l.i.v.e. at ryerson (thursday program)

so, it must be said that if i roll through 45 minutes late and things haven’t started yet, it’s problematic for the program. when the subject matter is ranked, and everything is pushed back, only some of it is filmed, and the most marginalized get to speak to the remaining 6 converted, there’s compounded problems. but that’s not to say that it was all kumbayaa at any point during this whole thing. i’m on a processing high, as well as a glad to see fam/not so glad to see someone who is essentially dead to/stabbed me in the heart, but hey-hip hop is the fickle and selfish lover that i can’t ever leave because it’s so damn stimulating.

sometimes it takes hashing it out for an additional hour in the subway station with someone else who consistently shows up and hasn’t stopped learning/listening/reading to put things into perspective. here are the thinking points that remain from this evening (i feel hope-full because i don’t feel broken, like i have at other academic conferences on hip hop):

>> “people can imagine the end of the world before they can imagine the end of capitalism, and capitalism is so miniscule when it comes to the history of the world”

-true, yes. romantic, hella. stopped me in my tracks-absolutely. this is on a food for thought/thought for food tip.

>> to the young lady who had a question regarding safety in hip hop spaces (her example being that she felt targeted as a woman at an RA show), i don’t think the response to that question is 100% just to steer clear-i know from an activist standpoint, that to keep thrusting (pause-reclaimed) oneself into the spaces that are hurt-full is silly, and i get the need for self-protection, i just don’t think it’s that simple. for example-i felt real fear in the crowd of white boys that had gathered to see classified, who is by no means a rugged dood, literally or figuratively. but sometimes, young white doods just congregate looking for any reason to wreck shit, and especially in montrill, where the city motto is to burn shit down and riot first, and ask questions later. i was very scared of that energy (and maybe it was flashbacks to all the times i’ve felt that before, including the time that ended with being shoved into a paddywagon with lord finesse and being held in police custody) and then all of a sudden-shadrach kabango rolls onto the stage with his guitar and in three chords, the tension is dissolved. that, my friends, is the mark of a true artist with a message. and my message here is twofold-no matter what, the music that touches people across borders real or imagined, is the music that is true. and as participants, as i like to reiterate when i hear too much about these passive “masses” that audiences are dismissed too often as, have to take it upon ourselves to sometimes take the risk to be seen, heard, and counted, because you never know what you’re going to find if you don’t keep your eyes and ears open. the natives didn’t see the ships, either.

>> just please, please, please pick your battles. nikki minaj ain’t the enemy. and if you hate her so much and you haven’t listened to her music (i can tell by the way that you talk, just like i can tell if/when people have stopped reading), then in my mind, i really question your credibility.

>> lou-i love you, man, and i’m not trying to suffocate you, but you took too much space this time.

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