YouR Art Is...

Short stack today in all this heat nah mean???

Think about the times we are living in with 1) reports of Environmental Cataclysm and 2) rumors of War in the news every day and you have to wonder:  What is the role of the Artist in these increasingly turbulent days???

I like a dance record as much as the next person and a decent comedy or action flick is always appreciated but the Artist better say something.

The Artist, through their artistry, is uniquely positioned to synthesize all the madness for us; to translate whats going on to the masses, to help us make sense of it all.

A picture is worth a thousand words right???  One photo or painting can strike at the very heart of a complex situation.  One song can lift the spirits of an entire nation, even the planet (Respect Robert Nesta Marley).  One well written joke can relieve pressure and tension, allow us to continue despite the hypocrisy. 

Well why is that?  How does the Artist do that?  And with all the madness going on, what will the Artist give us today?

Somehow, someway the Art must comment and engage on "What's Going On"...

Today the Artist must speak Truth.  The Artist must in some way lend voice and perspective to the Days and Times.  Self-absorbed, vapid brain-farts masquerading as Art is jive wack. 

Stakes Is High my G.  And if you want to get in front the people and sell your Art, you need to have something to say.

If your Art is not relevant... Your Art is sh*t! 

And I like mean it Man, Like dig it, For real Baby... Yeah

 

AB Esquire

Read A Book...

American History is not taught HONESTLY in this country right?

Does anyone know how many hundreds of treaties the US Government signed with Original American Tribes and immediately violated?  Do you know the government policy was to sign treaties with tribes, get the tribes to grant concessions and immediacy violate the treaties?

Does anyone know how the modern day local police force system got started in this country?  Do you know that slave catchers (capturing escaped Africans and kidnapping free Africans) are some of the forefathers to local police systems in this country?

Does anyone know how local municipalities responded to free Africans after the Civil War and abolition of US slavery?  Black Codes taxed Africans who tried to start non-agricultural professions, restricted Africans access to land and guns and allowed the state to seize children of "return" the children to work for former slave masters on the grounds that the parents were unfit.  

Africans were freed from slavery, arrested by local authorities and returned to slavery via chain gangs.  

Slavery was abolished and institutional racism was consciously and systematically woven into American Society through the Law.  

The criminal justice system in this country, post US slavery, has been used as a proxy to keep Africans in bondage, poverty and fear.  

This is a matter of historical record, not a guess, speculation or opinion.  

Does anyone know how long it took for American Society to face its legacy of slavery and institutional racism; to enact substantial, institutional steps aimed at removing the stain of its Original Sin?   Sike!!!  

The Reconstruction Era, which was supposed to integrate freed Africans into America after the Civil War lasted about twelve years (1865-177) before the Black Codes and then Jim Crow took over...  Affirmative Action, born out of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 began to get systematically diluted and weakened by Supreme Court rulings starting in 1978! (Bakke v. California)

If Americans knew their own history some might still be bigoted and apathetic to the lives and struggles of their fellow Americans, but at least they would not be ignorant.  If you choose to be a tool, thats your right as an American.

More importantly, the young and future generations of Americans would be aware of their place in the nations history and their good, decent, innocent nature, armed with knowledge of their American self, would be the change we desperately need.

Knowledge is power and if more folk knew how we actually got here, a productive discussion about where we need to go and what needs to be done to get there would happen.

Til then, read a book, then read another and another, educate yourself and elevate your perspective.

Unless you like whats going down right about now and your blissful ignorance need not be disturbed.  

When folk say "get low" they mean it in more ways than one huh???.  

   

 

Roll like Trump, you get ya meat lumped!

Just over 165 days until the 2016 US Presidential Election and judging from the polls, 43% of the country jumped out the window…  43% being what the polls currently suggest is the percentage of American voters who prefer Donald J. Trump over Hillary Rodham Clinton for U.S. President. 

We’ll get to Secretary Clinton and the accuracy/legitimacy of these media polls down the line. 

For now lets focus on the fact that a large percentage of my fellow Americans believe someone who talks like a used car salesman, looks like Bull Connor with a toupee, and thinks “unsign” is a word, is qualified to be Commander-In-Chief of the most powerful military in the world.

Why is Dirtbag Donald an acceptable option to so many freedom-loving Americans?

Remember when Michael Dukakis was disqualified (for looking silly) when he put a helmet on while taking a ride in a tank?

How about when Howard Dean was dismissed for that primal scream at a primary rally?      

Cam Newton has been criticized as an unacceptable on the field leader of a sports franchise… a football team because he dances on the sidelines, smiles for the camera and gives out souvenirs to fans during the game? 

But Despicable Donald and his petulant scowl is a qualified presidential candidate?

Why are so many decent Americans overlooking Deviant Donald's racist (Obama’s birth certificate), corn-balled (“unsign” Executive Orders), half-baked (wall along Mexican border), ignorant (renegotiate America’s bond debt) statements.  

Will they really support Disgusting Donald for president?    

American Voters have gotten it wrong before.

Nixon’s Southern Strategy built a winning coalition by appealing to racial animus and generational angst, but that was the ‘60’s and the Watergate scandal taught those voters a painful, embarrassing lesson about authoritarian regimes.

Reagan started his 1980 campaign, appealing to racial animus with a dog-whistle speech near the Philadelphia, Mississippi town where three civil rights activists were brutally murdered and then was famously oblivious during the Iran-Contra scandal as his administration sold weapons to Iran and secretly financed a rebellion in Nicaragua…  Oh yeah this was around the same time “our” Nicaraguan “allies” were financing their rebellion by dumping cocaine in California. 

Talk about Machiavellian! 

Talk about America eating its young!

So now, even with the stark lessons of the recent past, these vulnerable, misguided Americans are defaulting to anger and supporting a walking caricature of bigotry and chemically engineered testosterone. 

Look up “dumb American” in the dictionary and you will find a TV Guide feature on Detestable Donald.

So what’s the verdict?  Fortunately this is not 1968 or 1980.  There are a whole heap of woke Americans - of every background - who know a washed-up high school bully when they see one.

Viva Los Estados Unidos!

Where my Soccer Moms at?

Who you with my European-American brothers, John Wayne & George Custer or Bill Gates & Steve Jobs?

In that respect, Dumb Donald is good for America.  He is laying bare much of the ugly underside of American politics dating back to the nation’s original sin of slavery and the Three-Fifths Compromise. 

The racial politics that elected Nixon and Reagan along with the underlying ignorance that those politics encouraged will finally be weighed before the altar of American decency.    

American Voters cannot hide on this one.  

A vote for Derelict Donald is a vote for a global meltdown and we just can’t have that.

Like Chef Raekwon said...

 “You wanna roll like Trump, you get ya meat lumped.” 

 

Stay Woke America,

AB Esquire

WHAT ARE YOU PREPARED TO DO?

The title of this blog entry is a line from a scene in "The Untouchables" starring Robert DeNiro, Sean Connery and Kevin Costner.

In the scene, Sean Connery's character "Malone" has been "bushwacked" by some Chicago gangsters and is dying a dramatic, bloody death.  Costner, playing "Elliot Ness" is trying to console Malone in his last moments when Malone gives him the location of a "Al Capone's" accountant, key witness in the case against Capone (played brilliantly by Bobby D). 

As Malone gives Ness the vital clue to their case and is about to die, he gathers himself, spitting blood, and says to Ness, "What are You prepared to do!"

The rest is cinematic lore as Ness goes on to capture Capone's accountant, throw Frank Nitty off a building and coerce a Judge into convicting Capone on tax evasion.  In short, Ness was prepared to use any means necessary to capture his prey.   

Sound familiar???

The last few weeks I have been silent on most current events because I was tired of the rhetoric. 

Chinx Drugz shot and killed after his party in Queens on some hood sh*t...  typical.

Cleveland officer acquitted after he and his comrades unload over 130 shots at two unarmed motorists they erroneously thought were fleeing police after police erroneously thought a car backfiring was a gun shot... disgusting, vile and absurd. 

Five international banks pay multi-billion dollar fine for manipulating the foreign currency markets for their own individual gain.  Multi-billion dollar fine with no individual convictions or jail time... Anyone care to explain the foreign currency market and how its manipulation affects the lives of working class and poor people around the globe???  Anyone even know what the foreign currency market is???  

Uh Huh -- Ok

Which brings us back to Malone and Ness and US... (pun intended).

When you wake up in the morning, what do you do?  What is the first thing on your mind (typically)... aside from visiting the bathroom, coffee and your Instagram feed?

You don't have to become a Buddhist Monk to care for your fellow woman everyday.  When you get up in the morning, think about what you can do for someone else that day and DO IT! 

"Bad stuff" is happening because regular folk (The Masses) are focused on themselves and care too little for others. 

The Powers that Be are counting on it.

The System works this way because of it. 

Whose idea was it to endorse "Coke Boys" as the corporate name for French Montana and his crew?  However they got there, does the Kennedy Family glorify their family history as bootleggers?

Over the course of your day, maybe think about what your country is doing in your name here, there and everywhere.  If you're cool with things as they are fine; if not... 

What Are YOU Prepared to Do!

I started building community service programming into every entertainment project I work on.  I figure I can spend my time working to make things better for others while creating some fly art at the same time.  

What works for me may not work for You, but think about it and DO SOMETHING

My point is that the "Powers that Be" don't sleep...  Read about the Federal Reserve for starters.  Learn about the money you spend your whole life chasing!

The "System" does not take any time off... You waiting for a cop or a judge to do right by You as opposed to occupying the offices of every elected official in your vicinity?  No politician should get any sleep until the prison industrial complex is dismantled.

Late night gun play does not have to continue to be a part of the African-American experience...  Remember when it used to be cool to openly prefer light skinned blacks to darker complexioned brothers and sisters?  You voice that attitude now, most folk will look at you sideways (even if they believe it themselves).  How about African-American gun culture is acceptable in defense of our homes and families but letting off shots in residential neighborhoods is a sucker move?

Like I learned from my Big Brothers, Bles and General Steele: 

The Battlefield is everywhere and We are the Calvary...

So get on your horse and ride out For the People.

Conversation DONE!

AB Esquire

Soundtrack of The Revolution

Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, J. Cole stand up!

Special shout out to D'Angelo.

Where my Harlem Renaissance spitters at?

Throughout history, Artists have given voice to the Spirit of the Day. 

Artist's stories, paintings, and songs have moved touched and inspired since the moment Humanity looked up at the Stars and Wondered. 

Truly, one Song can raise up an Nation...  feed the Soul of an Army.

So at this moment in history, what Song will be "broadcast" and "exported" around the world as representative of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown's beautiful, brilliant, beleaguered generation? 

"BAKING SODA I GOT BAKING SODA!?!" Cut the bull-shnyde!

America's obsession with Money and Violence dates back to the Triangle Trade (Rum-Slaves-Sugar) and the Middle Passage. 

Modern day Asian sweatshops ain't got jack on 200+ years of free labor for this start up corporation called America... 

Hell, the Trail of Tears was a commercial real estate eviction that cleared the way for multi-million dollar college athletic industries like the Southeastern Conference (SEC). 

A nation forged, nurtured and fertilized with bloody sacrifices has cultivated an appreciation for anarchy, an appetite for destruction.     

Initially, that appetite was fed the old fashioned way, gorged on Strange Fruit and War.   

In the modern era, the bloodlust is sanitized for consumption in American Art.

Look at our films, video games and for fans of reality TV, the local evening news. 

Now with DVR's and web streaming you can binge watch an entire season of "Burning & Looting:  First World Nigger Revolt" in a weekend.   

So today, The Revolution IS in fact being televised and tweeted and hash-tagged and trending and going viral. 

"Burning & Looting" this generation has familiar characters and conflicts:  cops vs. criminals; rich vs. poor; black vs. white. 

While the script hasn't changed, the new soundtrack for this season of "Burning & Looting" is quite promising...  music from and inspired by Golden Era hip hop: 

From KRS-1, Chuck D, and Rakim through NWA, Wu Tang and Boot Camp Click -- a generation of strait spitters.  

Think about the fact that Cuban Links, Dah Shinin, The Infamous, The Chronic, Doggystyle, Ready to Die, Illmatic, 36 Chambers, Bizarre Ride To The Pharcyde, Enta the Stage, One For All Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, and Southerplayalisticadillacmusik were released to commercial success within a five year span!

Diverse, authentic, hard core lyrics...  

Then came the Shiny Suit Era and mainstream hip hop music became one vapid oversexed corny-ass commercial for American corporations.  

After Helta Skeltah's "Nocturnal" and The Roots "Illadelph Halflife" dropped, hip hop damn near fell off a cliff...

Right when the first generation of crack babies began to have babies of their own, the soul and conscience of the music was subjugated for a paycheck. 

Remember when Jordan declined to comment on political issues because "Republicans buy sneakers too"?  Ha!

It only took Tamir Rice and Walter Scott and Trayvon, and Ferguson, and Fruitvale, and Baltimore, and another Nigga Dead every day for Real Emcees to step up and represent for the culture.   

So while Cole and Badmon and Lamar dig in the crates there is hope for a new Song. 

A Song that Billie Holiday and Sam Cooke would be proud of.

I've had it up to here with ya'll weak ass rappers...

Sing the chorus with me if you smell what Rockness Monsta is cooking!      

 

Boom Bye-Bye,

AB Esquire

B-More Burning

Ever heard the Story about "The Straw that broke Da Camel's Back"? 

I mean the Story itself, not the metaphor or the allegory or the simile or the analogy or the object lesson or whatever... The Story about the Straw? 

Once upon a Time there was a Folk.  A Decent Folk... Loving Folk....  A Beautiful, Forgetful, Forgiving, Spiritual, Musical Folk who had the special ability to make something out of nothing. 

Mastering the Mathematics of Music, they created everything there is.  So effortless was their Science of Song it was as if they personified Alchemy, for out of their very breath and sighs came Gold from the Ether.

So effortless was their Science of Song that these Folk gave it away for Free

As freely as the Universe gives sunlight and rain, these Folk shared the wonders of their Science of Song.

But the Game is to be Sold not told...

so Sold they were,  to the West, to build New Egypt with their Science of Song.  And build it  they did... for Free.  From Blues and Bluegrass to Jazz, Rock and Hip Hop, Royalty Free.

But the rent was due, and Folk credit wasn't too good, plus they had that thing a few years back on their record so what's a Nigger to do nah mean?

I mean so what Folk dug the hole and poured the foundation and cosigned in Blood the mortgage for America's sovereignty? 

The rent is due and everybody got to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps; barefoot, homeless, pregnant from rape by Master or whatever. 

I mean if WE start giving Folk free lunches (or laptops in kindergarten) Niggers will just lay down on the job and stop picking all this cotton and singing and dancing and running and jumping and cooning and fighting and making sport and reinventing Style and all the other shit that keeps America relevant right? 

How long you think them Aztec Rude Boys gone be content with picking oranges?  Best keep Tyrone and his Folk under pressure right?

So Five-O said freeze before, during and after the bloodbath -- if you're lucky.  Otherwise, Folk are locked up -- locked out -- locked down.  Because, as the Story goes, those Decent -- Forgetful --Loving -- Beautiful -- Spiritual -- Musical Folk are also pathological criminals??? 

400 years and Time keeps on keeping on -- like the Folk.

Folk who are still Decent -- Loving -- Beautiful -- Spiritual -- Musical and increasingly less Forgetful...

They're making Folk like that nowadays... less Forgetful.

More Folk remember the awful color, smell and taste of Strange Fruit hanging from trees in Mississippi, Arkansas  and Alabama, from lamp posts in Chicago, Tulsa and New York. 

More Folk realize that rent is for tenants and if Folk names ain't on the U.S. Title Deed, ain't nobody's is.

Less Folk see the benefit of stooping to conquer, considering the fact that they just get farted on down there. 

And Folk are  still Decent -- Loving -- Beautiful -- Spiritual -- Musical and Loyal like a much fuh.

So they "ride or die" with Uncle Sam, despite double the national unemployment rate and redlined communities and the prison industrial complex and the global embarrassment of American public schools.

But don't get it twisted, Folk been screaming F@*! the Police since 1776, ask Harriet Tubman and Huey P... you know some Folk are troublemakers like that.

But now in B-More -- some More Folk screaming. 

All because of One Straw. 

One Straw -- The Severed Spine of a twenty-five year old man previously destined for anonymity.

One Straw

That Severed Spine and the insultingly transparent stall tactics of the B-More Police broke Da Camel's Back...  

Since Folk obviously were not heard in Ferguson and Miami and Oakland and Detroit and New York, and everywhere else in the country where Folk live and get their asses whipped by police, B-More figured to turn up for themselves. 

What does it profit Folk to give every ounce of their Souls to a Land only to have their children slaughtered like cattle?

So who You mad at?

The Straw?  The Camel?

No free lunches for single mothers or crooked ass cops right?

Either way, this is the American way and its time to Pay Up.

How much does a camel "backeotomy" cost anyway???

 

AB Esquire