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?

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