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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Naked Mermaids

The Second Mixtape is out, you can download it by clicking the link to the right ---->



I’ve got a few tattoos, and I’ve been getting them since I was 17. I can remember being in high school thinking I was the hottest kid under the sun with one sleeve up showing off my corny ass lion with the word SINGH written underneath (first one had to be Mama-Poet-approved, since I was underage). Now I’m 28, trying strategically to avoid the label ‘tattooed freak as I recently got the word TRUTH on the side of my hand (Mama-Poet didn’t approve). One thing's for sure the permanent ink I got in my teens barely reflects the thoughts and ideas I wish to be represented by today. When I was younger, folks told me not to do it, because they said I would regret them in future; they were wrong, I don’t regret any of them, even the ones that bare no relevance to my life and current mind state. The reason I can bare to live with them is that they represent moments in my life, like time stamps. I remember where I was, what I was feeling, and what I was going through during the moment in time I went under the needle for that specific piece. They serve as little flags along the road incase I want to look back in this journey of life. If anything, I only wish I could make them bigger, brighter and bolder, because I love the way they look. And that long story is the intro to my thoughts today on Substance Vs. Art


Over time the relevance of an idea may wither, but the art can stand the test of time. With this hip hop, I’m trying very hard to craft my lyrics in such a way, that even if I wake up tomorrow morning and decide the Police are my friends, I can still bump ‘Cry Now’ in the car because it’s still a hot joint musically. When Public Enemy came out with Fight The Power, the music was on par, which only amplified the message. Since then, there haven’t been many artists who can put a message in the music without sounding corny. Dead Prez did an amazing job, but even they were typecast as ‘nerds’ of hip hop. Revolutionary concepts in hip hop has probably best been delivered by immortal technique, a dude that comes off so gangster, delivers lyrics so flawlessly, with a voice so powerful, people are forced to listen. Though folks may think his thoughts and politics are the magic, it’s really his delivery of those ideas and concepts.


Take for example, his track Beef & Broccoli, a spoken word track tearing a whole in the idea of the righteousness of being a vegetarian. That track got me checking myself, and laughing at the insult he hurled at veggies. It didn’t make me get into meat, but he worded it in such a sense that I wasn’t able to dismiss his points and ideas. If anything it made me respect him more for taking a shot at the self-righteous.


My favourite rapper Andre 3000 of Outkast said over a year ago, that he doesn’t even believe in 90% of the things he used to rap about anymore. The songs are still classic because the arts on point. So let’s focus on the art, and anyone who feels they want to spread a message, realize the message should take a back seat to the art, otherwise you’ll be left with a bored audience who won’t pay you any attention in the future. Outkast perfected the art of music with substance, because the music came first, it’s just that when you took the time to read the lyrics, they had an impact as well.


So never settle for the corniness. If I come corny, I expect and beseech (that’s a big word for BEG) y’all to let me know so I can come correct. 20 years from now a beautifully drawn naked mermaid will still look better than a quick doodle of Mother Teresa… add substance to your art… don’t depend on substance to be the art.




Sometimes the club-scene feels like a documentary straight out of the Discovery Channel... one of my personal favourites.


5 comments:

  1. this is exactly why outkast and radiohead remain my favourite for as long as i've known them. the music is what drew me to them, it being ever fresh but still finding gems in their lyrics to this day is what keeps me listening.

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  2. listened to the track after i posted the comment, love it. kinda reminds me of spottieottiedopalicious

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  3. I found out about ya a few days ago, from a friend posting one of your youtube videos on his fackbook.

    I really like your lyrics, especially for, "Why Freestyle" among many others.

    It would probably sound a lame suggestion, though I think some minimal techno (not commercial at all) would lend itself to your kind of hip hop. I've lived in Berlin for a while, and this scene is quite cool here. I would love it if you could sample some for your next mixtape. Heres a example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnj9qgkXOJc and if you need sample tracks, just send me a email.

    All the best with your future endeavours and thanks for sharing your work.

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  4. I LOVE THIS BLOG ENTRY!! thank you SO much for sharing your personal views with the world.. you are soo brilliant!
    The first paragraph is what got me.. I've got a couple tattoos too, and the part where you said.. "they serve as little flags along the road incase I want to look back in this journey of life." totally made my art feel worthwhile and MORE meaningful and your words are so true.. because even as your memory will fade with age and the conversations you've had with people may get scratched out.. The art will never be worn out! (you catch those play on words LOL)..

    thannxx againn!
    xxBIIGG FAN!

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  5. dude thusi pretty good. Madd dope

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