Editor in chief of Specter. Occasional writer. Obligated by law to mention Brooklyn residence.

vmagazine:

Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer

Charlie Ahearn’s Film Retraces a Moment in New York Style - Video 1 / / 3

As a teenage photographer in early 80s East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Jamel Shabazz set out to document the then nascent movement of hip-hop. Through the iconic style of his MCs, neighborhood kids and gang members, the unequivocal attitude of New York’s youth was recognized as the calling card of the city’s creative renaissance. Published in 2001, Shabazz’ first book Back In The Days was celebrated as an exhilarating snapshot of the times, and his visual flair has been brought to life in a new documentary by the legendary hip-hop historian and director, Charlie Ahearn.  “On the cover of Jamel’s book were two young men on 42nd Street. They were captured posing in such strong form as a kind of respectful bulwark against all the chaos that you see around them on ‘The Deuce,’” explains Ahearn, the notable filmmaker also responsible for the classic old-school movie, Wild Style. “I immediately knew that here was an original artist for our time.” [1]

©jamel shabazz.all rights reserved

So what if hip-hop, which was once a form of upstart black-folk music, came to dominate the modern world? Isn’t that a good thing? It seems strange for an artist working in the genre to be complaining, and maybe I’m not exactly complaining. Maybe I’m taking a measure of my good fortune. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a little more complicated than that. Maybe domination isn’t quite a victory. Maybe everpresence isn’t quite a virtue.
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Questlove in “How Hip-Hop Failed Black America” for New York Magazine

This is a very difficult piece, and there are some things I question, but it’s nonetheless very thought-provoking.

(via reichsstadt)

I need this article in full.

Perhaps the great error is believing
we’re alone,
That the others have come and gone —
a momentary blip —
When all along, space might be choc-full of traffic,
Bursting at the seams with energy we neither feel
Nor see, flush against us, living, dying, deciding,
Setting solid feet down on planets everywhere,
Bowing to the great stars that command, pitching stones
At whatever are their moons. They live wondering
If they are the only ones, knowing only the wish to know,
And the great black distance they — we
— flicker in.
- Excerpt from Life On Mars by Tracy K. Smith (via wildthicket)
[T]he books…were like aspirin for a headache or like the opaque sunglasses that some madmen wear to block out everything and find peace, because the truth, experienced day by day as visibility, is exhausting and draining and sometimes brings on madness.
- Roberto Bolaño, “Javier Aspurúa At His Funeral,” from the collection “Between Parentheses.”

Whites are drawn to Black culture because of the extraordinary quality of it, our aesthetic, our style. We set the styles. We are the trendsetters of America. America is known globally for its culture, which is Black.

They want to look like us, but they don’t want to be us. They don’t want to live in our skin. It’s kind of a cultural voyeurism. It allows white people to safely tour Blackness without being subjected to the reality of being Black.

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Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Jet Magazine Jun 25, 2001

(via bitteroreo)

the motherfucking tea 

(via feelonious)

Say it again for the people in the back.

(via shepherdsnotsheep)