Friday, 30 December 2016

Sade Adu vs. MF Doom


The Mad Villain Rapper Doom and Sade, the original Soul Queen.  An unlikely partnership, achieved by modern tech and recording studio trickery. Love it! Love it! One of my fav Hip Hop/Soul projects of 2016



Trivia.  Sade is Nigerian, Doom from Zimbabwe.

Nia


5th day of Kwanzaa: Nia (Purpose). To make our collective vocation the development of our community; to restore our people to their classic greatness.

Purpose.  Nia, the 5th day of Kwanzaa is an important one because it's forces one to focus on the deeper meaning of its message.  Purpose and Restoration.  I look at our collective knowledge pool, be it professional or spiritual. We Africans in the motherland and the diaspora have a lot to be proud of.  Over the years we've produced renowned Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Scientists, Agriculturists, Psychologists, Authors, Musicians, Pastors, Spiritualists.  We are very well represented in the professional and social classes.  We don't lack a community.

On the surface, especially here in the UK, we appear individualistic, lacking real concern for or interest in what happens abroad.  This is not altogether true or representative of who we are.  I've been listening to Galaxy FM for a while now and I know of many Pan African UK people, not your everyday so-called professional, involved in personal and collective projects in the Caribbeans and Africa.  Schools, Hospices, the like.  I listened to this Kenyan lady explain how out of frustration she formed a charity to help with the Haitian hurricane relief, her great achievements.  Usually very impressive stuff despite the lack of funding and general support.  Amazing stuff.

So the will is incredibly strong.  Despite what one thinks there are people spiritually charged with restoration of our African pride.  What's lack is a joined up global community, a common purpose, a shared world view.

We here in the UK could really use some help, especially in areas of Education and Family values.  When I came over I was surprised at how under utilized the (then) free education and resources was among our people.  Where were the leaders to empower that generation?  Where are our mothers and fathers, trained up as school teachers, to empower the kids?  Why are our kids failing in educational systems of this advanced western society? Why so many Gang modules? Who will lead us tomorrow if they fail today?

It's not a simple answer to address where we fall short.  What is required is a lot more reading and discussions to see understand our current state, what is being done, share views and thoughts, formulate clear goals, take action.

I have a few thoughts on how I want to contribute in 2017, will blog about them as the year goes on.

Bless

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

blogger's block

Man! *takes in very deep breath* the smell of a dusty musty blog, heavenly.  been a minute. forever. *wipes cobwebs away, swats a fly*

it has been a while. I seem more interested with my erotic tumblr love affair than writing anything museful. tumblr's proved to be a very beautiful place and I've made a few really good friends there. erotica, spirituality, politics

No, I don't have blogger's block.  Maybe I've succumbed to the instant remix generation.  I think in twitter soundbites. No I am not vacuous, an Instagram picture does speak a thousand words. Albeit you have to guess the context half the time (bit of fun that).  Messages of Black protests, celebrations of White privilege, all distilled down to 3 seconds of visual noise.  Everything else a meme or picture destined for WhatsApp.  Facebook is still a no no, too close to home.  Too many (family) people in my business to post with (gay) abandon.  Quite frankly, Facebook is boring to me.

So yeah, hello blog, been a while.  thank you for being here when I need you

***

How rude of me! Hope everyone has had a good rest?

:(( I'm back at work today and can just about remember my passwords. Took last week off, well earned rest.  I'm not powered back up again, gotta be next week with all that. But WFH (working from home) so it ain't all bad.

First time (trying to) observing Kwanzaa.  Used to be dismissive of it till a friend convinced me to listen to a few lectures, give it a go.  Can't thank him enough.  The seven principles makes so much spiritual sense, talks to my inner spirit.  A worthy celebration and affirmation of who we are as African people.



Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.




Friday, 25 November 2016

TGIF: Ginger Me Slowly

Been a minute I've blogged anything.  Beautiful London day and I'm feeling in a jazzy soulful mood, full of love for life. Without further ado I present ...



Heads put me onto Somi, asked where I've been?



R.I.P Amy, we miss you

Friday, 4 November 2016

TGIF: Afrobeats!

fuck it, we going in

Lasgidi is the Nigerian slang way of referring to the city of Lagos. Coal town is for Enugu, Jan/Jandon is for London, Yankee is obvious.  Chale is a Ghanaian, Jamo is a Jamaican ("these jamo chicks dey fine o!") , Naija is Nigeria, Oyinbo/Wazungu/Obroni/Tubab is a white person.  Enough with the Geography lesson

Wikid mix! got everything.  The man like Teju Cole has his hands in damn everything.  Braaaaaap!



‘One Night In Lasgidi’ Mixed By Chief Boima Tracklist 

1) Good Morning (Kid Konnect Remix) – Brymo
2) Pon de ting – Sarkodie ft Banky W
3) Omo pastor – Aje Butter
4) Adonai (Remix) – Sarkodie feat. Castro
5) Yahooze – Olu Maintain
6) Gongo Aso – 9ice
7) Parcel (a BIG Nwa) – Phyno
8) Kini Big Deal – Wale
9) Oyoyo – J. Martins
10) Aye – Davido
11) Eminado – Tiwa Savage
12) 5 and 6 – Naeto C
13) Gobe – Davido
14) Jaiye Jaiye – Wizkid
15) Oliver Twist – D’Banj
16) First of All – Olamide
17) On top your matter – Wizkid
18) Durobucci – The Mavins
19) Thank God – Da Grin ft. Omawunmi
20) Like to Party – Burna Boy
21) Pete Pete – 9ice
22) Walking – Nneka
23) Iba – Asa



***

have a good weekend. be safe. and if you can't just chill @home, listen to music


1

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Football, Sugar & Life

Yesterday I watched with pride my son win a tournament trophy with his U13 football team, as well as an individual best player award for top striker. Teams from as far as France took part, a real festival of football.  Nostalgia as I remembered all those early trips to the park, teaching him and his younger brother how to do step overs, countless football training sessions at Millwall FC youth club, kick around in the garden.

I played a lot of football growing up, the only sport we had available to us, saw nothing playing for hours in the local park. Simple times, didn't matter if the ball was pumped or flat, didn't have football boots. We played with abandon, the thwack of the ball our soundtrack. The freedom of childhood.  In my sons I see myself, what I was as a kid, the desire to run free, to chase the wind. God bless the child.

***

I went to see a friend last night, around 11.30pm. I'd been out for a drink with ex colleagues, guys and girls who I'd become really good friends with. They still think I'm lying when I say I'm in my mid 40s, say I carry on young, look younger even. Told them next time I'll wear a suit and a fedora suit, look older and distinguished :) My dad used to say "shhh, don't say the years, be it".  Never quite understood that, but as I grow older and draw from my wealth of experience of life I begin to get it.  You should be your age, life expects this of you. By all means live to the fullest, make mistakes. But learn from life. This way one remains "young", always ready to find out stuff one doesn't know. Hope I never lose the twinkle of curiosity.

See I lost track there, where was I?  Yes, went to see a friend. He answered the door, sweating like the proverbial Christmas goat (ask me to explain later). Drenched the fuck.

"Dude wha gwan fi you? It's almost midnight?"
"It's my blood sugar innit, it's over 20.1"
"20.1?"

He's Type 2 diabetic. Said sometimes his sugar levels gets so high his body slips into Type 1. Only to bring in down is very intense exercise otherwise its body pain and sleepless nights. The living room was strewn with bar bells, cycling bike, training mat, skipping ropes. I just sat looking at him work out, thinking how crazy it is that he is a prisoner to his condition. The irony is he's now super fit, mid 50s, best I've seen him in years. Dude was never one who didn't care of himself, feels very unlucky suffering this. Reminded me of diabetes amongst the men in my family and how I really have to take care of myself.

I'm borderline hopeless when it comes to my diet. I eat good, lots of veggies and stuff, but I'm prone to chocolate and biscuit binges. Luckily I cycle a lot so stay generally on the side of good health. But these things can't be taken for granted.

When he was done he measured his blood sugar again. A perfect 10. We rolled some marijuana and smoked the night away. Life is short

***

Was a bit frustrated when I was out yesterday. The bar we were in was rinsing out big bomba claat tunes, the DJ on his 1s and 2s hardcore. quality quality choons, Drake, Beyonce, some reggae, lots of newer rnb and stuff. But zilch in the way of a dance floor to shake a leg. English people like to hold a pint and chat too much, let good music go to waste. I was twitching like a mutha, the bass rocking my soul.

Frustrating

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

London, Sugar & Slavery

Oh the joys of half term. Remembering to take time off the right week, finding bits and bobs to do. Trooping 3 boys and a toddler around East London costs a pretty penny (£4.10 for a Panini? £1.30 for a Cookie? should have listened to the wife and packed lunch). And so we bundled into Museum of Docklands, a fine establishment packed full of London's maritime and economic history


The scale and intricacy of maritime trade, from the tools used to measure and weigh of goods, optical instruments made for sea faring, to the different roles involved is breathtaking.  This was full blown commerce, stocks, bonds and very unfortunately the trade in Black African lives.  Its easy to forget that most of the wealth that built London Docklands and fueled the growth of 18th/19th century London as an economic power house was off the backs of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Colonial rule.  Sugar, Spices and coffee poured in from the far flung reaches of the British empire.  The East Indian Company was one of the first corporate entities, equipped with an army and its own government, ruling India with an iron hand, with exclusive control of the Tea and spice trade.  A period of fantastic wealth and abject misery for those forced to produce it.  One shudders to think that a mere 150+ years ago my status in the London society and ability to move freely would be questioned.  Very scary.

list of slaves ships, their captains and owners and their "cargo"


Thankfully the English saw the light, and with the help of European and African abolitionists (freed slaves, Quakers, humanitarians alike, numerous arguments in Parliament) were able to end this awful inhuman racist trade.  Never again.

Because of this history of Slavery and colonialism London is a very important city in the African/Caribbean diaspora, a reflection of our shared common Black Experience.  Many of us wish it was not so these circumstances, but this is the experience we share, one from which we can only but build a brighter future for ourselves and our children.

I know this guy and his son (middle, left), attended same holy communion class as my son




Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Where's the frigging manual?

I can come across all whatever next, what nonsense, but this billboard had me smiling, too accurate. 

Where is the fucking manual?

When I and the wife had our first son (a.k.a Mr block head) he wouldn't latch on to wife's breasts, did this nozzle numb motion thing (ey?!).  After a few hours I was in panic mode. This fucking newborn monkey is going to starve to death and my mom's gonna say it's my fault. I went to the nurse front desk, demanding formula milk and a Bacardi and coke. Head nurse looked at me with a smile, ignored my request. We walked back to room and she explained the 411, broke down the science. Patience people, he is actually feeding.

Suffice to say we couldn't get him off for days after that, I swear I even heard a belch


Lloyds Bank Advert, Billboard next to Lidl Catford

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

We Are Big Metadata

I work with Big Data. back-end software modules crunching through gigabytes of data, endless, repetitive bog standard data. financial transactions, direct debit payments, mobile data, download/upload requests, instant messages. Big server machines spitting out an endless stream of information rich Metadata.  Repetitive updates to the what, when, how and why of data.  Remote 3rd party systems permanently connected to gobble it all up.  Half the time I have no idea the end-use of this machine generated "data about data".  Big Metadata.

Mostly destined for Expert systems that decide your life.  Approved for Credit Card? Big data. Refused a Mortgage? Lower Insurance premium, higher, contract renewals. This shit informs it all.  Fairly mechanical.  I dread the day Real AI type systems can hook in directly.

And then the marketing departments come to play.  Metadata says 1 in 3 people in your area are accident prone.  "Our records show You were recently involved in an accident ..." "Sir, we are an international charity and we ...".  It's been going on for time, but now next level because of the expert systems.  Ever tried to get a call center manager to explain their decision to decline X?  They have no idea how it was reached in the first place.

What is quite new is the Social Network, source of Big "Non-transactional" data, the sort of data that controls narrative.  Narrative, at best subjective.  Consider this OK Cupid summary on Race and Attraction (2009 - 2014)


Black men rate Latina and Asian women over other races, Black women get a bad deal all round. Black women love their men regardless of whatever.  Apart from the frivolity of the data, albeit very dangerous data, it records zero nuance.  We don't know anything of the background of OK Cupid members (location, social, cultural, political, financial).  But they will argue it's hard numbers innit? We are expected to accept it, challenged to prove otherwise.  Do you actually know how many people are actively signed up to OK Cupid? It says nothing of the quality of the data.  A stopped clock is correct twice a day.

Yet such information increasingly plays a part in marketing drives, media campaigns, local news even.  I can be cold and logical as I try to make sense of this data, even offer a plausible reason for it.  But what is it's psychological effects on the sensitive mind?  Who's narrative is it?  Be careful who you let control your narrative.

Where the data is "Open" it can be of extreme value.  Consider this NY Times 2015 article, "1.5 Million Missing Black Men".  It makes for very cold statistical reading, the sort of information that can only be gleaned from hard number crunching.  Who knows what conspiracy is behind it, but one thing's for sure, the numbers are crazy

And for the love of God don't link you debit/credit card details to your social data

***

Speaking of Conspiracy.  If you don't know Dick Gregory you gotta get informed



32 minutes into the video .. "I'm still trying to figure out, where do Albinos go after high school?" loooool! :-))) I'm still laughing, can't breathe, daddy-o is so random

Monday, 17 October 2016

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ



Sa Neter is a funny guy, love his coarse ass.  Hotep Bitches!

My Mother laughed when I showed her this video yesterday "these people are lost, of course it's Jesus! they need prayers".  I smiled as I looked around me. My parent's living rooms full up of statues and pictures of White Jesus TM, the local Catholic church is full up of the same.  The church one cracks me up because English people don't even go church anymore, the irony being they introduced it to the African colonies in the first place.  But I get the nuances and can make distinctions, really I do, Jesus preaching the message of forgiveness, communion and brotherly love.  In that respect he shares similarities with Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, the freedom of mind.

I get all that but do you?  Is Jesus a real thing or symbolic to you?  faith over logic?


Interestingly most respondents to the survey rejected Jesus because of what he looks like.  What if Jesus was African?  It's a very powerful subliminal that particular image in the video, a deep psychological association to racial origins we think of when we picture Jesus.  I can't utter any word about our African Traditional Religious beliefs without my folks crossing themselves multiple times and accusing me of falling in with the Idol and Devil worshipers.  Discourse and friendly argument is not tolerated, it's that deep how Christianity has rooted in our culture. Viral. White Jesus has truly won.

if any of my cousins in Nigeria share another "prayer of the day" image of Jesus and white doves on WhatsApp I'm slapping someone

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Shazam

great app! especially for those radio shows when the DJ can't be bothered to announce the artist of the song just played, or you know the artist but not the song. been on shazam for a minute and I've got the most eclectic collection of songs (really did I shazam that?), most not my usual stuff, but when the beat/groove catches you? you just gotta know


"kiss me under the light of a thousand stars" ~ wikid!









I snooze therefore

lazy sundays

Got up with a start, remembering my youth had a football match at Midday. The 9 year old was sat on sofa with his siblings, watching Cartoon Network.  "you're supposed to wake me up!" "but Dad, you were sleeping heavily? shrugged me off" "what has that got to do with ...".  I smiled, bless him, must have thought I was dead ass tired to be roused. Me and my funky sleep patterns, going bed at 3 am after watching movie after movie (and endless YouTube clips).  Well it ain't like one's got work the next day..


Maybe it's a man ting, we dudes needing less sleep when we get older, not raving so much anymore.  With women it's different, they can sleep hours and still go bed normal the next night. Me? If I do 8 hours I won't sleep for a whole year.  I jest, I always try catch up if I've done late nights for a few days, like kip on the sofa when I should be watching Arsenal vs. Swansea.  bwai, the sweetest kip those afternoon naps, shot of Rum, fall off the planet into some deep snooze. That's when the youth try their nonsense, putting rolled up paper in your lips and stuff.  Used to do that to my dad till he give us some licks.  It's kosher, if you gonna drop off snoring mid afternoon you gonna invite pranks from the kids.  Luckily they ain't got as far as filming me (they will get dead off ! lol, no, I'm not Daddy Ogre)

Friday, 14 October 2016

#BlackErotica: Bare It All - Skinful Ways


Been following Author/Photographer/Blogger Velvet Lenae on tumblrinstagram, her website for a while.  Decided to buy her book Bare It All by Velvet Lenae | Erotic Short Stories, Poems and Images and must say it didn't disappoint one bit.  Her excellent camera work captures her subjects in beautiful erotic poses.  Just got it so will comment later on the poems and stories, but all in all I like.  Only criticism is the large format it came in could have done with a hardback cover (I think it does, possibly available on Amazon's American store)

http://velvetlenae.tumblr.com/post/151470693149/accessorize-follow-my-tumblr-for-uncensored


Definitely one for your coffee table (dare to be different?)

#LifeDeathChicago

Man! been a wonky week, temperature drop, cycling to work in the cold, no gym time. life and all it's distractions.  nah, it's been a good week still. Watched a couple movies on Amazon prime, did some paper work needing attention.

Song of the day, "Mr Officer", Jeff and Fess featuring Eric Roberson.  Soulful crooning over very thoughtful lyrics on the Police brutality against Black men and women sweeping the USA.  Lovely production.

Very much needed!



Hip Hop used to be the voice of the Youth, uplifting, conscious, combative.  Even NWA back in the day had "Fuck the Police".  Now it's all been co-opted by the Media Corporate, black boys spewing pure poison on wax, wearing dresses, getting fucked up in the club.

Yes, there's a place for debauchery and bullshit in Hip Hop, but in these very strange times we desperately need the young voices articulating the pain on the streets, furthering the discourse.  Thank god for Kendrick, J Cole, the like, but it's not enough.  Get Drake off our airwaves already.

1

***

Also watched "Reggie Yates: Life and Death in Chicago" on BBC iPlayer.  Not good at all.  Trailer below but watch the full documentary.



It's incredibly difficult to comprehend what is happening in Chicago, the death rates by Police and Black-on-Black crime at epidemic levels.  America and their fucking gun culture.  It's almost like Lucifer and his angels of death dwell among our Black brothers and sisters in Chicago.

It is truly scary, and given the ridiculous number of dead in Haiti following the hurricane, you can be forgiven for thinking all of this has a Spiritual/Millennial dimension, like something terrible is going on.

There must be a reason for all of this.

***

http://superheroesincolor.tumblr.com/post/151794120398/superheroesincolor-thenerdsaurus-13th

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

Ever held a belief you cannot let go of?  Even when you finally know different? Eyes wide shut?


Many have been manipulated/forced to “hold a core belief”.  Sacrosanct, emotions laden, lack-of-evidence proof.  All belief is rooted in mysterious source doctrines, in most cases handed down by a Supreme Being. Etched in Tablets of Stone, (un)questionable, unverifiable.  

Many will kill the challenger to protect the core belief.  The 72 virgins, the paradise of the afterlife, life everlasting, world without end.

Amen

Amsterdam: Retrospective

I remember sitting on a marble bench along The Damstraat, stoned as fuck, topping up my melanin in the warm Sunshine.  Completely Zen (and off my rockers).  I turned to my dude

"Son, for real, I can't live here, everyone and everything is too fucking chilled"
"Why? I love the place"
"Nah man. Noticed how we ain't come across a single argument or fight? too surreal"
"You've lived in London too long Brethren, too much hustle and bustle in your life"


I forgot those nice shoes on the coach *sigh*


cheesy paper



use natural tobacco


Depression And Anxiety: The Elephant in your room

It's seems of late I'm seeing more news articles, items and documentaries on depression and anxiety.  It's nothing new, don't think there's an upswing in depression (I could be wrong, don't have stats), but more people are coming forward to discuss it, especially in our UK Black African and Caribbean community.

Caught a fantastic BBC3 documentary on iPlayer "Why are black people more vulnerable to mental illness?", featuring a favourite blogger Keith Dube.  A vital watch if you have access to BBC iPlayer


Two things struck me watching it.  There are a lot more teenage/young adult Black people suffering from depression that I previously thought, the second being the reasons for brushing it under the carpet were not unique.  I'm very guilty of the second.

family
"I've been feeling really shit of late" 

family response
"Why? buck up, man up, it will pass" 
"Go gym innit, you're not exercising"
"That's white people tings, allow that"
"Get a job, you'll be fine"
"Pray to God, it's a spiritual attack, go see our Pastor"
"A holiday away from London will sort it out"
"You need to make more friends, get out a bit"

and such stupid nonsensical responses to that effect.  Not once did any of us suggest expert counselling, change of lifestyle, anything useful to the person suffering the depression.  Talking heads talking pure rubbish.  In effect failing the family and the community.  We don't go crazy overnight and get sectioned under the mental health act (another Elephant in the room), someone somewhere saw the genesis of it and chose to brush it under that carpet.  such responses mean our people suffer in silence, the vulnerable scared to be labelled bonkers and weak.  The lack of support at the grass root level, economic stress, racism, makes it all the more ridiculous that we don't mobilize and protect ourselves. Charity begins at home you know, cyan turn a blind eye.  What? you gonna pretend you don't see it till the men in white coats turn up at the yard? you nah see wha wrong fi that?

With all of the above being said I'm glad the youths are coming forward and speaking.  Was especially heartened to see the rapper Kid Cudi speak on his battle with depression, and with people like him speaking up we will start to see a change in our entrenched traditional attitudes to depression and mental health.




God bless our children.  Support them, and for God's sake give good advice or find someone who can.

***

ps: this song got on my nerves back then :))) but still fresh. cheeky grin as I type this bit

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Amsterdam To London

The only time I ever blog these days is on the bus. This is slightly different cos I'm on a bus from Sloterdijk station, Amsterdam to London Victoria bus station. Quite lucky cos I missed my 8pm bus but managed to get a 10pm one. 15 hours boy! Now you see why air travel is better. Or maybe I'll drive next time, cross the border before brexit kicks in :))

Amsterdam was in fine form, plenty of late autumn sunshine, Central station area buzzing as usual. It's been 14/15 years I visited last and the weather is good. The coffee shop as dope as ever (no pun). Even got a chance to hire a bike and ride round the city. These people are crazy efficient, separate lanes for cars, trams, buses and bicycles. We cycled around, cutting across the canals, settled for bulldog coffee shop (who comes up with these funky names?). Lovely black/mixed race lady running the place gave us the menu and I settled for a gram of amnesia (I kid you not lol) and a gram of super haze. Told her I'd have asked for her hand if I was Muslim. She filled us in on what to see and where to go, general banter and laughter at our millions of questions. 

Things are definitely more expensive than in London. Bloody burger King meal was €6.55, I was like whoa! But the ambience is great. We finally found a wok restaurant, Vietnamese, to have dinner and chase away the munchies. 

No crazy stories this time, fairly pedestrian, but it was nice, a good off the cuff weekend break. 

that was long :)) 

sweet dreams and see y'all on the home side of Europe 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pass the Dutchie

I am off to Amsterdam, would like anything? A joint perhaps? I'm smiling as I type. For real, I am on a train to catch an overnight coach. Quite literally arm twisted by a friend, desperate for good company on the coffee shop crawl. I'm not a stoner, far from it, but on the odd night I'll blaze chalice with the best of em.

Amsterdam.. off key in parts, liberal. Red Light District, famed (notorious?) for the topless girls in the window, magnificent Tulip festivals, on stage sex shows (not kidding), friendly banter and lots and lots of bicycles. I'll try and stay sober-ish this time, keep the mental fog to a minimum. Not as young as I used to be in the old troopsing up and down days, more family breaks these days

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Life is short

Life takes unexpected turns.  Just got news that a contractor colleague, funny and humorous Polish dude, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend.  Email/Skype'd him for updates on some tasks we'd been collaborating on but no reply. This morning I got a call from my director to relay the sad news and discuss re-assignment.  Felt so empty.

Dude was a good guy of easy temperament and we had many conversations about life and stuff.  I recall the numerous times dude would pause our Skype conversation to quieten his kids (worked from home), prattling away in Polish with the kids cackling in response, same way i do with mine when on a call.  I used to make him translate and we'd have a good laugh.

May he rest with his Ancestors

R.I.P

Monday, 26 September 2016

Kemet vs. Islam

I guess you only have that much time to read stuff. Caught a fantastic video on YouTube, trunk full of knowledge about stuff I kinda knew about.  It was a Sa Neter TV interview with Shaka Ahmose (a.k.a The Hebrew Killa) and Dr. Ali Muhammad.



No, Shaka doesn't kill any Hebrews lol, the name comes from his many debates with the Hebrew Israelites community.  I just loved how these brothers bounce the knowledge off each other, the Kemetic perspective vs. the Black Muslim narrative,

Respectful Scholarship

***

still on my De La Soul thizzle. And "Stakes Is High" still as fresh as it sounded when it came out 20 years ago. fuck, 20 years.

"Let me tell you what it's all about/A skin not considered equal/A meteor has more rights than my people"




Always favoured DJ Spinna's remix over J Dilla's original beats

Friday, 23 September 2016

TGIF: Cultural Love?

woke up this morning expecting to feel shitus but I'm as bright as a button. a cycle after a few pints, the new cure for a hangover. not.  OK, I lie, I'm on my 3rd coffee but I'm living.  so yay! tgif and all that.

been feeling a deep downers all week over the latest spate of killings of Black people in the US, but you know what, fcuk it! pains me to say it but White People are very wicked.  I'm not holding out for some overnight dramatic change in the attitudes of American policing but I really really hope the constant protests make a difference.  We must be heard!

On that note some music.  Discovered DJ Polish, connoisseur of all things Dancehall/Ragga.  You know what, dude might even be Polish.



I remember watching a YT video of these Japanese people on holidays in Jamaica, proper brocking down to the riddim in some shebeen in Kingston.  These Europeans and Asians love off Black people and our culture (so why the racism).

Enjoy




Thursday, 22 September 2016

LinkedIn and Thursday

Received a random LinkedIn message yesterday. Yingkiu, dude I hadn't seen since my masters degree pops out the wood work. 17 fucking years. "how the fuck did you find me?".  And here we are, with another uni guy Tsing tao, like it was yesterday. I thought they'd fucked off back to China after the degree. Ying says he dreamt of us and went searching, Facebook, instagram, etc, till he found us.

So here I am, Thursday night, 4 pints of Guinness to the good and well tipsy, an African and two Chinese men, wondering how the fuck I'm going to get back to London Charing cross and cycle back home. How'd I even blog any of this???

Like they say, memories don't live like people do. It feels like only yesterday we were in the student's bar getting lashed on discount alcohol.

We will live forever! To the next 17

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Black Love Is A Real Thing

Suspension of the Ego

Something I read in Franz Fanon's book struck a chord.  The suspension of the Ego, the abandonment of the competitive spirit. The context was the ego bruising the Black man receives because he's not allowed to be equal in White dominated world.  As a form of self preservation, he suspends his basic competitive nature, perhaps to cope the shame he feels among his peers, his wife, his children.  But this is not about Fanon or an analysis of his writings.  I was having a discussion last night about people who don't fulfill their potential despite having all the tools at hand.  The suspension of ego came to mind.

If you've spent 4/5 years studying Applied Biology, Computer Science, Law, Sociology why would you not push through to practice it?  Such disciplines appeal to high(er) intelligence, spark the hypothalamus.  So why spend all that time building only to let it slide? How is working in Boots, Tesco, etc etc a substitute for such?  I get extenuating circumstance, I do because I've been there.  I've had to give up the clear road due to stuff beyond my control.  But once the path is in sight I've always hopped back on.  Shit, I spent the hardest year and a half getting myself through an advanced Computer science degree at an older age.  Every damn minute and money spent was worth it to get away from the drudgery that was eating away at my day to day life.  Going back to education at an older age is no joke, definitely not for the fainthearted.

I don't want to simply exist.


How could I not hop back on the clear path?  The Spiritual is nice but life is a problem to solve.  Existential

I can only put it down to suspension of one's ego.  It's like deep inside (unconscious even) one feels one cannot compete.  See, the ego is not instinctive it is intellectual cognitive.  It is the self realization of one's conscious self, the structured part of one's personality. Yes at its root is arrogance.  I'm not good I am better.  It isn't about self preservation though it's attributes/side effects are self preserving.  You self preserve and actualize to give yourself a platform to feed your ego.  When you wake up in the morning what would you rather do?  Drag yourself through the drudgery of serving yet another undeserving customer at a till for chicken change or design and write a program to calculate some complex maths.  And not ironically being a professional pays better ey?

I don't know about you but my choice was clear.  I chose not to suspend my ego

Friday, 16 September 2016

TGIF: De La Soul

seems like Yesterday I was complimenting London's great weather.
"Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play / Now I need a place to hide away / Oh, I believe in yesterday"
still good considering time of year. Had a rubbish night sleep, dreaming of duppy and such nonsense. Woke up at 3 am, throat feeling raw and a slight headache. Don't you hate such dreams? Of all things I could dream of it had to be demons and ghosts.  Weirdest bit is I had old secondary school friends helping fight these monsters.  Wonder where these guys are these days? Too random this dream stuff.

***

Right, TGIF! and all that good stuff.  Didn't know De La Soul's released a new album - and the Anonymous Nobody... 2016. These brothers are timeless and their funk swag is still intact. I mean, seriously tho, check out the track below:



If I was in a club I'd be screaming "reload! reload! reload! selektah!".  Snoop kills it too.



ha! It is a documentary about De La Soul. typical dudes, very humble and understated.  enjoy

***

TGIF (don't know what images - well for the second i do :))) - below are about but hella dope!)

http://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/150452407835

http://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/150398380600/odgvisuals-let-me-get-that-for-you-at



***

and finally.  Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane take on a team of 30 children in LA .. how nice. overpaid twats :))

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Server tales

On my way home carrying a great big server.

Big black buduff buduff box of a server. Super fast box with way too much memory and CPU. I'm certain this is the one we downloaded all those bootleg movies on, probably still there. It will go with the sofa. The office is throwing away all the great big servers.  We all have state-of-the-art Dell and Apple laptops now. These will get thrown away one day too.


Yeah great big server

Sun, Tombs and Goddesses

Good morning world! 

Yes you guessed right, I'm on a train. Seems like the only time I blog anything these days.

Been a glorious London week, what with the sunshine and beautiful weather. Almost as good as Cyprus was last week. 


Yes, was out there for a week with the wife and boys, along the coast line of Argaka village.  More like a very small town/hamlet, very much off the tourist trail.  Hired a villa, a stone's throw from the beach, and a car, and promptly dropped off the digital grid. Did a bit of touristy stuff, visited the bath of Aphrodite, the tomb of the Kings in Paphos (ironic as no actual King is buried there). Was expecting something akin to Egyptian tombs but was disappointed. No ancient civilization has a patch on our Nubian ancestors. Did dip my hands in the Aphrodite bath, get some goddess blessings on my heathen ass. Driving out there is a tad dicey though (imagine being tail-gated at 100 mph!). I'm Nigerian.

Yeah back to London. Long may the Indian summer continue. Worship the Sun God. Melanated people.

***


Watched a saneter video were they interviewed a Catholic priest, African brethren from Burkina Faso. Good interview and the guy handled his bit well. The Catholic Church seem to have modified their message because when asked about traditional African religion his reply was along the lines of it being OK. Bit I found off putting was implication that we worshipped the same thing. Not true and a tad disingenuous, insidious even. Christianity (as well as other Abrahamic faiths) is a monotheistic religion, something very at odds with our way of life, culture and ancestral reverence. Not long ago they were calling us heathens that needed Christ.  Would it be the falling catholic numbers and the rise of the evangelicals that's tempered their views? Never quite know with these people and their destructive enslaving colonial ways.

One thing is for sure, we will outlive their way of life.

***

During the holidays I reread Franz Fanon's "black skin white mask". Forgotten how much it was also a book of psychology. Dense reading on starting but soon you can't put it down. Some passages/questions are just plain fascinating. Assertions like "the anti-semite created the Jew" and explanation/case studies of such show how deep it goes. What I like about the book is its objective focus and its strong messages.

Required reading

Friday, 9 September 2016

THE JOINT I SMOKED by NM Shabazz

was browsing an old blog of mine (the internet doesn't forget lol) when I came across one of the posts. really enjoyed the story at the time, completely freaked me out.  enjoy


I had gone to the after-hours club for no other reason than to mingle, sip a little, and smoke a joint as I listened to the blues. And then I ran into her. The moon and stars must have been aligned just right because it was lust at first sight. Our eyes spoke their own language and I listened zealously to hers, careful not to miss one word. I motioned for her to join me sitting down and she made her way across the juke joint. She looked at me as though she wanted to chop me into tiny little pieces and eat me; whether or not such cannibalism would be for sustenance or of a sexual nature I didn't know. Her intense stare could have been taken for a scowl, although in some sort of perverse way it turned me on. She turned me on, so I guess it made sense that if she were really trying to intimidate me I would want her just that much more. And although I could feel there was something uncanny about her, if it turned out later she was a psycho bitch then I would just have to deal with it. I wanted the part of her that wasn't crazy. It was at that moment she seemed to read my mind.

"I want to fuck you." She said very short and direct as she sat down across from me.

I cocked my head to the side a little. Women weren't supposed to talk like that, were they? Especially not women who looked...like her. But there was no mistaking what she had said. I had been gazing directly at her lips--those sexy, round, soft things--as the words had come out in an I know I got some good pussy sort of way. Cool. She meant business, which was fine because I felt like playing octopus--with my hands and tongue all over her. But she had taken me by surprise with her statement and I felt I had to offer a witty retort.

"You mean you want to make love to me?"

"No, I want to fuck you." She replied once more decisively.

"We're not in love and even if we were, right now I would still only want to fuck you." She took time out for dramatic effect, then pulled up close to me and whispered in my ear seductively, passionately. "Steady. Hard. Me all over you. I want to fuck you like its the last time I'll ever be with a man, like the rich in the 80's road the tax breaks when President Regan was in office. Now do you understand when I say I want to fuck you?"

How could I have a response for that? I leaned back in my chair with my joint in hand and took a real hard hit, trying to seem as if I wasn't fazed by what she had said. She was fucking with me, trying to fake me out. Men did this shit with women all the time with women. Told them how they were going to blow up the bedroom when they got them in it, how they were going to lay it on them like no one ever before. Sometimes even if the man wasn't shit in bed, they could mind fuck a woman so bad she would be led to think he was. Wolf tickets, nothing more. I didn't sell or accept them because they weren't worth a shit. Who did this woman think she was? Eartha Kit? Turn me out? I was going to take these eight inches and put them..."

Read full story @https://nmshabazz.wordpress.com/2006/12/24/the-joint-i-smoked/

Friday, 5 August 2016

TGIF: Afrikans On Film Festival b/w Knowledge


Anon (Orvil right?) commented on blog post Welcome To Busseywood to highlight the upcoming Afrikans On Film festival run by the Adinkra Arts Collective (Sat, 10 Sep 2016 at 12:00 - London, United Kingdom).  It is free, description of the event and registration @website eventbrite.co.uk.  Be there or be square.

I've not been up on the African movie scene, bar the many Nollywood movies I end up watching each time I visit my parents (can someone teach someone about plots please!).  The last movie I watched that was African-centric was Beast Of No Nation, but since it was directed by an American guy it doesn't count as indigenous.  So year, definitely reaching down to see the movies on show and the new talent in African Cinematography.

***

Brother Polight! What a joy to watch and listen to! The brother is brimming with knowledge and inspiration.  Just caught him on the Breakfast Club show on YouTube, featuring Metta World Peace.  Great show!



***

Hip Hop and Reggae have always been partners, ever since DJ Kook Herc brought the Sound Systems to Bronx New York.  OK, enough of the history, some music. Chronixx's "Perfect Tree" uses the same sample Hip Hop group (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) used on "Respiration".  Great both versions!



We Are African

Slavery took a lot away from our people but the bond to Mother Africa remains very strong.  It runs through the blood.  The religious practices of Candombl√©, Obeah, Vodoun, Santaria remain strong to this day, the Rastafarians have as central to their way of life the return to Africa.  Distance didn't sever this bond.  Not surprisingly aspects of the African languages and expressions.  Forced segregation meant African norms and customs (though punishable) could be practiced in secret.

The first time I heard a Jamaican friend use "Unu", meaning "You lot", I was gobsmacked, a revelation.  I quizzed them on it, them shrugging like we've always used the term.

Blood dey thicker than wata!

http://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/148420846090/ukpuru-barbadian-professor-richard-allsopp


http://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/148420917445/west-indian-terms-of-igbo-origin



Thursday, 4 August 2016

Overground trains and Kendrick Lamar

Not been on a train for a minute, forgotten what it feels like. 

Realised I ain't listened to much hip hop in a bit too. Correlation, the more train journeys the more hip hop. The occasional swearing means I can't listen to a lot of stuff at home around the kids. Bit of glee as I rip the shrink wrap of kendrick lamar's untitled album and give it a good listen (figuratively that is, it's all digital these days). Been sitting on it for a long while.  Gold

have a good day people

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Adrinkras And Super Symmetry


According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adinkra_symbols)
"Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti, that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics and pottery."
I remember my Mom and her sisters going on about Adinkra fashion as a child.  I never quite understood what they were other than they were from Ghana.  Of course I've gone on to read about them, get some understanding of their cosmological place in the Ashanti society, but I still believe there is more to it than meets the eye.  The Ashanti are a very clever people and I believe Adinkra is an extremely deep codification of supreme knowledge and believe only a handful know their true meaning.  The Adinkra symbolism has spread across the world and can be found everywhere from Fashion - textile and jewelry, Architecture to Computer science.  Look at the next metal gate you walk by, look carefully at it's design.


This is very intentional, perhaps the very intent of the creators of the system.  As you can imagine I mad curious as to what and why?  When you start to read about the symbol you get the strong sense that you always knew what they meant.

It was hip hop that awoke my interest in the symbolism, the 90s conscious rappers constantly using the symbol Sankofa a lot in their rhymes.

***

So what started this train of thought? Super string theory, a branch of Theoretical physics I can't even begin to explain (read a layman's simple description here).  Dr. James Gates Jr., an African American Theoretical Physicist discovered, while researching super string theory, that as he drilled deeper down he found computer code written into the theory representation used to describe the very fabric of the Cosmos.  Not a resemblance but actual computer code.



So what? The point is, if the Theoretical representation advances to a point where is it can be actualized then, it follows that Universe is constructed of computer code.  In effect, we, you and I, are constructs, most likely living in a ancestral simulation.  OK, maybe (maybe not) far fetched.  But the learned man can't deny what he's observed, it's there as plain as 1s and 0s

He's named these codes Adinkras.  Maybe the Ashanti know something we don't.  Same way the Ancient Egyptians did.

So much for the Western view of African Cosmology

#StayWoke 2: Is The Black Woman God?

I know.  Been a little while. The usual, you know, life, love, stress. 

Was starting to feel offish about the Police brutality against the Black Brethren in the US, but shook that off.  Heartened to see the protests and collective activism, Black, Latino and White people, hand-in-hand, calling the system to question.  It's what they need and, bar the regressive political landscape (Trump vs. Clinton), with luck they will extract reform from those in charge.  We had it over here in the UK with the Stephen Lawrence commission so it's very doable.


One side effect of following all this, what with listening to the various talking heads, is discovering the strong sub-culture of street debate and street level activism, the politics of resistance discourse.  When one hears African American protest leaders one immediately thinks of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, civil right leaders and the known faces of fighting against racial injustice in the America System.  Distinguished gentlemen who were there during the time of the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King and Minister Malcolm X.  But as these gentlemen grow old the question begs.  Who are the new leaders of Generation X? Who are the new children of Malcolm? Those ready to do the running battles and politics of direct resistance, have the heated non-compromising debates, the sit-ins, ready to be arrested to maintain a stance?  Used to be you could listen to the music and feel the pulse of the community, protest hip hop, soul, etc.  But those days are gone. Drake's "One Dance" for 14 weeks on the UK charts? Co-opted.  I applaud Black Lives Matter because it shows the grassroots is very much alive to keep the demand for change in the forefront.  Another activist I've really come to admire is Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow".  Her lectures are a must watch.



The reality of it all is very sad and reminds one to be very aware of one's environment and it's relation to one's people.  Take the NYPD cop watchers, a very brave bunch, incredibly active since the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD.



***
Is the Black woman God?


Yes, and not a difficult one to answer if you subscribe to a certain belief system, open minded or simply a scientist investigating the roots of religion.  But if you have a familial subscription to (as most do) Amharic and other Monotheistic religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism you will be totally against this very concept of a God that is Female, let alone one who is Black.  Most of them are very hostile towards feminine expression.  Look at the Sharia laws in Afghanistan, Iran and places, the tracts in their holy book, women have no place.  God is male.

Think about it.  We have the reverence of the Egyptian Goddesses, The Igbo and Yoruba Female Deities, you even have the many Black Madonnas dotted around the White Catholic churches of Europe.  Most ancient representations of God are female.  Whatever the argument, and I'm an atheist in the most functional sense, it is evidence that is very hard to refute.  So why do we refuse to accept this?

Watch Brother Polight break it down. Interesting guy and a wikid debater.




Friday, 8 July 2016

Fuck The Police

I feel very depressed about the shootings (execution) of the two African American brethren by wazungu Police in America over the last two days. Been watching the 24 hour rolling news, twitter, tumblr and I'm feeling all types of suffocating emotions. Anger, hopelessness, pain, murderous mindset, emotions overwhelming me.  I'm fucking fed up of it



This is 2016 and we are still dealing with this level of criminal murderous institutionalised racism? Doesn't America have a Black President?  You'd think we were back in 1966 during Malcolm X's time. Oh wait ..

http://holybolognajabronies.tumblr.com/post/147099485880


I don't know, will revisit this when I clear my head.  Fuck the police

Monday, 4 July 2016

The Festival of The New Yam

I really don't wish the week I just had upon anyone.

Baby son rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, car mashed up by a lorry on the way home from A&E, Insurers writing off car in all of a heated 10 minutes phone call, a trillion calls negotiating right off, A&E stretching routine stitching to a two day affair, endless back and forth trips, 5-0 pulling me over and telling me to take car off the road.

By yesterday night I was completely done being royally pissed off and just plain jaded.  Seriously the system is designed to win all the time.  Clear head, went to Stewie my mechanic, wanting to know if insurers were wrong to right off. Turns out no, replacement part is £1,300+.  I just looked at dude, like really? Buying a new printer and the cost of replacing the ink cartridge comes to mind.  Like I said, the system's got you no matter what.

"Brethren, take the insurance money, but make sure you give them all your servicing receipts, them man are thief"

***

I honestly don't know what to make of Religious Education in the UK primary and secondary educational system. My 9 year old had me jacked helping him do his international religious week diary.  He and two class friends had chosen to research Diwali, the Hindu festival of Light.  Out of curiosity I look at the choices of international religions. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.  Zilch on African Traditional Religion.  Nothing related to Africa.  Not even a pretend mention.  An incredibly rich tapestry of spiritual practices, a body of intricate observances.  Completely overlooked as if it doesn't exist.  I thought of Rastafarianism, Obeah, Vodun. I felt very uneasy with this "international" list.  My son's class is predominantly African/Caribbean.  It's like in the UK educational system African and Caribbean children don't exist within the cultural, religious, historical, and traditional spectrum.

A cynical man would say it was a deliberate ploy to destroy heritage.  A very old one.



It's time I have to keep up with the counter narrative

Friday, 1 July 2016

Summer In London

*sigh



But you know what, double fuck London's shite weather.  For real.  So some Kela Futi to brighten up the mood :))))



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Fire In The Hole

"you ready cuz?"
"always bruv, always, always"

Akala's Fire In The Booth series with BBC 1Xtra's Charlie Sloth is legendary. Part 4 is no different. Intelligent lyrics, zero slackness, blistering flow, Son is crazy dope with his.  First part is natural born spitter stuff (10 minutes), a short interlude, second part is a conceptual rap/spoken word piece based on a Graphics novel he collaborated on.
"I was in the Belgium Congo hacking off limbs, in Rwanda, a Cancer, doing the same thing!"
Classic!



If you dare to pick up Mic devices this is exactly how you should aim to spit

1

***

This African Gal can wine o!

http://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/146649823610


Death By 350+ Thousand Viking Cuts


Iceland, a nation the size of my native London borough of Lewisham. Sit back, picture it. No for real. I honestly used to think the whole conquering invading Viking army stuff was just a bunch of fairy tales.  I sat in St. Thomas A&E, in shorts and an old Rasta logo'd t-shirt, I watched incredulously as Iceland thrashed England comprehensively over 90 minutes
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die."
I watched as Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, et. al reverted back to type, unable to complete two passes without the Vikings intercepting and nicking the ball off them.  The rest of the team would have been better off playing for Jamaica and wherever else their parents are from.  It was embarrassing to watch, children crying, old men clutching their failing hearts, women wailing.  I watched the English Nation die, death by a thousand cuts.  The Vikings didn't even have to use their axes last night.

It was awful.


I had to look away.

It's been put to us as a shock exit by the media.  It was anything but.  bloodbath.  Like Brexit nothing shocks me anymore.  Little Engerlund.  How the English managed to colonise most of Asia and Africa I do not know.  Must be the handiwork their Scottish overseer minions.  Can't even bring myself to say better luck next time, it would be undeserved. You know, what's great about England is that you can have no expectations and they'll still disappoint you.

by the way my quote from earlier is from the classic movie Blade Runner. watch it.

***

So, if there are 320,000+ Icelanders now in 2016, how many of them where there back in the Viking days?  10,000? boggles the mind they even had enough men to manage conquering Lewisham, let alone the UK Isles