In this episode Kwasi brings back Dutty Bookman to discuss the movement he has helped dub as the Reggae Revival after a panel at SXSW 2027. He also speaks to Koro Fyah of the Bevel Rock camp about his ABC’s at SXSW as well. Bomani interviews the founder of the Uganda’s Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku, and their chief archivist Gilbert Daniels about Hip-Hop in Uganda and the Lugaflow movement. Bomani and Kwasi also discuss spirituality in independent music, and how the community discusses things like sin. A must listen!
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson
Last spring my twin sons were learning how to identify coins in their kindergarten class. I was excited to help them, so I pulled out a bunch of change from my pocket and started explaining who all the Presidents were on the coins. “Most of them were slave owners,” I said. “That means they were white?” my son Dela said. “Yes”, I replied. Then Olu (with an honestly confused look on his face) asked, “They let white people be President?”
This is the world we live in now. A completely topsy-turvy world from the one I was born into. A world where there are children who do not know life before a black President. In this new world, our sitting president got his ass handed to him in a debate. Not in factual statements, as his defenders accurately screamed louder on Thursday than anything Obama said on Wednesday night, but in debating skills and just straight up attitude. (For the record, the art of debating has nothing to do with truth or righteousness, its about your ability to be convincing in stating your point. That’s why in debate class they always randomly assign each team their side to defend randomly. The winner is the one who shows the most skill, not who represents the “correct” side.) People have been trying to figure out why. Was he to busy being President to prepare the way Romney could? Was it his 20th wedding anniversary distracting him? Was it (in King of horrible excuses Al Gore’s words) the mile-high air of Denver that threw him off? No. It was because Obama and his team still think, incorrectly, that America is not ready for an aggressively litigating black man as President. … Continue Reading
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain
When it’s all said and done, I’ll blame my Presidential vote on Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa being such a horrible party host. When I tuned into the DNC’s big convention party, I was rudely reminded that it was a party about a game. That should have been fine. I’ve been tailgating before. I’ve cheered crushing blows and cringed at horrific injuries while inhaling beer and chips, but until this point I considered the game I was participating in to be much more cerebral. “This is chess not checkers” as Denzel Washington so famously said in Training Day. There I was, with my beer with chips and salsa, politely smiling and making small talk about how great a party it was. I was ready to move my pawn anywhere necessary to win this game, when Mayor Villaraigosa introduced the former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to make this addition to the Democratic Party Platform:
“This summer, I was proud to serve this party as the platform drafting committee chair. As the chair, I come before you today to discuss two important matters related to our party’s national platform. As an ordained United Methodist minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the values we’ve expressed in our party’s platform. In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and our party’s platform should, as well. Mr. Chairman, I have submitted my amendment in writing, and I believe it is being projected on the screen for the delegates to see. I move adoption of the amendment as submitted and shown to the delegates.”
Cool. Whatever. Sometimes in political chess, you have to let the Bishop do what it’s going to do to make sure you win. I would’ve voted (in the words of the late great Whitney Houston) “Hell to the Naw!” on both parts of that platform amendment. But I was prepared to lose those pieces off the board in order to win the game. Then, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s (turning from party host to game referee) let this painful moment happened: … Continue Reading
I had fun watching the RNC Convention. It was a welcome distraction from the late nights of work I had, and was as disturbing, jingoistic, xenophobic and factually incorrect as I suspected. Their most popular positive talking points were, “God is real”, “hard work pays off”, and “love your family”. Three things no one in America will argue with, and none of the 3 branches of government can do anything about, rendering them pointless. I was already aware of most of the views espoused by the RNC, but to see it produced on a stage, with a big screen behind it, and thousands of fellow Americans screaming in approval, sheds a new light on the reality. For the hell of it, let me summarize my favorite parts. … Continue Reading
Let’s get ready to rumble! In this corner we have the “Grand Ol’ Party”, the people who brought you Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. The party responsible for preserving the Union and shifting all the money and power to the top of it. Representing them is the richest man to ever run for president and the first Mormon to ever make it to this stage of the election, Mitt Romney. In the opposite corner we have the Democrats. The people who brought you FDR and and JFK. Yes, they are the more hip party, hence the 3 letter acronyms for their POTUSes (for some reason it feels like that the plural should be “POTI”). Representing them is the first, the one, and the only, foreign-born-socialist-muslim-sleeper-cell incumbent president Mr. Barack Hussein Obama.
What’s more important than the combatants in this duel, is their respective philosophical corner men, represented by Darwin and Jesus. That’s right, Charles Darwin, the scientist who authored the theory of evolution and Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, the Jewish Rabbi who Christians believe is the Son of God and whose death freed mankind from their sins. Their philosophies, on science and religion respectively, have been transposed to fit any and every ethical and financial situation in daily American life, but you’d be surprised at which party leans more towards one of these timeless icons over the other! Republicans seem to believe in Jesus and practice “Economic Darwinism” while Democrats believe in Darwin and a “What Would Jesus Do” economic system. … Continue Reading
Poet and satirist Bomani Armah talks about his Washington Post op-ed, “Okay, Barack. Now Show ‘Em Your White Side.”
Obama is “black enough,” Armah writes. “We need to start stressing the idea that his universal appeal is partly due to his being white, like all the presidents before him.”
Check out the full interview here.