Monday, July 31, 2006


On Monday eye embarked on an intensive study on the kings of the electronic sound, German collective Kraftwerk. If Mrs. Yancey considers J. Dilla an alien, then these guys are definitely extraterrestrial hierarchy. In all my study of the earliest Hiphop recordings, the influence that Trans Europe Express and particularly the track, "Numbers" from Computer World had on Africa Bambaataa was never disclosed to me as foundational information. What a humbling knock to one who considers myself a purist. What an intrepid ride this should be! Their website has me wide open...

Recognize today as the born day of renowned author, James Baldwin whose collection of essays, Notes of A Native Son examined issues of race and contributed to my earliest style of formal writing in high school. Baldwin's work was greatly influenced by Richard Wright, who also contoured the psychological perspective of my writing. So much so, that my senior literary project in college was examining his Native Son character Bigger Thomas in light of Maslow's Theory of Human Motivation.

Baldwin also penned essays that analyzed the psychological depth of Wright's work, but ultimately drove a wedge between he and his mentor because of his overly-critical interpretation and pejorative comparison of Native Son to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Because of style commonalities, among other things, Baldwin has always struck me as someone eye would have loved to have known.

"Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent."
-James Baldwin, "Autobiographical Notes" from Notes of a Native Son, 1955

Basquiat, Native Son


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