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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fire & Water: The Future of Popular Black Music in the "Aquarian" Age

Shoguns don’t show guns. They wield razor sharp swords and tactile words to slay bums.

The first rap song that I ever heard was “AJ Scratch” by Kurtis Blow. It  was playing on the radio over my parents’ living room sound system. I’ll never forget it, because I thought that the music, and the hook in between the verses, were so UGLY. 

At about 5 years old, I was introduced to a sound that was far more base, and far more primitive, than the melodic tones of Gregory Isaacs, Jacob Miller, Dennis Brown and other reggae artists I was raised on. Although I grew to appreciate it in my teens, I didn’t like the rap music of the early 1980s. It sounded like cave man music to me with its drum machines and minimalist approach with stripped down beats.

Big Daddy Kane got my attention in the late 1980s with songs like “Set It Off,” and “Smooth Operator.” I also liked “Fight the Power,” by Public Enemy.

However I wasn’t actively checking for music, much less anything that resembled hip hop, until 1990 when Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” and MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” ruled my summer. I was 11-years-old.

From there my older cousin, who used to crack on me for listening to MC Hammer, introduced me to a universe of bona fide artists like Special Ed, EPMD, Ice Cube, Brand Nubians, Lord Finesse and countless others.

Within a few years of my Great Awakening, I started to see the music lay siege to the Billboard Music charts through acts like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Naughty by Nature, Nas, Tupac, and Wu-Tang Clan. The shoguns had arrived to silence the critics who had long argued that rap music was a passing fad that would inevitably disappear into the dark night of public indifference.

Some people feel that rap music, which is the defining art form of hip hop culture for so many,  is on life support because those who are currently identified as its most popular acts are not lyrical shoguns like Kool G. Rap, KRS One, or Rakim. What I honestly find most amusing about this critique is the fact that none of these younger artists, to my knowledge, have ever claimed to be rappers, much less be the reincarnation of any of the aforementioned lyrical greats.

They’re ASSUMED to be rappers because they are generally young Black men from urban areas who wear jewelry, display the same mannerisms, use similar slang, and favor forms of fashion comparable to your classic rapper.

My question to you, the reader, is do these elements necessarily make these young brothers rappers? Is curry chicken the same as curry goat because both are made with curry powder, salt, peppers and onions?  Yeah, these new guys you hear teenagers listening to are rhyming over music, but so was Bob Dylan back in the 1960s. He isn’t a rapper though. Neither were The Last Poets

The INTENT behind Dylan and the Poets’ music is different from Jay-Z’s or Mobb Deep’s. I’m not talking about the subject matter, either. I’m talking about the very markers that allow us to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that the artist is highly efficient at what they do. In order to objectively determine whether or not someone is effective at what they do the INTENT behind their actions must be crystal clear to you. You must know their established goal.

If I’m frying some whitings and you assume that I’m trying to make broiled salmon, you’ll say that I’m a wack cook despite the fact that my fish are tasty and came out perfect for the people I’m frying them for. I wasn’t trying to make you broiled salmon.

What are Desiigner’s intentions when he goes into the studio? You said to sound like Future? Haha. You’re too funny!!!  All jokes aside, The Last Poets said some fly shit, but they weren’t trying to RIDE THE BEAT with their rhymes. A rapper is one who RIDES THE BEAT WITH THEIR SPOKEN WORDS AND TONAL INFLECTIONS.

But what do you call a recording artist who  fluidly rides the beat with vocalizations that are not exactly words? Is he still a rapper solely because his performance involves the use of skills that are applicable to rapping (such as bioglyphics, which are the hand gestures used as a guide to help get the lyrics out on beat), or is he something entirely new based on his intentions which clearly differs from a rapper’s?

Is jazz great Al Jarreau wack because he didn’t “make sense” when he was scatting? Please watch the educational video below before you dis Kid Kudi or Young Thug about their preferred style of vocal delivery. The African mind sees similarities before differences.

Guys like Future, Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Desiigner and others boast about getting high, increasing their finances, and living lives of luxury as many rappers have. However, they’ve never directly aligned themselves with the code of the rap samurai who lives for the thrill of the battle while brooding over the wordplay in their verbose poetry.

When I listen to Future on “Maybach,” which is a great song, I hear an African American artist with a heavy southern drawl doing an incredible job of composing Jamaican dancehall music, which is the most unapologetically African of all the contemporary music genres of the western hemisphere. “Fuck Up Some Commas,” is African American dancehall with a dirty south slant on it. I like it.

The Jamaican dancehall deejay places a greater emphasis on feeling and vocal flow than cerebral wordplay. This is why when you look at all of the great rappers who are of Jamaican descent (Heavy D, Busta Rhymes, Notorious B.I.G., Slick Rick), they all have impeccable cadence. They grew up on classic dancehall. As a writer, I prefer rap music to dancehall in most instances. It gives me more inspiration for what I love to do.

No one in the history of dancehall is fucking with Nas or Ghostface Killah when it comes to utilizing the power of vivid words. At the same token, none of those classic rappers can shut down a dance or get women excited and moving like Shabba Ranks or Beenie Man can. I love what all of these artists bring to my ears. Variety is the spice of life.

The astrology Nazis keep telling us that we’re entering the Age of Aquarius, the age of the water bearer. Some of them will even crucify the young recording artists of today for plotting their own path and not trying to be the next Chuck D in skinny jeans. But what does the Age of Aquarius mean for the imminent future of Black popular music?

The self-righteous astrologers can’t tell you because they dont really know. It means that your power as a recording artist to connect with millions of people will be based on your ability to touch their EMOTIONS before stimulating their intellect. The majority of the human body is made of water. Your vocalizations must sacrifice some of the fiery verbiage of the cerebral cortex in order  to stir the water body of the masses through windshield wiper flows and melodic cadences.

If yo’re talking about straight bars, Notorious B.I.G. was FAR more talented than Tupac ever was. He had an assortment of flows (“Notorious Thugs” doesn’t sound like “Who Shot Ya?”) and his wordplay was far more nuanced and intricate than Pac’s. Big is a rap god!!! His legacy is undeniable!!! However Tupac is a bigger cultural icon, and in my opinion, made more powerful MUSIC than B.I.G!!! There’s a reason why Tupac is more powerful and the reason has already been explained.

Liquid fire is the future. The musical greats who have yet to emerge will burn you while making you wet. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ask Third Eye Max A Question Now

Ask me a question... Any question... I will be taking 22 of your questions and answering them in a rare video presentation. So if you ever wanted to know something about me, or see me go into further detail on something that I have written, or haven't written about, then this is a cool opportunity to do so.

All that you have to do is pose your single question in the box  provided in the Survey Monkey web link below. It's that simple. Your identity will be anonymous. I will not know who you are when you submit your question, but if you choose to identify yourself I'll feel more inclined to make answering your question a priority if I recognize you by name as a patron and supporter of Third Eye Max.

If I think your question is useful to the Third Eye Max readership, then you are probably good to go for the video whether I know you or not. Thank you for your support.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Let Us Make Man in Our Image: The Other Side of the Zodiac

Empowered men and women who mold world culture and civilization seem to realize intellectually, or intuitively, that the stars and planets of the zodiac may have an impact on them, but they do not have complete and total control over their day to day actions, speech, and movements. They propel us, but they don’t compel us, unless we give away all of our personal power.

The extent to which we embody the negative stereotypes of our zodiac signs is the extent to which we play the bitch role, face down, ass up, to the planets  and  the stars.

However, by augmenting our personal magnetic fields we put ourselves on a path of evolution where we inevitability join the royal court of celestial luminaries. When ancient man spoke of what we today understand as “gods” and “goddesses” they were talking about men and women who carried a magnetic resonance that allowed them to influence people in the same way that you are influenced by the stellar bodies of the zodiac. The closest thing you may have to a god or a goddess in this respect, today, is a highly influential celebrity.

We weaken our magnetic fields when we maliciously encroach upon the dignity of others. So the saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” has nothing to do with “others” but has everything to do with you. Think about that.

If you do not, at the very least, believe that you have the capacity to communicate effectively while Mercury is in retrograde then it is only because you are Mercury’s bitch and are thereby subject to all of its gifts and curses. You might as well have auditioned for a role as an extra in the web series Underground or the new Roots movie because you are a total and complete slave to the magnetic resonance of people, places, and things.

You’ll hear people say things that may sound to you like this: “I’m just a product of my degraded environment, therefore I have no choice but to be the mediocre nigger I am,” or “I can’t afford to buy food for my children to eat because the white man who has only existed  for 7-8,000 years is holding me down.”

 A “god” or a “goddess” doesn't rationalize their perceived limitations based on the positioning of terrestrial or stellar bodies. They burn their perceived limitations away. You and I don’t  exist. We are creating ourselves at this very moment by forging our souls in the fires of wise words that meld steel.

LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE!!! The “US” in this context is a collection of integrated psychic elements, that magnetize the “prima materia” that idealized psychic compound that you and I access as  higher mind.

The “MAN” is the man or the womb man that you  see when you look at yourself in the mirror with the Eye of the master sculptor who is eager to create. Look into the pupils of your own eyes. Can you feel the excitement? 

Grapes of Wrath: The Symbolic Meaning of Forbidden Fruit in World Mythology

According to the mystical Twa people of Central Africa and the Great Lakes, man suffered the curse of mortality after he consumed the forbidden fruit of the Tahu tree.

Heat always rises to the top of a closed system. Insulated from the cultural barbarism of outside invaders, the theological radiance of these pint-sized nobles found its way up north to ancient Kemet where it precipitated the priesthood of Tahu-Ti. Like the Tahu tree, the netcher Tahu-Ti, is an extension of nature's innate intelligence.

The grand baboon personifies wisdom and the mental faculty of articulate speech, especially through the discipline of writing. Just as the Tahu tree robbed man of immortality, Tahu-Ti does the same through the esoteric art of writing. What do I mean by this?

The written word is only a gift to the wise, the elite, the so-called “Illuminati.”  However it is an undetected burden to a fool. The poetic beauty of carefully curated words can seduce a reader into believing that they actually know everything that the writer on a given subject knows simply because they have read what the writer has constructed for their edification on a page.

Although we may desire immediate knowledge through the convenience of reading, we are sometimes better served through the delayed gratification that comes with direct, first-hand experience in what we are interested in reading about over time.

The Dogon clan of Mali taught us about the four layers, the four aspects, of the word. You have the Giri So (front of the word), Bene So (the left and right sides of the word), Bolo So (back of the word) and the So Dayi (clear vision that brings the past, present, and future together in oneness and unity).

In order for us to  truly penetrate the meaning of the So Dayi we must have a personal frame of reference for the jewels given in the written message. Otherwise the word becomes a box, a casket, that we are placed in, buried, and left for dead. 

The ability to grasp the So Dayi in not just the word, but in all things, makes man qualified to eat the forbidden fruit. If this fruit were not forbidden by an external intelligence, would man have enough humility and a strong enough inclination toward self introspection to even question whether or not he was qualified to eat it? Only if possesses the clear vision of the So Dayi.

When we turn our attention to the ancient Mayan cosmology of the Popol Vuh we learn that the underworld lords prohibited man from eating the fruit from the sacred Tree of Xibalba (Xi-Baal-Ba). According to the Mayan text this life-giving tree sprouted from the decapitated skull of a great man by the name of One Hunahpu. His name translates to mean “head spirit of the mountain.” In this context the head denotes the cranium, while the mountain is a reference to the pineal gland which is a throne for the Third Eye.

The fact that a sacred fruit-bearing tree sprouted from a man’s cranium is a critical detail of the Popol Vuh story that cannot be overlooked if we are to understand its spiritual import. 

A man’s skull encases his thoughts, and when we consume the fruit of an extraordinary man’s thoughts and ideas before we have the prerequisite experiences needed to process them correctly, we do ourselves more harm than good. His words may float like a butterfly and sting us like a bee because they are honey to the tongue and hydrochloric acid to the belly. He comfortably sits on the throne of truth, whereas we struggle to occupy its periphery.

 To get a deeper understanding of the problems we cause ourselves and the world when we fail to effectively assimilate wisdom into our souls I recommend that you watch the Transformers Generation 2 episode “The Hardest Burden to Bear” which is embedded above. It is truly a classic series with profound spiritual messages. You will often see this in the popular cartoons of the 1980s if you watch them again as an adult.

Every page in a beautiful book is the sweet flesh of a sacrificed tree. We foolishly consume that tree’s fruit when we seek the juicy nectar of the pen before our minds are ripe enough to receive  it.