By SUNEZ #SkillastratorLO
4079 rules pass before the Q-Tip declares, for us all to see, that the industry it’s a self aware beast. That it really is completely logical to me in my years from the #RespectFAKE industry off into these independent landscapes of #RespectMyFAKE self-promotion-destructions. The white magic is all about the blend, the tricknowledge. Never all lies but impactful mis-truth, an influential falsity subtlety entrapped in a now-justifying truth. And in the sales of Art, like and dislike are ripe to be misrepresented this way.
The devolution of quality is sold as a progressive evolution in style. If it be a counterculture as this Black music we call Hip Hop, they say it’s a must because in a rebellious expression how can we just keep making this music with standards and ideals?
We see this so much that we don’t even see how it possibly affects respectfully made music. With this brother Kachinga, out of Canada, debuting with Sky Falling, I can see all the good that fell and all that was left that he honorably clung onto. Yet to do it, there is some filth that dilutes the work.
See how I’m seeing it, hearing things in parts, historical fragments from musical moments allowed to be. Many strong and too many weak and almost all of them allowed if they didn’t implore the integrity of the Art. And nowhere is that seen but in your fourth ear (after your two ears register and that body feels it come the ear that brings it to the third eye–its all Seven supreme ain’t it!) that don’t get too many sounds nowadays.
Imagine Hip Hop gots to have a scientific method, a standard to uphold the sounds it gets or else hungry brothers from the streets, crimed already or militantly alive as I, would just go sampling the easiest thing to get cream. Hustle anywhere anyday! or Fuck the industry and capitalism! It’s all the same effect. But there was a standard cause Hip Hop grew from the whole neighborhood, not the streets only.
But Black music isn’t a bubble. NYC already had its first genre, the last one with instruments there, Salsa. They had Roots Reggae lovingly flooding. And the Funk and Soul are just carbonated atoms clinging to all the carbon dioxide we breathe out. So they all helped Hip Hop become but now they also become something else with Hip Hop, if they’re allowed to. They let us sample our works they owned. And while they help us lazy up the lyrics to shit, they also got us thinking about the lazy in all things. Massa Musikkk is sho clever. And now disco don’t need less band. How about R&B cannibalism?! Sample itself to sell itself anew. I skillastrate too much, too much pressure on all those making fun with sounds, but some standards gotta stay down. Down my brother not down and out. Ol’ slang for an ole time way.
The blurring happens with newcomers of excellent potential. Like the Soulquarians, filled with geniuses that are naturally gifted or just so well schooled they built their own presence. And they had no genre boundaries as they should have and needed to. But they also made R&B that sampled and much of it was great. They blurred the lines further from Puffy’s original grafting. Blatantly and unimaginatively jacking Soul to make R&B. And no one on the larger forums was real enough or able (that’d me in the pit climbing up in 96 yelling with ink but no print) to speak out and say Hip Hop, rhymes on breaks, can sample but R&B needs to play and make their own sounds. But Soulquarians could and did make their own sounds and could blend a sample in, confuse what a cover was versus a sample. And now it’s the #DarkAges, the 2000s, and now the money is so big it’s all ok. And now talk R&B, Soul and the place of blending genres into Hip Hop and vice versa is never discussed. Even Lauryn Hill’s brilliance doesn’t define the standard because her talent and that debut is too extra-ordinary. No one can make anything like it since.
So Kachinga, after Kanye diluted Soul samples, expertly digging and popping the portions (as opposed to RZA’s greatest using the grime and sadness that leads to the Blues of Bronze Nazareth)– the first clues to degradation are really in seeing the efforts in dilution, despite them seemingly sounding divine to the popular first two ears.
So Kachinga opens up on my fourth ear–I’m too old for this shit so sounds slides through the first three ears real fast–as another brother crying about shit. This millennial music never sounds like they about to do something cause of hell but just want to go, run and tell and then sit, sadden and retell. But this is unfair to Kachinga and hoping he’s not diseased by AmerKKKa (that is clearly a reference to the Koon Klans Klanging–the most honored music core of America’s Black music by the white bloodsucker led music industry–undeniable facts still, sadly) I listen further for some illness. It’s actually there…
To have any respect for Kachinga we have to see he is a new diluted title, rap singer. His lyric skills and technical levels on the mic are not raw, they are subpar. However, he and the click actually come off well on “December,” on a sparse beat that leaves lots of room to highlight the bars. But Kachinga can’t sing for shit either because the rock indie and trap rap influences have affected (or he accepted–who the fuck knows what makes an artist do some wack shit?!) his intonations leaving them to reverberate lower and lower into ugliness or just monotone low. As a band working, the Kachinga band movie clips and samples are respectfully dug with more familiar samples used are made totally anew. The band is underproduced, the hallmark of the producers with the best potential however he grossly underproduces to good and bad effect. “Soul’d” with the thick bass drum that cuts into its horns, the title track working with yelps and piano strings that let the musicality arrive and the bass drums smash, the rolled drums on “Wonderland” are nice. Still tracks are so underproduced as “Cold Heart II” where his voice is miles away from the piano keys only highlighting that his chops don’t really exist.
This is all acceptable for any of today’s R&B unfortunately and as on “Wonderland” he isn’t really a singer but a chanter. That’s some new shit but blame the supremacy of Yasiin Bey for making that ill. Now we gotta hear some respectful work with potential from a brother and we gotta try to like him croaking through 8 bars dragged out to the length of a Canibus acapella verse. On “Balance” a more consistent spoken rap sounds focused but the less you say and the slower you rhyme means the more meaningful or iller the words need to be. They aren’t.
For most of Sky Falling, life is the part of the indie B movie where the main character’s life is at the point where he is drugged up, hitting his lows but this clearly is the last time. The work is about realization and bars are laced with abstract devices (“Holding onto water/How do you put out fire with oil/It’s so hard to be around you…” – “Colour”; “You can lose your life if you don’t let it go” – “Nothing”) and miles of aural space to zone out even on more well filled tracks as “The Shore.” Kachinga and his band have potential to produce, rhyme and even chant better but where are the roots in sentiment of today’s brothers. It is in just an eclectic patchwork of older sounds or are they really sampling the music and letting the beautiful residue of this counterculture’s ethos guide them? This debut, like so many others, has no ruggedness, no extreme display of overwhelming rhyme skill or singing gift and offers the desired laziness in musicality we are often cheated with. Remember Gil Scott-Heron was no great singer but sang much the way of addictive chants and had an incredible band and ear for music composing. No, we could never demand any artist to build so brilliantly. But the benchmarks of musical excellence have already been set. We got to expect more of their sound if not their mind. The fourth ear listens to understanding of all types. And when you make music that intends for you to sit. And out first two ears go past the grooves and our third comes to sit down then our fourth is engaged and expectations of higher quality have to be there.
And Kachinga will only, so far, engage the fourth ear with appealing winds of a brooding kind, some poetic flourishes, sparse keys, breaks, chants and verses that might rhyme or not. They will brand him well and he may sell but who’s way does it tell? I love that our young brothers express themselves freely and they got a lot of emotions that deeply reason their songs. Knowledge them. They’ll tell you a story on their song stories. But how much can you say without really being qualified in tech and skill for the culture? On that stronger level cause we’re not allowed to demand Beyonces to be close to Arethas let alone Sarah Vaughans. We’re not allowed to demand Kachinga to be at the league of Yasiin Bey or let alone Skyzoo, the best of the storytelling contemporary prose poets. It seems the revolution can’t be televised just yet. If you ain’t reading premierely. Now I still got about 4000 rules to go over in this course. So get your q-tips and clean out all four of them ears.
#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…
Living and sharing the pillars of:
Peace, Sunez Allah