RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, March 21

SONG OF THE DAY: Overnight Scenario



I never was a Jay-Z fan, always thought he was overrated in that way NY is always quick to overrate dudes in order to maintain status as the true and living home of hip hop. I mean, he’s not bad, but he’s not part of the greatest ever conversation. Big part of what sealed that thinking for me was him trying to jack this Rare Essence hook and act like it was cool just reworking something, no big deal. Fuck that.
No hip hop mogul ever became a hip hop mogul through their hip hop skills – it’s always been traditional capitalist exploitation practices, specific to music industry. Puffy, Dre, Russell Simmons, Jay-Z… all these guys didn’t become fabulously wealthy to where they can own Basquiats by making dope beats or writing ill ass verses. They did it by exploiting others through music industry, and then other means. They’re good businessmen, sure, but to be honest I don’t respect “good businessmen” at basic level, because in American version of business, there’s a certain level of heartlessness involved. But now Jay-Z and Beyonce are this fabulously wealthy power couple, and they get news fed into my brain fairly regularly, because we’re supposed to love them as an alternative to traditional power couples (namely, white and old), and it creeps into bugging me about how I don’t really want a more diverse ruling class as much as I’d rather have no ruling class. Like sure, a diverse ruling class is not as fucked up as just an old white ass ruling class, but I’d really prefer there not be insanely and unnecessarily wealthy people who because of their wealth have anything they want to be forced into my consciousness get shoved into my brain by algorithms which are the yakubian semi-perfection of commercial trickeries, considered psychological manipulation but let’s be real, it’s neurological likely, the science just ain’t caught up to it, and probably never will because science wants to enforce our preconceived hypotheses a lot of times, and ain’t really all that altruistic itself.
Anyways, all this bums me out when I think about wealth and poverty and people struggling to survive and how almost everybody I know is barely treading water, and how I still dream like a fucking mark of getting paid for my art or writing, which is a rube’s delusion that the carnival is not rigged, and the carnival is not even paying out fetal alcohol token stuffed animal prizes any more like it used to, because nobody can afford the carnival, and we’re living in a closer to end times situation than anybody is acknowledging, and it spirals into a total and complete lack of giving a fuck. But then I put on actual go-go music, not shitty Jay-Z music, a fringe cultural creation that’s pretty amazing, which never was able to capitalize on its greatness in any large worldwide marketable way, but is still greater than so much that has been marketed. The idea that economics makes something better is a trash concept. But the go-go makes me feel better, and it also reminds me that people have always done amazing things in what might look like dark and terrible environs, because art helps people feel better. Thus go-go thrived, despite DC’s crack epidemic, and groups like Rare Essence built legends, even if they didn’t get paid anything like a Jay-Z, nor could a Jay-Z figure out how to exploit them at national level, other than stealing their hook and saying they had no claims to it since go-go music was just remakes of other people’s music anyways. I’ve been rewatching the Sopranos and this is literally what Hesh used as a defense of the record producer guy threatening to sue him over some royalties. Hesh was like, “oh yeah, well you sampled this other thing which I’m gonna countersue for.” That’s what Jay-Z did with Rare Essence.
Two hundred years from now, I guess people may remember Jay-Z, hard to say. How many musicians and artists do we remember from 1819 or before? I’m not even sure. Most everything I talk about has been since the ‘50s lolol. But I doubt anybody will remember Rare Essence then. And yet somehow they are a beautiful piece of the sediment of go-go music which makes up the cultural fabric of DC, which is – like most cities – being gentrified into a pasteurized version that is becoming a giant faux independent Starbucks playing Beyonce music style diversity of sameness. As an artist, I’d much rather be a Rare Essence than a Jay-Z. But also I’m old so I’m going the fuck to bed way before 8 am. Can we get an early dinner and get the overnight scenario done by 1 at the latest? Please?

TH3 0NLY T1M3 1 F33L L1K3...

"the only time I feel like
I exist" existential
crises on post-modern Earth

Wednesday, March 20

W34LTHY M3N G3T T0 R34L1Z3...

wealthy men get to realize
their cocaine visions, land scaped
to give them what they desire

SONG OF THE DAY: Delphine


the full (fool) moon (glowing orb) has tag teamed 
our collective psyche with vernal equinox 
the crows have begun to caw with more force 
announcing the return of getting some shit done 
red buds of tree (not the purple of redbud official) 
are popping up high on the mountain above my basement apt. 
as well as along the interstate I pretend to move upon 
yellow forsythia flashing me sexily 
contemplation upon finally building 
that pyramid of creeping phlox 
angled towards the sky 
an altar of earthen work 
dedicated to nothing 
except the power 
of lounge 

UPCOMING HAIKU SLAMS

I have been remiss in updating this blog with upcoming haiku slams, because the digital experience has been microfissured into a giant mall where everybody only goes to the same five stores, so the notion of coming to my weird ass website blog at the margins of respectable civilization is unheard of. But because some of you are back roads loungers, let me post this shit up here for you.

  • FRIDAY MARCH 29, RICHMOND VA - ELECTRIC NOMAD DANCE STUDIO



  • WEDNESDAY APRIL 10, CHARLOTTESVILLE VA - TWISTED BRANCH TEA BAZAAR


I have peeps working on helping me find sponsors in order to have cash prizes for competitors, but nothing is set in stone. Excited to come back to Richmond, where the death match opponent will be the amazing poet Celina Nicole. No death match set up for Cville yet. But come out and support the southern gothic futurism movement, and come make new kinfolk in the righteousness of lounge.
I do also have an official (lol) website now, with a page on haiku slams there as well - check it out - and book me to come do one of these things in your neck of the woods.

CH34P M3T4L BV1LD1NGS FVLL 0F

cheap metal buildings full of
slow dying American
dreams, bound for chapter sevens

Tuesday, March 19

PR4CT1C3 0F S4NCTV4RY...

practice of sanctuary
lost in recent translations
of them books people thump hard

SONG OF THE DAY: Braggin' Writes Revisited


The wonderful aspect of a true and living sub-culture as opposed to one just manufactured by capitalist based materialism, is there's so many sediments and layers to the true and living sub-culture. I'm currently involved in helping with organizing a local community hip hop festival, and as part of it last year, they had a panel talk discussing the history of hip hop shows and groups and endeavors locally. It was amazing to watch that, and piece together the history of this one small southern city's hip hop. It's like that everywhere too - an art form (always with the dream of becoming business) where all these people, at generations level now, got to express themselves in this thing that blossomed from the South Bronx in the 1970s. Shit man, writing raps and freestyling carried me through the '80s as a rural kid, and in retrospect it's amazing to me that little ass Farmville, Virginia, had an AM radio station that played hip hop back then, which a lot of cities didn't even have. It's amazing that the club which had been Ernie's Disco, owned by my first grade teacher's husband, which we took a field trip to back in the day, just to dance and shit. Fevers has seen a ton of touring acts come through over the years, and has a pretty crazy reputation, but fuck it you know, people need places to go.
With all that in mind - the layers and sediments of hip hop culture - it's crazy to think of all the legends, absolute geniuses who exist in these tendrils of that culture, who are probably hardly known at mainstream level. J-Live is one such legend, just a beast of a lyricist and MC, and also public school teacher in Washington, DC (last I knew). I go through lyricist fetish periods, as all semi-educated white males who love hip hop tend towards (lol), and whenever that happens, J-Live usually pops up. An absolute legend, whether people know of him or not.