“BLACK GOD THEORY” is the first single from her new album “Nebuchadnezzar”
i only discovered the funky four after i started rhyming, but they provided an important piece to my hip hop history lesson, being the first crew to feature a female mc, sha rock.
Often called “hip hop’s Gordon Parks”, renowned photographer Jamel Shabazz has certainly earned the title in his own right. Two of his books, “A Time Before Crack” and “Back in the Days”, helped to establish him as an important documentarian of Hip Hop, as they captured the essence and culture in a way that hadn’t been done before. He wasn’t featuring famous rappers or djs, but regular folks rocking Cazals, shell toes, and asymmetricals in the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t dressed up or airbrushed. They were real and honest photographs of everyday Black life during the glorious era of Hip Hop.
I first discovered his work in the mid 90s, when they began popping up in Urban Outfitters. I would gaze at the photographs, wishing I had been born 10 years earlier so that i could experience the energy, newness, and authenticity of the culture. Shabazz’s perspective was warm and familiar. You could sense the care he had for us, as he most often captured positive images of his subjects smiling and having fun.
Being a teenager without a job, I never got the chance to cop one of his books. Now that I am learning and growing as an emcee, I feel that his photos are integral to overstanding the heart of the culture. With the music as my soundtrack, his photos would be the visual representation of the golden era. So this time around, I WILL be getting my copies to share with my unborn children, to support this cultural preservation. And i think you should too. http://www.amazon.com/Time-Before-Crack-Jamel-Shabazz/dp/1576872130/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b
February 18, 2012 in Afrika, Astro Chronicles, Culture, Disography, Ether Warz, EVENTS, Fashion, Food, Food Clothing &Hip Hop, FYI, God Hop Movement, Health, Hip Hop, History, Incredible Findings, Interviews, Journey of a Starseed, Life Experience, Merchandise, On the Scene, Performances, Sa-Roc, Sa-Roc TV, Science, Spoken Word, Supernova
a new joint from one of my favorite rappers, sadat x, from brand nubian.
growing up i attended an afrikan centered school where we were required to rock traditional afrikan clothing as part of our daily uniform. Most of the girls, including myself, wore lappas, which is roughly 2-3 yards of african cloth wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt. I never got real fly with it, because i happened to be in my grunge stage at the time, which didn’t blend real well with afrikan clothing. though i did wear my camo field jacket, a lappa and combat boots very regularly. After i matriculated, i became much more aware of style aesthetics and had grown far past the idea of wearing a lappa everyday. Though i still adored african fabric and clothing, i wanted to rock it more fly, and less traditional. Incidentally on my first trip to afrika, senegal to be exact, i found a tailor who fashioned me a pair of afrikan print cargo pants!
More recently, what i’ve been looking for has been much easier to find. The fashion world has become enthralled with ethnic/afrikan fabric, the bold and colorful motifs found everywhere from Target to the backs of supermodels traipsing down the runways of New York fashion week. At first it annoyed me to no end. The cultural vampires had struck again, usurping the very culture that it sought to initially oppress. it still does annoy, but it has also helped in a twisted way. the same folks that used to turn up their noses at my colorful lappas and beaded bangles are now following a new fashion trend that boldly declares mama afrika as a fashion icon.
I have since enlisted a tailor stateside to create my fashionable machinations. i also diligently peruse the internet to find fly afrikan designers to fulfill my fly cultural needs. designers like tennille mcmillan of nakimuli clothing, hekima hapa of harriet’s by hekima, and boxing kitten are just a few of my fave designers that have captured my eye for flyness. this “trend” has a potentially powerful impact. What has started as a seemingly superficial fashion movement could inspire thousands of fashionistas to look beyond the surface and more deeply into a powerful cultural and historical legacy that has influenced the entire planet. next time you choose that fly ‘fit to rock, think for a moment. whose style aesthetic am i choosing to represent? it might make all the difference.
February 5, 2011 in Sa-Roc
i’ve had an immense love for henna since i was 13 years old. one of my favorite haunts was an indian boutique that offered henna as well. when i begun working there 6 years later, i fell hard for the bold and beautiful art form. i would forgo pay for hennaed hands and bindis, savoring the heavy herbal scent and the slight tickle of the paste as it landed on my skin. every summer my hands and feet would be stained bright red with paisleys and flowers, accenting the bangles on my wrists and the indian skirts i favored back then. it was a way for me to express a sensuality that i normally suppressed behind my modesty. for me to be bold in spite of my shyness. it was my connection to my kemetic ancestry through the tip of a henna cone. several years later, on my last night in senegal, i was blessed to have a wolof sister named adam do henna designs on my hands and feet. the designs were very different from the very floral indian designs i was used to, but her geometric patterns were dope just the same. when i came home, i took a piece of senegal with me, imbued with a connection to my sisters and the culture we shared. where my henna normally lasted about 2 weeks, her designs lingered for 6 months! i haven’t had henna since then, and my hands are itching for a fresh coat. until then, i’ll longingly gaze at photographs til i can be blessed with the tip of the cone again……[slideshow]
January 29, 2011 in Sa-Roc