Previous post:

Next post:

Click HERE

"I Am… Part Two- Taste Of Life"…words by Rasul

by Eric on April 28, 2007

So a small door opens up and despite the uneasy reluctance itching in your bones and the blind fury rising up your nostrils, you gather all your courage to ball both of your fists and you enter. Your eyes have to adjust to the burning rays of light, the heat burns scars on the trace of your skin and your lips seem to dry out by the omnipotent powers of unfamiliarity, occupying your mind with uncalled questions like, how did I get here in the first place? You begin to walk towards nothingness, looking around for signs of guidance, desperate to read the letters on all the faces passing you by, trying to understand the captions on the pavements you’re walking on and all of a sudden, yes all of a sudden, the music kicks in. The blaring horns of seduction, with their playful symphony, sound all too intimate and various associations begin to rush through your head. First there is the bluish artwork with the two heroes, one sitting and one standing tall in front of a wall adorned with hieroglyphics canned with aerosol; then there is Tom Scott’s original masterpiece erupting somewhere in a dark corner of your subconscious, the original tune that has borrowed its bits and pieces to our architects, and after a slight second of satisfaction, all you’ve ever cared for are the words “I reminisce for a spell or should I say think back…” to be uttered, and as those lines blend in, every shadow of strange diction fades away to oblivion.

I’m still reminiscing. After being a caricature of myself, abandoning all the virtues and orders that have brought me here, I have to think about the most compelling question: Why? Why is it that I fell in love with this muse initially? Why did I continue to caress and nourish this secret garden of “bars and hooks” without ever doubting its motifs, protecting its dignity like the balls of my eyes? How I spent endless nights deciphering the second meanings of its poetry, digging for obsolete records to recreate so I could pen my own eulogies, why? How I went to the grocery store to grab some pasta, seeing an old acquaintance with her own torn family in tow, someone I had danced with to “Rump Shaker” many many ages ago, exchanging the obligatory formalities, only to be asked the brutal question: “So tell me Ali, are you still making music?” I always felt irascible, somehow troubled, when someone from my past dared to ask me that question. It wasn’t their nosiness to value my success; if anything, they wanted to explicitly know what I had done with my miserable life! Bear with me brothers and sisters- I know my shortcomings. I know the sleepless nights I’ve given my mother skipping school and the ugly arguments with my father about responsibility and honor; how I neglected my beloved sidekick, my lady and best friend, when I went on tour to order an audience to oblige. I know I’ve failed but I kept on pushing my luck, only to find myself deeper entrapped in a black endless well. For all I know, for every “3 Feet High And Rising”, every “Midnight Marauders” or “The Adventures of Slick Rick”, there are numerous records, records I do not wish to mention, filled with filth and disgraceful material. I understood a lot of my peers in the mid 90s who chose to jump ship. I understood their intolerance to empty content and recycled beats. I understood their all too visible awe when Champion hoodies were replaced by shiny suits, when social awareness was easily replaced by economic awareness and African medallions substituted for Mack 11s; when your upbringing and secluded environment were labeled as a plague, a deadly disease, and not a bland indication for unreasonable pride. How your once dearest icons could not keep up the pace of change, never succumbing to the mass hysteria taking over, and were simplemindedly forgotten and never mentioned again. How the Notorious B.I.G his “Ready To Die” rose to be the bible, the best record of all time (you must be kidding me!?) because it paved the way for yet to come hypocrisy. How friends told me, they will rather branch out and listen to DJ Shadow’s “Entroducing”, an instrumental album at its best, since there was no spitted bigotry, no false lyrics to endure. Yes, I understood then and sadly enough, I sincerely understand now. So why, why would you still do this to your self?

True love is always unconditional. True love means unconstrained commitment; it reflects genuine and unequivocal dedication, a deep and absolute pledge for inscription, a promise to rightfully forgive and incontrovertibly forget since mistakes or wrongdoings can never shake the basic fundaments of love! I used to love H.E.R and god is my witness, I still do. I love Hip Hop for every lesson learnt, every hope ignited and every path indicated to reach enlightening. I love hip Hop because it chose me , because it taught me to express my most remote emotions; because it taught me to feel and it taught me to write. Forget the records I have released, all the questioning eyes following my every step walking down the streets, the brave admirers who respectfully approached me to voice their appreciations, fellow musicians acknowledging the depth and detail or the countless praise from all over the globe for this particular art composed in Germany. Yes, forget all that since I can tell you about other various instances of people crucifying my music, journalists questioning my integrity, or label executives doubting my potential! I ask you one more time: forget all that. Beyond all the glamour and the glitz, beyond every trial and tribulation and tears of disappointment, Hip Hop has taught me how to love from the bottoms of my soul…

I am quite busy these days: I wake up early in the morning, check my emails, go through my writings of the previous days, grab my books and head downtown for the library. I lean back in the uncomfortable chairs, try to figure out myself and all the words that pop into my head, write something new, listen to some beats for some inspiration, grab something to eat, walk down the streets for awhile to breeze my mind and, well, I go back and write. This is how I’ve spent my last days. The other day, yours truly, Eric sent me this link with another blog spot where someone had posted Square One’s (my old group) “Walk Of Life”! First and foremost, I was stunned that people actually remembered. I although felt flattered and next thing you know, I popped in the CD (yes, I still have my copy) and listened to my own album after so many years. Surprisingly enough, I liked it for the most part and without getting too analytical about what I would do different now and which songs are still relevant, I remembered the song “Taste Of Life”, a tune I had written for my lady. Listening to the song, recreating the sceneries attached to its melody, and re-reciting the words penned in the spring of 2001, I was given the answer to all those questions listed above! If something should happen to me, If I should go to sleep after saying my prayers and not wake at the next dawn, if my bus taking me to the library every morning should derail and fly off the Lions Gate Bridge and hit the shores of the pacific, or whatever my God should have in store for me; I will look back at my decent legacy of a wonderful family, an enriching career with multiple records released and I will feel content. I would feel content because I did it my way- the Hip Hop way- but more than anything, because I wrote and recorded that particular song, a Hip Hop song, “Taste Of Life”, to eternalize my untamed affection for the woman I was born to love, and the unalloyed certitude that a couple of thousand listeners, maybe lovers themselves, have heard this exact serenade. What can be more fulfilling than that I ask you?

This is post is dedicated to my soulmate, my heart and soul and above all, my best friend! I will always love you…

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 1 comment }

s_dot April 29, 2007 at 11:25 am

Rasul, good lookin out to you and Eric for this site. It’s one of the best, no doubt – at least from the perspective of a thirtysomething head who used to chase these records down in a pre-interwebs, pre-blog world (remember that?!) from New Zealand or scrimp and save for record buying missions to NYC. Anyways, thought you might appreciate that thanks to the taste-making influence of NZ’s DJ Sir-Vere there were a few NZers checking for Square One too. I even have a couple of twelves. Great site – thanks to you both for your hard work. Keep it up.

Comments on this entry are closed.