Why music is life
“Durable physically fit raps articulate/ you get your whole skeleton cracked something ridiculous/” DAMN !!! It’s a shame that very few artist in the game can still kick shit as visually stunning as that. Ah! Hell on Earth. An album that marked transitions in so many ways it’s crazy. The drums havoc flipped still had that stone hard feel ( perfectly described by my man OX as “the type of snare that makes you blink involuntarily when that shit drops” ) , but also sported the cleaness that would eventually dominate mainstream rap’s sound. The Infamous Mobb appearacne was also significant in the sense that The Alchermist was brought in through their affiliation with DJ Muggs. On a personal note 96 was the year that i came back over here after 3 years of living in Ireland doing the boarding school thing. ( Blackrock STAND UP ) While kicking it with my cousins in London ( where i always spent holidays at ) i saw the review for the G.O.D. father part 3 single in the Source and was fiending for it in Europe but copped it in Greenbelt MD ( Springhill Lake STAND UP ) , so the album also represents a big transitional period in my life being where i went from classy to fly and ashy.
Which brings me to the main point about why music is life for me. I went from balling out in spots like Paris and Knightsbridge to busting my ass working over at Alabama ave in Southeast D.C. and living in the Kirkwood apartments in Hyattsville ( where my man Stix from Franklin ave in B.K. swore that the buildings reminded him of some low rise projects down to the corner store ) and no matter where i was at, Music always had a way of overpowering anything that was going on in life. For example, sticking with the Mobb deep theme. I remenber waiting on Grafton Street in the city center of Dublin to link up with this chick i met at the movies. To kill time i jetted up the block from the McDonalds i was supposed to meet her to see what was new at H.M.V. Walking downstairs to where you could find their rap section i walked up and i saw it. The big “IT”. Staring me in my dumbstruck face baring a sticker that read IMPORT was the cover of Mobb Deeps “The Infamous”. Top 40 shit was bumping through the in store speakers, dozens of people buzzed around buying and selling shit and the only thing that i was aware of was the the bone chilling guituar riff of “shook ones part 2”, the relentlessly evil undertone Havoc served up using bass and drums spliced together flawlessly on “cradle to the grave” ( the track that made me start putting vinly static on my beats for extra ambiance ) and the way that the sample used on “if it’s alright with you” ( WHY WAS THIS TRACK NOT ON THE ALBUM )gave me a warm yet sad feeling everytime i heard it. Oh! by the way , big up to Tim Westwood for playing these tracks on his show before the album dropped. Needless to say i copped it, stood shorty up ( it’s all good cause i was wrong for trying to cheat on my girl any way ) hopped on the train back to school, pressed play and was immediately struck by the haunting string plucks of “start of your ending”. ( COT DAMN!!!! THAT BEAT IS STILL HARD AS HELL 12 YEARS AFTER IT CAME OUT ) from start to finish nothing else mattered. On the flipside one day coming home from work in D.C. I was exhausted beyond anything i had experienced before. Rent was looming, stress in the crib and various other things were kicking your boy in the the teeth. Jumping off the greenline train in Hyattsville i was mad tight at the world. I had my heaphones off for the train ride cause i was reading ( now and then i go through a bookworm phase ) after exiting the station i threw my joints on cause cars, busses and hundreds of people just as tired as you are is not really a relaxing soundtrack. I skipped the J-Love “Hidden darts” Mixtape to “The Sun” and from the intro( with Ghost talkin over lush strings and a flute so serene that it could put anybody in a beautiful coma ) to the outro, nothing else mattered. Rent was still due but music was still more powerful than stress. When the headphones came off the stress was still there but for that little while i was bulletproof to that shit and that is why to me music is life. I read somewhere that Egyptians used to say that music was medicine for the soul and i feel that way too. That’s why die hard wu tang fans that never knew each other can stop and have a 40 minute convo with each other based on nothing but the heavy love we got for the killa beez ( whut up Reynard the grandmaster of the wu tang collections )
I thank God for every little good and bad time i had in life cause ultimately it made me a better writer and producer. Cats ask me how i can make sample free beats like “beautiful scarz” that tend to have a lot of emotion seeped in without any formal training. ( shit i flunked music theory class with an incomeplete grade ) The answer is this. Any one of my fam that has seen me loose my mind at a show when a certain song drop’s or seen me jump out my seat scraeming when they hit me with a cd i’ve been dying to hear, they have the key, which is. I LOVE THIS SHIT. Fuck it. Thats all. Solo single no more no less. I’m a fully operational music geek. I’m the dude that reads album credits meticulously cause i want to know everything about that shit cause music just has that effect on me. I dont kow if my zodiac sign has anything to do with it. I rock the Aquairius sign ( fellow cats like Dr. Dre famous for his marathon studio sessions know about the love and from what i read about him the late great J Dilla knew too. note: I am NOT comparing myself to these legends so dont go flying off the handle ) and people say that cats like us bang out joints too much due to a heavy love for creativity, but if that’s what makes somebody happy why brake that love.
Before i bounce let me hit you with this havoc line that just passed ( I really do got that that Hell on earth shit on the side of me ) “hit you up/ from the waist up/ thats how it is and how it is is kinda fucked up/ but the beats banging/ got your whole click singing/ on the corner while it’s ringing/” Life is gonna stay fucked up and complicated but evryone from thugs on the corner to stressed out white kids in mosh pits, to grown folks catching a show by The Manhattans can attest that just TURNING UP THAT GOOD SHIT AND ENJOYING IT always has a good effect.