Tuesday, November 9

Love Thy Labor

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. ~Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, November 7

Untitled

Inspired by God

Influenced by the devil

Alhumdolilah

Curse shaitan the rebel

Heavy metal levels

Increase the decibel

Crack the sonic levee

Flood the vestibule

Keep the MP close

It's clearly a nestled tool

Ground held by not murdering

But wrestling fools

Use tactics overlooked

Like subtle signatures of crooks

Spend time crafting

Auxiliary moments spent between books

And though I might use seconds, minutes & hours

Constantly remind myself of the source of the power

The grower of the flowers

Sustainer of hero and coward

From Shalamar Gardens

To Watts, LA California

The most grants my sustenance

Keep your cornucopia

Android market misfits

Frames fragile as Nokias

But Phraim 's fortified

Emcee producer bonafied

They stuck between Halloween and Thanksgiving

Gratefully mortified

Monday, November 1

Jacks' Trades

When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. ~Emerson

Friday, October 29

The Bright Side

Stay steady, between "barely break bread" and "bountiful"/the struggle beautiful, drink daily from youthful fountain to.../keep the shady medical system away/and while I'm at it keep them sharks at and outta my bay...

Sunday, September 26

Long Overdue; Right On Time

Earlier this year, just a few weeks after the release of Silver Lined (and Super Bowl XLIV), I received submissions for a design contest from a group of student artists from Westwood College in Astro City aka H-Town bka Houston, Texas.

Accomplished artist and instructor, Rabéa Ballin, gave the participants an overview of the music, its meaning, and exposed them to my sites for background and essence of the energy behind the sound. She then led her class through the process of conceptualizing and completing of the project.

These talented graphic designers brainstormed and ultimately fleshed out their feelings while listening to the album in class. Some chose the route of an overall album cover design while others selected their favorite song. They truly captured the essence of the music.

Selecting a winner WAS NOT easy. Every piece was on point in meaning and mega-creative. There were three that did grab me a little bit more than the others...


First Place: Frank Jennings

Frank successfully squared everything I was trying to wrap up in "Blood Of Mine." I didn't have official liner notes for the LP, but if I did they would've explained that the track was an ode to my unborn children whose souls are with The Essence awaiting an earthly existence. Not only did he capture the idea of creation on Earth and within woman along with triple-darkness, but he also used one of the most significant colors of creation, green. The image is sharp, crisp, well processed and the font type is slick. Congratulations Frank.


Second Place: Jorge Madrigal

The Oldsmobile 442. That's four-four-two. (4+4+2=10 or a dime). Pure muscle car. Four barrel carb, manual four speed trans, dual exhaust. My pops built and raced cars (I was practically raised in a garage). He was mostly of a Dodge dude. Me too. But, one day I saw and heard this beast growl past me.... Yeah. The rectangle design is as out the box as the track-work, witty. The 'headlights', camera, and ACTION type is showtime. What better color than red? Good work Jorge.


Third Place: Jonathan Thelisma

"Men are from Mars, women are from Venus." I mean, that's what they say, right? Men are anything but Martians. We might not be angels, but we're definitely not...I'll just stop there (although you know there's a story behind the music). Jonathan took all the celestial noise of the lead off track and framed it. It rocks. The Alien-esque space invader sci-fi "PHRAIM" with the forcefield border was a nice touch. Simple, yet outta this world.

Who knows, maybe a remastered physical copy of "Silver Lined" will see the light of day. Maybe these will be in the real-deal liner notes. Maybe the artists will play a role in the design of the next release that's dropping in T-minus....

Wednesday, April 21

Essence In Rest

Slick ode RMX via MADLIB to a MAJOR 'enflooence' on me.

Friday, April 9

Service of Sacrifice

In my music, my plays, my films I want to carry always this central idea: to be African. Multitudes of men have died for less worthy ideas; it is even more eminently worth living for.

~Paul Robeson (April 8, 1898- January 23, 1976)