Monday, September 28, 2015

The Blast Master Can Still Teach

Got the distinct pleasure to see KRS-1 perform at Whisky A Go-Go this weekend, and he did not disappoint.  The Teacha is on my Mount Rushmore of MCs and he showed why as he performed hits that are almost thirty years old and can still move a crowd.  In addition, he previewed songs off of a forthcoming album that display the unique mix of lyrical skill and depth of thought that put KRS in a stratosphere few others occupy.  A couple of other takeaways from watching Chris Parker do his thing:

1.  His voice is an instrument unto itself - Over and over again he told the DJ (his son) to turn the track down so he could showcase the lyrics or the freestyle that he was about to go into.  His voice thundered over the crowd and commanded their attention in the same way that you snapped to attention when he yelled "YOU MUST LEARN!" through the radio.

2.  When you are authentically talented, you will find your crowd - Whisky A Go-Go is far from doing the Tunnel in NYC or other famous spots where KRS made his name, but it didn't matter.  Fans of all sorts came out and sat through some awful openers to hear The Teacha do his thing.  He signed LPs that fans brought, and any other item that people handed him.  Most importantly, he showed that he remains a different breed from rappers who simply try to make a "hit" while saying nothing.  For that, the fans have remained loyal all over the world.

3.  I'm now a Hip-Hop old head - I'm officially of the age where I believe that the music of my generation trumps anything that will be made in the future.  In Hip-Hop that means that the music of the late eighties into the early oughts can't be touched as a body of work.  Are there certain albums/artists that are outliers?  Certainly, but as someone who tries to stay true to the culture that was a large part of my youth identity, I don't see the same kind of creativity of style and message that there was in the golden age of Hip-Hop.

As soon as I can get my hands on the new album Now Hear This, I'm getting it.  KRS clearly still has lessons to teach.  I'll be taking notes the same way I have for the last twenty years.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

They Will Always Let You Know When They're Ready

I try really hard as a parent to talk with my peers so that I can be equipped with strategies so that when "milestone moments" happen, I can handle the situation like it was no problem and keep it moving without getting my blood pressure up.  Sometimes this works, as in preparing for going to a new school or starting out a new sport.  There are occasions like yesterday, however, where you're just not ready for when the kiddos drop an unexpected bomb on you and you're left to improvise like Wayne Brady playing Whose Line Is It Anyway?

I was pulling into the driveway with the ever-growing Lil Man feeling good as we had just worked through a situation where he had missed an after school activity.  Turned out there was some miscommunication and it wasn't totally his fault, but he expected that when I found out, I was going to unleash my inner Jules Winnfield (And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger...)  Clearly I did a good job of reassuring the young man that he had steered clear of danger by fessing up and telling the truth because he felt confident enough to reveal other things on his mind as we hit the driveway.  I should have known I was in trouble when he started with:

"Daddy, there's just one thing I've been thinking about"

To which I replied "What's that buddy?"

"So like when you're having a baby, how does God know?  Like how does it get there to start growing?  How does he know if you want a boy or a girl?

Uh oh.  Those three questions hit me like tranquilizer darts.  I couldn't move.  I didn't even look in the rearview mirror.  My mind was on overdrive, and I just kept saying to myself Don't you punk out and punt on this question.  If you don't answer it, one of his little third grade friends will.  After what seemed like minutes, I calmly said

"Well buddy, Women have eggs in their body that must be fertilized before they can grow into babies. There's a process for that, but you're too young to hear about that now."

To which he replied "How old do I have to be to learn the process"


Which sent him into math mode figuring out approximately how many days he has before his tenth birthday (approx. 400).  Plenty of time to consult the village for how to Sex 101 talk.

LESSON:  No matter how much I want to be out in front of the development of young Isaiah and his brother, I will never fully grasp the rate at which they pick up information and seek to act on it.  The Munchkin, for example, went from only wanting to sit on the Elmo potty to only wanting to stand and "take aim" overnight.  It's good to know that when necessary, I've got some Improv skillz in the tool belt.  I'm sure I'll be calling on them again soon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How ironic that the same cotton that Nubians grew and used to make clothing is the same cash crop that would be used to fuel American capitalism on the backs of Black slaves.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Nabta Playa is an ancient ceremonial stone formation which 

indicates the social nuance of Nubian civilization.  It dates

back to between 6500-4000 BC.