Archive for April, 2010

khalil gibran

April 30, 2010

as a writer, poet and visual artist, gibran’s collected work has received far more recognition and acclaim in the last 50 years than he would have imagined in his lifetime. a common theme in his work was love; the exploration of spiritual, brotherly and romantic love as well as the love we have for our place on earth and our place in the heavens with our creator.

here is a piece entitled “let these be your desires”

~

love has no other desire but to fulfill itself

but if your love and must needs have desires let these be your desires:

to melt and be like a running brook
that sings its melody to the night.
to know the pain of too much tenderness.
to be wounded by your own understanding of love;
and to bleed willingly and joyfully.
to wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving;
to rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
to return home at eventide with gratitude;
and then to sleep with a prayer
for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.

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keith ‘guru’ elam

April 21, 2010

since starting this blog a number of people have passed that i have observed and been influenced by over the years, notably j.d. sallinger and alexander mcqueen, however when i heard today that guru had passed i felt a grief that was unprecedented by any individual i consider to be a personal influence.

hip hop has been good to me. i consider it an essential component in the sum of my parts. i missed the golden era due to my parents not considering my conception a priority at the time, slept on a handful of mid-90’s classic albums no thanks to dance mix 93-95 and finally fell head over heels in love with this elusive temptress we call “the rap game” about two years before the turn of the millenium. when i reflect on the turning point it was symbollically enough the album “moment of truth” by gangstarr.

keith elam contributed more to the hip hop canon than most people could attribute to half of their favourite MC’s combined. his buttery smooth brand of street smart lyricism covered themes from social consciousness to woeful heartbreak. accompanied by some of the best production the hip hop arena has been blessed with he cemented his legacy in gangstarr, the streetsoul jazzmatazz series and even through co-signing the now cult classic group home record “livin’ proof”.

although hip hop will continue to breathe and grow after the passing of this legend i believe there’s something we can learn in the wake of his passing. this one master of ceremonies will not be remembered for his street credibility, the cars he owned or the women he bedded. hip hop is bigger than that and guru knew that more personally than most of us. i believe he will be remembered for making honest music, for perfectly complimenting the musical stylings of dj premier and for showing a stereotypically close-minded and masogynistic subculture that love isn’t emasculating.

rest in peace keith “guru” elam

(July 17, 1966 – April 19, 2010)

david choe

April 16, 2010

known as much for his furiously quick, aggressive technique as he is for the coarse and vulgar aesthetic he produces, the art world has been fixated on his larger than life character for some years now. having spent nearly a year in a japanese prison for violent assault he claims he lost his mind many times over and met god in a very personal way. in the years since his release he has gone on to become a giant in high and low culture alike, as an award-winning graphic novelist, streetwear designer and graffiti muralist he has acted as a gateway between the disposable art seen on the streets and the elite gallery art of private collections.

fab 5 freddy

April 7, 2010

as a pioneer of hip hop and an icon of graffiti he has always held mainstream hip-hop accountable to the streets it was raised in. his vision of street art as a form of expression and a lifestyle has been invaluable to artists over the last 30 plus years, acting as a muse in the fashion, marketing and historical representation of hip hop as a culture. for familiarity, see him in the 1982 cult classic film wild style and as christopher wallace said “if you don’t know… now you know”