Just the teacher from Harlem’s last 900 Thursday nights…
Working the trade of the inspirant
Inspire freedom, conspire culture
Sometimes I signify but mostly I build on why
So songs sung like,
She so thick
Foul blasting cop,
Another lesson drop,
the way a teacher’s class hops…
They actual proofs of a family warrior,
the builds of our daring blasphemy told to our children
around campfires of seminal songs.
Surrounded by phoniks,
that sounding of horns and drums
we learn to pronounce.
to the dictation of delight-
to the two
and the three.
A withering of #RespectFAKE
even as they feign
there ain’t no need
to heed their return to the essence.
There are Hip Hop songs that sample great voices that tipped their tone to the digger upon the needle drop. But lots of songs ain’t shit, just riddles of rewinds, farces that strip the clit of the wombs of the aging vinyl. And then there’s that Hip Hop that seem as if a lifetime ago of perfected band moments were all performed for that producer mining today. A selfish perspective the way they strip what they hear as the past’s brilliance. A man of these handles got a different phoniks to his speaking. Sounds out arrangements they once called thefts and he lets an exalted criminal of words and ideas to drive through. And I’ll write on them. Exalt a history of rebellion without assimilating them. Like I’m the judge rocking the jewry.
Awon and Phoniks, a real time, sincerely sealed Paris Blues, Poitier and Newman, a lyric sax and a beat trombone, that again, win the battle against American Pop. The Actual Proof, filled with such a subtle consistency of contempt for complacency, is their third work and their most immersed in the smoothness of illness. The kind of Hip Hop played in tomorrow’s cult classic motion picture when y’all #RespectFAKE will act like you knew.
The unison performance cannot be understated and their work signifies my greatest working thesis for listening in the #InvisibleRenaissance. That this elevated Boom Bap this decade is at the highest levels of quantity colliding with quality. The media, the #RespectFAKE vehicles, the leech-leeches of this culture, offer no insight for us to sift through it all. That bungling blogger is no savior either, really an enemy of the Writer, in his Hip Hop element, as they just post a work’s existence on a popular platform, a minimal add on that has become the pathetic norm. It’s all something the righteous Hip Hop junkie doing his own digging uncovers faster. It leads to the awkward breach of fly arrogance into lack of humility that is made by many MCs today as they masturbate to their works all over statuses and tweets. So we can listen, purchase, stream, actually invest in the months of talent and work made together.
And I hear the Return To The Golden Era and the KOS LPs in The Actual Proof, finding its own place in our libraries. A place of happiness where I collected beated bios and fictions, poetic prose and aphorisms of men and women from so many places and with millions more emotions. That so many of my battles with devils and builds with babies have a score to them. That my own ideas, an Art on Art cipher style, like the Sequoia out the mighty martial music forest has a writing system I invent. Invented for records that transcend and hold retrospection as The Actual Proof.
As so many things in a fiendish world and we the people darker than blue, The Actual Proof, is a kombucha that ferments the hells into nutrition. Awon has only refined his tone and cadence further to dive deeper into the pocket. Phoniks’ digs are even more clever arranging excavated fragments into unified orchestras around Awon’s meditative prose. The horns constantly thrill as in “Reality” as it sets in with a lovely horn punctuating high to a soft trailing away while Common quotes are sliced and cut. Awon sets up slow in the familiarity behind what may be the entire album’s inspirational setup, “When life’s a little too much/I light up the Dutch/I pour Hennessy in my cup/I zone ‘til I’m stuck/cause chasing fast bucks have ya stressing…” to a rise in layering, “Dark thoughts/seen a dark horse/I can’t divorce myself/from this flesh/ the force says yes/the beauty I manifest with words is my blessing…” Phoniks’ use of soul vocal clippings amplifies the introspection set in the horns and Awon’s retrospection as on “For Your Love,” to “reveal my inner thoughts/even humiliating parts/did it all for the Art/on my sleeve I wear my heart/I know I’m too fucking smart for this/It’s bitter darkness/no longer an up and coming/I’m a veteran artist…purveyors in nostalgic street Jazz, we the hardest…”
The veteran levels of illness gotta get soaked in as “The Rain” where Awon is swimming in the pocket. Butterfly stroking, he flutters with cut phrases in clips, “…taking scraps/i’m baking the tracks/and taking up stacks/while niggas take naps/the moniker is Don’t Sleep, perhaps, it’s literal/still move like a smooth criminal/toting that oooz(uzi)/calculate snooze/test me, you lose/hesitate moves, player/this is a straight groove/lyrical ill sickness I spill/beat is on chill/Phoniks at will/colder than those who think trill…” and for another clip he unloads. The subtlety of Awon’s cunning often is where Phoniks is overtly throwing bangers. The horn imbues throughout DJ Fellbaum’s sharp and swift cuts on “True To The Facts,” as Awon builds, “Today I woke up, said fuck it and quit/’Cause working for another man, I would never get rich/And for real, life is a bitch, I don’t blame her/’Cause the ugly side of it is under a waist trainer//You don’t see it coming…” and Anti-Lilly adds on the LP theme of living out them plans with some worthy pencil stripes, “My city love them candy cars, but know the sun more than the stars/Woke up next to my queen, it’s hard to lose inspiration/When you can stare at your dream, it’s harder to sleep/Phoniks told me he got me on whatever I need, it’s likewise/Told my brother Awon it was nice outside, now let’s ride…”
Phoniks is a near hundred percent banger breakman so his work demands the study of it beyond the repetitive crack we pipe through our speakers. The elements of the punched high hats, syncopated drums, string samples ushering in soft soul and chimed keys off some ole duet pop as “Brutal & Beautiful” or the gorgeous orchestra of guitar licks, soft chekere-like rattling, vinyl crackles and booming bass drums off the tisking 1,2, all while these thickening clicks finger-snap along with the snares on “Your Reactions.” But we groove to the whole so easily as the deep boom and stuttered scratching DJ Fellbaum rips through “How I Feel” that the addiction is the only care. Phoniks’ sample game is diverse with a chop and amplified loop technique that now distinguishes his sound more than ever. Yet, the more Phoniks works these drugs, the more Awon strengthens the intricacies, his tone so controlled through the beat’s dive outs on “How I Feel” or keeps his clarity loud and distinct through the loudly piercing trumpet blares and vocal wails on “Actual Proof.” Awon, throughout, speaks with us, even as he travails ciphers most will not, his ultimate insight involves us all–out the trap(s) via the light of our dreams and living our very real mufukin plans.
And so look up at them horns again, truly those blowing birds on the lines connecting apartment to apartment. Phonik’s thick snaps deep hummed basslines to Awon’s Black writing to the open white papers in the skies. The fire escape’s are now a balcony of bars held by the jazz bolts of the past and the welding of the drums. Some of that actual be spilling to the street like proof.
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 (creative author/principled journalist/honoring historian) 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