“When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.”—Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace (via mar-see-ah)
When “Ode to Viceroy” comes on and you and the person you’re with are just stoned enough to dance together in your loft (and watch wrestling, and eat veggie fried rice at 10pm, but those are other stories), that’s the best feeling, regardless of how temporary your situation with that person is.
No Vacation for Murder is on Spotify, but you can also listen to it here. I made eight of the twelve beats on the album. I would recommend it if you’re interested in hearing a defined noir aesthetic applied to rap music.
The Zilla Rocca post reminds me: I made a post a couple of months asking if somebody had sampled PJ Harvey's "The Devil" and totally forgot about the 47 ronin beat. Killer sample, so props.
Thank you! A lot of my beats that made No Vacation for Murder were ones that I made in like 2011, 2012. I think the beat for “47 Ronin” was one of the first beats I made on this project, which was originally intended for somebody else. But much like Clipse and the Neptunes, Zilla will always and forever get first run of my beats.
“For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate! Why, when all of my ancestors are snake-bitten, and I’m snake-bitten, and I warn my children to avoid snakes, what does that snake sound like accusing me of hate-teaching?”—Malcolm X (via dynamofire)
If you are a woman or nonbinary person who plays music, your appearance will always be scrutinized and reviewed to the nth degree and torn apart to examine your fuckability or lack thereof (of course if you are a trans woman there are extra layers of bigotry to deal with, and nonbinary people who present in particular ways often get similar treatment, and race also intersects here in predictably shitty ways - the misogynoir in reviews of Black female artists is often staggering, for instance).
You can’t win. If you happen into a body that conforms to social beauty standards, you’re A Pretty Girl first and a musician far down the list, and that’s all anyone will talk to you about. If you happen into a body that doesn’t conform, you are so ugly you don’t deserve to be on stage (if I had a penny for every time some dude said this about me I wouldn’t be so stressed about money; I also get ‘I’d fuck her’ sometimes, which, like, nobody asked you. It’s interesting to watch dudes negotiate when they’re attracted to people who aren’t conventionally attractive, and by interesting I mean it’s like watching a fly dying in a glass of water you wanted to drink).
We play music because we love doing it, because we are creative and brave and because there is catharsis and joy in it - just like anyone else. Comment on our music, not on the ways in which we are not dudes and/or not white and/or not cis. Tear that apart if you want, or love it, or both. But I am so tired about reading about my appearance and the appearances of other musicians, be they friends of mine (this was actually inspired by reading an insipid sexist piece of shit review of Perfect Pussy at the Rock n Roll Hotel, which I will not link because it is vile) or not. Talk about our music on its own merits or yr review goes in the toilet.
Ever since I went back to work (the Mike Brown thing and subsequent happenings in Ferguson happened while I was on vacation), there seems to be this weird tension from the unabashed conservatives in my neighborhood. Since second-guessing myself is my default reaction when I think about anything, I thought it was all in my head. But it’s tangible in the way they speak to me and the way they interact with customers of color. There’s an under-the-surface hostility in their behavior.
When I was picked up from the airport, my landlady/roommate and I had a very spirited conversation about Ferguson. She said, “Boy, I didn’t know this kind of stuff still happened. I thought we were all over this.” She asked me if I thought the problem with racism was improving in the culture at large. It told her it isn’t any better, it’s just different. And in some places (obviously like Ferguson, but essentially in little pockets everywhere), it’s not different at all.
fwarg tagged me to say 5 things I like about myself/5 things that are dope about me, so I’m going to do it, but I will exercise my right to decline tagging other people, because I’m supposed to be getting ready for work.
I guess I would consider myself smart, but I’m far prouder of my intellectual curiosity. I want to know everything, not for the sake of being able to tell people that I know everything, but because I like learning about things, about people.
I’m a very sincere person. Though sarcasm is a great tool for humor, sincerity is very important to me.
I’m a pretty good writer. Being a communicator through the written word is one of the only things I consider myself to be truly good at.
“The way I look at music—especially urban music, black-people music, whatever you want to call it—is that we’re all in the zoo, and the listeners are the people outside of the cage. You can look at five lions that could literally destroy you, but since you’re looking through the glass, it’s fun and cute. You point at the glass. You wave at them. But you’re not going to step inside that glass, because you know what’ll happen to you. Rappers are making this shit a petting zoo. They’re like, ‘It’s cool, you can walk up, we’re not threatening, we’re just musicians, it’s all an act.’ But it’s actually a very real thing. It’s not a game. One of my friends just died last month—got shot in his face five times in the back of his mom’s house in front of his 5-year-old sister. He was 24 and a good dude, went to work, never really hurt nobody. So if this is what we’re rapping about, why do you not feel that?”—Vince Staples, dropping knowledge. (via Pitchfork)