Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Ayi Kwei Armah / Talib Kweli - 2000 Seasons

One tale. Two classics

"For whom do we aspire to reflect our own people's death
For whose entertainment shall we sing of agony? In what hopes?
That the destroyers aspiring to extinguish us will suddenly
suffer remorse at the sight of their own fantastic success?

The last imbecile to dream that dream is dead
He was killed by the saviors of his own dream
Armah, 2000 seasons"

Is why you gotta love hip hop, the level of consciousness it can expose you too if you really choose to listen.  I first heard of (or rather remembered) Ayi Kwei Armah through the incredible "2000 Seasons" by Talib Kweli.  The opening poetry taken from the book of the same name (published in 1973).  A very beautiful intro, first 30 seconds of the song, spoke of something I was struggling to understand.  It haunted me for years searching for it's source.

I was first introduced to Armah in secondary school through the wonderful book The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born.  I remember the Nigerian secondary school curriculum making a strong shift from European authors to African writers with a strong Pan African slant. Through the curriculum  I got introduced to writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole SoyinkaPeter Abrahams, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Cyprian Ekwensi.  Incredible writers.  I was all the more informed, greatly improved my (limited) writing skills.  One regret I had was not being able to speak/read French because I've missed a lot by the francophone writers like the great Cheikh Anta Diop.

Still a number of books I never got round to reading. I'll wait till holidays and when I retire, find a desert island and read for the rest of time

"the way I flip it is embarrassing, tis the season, ain't no carolling"

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Music and Words Award

I don't know what to say (big smiles). I've been nominated for things in the past, a few blog incarnations ago, even won one.  Dawna Lee nominating me for Music & Words Award #mwa means a lot, for reasons beyond blogging and music.  Thanks. I'm not the music blogger I once was, posting and reviewing every song that came my way, doing Global Voices African music round up and stuff. Gosh, some of the blogs I really dug are still around, the quirky WFMU, Eargasm, 2dopeboyz, EJ Flavors, Todd Kelley, etc. :)) I feel Internet old.  

First off, the rules of this award nomination:

1.) Link back to the person who nominated you.
2.) Answer the questions with words AND music.
3.) Pass the award on to 5 other people. Make sure you notify them.
4.) Tag your post with #MWA for Music & Words Award so we can all find you down the line.
5.) Quote these 5 steps and display the award icon in your post and also on your sidebar if you wish.

Shut Chrome, get on with it. Right here goes my rambling answers ..

Question number 1: What does music mean to you?

Everything! My claim to fame was a stint as a DJ on my University radio station back in the day.  Music has always been part and parcel of everything I do. It underpins everything I do (did I just say that twice?).  At work, headphones on, pumping some reggae or drum and bass, the occasional head nod to go with the flow. Out and about, especially driving, trying to avoid running into a wall as I fumble between the CD player and some obscure Local FM/AM station. I can't cook or do the dishes unless I have some music going.  In the club, moving with my two left feet to some Afro beats or in the shower, singing, croaky voice and all.

Music is spiritual to me.  That mellow soothing jazz tune, the ital conscious reggae song, a dose of banging, braggadocio hip hop.  It's like my thinking cap, clears my mind of negative thoughts and sets me free.

Question number 2: What is your first music-related memory?

Has to be my first introduction to Bob Marley. We had just moved back to Nigeria and my Uncle Sonny (RIP) had the envious task of getting us into school and looking after us.  The album Survival, Sonny played it day and night for months.  I was only eight, fresh from the UK, and it was like nothing we'd heard.  Sonny was a self styled Rasta man and his use of patois used to drive my moms mad, especially as we starting to pick up his speak. Other memorable memories were the long cross country drives with my dad, changing the eight track cassettes, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers. Nigerians had a thing for country music in the 70s/80s, that and rock music. Don't ask.

Question number 3: What was the first album you purchased?

It was a Manu Dibango record, but for the life of me, can't remember the name.  I was riding in the car with my father on my birthday and it was playing.  I asked him to buy it for me.  Dibango LPs were always lying around the house and I think it was the first time I heard him on the radio.  I saw Manu Dibango about 10 years ago at the Barbican and the man hadn't aged one bit.

Question number 4: What was the latest music you purchased?

Just purchased Kamasi Washington's The Epic. And boy is it epic! Been meaning too for a few months but waited for the price to come down a bit (what? it always does. I have bills to pay you know).  Really great and ambitious album from a (fairly) new Jazz artist.  I haven't been up on my Jazz and when Kamasi came on the scene I realized I had some catching up to do.  His string arrangements are old school and very contemporary at the same time, lots of gems on repeated listens.

:)) I also bought Drake & Future's single Jumpman (couldn't find a free mp3 anywhere. wasn't it like a mixtape?).  Also couldn't find a youtube video for it but this RNB take/cover by Devvon Terrell is very good!

Question number 5: Which song did you listen to last?

Not any song in particular but a mix off my last post in tribute to Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, passed away last week.  Touched me deeply his passing. Soundtrack to my teenage years and my early twenties.  I played their classic album "Midnight Marauders" till the CD case was falling apart.  RIP my man

Nomination Time.  I honestly can't think of any blogger to nominate, not followed anyone outside my current circle in a minute.  OK, I'll nominate.

Barefoot Countessa @Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Only two (does that affect my nomination?) but I'm sure they'll do the challenge justice.

Madam Lee, Gracias!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Vanquish my foes

I burst out laughing while reviewing my son's bidden prayer (still not sure what it's supposed to be). He looked at me like dad? He had written "God forgive my enemies". He's only 9. So why not ask God for weapons too, in case he doesn’t forgive your enemies :) Son's been playing too many FIFA 16 and Sega Super Smash Bros, everything's opponents and enemies. Kids

Poor God, we humans pray and ask him for all sorts of impossible crap. It's like the opposing football teams that pray before kick off, like how does God work out who wins? And what happens when a Christian team plays a Muslim or Buddhist one? Do the holy deities duke it out in spiritual realm as the ball pings round the pitch? I know, don't mean to be cynical, can't help my logical thoughts. Prayers make people feel good and gives comfort, I totally get that.

Another one that makes me smile is relationship type prayers. I've got girlfriends who attend week day prayers, spending premium dough for Pastors to beg God for man.  Was listening to a DJ Freestyle's galaxy radio talk show about Internet dating, the pros and cons. Freestyle is the man, great brother from Sierra Leone.  This Afro conscious sister called and stated the only way that works is prayers to the ancestors for a man, and one had to be very specific or end up with a frog. 6.2 ft, good job and very solid. Freestyle retorted, but why call on the ancestors? Surely you can do a quick search on or singles?  This next guy called in rambling that, yes, prayers brought him his perfect woman, but what is he supposed to do as she's on a different continent? And so on it went, a more complex topic than I thought. I love Saturday afternoon talk radio, especially spiced with heavy afrobeats tunes

I'd love to work in the prayer clearing department of heaven, get involved in the arguments for and against. :)

I'm a cynical bastardo

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Why Do White Girls Date Black Guys? b/w Transgender Sidney Starr

I dunno. Because Black guys are fellow human beings? Love is blind? White women have a BBC Fetish? I don't know and I don't care. I've never dated a White Girl.  Life is too short.  Honestly, not the most pressing question in life.

OK, let a White Girl below tell it in her words. 3+ million have so far been interested in listening


If Sidney Starr is really a transgender person then surgery has gone way way advanced than I thought possible. No sign of an Adam's apple, no man-ish left-over features.  I'm watching the interview and thinking this "Lady" couldn't have possibly ever been a Man.  The femininity on display is to true to the female form to be done by surgery. We live in strange times (or among new liars who will do say anything for fame)

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi: footnotes

It saddens me very deeply to see Libya of today, torn by chaos.  A once proud country, very recently the stronghold of proud Pan African ideology, embodied in the great leader Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi.

Muammar Gaddafi: Africa For Africans

Now we are in 2016 and Libya is completely lifeless, rendered a failed state by the vampire David Cameron and his NATO cohorts, turned into the new abode of ISIS, Boko Haram, and other Islamic fundamentalist groups.

I decided to blog this after reading recent news reports on David Cameron being called to task and pressured on Britain's role in setting up a stabilisation force in Libya (Guardian, March 17th 2016).  The Devil destroys, The Devil Re-builds.  I spit on him.  Very few people actually know why Muammar was killed.

I remember the day Gaddafi died, his battered and beaten lifeless and drag through the streets like a fucking dog, the victim of his decades of defiance and opposition to the West. Not even the dignity of facing a military firing squad.  The very last of his kind.  A chapter in our lives closed.

I try very hard not to think about it.  Annoys the shit out of me.

Rest in peace, you have joined the Ancestors

Always! Always! Always! take a very very long spoon when dining with the Devil

Friday, 18 March 2016

PSA: Amazing Frozen Lemon (Vitamin C) vs. Cancer

A friend sent this to me.  fascinating to say the least.  I usually don't pay that much attention, but health has been shite of late .. touch wood. tgif



Place the washed lemon in the freezer.

Once frozen, get your grater, & shred the whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on your foods! 

On vegetables, salad, ice cream, soup, cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, rice, sushi, fish dishes, ... the list is endless. 

All the foods will get an unexpected wonderful taste!

Most likely, you only think of lemon juice as vitamin C ??
Not anymore!

What's the major advantage of using the whole lemon other than preventing waste & adding new taste to your dishes? 

Lemon peels contain as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself & that's what you've been wasting!

Lemon peels are health rejuvenators in eradicating toxic elements in the body. 

The surprising benefits of lemon is the miraculous ability to kill cancer cells! It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy!!

Why do we not know about that? 
Because there are laboratories interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge profits. 

You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon juice is beneficial in preventing the disease.  Its taste is pleasant and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy. 

How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so as not to jeopardize the multimillionaires large corporations? 

This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types.

It is considered also as an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure & an antidepressant, combats stress & nervous disorders. 

The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of the largest drug
manufacturers in the world, says that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970,the extracts revealed that It destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung & pancreas... 

The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better effect than the product Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world, slowing the growth of cancer cells.
And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect healthy cells. .

So, give those lemons a good wash, freeze them and grate them. Your whole body will love you for it!!

Request: Pls forward to lots of friends.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

03' Adolescence

"I grew up, a fucking screw up, tie my shoe up, wish they was newer, damn! I need something newer, in love with the baddest bitch in the city, I wish I knew her! I wish I won't so shy, I wish I was a bit more fly"

I exaggerate a lot (oh, you knew?). My first time was fantastic, 69'd the baddest bitch in the city and made love to her frame. That's how it plays in my head. The truth is I was scared to death and pretended someone was at the door to get out of my embarrassing limpness.  And my medical student girlfriend wasn't a bad bitch. At 19 I felt too old to be a virgin, surrounded by testosterone monkeys with fantastic tales of pussy conquest. Fucking liars. The product of Catholic school, I was a Catholic fool. I had been schooled to believe you saved it for holy matrimony. Nothing prepared me for girls, Guinness, rampaging university lads and peer pressure.

I finally got over it and went on to have the most fantastic sex life and I... There I go again :) I still have the anxiety though, perma trauma from that failed first attempt. Thank god my mind is colourful



Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Institutional Lies

"It's me init?"
"What? Because of you?"

We both burst out laughing. She had stumbled on the pavement after we exchanged glances. Sight for sore eyes, beautiful Nubian. We held that moment as I helped her up, knowing it was fleeting. A whole relationship established and played out in two minutes, love, lust, detachment, betrayal and divorce. What would our kids have looked like? We bade each other farewell.

"Have a good day and we'll replay this tomorrow". Quizzical look. She smiled. "I don't think so"

Look both ways before you cross my mind


"these walls are vulnerable".  These Walls, off Kendrick Lamar's Album "To Pimp A Butterfly". Great review below by Anthony Fantano - (the internet's busiest music nerd)



Monday, 14 March 2016

Mackerel ey?

I laughed heartily.  Someone actually taking culinary advice from me?  Wonders.  I'd spent 45 minutes on the phone yesterday evening, expounding the virtues of having a few tins in the cupboard. Of whipping up a mean mackerel stew, onions and bonnet pepper, a pot of basmatti rice, 10 minutes flat. Young nephew was impressed. Don't know what he thought, we dudes can all cook, standard.  Young nephew had recently moved from his Moms but keeps coming back home for food. Told Mommy she spoil the youth, gotta school em on the basics. Man cannot live on kebab alone.

Talking about basics, my parents have been barreling hardcore. They travelling back to Nigeria for a couple of months and taking the whole world with them. My pops bought a massive barrel from the market and packed it chocka with mackerel ;-) rice, corn beef, sugar, endless stuff. Noodles, tea. To be shipped ahead.  You'd think they were headed to a nuclear bunker. Crazy.  But I know how it go. If you don't take the necessary basics you'll find yourself quickly out of pocket.  At 400 naira to the UK sterling the currency value is borderline bananas.  Nigerians import basics. Shit currency means scarcity. So you might be flowing with dollars but have nothing to buy.  I told my mother she has to lock it all away otherwise family will dip in.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016


The clock without a minute hand, the hour glass without sand, suspended between space and time. A furnished house with no one home.

You are threading a very thin line.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Kids and Social Media

Social media and kids. No chill. Have you got a 12 years old son/daughter? Do they have WhatsApp, instagram, snapchat, tumblr? Are they on Facebook? Do you know their contacts and followers?

Can you keep up?

I sat in kitchen with my son and had a mano-to-mano, after cuffin him round the head a hundred times. The wife tried to intervene but I told it was tough love, son had to learn. Adult images, unsolicited, sent by your friends to your WhatsApp is no excuse. Yes you didn't ask for them, but what type of friends do you keep? How many are virtual? Want me to call their parents? One source of the images was a 12 year old girl. I didn't know if to laugh or cry.  This is the consequence of our insatiable appetite for instant gratification. Who isn't guilty? These kids weren't even born when MySpace and Fakebook were created. We created the tech that misleads them. Frankenstein has bolted from the stable.

Yes, as adults we can knock ourselves out on whatever social tech rubbish wastes our time. Watch porn and gamble online all day. Whatever. But it's a decision we are equipped to make. This is not something a child has to deal with, contemplate. There is no discussion here, it is not a democracy. Funny, we have all this tech ability at hand and all we can come up with is stupid social media. 140 characters of fluff.

So I broke down the science to him. The popular guy on instagram just may be a bot, doesn’t exist. The kid with pictures of £200 trainers which may have been sourced off some website. A lot of these profiles are designed to pull you in and, God forbid, run by paedophile rings. It can go from innocuous to very dangerous in a second. You could be talking to Shonte who really is a 50 old social misfit creep. Shudder. He listened, his face betraying the quality of wisdom gained from his 12 years on Planet Earth. My little son. I shook my head. I'm sure my dad would have had the same discussion with me given the impulsiveness of my youth. But, see, he didn't have to, there were no Android devices.

I spent a good part of last night looking for a good parental control app. Didn't find any good one that didn't seem like a money making vulture venture. It should be free.  I will write one, a worthy project. In the meantime my son will just have to make do with bare metal stripped down phone, to be put on the shelf once he walks in from school.

Train's arrived, I'm off. Cya

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Punany Poetry (18+)

I wish the Punany Poets would visit London.  I've been a fan of founder Jessica Holter for a minute and admire the erotic mix of burlesque, poetry they bring to their stage performances.  It's mostly geared towards Black people with special shows for couples.

Jessica Holter's The Punany Poets "Your Black Fist" Erotic Video about #BlackLove from The Punany Poets on Vimeo.

The real meaning of Adult entertainment not the dowdy nonsense we get with strip clubs and lap dancing venues.

George Galloway MP, Mayor Of London

Listened to him on Galaxy radio this afternoon, great interview, hosted by Chief Pa Kombrabia.  Lots of questions on how he would support the Black community if he got our votes.  I had no idea George Galloway was in the running for Mayor (apparently 3 choice favourite according to the bookies).

After the very poor 39% turn out that elected Boris Johnson in as Mayor we people should really come out and vote.

Good Luck George, you got my vote!

8 million stories in the City, 1 million of them are Black People

The population of London, 8.6 million souls as at 2015. Of this number there are 1.2 million Black people - African, Caribbean and Other.  So factually, every one in eight people in London is Black.  Don't you love statistics.  It means 1-in-8 of everything London is Black.  i.e. in 2016, 12.5% of the London population is Black.  As expected of a typical bell curve the Mean, Median and Mode vary from place to place for cultural, historic and economic reasons.  Take Hackney for instance, what do you think it is?

It's no idle trivia all this.  Statistics frames every social, political and economic decision.  Think you are underpaid? You have no real idea until you investigate the national average of your profession. But is that the same thinking applied to working out the living wage? Think Black Youths are unfairly targeted? There is statistics and there is perception.  Perception is a subjective bitch.  It's almost always negative.  People will favour Perception over Statistics.

Had an interesting chat around the topic of Perception. If you were dissatisfied with some work carried out in your property, be it plumbing or electrical fittings, said work carried out by two Black guys in succession would you:
  1. Conclude Black plumbers/engineers are lazy and incompetent?
  2. Ask for a White engineer the next time?
  3. Put it down to dumb luck?
  4. Stop using the services of the company that supplied the engineers
If #1 crossed your mind, even as a Black person, then you are certainly not in a minority (no pun). But, seriously, where does this perception come from?  I hear it all the time, suspect it used behind my back.  I've had such thoughts before too. As we Black Men go, par for the course.  Why are we so conditioned to think white people are better?  I've heard older Black African and Caribbean folk say crazy things like life was better under the British.  Shame we think of ourselves this way.

I'm too strong minded (and a tad hard back) to care about such perceptions and opinions, but what about the Youth coming behind me?  Maybe it's why they lack confidence to achieve, incredibly low expectations driven by society at large.  A lot of racial prejudice is based on Perception.  Sometimes we even start believing their bullshit too


8 million is also the population of New York city.  Piece of info I learned off Large Professor's excellent verse on A Tribe Called Quest's Keep It Rollin', off  the super classic Midnight Marauders.  The album even had a song called 8 million stories

"The rapper fell off now he's a junkie, there's 8 million stories in the City it's a pity"

Thursday, 3 March 2016

lamb pattie and black coffee

I missed all that, is all I was thinking of as I bought my breakfast. Good to run late some times. New proprietor dude said to give feedback on the way home and get a free coffee tomorrow (thinks too much spice in the lamb). Long may it last. Fish pattie tomorrow.

Had a bout of hardcore anxiety last night as I popped a pill for my sore throat. How long these things last? Google and WebMD said up to three weeks if viral. I dreaded as I read over the possible reasons for it. I know, stupid, but you think the worst when the raging headache and general fatigue comes with it. Usually lasts a week so two weeks in gets on one's nerves. I promised all types of Creators I ain't smoking no more cigarettes or eating pussy ever again. Did I just say that? No, I'm tripping. After a few reads I felt calm and collected. I'm not going to conk out from it. My immunity is definitely not holding up despite the cocktail of vitamins.

The solution has got to be travelling back home to Nigeria late December and not returning till March. Black people are not designed for winter, is why we didn't migrate North with Wazungu. Got a few people already doing this, swearing on the wonders it works on the immune system. Now the harder work of convincing the wife. Sounds tough but it's workable. If Curtis my Jamaican neighbour can buy yard in Gambia and travel there every year I have no fucking excuse. Challenge. Can't be dealing with this flu business. I've done my time in the UK, now to do it differently

Sorry for the heavy mentals. Have a good day still


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Super Predator Tuesday

Super predators.  The now infamous speech Hillary Clinton gave in 1996 about Black kids
"We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels. They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predators: no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel."

I remembered the furore that broke out when she made that statement and it coloured my thoughts about her since.  My focus is on her because of what she claims to represent these days.  If I was an American I would be a democrat.  It's interesting her 2016 campaign language, black lives matter, world peace, etc. Liberal Populist language from someone who is beholden to Corporate Machine.  A super predator.  I feel sorry for the Black Brethren.

I have no interest in American politics but this is (for me at least) the first time I'm witnessing Establishment vs. Establishment.  Increasingly it's looking like Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, the lack of real choice not a good look for the American public.  Trump is a multi billionaire egomaniac whose real agenda is unknown, Clinton time as secretary of state left behind a litter of failed states (Libya et al).  Imagine walking into a polling booth with these two as the only choices. shudder.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

song of the day: Janita, That's How Love Goes b/w Neguim remix

Classic tune! off Janita Maria's Season of Life 2005 album

The Neguim remix though? how hard is that bassline? what?


Bye bye from Africa Barclays

Don't you love the text message reminders from the bank?

"Mr. Chrome you are minus one trillion overdrawn, make a payment of xyz by 18.30 pm to avoid charges"

Useless Intel. Especially when you are listening to a Dark Lo mixtape on a rainy Tuesday morning. Barclays always gotta fuck up my vibe. Bitch. Hope the government launch a PPI style refund on overdrafts. Lord knows I've parted with a small fortune over the years on bank overdraft charges. To think our taxes bailed out these cunts in 2008.. Muthafuckaz owe me!! Fuck you pay me.

:-) I ain't mad. Chukwu, Allah, Jesus, whomever, gonna balance the cosmos. I'll get mines. OK I'm mad.

I've even forgotten what this is about. Oh yeah, Barclays are leaving Africa after 100 years of operations (read as rape). Some shit about changing regulations leaving them with 100% ops liability for their 64% stake. Some other shit about streamlining their business to return better value to their shareholders. Apparently they are leaving Asia too. Don't ask, I am not versed in these things. Good riddance. Barclays, the official w(b)anker of the colonists.

BBC News, 1st March, 2016: why is Barclays pulling out of Africa?

So who/what vampire squid capitalists bank will fill the void? I hope the countries affected, Uganda, Kenya, find the courage to open up to local operators. It is a real opportunity to stimulate their banking industry. I fear though some other European or Indian outfit taking over.
Right back to Dark Lo mixtape and the safety of it's violent scarface raps


The mixtape aight(-ish), DJ could have done a better job with the mixing.  still, it' cutting floor material, we'll forgive him.  Drug fuelled raps ain't my thing but I like dude, Dark Lo's delivery is tight, a good rapper.

"down in Philly where the police know my government".  ill