Selections from “Textures”

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I’m posting, as an offering, the healing power of music. This playlist is comprised of three of nine selections which will appear on an upcoming album of mine called “Textures.”

The genesis of this project was a collaboration with a visual artist from my hometown of New Orleans, Anastasia Pelias. We set up in her studio (her with a blank canvas, me with a laptop and a midi keyboard) and co-composed a new work in real time.

Each session yielded a new work.

All instruments played by yours truly.

Mixed by Jehan Buhari and Tom Soares.

Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper.

#BAM

— Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

#WorldSoWhite

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I’m a Nigga, and maybe a dumb Nigga at that. Let’s just get that out of the way. That said, I refuse to capitulate to White standards of anything. Oscars, Grammys, politics — it’s all the same to me.

You see, Niggas’ problem is we buy in to this White Supremacy shit. I don’t allow someone’s whose main objective is to marginalize and oppress me to take precedent over what I know to be true as a Black man in America.

No President of the United States is going to free Black people, regardless of what color they are. We must do that ourselves. Our freedom is not in this country’s best interests, so don’t expect it to be handed to you from the State.

I can’t shed any tears over a show being cancelled because the host refuses to celebrate the very construct that serves to destroy them. I shed no tears because a film on a Black genius can’t get funded unless they distort said genius’ image through the lens of a fictitious White character. I shed no tears because the Oscars refuses to acknowledge Black excellence. Nor can I shed any tears because the Grammys continues to marginalize Black music — the very foundation of its existence. And because sometimes they get it right, doesn’t mean there’s any hope to be found there.

These institutions were created to perpetuate the myth that Black people are not good enough, and that White people are better than us. So don’t ever expect them to change their minds. No amount of boycotts will ever reverse that fundamental premise.

Black people don’t own MSNBC. We don’t own NARAS. And we don’t control SAG-AFTRA. That’s the bottom line. And until we erect and respect Black institutions in the same way we appear to respect these institutions that aren’t for us, we’ll never get further than we are.

What doesn’t help is we have ignorant people within our race who think by having the BET Awards we’re equally as racist. First off, no one Black can be racist against anyone else except someone Black. We can only serve White Supremacy, at best. They allow us a seat at the table only to persecute our own.

This is not a war of policy. This is a war of self-recognition. Do we know who the fuck we are? I don’t think we do, because if we did, we wouldn’t be trying to prove to anyone else that our lives matter. Black Americans get trolled daily by the media and we fall for it constantly — hook, line, and sinker.

I refuse to get caught up in the quagmire. You can’t play me without my permission. I can’t be bought and I don’t come with instructions.

Back in the day Louis Armstrong was told by an elder of his, Black Benny, “Always have a White Man (who like you) and can + will put his Hand on your shoulder and say — ‘This is My Nigger, and Can’t Nobody Harm Ya.’” Well, all due respect to Pops, but I refuse to abide by that edict. Even though it is as true today as it was when Black Benny told that to Satchmo some 100-odd-years ago. I refuse, which makes me a dumb Nigga. To my detriment, I will not allow myself to play that game. My theory is: kats like Pops did so I wouldn’t have to.

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Photo via Chuck D

Louis bowed and scraped so Miles could turn his back.

I worked too hard to get off of the plantation to circle back now. You got cats out here doing Kickstarters to be on major record labels and giving their albums away for a pittance. I guess there’s a reason why they call the recordings, “masters.” Massa’s.

Black people need to understand their value and stop looking to White people to validate them with Oscars, Grammy, candidacies, record or movie deals. We must recognize who the fuck we were before we became Black or a part of anyone else’s race game.

Let White shit be what it is. Don’t get mad at how they choose to celebrate their heroes. Don’t hate their monuments. Let’s honor our ancestors and erect out own statues — not to compete with others’ — but to restore what was taken away from us time and time again. Remember: We built the first monuments or first shit that existed, ever.

And to all the moguls out there who build great Black businesses and sell them back into their opposing forces, you do more harm than good. You can only be but so rich. Strive to think about someone other than yourself for a change.

#BAM

— Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

 

It’s Patti’s Pie

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People going crazy online because they are saying that the dude who made the video that went viral which helped boost sales of Patti’s line of pies is entitled to compensation. If it were me, I’d cut dude a check, but Patti is in no way obligated to share in the profits of her business. Would it be thoughtful, kind and considerate? Absolutely. But she ain’t gotta do shit.

Unless I’m mistaken, this dude didn’t put up the money to make these pies. And I don’t think he’s her business partner. He went to Wally World and bought 5 pies. That don’t make you a shareholder. That makes you a consumer.

And everybody raggin’ on Patti, but nobody is dissin’ Wal-Mart’s ol’ oppressive-to-its-employees ass… They could pay, no problem.

If Patti’s pies wouldn’t have moved any units and sat on the shelf, would he have shared in the loss? No, therefore no one should expect that he shares in the profits. And, for me, it all comes down to that.

That said, I would give him some bread. Not because I had to, because I feel it would be the right thing to do if he helped me make some dough.

I’m not sure if James (the salesman) feels entitled to a slice of the pie, but if he wants to make some cake, he should do an album singing Patti Labelle covers. That would fly off the shelves!

#BAM

— Nicholas Payton aka The Maharaja of #MFCOMN

CALLING ALL ARTISTS/LOVERS: First International #BAM Masterclass in New York City

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CALLING ALL ARTISTS/LOVERS: I’m doing the first in a series of International ‪#‎BAM‬ Masterclasses where we sit and chat for a couple hours with an informal Q&A about art and culture.

For all those who have wanted a lesson with me, but was unable to afford my regular fee, I’m offering this class at the discounted price of $100 (cash only). No freebies, no exceptions. “The game is to be sold, not told.”

We will be meeting at Michiko Studios in New York City, this Saturday, October 17th, from 4 – 6pm.

This is not only for musicians, but all people with breath in their lungs and love in their hearts.

And before you complain about the price, you spend $100 on sneakers. What’s $100 to have your life changed?

Bring your musical instruments, just in case…

Share this with as many folks as possible.

#BAM

— Nicholas Payton aka The President of PAYTONE Records