RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Tuesday, August 14

L1K3LY 1T W1LL B3 0K4Y...

"likely it will be okay"
daily mantra, repeating
in the hopes I believe it

SONG OF THE DAY: Whip You With a Strap

Hard to feel good about odes to child abuse, but also this is Dennis Coles aka Ghostface Killah aka America’s Street Laureate. I’ve been a part-time practicing MC for 30 years now, and my all-time favorite MCs have shifted and morphed over the years. Back in the day almost got into a fistfight with my friend Sterling over who was better, Big Daddy Kane or Rakim. Sadly, I will admit I was wrong (I back Kane), but it took time to realize that. In college, on the strength of “Eye Examination” alone, I thought Del was the most brilliant dude ever. Of course, loved Biggie for his ability to take MC turn it into Mic Control and really exercise that control part. There’s been so many. But honestly, for lifetime body of work, I might put Ghostface at the top of that list now, as crazy as that sounds. Just an amazing poet who can mix the cryptic with the scriptural so easily, add real life flavor even more easily, and make a track about talking shit to women at the bus stop that’s the fuckin’ best ever, and then follow that up with some post-Apocalyptic Illuminati survival shit. Plus, he’s not just a wordsmith, but if you ever saw him perform you know, he’s as masterful of ceremonies as anybody on stage.
This song of course has the added depth of coming off a J Dilla beat, which adds one of the greatest ever production minds. Producer/MC combos and how they work together is often a lost art in making music today, people just jumping on instrumentals from anywhere, not developing a relationship with the people they’re making music with. You can tell a lot of times too. I’m old school in that I love to have someone who is doing the music while I do the words and we’re building an idea together, rather than separate from each other entirely, back and forth weaving different layers after both parts’ input to give shit more depth. That’s not me acting like I’m better than anybody else – I’m a pretty shitty MC, tbh, but I have my moments when operating in a steady creative zone with the same folks. Give me concept projects with a single production force and single MC force working together any day. And fuck it, while y’all doing that, give me a motherfuckin’ DJ on the track too.


documenting documents,
self-collecting data to
never have time to review

Monday, August 13

SONG OF THE DAY: The Wicketshit Will Never Die

Noted horrorcore rap original Esham he of the darkest lost zones of Detroit shall suggest to us that wicketshit will never die, and there is strength to be taken from surviving the horrible darkness that is late capitalism and cultural collapse of western civilization due to the avarice and greed of those who have always been positioned at the top of the pyramid scam, at some point (I hope) one has to embrace the faith that this is not an end nor an ultimatum nor the final call of apocalyptic purgatory, and that perhaps a bettershit shall be born from the ashes of this failed experiment in exploitation, unsustainable personal profit over collective good, and general dehumanization of each other. But while still immersed in this slow boil of decline (which appears to be boiling more and more each passing week, but then again we all know how watched pots boil and we are certainly watching for bubbles more readily than ever), there is no doubt great solace in dark wicketshit arts, which take the feelings of total insecurity, lack of safety, deep paranoia from rabid police state militarization, distrust of random passersby as “is this man friend or foe? will he give me daps or stabs?”, and so on and so forth, and these horrible feelings of failure can be exorcised by embracing the wicketshit in our arts, so that we don’t have to do so in real life. It helps the machetes remain unbloodied for another day.

M4NM4D3 W4LLS T00 T4LL T0 CL1MB...

manmade walls too tall to climb
don't reach so far underground;
true resistance requires depth