Relax with BlackLinen3.0


Situation: Based on a True Story.

Mood: Feeling Free and Gliding.

Inspiration: Relax from Blacklinen3.0 Project.

Writing Status: Post written in first person because it was personal.

Location: #QCBC, Charlotte, NC.

Sometimes, artists have nothing to prove to me.Several of the musical or artistic man dem and gal dem hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and honestly I’m not sure what to do . Unfortunately, I tend to ignore or delay because nothing needs to be forced. My spirit leads me to my next post unapologetically, so welcome to this particular one which I’m compelled to scribe on 4/20/2018. With artists, I typically advise a first and last meeting so I can look into the artist’s soul. The internet is rife and full to the brim of people’s lost souls, so it’s equally important to find a pure one to write about.Remember, I don’t like looking at cameras because my eyes are the gateway to my soul.Why should I reveal my soul and expose myself to strangers?Anyway, being from Zimbabwe, Africa, typically we are typically distrustful of foreign travelers or normads from distant tribes or homesteads. We would rather be distant from the lens or voice recorders that might pass untrue statements to our foes – spiritual and physical.In any case, many fold to the noise of society without realizing one should only respond only to signals. Blacklinen was not barking noise as many do but provided a shattering, poignant, reflective and reverberating signal – so I responded. I was in a car ride to see the man dem when an Instagram connection spiritually converted itself into the physical.After a quick phone call, a humble, dark-skinned, dreadhead brother popularly known as Blakcklinen emerged. On our way to the studio, a chill Charlotte rap song called Relax commenced play. Riding through the Queen City boulevards to pass by a local studio, it’s sad we have to drive past countless homeless people. We won’t go into the reasons for them being homeless and why they are in their situation. It just makes me sad. homelessness and mental health should be everyone’s problem. In our tribe, we don’t leave people on the side of the street. We offer a helping hand because anyone can get a pink slip. Anyone can be marginalized or separated from comfort.Anyway. Back to the song.I had no idea what the track was about, but I decided to listen as carefully, deliberately and as intently as I could. Here are some noble excerpts extracted after a dozen plays during my day at the lab today:

Just Relax, Just relax,

Just Relax, Just Relax, Just Relax!

It’s a good day in the neighborhood,

I’m here in the crib burning Sandalwood,

Feeling good like I knew I would….

🔄

Played this track and got right to it………

……..I’m trying to live like every day,

Because everyday is a special occasion……..

🔄

…….Don’t go too long,

Face the storm,

Be patient, you gotta hold on.

…………We off the roof, sitting in the canopy,

I wish you could see how brothers see.

I wish you could feel how a brother feel,

When the sun really ain’t really down on me……..

🔄 ft. Merck

…..Just relax, Keep your cool!

Why you think a n**** ride with the crew?

Coz You know I gotta play by the rules……..

….. Guaranteed we will not lose….

In conclusion, there’s a reason Charlotte isn’t called Atlanta, GA like people like to compare it to. Charlotte’s her own person. She’s a Queen. She’s chilled and she’s relaxed. As you conclude this short read, why don’t you just relax? I specifically don’t want to continue with a long absorbing post about my experience with this project because like I hinted, some artists’ work speaks for itself through its written and performed art.African brothers who put their mind and soul into their passion are rare, so I’m grateful and delighted to have a front row seat to the renaissance and emergence of Charlotte Hip Hop and more specifically, Blacklinen’s Artwork compiled in seven tracks.I’m confident you’ll take a moment to experience the compilation with me. What did I do after listening to Relax? I did the following and you should follow suit:——Per blacklinen.bandcamp.com:The Album continues Black Linen’s socially conscious themes in tracks such as the poignant “MAP,” which begins with an audio clip from the 1982 documentary All By Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story, in which the Catwoman speaks on whether conflicts can be solved without violence: “Naturally, as a woman and as a mother, I feel if you give love that you will receive love in return.” The clip morphs gently into Black Linen rhyming, in his trademark laid-back delivery, “She said that she don’t have time to waste / She got to go, she can’t be late / Her train waiting, she gots to make it / On the other side is a fat ride / And a big crib, with money to play with.”………..©️ SonofGuruvé2018

Protected: Track 3 – Pay your TAB


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Protected: Track 2 – Pennies


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Man Like Yamen


Intro:

“Yamen just talking about how far he’s come. The struggle.

Moving to a foreign country and  why h’es doing what he’s doing for the mandem.

Shouout to Osa, SonofGuruvé, Ryan, Ashok! Your Cousin, Charlie,  the Newcastle 4-4-2 New Year Mandem! But this one’s for Manchester! ”

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Man now I’m buzzin!

Charming!

What’s good Darling?

Didn’t I meet you in my Hood?

Maybe in school?

Remember when you called me a fool?

Now I’m so good, so Cool, a fucking Bull!

Man the Stadium and the Stands are Full!

Man like Yamen,

I’m Distressing,

Reppin!

For the youts and the?

The Manchester Mandem!

So solid!

Not London,

Osas brother,

Uni Mates with my brother Ryyyaann!

Yes so Flawless! So Foreign!

Mayonnaise seats!

Yes It’s a ducking German whip!

Chorus

When I started I was in the fucking Conference!

Now German Championship,

But imma a Manchester Champion!

Man you should have seen!

Seen!?

Yeah 1999 I been dreamin!

About the Champions League!

For my Mandem!

Yeah his name is Yamen!

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Verse 2

Man I’ve been scoring,

Never Falling! Striking Golden!

No Fake friends!

Afro B said it Man I bun them!

Man Like Yamen,

Sometimes in London,

But Imma give yuh this Faya from my Boot!

Sloth! Yes he’s a Boss! Paid tha Cost!

Now I’m Bugzy Malone with that Fire in the Booth!

I see yuh hatin,

But Imma a lone striker!

yes Imma a Sniper!

Bundesliga Killa!

Go Figga!

I’m the Nigerian African Jigga!

Wot do you you call me again?

Call me a dragon,

A black Stallion,

Also known as Yamen!

Man I score all the fucking time!

Man I got a Nine!

May gal so Fine!

Praaaaaaap!

Yeah I wear 35,

Quick Maths Quick Striker minus 26 goals!

Yeah I’m a Numba 9!!!!

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Chorus x2

Outro – [German Football commentary of Yamen Scoring or Interview]

Diaspora Drums


LADs (Little African Drunmers).

LADs – Little Africans Drumming.

After concluding an early morning call with my longtime friend and Australia-based DJKix, I texted her and complained about the time-zone differences that the African Diaspora has created.  6am versus 9pm just to catch up for a bi-weekly dose of new African music? Goodness me, nonetheless, you’ll be able to revise my post New Age Africa where I dive into this newborn school of African thought I’d like to believe I sell every time I walk in a room.  Here’s an excerpt:

“In Western media, Africa is too often represented as a violent, destitute hellhole in desperate need of Irish rock stars, American film actresses, and Norwegian NGOs just to remain upright. But the continent is undergoing a renaissance. It’s programming software, making movies, designing clothing, and creating music that is equal to that produced anywhere in the world and frequently exceeds it in quality and creativity”.

After my brief catchup with DJKix , I decided to listen to her November 24, 2017 installment and I realized why we are good friends and have remained so over the years.  We have similar tastes in music from the continent.  I listened and she introduced me to Niniola and specifically the song “Sicker”:

The feeling when I listen to new music from Africa is a sensation that debt can’t overcome and money can’t purchase.  It’s a feeling that us African Diasporans need to experience often – without drugs or alcohol.  Being far from the continent, you have to construct your own unbreakable framework to remain sane.  It comes in different forms – art, music, literature, dance, YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud and even WhatsApp groups filled with dialogues beaming with African content, jokes, noble advice and music.

Simply, this media draws us one inch closer to the mainland of our beloved Mabelreign, Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa.

It’s almost been three years living in the Queen City and I’ve had the pleasure of supporting and attending two prominent, pulsating afro-infused events in Charlotte’s urban scene.

I get to fulfil a desire to be home away from home – the African Diaspora.  My musical roots are unearthed and it’s a pleasure being in an environment where like-minded tribesmen can congregate share jokes, trade and most importantly, listen and dance to music.  I’ve been able to bring some of my comrades from foreign distant tribes to both events including Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil,Denmark, Nepal, and Mexico to name a few.

One Wednesday morning I read an article in a local arts and entertainment publication that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I had to offer a different perspective.

It’s not to attack the sentiments offered as many hoped for, but to provide some clarity.  The writer featured a prominent artistic Presario who has led the local afro music scene in the Queen City.  It was well-written and I hope one day to be able to collect my thoughts as eloquently as it was assembled.

Much respect to the folks that have paved the way for Black Consciousness as Jasisatic has. I hope to meet and embrace her one day.  She’s the fierce benefactor of Su Cassa where my fondness as only grown stronger over the last two years.

So where was I?

Oh, so the African Diaspora in the United Kingdom is affiliated with grime, drum and base, Afro infused sounds and reverberating beating drums.  Its music culture is much richer than I’m yet to experience in the United States.  Generations of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean rooted themselves over the last several decades and a perfect example of this offspring is my favorite artist right now –  J HUS.

He’s the fusion of the concrete Stratford, London streets, a Gambian single mother and pirate radio stations that invaded the British capital in the 90s.  If you really want to know more about this fusion, watch this documentary called LDN and thank me later:

When I wrote New Age Africa, J HUS was one of the musical phenomenons I was referring to. Other artists bred from the same basket are Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah and Stormzy of course.  These are four of some of the most electric musical acts in Europe and they are African. It’s very important to recognize this whatever your musical taste is.  If you ever traveled to London 🇬🇧 with me, you’ll know what I mean – ya get me?!

The culture is rich like the sugarcane of Triangle, Zimbabwe and probably why I like Su Cassa.  It’s got the same vibe.

The author of the Queen City publication mentioned that Afro Pop was generally a descendant of Su Cassa, and that’s where I politely opposed.  Afro Pop, led by my friend and fellow African warrior Ifeanyi Ibeto, is a unique, independent and completely different musical offering.  Instead of being a descendant or following the footsteps Su Cassa, I’d say Afro Pop is the cousin from the same root.  We’re all family, so I’m going to both homesteads for Thanksgiving.  I will slaughter a cow and goat for both family members.  I think it’s equally important to know the difference.

When far from home, you need to find a home.  Afro Pop does that for me as does DJKix’s Afro Turn Up set which inspired me to write this post.  Afro Pop makes me feel like I am in Zimbabwe, while Su Cassa makes me feel like I am in the London house scene with my Dad playing his Fela Kuti – the Father of Afrobeat and my cousin Rhodhizha playing his Chronixxx.  There’s  nothing wrong with that.

I’m glad I have both places to connect us in the African Diaspora – whatever that means to you. It’s one thing to live in Africa, experience the beauty, survive the gritty poverty, yet comforted by it’s rich people.  Some may be poor in the pocket, but rich in the soul.  My parents made it through similar and incredible, dark circumstances.  I never confuse their newfound comfort with where they came from.  They are trailblazers who were born in Rhodesia, but when they visit, they visit Zimbabwe – The House of Stone. They overcame white minority rule and participated in Zimbabwe’s rebirth until she turned twenty five years old.

It’s also very different to live in the first world – also with similar struggle.  The Civil rights era has its similarities to white minority rule, but the differences are some I can convey if we shared a hazelnut coffee brew.  That’s a whole other post.   I’m reading Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” right now and Apartheid as he says is all of those put together with ecstasy.  Simply, he was born a crime so put that into perspective, when you see how far he has come.  He’s actually Charlotte so someone, please buy me a ticket!  It’s been sold out and I need him to sign my prized copy of his book.  He’ll be performing at the BELK THEATER at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Anyway, after one dance too many at Afro Pop I thought I was in Lagos, Nigeria during one of DJKato’s mesmerizing sets, only to wake up from the slumber and venture into the meandering Charlotte’s streets and be reminded of my status as a black African foreigner who some still call a booty scratcher, but I have to correct you – we’re also scratching gold, platinum and and other precious minerals from our African Soil. (Read my first ever blogpost about the son, the soil and the Sun.

DJ Kato provides that temporary escape and that’s Afro Pop in a nutshell. He plays some of the most pulsating Afrobeat you will only find on Youtube, Soundcloud or an an African radio on station. Oh and so does DJKix.  Artists like Niniola, Kojo Funds,  DaVido, Mr Eazi, ExQ, Maleek Berry, Ayo Jay, Patoranking, Sarkodie,  Wizkid, Iyanya, YCee, WSTRN., Black Coffee, DJ Maphorisa, Jah Prayzah, Tiwa Savage, Takura and dozens more.

This post is just contributing some clarity regarding two of  favorite nights in the Queen City.  Join me at Su Cassa and Afro Pop once a month.  You’ll find me at BOTH.  My single HOPE is for this family of diaspora cousins, brothers, sisters and entrepreneurs continue to be plated, germinate, grow and create more branches.  It was a pleasure to write this, but I have to go. It’s Su Cassa tomorrow at Petra’s in Plaza Midwood.

SonofGuruve is a member of the Shona tribe from Zimbabwe, Africa. He likes to audit technology, cook his own meals, while listening to Afro Beat and writing blogposts every now and again.  He can be reached via the Contact Us page.

SonofGuruve © 2018