“Would you look over Picasso’s shoulder
And tell him about his brush strokes?”
-Dr. Dre, Deep Water
Hello, I started off the post with the above lyric from Dr. Dre because I don’t think it could have been said better than that.
People giving unsolicited opinions is one situation that cannot be avoided when one makes art and the issue of where to draw the line is always going to pop up at different times of one’s journey as an artist. Continue reading “No backseat driving, please. “
I’m a badass writer. I know that. I mean, Pryme once called me king of metaphors, so y’know…
Anyway, since I’ve been writing, I have had different reactions to what I write ranging from open appreciation to secret gratitude to nonchalance . And each time I get a reaction whether good or bad, I tend to brush it off as “just words, nothing more.” That they only think it’s clever or powerful because it rhymes or because it is well articulated.
I thought I believed it.
But it really isn’t just words.
Saying it’s just words is like saying “it’s just E=MC2.”
Words are weapons. Words are malleable and can be shaped into whatever form the writer wants. Check out these lines I wrote on “This Right Here’s Not A Preview(Pre Monster’s Grief 5)” :
“Rhyming is power, soldiers cower when I grab my pen to write
Military forces get assaulted with such a deadly might
But how you wield this weapon is dependent on your strength of mind
So your lines may not be able to hurt a fly while mine will shoot you dead on sight”
– herovickers, This Right Here’s Not A Preview (Pre Monster’s Grief 5)
I see writing as painting where each pattern of rhyme or rhythm is like a palette or shade that has to be correctly arranged to bring out the exact picture in the writer’s mind. And that’s what makes it a dangerous power to have because empires have crumbled and wars have been fought all because of words.
This leaves the writer with a responsibility for whatever interpretation the reader implies from the writing.
More than just a weapon, writing is connected to the writer’s soul. It comes from experiences (imagined or real) or thoughts of the writer. The raw pain, shame, joy, rage, and doubt of the writer is transformed into processed information.
I touched on that also on “This Right Here’s Not A Preview”:
“But I don’t write to impress you guys, I write ’cause I’m depressed inside
This feeling is intensified and it leaves me incensed at night
And that is why I have to write or else I’ll crash this deadly mind
You don’t know the pain I feel everyday when I sit to pen these rhymes”
– herovickers, This Right Here’s Not A Preview (Pre Monster’s Grief 5)
So in a way as powerful as writers are, they are also vulnerable. Every piece of work you put out exposes you to people who judge you by what you write.
And that’s what makes it fun to write.
You can be whoever you want to be.
So it’s never just words. Ever.
So the protagonist is called Messenger X. And he is an alien from the sky and he belongs to a species/race he calls “The Sky People”. All that is evident from “Blah Blah From The Sky People” where Boogey uses hints to show what MX is here for. But we don’t know much about the people he came to visit until we get to “Devil Beans” where we can tell that the people have been calling out for a saviour and MX is telling them that he is the answer to their prayers and he tells them what he can do, trying to gain their acceptance. At this point he’s able to convince some of the population and he rise up in population while the rest, the doubters rise up against him into a group called “Bad Belle” as is seen in “Matiasma”. He warns them to stay away and that he’s not fazed by their unbelief and scheming. He realises that there is a big bad evil villian (let’s call him “Big Bad”) and he sets off to wrestle with Big Bad. Now the problem is the Big Bad guy is pure evil and he does not hold back when he fights and MX, even as hard as he tries, cannot defeat Big Bad without giving in to his own dark side. He knows there will be consequences if he does but still he goes on with the idea.
This part of the story majorly solidifies my idea of MX as an anti-hero or “anti-messiah” as Boogey said in “Antimessage”. Here the imagery is super vivid. I pictured MX stabbing and slashing Big Bad while reading out his crimes to him with a wild demonic dangerous look in his face. He has already given in to his dark side so he doesn’t care for the rules anymore. Basically, overkilling. Then he defeats Big Bad but since he technically “sold his soul”, he dies as that is the consequence for going dark. And he is reborn in “The Boy” ( There is a subtle hint at this in the commentary at the beginning of “The Boy”) as a new guy called “The Boy” who is still MX but now a conqueror and he is celebrated and accepted by all the people now, that’s why he’s bragging all through : “Who’s messing with the boy?” and all that. Then the most logical thing takes place next : the people decide to make him their king. This takes place in “The King”. Now he has the influence to spread his message (What is a messenger without a message?)
This is my favourite part of the story because this is where the message really is. It is here MX tells the people that bitter truth about time and death and the darker themes. And I believe that as he tells them about these stuff, they really happen to him, too. So he starts in “Memento Mori” telling them about how death is inevitable and it is the greatest equaliser. And that they should not waste time so they do not have to regret later on. This message believe starts to make him unpopular among the people as they do not want to hear all that. Then we’re on to “People Always Leave” where he continues with the theme of time and lets those remaining still listening to him about how people won’t always love you and stay and all that. Basically about the selfishness that is deep rooted in people. Ironically this same thing is happening to him too. He used to be the adored saviour and the great King, now less people listen to him. This part is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 7. Then he realises that the most important thing is not be popular but to be loved and to pay more attention to those who care rather than those who do not. Then he tells the people in “Celebrate ” to cherish the time he has with them, somehow foreshadowing his death in “Last Words” where , he doesn’t take his advice at the end of “People Always Leave” to ignore the hate, and he gets depressed seeing how far he has fallen off from his high status and decides, sadly to end his life.
He wakes up to realise that he cannot just die and rest like that. His spirit is still alive, unable to rest until he haunts and ends all his enemies. So he sees other similar angry spirits who had scores to settle with the living and gathers an army that only knows carnage and desolation to their adversaries. He does this in “Resurrection” and “Bring it Back” continues the theme.
- This is just my theory and I feel if you listen to the project with the storyline in your mind, it feels like watching a science fantasy story playing out.
- The first half of the story is reminiscent of Jesse Jags’ “God on The Mic”.
- The imagery beneath the verses in Antimessage is super vivid. I could picture the fatal battle between Big Bad and Messenger X.
- It parallels the story of a rap ‘messiah’. I could write about that too but this post would be too long.
- Check Boogey out on his website.
It started 2012, the day was June 11 and
That was my birthday, I just turned seventeen
I remember standing on the queue for registration
Dad looking on, proud is what I vowed to make him
First year was so much fun, “wow, I’m an undergrad”
Meet Seez and started heating up the underground
Back to books though, ’cause MAT 111 had voluminous assignments
We had sleepless nights because all of the works were piling
Then tests came, we realized that this was no play
School was no fun and games like Nollywood loves to paint
Those were the good days, memories priceless, you can’t buy them
Like when I saw Tracy and my brain lost its allignment
Damn…it was a sunny afternoon
Her hair was blowing in the wind and she was laughing too
“Don’t fall, Vickers, don’t fall”, but I broke like a plastic spoon
Man, crushes and all…okay, okay, back to books
Fast forward, 200 level, the G.P. dropping session
Mechanical courses were heating up the tension
T.D almost cracked my back, waiting for the end like pension
Results “skewed” our brains to the point we invented formation
Then third year came, they said it would be simple
Petroleum terms were so foreign, I thought lecturers spoke in riddles
We were forming “Petrolites” but didn’t know the little-
difference between petroleum and crude oil, we learnt it all with full joy
The mechanical and electrical guys said petroleum was easy
Okay na, wait till you see the calculations in advanced drilling
The correlations & charts… abeg argue with your Fourier Series
400 level was stressful, we were fiending for a release
Got the release the moment I.T. came
Met the good, the bad and the I.T.K.s
Put in that work, man, I did put in that work
It was as sweet as a song by a nightingale
…that was until I heard the news
“Oh God, please this can’t be true!”
Facebook posts saying that we lost Olu
I was in shock and I didn’t know what to do
…but that’s life
Rest in peace to the brothers who ascended past life
It’s a jungle out here, we’re never quitting that fight
Well I.T. ended, and in a blink of an eye, it’s part five
IT defence, project defence
Defence on defence, I’d rather sit on the fence
We were counting the days because our freedom was near
With smiling faces, the joy was too much to bear
Final exams came, our black and yellow jackets would make Khalifa jealous
We poured water, turned the school upside down, nothing they can tell us
This is the result of hard work, zeal and persistence
Three fingers in the air, so…free from the system
So…the title is unconventional. I wanted to name the post either of the two of them but I could not make up my mind.
Read it in Nas’ voice and it’ll make so much sense, it’ll be like Nas’ ‘Memory Lane (Sittin’ in Da Park).
Oh and I was superbored when I wrote it.
This is like what you’d write if your lecturer told you to give a summary of your five years stay in school in 449 words.
Hello vreader. How’s it going?
I was listening to “Event Horizon” by Rhyme Asylum featuring Crooked I and when it got to Kxng Crooked’s part, an idea struck me. The idea that only artists can understand other artist’s art. Whether it be painting, rhyming, football, coding or music composition. The Unsullied (here goes Vickers with Game of Thrones references again…), which refers to non-artists (in this post), can only appreciate the particular art.
To understand art you have to look beyond the aesthetic appeal to the five senses. To understand art you have to know( or at least be able to know) the reason behind the work of art. You should be able to understand the reason behind each rhyme , each brush stroke etc.
Back to Kxng Crooked’s verse, I feel that verse was a perfect verse. It didn’t lack anything. The energy matched the idea being conveyed. The rhyming style was on point and really interwoven and even all that awesomeness could not take away the concept of the song. It really is hard to nail combining technicality with content perfectly.
It reminds me of last Sunday’s “Silicon Valley” episode where Richard realised that the general public did not understand his Pied Piper app. The show has made us understand that the algorithm developed by the Pied Piper team is the best there is and this means what they created is phenomenal and should blow every one’s mind away. They made great art.
But when the platform got released to the people, they could not understand it. They had no idea what was going on. When the beta was released, only engineers gave the platform stellar review and the only Unsullied along them (Monica) said it felt “engineered”.
All these are making me have the opinion that art is not meant to be understood. Art is meant to be appreciated.
Think about it, and those Kanye West’s rants words of wisdom will make sense to you too.
So you do not have to understand why Eminem curses out famous celebrities a lot in his rhymes, or why Vickers did the first two verses of NSBA in Nigerian Pidgin or why Brymo made PNGS. The point is that it is their art and you do not have to understand.
So I’ll end this with a quote from Mr West, “if you know an artist, there’s only one thing you can say…when you see them…Thank You”
This is the Crooked I’s verse:
[Verse 4: Crooked I]
On the microphone I’m chemical explosives, mixed in high doses
Sick as psychosis and Cystic Fibrosis
Touch me and die my energy’s high voltage
When I wrote this Hennessey had my mind focused
Every rhyme I write becomes my new magnum opus
Pointing a chrome magnum at whoever rap the dopest
You cats are hopeless matter of fact, fags are bogus
Snap your neck backwards maggot, I’m that ferocious
Crooked sick in the head hit you with lead
Pistols flashing like cameras I can picture you dead
Might grab a knife stick you instead
Since he ain’t stand up nigga, the feds found him missing his legs
I’m on the balcony practising ancient alchemy
Vest on the chest in case they try to Martin or Malcolm me
I know you think I love myself
Because this straight jacket is making me hug myself (Fuck It)
Hello, happy holidays!
Prior to going back home for a break and getting this sudden wave of ideology (probably due to all the good food that I’ve missed for a while), I’ve always been a firm believer of the concept known as “Positive Pessimism” (I think I coined the concept, wait for my book! LOL Just Kidding…Not!) which is a way of using your vulnerability, insecurities, dark side etc. ( or whatever usually make you feel down or makes you less motivated) to be better , be more motivated and make progress. Its influence can be found in some of my writings, such as “Monster’s Grief 3” –
“But my fear of failure spark ideas in an instance”
– and some others.
Positive Pessimism is actually a very real (practical) concept as it does not require you having to get rid of (or pretend to get rid of) the sad, dark, depressed part of yourself. Usually, getting rid of depression is one of the common methods people get motivated to be better than their current situation, but more often than not, it’s all make-believe.
A certain speaker says a bunch of catchy phrases, quotes some book, or a certain man and tell you to believe in yourself, and say it with conviction, SAY IT WITH CONVICTION! You’re in high spirits, you believe it, you’re ready, YOU’RE READY!… until you go home and you meet your old self waiting for you looking at you with that sadistic smile. And what’s next? You have to go back to listen to that speaker so you can always be in that mood again, and you have to repeat that cycle so as always be motivated.
Bottom-line is PP is a longer lasting solution as you’re the one doing the motivation by yourself, for yourself, to yourself.
*sigh* I did not really set out to talk about PP today. But I guess I did anyway.
I think the reason I have the idea in my head is that ever since I could remember I’ve always been a perfectionist (not the fake perfectionist people claim to be) together with the never ending perfect goals, the depression of never being perfect (no matter how close, or no matter how people say how good you are) and the emptiness that comes along with it.
The perfectionist that I am knows that achieving these really high standards is implausible (Thanks, Sheldon!) and it saddens me, and that’s understandable. But most times, this feeling gets transferred to even the small, and very achievable goals and so people see us as pessimists who do not believe anything would ever work. Well, it’s all good.
After this realization, I’ve come to terms to accept, in 2016, a concept I’ve never been able to grasp ever since: HOPE.
So, yeah, for me, 2016 is the year of HOPE, and I hope it is the same for you.
Thanks for reading.
Third time’s a charm, I should be back and better
This is Monster’s Grief 3, but I’m still sad and bitter
I spend my time slaving tryna master this art
Tryna move forward but I’m still at an impasse
Maybe I shouldn’t be so pissed at myself, I still had some victory
‘Cause six months ago, I had neither flow nor delivery
Now, I’m a monster in the former, rhythm? Nobody beating me
But truthfully, delivery’s still eluding me
Plus when I hear the boos it seems, I’m not cut out for this music biz
That’s when I scream look at me, I’m not the wackass I used to be
I’m losing sleep every night tryna push this dream
So tryna bring down my mood will be an effort in futility
Keep on tryna make you believe and I’ll never refuse to speak
So if you getting the hots for my projects, the blog is meant to cool the heat
Some call me an attention seeker with wack lyrics and idle
My first project, that’ll probably be the title
I believe in my crew, hope they believe in me back
To impress you, one minute and I’m through like a one-minute man
At times, I get stuck in some stupid plans
But my fear of failure spark ideas in an instance
My mind is Pakistan , the way ideas explode
Determined as an artisan, tryna get his dough
Upping this delivery to push the envelope
Never let it go, so long as I can learn and grow
Neglected Omega tryna gain the pack’s respect
He’s practised, he’s set , challenge the alpha to a fight to death
But he minds his steps so careful that he can
Climb Everest and after that Eiffel’s next
Where he finds himself, he’s the ugly duckling
But where time is set, he’ll be the tallest ostrich
Plucking off the heads of those causing conflicts
War is coming ’cause of what he must be
I do this ’cause I love it, not just for the profits
Remain undaunted even if the world saw me falling
I’ll start with baby steps like I just stopped crawling
And jet across with a stronger force than ionic bonding
I’m vain, so I’ll never say “Fuck the money!”
Except I’m drunk or something , or I must be hungry
But to dumb it for a club hit , not me
I’ll rather pull my pen like a grenade pin and cause destruction!
MG3, people! Pick what you can from that.
Hey, I’m Vickers and I’m depressed
I went from bragging that I’m the best
To producers being never impressed
With my raps,I’m looked upon as a pest
It’s really sad ’cause , I give it my all
Is it my fault, I don’t have Pryme’s voice
Or IcePrince’s swag or rap like Skales
Rap’s a maze,I’m tryna find my pace
Always getting complaints like the customer care
I shouldn’t be pissed,it shows the customer cares
Some of my peers say I can’t summon ideas
Well, the truth is only told by someone that cares
I respect critics, is why I listen to Kris
I expect friends to speak, if they aint feeling my shit
But my best friends are yes men, yes man I’m pissed
Not at them, just pissed at me
I thought rap would give me great fame and fortune
But all I ever got was straight face and fuck you
So in this light, I tried to quit twice
Sifon showed the insight, I gotta ignite
Now I’m a monster like Beats by Dre it feels right
Long as I can still write, aint quiting this fight
“Focus on the mic, get your shit right
And the ladies will be psyched whenver you’re in sight”
They used to say that my flow’s dead
And that I rapped like I’m tone deaf
Hope you are ready fo’ the TV and the radio
If you don’t wannt hear me yo, GO DEAF!
Months ago I had a frustrating experience. I couldn’t move on till I wrote this. I just let the insecurity, anger , self doubt and disappointment out. And it made me realise that, once you begin to admit your weaknesses, right then you can start to see your strength ( as evident in the final part ).
The best friends part is annoying (there’s another monster’s grief about that). You expect them to be honest but no, they don’t want to hurt you. That’s stupid.
Which is why I respect critics ( especially the ones who seek to attack you ). :p
Real stuff right there.