“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”—
Haruki Murakami, “Kafka on the Shore"
Feeeelings? Ugh, yes, sure, of course. But you can’t see me though. Elmo let ‘em know.
“(What are your ghosts like?)
(They are on the insides of the lids of my eyes.)
(This is also where my ghosts reside.)
(You have ghosts?)
(Of course I have ghosts.)
(But you are a child.)
(I am not a child.)
(But you have not known love.)
(These are my ghosts, the spaces amid love.)”—
The Coup featuring Black Thought and Talib Kweli - My Favourite Mutiny (Album: Pick Up A Bigger Weapon)
Confession: Up until sometime early last year, I flat-out ignored Boots Riley’s verse on this joint - My mind would always get distracted by the raw tenaciousness of Black Thought’s opening verse and the supreme lameness of Kweli’s closing verse.
But yeah one fine day, I listened. Then, I slapped myself several times for sleeping on this shit. It was 7.30 am. I was on the bus. People stared.
Anyways, this verse now ranks as one of my favourite from the Coup. Why? Coz it’s angry but not bitter, it’s inspiring but not corny, it’s critical but not condescending. It’s militant stuff for sure, but it’s not shallow, empty aggression. It’s gritty, it’s smart, it’s empathetic, it’s fun, it’s bold, it’s mad, it’s hopeful! It’s one of the many reasons why I love rap.
Verse 2, Boots Riley
“Death to the pigs is my basic statement I spit street stories ‘til I taste the pavement Tryin’ to stay out the pen while we face enslavement Had a foolproof hustle ‘til they traced the payments I was gripping my palm around some shitty rum Tryin’ to find Psalm number 151 To forget what I’m owed, as I clutch the commode Alright, put down the bottle and come get the guns Let’s get off the chain like Kunta Kinte with a MAC-10 They want us gone like a dollar in a crack den Steadily subtracting seeds and stems Mind cloudy through the wheeze and phlegm Numbing my brain off of that and the Jesus hymns If we waiting for the time to fight, these is thems Tellin’ us to relax while they ease it in We gettin greased again The truth I write is so cold it’ll freeze my pen I’m Boots Riley, it’s a pleasure to meet you Never let they punk ass ever defeat you They got us on the corner wearing pleather and see-thru All y’all is gold mines, they wanna deplete you I ain’t just finna rap on the track, I’m finna clap on them back And it’s been stackin’ to that Five hundred years before Iceberg ever leaned back in the ‘Lac Before they told Rosa black in the back Before the CIA told Ricky Ross to put crack in a sack Before Gil Scott traded rapping for smack This beat alone should get platinum plaques I’d rather see a million of us ecstatic to scrap ‘Cause if we bappin’ them back, we automatically stacked”
For the last month or so, my workplace computer’s wallpaper has been a combination of these two (posted side by side) because
a) minimalism ftw obviously, all day, everyday.
b) More importantly: I hope some project manager walking by gets a seizure coz of this. I think it might be fun to watch. Not like yknow, a seriously bad fit, I just expect a bit of mouth froth and an involuntary Crank Dat dance. Basically, just some fun convulsions (funvulsions?). I’m nothing if not reasonable.
Top 10 items Upper Management has caught me googling @ work
I should’ve been working, but yknow… my curiosity tends to be pretty intense. Plus, I need to slack off periodically to ensure that my mind functions flawlessly at peak intervals. It really isn’t procrastination, I tell them, it’s about Leveraging Lethargy …. Strategic Mental Maximization Calisthenics, if you will.
Anyways, top 10 items Upper Management has caught me googling @ work (2010 Edition):
10. william shatner distress call
9. Paul McCartney / douchebag?
8. do the stanky legg lyrics
7. Bloody Mary/ chopping Christian heads exclusively?