Sugar to carbs to electric motions,
Notions of metrics in witty barbs of rigor
The starvin is an orchestra, an anti-Donny Hathaway lead
Singing in the pen, souled letters to imprison ideas upon the world
Yet a loveliness of verbose soaring in prose of principle
This #InvisibleRenaissance, these 2010’s, been a Digital Jungle for me. I wonder how much I love the music. Wonder whether the conformity to live is really this necessary and if the demands of Arts’ passions are always going to be collateral damage. Cause I heard too many drums, notice too many samples, even if not the name, the way, the woo, the loop, the wail wallop, that chop. I rhyme without rhyming, Bruce barred Lee, prematurely finishing first heard bars of every next rapper–gats, bats, hoes and clothes–too much talking, chants, emo rants, victorious heathens reality show elevators going all the up. Tooned avengers, woke themes versus trans coonery, just niche wars that bore a builder. Vines, memes, animals, IG models, trees of green, paid stiffs howl and all the rainfall, the sounds of cheap horror, drown down. So tired, my machete wears rusted, always until the hungriest survivor claws and climbs through.
This surviving member of the genus dominus miccus ceremonium, the MC, Starvin B, harkens a joy of the cassette for me. I will remember in 2017, Supreme Sniper, an MC that plays while bench presses, sparring and concrete slumming are meant most honorable, turned that Boom Bapped TME studio to an art gallery. Late I calmed to catch Sunblaze bar salute . Starvin B, was there without an important cog of his instrument again.
Voice nearly gone he only reasoned it as back at Spit Gemz’ Fuck the Radio LP release party years ago. “It happens.” So a great of this #InvisibleRenaissance won’t rhyme?!
But we do have another LP, a consistency of excellence that has a known list of operatives achieved every drummed mission. A flow that leaves little space, can load extra vowels onto bars casually, turns punchline cleverness into lyricism, layers verses so syllabically sound, the intricacies lend the melodic structure all the great lyricists cause addiction by. Digital Jungle, an addendum to the Starvin B teamwork with one of this decade’s great beatmakers, One Take, is as he says, “dirtbag rap,” and yet I feel so pure, even pompously purist, in grimy filthiness, whenever I play it.
The commentaries of a superior MC go on deaf ears so the battle bars have no intended target if your transcribers are shot. “Still can’t rock with certain philosophers/reaching the top ain’t my top concern/but I’m a dominant the spot I earn/it’s our turn/feeding the teacher but even more eager to learn/still sick, need the fever to burn/Yeah, I’m fine/until I find my next line/press delete and return/request/they requested fine dining so I’m feeding them sperm…” he bars on “Weirdos.” An ideal showing of any refusal to be labeled, a boast at the top with the humility to be the best he can be in whatever cipher he is in, the ultimate love of the mere simple love of the pen work and if it ain’t peace, you can exquisitely have some of deez.
As “8 Shades,” notes, “the only thing stable in my life is dedication,” and a comfort in his own identity and illness refreshingly binds what, even on a surface level, must be heard as the peak of technical MCing, an instructional manual that will probably cause more to quit that continue…thankfully.
The cleverness is extreme as on “Ironworkers” with sharp imagery (“drum loops, we trap noise in/collapse the floors even if you hold your applause…tried to plant a seed of doubt and got aborted”) whilst “Living On Edge” similes (“I touch nerves like herbs in customs with rubber gloves”) and metaphors (“you want to grind I’m a Folgers crystal/best part of waking up/is taking my cut/those stories you making are fake as fuck”) to battle through the lines of sanity and insanity. Through this all the flow is impeccable, his punctuation continues to be the inflections that turn the battle knife verses deeper in. They let them pile and pile into a river of crisp consonants and rippling vowels.
The fluidity of it all is cemented by One Take’s underappreciated brilliance. Today’s most newest and lusted Boom Bap producers merit listens with similar fits of addiction yet too many prey on a populace that has no memory or is wrongly indifferent to the same samples. Beat remakes are saluted that amaze with the same Soul vocals and Funk riffs the thousands of records the last thirty years mined. One Take samples yet has such a distinctive simplicity that his musical backgrounds are mood based. Using odd whimpering and whining guitar sirens on “Night School” with the live snares that hit, stop, think and hit again through a long boomed bassline. The stale overuse of sounds in Boom Bap–or Fuck it!–Hip Hop, the only real music being made. There is no fucking trap, reggaeton genre. There are no ciphers made here premierely for badly made and commercially intended sound scraps. Now that stale overuse of musical ideas in our real music is often horror themed, something haunting so that a gravel voiced rapper playing with dead bodies of his supposed doing and fraudulently analyzing with my family’s supreme mathematics. Yet on “Pimp vs. Poet,” One Take merges a low-key sinister piano riff with B-Boy oomfps on the thickest breakbeat you can hear. The One Take gift is rare because his drums are so sharp and innovative. They smack deep at every turn, they reload with wonderful stutters, the snares either thud or sharply strike, they merge with their horns brilliantly (“Ironworkers“) or ride with the bassline melodies smoothly (“Selective Hearing“).
Starvin B and One Take make listening records that allow us to ignore content for breaks or orchestration for punchlines or themes for drum diversity. Or we can be holistically addictive and love the entire supreme blend.
So a great of this #InvisibleRenaissance won’t rhyme?! Is his voice strong enough, you wonder who weren’t there to witness Hip Hop from Starvin again. Word is bond. Check 1,2, his voice lower, stressed but with complete clarity, DJ Fred Ones dropped an instrumental and he freestyled fury for more than a handful of minutes. The surroundings, our realities at that very moment, his health losing to his illness, Starvin B turned my scars into graffiti and I smiled, rooted and awed at the music again. No original recorded material performed. Starvin B knew it was only for that One Take. When we left and were back in the Digital Jungle again.
Proteins to aminos to flexed muscles,
Tussles vexed aligned in LO themes
The starvin is a parquet’d tablet, a pistoned Isiah
Concrete lectures cemented in cerebellums’ corners in an ol’ time handle
Every wooden block is self styled and crossed over to understanding
#LOVEandLOYALTY A #LoLife
The organization of these principles around a counterculture, an expressive arts of creation that uplifts the ideas and thoughts of an oppressed people, is why I’m an honored builder amongst legends, knighted by heroes of Medina (Rakim Supreme Shabazz Allah/Rudy Lo, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Bonz Malone) to further create in my element as a Hip Hop Writer of #ArtOnArt & #ScienceOnMusic. So the world may find love that locks in with the action of loyalty though they may never find another writer with my kind of grammar…
Representing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah