KRIKOS – Monocle


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HASA!


Jay-Z-+-Marina-Abramovic2

I’ll never forget the day this album dropped. I was in another dimension. I was inspired.

This album performed well. Its critics are caught in a web of infinite skepticism.

I bought this album and Yeezus on the same day. I believe these are probably the two greatest artists of our time. If you pay attention, I have been influenced by them in all of my work.

The political undertones in this work, like all of Jay-Z’s works, are omnipresent. The cover itself, inspired by greco-roman mythology, the inner-booklet, as well as the content, from beginning to end, captures the stark reality of an American hustler. The whole time I felt I was watching a Spike Lee movie.

Jay-Z is hated for his business approach. I think he is an artistic genius. His genius is beyond the minds of his critics, be they musicians or not. He addresses conspiracy theorists in a line from “Heaven”:

Conspiracy theorists screaming illuminati,

They can’t believe this much skill is in a human body,

6’2, how the fuck he fit in a new bugatti,

Aw fuck it you got me,

Question religion question it all,

Question existence until them questions are solved,

Meanwhile this heretic, I be out in Marrakesh,

Morocco, smoking hashish with my fellowship,

Y’all dwell on devil shit, I’m in diablo, yellow-shit,

Color of jello shit, hello bitch,

It’s me again, fresh in my easter clothes feeling like Jesus.

For all the so-called purists & the conspiracy theorists, this is a clear message. Jay-Z isn’t here to make you comfortable. He is here to make a living, express himself & expose what he sees as American hypocrisy. With references to Malcolm, Martin Luther King Jr., Wall Street, Jewish affluence and more, this album in no way falls short of being consistent with the tradition of hip-hop as a conscious movement.

Despite ongoing trends & exploitations of the culture, for the most part, there remains a largely alive movement of conscious listeners and artists who remain true to the craft and the messages upon which it was built.

It cannot be understated the impact which 200 years of slavery has had on the African-American culture. This recent interview with Azealia Banks on Hot 97 really captures the emotions of the African-American community. Whether or not you agree with her views or self-expression, I do believe it is important for Americans especially, to hear this perspective. It is true, that Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves in the 19th century. But that was the end of a tactic; not of a system. The system which we would like to believe no longer exists today is strong and more alive than ever. Words alone, especially my own, cannot do justice.

Today, hip-hop is saturated with a blend of either ultra-conscious underground or ultra-materialistic mainstream. The medium is there, if you look for it. The majority, which represents the American population, remains held hostage to either the purists within the underground community or the bigots who have largely extended their grasp over the popular media-mainstream, exponentially since the deaths of major hip-hop icons Notorious B.I.G. & Tupac.

I am all for new music & innovation. But I tend not to look for it from many of the artists who the mass-media spoon-feeds us on the daily. I like sticking to my real hip-hop.

WHEN THE GRASS IS CUT



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From Obama’s meeting with the Pope to Putin’s annexation of Crimea – lot has been going on this past month.

Republicans are still dishing last minute attempts to stifle Obamacare, but to their misfortune it doesn’t seem to be working.

And then there’s Kobe Bryant’s remark about the Trayvon incident which seemed to be a little pre-mature. I do think we should cut the guy some slack – it’s twitter, and we all know what the media is out to do – fan the flames. Still, I must say, Kobe’s inner-snob showed face, a trait he’s been carrying with him since the first echos of Jordan-Kobe comparisons became a topic of consideration. Anyway, it was Kobe’s remarks that drew me do some research, coming across the editorial cartoon pictured above; a blatant criticism of right-wing attempts to justify the stand-your-ground laws used to justify the tragedies like that of young Trayvon (RIP).

Let’s face it, the media in America is extremely self-interested; lot of Obama bashing and Tea Party cynicism feeding the masses – fueling boiling angers amongst conservatives.

Apparently, a young girl has requested the Pope’s assistance in preventing her father’s deportation from America. The immigration issue is as pressing as ever – being a struggling immigrant myself, I sympathize and applaud this courageous girl’s effort. God speed.

fAs for the Ukraine – Obama slipped up when he said America had no self-interest in Iraq. Perhaps America didn’t – but the Bush Administration did. That brings to light another issue I’d like to bring up – the actions of few americans should not be excused in order to preserve american exceptionalism – instead let’s be honest about our past so we can procure a better future – so we can distance ourselves from the fundamentalistic policies of the Bush era.

What the world is currently experiencing is a rebalancing of global power – meanwhile certain groups/entities are doing whatever they can to keep it unbalanced – through means of propaganda, war, intelligence operations, etc.

Where are we headed now? We have a tyrannical monarchy in Saud which we must cut ties with; an Egypt in turmoil, endangered by radicalism and foreign meddling; a Syria caught in the midst of a tug-o-war between East and West (and zionism); Palestinians blockaded and starved in Gaza; a worldwide refugee crisis; a vindictively anti-Western South America; and in culmination of all these phenomena, the ultimate consequence: a potential world war.

There is a particular ideology being challenged by the world. That is the ideology of imperialism. Once the balance of power is reestablished – once the grass is cut – the snakes will show.

The following are the links to the articles regarding Bill Day’s gun-rights themed editorial cartoon and the young girl’s petition to the pope respectively:

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/03/26/la-girl-whose-dad-faces-deportation-asks-pope-francis-to-push-for-us/