One of the best things about being in Portland was getting to know and work with Mike Daily, the local poet and novelist. After snagging a copy of his Alarm and listening to the accompanying music he made for it, I dropped him a line to ask him if he’d want a Gas Monk remix of one the tracks. At first it was just supposed to be that, a one track deal just to have some fun and make something new… but the first night he took me into the studio, not only did we have a blast making it, but we walked away with something that all the kids in Portland were gettin down to. We knew we had to continue.
Then my homie Jase Daniels aka Vomitus Skink got involved. We had a handful of tidy little poem beats, then Vomitus Skink got his hands on ’em. Beautiful dysfunctional noise chaos poem grooves ensued.
The results are in. First of this batch to be released, hosted by Alternative Reel, is now available for consumption right here. The rest are fast approaching.
Man, this is sadder than usual. A lot of us knew Guru had gone into a coma, but nobody knew much about what kind of condition he was in… well yesterday, the legendary MC died of cardiac arrest.
He’s gotta be the best rapper ever to come out of Boston – born in 1966 in the neighborhood of Roxbury. He made my city very proud. Nobody shot as straight as Guru, that’s something I think any hip hop head can agree with… nobody reinforced the neccesity of just being yourself harder than he did. The first thing that drew me into Guru was that voice, that purely honest and smooth and intoxicating voice. But the more time I spent listening to Gang Starr (it’s a shame he didn’t end his life continuing his work with DJ Premier) the more life that voice took on, and the more the things it was saying meant to me. Some became mantras to live through. He had a way of burying himself in your head so his words would reappear when you need them. His death doesn’t change that.
Just want to share some of my favorite Guru lyrics, off the song “You Know My Steez”; take the time to read them and spend a minute in his thoughts:
Who’s the suspicious character strapped with the sounds profound
Similar to rounds spit by Derringers
You’re in the Terrordome like my man Chuck D said
It’s time to dethrone you clones, and all you knuckleheads
Cause MC’s have used up extended warranties
While real MC’s and DJ’s are a minority
But right about now, I use my authority
Cause I’m like the Wizard and you look lost like Dorothy
The horror be when I return for my real people
Words that split wigs hittin like some double Desert Eagles
Sportin caps pulled low, and baggy slacks
Subtractin all the rappers who lack, over Premier’s tracks
Severe facts have brought this rap game to near collapse
So as I have in the past, I will bash
Droppin lyrics that be hotter than sex and candlewax
And one-dimensional MC’s can’t handle that
While the world’s revolvin, on it’s axis
I come with mad love and plus the illest warlike tactics
The wilderness is filled with this; so many people
searching for false lift, I’m here with the skills you’ve missed
The rejected stone is now the cornerstone
Sort of like the master builder when I make my way home
You know my steez…
The beat is sinister, Primo makes you relax
I’m like the minister, when I be lacin the wax
I be bringin salvation through the way that I rap
And you know, and I know, I’m nice like that
Work through worldly problems, I got the healing power
When the mic’s within my reach, I’m feelin more power
Stealing at least three minutes of every rap radio hour
It’s often easier for one, to give advice
Than it is for a person to run one’s own life
That’s why I can’t be caught up in all the hype
I keep my soul tight and let these lines takes flight
The apparatus gets blessed, and suckers get put to rest
No more of the unpure I got the cure for this mess
The wackness is spreadin like the plague
MC’s lucked up and got paid but still can’t make the fuckin grade
How many times are wannabe’s gonna lie?
Yo they must wanna fry, they can’t touch the knowledge I personify
I travel through the darkness carrying my torch
The illest soldier, when I’m holding down the fort
You know my steez…
On the microphone you know that I’m one of the best yet
Some punks, ain’t paid all of their debts yet
Tryin to be fly, ridin high on the jet-set
With juvenile rhymes makin fake-ass death threats
Big deal, like En Vogue, here’s something you can feel
Styles more tangible, and image more real
For some time now, I’ve held the scrolls and manuscripts
When it’s time to go all out you be like, “Damn he flipped”
Now I’m sick, fed up with the bullshit
Got the lyrical full clip, giving you a verbal asswhip
Don’t trip it’s the gifted prolific one
Known as Bald Head Slick — why is the press all on my di-dick?
My style be wilder, than a kamikaze pilot
Don’t try it, I’m about to start more than a friggin riot
Styles unsurpassable, and nuccas that’s suckas, yo
Them motherfuckers are harrassable
For I be speaking from my parables and carry you beyond
The mic’s either a magic wand
Or it gets tragic like the havoc of a nuclear bomb
Then I grab your palm, no pulse you’re gone
And if you thought we’d lose our niche in this rap shit you way wrong
I stay up, I stay on, shine bright, like neon
Your song’s, pathetic, synthetic, like Rayon
Fat beats, they play on, want dope rhymes, put me on
Word is bond… you know my steez.
(I love this picture of him and DJ Premier, too – they look young and happy)
This Madvillain gem makes an appearance on my upcoming mixtape… of course I had to throw some Doom Madlib love on there.
I’ve been having so much fun making this new mixtape I had to share some of it early. Here’s a song called “She Must Always Feel Like This.” I wrote it about someone I could never tell them I wrote it about. Haha yeah, wonder if it’s you!
& also listen to the song here. Can’t wait to share the rest of this mixtape, seriously.
Amazon is now offering Asphalt Flowerhead and Matthew Revert’s A Million Versions of Right as a couple. Which is really nice and cute and thrilling. Matt’s an awesome writer from Austrailia who’s book is fucked up and absurd in a really, really satisfying way – to describe it in its own words, it’s overflowing with shit like “masturbatory headphones, diabolically toppled comb-jars, moustache-filled ejaculations, malfunctioning bookmarks, bricolage scrotums, wank fairies and a poorly conceived theory regarding wall stability. A world where ball popping is the only solution to the scrotum’s poor aesthetic qualities and true love can lead a man to transpose menstruation across gender lines. Not to mention a blink so immensely powerful that mild abrasion can ensue. There’s also a lime.”
If you do not own either of these books, do yourself a big favor and get them as a pair. Congratulate yourself on being a wonderful human being; realize that you deserve this. Breathe in; out. “Have a bowl of cereal.” – (Mike Daily).
Available right here. Just scroll a little bit down after you click.
There is some new Cameron Pierce text on Everyday Genius, and that is very good news. Check it out here.
I love this kid. As a writer obsessed with word-music, I find it neccesary to constantly be reading stuff where people get really fresh with language. To keep myself inspired and not trapped in the feeling that I’ve written this sentence a hundred times already. I really think Cameron is among the finest writers going today for this… the kid never stops catching me off guard.
Read for yourself.
I just sent the draft script of our upcoming comic to Jase Daniels, my collaborator in it. We got a good deal more to do but it’s enough to make me feel like celebrating already. We are, without a doubt, going to have some dope art to show you within a year’s time. This shit blows This City is Alive outta the fuckin’ park.
Jase and Forrest have never been so melted together.
Check him out, having a serious existential crisis in the backseat. I remember the first time I left a sober head, thinking things like this – my favorite part’s when he goes “Is this gonna be forever?” Ahhhhhhh