Archive for the culture Category

We had him…

Posted in culture, ideas, music, world with tags , , , , on July 8, 2009 by artofpeace

Written by Maya Angelou

13_jackson5

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Black Star Square.

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

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Beats, Rhymes, and Resistance

Posted in art, culture, hip hop, ideas, movie, pilipino on March 17, 2009 by artofpeace

brr_thumbThis documentary was originally conceived and shot in 1997 by three amateur filmmakers (Dawn Mabalon, Lakan de Leon, Jonathan Ramos). They set out to create a document of the Pilipinos making noise in the Los Angeles hip hop scene at the time.

At this point, Pilipinos had yet to gain their full due as b-boys/girls, DJs, graf artists and emcees. Now as Pilipinos become more and more recognized for their skills, it is important to look back at the pioneers who laid the foundations for this generation’s artists.

Enjoy the definitive version of Beats, Rhymes, and Resistance.

How far must you go to gain respect?…ummmm

Posted in abstractions, art, culture, music on March 7, 2009 by artofpeace

the abstract best

If any of you pine for the golden age of Hip Hop as I do (for a 76’er like me that would be around the time of our first “black” president Bill Clinton’s first 100 days), you could do none better than pay homage to the cool brother with the laid back silver tongue, spitting verses from a handbook collabo of nietsche and krs-one. He keeps it like that, because he likes it like that. We’re talking about the Abstract aka Q-tip.

Everyone ate up ATCQ’s repertoire of soulful beats and conscious verses, Phife with his point-guard flow (if you don’t know him by now, you’ll never know), Ali Shaheed Muhammad had us doing calisthenics to the boom bap of pre-neo-soul-post-hip-hop flavor, and Tip brought in that silky smooth flow that got the ladies hot and the brothers wanna smoke a spliff or two.

It is with great pleasure that I recommend a wonderfully pure mixtape by the brother J. Period, king of the unorthodox documentarian style mix. He goes through the entire catalog of the Q-Tip’s best verses, layered with samples and beats from all over the spectrum, as well as throwing in some exclusive remixes (Excursions 2009 with De La is heavenly), and a few jewels of behind-the-scenes flavor from the man himself.

It has been close to two decades since the first ATCQ album dropped, and for all y’all that haven’t peeped Q-Tip’s new joint The Renaissance (another instant classic), I suggest you ‘check your clock, your demise is coming up and I want yo man to watch!’

My advice to you, is to listen to this mixtape and educate your dumb ass!

(props to Meelanee for the rec)

Link

A better, brighter apocalypse

Posted in culture, humor, ideas, world with tags , on July 20, 2008 by artofpeace

I’ve been away for a bit, so busy..so busy, and also trying my hand at writing in other realms. But in the “gnaw the ledge” tradition, I had to come back from the brink of oblivion to bring you a great article from an awesome group of individuals at WorldChanging.com. It is a website filled with great blogs on how we should think about the world “after” green. Meaning that, okay, conservation and buying a hybrid and using plant pots made out of cow dung is great, but how do we move past that and change our world profoundly; the ways in which we live, breath, consume, and waste for the future.

One conception that we must change is the all-or-nothing proposition of “the apocalypse” and what it does to our ability to think about the future and changing what has been almost accepted as inevitable. I’m as guilty as anyone of buying into the Y2Ks, and the 2012s, and the illuminati conspiracy…it’s all in fun and dread, but it might not be as bad as we think. Blogger Alex Steffen gives us several ideas to think about as far as “why the apocalypse makes us dumb”

Read it, you might like it…dummy.

Link

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Posted in culture, ideas with tags on April 25, 2008 by artofpeace

tortoise

Back when I was a kid, one of the stories that I always heard over and over was The Tortoise and the Hare. As many of you remember (or not, youngins!), we follow the adventures of a pretentious Hare and a humble tortoise as they engage in a foot race for some kind of metaphoric supremacy. While the Hare sets out with his quickness to take an early lead, he also decides to stop at the side of the road from time to time, distracted by what he sees along the way, all the while confident that there is no way the Tortoise will beat him. Meanwhile, the Tortoise follows the path set before him, in slow and steady fashion, eventually beating out the distracted Hare. It seems that we were always taught to play it safe and stay on the straight and narrow like the Tortoise, but as the pace of the world increases we must also channel the way of the Hare.

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