No One Plays More Horn Than Nicholas Payton: An Open Letter To Jeremy Pelt

Click on link for Jeremy’s blog….

Really, Jeremy?

I’ve been a mentor to you. For you to have the balls to publicly critique your older brother without first talking to him is of utmost disrespect and indicative of what’s wrong amongst Black folk in the world today. I’m not older than you by much in years, but we are not in the same peer group. There’s a certain respect that should be given to those who paved a way for you. For instance, I’m really cool with Bob Hurst and Jeff Watts, but I’m always clear to remember that we are not peers. I was still pimple-faced and pussy-less when they were masters of their craft already at a young age. To have you, of all people, speak out against me before you have a fully formed opinion is some Jive-ASSed shit.

No One Plays More Horn Than Nicholas Payton

A lot of people seem to have a problem with the fact that I stated in one piece, “There is no living soul who can walk on a bandstand anywhere in the world and play more horn than me.” What’s the problem with what I said? I never said I was the best or the greatest, not publicly anyways, I just said no one is better. This is a fact. You can “not like” that I said it, but it doesn’t make it less true. Of all people, it should be least questionable to you. You’ve spent years studying my records. There have been times I heard you where you sounded like a cheap, Wal-Mart knock-off version of me, so don’t act all brand new because you have a blog. Remember where you come from, Son.

Here’s the other thing: I’m sure you see all these folks (mostly White) roasting your big brother over the Internet, and instead of supporting me, you brought a poker to the barbeque. White folks love to see Blacks have dissension amongst one another. It’s the first rule of colonization: divide and conquer. The correct way to do this would have been to first wait until you talked to me, but no, it was more important for you to put your brother on blast on your blog.

Isn’t it enough that you’ve co-opted my style of dress, trumpet sound and lines, certain compositional devices. Plus you hit my manager up for representation. Now, you’re trying to jack my Internet hustle?

That’s what’s wrong with Niggas. Don’t hate, create!

Wake Up Call

I don’t agree with your claim at all that “JA**” is the only epithet Whites have hurled at Blacks of which we’ve changed into something positive. Any perceived positivity is merely an illusion. I believe that dirty “J” word to be even more offensive than Nigger. At least when a White man calls you a Nigger, it’s honest racism. As evidenced by all the hostility that has come to light, the “J” word is the White man’s politically correct version of the “N” word. If what I was saying didn’t ring true, it wouldn’t be upsetting folks. I have rung the bell that has disrupted people’s slumber. The alarm has sounded. Wake up!

What’s Wrong With Whorehouses?

You say that the music has transcended the whorehouse like that is a good thing. “JiveASS” musicians are so uptight. It’s killing the music. Sex is the life force. I don’t have a problem with whorehouses and I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with my music being played in places where people fucked. That’s basically the point of pretty much all the music I write and play. I aim to create music that puts people in touch with their sensuality and inspires them to be intimate.

You say the music went from the whorehouses to be a music that went on to be widely respected all over the world. Are you suggesting that when the music was in New Orleans it had a reputation of ill repute? Just for your information. This music wasn’t only played in the parlors and whorehouses. There has been a tradition of brass bands that have played Black American Music dating as far back as the late 1800s, long before anybody was even thinking about that dirty 4-letter word, “JA**.” The Excelsior Brass Band was founded in 1879. The Tuxedo Brass Band, in which Louis Armstrong played, was formed in 1904. The New Orleans brass band tradition continues to live on in the spirit of bands like The Rebirth Brass Band and The Hot 8 Brass Band.

With the Internet, you no longer have an excuse for ignorance. Stop believing what the media feeds you and learn your history. You’ve only heard the sketchy part of the story and you fell for it. That’s why that “J” word must go, too many dirty deeds done in its name to feel good about it.

The Original Dixieland Jive-Ass Band

 In 1917 The O.D.J.B. recorded the first “JA**” record. To start with, their name is an insult in itself. First of all, nothing is “Original” about them. They didn’t create this music, they stole it from Black musicians. Dixieland is an obvious homage to the colonialist sensibilities of the Confederate south. And the Jive-Ass part is a slap in the face to the serious music that our Black ancestors created. Jive-Ass music was the White man’s blackface version of the virtuosic Black traditional music of New Orleans.

The idea that any Black man would be OK with his music being associated with this type of negative historical image in 2011 is baffling.


Niggers Are Scared Of Revolution

 “JA** ain’t never hurt me” = Massa SHO’ been good to me

Jeremy you say, “Why are we mad at the word JA** now?”, is just code for, “Why we mad at Massa now? We’s lucky to be here on dis plantation. He feed us e’byday and only beat us if we gets too big for our britches. Naw, you go ahead. Imma stay right here in Mammy’s busom.”

Calling your music “JA**” is like saying Nigger music. It’s an idea that glorifies poverty and romanticizes martyrdom. The “JA**” idea is only beneficial to an elite few. In “JA**” you’re sold the idea to be grateful for what little you have. Don’t make any waves because you’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. Well, you can keep your $1,000 suits and shoes, I rather keep my dignity, thank you very much.

Lawd, We Be Done Made It To Da Promised Land

Right now, “JA**” lives on Columbus Circle, the most coveted piece of realty in all of Manhattan. “Lawd, we be done made it to the Promised Land. We got a soda attached to the names of one of our ancestors. We gots rich White folk who gives us money to build this nice establishment here. So what, if we gotta tap dance a little to get them to sign that check. So what, if I have to keep making contrived Blues records with White artists because it’s the image of Black music that our White donors are comfortable seeing. “JA** Hands”

Ain’t But A Few Of Us Left

Here’s the thing, Black American Music (BAM) ain’t gonna force anybody to join The Swing. There will, of course, be some corny Ofays, Uncle Tom Niggers and the like, who will continue to play the oppressive caricaturization of Black American Music called “JA**.” We’re cool with that, stay your non-swingin’, non-soulful, contrived ass on the Plantation. I’ve already talked to the ancestors and #TeamBAM is where the true spirit of the music will live from now on.


I am Nicholas Payton and I play Black American Music. Created by Blacks for everyone.

– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of BAM aka The Savior of Archaic Pop


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