Friday, 18 August 2017

TGIF! Future Beats from Andromeda

tgif beautiful people! hope you have a relaxing weekend coming up, full of fun or straight up chillaxin' and feet up.  Whatever you doing have a nice one


***

DJ Complexion on soundcloud.com has become my go-to guy for chilled out futuristic beats.  From trapped out soul to Lo-Fi hip hop to electronic Ambient goodness, it's complete chill.  Playing out of London, dude has been dropping podcasts shows on soundcloud.com for four years, 154 2-hours long shows deep.



What I love about Complexion is his vocal interludes and engagement with subscribers, his super positive outlook to life.  When I feel down his podcasts are my fix

DJ Complexion

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Reunion b/w Jacket b/w Wyclef Jean

Goosebumps! A secondary school days friend of mine started a WhatsApp reunion group.  25 heads deep, and it's been pure joy for the last few days.  Lots of those guys I haven't spoken too in over 30 years!  Someone reminded me they sent me a BBM request some years back? ey? BBM? Whats that?


But jest aside, it's been a trip down memory lane.  We attended a particularly tough Catholic boarding school back in Nigeria, infamous for it's super strict discipline, corporal punishment and all.  Why my Dad sent me there I will never know.  I was troublesome a child, probably thought they'd straighten me out or something.  It was no joke a school but we breezed the five years, came out the other side alive.  Old school pictures posted up, some guys posting current pictures of themselves, family etc.  Was amazing seeing all these guys, how some had changed in appearance, some still the same.  People really don't change much. The argumentative guys still the same, the cheekiness, the jokers still cracking everyone up.  Sadly a few of our old heads had passed (R.I.P).  We reminisced about the good times and the bad.  Hopefully next year we'll all meet up back in Nigeria and break bread.  It's been a very long time

***

Had a really good chuckle with a girlfriend of mine last night

"whats up?"
"bare jokes! can you imagine! just been told some guy is claiming to be my father"
"what?!@*"
"I know!"
"And?"
"I don't know, too much to take in"
"Have you asked your mother?"
"No!"
"Jacket tings boy! drama"

We could help but burst out laughing though it's not a laughing matter.  Nuff people walking around, calling dudes their father when they could be anything but.  Only the mother knows.  We await further information

A few years back a friend of mine found out his 10 year old son wasn't his.  Left him really bitter as he had been separated from the mother who had been giving him pure hell.  Denied visits, child support court cases, the lot.  As usual these things come to light in the strangest ways.  One a rare sleep over young son was sick and my boy rushed him to hospital. Well, you know the rest.  After a few major blow ups with the mother they've been reunited again.  My dude sees the boy as his son regardless, did the right thing.  You can't magic away 10 years.  Bless

***

Wyclef Jean! Talented, dare I say underrated? Debatable when you've sold millions of albums.  Really loved his first solo album "The Carnival".  This is apparently off Carnival 3


Below is an interesting interview he had with the Drink Champs crew.  An unreconstructed rowdy lot, un-PC, smoke and drink, but if you persist with the video there are lots of gems


Monday, 14 August 2017

Great Britain's 4x100m women's relay team

Gat-diggidy-damn!!! 

Great Britain's 4x100m women's relay team Daryll Neita, Dina Asher-Smith, Desiree Henry and Asha Philip





The BBC studio couch was popping with crazy crazy chocolate as these gals were interviewed. I was dumb mesmerized just watching the ladies talk.  

*fans himself, calls up the local Imam for conversion classes*


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Selective vs. Universal Basic Income (UBI)


Or Unconditional Basic Income.  In my last post I mentioned the Y Combinator mooting the idea of benefits for all, a living wage of sorts.  I thought that's all it was, a mooted idea.  But appears these guys ain't playing.  YouTube is awash with debates on the issue.  The weird bit is the proponents say this is something that should be paid to everybody - rich and poor. huh? something about removal of class structures. yeah?

Switzerland in 2016 put the idea to vote in a referendum.



Not to be confused with means tested social security (like we have in the UK):
selective versus universal benefits. selective versus universal benefits A major dispute concerning the organization of welfare regimes, addressing the issue of whether welfare should be delivered selectively to those in need, or universally as claims that individuals make of each other as members of a community - http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/selective-versus-universal-benefits
I must admit my alarm at the CEO's statement was the elitist tone of it.  I also have no clue what's in place these day in the world of Social Benefits payments.  You don't have to work, we'll automate and AI everything and you can just sit and home and do whatever it is you poor-ish people do.  So it appears the idea has been around (with the differing agendas), though I can't decide in my little head if it's fundamentally a Left-leaning or some sort of Neo-Liberal construct/idea. You know these things better, please enlighten me.



"it should come as a warning sign when the richest men in the room are advocating UBI"

I'm with BadMouse's video above, all good but ultimately not in our interest.  One of the few videos that really critiques this "great idea".

I know one thing.  I'd rather work for my living, whether it be low end sweeping the streets of Catford or high end programming Artificial Intelligent machine (which will of course take my job, make me redundant - quick, someone, publish the kill switch codes!).  I want some control on my life.  Yeah, more leisure time to learn how to play a fucking piano or hand glide.  Yes utopia.  But I'm not ready to give up the one bargaining chip I have left in my interactions with the machine.


***

I've been on Darker Than Wax crew for a minute.  Top quality mixes from Soul, Funk, R&B to experimental Trap music and Afrobeats. Those boys don't sleep

Monday, 7 August 2017

Since You Been Gone

May since my last (non-)post? Has it really been that long?  I guess the old cliche "Time flies when you grinding hard" ain't so cliched.  So what's gwan? Many tings though I'd say life as usual.  Anything but (I'll leave out the sordid details)

Still slaving for the machine, reading the Guardian, tumblr (not so much these days), soundclouding (ain't that supposed to shut down soon?), watching Red Pill and Blue Pill on Brother Rich's Youtube channel ("Red and Blue Purple like Prince! Red and Blue Purple like Prince!").  The song annoys the wife, the kids love it.  Hip Hop heads unite!



My middle son's become the nightmare to the other two, straight up causing mayhem around the house. Cracks me up that one, I remember being as naughty (yes, I'm the middle one of the siblings), so bad I had to go to school in a separate car, my dad that exasperated with my antics (and tired of beating my ass).  Like his daddy little dude can be a delight to chit chat with.  Whip smart (yup, we do intelligence), watches the news, very attentive.  Till he decides he's had enough and puts lego pieces down his elder brother's back or snatches baby brother's pac-man toy.  I do the faux-telling-off parenty bit ("You little shit! Go to your room! Now!"), but inside I'm laughing my head off.

Did a UK holiday (Margate) for the first time.  Brock pockit, Brexit, alladat, means no more expensive holidays to foreign lands.  Buy British! Must say, I quite enjoyed it, beach on sunny days (if 19 - 21° C counts :-), visits to Dover, Canterbury on the rainy-ish days.  White Cliffs of Dover was popping! visited the famous light-house.  Place has a wikid tea room, full up of all types of cakes and Chinese kids on some cultural exchange ting.  Yeah, could have really done with a visit to Ghana/Gambia/Egypt/Nigeria but affording holidays for a family of five is beyond my pay grade.  Can't wait for those sprogs to grow and leave the yard so I can get back to my type of holidays.

God Bless the children

***

What really goes on in Silicon Valley? The billionaire venture capitalists and Tech startups pride themselves on innovation, disruptors as they call themselves.  But at what price? This cloaking in warm and fuzzy terms like "Social Media" means we sometimes fail to see what they really represent, ask the right questions.  Cold hard cash by another name



Watched this really great documentary, Secrets Of Silicon Valley, on BBC iPlayer.  The presenter explores what disruption really means beyond the confines of the bubble that is the valley.  Uber in India, Airbnb in Barcelona, driver-less trucks in the US that will put thousands of truck drivers out of work, AI advances in medical diagnosis.  The social implications (negative and positive) and the hard questions that tends to get overlooked in this march to Technology Utopia. Really fascinating documentary.

Puts things in perspective.  The Tech giants are starting to outgrow political control (in the US at least), doing stuff that leaves little room for debate on the pros and cons.  In most cases these technological advances are not properly understood by those empowered to legislate.

The arrogance of these young startups is astounding and worrying. The presenter interviewed this dude who heads up Y Combinator, a startup that nurtures and greenlights other tech startups.  The founder and head is this young 32 year old guy, regulation jeans and tshirt.  He barely entertained the presenter's questions on disruption, visibly irritated by questions that touched on the social implications, completely dismissive.  The questions turned around to his "innovative" idea that in the future the 1% might consider paying a "living wage" to the Great Unwashed who will lose their menial jobs to AIs and advances in Automation. Some kind of Benefits 2.0.  The presenter was aghast at his lack of irony.  Like you see nothing odd in this outcome?  What? people just sit at home on the "dole", ambition discouraged?  The Master of the Universe got even more irritated.

For someone whose company is valued at $80 billion dollars he expressed zero empathy.  Not the sort of guy you want determining your future.  Is what happens when Tech positions itself as a force for Social Change.  These dudes are as cold as the servers that run their software platforms.  

Watched another video that might explain the super focussed, deadpan, disconnected attitude.  Microdosing LSD Productivity Hack ey?  Interesting ...


I have no words

Friday, 5 May 2017

Chris Brown Friday!

^^ :)) the title makes sense later

The Italians, a confusing bunch, can be very warm and welcoming.

When I worked in Rome I had no shortage of work colleagues taking me back to their homes for dinner, meet the family, etc. To date I still don't think I've ever visited any of my London work colleagues at home (who are not Nigerian or Caribbean).  Did go to Andrej's daughter's birthday, but he's from Ukraine.  I'll lump him with the Nigerian/Caribbean camp.  Back to the Italians. Yes, warm, but can be racist/fascist at the flip of a switch.  As a foreigner you are never quite sure how to relate.

This all comes to mind with the recent racist incident involving Ghanaian football star, Sulley Muntari. Sulley plays for Italian side Pescara.  During a game he was persistently racially abused by a section of the opponent's fans.  He complained to the referee but got a yellow card for his troubles. Now he's received a one match ban, an accumulation of yellow cards from previous games. Why did he gIn 2017? Ridiculous is putting it lightly! Leaves a bad taste.


I remember starting work at a Mobile firm, Wind, located in the swanky district of Torre Spaccata, a couple of days before the big local derby between rivals Roma and Lazio.  Was mad excited because I followed Roma at the time, my colleagues in massive arguments about who was better, everyone gearing up to go to the game.  I asked one of them if I could get a ticket to the match.  All round silence, people staring at the floor.  One of the guys, Marco, then broke down the science, explaining the massive problem with racism in the stands towards Black fans and players, how I'd get abused, kicked and spat on if I dared to attend.  Being an Arsenal fan and used to the Highbury cheery banter, yes abusive at times, and general camaraderie I was weirded out being told all this.  The colour of my skin a big problem to these guys?

This set the tone to my six month stint in Rome.  You just started to experience shit here and there. I suffered a couple of blatant incidents during my time.  Was very amused when some random guy spat at my feet outside St Peter's Basilica, mumbling how "Your kind" is not wanted here, spoiling for a fight.  I admit, felt vulnerable at the time, being alone and all.  Another time some fascist type bumped me at a bus stop, my guy Marco almost getting into a fight with him.  Marco advised me to start taking another route to work, that these fascist guys were very active in that area.  I even ended up in an argument with one manager, Sicilian guy, Olindo, when he remarked "You work like the Blacks", apparently some old Sicilian reference to hard working people.  Told him you couldn't say shit like that in this day and age.  Our friendship cooled after that.  I loved my time in Rome but these incidents told me it's not a place to live in.  Fuck that shit

Sulley, hold your head up

***

Chris Brown Friday!  Lol, I made that up.  But bwai! The man can dance! fucking talented



He makes it all look so damn easy



A post shared by Tagged Models | Hills 😍 ... (@hillshavethighs) on

Milo Berosa's waistline, featuring Chris Brown's "Privacy".  pow!


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ode to Curtis (Death becomes us)

My next door neighbour and very good friend, a father figure Mr. Curtis passed away yesterday afternoon.  At the young age of 64 years he left us too soon.  Curtis had been in hospital for the last five/six weeks, having been admitted for multiple strokes.  The prognosis wasn't terribly good but I'd expected a recovery of sorts, at least good enough for him to return home.  Feel a way now as I blog, guilt that I didn't go visit him in hospital.  My wife did go last week, something in her spirit compelling her to go and I'm very glad she did.  Apparently he lit up when he saw her, was always very fond of her and the kids.  His daughter showed me a picture just after he passed and he looked peaceful, like he was sleeping.  Death becomes us

"When Death Becomes Us. ... It, meaning Death, is a transitional period from one life to the next. It's meaning can be very “stubborn” to most, in that we often think of Death as something final or stagnant in some way. But Death is a necessary form of life"
http://shamalah.com/when-death-becomes-us/

Wise words, still can be hard to accept.  Curtis was a great very generous and hardworking guy.  He'd been dealing with strokes for the last five years, just after I moved in.  You never heard a peep from him about it, such a strong character he was.  Other than the odd occasional hospitalisation he bore it stoically, keeping busy with a few charities he presided over, trips to the Gambia, Ghana and across the Caribbeans, radio programmes he made guest appearance on (Galaxy FM).  A very prolific guy given his ailment.  He always gave me very valuable advice on everyday stuff, life in general, and for that I will miss he a lot.

Curtis. Tottenham FC won against Crystal Palace today, your guys still have a chance at the Premier League title. Curtis man! ..

Curtis, from the bottom of my heart and a weary soul I wish you bon voyage to the other side, the journey to Ancestorhood.  I know somehow, someway, somewhere you are reading this.  I will try hold my head up and do as you always advised.  I'm a very flawed character, but I hope to be like you one day, wise and have made something of this short life.

Rest in peace

Bless

Friday, 21 April 2017

TGIF .. Rewind .. On A Lighter Note

ok .. last post was middle age ranty (dang son! you gonna be 47 in September. blood claat!).  so, on a lighter note, my man Kelechi from ArsenalFanTV on Arsene Wenger listening to him lol. Love dude :)))


"you see, when I speak the Arsenal they respond! if count the number of grey hairs on my head, I'm a man of wisdom!"

COYG! we need top four! (don't start on how top 4 is not a thing)

***

Pleaseeee! I need these African print threads in my fucking life! Summer baby!

https://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/159816369345/dapperlou-cape-to-cuba-wow-need-that-african


***

As always, have a good weekend, be good. but if you can't loool. yeah, play safe

x

TGIF .. Black Football Managers

I've been here before right?  First off, big up to Chris Hughton for taking Brighton FC into the Premier League.  Real talk, big up the Brethren, especially for the bullshit he's had to put up with over the years, from Tottenham FC, Newcastle FC to Norwich City.


Sacked, especially when he's put in stellar work, football drills and practices that are still used in these clubs to this day!  It's almost like the moment he takes whatever club to the top flight they immediately dispense of his services.  I'm already counting how long Chris Hughton will last at Brighton come the start of next Premier League season.  Don't tell me it's not the colour of his fucking skin. Has to be, else what reasons for it?

Why am I bringing this up again? Was listening to BBC World Service this morning and caught an interview with Dwight Yorke (ex Man United superstar) about the travesty of lack of Black Managers across the 92 professional football clubs in the UK despite so many ex-players qualified with their Coaching badges, UEFA training requirements etc.  Christ! their plain experience of being involved in the game at the highest level alone ...


Yorke's gripe is that the Black potential Managers are not getting a look-in for even bloody interviews let alone management trials at clubs.  Meanwhile the same core of White Managers are getting hired, sacked, hired, sacked, on some sort of old school boys network ish.  He's being trying to break in for eight fucking years and is at loss at how to crack the glass ceiling.

Breaks my heart this stuff.  Took my Son to an FA event last week, a celebration of football, hosted by Crystal Palace FC (My Son is part of their development centre).  One of the speakers, Black official, spoke on how they should put in the hard work, potential rewards of club football, management, etc.  I scanned the crowd of boys, easily 60/70% Black kids, a cynical shudder running through me.  Do they even know about this shit I'm blogging about? Who's gonna tell them the hard truths?  My boy's damn sure getting his University education, get a career outside of football for when it's all over.  Am I right to be this cynical?

It's not a problem found only in the football realm.  Lord knows we Black Professionals deep inside feel we can't compete even though we are super qualified.  It's stark in football because you see these guys operating in the full glare of 24 hour Sports TV, you witness the progression from players to pundit to manager/coach ... for the White ones.  Travesty

What is the solution? Quotas? I hate quotas, merit always the better outcome. But if we are not going to get shit on merit then a change has to be forced.  It worked in American Basketball, Baseball and Football

***

Man that was a long rant. Had to get it off my chest.  So yeah TGIF.  What you up to? anything fun?  I'm home slice, chilling, play with the kids, watch the Pirate DVDs Mr. Ming dropped off the other day.  I know, I know, but I'm a cheapo bastard.  But one thing I will do is purchase the new Kendrick Lamar album.  God damn! That boy is super prolific, still marveling at how he's able to drop super conscious ish in this world of Trap Drugged out music and superficial bling.


Don Cheadle slays in this, one of my fav actors!


Bitch! be humble!

Oh yeah, copping the new J Cole too.  I love music that makes you think, crisp beats, stellar production, life stories and just plain dopeness

Been on my instrumental, trapped out soul of recent.  I call it music to study to.  Favourite DJ at the moment is Complexion.  Dude has been dropping show after show on Soundcloud for a minute.

Man Listen ..




Saturday, 15 April 2017

A day in the life of a bookie

I've done some shitty jobs in my time but boy working at Ladbrokes topped them all.  I'd kinda forgotten all about it till I came across a Guardian Long Read article, A day in the life of a bookie, by writer Harry Vale (great writtens).  I was smiling as I read, having never articulated what it was like.  I guess I had put the ordeal behind me.


Working in a bookies is a unique and very challenging experience all onto itself, nothing like it.  I knew something was up when they readily gave me the part-time job, dispensing with formalities of an interview ("You seem like a bright lad").  Didn't take long for me to meet the unhinged flotsam and jetsam of inner city society.  Whether it's 25p or a £25 bet the desperation of the punters was palpable. The screams in your face was constant, accusations of taking a bet late, rigging the one-armed-bandit slot machines, general aggression.  Stressful.  Don't get me wrong, there were nice punters but the 360 turns were unnerving.  The guy who's very politely asking you for a cup of tea would be screaming in your face an hour later.  Some try to con you, swearing they gave you £20 though you have their £5 right there in your hand.  Too getting used too.

The craziest part was right before a horse race.  You'll get anything from 10 to 15 guys crowed in front of the TV monitor, watching the horses line up, listening intently to the inane commentary.  You know the race will kick off in less than two minutes, puzzled not one of them has placed a bet.  One minute to go and they all suddenly crowd the counter, placing the bets.  A mess of pennies, pound coins, brown notes, literally chucking the money at you, hands outstretched to snatch the betting slips from you. A complete scramble.  I was constantly left confused working it all out.  Luckily I had a good manager, she'd help me sort it out, seeming to know who dropped what on the table just by looking at them.  In a matter of minutes the race would be over, the bets cashed in and it starts all over again.   These guys were mostly silent, didn't really talk to each other, living completely for the thrill of the bet (and dreams of a fortune).  I cashed up hundreds of pounds (the odd thousand) in lost bets.  The house truly doesn't lose.

All sorts came in.  I once had this quaint old lady, come in with her heavy load of shopping, looked about my Mums age.  Pen at the ready she starts going over the racing post, scribbling down notes, etc. She ended up placing bets on over 30 different races, 25p here, a pound there, roughly about £20.  I was amazed at her knowledge of the races, horses, jockeys, the whole shit. The staff told me she was a legend, had won some serious quids on her spread betting.

One day I had enough.  Had a big incident were some guy threatened to stab me up.  He had been blacklisted and I didn't know it. I had taken his bet when the manager signaled he's not allowed in the shop. He wasn't having it, saying I'd wasted his time blah blah.  I smiled at him, a big mistake, and the dude went through the roof.  Tried to grab my shirt, called me all sorts of names, stormed off, threatening he'll "see you later after work".  My manager made me take an early lunch, one of the punters helpfully informing me "he's a complete nutter, you wanna be careful mate".  I resigned later that day, eff that ish, didn't come over from Nigeria to be killed by some schitzo.  I just couldn't be arsed dealing with the nonsense anymore.  I did look over my shoulder for a few weeks after the incident.  A bookies shop never looked the same again

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ah Ah! Arsenal Why Now? Wenger Get Out!

Happy Good Friday! (is that a thing?)

Used to be a joy being a Gooner.  Rub up those Spurs and Chelsea fans the wrong way, sensitive lot (bless em). Still is in a lot of ways ("Sanchez comes down on the left! Sanchez cuts in! Sanchez scores! Gooooooaaaaal!").  Unfortunately those moments are now few and far between.  Not to say I too bothered, more important thing to worry about ("haba! how are we going to pay this months mortgage! this overdraft charges eh? if this boy answers me back again I will slap him to death!").

But you know say escapism is supposed to be perfect, not a reflection of the rat race.  We need our heroes, infallible, but always comes out on top.  I want to be invincible and day dream not hang my head every Monday morning when these Spurs bottlers spot me walking into the office.

So Mr. Wenger these guys have a few words for you ...



"Because of you I get Goose bumps, all over, all over, all over"

3 - 0?  3 fucking 0? To Palace? No disrespect but Palace?  Breddrin?  Love ArsenalFanTV and this episode cracked me up.  Kelechi was on a super rant, his Igbo accent in full flow, more dense the angrier he got.

Still .. My guy, nah only football. I beg, no get heart attack o! Arsenal no be ya Papa property. Chill

***

I hate it when I haven't seen a movie yet but catch a review.  The hype around the movie Get Out (still haven't seen it) was so much I had to head over to Conscious community (read conspiracy theorist) to see what they were saying.  As ever Young Pharaoh and the Twin Pillars didn't fail to provide edutainment.



Pharaoh's channel is definitely worth subscribing to, if you can handle the language (wish he didn't swear as a way of talking, very cockney like).  I love his combative style, though it puts him at logger heads with his fellow conscious brethren.

I never miss an episode of Red Pill and Blue Pill dropping the knowledge, whether it be Black History, Egypt, Hip Hop, whatever, these guys are very entertaining.  Big up to Brother Rich (blackmagic363 TV) for hosting them, makes the channel all the more worth subscribing too.  Their Get Out review, though serious, has a lot of laugh out loud moments




Saturday, 8 April 2017

Summer in Brockwell

Hello blog, long time no see. I've almost forgotten how to write. I say that but I write software for a living. Does that count? There is an element of creativity, constructing complex algorithms becomes prose like, the satisfaction as good as sex (really dude?). Ahh, the joy of coding. Some days it's a slug, same old-ish, but it keeps the lights on.

One of my work colleagues, a good friend, is leaving, pushed out really. My company's opened a South African branch and we've been interviewing like crazy. At first junior staff, no biggie. But now our jobs are under threat. If I'm getting forwarded candidates at a mid to high level I'm wondering, hmm, why do you need guys at this level? We already handle these tasks here in London. At half the pay I get the economics but the mortgage ain't gonna pay itself. Santa was at the receiving end of this bullshit when he was informed he will start reporting to one of these SA new hire. Santanu hired this guy?! If you are paid twice/thrice your manager.. the writing is on the wall. Time to dust down the C.V.

Hello Spring Sunshine, been a while. Lovely very sunny late morning in brockwell park, watching my son in a very fiesty U-13 football match. Bit unfair on them, 9 v 10, some team mates away on holiday. My son's growing into a really tall teen, almost my height, deepening voice and all. Final whistle, they lost. 

Better luck next time

ok, was trying to be a bit artistic (sticking to day job)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

RIP William Onyeabor a.k.a Mr. Fantastic

Heard the news of today's passing away of the music legend William Onyeabor with sadness.  

I remember talking to my dad after watching the 2014 documentary about him, the excellent "Fantastic Man". My Dad looked at me, smile on his face.  Apparently we knew the guy, went to visit him a few times after he bought fiber glass furniture from my Dad's business, said we played football with his kids.  



life huh?

Mr. Fantastic, God Is Black salutes you, RIP!

***

old post from 2014



Wow! This documentary was a trip in pure nostalgia.  William Onyeabor's electronic funk music was the backdrop to my childhood in the late 70s/early 80s of Enugu, Nigeria. Constantly played on the radio, my dad playing Onyeabor's songs on the 8-track car stereo, my young Uncle Bart (rip) doing the moves from the video. I can already see the flare trousers and platform shoes lol!  My brother and I used to run around singing "Atomic Bomb". Ridiculous but such was the richness of life and childhood. William was one of the many musicians who popped out of Enugu back in day, but dude was way way ahead of his time.  Enugu was, and still very much is, a very creative city with an abundance of musical talent.

Big up you guys for releasing this great documentary!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Tribute to KASHIF b/w Funky DL

Over the Christmas break I stumbled upon an incredibly funky Soundcloud 80s mixTribute to Kashif - Selected & Mixed by Walla P.  According to the tribute summary:

"2016 just saw another Legend pass away. Kashif Saleem, previously known as Michael Jones, was one of the most prolific producers in the 1980's, producing for acts such as Melba Moore, Evelyn Champagne King, Withney Houston, Howard Johnson and George Benson, just to name a few."



Man! the mix kicks ass! I'd never heard of Kashif but dude was a prolific producer and his track record is peerless.  Like seriously, I've been dancing to his shit for all these years and had no idea who had produced it all.

Kashif Saleem! GodIsBlack salutes you! Rest In Peace

1

***

In my 2016 music round up I forgot to an album that gave me hours of pleasure last year.  Funky DL man! Dude's been busy in the kitchen cooking up some dope beats laced with crisp rhymes.  After a four year hiatus the album Autonomy: The 4th Quarter dropped out of no where, zero fanfare.  Man, worth the wait.




DL I got some much love for, ever since I heard him on the theme tune to DJ 279's Friday night Choice Radio Hip Hop show.  Man! whatever happened to Choice.  I used to get ready for a night out listening to that show.  279 was on his game, always had studio guests, rappers from across the Hip Hop spectrum. Used to be him and Westwood that ruled the airwaves in the day.  These days 279 hosts the fantastic 80s London club night Throwbaak.




Enjoy

HyperNormalisation: Welcome To Post-Truth

Normalisation (Sociology):

"Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as 'normal' and become taken-for-granted or 'natural' in everyday life"

Caught the fantastic Adam Curtis's "HyperNormalisation" on BBC iPlayer last night.  An eye opener of a documentary.  As it played out it made one think about this world we live in, the events unfolding around us, what any of it meant.

We've become so much a part of the System that we see it's fake nature as normal. Hyper Normal. Truth becomes Collateral Damage



(15 minute Edit)

A few days ago I had blogged about Donald Trump, Syria and Vladimir Putin, trying to work out what was going on, make sense of the confusion.  One thing that struck me was that this geopolitical game of chess had been playing out for a very long time, so long you lose track of the chain of events.  Was gold dust watching Adam Curtis string it all together, events I'd forgotten, shit I never knew about (Origins of Suicide Bombers anyone?), things I knew but didn't figure as relevant.

The great thing about the documentary is it becomes a living document, like a very good book.  You can come back years later and know it will hold, curious to see what has changed.

Hyper Normalisation is a weird one.  Take the Chicago gang murders I blogged about months ago, brilliantly touched on by Reggie Yates in his BBC documentary.  I know it is crazy abnormal that this is taking place, especially in Chicago that has the strictest gun laws in USA.  I know it troubles me that my people are dying in record numbers.  But it's gone on for so long I started to see it as normal.  But see, it is anything but:


And this is the effect of hyper normalisation.  As social media desensitizes us to it, everything reduced to a Hash Tag, the killings become the normal, ceases to be a problem that must be solved.  This leads to absence of real research into why it is occurring, meaningful action.  

You just have to listen to the many talking heads on YouTube live streams, traditional television, newspapers, etc, to know none of them have a clue what is going on.  Nobody knows why Black Chicago is killing itself.  One thing in common is they talk about it as if it's some fact of life.  We were starting to see a version of this reality with the endemic knife crimes in London.

See, there are definitely outside agencies at work in this.  But why?  what is the end game? I don't know enough about sociology to understand the ins and outs of this normality, but I do know it is designed to do one thing - make us "forget about it"


Saturday, 7 January 2017

2016 Music (well sorta..) Roundup

2016 was very much different from 2015. In '15 I rediscovered my love for street level conscious hip hop, was introduced to Chill Trap (or Trap Soul as it's called these days), general found out about more music. Last year was more of the same with some very good gems.

My biggest was being introduced to Somi, Afro/Jazz/Soul Diva who's been out for a while.  I haven't stopped listening to her 2014 album "The Lagos Music Salon". "Last Song", Track #17 has been my lick for a minute and I can't stop listening to it.  Haunting, melancholy tinged love song



2014 must have been a great year.  J. Cole boy! straight picked up from where he left of with the incredible "2014 Forest Hills Drive".  "4 Your Eyez Only" is banging! Can't wait for an official collabo with Kendrick Lamar to drop, can only be pure heat.  The two put me back into that introspective music mode, where you think while bopping your head.  I really missed all that from Hip Hop.



Kabaka Pyramid was another artist I got into last year via the Crossroads Riddim, my riddim of 2016, though the riddim was from '15 (Thanks Dawna for dropping Venessa Lee Bongo's vid).  I was captivated by his take "Too Long" and completely sold by his incredible mixtape 2014 "The Lyricist" Mixtape.  Again 2014!!! There must be something in that very year :))



I don't do radio saturation. But with Rihanna's "Work" I make a complete exception, can't get enough of that joint. So good I bought the album "Anti" which is fiyah! That and the fact she's real bonafide Erotic and very comfortable with it.



But "Kiss It Better" was my fav song off the album.  Man fuck your pride!






Sunday, 1 January 2017

Poly .. What? b/w Vladimir Putin's Ordo Abchao (Order out of chaos)

lol! indeed, Poly .. what?  The Compersion, really great YouTube show, easily the best I watched in 2016



True talk, I have a certain view on these things.  But the dude doesn't mess about with his questions

"Whaaaat? Do you want to fuck other men?"

Would I request permission to indulge in a certain sexual freedom/general intimacy? The permission to freely see another woman outside of my spouse? The ideas are heady but fraught with all sorts of pitfalls.  Still it is a brave person that is honest with themselves and puts forward such a request.  I don't put no social norms on this or profess any moralistic views, it may work for some it may not work for others.  Still I applaud the woman.  I could question why she is not satisfied in the relationship, why she feels the need for the intimacy of another.  But I recognise the complexity of the request and I'll put respect on her.

What do you think?

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Ordo Abchao.  Order Out of Chaos.  And the world in 2017 is going to be a very chaotic one, but it will be brought to order.  The question is ... who's order will it be?



Ras Kass's song Ordo Abchao came out in 1996.  Really great song, goes into the specifics of a New World Order.  20 years later and does any of this still hold?

"The planet revolves, supposedly man evolves
But no problem is solved, cause man is the cause
For the sake of eugenics biochemists create ethnospecific epidenmics
Injecting the public in clinics
Then when the truth comes out "You black people are so paranoid"
But who murdered Africa? The World Health Organization
Before 1978 there was no blood with AIDS contamination
It ain't little green monkeys"

If you have a passing interest in the events in Syria over the last 4/5 years read on.

Vladimir Putin.  What a man.  I was listening to an LBC London radio show (right wing-ish) where the topic was if Obama was right to expel the Russian Diplomats for "interfering" with the American Elections.  The host, Katie Hopkins, was of the view that Obama was childish and didn't achieve much during his presidency, and that she couldn't wait to see the back of him.  It was all wishy-washy conservative vs liberal talk till this guy called in.  The caller made a strong point that this is high level chess being played out, and Katie was trying to avoid the real discussions of what was going on.  The tone of the calls after that changed, real politicking heads calling in.  Very interesting analysis followed.

Obama has expelled these guys.  Putin says he'll wait till President Elect Donald Trump is in office to respond.  It's a waiting game but Obama has played a very strong hand.  Trump will quite possibly demand the immediate recall of the diplomats.  But he'll have to do so before the Congress and the Senate, he will have to clearly explain how he cannot see that the Russians interfered with shit.  He'll have to explain this to the US nation.  This is Obama's parting shot.  Clever guy.  High stakes

Right back to Putin.  Have you ever sat back and wondered what the Russians are doing in Syria? Why they propping up Assad?  Syria produces nothing.  You strike a hole in their ground and you are not going to come up with Oil or Diamonds.  There is nothing for aggressive nation states to plunder.  So why is Putin there?  It's a long drawn out game of chess he is playing.  Putin is responsible for the outcome of the American election.  He had some serious intel on the Americans. Please, someone remind me where Edward Snowden the whistle blower is holed up again? With his stash of reams and reams of American state intelligence? Yup, in Moscow, Russia.

Conspiracy Theorists would go even further.  They would say Trump is more than just a Vladimir Putin admirer

Who are Syria's only ally in the Middle East?  Iran.  As Assad remains in power his victory will be attributed to the Russians and in turn the Iranians.  Who's currently brokering peace? The Russians, as absurd as it is.  With Trump on Putin's side Iraq will fall in line.  Of course Turkey, despite rhetoric, is allied with Russia.  So who's left?  The Saudis.  Putin would have sown everything up and lay challenge to the Saud's control of the oil market.  He aims to wrest control from them in a way that will bump the oil prices up and improve the value of the Russian Ruble.  With the Saudis in line (or even before that) he aims to have Trump force the removal of the Western Europe sanctions against Russia.  And after all is done the next target is the Chinese.

I would argue he wants to shape the world in his own image.  Bring order to chaos of his own making.  What did Naomi Klein call it again? yes, Shock Doctrine.

We'll watch his space in 2017


Imani, Faith b/w Breaking Habits and Mental Discipline

January 1st.

7th (last) day of Kwanzaa: Imani (Faith). To believe in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Won't lie, consciously celebrating Kwanzaa has been a revelation.  It coinciding with the last week of the year and culminating on the 1st day of 2017 is incredibly cleansing, spiritual and the best way to conclude the year and start a new one.  Yesterday's Kuumba was about Creativity and I thought about the many things we Africans have created, from the Mbari Art of Owerri, the Adnikra patterning, the great Pyramids of Giza, Hip Hop, Reggae, Scientific inventions ... it's endless the influence of our creativity and what we have given to mankind.  We have a lot to be proud of and should strive to create more.



"Blood of Titans" art by the incomparable Mshindo Kuumba!

We should have pride and, as today's lesson points out, We should have Faith.  Faith in those who have earned to right to guide us.

But of even greater importance, We must have Faith in Ourselves.  We must move Mountains.  The world view of the African is coloured by Western and Eastern influences, be it negative and positive.  We don't attribute leadership to ourselves.  Only if others do it do we accord merit. It's a theme that runs through everything and it's a narrative we have to combat and replace.  We are meritorious.  The evidence is all around us, we don't acknowledge it enough.  I've suffered the same non-positive views too, choosing to criticize in a non-constructive way.  Yes, hold those who speak for us accountable, but don't just raise voices when something negative happens, but also sing their praises when they make a change.  Reinforce.  Africa Rising!

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So the first thing of the New Year is we make resolutions.  But resolutions require taking stock, deciding what must change.  More important! Having the discipline to do it.  But how can we empower ourselves to make this change?  As ever Brother Quanaah, my spiritual mentor, has wise words and a very good guide to achieving this.  Bless



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Y2K17, In which I lift my mood

I woke up into 2017 in a right old mood, somewhere between cynical "can't be arsed" and "Talk Sports Radio listening, Middle Aged Moany old git".  Belly trouble for last two days had taken it's toll and all I wanted to do was lie down and not be troubled. Viral? shouldn't be two days running, surely? Didn't help that last night I sat in a Nigerian Restaurant, two big Guinness bottles and a very hot Goat meat Pepper soup, while watching Liverpool beat Man City with their overrated Pep Guardiola coach ... ffs! stop with your moaning :)))

Managed to get in a quarrel with the wife and shout at the kids. Suffice to say by noon they went off to the New Year parade, left my ass behind.  Nobody wants the hassle of a ranting and raving 46 year old git. :)) Yeah, I have my moments, don't do sicky sicky very well.

So I had a shower, felt better.  Brought out the dustpan and brush, mop, a wet cloth and proceeded to scrub the yard.  My mood started to lift big time.  Therapeutic.  Shit man it's 2017! A brand new year! A lot to celebrate, get yourself out of 2016 :)))  Finished up, put on some fresh clothes and went off to Co-op and did some shopping.  Straight cleared my head.  And here I am blogging, thinking I need a big ass cheese and onion Omelette and a cup of Black golden roast coffee.

To all my blog peoples, from the bottom of my heart, a Happy 2017 New Year, may all that you wish and strive for this year come to pass!!!  Ase!!!