On My Crusade Against The Extinction Of Black Music . . .

I hate to take it here, but I just have to.

I think those who can swing and make a decided effort not to do so, do it to make their music have more crossover appeal.

Anyone else who argues against swing, can’t, and does so because they’re envious of those who can.

Swing to me is anything that has the Black dance sensibility to it.

This happens not only in “the music widely known as jazz” but also in R&B and other musics of the Black aesthetic.

And when I say Black, I mean what has now been termed African-American.

Music that swings less is more popular.

Take a look at Billboard’s top jazz albums and see what the consensus is.

Very little Blackness to be found.

I don’t wish to speak ill of any of the folks on that poll, but most of that ain’t Black music.

Let’s be real, isn’t “the music widely known as jazz” Black music?

That’s not to say that White people can’t swing (or jump), but are we gonna argue where this came from?

I guarantee you most of the folks on that poll will say Black music has had a huge impact on their artistry.

Then why is my Nigga Trombone Shorty the only brotha up there?

Well, except for Fourplay which has a beautiful blend of two Brothas and two soulful White cats.

Same thing happens in Hip-Hop.

Marshal Mathers is the biggest selling Hip-Hop artist of all time.

He’s dope, but how does that happen?

To my knowledge, there has yet to be a Black cat who’s been the biggest selling Rock, Classical, or Country artist.

I hear even Hootie crossed over (which is rather funny).

I’m not knocking Darius Rucker, quite the contrary.

He tried to go “Urban” about 10 years ago and Black folks ain’t hardly show him no love.

The flip side to crossing over with Black folks is you rarely can return.

Right or wrong, they feel you’ve lost your roots.

Of all the musics unscathed by this, the only one that stands out is Gospel.

That said, most Gospel music just sounds like what used to be R&B, but that’s another argument for another post.

Black is just not fashionable any more.

Let’s face it, if Obama was two shades darker he wouldn’t have even been in the running.

The Michael Jackson phenomena was a milestone achievement for Black music.

Why?

Because he crossed over to Pop  with a Black sound.

Those days are long gone.

And as much success as he tasted, he passed away feeling very embittered about how racist the music industry is.

When a music is popular I believe it can be automatically assumed that it has been largely accepted by White people.

Otherwise, it is termed Underground since Blacks do not control the media or make up the majority of the record buying public.

Excuse me if I seem remiss by leaving out other ethnicities, but I want to focus on the extreme polarities for the sake of this discussion.

Besides, most other musics fall under the World Music category (which is bogus and unfair) including musics of other black-skinned people.

I’ve been quite aware of this for some time, but became acutely aware of it when I was on the Nonesuch label.

Take a look at their catalog.

Most of their music is either White or World.

Very little contributions from Black (American) musicians over there besides myself, Kenny Garrett, Don Byron, and Allen Toussaint.

Somehow someone over there believes that the more “earthy” the locale of the person the more validity their music has.

Same thing happens in Hip-Hop too.

That’s why 50 cent and Lil’ Wayne crossed over.

They’re viewed as real ghetto Niggas with “street cred”.

The genuine artifact.

Like modern day field recordings.

Who invented street cred anyways?

I dunno, but I tell you what, I never was hangin’ out with a group of Brothas and we talk about who has the most “street cred”.

Weezy and T.I. might get time on occasion for a weapons charge which helps their “street cred”, but I guarantee you neither one of them would purposefully move back to the ghetto to prove how hard they are.

They’re doing what they are because they wanted to get the fuck out of there!

The irony of it all is White people actually demonstrate more appreciation for Black music than Blacks.

Anyway, I think you get the point by now.

I hope you do, because I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. Haha!

I want to be clear in stating that I am neither bigoted towards Whites nor do I hold a disambiguous disposition towards White music.

I am just heavily committed to see to it that Black music lives.

That’s all.

- Nicholas Payton

On Walter Payton . . .

Hello, folks:

I know I haven’t blogged in a while and have since dropped off of Facebook.
The primary reason being is that my dad was very ill and I was not in a space to communicate on that level.
Now that he has passed, I feel strong and empty at the same time.
Strong because I don’t believe in death from a human perspective,
and as a result of my dad’s passing,
feel fortified in that his spirit resounds more pronounced in me than ever.
Empty because even though I intellectually know that death doesn’t really exist,
it isn’t any easier to accept my not being able to talk to him in the way I’d become accustomed.
I miss my dad,
and most of all,
I miss my friend.
I really miss my friend.
-Nicholas Payton

On Authenticity vs. Getting Over . . .

I find it astonishing the great number of people in this world who are satisfied with doing just enough to get by. I understand it intellectually, yet still grapple with comprehending it completely.

I mean, for what other purpose are we here but to do our absolute best all the time? If you’re not going to give 100%, why even bother? It’s a waste of time, which in my opinion, is the greatest of all sins.

Is it that these folks who do just enough hope that no one else will notice? Shit, you know if you aren’t doing your best. Why do you need someone else to check you?

I’m not perfect, but fuck, I always try to do my best. How can one be cool going through life giving as little as necessary? If you don’t give a shit enough to care about whatever it is you’re doing, at least be egotistical enough that you don’t want to look bad doing it.

As a cat who always strives to become more authentic, folks who don’t piss me off more and more. And here I thought all this time that life gets easier. What I’ve recently realized is that it actually gets harder. Especially for those who are constantly reaching for something higher. What gets easier maybe is how one deals with it.

In a world riddled with mothafuckas who are cool with gettin’ over, a cat who is authentic often finds himself alone. Not lonely necessarily, but most definitely alone.

If everybody just did their fucking part, the world would instantly be a better place. But, naw, these mothafuckas who do just enough is holding shit up for everybody. It amazes me the amount of folks who are cool with other people thinking they did a great job, as opposed to knowing one did a great job. Then, these bitches have the nerve to get upset if you call them on their bullshit. Mothafucka, if you had your shit together, I wouldn’t have anything to say to you.

Damn.

If you know you’re not cutting it, at least be humble enough to admit it. And furthermore, don’t just admit it, do something about it.

I think being great makes people uncomfortable. As a result, people settle for just enough.

It’s the same reason why people cough at certain passages during a Keith Jarrett concert. That beauty makes them confront their lack of effort and they detest it. While I don’t condone his meltdowns, I do understand them. Imagine how Jesus must have felt?

What the fuck did Martin Luther King die for? For folks to do just enough? Malcolm X, Gandhi, . . .?

Well, fuck that! I would never give my life for a group of sorry-ass, lazy bitches. It’s a waste, because in the end, those very mothafuckas don’t appreciate it. Those closest to Jesus sold him out. The same goes for Malcolm and Martin.

You don’t know who’s real in you life ’til the shit’s ’bout to go down. Very few mothafuckas in this world have your back for real. People say they do, but you don’t know until you know. So, if you have at least one authentic mothafucka in yo’ life, you betta hold on.

Y’all didn’t hear me.

I said, if you have at least one authentic mothafucka in yo’ life, you betta hold on. Life is filled with a bunch of fake mothafuckas. Always has been from the beginning.

It’s a choice. Do you know which side you’re on? It’s no wonder we only use about 10% of our brain power. The rest is used for sifting through bullshit, daily. It’s enough having to deal with your own stuff, then to constantly have to carry the weight of lazy mothafuckas is quite a burden.

This shit doesn’t get any easier. I am convinced that I will never be able to rest for this. Never. I will continue to have to fight to be authentic ’til I die. Maybe, I’ll rest when I die.

To be authentic is to be alone. Yeah, me, Jesus, and Tupac…

- Nicholas Payton

On The State Of The Union Address . . .

I dunno about y’all, but I’m tired of hearing Obama give speeches.

I don’t need motivation; I needs results!

Stop shuffling; the gig is yours, bruh.

People are  always like, “He’s so well spoken”.

I expect my President to speak good English.

NO points from me on that one.

Are we so fcuked up by W. that we are happy to get anyone with a modicum of intelligence?

I’m not saying Obama ain’t capable, he just ain’t doin’ shyt.

I was saying this before the he took office.

Too many fcuking promises.

People are always like, “Do you think you can do better?”

I didn’t run for President and promise to change the world, though. He did.

I sure miss the days when the President was too busy getting blow jobs to give speeches. lol

And in case you think I’m an Obama hater, I didn’t say the brotha wasn’t capable.

He’s bad. I’m just tired of hearing speeches.

I would equate Obama giving speeches to hearing Duke Ellington talk about the blues.

Kinda reminds me of someone I know who always talks about the blues.

Mothafcuka don’t have to say shit to me if he doin’ his slave, dig?

This is not about me thinking I could do his job, just like he can’t do mine.

I just said I’m tired of hearing speeches.

I don’t need a pep talk, but I respect peoples right to them if they desire just like I respect his right to give them.

I don’t care if Satan was President before him, at the end of the day I voted because he was the lesser of two evils (3 if you count Palin).

I don’t think even in 4 – 8 years he will be able to change the degree to which he said. And as he stated tonight, it’s WE who have to make significant difference in the world.

And I don’t know about y’all, but I’m doing the fcuk out of my part. I’m always giving 100 every time out.

I vote and I have a right to voice displeasure about the way my country is run, just like as an artist when I put work out there it’s subject to criticism.

More than half the people who talk shyt on my records couldn’t even get a sound out of my horn.

That’s not the point.

When you accept the job as President you accept all that comes with it.

He can handle it and I’m sure Obama is not worried about whatever insignificant shyt I have to say on my blog.

If we don’t hold these politicians to what they say, then who will?

It’s not my job to sit around and wait for shyt to happen.

I make shyt happen.

When people come to my show they expect me to bring it from note one.

They’re not like “give him to the end of the week to start swingin’.”

You gotta get ‘em from the start or you lose your audience.

I’m tired of hearing the mufka talk about ending a war and at the same time sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

I’m tired of seeing homeless disabled vets begging. We should take far better care of our soldiers. Don’t make NO sense.

I’m tired of no one doing shyt about New Orleans.

Speeches don’t help build levees, action does. And if he keeps caving in to mothafcukas who don’t have his back as opposed to people like me who voted for his ass then he will lose his constituency.

He’s already got the gig, so he should have a kiss-my-ass attitude to anyone not liking his policies at this point.

I support the brotha, but I’m over the fact that he’s Black.

I’m over the fact that he’s well spoken, and I’m over the fact that he’s not George W. Bush.

I want him to deliver on what he said. “Faith without works is dead”. (James 2:20)

I don’t blindly support, trust, or get behind any man.

I put my trust in God, after that, EVERYBODY is questionable and has to deliver to gain my respect.

People are always like, “But, he trying to undo what Bush fcuked up the past 8 years”.

The problem with this country goes a lot further back then 8 years.

This didn’t start with Bush.

The raping, pillaging, and disenfranchisement was present from jumpstreet.

I support the brotha, but I’m tired of the lip service.

He’s being too much of a politician and to me the way to affect real change is to stick his neck out and be the anti-politician.

Say what you want about W, but what you can’t is that he wasn’t straight gangsta ’bout his shyt. And like it or not, “he” (or his puppeteers) affected a lot of change.

Obama needs to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty and just start taking what’s his gangsta style (like Cheney and Bush).

I didn’t sign up for the job, he did.

Everybody keeps saying, “it’s only been one year; give him time”, but it’ll be two before you know it.

I hope you all are right, but at this point nothing significant has been done.

We can all hope and dream, but that shyt don’t provide health care, build levees, or end wars.

You can’t hope or speak your way thru playin’ over Vodville.

Hope without action ain’t shyt.

I don’t wanna hear a mufka pontificate about the blues, I wan’t him to PLAY dem nasty stank-ass blues.

All the cats I know who played nasty blues on the trumpet had scarred chops.

No way around it.

Obama’s afraid to mess up his chops.

MLK wasn’t.

Malcolm X wasn’t.

Medgar wasn’t.

That’s what moves me; that’s what moves the world.

He’ll NEVER affect change as a politician.

Ghandi was not a politician.

Nor was anyone who brought about great change for the people.

I disagree with the notion of gangsterism being only in the negative.

Jesus was a straight up gangsta.

The laws that are set up are not for “The People”.

They are for a select few.

For one to affect change, they have to “break” the law, thus making them a criminal and a threat.

That’s why MLK, Mandela, etc. were arrested.

They were viewed as criminals, gangsters.

Rosa Parks was a criminal.

Harriet Tubman was a criminal.

They went against the status-quo.

Obama’s tryna fight fair.

That’s like using fistacuffs in a gun fight and that ain’t gon’ get it, baby.

He betta start showing his Blackness or we will all remain in Darkness.

Politics is all about money, and as long as this model continues to stand, the working folk will never have a voice in government.

Big Poppa Corporation will continue to have sovereignty.

Obama Kool-Aid for sale $0.25.

I ain’t drankin’ it.

MLK was a great orator who also brought shyt into action.

He was not afraid of being disliked, getting arrested, walking or dying for the sake of our freedom.

Jesus died for us.

JFK died for us.

I’m not saying our Chief has to die.

I certainly hope not.

But he has to be willing to and he can’t be afraid to shake shyt up and piss people off.

We won’t see change until he puts himself in the line of fire.

That’s how great change always came about and always will.

History proves that. By the blood of Man, we have everlasting life.

No way ’round it.

‘S how it is.

It’s not enough to accept the job, he has to do the job.

When he really does his job, folks not gonna be happy.

He’s not upsetting the Right-winger’s cart at all right now.

Know why???

MLK had children and those children were prepared for the fact that Daddy might die.

‘S how it is.

I never got any results in my life hoping some shyt would change.

You can’t affect change within the system.

You have to create another one.

People always say, “Easier said than done”.

Who said it would be easy?

That’s what he signed up for.

As I said before, I think the brotha is bad and I support him.

I just want him to be a lil’ more gangsta ’bout his shyt.

I believe it’s my right as an American citizen and voter to expect my President to follow through and deliver on his promises to the inhabitants of this nation.

I have a voice and feel it’s my right and duty as a conscientious brotha to critique government officials.

I am by no means perfect, but I do live the ideals I speak so passionately about.

I have a lot of fire as well as love in my heart and speak accordingly.

Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”, and I believe we can all agree that these issues most certainly matter.

I’m not expecting any more from him than I expect from myself.

I work hard, show compassion towards others and tell people to fcuk off when I feel necessary.

I always speak up when there is injustice directed either towards myself or my fellow brothas and sistas of all backgrounds.

I receive a lot of harsh criticism for it but I know of no other way to be.

I am, and always will be, a work in progress and live honestly according to my spirit and if that means me not being liked by some, I’m ok with that.

The ones that do get me I find to be hardcore humans that live 100 which is who I prefer to have in my circle anyways.

All 100ers.

The mass revolution will be but a collective realization of inner revolution.

I’m tired of hearing, “he tried to do this and tried to do that but couldn’t get the bill passed”.

“Give him time it’s only been one year”.

You’re the man, damnit.

Don’t wait, don’t ask; do it, Papa!

Your voters have your back.

The haters ain’t gon’ dig you no way, so fcuk pissing them off.

You ain’t doin’ yo’ job unless you start upsetting this unjust regime.

W didn’t wait for “them” to give him what he wanted, he straight jacked us of our constitutional rights; starting with taking the Presidency.

Our Chief might wanna start thinking of another way to realize his / our vision ’cause the “trying to consider all contingencies” bit ain’t gonna get it.

It’s just that I’m starting to hear the same thing over and over again.

It’s like there was some town hall meeting that I wasn’t aware about.

“Well, it’s hard to be the President. You think you could do his job?”

No, I couldn’t which is why I’m not President.

He’s the one who ran, not me. I don’t expect him to walk up on my bandstand and play “Concentric Circles”.

I tell you what, I wouldn’t want to do his job.

I wouldn’t last a day because I say what I really feel.

In fact, I never would’ve made it past the Jeremiah Wright “scandal” ‘cuz my vibe woulda been, “And what’s so wrong with what he said?”.

COITINS!!!

I thought he was gonna shift the paradigm of politics.

So far, business as usual.

If MLK was alive, he’d have his foot all up in Barack’s ass right now to insure he delivered what he promised.

But what do I expect, he is a politician.

Now is now, so the whole it’s much better than what was argument is bogus.

Should Blacks have been happy to be able to sit in the back of the bus because at least they not gettin’ they ass beat?

Be happy because it’s better to get hosed down than pickin’ cotton?

Please don’t let us down, Obama.

Don’t be afraid to upset dem bastards.

We got yo’ back, homes.

Handle yourn.

- Nicholas Payton

Opening Pandora’s Box . . .

Along with the all the evil things contained, was Hope. She opened it and everything in the box was unleashed, save Hope, which was locked by Zeus. To the contrary, amongst all the Blessed delicacies in the Garden Of Eden to chose from, there was a mandate from Him to eat not of the Forbidden Fruit. So, a lil’ reminder: “Good and Bad go hand and hand, be ye careful of judging your fellowman. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but it takes Black AND White to play the blues”.