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.

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

  1. I think that Pharrel has the right idea on his mind. Black people are more than just twerking and shaking butts, and if they weren’t so interested in following trends, they could give people a chance to see it.

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