The Saturday selection of songs/videos until February 2020 are all up. Plus, a little bit of 'dogma' to uphold.
Housekeeping. It's late Friday night and booked up to blab. Tis midnight and off. Am I prepared? No – oh yeah am, if counting, an hour plus of ‘Defender’ on repeat play and some to go. Can’t get off. Let go. Stop. One addition to dogma is the intention to make a non—visual/audio-only version of the song at the top. Kick-off with a worship song is the way I roll. Please excuse me if the sight of giddy young Americans on Jesus isn’t appealing. What would say or suggest: If at all up to give the music a go – play the one that isn’t gawping at the inside of a church meeting. Puzzling at the emotion. Deconstructing the appeal. Instead, approach in open observation. Even re-appropriate and make own. Somehow? Sing-a-long something else? The sounds and sentiments are positive vibrations and ital food. Next blessed week be a link under the video with audio/video or something version. One else: The one mate I see, prefers to listen. So it’s Radio Truthscoop. Inc. Plantaseed and reading the post.
Nothing typed and notes are scrappy. Be lucky if the time to re-read. As for the main source; ‘She Beget This' by Joan Morgan’. A wee book and to include have twenty-four hours to get stuff from.
Twenty-four, and reminded of a song; So this is permanence, love's shattered pride. The Joy Div. track that gets a whirl. Play and get off Defender. Did The Clash last week as a cheeky extra. New dogma.
To Zion and the one and only Hill. Lauryn Noelle Hill, born in 1975. Beginning late 1997 at Chung King Studios in New York City through to Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. By June 1998 ready and in August, it lifts... [Who else would never say/write; "drops..." eh?] The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill bursts banks and throws our expectation on the future for the golden gal.
As–good a description for the album comes from L's mission; The integrity of reggae and the knock of hip-hop and the instrumentation of classic soul. Two years before and Ready or Not brought hip-hop its the long-awaited biggest breakthrough.
Two years later and Lauryn jumps. Know it sounds corny but she 'ran to the hills' is the way we say it. Literal and metaphorical and has never yet, fully returned.
My best album in '98 was Kalonji by Sizzla. A man of the hills.
As for Fugees time. In '96 it was all about Emancipation by Prince. His unpopular years. A double-album that produced my one and two biggest Prince tracks, never get tired of hearing; 'Call My Name' and 'Can't Make U Love Me'.
That said 'Ready or Not' might be the most influential single of the 90s. Cannot think of a better pop song—ever.
Question Time. Answers otherwise, on a postcard:
Who apart from Prince and Lauryn Hill are on King and Queen music level and said, at least once, a don't mention upset-Babylon on TV etc. Dare to be awake and go public?
Don't even try and find a star having to go to a re-education camp? Only Lauryn gets three months in jail and involuntary attendance for “counseling” due to her “conspiracy theories”.
In 2003 she did a Sinead O'Connor and the Vatican. More fire in the booth.
Back to the 24 year old? Made her 'What's going on?' with a big ideas-filled, collection of bangers. A sprawling almost 80 minutes, that threw the crowds. The 'street' aka Black Youth and older Jamaicans saw her as crossover and yet, had elsewhere to get most serious about.
Know this because of my management runnings and gathering a stable of hip-hop and reggae artists to plug and push. Producers, voices and a valve and bins Sound System. Went out with an album that was to reggae, what Miseducation was to hip-hop. Fourteen artists and the old school sound with a new school twist.
To complete the disclosure had a couple of singer-songwriters and one rock band. A lot of highlights in home-based and otherwise studios. All that most mattered and being blown away by the present and making of hip-hop.
Big summer bust out anthems from Miseducation maybe, but it was more, "Amerika". The never to come, unless we count today, UK Underground Hip-Hop explosion. The desperate for CD distribution deals and avoid a return to a criminal necessity.
Will eke out my take on London hip-hop from about 1996 to 2004 as the selections ahead allow. For now and to illustrate:
Miseducation was for many a misdirection and missed understanding. The week it came out, Radio 1 had a weekend review of the releases show. Two out of three pundits exclaimed and having to mention the album? "Didn't get it"? At all. Tried the new get down and funky soul train and couldn't understand the fuss.
Words were not the thang so much. Hip-hop gave one uncontested let-in and 'Endtroducing by DJ Shadow'. UK hip-hop wasn't of interest or the US. Not unless it was House and Techno out of Chicago. Industrial, experimental, moody. Kicking with an edge and build-ups. Sure Tricky and Goldie made the grade but Lauryn wasn't that kind... of club tune.
I've had two big breakups. Nos. 1 and it was Dylan's Blood on the Tracks in '81 the indulgence. The second one was '99 and involved a child (a year or so old) and the end of a seven-year marriage.
Misdirection said what. The tension and hope. Madness and... unsure of what the balance held... but as the first-line, puts out a prophecy of sorts:
One-day ya gonna understand.
Why this track off the album? Two easy hook-ins: The name. Not a surprise and Marley language but in twenty years, mere mention and the Z'd word can be a reactor and trig. What and why maybe, will chuck in the Plant A Seed post. The other ding-dong, is of course about little people in tummies and termination, or lives?
Might as well bash something here and out:
Births and babies don't make many grooves. Only two know and reach Saturday selection standards.
'Wires by Athlete'.
While one threw me when it came out. Be blunt and ran against we all know a gal's gotta choose. That that. Be:
'Abortion by Black Uhuru'.
A stone-cold one drop classic. While we're at it. Songs and use Zion?
"Oh, so many hits and so little time" as Prince would say at his gigs.
Here we find a yearning and lament in the vein of Confirm Reservation and oh boy, it's colossal and 'Leaving to Zion'.
More please-note and me: The one person that is my other Lauryn is without doubt Black Uhuru's Puma Jones. Lost her too early and spellbinding to watch and hear.
About my most successful music-biz effort was bringing Black Uhuru to Aylesbury and promoter for their second show on the first UK tour. You can hear the lift-off on the November 30th song.
Shoving another unscheduled clip-in. Tell me if you've ever... seen anything... quite like this? Here are the giants of the drum and bass in their finest hour. Not even this? On the UK-leg of the tour we witnessed the unbeatable Earl "Chinna" Smith who played lead guitar. Replaced, as can be seen here, with much US rocky energy but was never going to be what Earl Chinna brought.
Say again, Have you ever..? Can you Arthur and Eve it?
When some women are pregnant, their hair and their nails grow, but for me it was my mind and ability to create. I had the desire to write in a capacity that I hadn't done in a while. I don't know if it's a hormonal or emotional thing ... I was very in touch with my feelings at the time ... Every time I got hurt, every time I was disappointed, every time I learned, I just wrote a song ... There's too much pressure to have hits these days. Artists are watching Billboard instead of exploring themselves.
Read the names. See who and how. Miseducation is the last bursts of the '74 to '84 musicianship heyday.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' was recorded at RPM Studios, Chung King Studios, Sony Music Studios, The Hit Factory, and Right Tracks Studios in New York City; Perfect Pair Studios in New Jersey; Marley Music, Inc. and Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston; and House Studios in Miami. Hill was the executive producer with co-producers Vada Nobles and Che Guevara for the sessions that included vocals by Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Shelley Thunder; backing vocals by Kenny Bobien, Chinah, Jenni Fujita, Fundisha Johnson, Sabrina Johnson, Jenifer McNeil, Rasheem Pugh, Lenesha Randolph, Ramon Rivera, Earl Robinson, Andrea Simmons, Eddie Stockley, Ahmed Wallace, Tara Watkins, Rachel Wilson, and Chuck Young; Al Anderson, Robert Browne, Francis Dunnery, Julian Marley, Johari Newton, Arun Pandian, Carlos Santana, Earl Chinna Smith, and Andrew Smith on guitar; Tom Barney, Paul Fakhourie, Chris Meredith, James Poyser, Matthew Rubano, and Stuart Zender on bass; Bud Beadle on alto & tenor saxophone and flute; Rudy Byrd on percussion; Che Guevara, Che Pope, and Vada Nobles on drum programming; Jared Crawford and Squiddly Ranks on live drums; D’Angelo on rhodes; DJ Supreme as DJ; Dean Frasier on saxophone; Loris Holland on keys and clarinet; Indigo Quartet on strings; Tejumold Newton, John R. Stephens, and Joe Wilson on piano; Grace Paradise and Elizabeth Valletti on harp; Everol Ray on trumpet; Kevin Robinson on trumpet and Flugelhorn; and Ronald "Nambo" Robinson and Fayyaz Virti on trombone.
BLACK WOMAN CHILD
Jackson:She called me and sang a verse of “Zion” and I was literally in tears. I went through that with her as a friend, Wendy Williams blowing her spot about her pregnancy on the radio. No one knew! It was definitely a Where’s Waldo? moment ’cause no one knew who Lauryn was dating. Marley:She ended up having a child from myself and ones telling her she need to abort the child. Those songs, it’s all her experience.
I hope the love and energy that permeated this work [Miseducation] can continue to inspire change.
Will have a go.
LAURYN FROM 2012:
For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda. Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance. I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm. I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power. These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally.
I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity. So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it. During this critical healing time, there were very few people accessible to me who had not already been seduced or affected by this machine, and therefore who could be trusted to not try and influence or coerce me back into a dynamic of compromise. Individual growth was expected to take place unnaturally, or stagnated outright, subject to marketing and politics. Addressing critical issues like pop culture cannibalism or its manipulation of the young at the expense of everything, was frowned upon and discouraged by limiting funding, or denying it outright. When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource. It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed.
During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate, by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it. This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system. It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it. If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family. Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option.
As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by. This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children.
There were no exotic trips, no fleet of cars, just an all out war for safety, integrity, wholeness and health, without mistreatment denial, and/or exploitation. In order to liberate myself from those who found it ok to oppose my wholeness, free speech and integral growth by inflicting different forms of punitive action against it, I used my resources to sustain our safety and survival until I was able to restore my ability to earn outside of it!
When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’. Not only is this unrealistic, but it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before. Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego. Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process.
It was this schism and the hypocrisy, violence and social cannibalism it enabled, that I wanted and needed to be freed from, not from art or music, but the suppression/repression and reduction of that art and music to a bottom line alone, without regard for anything else. Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual. I Love making art, I Love making music, these are as natural and necessary for me almost as breathing or talking. To be denied the right to pursue it according to my ability, as well as be properly acknowledged and compensated for it, in an attempt to control, is manipulation directed at my most basic rights! These forms of expression, along with others, effectively comprise my free speech! Defending, preserving, and protecting these rights are critically important, especially in a paradigm where veiled racism, sexism, ageism, nepotism, and deliberate economic control are still blatant realities!!!
Learning from the past, insulating friends and family from the influence of external manipulation and corruption are far more important to me than being misunderstood for a season! I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did, however, put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety, and health of my family first over all other material concerns! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival.
I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution.
My intention has always been to get this situation rectified. When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.
As this, and other areas of issue are resolved and set straight, I am able to get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done. This is part of that process. To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue. I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.