05.Oct – { The White Elephant in the Room }

I guess I’ll address the white elephant in the room…elephant because it’s huge…white..well because whiteness.

It is with great sadness that I write this concerning white people.  Mostly because so many of my friends are of the lighter shade of life.  Even my white adjacent friends (light-skinned black folks) don’t get the perks of the porcelain-hued – a little kink in the hair, or if it looks like you’re mixed with something, then the darkness of reality sets in -and you’re treated like the rest of the cattle.

Black people live in a perpetual bad dream – where sometimes we wake up from the nightmare only to be faced with hellish reality.  It’s like you’re asleep and you get Freddie, if you’re awake you get Jason, you try to cuddle with a doll…and the doll is chucky.  You kill yourself to escape, and you’re met by Pinhead (he was the scariest btw).

The fact that I’m now at a point that I have to assume that a white person is racist until they prove otherwise is disgusting.  And even if they prove it, they have to prove it over and over again, because what I’ve learned is that if you push some of them to a limit then they will go clean smooth David Duke on you.  The amount of times that my mouth has dropped at the response of some white people that I considered friends is alarming.  And to know that they did this because I was speaking truth is worse.  It’s like the empirical evidence and claims brought up by a victim of the American experience is offensive to them.  Are you offended because I say “white people” and you somehow think that it includes you?  Well good, because it does…Just as much as I’m included into the black populous of thugs, criminals, and sketchy individuals that get killed for existing.

The difference is, my true statements about what white people have done is merely stating fact.  Your speculation about blacks, gets us killed.  Your whiteness is LOUD, the LV shootings speak to that.  The fact that the black community gave you all the media and white public responses before they were made public, is ridiculous.  If white people EXPECT blacks to be violent…like I don’t know… at the showing of STRAIGHT OUT OF COMPTON – you all beefed up security and started checking peoples bags, as if we’re the ones that shoot up movie theaters. If someone of the muslim faith OR someone that resembles someone of the muslim faith has anything to do with an airplane, then all of hades breaks loose.  NOT TO MENTION that measures are always taken to beef up security and detain and question muslims or brown people with funny names.  Measures to unjustly stop, frisk, harass, or KILL blacks to neutralize the black threat to society are in place, SO WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STOP THE DEMOGRAPHIC OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE COMMITTED THE MOST ACTS OF TERROR ON AMERICAN SOIL?  WHAT MEASURES WILL BE PUT IN PLACE?

Answer:  Not never.

The people that have to make that change look too much like the people that are out here being serial killers, gentrifiers, eating people, wearing people’s skin, eating people’s faces, starting horrific slave trades, buck farming, passing jim crow legislature, attacking peaceful protestors of people that want equality, giving indigenous people diseases that didn’t exist, raping, murdering and pillaging, erasing and white-washing history, starting racism, perpetuating racism, being treasonous and then treating it like heritage (confederates), erecting statues to psychopaths (had Germany erected one of Hitler it would be distasteful but the “jews” are white so….consider their feelings), mass incarcerate people that don’t look like you for more financial gain, exist in privilege and then deny it exists, consistently kill leaders that help blacks progress (all of them), show a KKK movie in the white house….i could literally go on.

and on.

So I guess I say all of that to say – white people…please stop white people.

Stop yourselves – check yourselves – call each other out.  Fight with us or this cyclical crap will be america’s portion.  To the black – this country has never been great.  Please help me experience the greatness that you’ve seen and experience.  The old way of thinking has to and will die off – it is up to you to INTENTIONALLY raise your children to not carry on what has been – and unfortunately for you this means a relinquishing of power and authority.

I know I’m asking a lot – we are asking a lot.   But I have to get this white ass elephant out of our country.

19.Sep – Bougie-Ratchet Manifesto – “The Kaep Thing”

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Picture it Sicily …Football season is underway, and you (largely due to your profession) find yourself in a very YT space.  You know the space I’m talking about…where you’re more Trevor Noah, and less Gucci Man Laflare.  Where you bring up 80s hair music (I’m a closet fan) and refrain from even saying Joey Badass.  The lovely place where Connor or Hunter casually walks up to you and inquires about your NFL team and wants to dialogue with you about them.   Do you:

(A) ACK LIKE YOU DON’T EEM LIKE FOOTBALL (which is rare because black) or

(2) START SINGING LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING IN THE DEACON OR MOTHER BOARD RANGE or…

(TREY) ACTUALLY OPEN THAT CAN OF NIGHT-CRAWLERS

Welllllll If you know me, you know which one I chose because I’m petty, intentional, and an OG Triple OG about mines.

I have politely stated before that “I’m boycotting the NFL so I don’t know what’s going on this year. ” Which is usually enough to get them scurrying along, because most people (that are not being impacted BY the struggle, don’t want to hear anything regarding the struggle) – Basically keep that black-ish over there LeRoy and please tell me your fried chicken secrets (I usually tell them to use catfish grease with hella sugar in the batter).

BUT ALAS, ‘TIS NOT JUST THE WHITE PEOPLE!

The ones that get me, are those of negroidian descent that will clean smooth slide on that FUBU 05 quality football jersey and cheer on as if literally nothing is going on.  I find myself wanting to take my fingernails and start at the top of their head…and slowly peel that beautiful melanin enriched skin that they have…off.  But I can’t get mad at them, I mean we can’t act like every black person was down with the cause just because they grew up in the 60s.  We have a tendency to “magical black personize” older black people with gray hair.  When in fact a lot of them were probably trash, retro F-Boys, or pre-historic turbo-thots.  To them I just stare, with a deep, dark and intentional stare…as to say – “I can’t stand you, you extremely poor excuse and sad representation of our community”

…but hey, I’m just a black man trying to exist as a bougie-ratchet.

  • Kenneth

9.Sep – “An Unknown Classic” – Casual Savage EP Review by Hanzo the Phantom

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Take a moment to visualize a life time of experiences. Imagine the growth, the changes, and choices you are faced with. Now imagine, because of these experiences, things don’t come at a surprise anymore, such that, your reactions aren’t even reactions; instead, it is pure instinct. Really internalize this concept, because it is very important.

Valmore Gold is a 37 year old emcee, who is still chasing his dreams. He will tell you that, and he has no shame about it. How many people can say they are still chasing their dreams even at the age of 25 before bending the knee to corporate or a 9 to 5? There is a lot of rhetoric about what is acceptable, and what is not. Just remember, a lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.

Valmore Gold released an EP titled “Casual Savage” on August 20th, 2017, and while only six tracks long, it covers decades worth of experiences. Some would argue that the project wasn’t long enough, and that’s definitely something to consider; although, more often than not people forget a big lesson in maturity, Less is More. Before I go any further, let me make this very clear, THIS WORK OF MUSIC IS FOR GROWN ASS MEN AND WOMEN. This doesn’t just mean if you pay your own bills, or if you don’t club and party every weekend this EP is for you. It means if you don’t have that killer instinct, or that mastery of emotions you’re going to miss out on a lot. The EP is grown; it’s sexy, and full of passion that can’t be taken lightly. Let’s get into it.

First and foremost, when it comes to music—sound is everything. The very first things to note about this project are the production choices. It is very easy for artist to put a variety of styles on a work to show they are talented. Generalizing even more, it’s easier to go for something catchy and to have one big bar in a song that makes it all noticeable. Simply put, amateur mistakes are made all the time when attempting to find your audience. In contrast, the Casual Savage EP has a very specific audience. Valmore Gold didn’t spread himself thin on a variety of styled beats; instead he found his groove and did it pro. This choice shows a lot of experience. To describe the sound, it utilizes a fusion of funk and 90s R&B with some articulate lyrical flows to modernize it all. It refreshes that you don’t need blaring 808s on every track for the song to bang. The sound reminds us there are other forms of bass, including the ever so neglected kick drum. This is very important. Why? Remember…. Less is More. The production doesn’t stray too far from each other which give it an advantage in stylistic flow. How you bop your head from track one to track six is done with the same enthusiasm.

Slightly off topic, but it’s going to tie back in, I promise, but I watch A LOT of Ink Master. Ink Master is a show about tattoo artist competing for $100,000 grand per season. One thing the judges stress so much is technical application—the technique and technical prowess of how the tattoo was applied—so I want to take some time to talk about the technical aspects of the project because it’s important.

First on the list of technical application is delivery. What I loved about Valmore’s delivery on this project was how natural it comes off the tongue. Nothing was forced. Staying true to the title of the EP, the lyrical flow is indeed very casual. He’s not shouting at the top of his long for you to feel what he is saying, but you definitely feel that shit. This is also an attribute to his word choice in each verse, which leads me to my next point on our technical breakdown….. Space

There is so much space on this project. This EP is live because it has enough room to breathe! (Lol See what I did there). Every single verse on this project has an ample amount of space. On the first track I’ll B. Sure, he’s not forcing a bunch of syllables into a bar, only the ones that need to be there, and after the verse going into the hook, it’s so spaced out and then the beat drops. I. Lost. My. Shit. Space makes it so the sound is more comfortable to the listener, and also it gives your being a chance to digest everything. Too often the music we hear doesn’t have a lot of space, if any at all. If you pay attention to each song, you can find the space in every instance. There’s even a song on the project that doesn’t have any vocals at all. Smack Dab in the middle of the project! Risky? Maybe, but it’s so vibey, you won’t care. It simply created space that allowed you to enjoy the sound. There’s not one verse, not one hook, not one section of a song where you can’t find a hint of space. It was very casually accomplished, and it was (segwaying into my next point) consistent.

The project is so consistent from production, to verses, to hooks, it’s all good. Every single track on this project keeps the casual delivery. The hooks on the tracks are clear and enticing. The vibes on all of the tracks do not overwhelm you; instead they continually set the mood. My opinion would go so far in fact to say you could play the tracks in any order you want it, and the album would sound the same. There wouldn’t be any disruption in the atmosphere.

Definitely want to thank all the readers for making it this far, because I can talk about this project all day. The only way I can define this project is as a classic; a classic that no one knows about, but a classic nonetheless. I just want to throw out a few concluding thoughts, I figure you all can get behind to go listen to this EP on repeat:

  • What does this project accomplish?
  • Who is project for?
  • When do you play this project?
  • Why is it a classic?

Initially I’d say this project accomplished a lot. Namely, that a 37 year old emcee shows us youngsters how to do it for the culture. It sets the mood for any event with friends and/or family. The project has six great tracks of pure sauce. This EP is the new go to for all grown and sexy events. This EP is the go to for a night out with someone special. This EP is every vibe you need to effortlessly kill the game.

This project is for the culture. Plain and simple. This project is for those young professionals who work 9 to 5 and wonder if they still got it. This project is for those who never lost it. This project is for those who want to have a good time without hearing about molly, percs, xans, and lean every other rotation. This project is for those who have that killer instinct about life. For those who know they were born to f&$@!in’ kill it.

When do you play this project? You play this project when you wake up. You play this project to shoot your shot. You play this project heading to happy hour, and you play this project when you pourin’ up.

Lastly, it is a classic because this record inspires your best you without doing too much. Literally doing the bare minimum. Again, this project is only 6 tracks long, and anyone would be disappointed it’s over when it is. It’s a classic because it’s timeless. Guaranteed you can play this same project 20 years from now and it still has the same effect. The EP is classic because it embodies everything great about music: dope sounds, great rhymes, relatable content, and digestibility.

After my first few listens I immediately had to call Valmore and just talk about it. One of the first things I said was it was a very mature project. You can tell this isn’t his first rodeo in putting together a project, and honestly what impressed me the most about it was the time frame it took to put something this good together. That’s right ladies and gentleman, if you didn’t know any better you would think this project took a decent amount of time to put together, but realistically, Valmore Gold did this in a month’s time. Some people might not be impressed but think about it like this; the production, the timing, the mixing, the mastering, the review, the correction, and the drop… it took one month. This record is QUALITY. Most artist who are putting out this quality are taking minimum 6 months to drop something great. If you ask me…. That’s savage.

Hence the title, Casual Savage. Valmore Gold killed this shit effortlessly. This project was pure instinct.

One Love.

Hanzo The Phantom