in woods’s world they’re on pins and needles trying to make it to next week and if not they’re lost in the grinder of the system doing the same numbers under the jail that old Charly Wingate is doing.

That’s the beauty of his work it’s political but only in the sense that he talks about politics the same way somebody would talk about fixing the piping in your bathroom. Everything is covered in politics but not in the way Paris did with Sleeping with the enemy. There’s an acknowledgement of the wider world out there always looking slightly over the border, part of that is because he spent time in Zimbabwe as a child before coming to America so there’s always the slight tinge of the outsider looking in.

Thats not getting into his is ace in the whole as a writer,how he toys and jumps with perspective. In the same verse he can switch from being the friend in the passenger seat to t, DOOM did this but DOOM always kept it between his first and 3rd person “he talk to himself when he needs someone to hate on” woods will switch between the neoliberal plunderer ordering PRC’s not to open fire until he says so, the native whose home has been devastasted expansion polution.

 Camoflague woods debut is very much a rap album of it’s era but its surprising to go back to now just in terms of how on the money it is about the crimes and seeds sown by the Bush administration as a result, “Dirge” is the first song where he touches on the death of his father but it isnt the last.

The Chalice admittidly is his most hit and miss album but the best songs on that album are some of the best songs of his career “B.B.C” sees him adopt the role of a news reporter pronounced English accent and all, omly for his perspective to switch to that of a elderly man solemnly adressing the devastation of his village. “Maryland” starts off with him reminisicng about him and a old friend trying to make money off mowing lawns and spending that money on weed cause they didn’t want to get jobs come for the novelty of somebody rapping over a Velvet Underground riff stay for the affecting advice and realisation on the impermanace of friendship.  “Vacationland” talks about a place of no worries,labour or exploitation but there’s the feint sense of unease that says that this isn’t permanent.

The fact that he’s a long time friend of Vordul Mega out of Cannibal Ox shouldn’t be a real surprise because they’re both at their best and most strikingly vivid at their most focused. Despite all this the most appealing factor with woods is despite how gushing somebody can get about him is that at the end of the day he’s a guy who still has to get up and go to work in the morning.

There’s a old documentary video on youtube where these people spend time with the Def Jux alumni you have Pre- RTJ El-P making jokes about how we need to run and hide cause the apocalypse is coming, Aesop Rock talking about depression in a cramped flat,music equipment strew about the place. Once underground rap folk hero Vast Aire kicking a freestyle while looking like he’s shivering. It taught me more about the kind of people who make that music than all the “why isn’t this getting played on radio?” youtube comments and gushing reviews about certain rappers being an “antidote to mainstream rap” ever could, and thats what i get from woods.

 

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Look Alive,Killa! : Dead N***a Poltergeist

LP and Bass Odyssey firing off tunes and juggling dubs in the Biltmore,online news articles of up and coming rappers shot dead in expensive cars,sinners waiting for the hell hounds to come,the celebration of black women being the bedrock and at the forefront of radical action. Forgotten saints residing in old burnt out tower blocks.

This is what it feels like coming into close contact with an Elucid song, the confident jagged sound of the future fused together with the teachings, asides & hard fought battles with a very old ancient past. Its easy to call his music Afrofuturistic if youve listen to a few Sun Ra albums but black music has always looked towards the future from a rich traditional center.

Long Island has played a big part in NY rap history,so much so that people often forget the more conservative branches rap forget that The nephew of unsung rap hero DJ Stiches (the original DJ for De La Soul) Elucids music is part of that lineage, you could call it psychedelic but its psychedelic in the way where somebody asks the question what if you crossed ESG with Arthur Doyle.

It has been stated before that, space is a constant theme and concern within his music but its how these spaces are often punctuated by different people who gets to be championed in these spaces, what gets built up what gets brought.

Of course its easy to get wrapped up in the thickets of texture,topics and mood of his music but the fact of the matter is he is a rapper first and formost and with his instruments at his disposal. Chuck D was never this limber. Beanie Sigel at his best was able to express pathos trying to find beauty in the gravel but not enough to keep him out of jail & KRS One could never come up with a lyric as subterraen vibration funny as “i eat too much pussy to be a rasta” because he’s too busy using the same muddled rhetoric and delapadated ragga flow trying to be one.

He’s got this incredible ability to string you on by images alone sometimes getting more gnarly as they go along but feel just as poingiant if he were to issue a statement outright. Some rappers can have entire careers built off of that but its when he pulls the rug out and makes you face the hear and now like on “Omega3” that makes it devastating.

For Madmen Only felt some kind of doomsday screed that slashed through the lines between the hypocricies of the church,surviving as a black man in the western world. His music often wrestles with his relationship with the black church but in a way it doesn’t feel like he’s undermining his own point to sound “down with the youts”, Hope Dealers this isn’t. Can’t fault Lecrae for trying to engage in a way that deviates from the norms of christian rappers but i feel like most people wern’t checking Make The Trap Say Amen for his scriptures.

Save Yourself  felt like the last warning from a close jaded friend before he tells you “youre on your own”. An ode to a rapidly changing New York that doesnt mourn the loss of its old slumlords but looks on with uncertainty to the changes that are coming from over the horizon, certain punks will talk to you smugly about how Fugazi were talking about gentrification when it wasnt the word on everybodies lips or one of 4 topics that reappeard on your twitter feed inbetween all the shitposts. But “Cashout” doesnt get in your veins the same way a track like “Bloodflow” does. “Piano Wire” off of Valley of Grace feels like barreling down a motorway at 166mph while seeing a burning car pile up on the side of the road.

“If you Say So” felt like you was witnessing somebody writing down their last will and tesament as the fires were engulfinging it and that was only the first half of the song. The smart ones know how to swim and have found a way to mop aboard a shakey ships deck with Sonny Rollins. The cards are stacked up against those who’ve been on the outskirts for too long.

He never proclaims to have the answers but will work together with those who chose to find them.

 

Look Alive,Killa! : Introduction

Duo projects in rap are more of a balancing act than some people might realize,how do you work in a situation where you have to reign in some of your idiosyncratic solo ticks to fit in with another persons style but still retain enough where you dont get overshadowed or lost in the mix. In some ways we kinda take collaboration in rap for granted because of what feels like an oversaturation of all the people within rap despite their claims of not being too friendly and doing it “for the culture”.

Its a open secret that everybody wants the Jay Z feature not because hes still rapping at the same level he was back in 1998 but because more often than because its the gateway ticket to being able to do such shocking things as own a house,make money off of your work in a rapidly and increasingly corporatised streaming focus music industry.

Theres a high chance that one of your favourite rappers of the moment already has a collaboration with Young Thug becuase rappers like him work non-stop add that to the fact that ever since 2013 theres been many immitators and sub immitators in his wake what was once exciting and unorthadox becomes stale. Imagine if in the 2000s instead of Notorious B.I.G. everybody was trying to mimic Saafir and you would be some what close.

This isnt just something that confined to the arena of “mainstream” rap music what once used to be called the underground isnt much better,its not that hard to go looking on Youtube or one of the many comps on HipHopisRead where around 2012 it felt like the biggest achievement of every 4th rate “golden age” inspired rapper was to get that Roc Marciano verse. Only reason you dont hear Mach Hommy on every bandcamp “grimey” rap album is because he purposfully makes himself difficult to track down something of a revelation these days where so much of of experiencing the internet is dealing with the noxious sense that everybody has “seen everything and played anything” and the best they can do with all the time they feel they wasted is turn it into shit posts.

But for the best duos in rap were able to communicate with themselves and their listeners a wide array of thoughts feelings and experiences whether they be harsh,crass,life affirming,hopeful,bleak sometimes all in one song. E-40 & B-Legit could do it, Scarface & Willie D could do it, Rae & Ghost may be husks of their former selves but their spirits loom large and bold within every tag team and in some sections still seen as the benchmark for that kind of almost psychic relationship and so do the subjects of this potential series billy woods and Elucid a.k.a. Armand Hammer.

Ill admit that i didnt know what to title this but then again,as i often repeat to people im very bad when it comes to giving titles to things but then i remembered the little expression at the end of “Soft Places” probably the most celebrated song off their Furtive Movements EP. *The title coming from a survey by where police officers were asked what reasoning did they most often give for stoping and searching black men suspected of illegal activies. The cover of the e.p. a orange husk of a car frame standing out from the overwhelming black shadows was taken from the scene of the murder of 17 year old Jordan Davis who was shot on Friday, November 23, 2012 at a gas station by 45 year old Michael Dunn over a complaint of loud music coming from his SUV.

“Soft Focus” is one of the best songs the two have done and its the one that ends the most abrubtly it leaves you dangling off the clifface of what is an already dizzying song where the rapidity and gut level uncomfortable feeling of displacement that gentrification emanates buildings collapse and are replaced,you see images of wandering ronins, devastated gangbangers holding eviction notices shuttered faded record shops and alien new neighbours.

In a way the title serves as a warning and sort of a call to arms telling you to keep focus alert a reminder to prepare yourself for whatever new and darker horrors lie beyond the horizon.

Hopefully through this journey you’ll grow to understand why i feel this duo are diserving of your attention, 3 albums, 1 mixtape,1 EP and a world within each other i would like you to join me on this venture to observe,learn,understand and grow through this.

*I don’t want this to be a “spot the refference” kind of ordeal but as their songs are dense with the kind of imagery and subject matter i’ll go into them because micro or macro these asides are stories unto themselves and they matter even if they are not the artists own

 

 

 

For the good Monarch

I’ve know this person for nearly a year now, but i felt compelled to write this, compelled to write about somebody who is deserving of  recognition and being aware of the fact that i genuinely admire them.

and the person deserving of this is one Vincent Kinian aka Video Game King.

Vincent, for me is one of those people i consider to be casually brilliant like say a Allen Toussaint or a Mac Dre wherein the core of what makes their work incredible is never flashy, hes not looking to spend 2 paragraphs talking about how character designs are censored, hes got a focus on his subject that comes from a person whose done the research can see the links, can talk about philosophy in a way that doesn’t seek to show off his own intelligence.

Its always direct and addresses you as a peer never a commoner (despite whatever connotations his lofty title gives off), and thats what i mean by casually brilliant just this unsuspecting person being able to go to their work station and as if through alchemy create something amazing out of thin air.

Perceptive, precise incredibly erudite when talking about the interlocking work of aesthetics story,the identity  of certain games and how they function as an extension of a larger overall brands (Peanuts, Barbie) but what always shines the brightest amongst his work is the genuine passion that he has for the medium of games. I recognise his jadedness at the practices, the frustrating eternal dichotomy of a “creative” of wanting to express or create in your medium while having to always be aware to the constant obscenity of money and how that manipulation creates an ugly feedback loop between companies and “fans”.

For every shared post by other writers or what goes on in the world at large(im often excited for the posts he shares on a Friday) to various threads on industry history, hell even his GIF game is something else compared to the lazy memes i see that often appear and reappear on twitter three or four times a in a single day.

I will admit sometimes when talking to him that i feel like im being a bother or a nuisance, the runt who constantly wants to bother the royal and ask how hes doing or whats going on in his work, but it all comes from the spark that i get in that his work reminds me of the first time i decided to delve into the reaches of “obscure” games from yesteryear and trying to understand them, that and i think that hes a genuine, funny and all around solid man. who like me doesn’t go seeking for the spotlight but to borrow the words of one Percy Miller deserves to get his flowers while he is here. That and i would like to say that if ive ever come across as being too annoying or digging too deep without consideration i would like to say that im sorry.

Sometimes im slightly overwhelmed by what is put into a piece, the research the notes the sheer “difference” in tone and style that comes from his work compared to other writers in his field. I first came across his work through the Dead Genre Chronicles crew who my relationship with its members is both equal parts as a fan and something of a mean rap loving monster that resides beneath their bed.

Hes absolutely deserving of the Alex Navaro approval that is always at the top of his TL, and for enriching my life and day im always thankful, Merry Christmas sir

please give these a look: https://gameexhibition.wordpress.com/

Defining the JRPG: A History

For the one from the darkness

(yeah this is back,not sure how often but its here)

Forever on that cloak and dagger shit

Mobutu Sese Seko, killing every last one of them without touching a gun

The overseer without a panopticon

if id like to think that im Lungfish,shes Diamanda Galas over Alchemist & VDon beats.

One of two people who i wonder “am i wasting her time when she could be doing something more productive?”

A person who i can tell alot to but deep down i know shes heard these facile complaints 10000 years over, As much as she extends an arm she has every right to believe that what i type comes off empty, more heat than light,bullshit to put it plainly

Imagine being in a old dusty room filled with texts,the floor breaks and you discover an even older temple, with things more arcane bountiful with a goblet and a statue in the corner, thats her

Old but in the same way the Golem was old to the Rabbi, in that it came with experience, power and knowledge

Broken Language as performed by Kira La Jansen

the tide against the eroding rocks,

Does this all come from a place of admiration? yes

Does this possibly come from a place of my own envy? possibly

but because shes pities the straight visage and the old ideas of what consitutes “courtship” and love as snakes eating their own tails.

In a better world i could be that, theres one other person in her cypher who i wish i couldve followed in their example but my bed has already been made long ago.

No ill will but knows when to cut off something because its been more harm or a detriment thn help

The one who learnt long ago that while home should be a place of protection and comfort. Its become a place that you can never go back to,something internally broke the writing might be on the wall but you need to stay in the shapeshifting abode unless lie in the cold and wet.

Thats where the ice comes from not to be cold for its own sake but it comes from being made to accelerate growing up,the need to be “tough” whatever tough maybe.

Everything comes from a place of raw ass smarts. this is a craftperson not any hack it all comes out in a way thats able to cut through what smug wastemen would think of as “reality” from a angle or crevice that gets pulled apart talks the truth to make the so called all wise and knowing god shame at the flaws he so often tries to deny

when all i can muster in the face of it is “yes THAT thats exactly what i wanted to say” but couldnt figure out any of the words in which to say them

something is better than nothing

she got the jokes and is probably funnier than me but is accute in knowing when the air gets sucked out of a room and needs to be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

Lover of weird creatures, and overstacked machines

For the proles but without all the “Stalin did nothing wrong and he was bae” trappings we see a thousand times over.

Willing to carve you a skate out of rock if you feel youre only pushing along with one.

Never putting herself before the story. you tell it you get inside it,form it give it that room to breath,let it box on its own.

i know she knows better her gaze can see through the bullshit, she never tollerates the foolishness which is what i always admired

Barks off the cannon from the shadows but never misses,she never misses always gets the crown, exposing ever “acutally” and “is good” for the fake attempts and going against the grain for what it really is.

Im amazed by her energy to keep ontop of things always first on the field

and all thats why i admire her

 

No prints no face, no recognition, hardly any trust

Admission: The only pictures of me that exist on the internet are taken by other people,none of them are my own

Ive always detested the very idea of showing any image of myself on the internet.

Its not because of how i view myself, (i think i look alright) but the very vast and infinite idea that some fragment of my image is up there online for all the world to see and knowing that,that image will be up there forever

I recognize it comes from a deep overwhelming sense of paranoia,but considering how encroaching the power of big data and the deification of billionaires and entrepanuers its only given me more reason and belief that my paranoia is right.

Ive never had a problem with selfies, im adverse to them but im not one of those people who are befuddled as to why anybody would want to take one.

I know a few trans and NB people online who use them as a way to document them becoming the person they always felt they were,its a genuine surprise to me that anybody would want to share something as deeply personal as that and normally my response would be to feel that im prying into something that im not meant to (which tends to happen alot to me)  but rather than try to get in the way or shut people down i just sit quiet and let them do as they please. If anything i applaued each and every person i know who does so.

I suppose my distrust goes back to my early days on the internet,unlike many of my peers i didnt mess with internet forums course i jumped on many sites but never in all the time i went on Newgrounds, GameFAQs,the early days of Youtube or any of the places that i used to lurk on did i feel the urge  to ever partake in what was going on.

It’s probably what sets me apart from many people i know this sense of offbeat isolation, trying to pick up the pieces and make sense of things that to others now entering their 30s comes with a “seen it all argued every angle, feel no need to look back” attitude & instead wasting their time in gassing up teens they’ve never interacted with about how they’re the smartest people on the planet or how ones astrology sign deems them a monster or some bullshit like that. People raging at the same people for 10+ years and never getting anywhere and it took a failed racist billionaire for them to ask “what have i been doing with my life?,none of this matters”

I never was interested in 4chan yes i read ED but i was always the outsider looking in,from all the nigger jokes i knew from then that this was a place where somebody like me wasn’t wanted no matter how much they would say the joke wasn’t meant to be taken seriously people who get misty eyed over 2006 remind me of old NY hardcore dads who get upset that they can’t bring boxcutters to shows anymore “that’s when it was real” they say not realising they sound like psychos.

I was late to making an email cause i knew i would need one starting sixth form, it just felt inevitable.

I feel like once i decided to take that leap and join social media there was a long standing personal boundary, a piece of my internal code that was broken and hasn’t quite been fixed back all becase i decided to do something “on a whim” which is something i hardly ever do even now. this one spur of the moment decision changed everything.

Its moments like this when i envy Thomas Pynchon, currently 80 years old and the only pictures of him date back to the 60s, from either his high school or college years.

Then theres also the case of Buddy Bolden, arguably one of the founders of one of the most influential forms of music in the 20th century only for there to be no recorded music and only one photo with him in it, such is the case with many pre-war blues musicians whose records shifty looking overweight white guys pay thousands for in the quest for “authentic,raw” music and plan to live out the rest of their days on some empty patch of land living the kind of life of what they think a farmer in the early 30s wouldve lived like.

Only in their case the reason its hard to find any images of those people is because such things were never thought of being worth preserving in the first place that and the ugly racism that defined the era the people of that time period. So much lost to the passage of time and all that we can base anything on is what remains and the mythology that shrouds so many of the people that existed then.

I dont see the act of hiding your own identity at large from the rest of the world to be some kind of courageous effort, now more than ever at this time people associatie with narcisscistic internet trolls who want to spam journalitsts with beheading videos and insults to journalists who up until the advent of Twitter never came across those people before.

Its funny how so many people say they hate twitter like some vengeful uncaring god but keep coming back to it, i disliked it before i even started,just felt like a fundamentaly bad idea that could be manipulated so easily and yet what got me on it in the first place? A college course in politics (which i failed in) and a competition for headphones that i didn’t win in. I just thought since i had it laying about might aswell put it to good use.

In all the interactions i’ve had and people i’ve come across i can count on my hands the ones that truly meant something,the rest was probably just a byproduct of that.

But in it all some of them were a honest attempt to try and intergrate with groups that i felt i had some kind of connection with a place to “call my own” so to speak but instead my dumb ass was just overreaching.

If anything attempting to hide ones identity has never had lower stock than it has now if you’re not an abusive troll there’s a high chance that you might be one or a doxer or a luddite who just refuses to admit that privacy is dead.

Then there’s the real world issue of discrimination towards Muslims people who have no connection to a faith up and deciding they know whats right and what a underprivledged group of people can and can’t do,people only realising in the dying moments of last realising the experiment of social media was a resounding failure once people no longer had any jokes to shoot off any it all stopped being funny.

The stock in attempting has never been at a low like this, it wasn’t like this before and for many people its the only way they can had any shred of safety in amongst the wolves,but sadly thats how things have ended.

Every day accounts on youtube like LinkupTV and GRMdaily tend to post a couple videos usually on a Friday or a Sunday sometimes of the latest rappers coming up in the “UK Drill” scene, your opinion on the music may vary but one of the most common trends in videos (outside of arial drone shots, goons in a small space, that weird thing some songs do where the audio cuts from the song itself to all the guys in the video location bellowing out half a bar football chant style) is alot of them dont go bareface.

Clueless types first thought it had to do with MF DOOM of all people but i knew why they were rocking ballys,ski masks or cheap halloween masks, it reminded me of the days in grime when certain guys would have their hoodies closed in on their heads really tight so the only thing you could see was their eyes. Even without the reasoning i instinctivly knew why alot of them didnt show face in the first place.

DOOM is a funny one cause his reason to not show his face is part of his supervillian origin story equal parts silly Stan Lee influenced melodrama and the tragedy and attempt to dissaociate himself from his past in KMD. billy woods does it just cause he started off not giving the public anything and just kept going as a way of carving his own path.

If there was a way i could go about my life walking and looking foreward while behind me there was some kind of life broom sweeping away any kind of evidence that i had existed prior in a certain space i would take that, no need to constantly think about Apple,Google or any number of the few tech businesses attempting to own my life, no fear of being doxxed or being blocked anywhere….its a pipe dream but it’s one i cl

But as the world has become a more technology focused one we are forced to try and make sense of a language we dont understand, it used to be all in the name of “fun” becuase those were the days when we collectivly still bought into the idea that the internet was some kind of egalatarian free for all. Once that curtain was raised and it turned out that there acutally was no Garden of Eden to speak of only the same dreary scapes that were controlled by the same overprivledged people who owned everything except this time round they think they’re your friend because you and them both on the same Final Fantasy, Red Bubble produced shirt

It all feels like alot of discussions in certain subcultures happened too early but hardly anybody who was doing the talking thought it was nesessairy to do something “debate” too precident over everything meanwhile the ones who were doing all the leg work in the real shadows were carving up everything.

With some people that used to hang with me it was sometimes a joke, seeing me visibly squirm when they would take out a selfie stick on the bus or move out the way as far as possible when they were taking a photo cover my hood over my eyes anything. but once things went from bad to worse all of a sudden the one black breh in the crew wasn’t acting crazy if anything he was the canary in the coalmine and these were the people i thought were on top of shit.

I’ve got Tor and considered getting a VPN but i don’t know if thats the fear talking or taking legitmate saftey measures i get the feeling if i were to ask around some wouldn’t know either.

All i can say now is that looking back on everything from then up until now terrified assuming teen me was deathly right about certain kind of people who used

and if i could go back and talk to him i’d just say keep doing what you’re doing and don’t bother getting a email and to stay away from facebook and twitter….never follow your whims your assumptions were right all along.

 

P: i miss you dearly

 

I return to this often,probably more often than some people would say i

That’s the ability that Prodigy had that very few rappers had, the abiltiy to rap in such a direct numb fashion and yet at the same time still present the feeling that he was a million miles away fromwhere ever you were.

It’s probably that sense that any kind of joy to be had was sucked out the room why he scared me as a kid, he wasn’t loud like M.O.P. , the reason for his darkness came from somewhere else entirely it was very human darkness of somebody who’d been let down or had been in enough drama to the point where it stopped being entertaning but also a person who saw it as his only way to respond to being pushed too far, he didn’t enjoy it and would rather be peaceful but thats the way it went. I related to that as i got older that kind of anger once i reached a certain age i had to summon up from somewhere otherwise the wolves would take you for a clown, it never really leaves you after that stages passes but there is some satisfaction that if you keep to a certain path you don’t have to deal with it anymore.

Nas never really had that too caught up in his idea of being a revolutionary leader to totally be street level god bless him for trying, P always kept it close to the earth,even as he got more frantic and violent as he got older. For every garbled Infowars/Behold a Pale Horse inspired screed like “Real Power is people” or “Mafuckin U$A” he would have a steady arsenal violent blood soaked bangers that were perfect soundtracks to whenever you had a bad mood .

I’ve been listening to 2012’s The Bumpy Johnson Album lately, not a essential listen by any means but its heavy on the Sid Roams and Alchemist beats he’d grown fond of by that point. “Recipie for Murder” is the kind of bleak slapsticky joke that i could see myself coming up with you come up with one idea thats dumb but not too complicated and just run with it. In this case him being a chef with beef as his speciality.

P was a comedian but not in the way that semi-ruined Cam’ron where he went so far gone into a meme it damaged the quality of the music itself, nah P’s jokes were the kind where if you didn’t listen closely they sounded just as dark as any of his other threats, you couldn’t tell when he was being sarcastic or not.

As much as i loved “Albert Einstein” in my heart of heart it did feel like the last time he would be rapping “well” in that convensional sense but he was always interesting even at his lowest there was always a reason to go back and listen to his music one way or another,he grappled with the drama and beef on the street as a goon and a boss but also clawing at the things in society that kept us in control. Course i took it with a pinch of salt but it was his clear empathy for people and hip hop culture at large,why he felt the need to talk about it i’ve always thought Alex Jones was a joke long before he got accepted as the most legitimate journalist in America in the eyes of the government, but P appearing on his show made sense in its own way.

In his later years he was like an old prizefigheter boxer bloody in the face didn’t have as much speed or contrl as he used to but his sense of power and he used his abilities was damn near beautiful. Yeah there’s alot of times where he didn’t rhyme at all but his control and presence were so good he had a way of making you not notice.

HNIC 2 for my money is about as weird as ODB’s “Nigga Please” or any of garbage that Viper or Lil Ugly Mane shart out for the kind of people who get really into rap but listen to the stuff that nobody in rap fandom really listen to.  There’s not much “good” rapping per say on it but its got this exhausted weary vibe on it that i love, the cover has multiple versions of him in various outfits on top of poorly drawn drug paraphanalia, there’s a bit on “Young Veterans” where he decided to go all Helios Creed and sound like he’s rapping underwater for some reason. he calls himself a “handsome shooter” on “New Yitty” but it’s all great.

Its for these reasons why the fact that he died choking on an egg that makes it so tragic he was a consistently dark writer always wanted to do shit on his own terms he beefed with enough people on and off wax that it was a genuine surprise that by his last years he was able to patch up things with Littles and Tru Life. His pain bled through his music in a way that anybody who felt lesser than or difficulties with disablilties or health problems like his own could understand.

I remember his first interview on the Combat Jack show after he got out of prison he sounded like a new man no longer plagued by his demons his autobiography came out around the same time and it was part promo part grown man life talk. Felt good to hear him sound happy it was impossible not to root for him even if he did upset N.O.R.E. saying he beat the breaks off of him and talked about all kinds of crazy shit he got up to in his teens.

He burned bridges told clapped out rappers to “go paint a house or sell some drugs” cause not everybody was meant to be a rapper, put out a prison cookbook, was able to forgive Havoc even after saying all the bullshit he said about him on twitter and for better or worse like alot of people i admire he marched to his own rhythm.

His grandfather was a sax player,his mother sang in The Crystals and his great great great grandfather founded Morehouse College.

And i miss him dearly

 

"It has been so long since she used a metaphor!"