Nevermind the “New Black” Crack: Pharrell Plugs The Alchemist!

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I had just finished dancing  to like thirty seven choruses of Happy with some elderly Slavic, Ukrainian and Argentinian folks (who would’ve never gotten along if it hadn’t been for this song), when I popped onto this Afro Alchemist blog for a bit of light, cultural thought stimulation…

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… and POW!! Kody’s railing my man Pharrell for merely attempting to help give our wonderful Black community some new refreshing space, new water to drink, new insight… new dynamic vision to operate from…

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… a break away from the Gangster grills and booty slapping lyrics that we too often listen to with our kids. It’s obvious that this guy is on top of his game and sees a vision of how he can help move us all towards uplifting not only our own humanity,  but also contribute to everyone else’s.

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Now I know it’s hard to twerk and make that booty clap to Happy, but sometimes we have to try new things. Hell, I had just gotten through ordering like five different colored, fresh mountie hats! And I’m appalled that anyone would attempt to knock this cat down.

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But it won’t work anyway. This cat’s frothiness is uncontainable; he’s sincere, he’s talented, he’s rich, he’s caring. he’s enchanting, he’s talented, he’s rich, he’s visionary (did I mention he’s rich and talented?). The guy is like Bugs Bunny meets Quincy Jones! Seriously, screw Kanye and let this guy into Disney studios right away.  And I bet we’ll all, at the least, be momentarily emancipated and feeling GUUUD, just like when Frankie Beverly crooned it (though good ol’ Frankie also mentioned the Joy n Pain, Sunshine n Rain polarity balance). So I guess it was actually Bobby Mc Ferrin who sang, “Don’t Worry! Just Be… ” (there goes that “H” word). But Pharrell is here to tell us screw they galaxy reverberating institutional inequities out here and press play on the music – it’s a NEW DAY, damnit!!!

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And I appreciate that to some extent, because even if we do have entrenched, systematic, institutional undermining going on everyday, sometimes I like to transcend all of that crap for at least a minute or two and come up on the side of joyful expression! I am that I AM… bitches!!!

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In case you didn’t know, there is a book that was written (fairly recently) called Happy For No Reason.

It was written in 2008, by Marci Shimoff.  And no,  she doesn’t stay in my neighborhood. But I’m attempting to move a little closer to her mental neighborhood. Because in it, she talks about raising your “happiness set point” and happiness habits like 1) focusing on gratitude 2) don’t believe everything that you think 3) incline your mind towards joy 4) see the world as your family, and 5) trust that it’s a friendly universe

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Now, for instance, if your country is being bombarded everyday by all sorts of lethal, military industrial complex distributed weaponry, or you are starving to the point of your rib cage being exposed, you might find some of these focus habits a tad bit challenging. Well, that’s understandable. You probably can offer a book, or two, for Marci and the rest of us to read.

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But many of us are not really in that dire of a situation. So then it doesn’t change the task before us. How can we transform this Game of Life, moment by moment, first as an expression of our innermost authentic spiritual essence? And then secondly, yet simultaneously, how can we work through the transformative, step by step, everyday encounter with Life while such incredible, systematically entrenched, backwardness, inequity and dysfunction is taking place all about us?

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Pharrell told Oprah, “My colleague suggested I read The Alchemist, and it changed my whole life!! Because I realized all the people that conspired to get me to this place.” He further added that, “You have to be unafraid to dream. And then you have to be even more brave and gallant about blueprinting what you have envisaged.” The man’s creative capacities are not only unlimited, but honed by his self-development work to shape his magnificent journey.  And through it shift some of what would be considered the Impossible, into the category of Possible.

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His “New Black” definition, while unanchored in any real comprehension of culture, or communal involvement, still rang of passion and commitment to see a way, a possibility. What may have landed for many as a whimsy, bourgeois blind-sided, bohemian hip hop leprechaun-like, escape route from the hard core hammer of modern racism, is also the soul centered campaign of young visionary who perhaps could just use some further coat tail pullin’ and information upgrade…       like most of us.

Pharrell And The New Black Republik Of Unkle Tomistan

By: Kody M.F. Jarrett

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The universe has been busy exposing delusional coons over the last few weeks. First , Kobe Bryant revealed himself as the culturally Autistic narcissist we always suspected was lurking beneath his outsized atheletic ability (1), then Al Sharpton got outed by his past for being a failed drug dealer, FBI snitch , and GOP snake for hire (2), but  just before we could squeal a collective James Brown-esque GOOD GAWD Y’ALL!  Mr. Happy himself  AKA  Pharrell Williams reminded us yet again what happens when money fades a brother’s sense of blackness to a dull shade of gray (3).

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Maybe it was the tear inducing, cathartic effect of snuggling  in the droopy bosom of America’s misandrist media mogul mammy Oprah Winfrey. Or possibly those wack ass “Dudley-Do-Right had a yard sale” mountie hats are fitting a mite too tight on Skateboard P’s  understandibly swollen head.

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Whatever the case may be the nigga got on T.V. and blithely showed his fashionably stank ass.  Apparently writing and producing songs that make white artisits sound black (Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Brittny Spears) qualifies the Neptune to remix a new version of that Neoliberal Boule classic “The Up By Yo’ Bootstraps Rap”. Peep homie’s funky definition of the “New black” :

“The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The New black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation, it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or work against you  and you’ve got to pick which side you are going to be on”

Why thank you! my sartorially challenged friend. WIth the push of a philosophical mixing board fader Racism/White Supremacy is no longer a factor in the life of the “New Black”. Misguided, pesky, personal  faux pas such as being routinely stopped and frisked , mass incarcerated, systemically denied justice, education, employment, and housing by a brutally efficient system administered with ruthless precision by people who classify themselves as white, can now be eradicated by a simple change of mind…

 

who knew?

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Might I humbly suggest to Mr. Williams that he gather his “New Black” kindred  and they form their very own money made, negro-topia and christen it Unkle Tomistan. An idyllic, paradisiacal, plantation colony where docile, compliant, super atheletes and musically gifted, non threatening, “happy” pick-a-ninnies can breed among themselves to produce a mutant race of mindless albeit hyper talented, genetically selected, Uber Schvartzes that will be harvested every twenty years or so by the entertainment-industrial complex.  Just add money and subtract any semblance of historical context  and before you know it, a hybrid strain of dancing lawn jockeys will be cranking out catchy lil’ ditties like “Happy”;

“Here come that news talking this and that, yeah, well, give me all you got and don’t hold it back, yeah, I should probably warn you, I’ll be just fine, yeah, no offense to you, don’t waste your time here’s why….because I’m happy”

 

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And we all know if it’s one thing white folks just loooooove it’s happy niggers singing happy songs.

It’s time to stop singin’ and start swingin’

HUEY P

Seriously Y’all, we have to stop deifying these willfully naive, simple Simon-sellout-sons-of-bitches and start using social media to tar and feather their asses with our unified scorn until they figure out that the only way we are going to survive is if we all ride together for each other.

A million dollar nigger is just that.

Refrences

1.http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/03/kobe_bryant_was_not_impressed_by_the_miami_heats_trayvon_martin_protest.html)

2.http://www.yourblackworld.net/2014/04/black-news/revealed-rev-al-sharpton-bankrolled-by-gop-accused-of-spying-on-black-activists/

3. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/04/pharrell-seemingly-forgets-racism-still-exists-hes-new-black/

Baa, Baa, Black Sheeple: African American support for Obama’s N.S.A spy apparatus

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Edward Snowden’s exposure of the massive U.S. government domestic spying operation conducted by the Obama administration on everybody and their mama has revealed more than just the Orwellian surveillance bubble that has replaced America. Amidst the hue and cry over the loss of privacy and the ominous foreshadowing of the totalitarian future we already occupy, a deeply disturbing portrait of Black America was uncovered.

According to a pew research poll “60% of blacks approve of the governments collection of telephone and internet data as part of its anti-terrorism efforts. Only 44% of whites wanted the meta data collections to continue”.

HOLD UP…WAIT A MINUTE…IT’S TIME TO PUT SOME FUNK IN IT…

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If blind support for Barack Obama is any measure of the moral I.Q. of Black America, then we have sunk to the level of the German people during the Third Reich. Oh, how quickly we seem to have forgotten the savage excesses of COINTELPRO and the ways in which illegal mass surveillance was used to lay the groundwork for a government orchestrated hell on earth designed to systematically destroy blacks in America. A system implemented by the American version of The Reichfuhrer of the Nazi S.S. Heinrich Himmler, Mr. J. Edgar Hoover.

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In her book titled “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret F.B.I.” author Betty Medsger makes it plain. “Every F.B.I agent was required to hire at least one informer to report to him regularly on the activities of black people. In the district (D.C) every agent was required to hire six informers for that purpose. On one campus in the Philadelphia area, Swarthmore College, every black student was under surveillance”.

The sad fact that the majority of black people have been glamoured into endorsing a Fascist spy state is a bitter irony of Kafkaesque dimensions. It’s the ultimate Jedi Mind fuck. A spell cast straight from the grimoire of Satan himself. Implant a black face in place of the master race and VOILA!

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The painful memories of how Jack Johnson, Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, The Black Panthers, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Mutulu, Assata, Afeni, and Tupac Shakur were all targeted by the U.S government magically fade away into the stygian depths of suppressed history.

cointelproAnd along with them our recollection of the cold blooded assassinations of Malcolm X, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Fred Hampton and thousands more who were swallowed whole and buried deep within the bowels of the insatiable prison industrial beast.

Make no mistake , the wing tipped jackboots of the American Bankster Fascists are marching us all down a new Trail of Tears single file behind the former second generation C.I.A asset cum Commander in chief H.N.I.C.

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This cat is the 21st century Manchurian Candidate. A life form socially engineered to be WHOM and WHAT he is: a dual purpose lightning rod/blind love magnet who serves as the ultimate diversion. He simultaneously taps into the innate blind hatred the majority of whites nurture for Nigga’s while passively diverting their attention away from who is really fucking them-their elite one percent brethren.

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Meanwhile, back on the plantation his mute telegenic image gently rocks black folks to sleep as they blissfully hum “ain’t no stopping us now”.

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Ol’ boy is the quintessential middle manager; too scared to even fart without first checking which way the wind is blowing. He isn’t the first nor will he be the last in a long line of obscure ideological cut outs plucked from the political ethers and groomed to oversee the interests of the white people who own the United States government. He is without a doubt a vetted member of a lineage of useful idiots stretching back to Harry Truman and proceeding right up to the 44th occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…..but I digress.

NEXT UP……

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…Hillary Clinton pushing weight under the subliminal campaign slogan: “The niggers had their chance now let a white woman fix what’s wrong with America”. Any criticisms of her shepherding what’s left of the broken, bewildered, and befuddled masses into corporate servitude will be charged to misogyny and a phony debate about gender discrimination will muddy the waters while a school of carnivorous, hybrid mutant , Goldman-Sachs shark/piranhas shear what little flesh is left from the shivering , skeletal remains of the American body politic.

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… More flaming tap water with your dinner of GMO soy spam and crackers?

 

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No thank you,

 

Check please.

Kobe: The Black Mamba Rolls Snake Eyes

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There has been a rash of response recently to the remarks Kobe Bryant made during an interview regarding his positioning on the Trayvon Martin case. During the interview with New Yorker writer Ben McGrath , when asked about his response to the Miami Heat’s solidarity pic wearing hoodies, he smugly stated…

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“Smartly, I won’t react to something just because I’m suppose to, because I’m an African American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and as a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we have progressed as a society. Then you don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’e African American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in another other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself. “

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For a second, it seemed he was making a sensible point about reviewing the information and gathering the facts before getting caught up and leaping into an ill-founded solidarity stance. Nothing problematic about that; good advice.  As a matter of fact, not just African Americans, but all people need to be re-presenced periodically to that insidious compulsion to tag in with the group think out of an unconsciousness need for a moment of belonging, validation and excitement. Critical consciousness often illudes many of us because we are not oriented to truly pause, think and evaluate for ourselves. So we just end up adding to the confusion when important issues really need our authentic reflection, response and contribution. So I say go Kobe, as far as that intent.

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But then it clumsily wove into remarks which exposed the usual, unfortunate state of oblivion that too many African Americans fall prey to due to a total lack of understanding about the still deeply entrenched reality of institutionalized racism…

“So we want to advance as a society and as a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we have progressed as a society.”  K. Bryant

That’s where the viral response kicked up heavy.  Black folks weren’t tryin’ to hear it go too stupid from there, so they responded.

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So let’s really take that apart and take a look at that with the discerning monocle.  First, “we want to advance as a society and as a culture, but say, if something happens to an African American, we immediately come to his defense?” Well that’s almost an attempt at saying something very profound, except it’s totally self-contradictory.

He’s attempting to imply that advancing means we need to become “colorblind,” and “gender blind,” as he identifies himself.

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Unfortunately, it happens to us all of the time. Some Negro will inevitably be attempting to “take the high road,” and transcend race under the auspice of “if we can all just push the suspend button on the race consciousness, it will all go away and racism will be instantly remedied… just like that!!” Obviously, from that perspective, the rest of us seem begrudging, bitter and hopelessly stuck in senseless cycles of enmity and disconnect. I’ve seen this scenario close up, even from loved ones. Folks really do want to be over it; the utter backwardness, diabolical design and unconscionable pain of racism.

But it doesn’t quite work that way Mr Bryant. It’s not as easy as it is for you to sink a forty foot jumper over a scrappy double team and claim yet another triumph to your history making tally.

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Actually, the jumpers ain’t goin down like they use to either… or even the jump for that matter. But that’s another story.

The fact is black people, African Americans, Nubians, Asiatics, descendants from Akebulan and all the other designations to be considered (some of you won’t know what the hell that was about, but don’t worry – lol!), will never alter the entrenched fortress of institutionalized racism until 1) we understand what actually constitutes it, and then 2) make that information clear to all human groups that will support whatever forms of mobilization against it (so there’s much less confusion), as well as 3) making it clear to those who won’t support mobilization against it (dismantling, eradication, etc.), so that they know the fog of confusion and misinformation about it is losing it’s effect.

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And what constitutes institutionalized racism is not just the ideology of racism (thought forms of superiority), but the institutional arrangement itself which ensures the domination and continued implementation of policies which cycle the dominant group right within their power position.

Negros just haven’t been taught what racism actually is, let alone the general population. Knowledge about the nature of such a system would be counter to it’s existence.

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No, we need very intelligent people to be totally confused about for it to work. And like it or not, Kobe is a very intelligent person. So are so many of us.

But intelligent people are susceptible to, and succumb often to believing that they know more than they actually know. This is because they are so familiar with their own sharpness and intelligence (I should say we, because I’m right in that group too in the general sense).

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But racism is not George Zimmerman hating Trayvon, or even viewing him as a “nigger.” It is the institutional system that has an entrench value system and code of enforcement that holds the life of Trayvon Martin as less valuable, and therefore less important, than that of a white kid. Therefore, the institutionally exacted penalty for killing a black kid walking home and committing no crime was zero! That’s racism folks!!! – the institutional system. Please work on getting that clear so we won’t go around the stupid-go-round too many unnecessary times with useless opinions and conjecture.

So all of this wanna be transcendent, enlightened, attempt at evolutionary brilliance and thought leadership by Kobe, and many others from our community, along with just the sheer desire to beam a smile and be one with everybody, ends up landing in the day to day matrix where entrenched institutional racism pervades, as anything but all that.

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As if every time something “happens” to an African American, we all jump to their defense! Wait, Negro, are you crazy?? There are innumerable things that “happen” to black folks everyday; getting shot at, assaulted, robbed, discriminated against, unjustly penalized, harshly treated, called racially degrading terms; by whatever group, including often our own. Everybody knows this. And everybody also knows, we don’t have the time to respond, even as a fraction of a community, to 99.999% of it. So what is Kobe talking about?

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Trayvon Martin’s situation wasn’t just another case of something “happening” to an African American. It was an appalling travesty of justice with the target being a black teenager that easily could have been anybody’s child, including Kobe’s, getting profiled, attacked and then murdered. It wasn’t some random “something happens to an African American, we immediately come to his defense.” Nobody came to my defense the other day when I was called “nigger.” I dealt with it in the way I dealt with it and kept it moving.

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So, bottom line – we don’t need any more institutionally blind, cultural blind, and in effect socio-politically blind, superheros who are really masquerading as enlightened, oh so insightfully transcendent, “color blind, gender blind,” superheros. Come on Kobe; you are a hero bro!!! Hustle up and catch up to the reality of this level of the game baby. We need you. We need each other on board. Blessed

Kendrick “K-Dot” Lamar Channels the Ancestors with a Remote in His Hand

"Visions of Martin Luther Staring at me. Malcolm X put a hex on my future, someone catch me."

“Visions of Martin Luther Staring at me. Malcolm X put a hex on my future, someone catch me.” – Kendrick Lamar

As far as weather you are a Kendrick fan, or not, it’s really besides the point. There are obviously so many, justifiably, riding this cat’s hood ornate, razor sharp, supremely artistic, dual hemispherically blessed, poetic toolery, that I don’t think it’s necessary to go near that direction for the focus of this article. In fact, I don’t even qualify to write about that because I do not have the depth of grasp to articulate what the Real is on this dude from the perspective of true MC’in. You would need someone who is either a very gifted, veteran microphone master, or a knighted hip hop enthusiast, or both to attempt that task.

Instead, I want to address Mr Lamar in the context of him being a herald, an actual pragmatic prayer to the hip hop gods, answered. I should quickly follow that I use the reference of him being a prayer answered, referring to an unconscious activity taking place in our collective communal psyche. Nobody (that most of us would know) consciously prayed for a lyrical savant to be reborn from that old seething burial ground of the early, Bastard of the Party hatched, crack-sack turned magic corporate genie lamp, global gangsta rap mania mastermind group, NWA. But the fact is, whether you just kinda’ like rap music, loathe it or live and breathe it through your temples, we have all gotta experience it. It is the dominant musical art form of our era.

So, of course, we would unconsciously dream up an authentic, west coast, dysfunction ridden suburb fertilized, mission enriched, new hip hop voice to save us from all these other low Soul barometer pushers.

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By “unconsciously dream up,” I mean the energy of our collective psychic field (as oblivious as we tend to be with it) called him forth, in the same way other timely human voices were called forth throughout various periods of our human evolution. We are in need, at the deep level of our communal Soul, for a voice that supports our own growth and evolution through this most complex and challenging period of it. Beyond a personal affinity for his witty stylization, many would easily concur with the statement, “Thank God for Kendrick.” And many hip hop devotees are obviously thankful to the hip hop gods (archetypes) for Kendrick. Hip hop needs it’s renewal and rejuvenation when the dynamism starts to die off to mediocrity.

But this is not to knock anyone else, even if I did slightly knock almost everyone else with the “low Soul barometer pushers” reference. It’s just that it is what it is, to be perhaps not so articulate… but then again… basically accurate. The process has to just has to cook up in one’s Self all at once in a given period.  At first Kendrick was probably like any ol’ kid from the hood, cradling far fetched fantasies of being an accomplished rap gladiator with unshakable fame. But somewhere along the line, something happened in his evolutional process. He started to grow as if possessed by a daemon, while becoming one divinely blessed with a supreme gift, a talent of immense proportion. We all know it is said that, “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

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And so you can’t just be a mere fledging MC, or a soda pop brand endorsement celebrating, umpteen bottles full a’ bub poppin, club rotation rocker, or a stranger to true, existentially wrenching, social struggle… or the most paltry candidate for ancestral communication and think that you will have any positively defining impact for a people as back against both the virtual and concrete walls as African Americans are.

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We need, at this point, the whole kitchen sink (plumbing included), to use a familiar old cliche, as far as events and voices to come forth that create a jolting impact upon our state of affairs (in the same way a seemingly lifeless body can be shocked back into a vital state with the proper equipment). But we can’t see anything if you don’t have a programmer make it dance on the screen with flashy graphics twitching on a blog page or touch screen, or at least have it whoosh through the twitterverse to a few hundred thousand awaiting palms. This is because we are submerged fully into the digital era without a coherent broadcast or voice addressing our state of affairs. And therefore, absent the voices, our community is more disconnected then ever; though paradoxically, we have more gadgetry to connect with than ever.

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So when the still freshly ascended MC opens the song Hiii Power with, “Visions of Martin Luther staring at me/ Malcolm X put a hex on my future someone catch me/I’ve fallen victim to a revolutionary song/ The Serengeti’s clone back to put you backstabbers back on your spinal bone,” (if we’re paying attention) we will get it’s the realm of the ancestors choosing to speak through him. Why, or how, would a young Compton, street shake n baked brotha, barely out of his teens, have “visions of Martin Luther staring” at him???

“Malcolm X put a hex on my future, someone catch me,” Kendrick simultaneously pleads and leads. But most ain’t gonna catch him because our listening system is almost tone deaf to that depth of the vibration of Soul. Young Kendrick is like Gil Scott with an iPhone. They’re all hexing and yelling through him; Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton… and oh yeah, the…

“Five star dishes, food for thought bitches, I mean the shit is Huey Newton going stupid!” 
 
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Stupid, for those of you who are hip hop era, culture code challenged, in this context means gone to point of being outrageously activated. Kendrick is psychically activating in an outrageous way, to say the very least.  Such an outrageous level of activation is exactly what is called for in today’s state of affairs where even with a black president, black males still make up the majority prison population (yet are only 6% of the total population); where we still have the highest unemployment rates in every category, and are still glimpsing the downfall of campus after campus of our treasured HBCUs, while across town the trickle of our population at mainstream campuses gradually drops off further.  A trend of outrageous activationism would be truly useful about now, a la Huey Newton meets Harriet Tubman meets Imhotep hangin’ out with Morpheus.

If but only for the execution of a small slice of his repertoire, which directs straight to the communal wounds from repression and institutionalized racism, the whole of Kendrick Lamar is prayer answered.

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You see, here at Afro Alchemist, we deal with the transformational process.  In Alchemy, turning the lead into gold requires a fundamental shifting not only at the molecular level, but even further at the sub-atomic level. It can even supersede form and mandate a shift at the Principle level. In all of these cases the quo must be bypassed (you may know it as the status quo).  The core dynamics which create and constitute the status quo must be explored, deconstructed, re-registered within the greater context, then traversed beyond in Consciousness.

So we don’t really have much blog space for non-game changers in this context (other than a quick riff).  And even though digital space is basically infinite, we still don’t have the space! Because bullshit is infinite too.

I don’t even know Brotha Kendrick personally (though I wouldn’t be mad if I could say he was a Nephew or some relation), but the plot is thick out here, to say the least, and few can even hit the damn target period, much less get near the bull’s eye. Yet all of these events and forces are culminating in this moment such that something radically special is peeking forth with the arrival of a true dynamic, artistic visionary.  A grimy, Thelonius ghettatonic microphone monkster is in the cosmic oven, with the creative temp right at around 375 degrees.

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We don’t quite know how this will all unfold, which way he will turn. Or, if perhaps it will be in multiple directions at once like his predecessor, the mighty warrior Pac.  But Kendrick seems to have a very humble, zealous, calm, almost suspiciously wise smile about it all. And he’s figured out how to really fuck with that remote.