The trick in ancient to future is to be in more than one time at a place. Like Erzulie, who's both rada and petwo. It's the old tricky like this, tricky like that manuva. Chea.
A weekend ago, the VV threw us a clue in this direction and asked us to pay attention to Greg Nice. We took it up like a gift left on the roadside, and started digging though the Nice and Smooth crates. Cause this is how we take.
As we lissened, what we found was a profound betweenness to their work. It was more than the dang diggy dang wordplay of the late 70s, and it had more than the odor of the streets that rap took up quick in the first new school. There was a love of the dancehall, a love of the battle, a love of the streets and a love of the afrofuture in egypt jewel of the nile. It's all packed in the titles, lyrics and music of two songs, "Old to the New" and, even moreso, "Same Old Brand New Style (I Can't Wait)." These two mouthfuls would feed a supperful of hungry posts here at the redlight. To paraphrase, We are always impatient for the recurrence of the old in the definitively new. Always for the first time, and for the first time, just like always. Ahh, effervescence.
In fact, just like when you call on the loa, you get more than you ask for. And it was then that we heard Dewey Redman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, the masters of conjurng the old and the new. Can't wait, you dig?
So let's cite the bullets
- "Old to the New," Nice and Smooth
- "Same Old Brand New Style (I Can't Wait)," Nice and Smooth
- "Old and New Dreams," Old and New Dreams
While we're on this, let's mark again: we have much to say about Smooth's verse in Same Old. Brovah calls a lotta names, but finally gets to this:
I'll beat you like Bruce, when he turned into Cato.
Who be the winner, the snake or the monkey?
Hard to tell, but this beat, this sh*t sure is funky.
We are not sure what's going on here, but this is what we mean when we say, you see? Sh*t made us break out the Harold Courlander (you know, the new school remake of the prewar sociology and anthropology, and an old school folklore author) and ask all about the snake and the monkey, cause it's one of those things that makes you go hmmmm... while you're walking to the library. And we found some good stuff 'bout gold weights and such, but nothing that stuck the snake in a tangle w/ a monkey. So we asked the internets and we got a reference to some razzledazzle, and even if it has nothing to do w/ snake and monkey proper, we're gonna call it.
That's the way Lady Erzulie would call it, too, in the in between of the in between.
Rock on. Shock on. Get on. Get on.
Rock on. To the breakadawn.