THE DEAD EMCEE SCROLLS by Saul Williams, 2006.
First off I think it’s time to define exactly what I mean when I say this, and what the purpose of these “underground picks” are… the term’s not just meant to suggest attention to something simply not getting any – not just a list of things America’s slept on. This is art that fights to take back some of our collective mental shelf space from the monotone hum of the mainstream. Saul’s book is the right piece of art to mention this on, because it’s published by MTV Books. The Official Idea Killer corporation is the one footing the bill for this work. But even Saul addresses this is one of his poems: “Here’s the key. DNA encoded in a beat. White rocks in a vial, NGH, ain’t got nuthin / on me. BCH, I’m free. Ask these editors at / MTV. Far as they know they’re publishing / some new school poetry. Let it be. ‘Cause / even that will do to turn the key. Doorways / into other worlds. The truth shall set you free.”
I think the collection is brilliant. It transcends slam poetry and hip hop lyricism, dropping tons of those same eternal bombs you find in classic poetry but updated for the digital generation. For hip hop heads who don’t read, (first of all you gotta, and) this book is a great, great place to start. It hits deep on so many levels. Plus, Saul Williams is the only hip hop artist I know that’ll rock a pink mohawk on stage. Check it out here.
I wonder how often this dojo master gets his ass accidentally kicked by his student. Thank you Angie Molinar for showing me something to remind me, again, how much I wish I were an animal.
Here’s a collection of quotes that, when all viewed together like this, really help clean out the head. Found ’em all at this awesome website, so if you want more that’s where you can get it.
“Art permits us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
– Thomas Merton
“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
– Emile Zola
“All good ideas arrive by chance.”
– Max Ernst
“I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own individuality.”
– Barnett Newman
“Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful or to discover something that is true.”
– William Ralph Inge
“Enlightenment means choosing to dwell in the state of presence rather than in time.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Just put up a new batch of three, made over the last month or so – listen here. “House Party in the Snow,” “Tie Your Drums in a Knot,” and “I Made it Easy to Dance to This.” The tie your drums one is especially fun because it’s built out of samples off this band we used to play with in high school called Twists, Slugs & Roscoes. These guys were absolutely insane, their full-length album Naw Les Ge Dawn, Vol. 1 was a masterpiece. But underground as hell, as these things happen.
Check Twists out here. You won’t regret it.
I’ve been lookin for things to sample and new drum sounds to rock so much I haven’t thought of writing anything here the past couple days. All I can hear in my head is snare drums. Recently I watched this documentary that’s pretty nice about the never-ending looking-for-things…
As well as a lot of other publishers who are helping to revise the outdated methods most of the majors are still practicing. Definitely worth checking out. Read the article here.
& he says some really important things about the state of hip hop in this interview. In 2008 he put out The Renaissance, which is kind of shocking in how much it preserves the energy he originated in the beginning of the 90’s with A Tribe Called Quest. Check out a song like “Shaka” to know what I mean. This is calling for a renewal of creativity in hip hop, an abandonment of the emphasis on style above music. He’s doin’ it right.
First off, I just spend the last 24 hours battling a computer virus. Or as roommate Jeff Burk tells me, not a virus, because actual computer viruses don’t really hit computers anymore. So malware. It wouldn’t let me open FL Studio to finish the beat I was half-done with when the virus hit, and kept opening up porno.com and porno.org, spliced in with some “Cure Erectile Dysfunction!” sites. But I killed it, valiantly. I feel like a gladiator.
There’s actual reasons I started typing this. Jeff Burk is hosting another massive free download at his site as a thank you to all of you who hit it. All 6,000 of you. That’s jaw-dropping and can only be responded to with… the distribution of 5 more free books! Cameron Pierce’s incredible Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Carlton Mellick III’s Sausagey Santa, Adam Pepper’s Super Fetus and BOTH of the Bizarro Starter Kits, which feature 10 writers each. This is a whole lot of art and for anyone who doesn’t know their bizarro yet, this’ll teach you. They’re all available until the end of Thanksgiving weeked. You got nothing to lose and a lifelong love relationship to gain. Check them out at Jeff’s blog.
In a similar deal, I put up the third Discharge chapbook for download on Megaupload, so get that here. There’s so many great writers in this one, including dudes you already know if you’ve read Avant-Garde for the New Millennium, Robert Chrysler and murmurists. But all these guys are very talented and producing a unique family of experimental work. I first got involved with them through my buddies Jase Daniels and Kek-W – to give you a feel for where a lot of these guys are coming from.
That’s six books for free, so you owe it to yourself to experience them. Finally, relax to my man J-Dub’s newest beat – also free, also beautiful.
You can read 33% of Asphalt Flowerhead for free and buy it as an e-book now. Which makes me really happy, because now you don’t have to pay money to experience it. It’s at this great site called Smashwords that sells it as an e-book in all formats, pdfs for your computer or whatever-the-fuck for your electronic readers, for $3.99. Check out the sample they got up over there!
Until midnight of November 17th. Find out all about this at Jeff’s blog.