Listen/purchase: A Wink & A Nod by RELIC
What’s good ya’ll, been a minute since I wrote a blog so I figured I’d jump right back into it. Self Portrait has and continues to receive a positive reception, and I thank everyone of you that have and continue to play a role in that success. Even though I’ve been rapping for years, this…
New album out Summer 2013!
Stay connected below!
Join Mailing List: mad.ly/signups/62507/join
New album out in April!
Stay connected below!
Some reflections on the recent tragedy in my town
A different kind of Christmas Story
For many of us here in Newtown, this holiday season will be one of rejoicing at life spared. But for others, it will be a time of weeping, and despair over life lost, a time of wondering why such an evil thing happened. Unfortunately in this despair, we are not alone. Children are slaughtered time and time again across this globe, and I imagine everyday there is a parent screaming and crying out WHY!?!?! I can’t speak on why God let’s these things happen. But I do know that out of these dark hours light shines through.
A Christmas story we often overlook can be found in Matthew chapter 2
Massacre of the Innocents
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”[c]
While it is unclear how soon after Jesus’ birth the visit of the wise men occurred I think the story is worthwhile to examine in these troubling times. Knowing how horrified I feel at the thought of a random man filled with evil nearly killing my child and killing many of her friends, I can relate to the fear that must have been on Bethlehem in those days. State sponsored infanticide, what could be more terrible. Imagine the ceaseless wailing day in and day out, the scores of funeral processions, the hopelessness, the fear. But out of that nightmare, what came forth? The Savior of the world. God took human form, and placed Himself in the greatest peril not just as a grown man on the cross, but as infant in the arms of a teen mom and a young father. He knows our pain. Not just because he hears our prayers, but because he personally lived through the horror. He will heal this misery and despair. I am faithful His light will shine through this present darkness that has befallen us.
Back in 1991 on the strength of the cut “The Creator”, and the fact that I listened to Pete Rock every friday night cutting it up on the Marley Marl In Control Show, I bought All Souled Out- by Pete Rock and CL Smooth. This was the first “EP” I had ever bought/ heard of. It had six (really 5 plus a remix) songs on it, of which three were dope to me. The title track, The Creator, and …..Mecca and the Soul Brother…..A track which in my mind remains one of the most underrated hip hop songs ever made. Ironically this title what they chose to name their Debut LP without the song.(A great disappointment to me when I bought the LP) . I never understood why it was not included in the LP, or why they did a much simpler ‘remix’ version for a video. If I ever meet Pete I will have to ask him. Let me explain why this track is so dope to me.
Pete and CL were quite young at this time. Early 20s I believe, yet the production in this track is so complex its ridiculous. This is the first time we catch a whiff of those infamous “Pete Rock Horns”, and they come in and out and get intermittently chopped up and layered throughout the track, almost like they are being orchestrated. The bass lines throughout the song are equally ridiculous and complex. Overall, the only Pete Rock track in my mind which comes close in terms of its arrangement is T.R.O.Y. I would listen to this track 10 15 times a day, totally mystified and in awe of the sonic static filled pleasure. In retrospect i appreciate that Mecca aand the Soul Brother is a legal nightmare and this still of production had to transform, but my goodness, for that time, this track is unparalleled in dopeness some come close but none top it.
Then there are the lyrics. AAAAH the lyrics. CL Smooth remains a very unique emcee in NYC history, he sounds like noone before him and noone could emulate his laid back smooth calm flow. Granted, his content often seemed nonsensical it all still made sense or he spit it so well you swore he had some deeper meaning to some of those lines. All you want to do is rhyme along with him. That’s when you realize you are facing an uphill battle. The rhyme starts simply “OK you wanna act trife and flip the script/ with your wonderama…:”then you lose it. you try to keep up but you can’t and then towards the end of the 1st verse he says …”when I turn your brain into moo goo gai pan….” you then fall on the floor grab your ears in disbelief and go WHO DOES THAT!?!?!?!?!?! THAT IS SO ILLL!!!!! he just turned my brain into a chinese pancake. The songs goes on another five minutes chock full of metaphors similes and references you wish you could have come up with. FInally after a couple weeks you get the lyrics down and realize you will never have the breath control to spit them as calm and cooly as corey lover smooth can. I count this song as one of my greatest influences in hip hop. It help set the standard for the sound which I love, and CL challenged me to increase my skills on the mic. I can still feel my head bobbing listening as Pete scratches his way thru the outro at the end. Thank you Pete Rock and CL smooth for your contributions to hip hop.