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.

Thursday, June 9

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - May '11 #13: "Otha Fish (Fly As Pie Remix)" by The Pharcyde


Briefly, before I go into one of my barely-connected tangents, let me speak on The Pharcyde, and how the 12-inch single this version of "Otha Fish" comes from was really the pinnacle of that group (which is a great and classic group, to be sure). They came out with the wacky-voiced goofiness in full-court press of various characters, but by the time they were laying down the remixed versions of the vocals for this song as well as the Fly as Pie mix of "Passin' Me By", they had hit that sing-song serious but not serious rap greatness. By the time that Labincalifornicationalschool tape came out, they'd kinda already peaked out and started to sound tired of what they were doing, which led to crack addictions by various members, one of them fucking some chick on The Real World, and shambles. I'm sure they've already reunited and played Coachella and then went their separate ways again, and there was a documentary about one of them being a crack addict that I wanted to see but I think it's one of those documentaries that gets made about something awesome but nobody ever sees it because the execution of the film is not as great as the subject of the film, so it never moves beyond the first three local arthouses the dude or chick who made it got it played at. But really, the 12-inch single this song comes from is the pinnacle of The Pharcyde, without a doubt.
That being said, fuck America, and people who are all like, "We are the greatest country on earth, and even though I am an open-minded person who pretends to be liberal about causes, I still think this is the greatest country on earth, because I can say and do the things I want to say and do." Whatever. No one has a choice in what arbitrary geographical border they were born within, and every country on earth tries to hype its people up about how great where you are is compared to everywhere else. Every country provides the greatest freedoms on earth. In Taliban Afghanistan before 9/11, you were provided the freedom from the devilish influence of American godlessness. Nowhere else did you have that freedom. Anywhere you go, it can be good or bad, mostly on how you let yourself swing. Like, I don't mind America when I'm hunkered down on the compound, surrounded by my own madness. I can kinda dig it then, and be proud of what America is shining in the moonlight at that odd angle. But man, drop me in the middle of like Short Pump on the west end of Richmond, or really any pre-planned new school of suburban thought pseudo-community with apartment buildings shooting up like concrete bamboo stalks, just as invasive and non-native, and I get white knuckled out, needing three xanax, and am thankful there's no Al Qaeda recruitment offices next to the Starbucks because I might at least check out their literature, especially if they have falafel sandwiches. (I haven't had a good falafel sandwich in a long time. That makes me sad.)
Meanwhile, the American myth of being this great Freedom Machine is pushed onto us public people all day long, around the clock. All while it's hard to even keep track of who the fuck the American government is bombing. (I no longer refer to the activities of my government as something "we" are doing because they don't represent me with their decisions, and I don't recognize their authority to act on my behalf.) There's for-real, in-the-open conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, predator drones flying over Pakistan, bombs going down on my man Gaddaffi's head in Tripoli (even though assassination is illegal), and now they seem to be running a covert bombing operation on Yemen, not to mention who knows how much the CIA is probably involved in what's going on in Syria, especially since Iran has said CIA's been running through it for years and years. It's a fucking mess. And not so many of those countries are like, "Hells yeah bro, rock-n-roll America, number one!" about it all. Mostly because they have been raised to not like America, but also because the American Myth is not Universally accepted as factually factual. (Which makes me want to trip out on the alleged of science of capitalism/economics, yet somehow the entire global economy can be in crisis. How the fuck can that be? Just like we can't all get rich, we can't all get poor, and obviously the system itself is warped plywood being improperly used as a floor for everything else.)
Anyways, what I am saying is how do I know America is the best? Maybe sitting in the heat of Belize might feel good to my soul, or avoiding the wrong tribal roads through Ghana, or kicking my feet up off the southeast coast of China, or really anything else. It's all so subjective. But when you marry yourself emotionally to this idea that your country that you were accidentally born upon is the greatest thing ever, fuck anyone who disagrees, you get militant and wanna fight other dudes over saying or doing disparaging things to your country. But bro, there's hella otha fish in the sea. Fuck America. Let's move to New Zealand.
STEAL "Otha Fish"
NEXT:
Oompa loompas in my gut song!

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