Words speak loud, but actions tell the truth.

I haven’t really written in this thing in ages. Not like I used to, back in the day. I just had so much to say and I felt it was never said. Back then, it wasn’t. I remember I played a show at this racist White hipster venue in Williamsburg (that really narrows it down, doesn’t it. lol) I was on stage and someone yelled out something in between songs. I jokingly called them a racist and the audience literally gasped. Like audible, White, pearl clutching gasps of horror. This was maybe…2008? And you just didn’t talk about racism, then. Not in art, not in music, not anywhere. White people were not having it. I would have people give me “advice” all the time to not talk about race in my art because “you’re talented, why hold yourself back.” It literally made me want to spit in their faces. So you know racism is real and horrific and you know that despite my immense musical talent, if I challenge White people, they will be spiteful enough to block me from “success”, so you feel I should keep my mouth shut like a good little n***** and for what? Like, I’m not supposed to fight it? I’m not weak and I don’t take shit. That’s why White people have all the power in this world. No one challenges them. Most people who are not White would rather collude with a system that was designed to exploit them until death and destroy them if they refuse to comply, than just stand up and say, “No.”

The point I’m getting at is that all the people who gave me that “advice” in 2008 and beyond are now these “Woke Baes” on social media. People who were defending their family or friends who use the N word in 2014 are now dropping buzz terms like White Privilege in every post to get “Woke” points. Even the term woke… another thing that has been appropriated from Black people and run into the ground. EVERYONE uses it. Constantly. It has become the 2019 equivalent of “RAISING THE ROOF”. It’s all performative. I mean, I just saw an interview where ZAC EFRON spoke about white privilege. Like, do you think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege? I don’t think Zac Efron cares about White Privilege.

I feel some typa way about it because when you are really ’bout that life, you are shut out of these mainstream spaces. Like, you’re a Black celebrity who talks about White racism, but if you really stood up against it, you literally would not be on NBC or HBO or in that fashion magazine. The very fact that you are given a mouthpiece in this White mainstream space is evidence that the racist White people who control this space don’t view you as a threat. If you are pro-Black within an anti-Black system like Hollywood or major label record companies, YOU ARE A THREAT TO THAT WHITE SUPREMACIST SYSTEM. So my question is, how are you there? Either the system isn’t really racist, or you are not really challenging that system, because the people who run that system view you as safe. And as an African woman artist, I’ve learned that is what the majority of people need from you. They will not come near a Black woman if they do not feel like they can control you and exploit your talents for their own gain. I mean, didn’t it come out that “slavery is a choice” Kanye literally CAN’T RETIRE because of the shit record contract he signed. Like, if White media is pushing you, it is because THEY are gaining something. Not you. They not tryna amplify some “Let my people go” shit, lol.

I was reading something that said Chadwick Boseman was cast on a soap opera back in the day. He was to play a stereotypical “ganbanger Black youth” and he was displeased, so brought it up with producers and offered ways to improve the character and make it less racist. Do you know they fired his ass and hired Michael B Jordan, then used some of Boseman’s suggestions in reshaping the character for this new actor? That’s how petty most White people are towards Black people who challenge them. You think they are less petty now? Every Black person reading this knows they are not.

I like that people are currently challenging White Supremacy and misogyny openly- that’s what I want. That is why I started this band. But I hate the commodification of the trauma of people who are not White males fighting to be seen as Human Beings. It’s not a trend. It’s the lives of billions of people. And to see Michael B Jordan in a Black Panther themed photo shoot for GQ magazine… I- like WHAT? We’re selling Black liberation now? It is now branded and fashionable? When the actual Black Panthers are all murdered or imprisoned by their own government and still seen as “villains” on par with the KKK to the very White editors and consumers who will thumb through those magazine pages and go “Hm, cool beret.” and then keep it moving? And he agreed to that shit with his whole damn chesS? What’s next, a Freedom Riders themed photo shoot for ELLE? A 4 Little Girls themed photo shoot for Vogue, replete with burning Black children? THIS IS TOXIC AND ANTI-BLACK BEHAVIOUR.

I don’t know what the answer is, but since we know the American media is a tool of White Supremacist Patriarchy, I think we should investigate and deeply evaluate ANY supposedly “Woke” voice being presented to us by the same people who control and operate said tool. YOUR OPPRESSORS WILL NOT BE YOUR LIBERATORS. And if you are working freely and being rewarded within a White supremacist system, it is because you are not an obstruction within that system. You are somehow aiding its operation.

If you are a Black person and you say or do anything that threatens White Supremacist and patriarchal ideals, you will be attacked and people will try to silence you. Unless you are simultaneously making White people a shit-ton of money, or they are gaining something else from you. I’ve had White males join my anti- racist band because they thought they’d get a chance to sleep with me. In the minds of most people on Earth, Black women exist solely to be used and exploited. And when they are done, you’re done. So don’t talk to me about White Privilege on twitter when you don’t cast dark skinned Black women in lead roles and you yell at and harass women on set. If any of this were real, we’d see changes. But underneath the me too and hashtags and rhetoric, nothing has changed. The system is still rigged and is running full speed ahead. I think people should be more impressed when these personalities’ actions match their words. I mean, Jordan Peele is mixed and has a White wife, but fully Black male directors were not casting Lupita Nyong’o in lead roles. They were all casting light and mixed women and sending out racist casting calls like the one for Straight Outta Compton. So who is challenging a system and who is perpetuating it?

I was just watching this gangster movie this weekend and the main guy was always getting betrayed. I’m paraphrasing but he said that he learned to not believe people’s words, but to believe the situation. It’s good advice. If you wish to enter a structure, but the doorway is too narrow for you to enter, existing within that structure requires 2 things: either you modify the structure to accommodate you, or you alter or contort yourself in order to fit into the structure. So if these systems are still racist, but you are somehow chillin’ on the inside, you have obviously altered yourself from who you were when you were on the outside in order to fit. And lord only knows what that entails.

Y’all stay “woke” now…

This is insane. And I am enraged.

Angry. Angry. That word. Am I supposed to fear it? That word is always thrown at me at opportune moments. I have detected, over the years, a pattern. When I behave in a way that you don’t expect. When I stand up for myself. When you are threatened by the fact that when you look at me, you don’t feel dominant or superior, you call me “angry”. But you don’t say it with fear. Not fear for your safety, at least. It leaves your lips with a “hisssss”. Then you sit back, satisfied. As though you have accomplished something. You are contented. Why?

When you are at the bottom of the sexual, racial and ethnic Western social hierarchy, as I am, you learn very quickly that EVERYONE depends on your staying at the bottom. It’s like a sick cheerleaders pyramid. When the ones kneeling on the bottom, with everyone’s weight on their backs, decide to stand up, what happens to the ones above them? Exactly.

It’s quite depressing to know that 90% of the people in the society in which you live depend on you feeling ashamed, inadequate, ugly, stupid and inept in order for them to feel confident and strong. To know that strangers have a vested interest in your failure … It just makes them feel good to think that at the end of the day, you’ve still amounted to nothing. That is my life. Fielding attacks for not being worthless. Being in a near constant state of defensiveness because I am not stupid or ugly or inept and refuse to pretend to be for others who aim to elevate themselves by standing upon my back.

I am Black. I am a woman. I am an African. AND YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ME. Why does that make you mad? Why does that make you want to attack? Why are you so fucked up and insane?

I started a new job and there is a young Black guy I work with. Black American men almost invariably react towards me in the same way. They are ALL suspicious of me and about 80% outright hostile on sight, making inane assumptions about my class and personality before I even open my mouth. I’m sure he did all of these things but fortunately was one of the 20% that was not hostile but friendly and conversational. That is until I was speaking to him and used the word “recalcitrant”. He made a joking comment about it being a “big word”, then let it go. Or so I thought, because within literally 45 SECONDS out of NOWHERE he made some flippant comment about something I said being “White people shit”. Now, I am used to this, but I am not in middle school or high school anymore and I have literally not had a Black person accuse me of “acting white” in over 10 years. I am a grown ass woman. I just refuse to deal with that garbage at this point in my life. So I just shut it down by saying “Well I am a Black person so I don’t even know what that means.” and left it at that.

This country is a fucking bitch.  Being talented and intelligent works against you if you are a Black woman. If you don’t have to deal with ignorant, inferiority complex having Black people who are on this “Blackpeepo d’on’ reed! Blackpeepo dondoodis! Lookatchu, uthinkuhighclass!” , etc. – Btw, why do so many Black people in this country believe that to be “authentically Black” means to be illiterate and lack the ability to speak your native language correctly? Because last time I checked, Black people were the only people in history who were threatened with torture and death if they learned how to read and write AND RISKED DEATH AND TAUGHT THEMSELVES HOW TO DO IT ANYWAY AND OPENED UP THEIR OWN SCHOOLS SO THEY COULD BE EDUCATED AND GRADUATED COLLEGE AND BECAME POETS AND DOCTORS AND LAWYERS BEFORE SLAVERY WAS EVEN OFFICIALLY ABOLISHED IN 1865 BUT MAYBE THAT NEVER HAPPENED OH OK MY BAD PLEASE PROCEED IN MISPRONOUNCING YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

What a sista gotta to to operate with some standards in this country? CAN I EVEN FUCKING HAVE STANDARDS? IS THAT OK, FUCKWADS?

So as if dealing with crazy internalized white supremacist Black people isn’t enough, I have to deal with White supremacist white people as well. My generation has a new kind of White person to contend with, in addition to the old. They won’t openly hate you like their parents and grandparents. They smile at you and voted for Obama. They are the new breed of “OH BLACK PEOPLE I LIKE THOSE THEY HAVE COOL HAIR THEY ARE FINE AS LONG AS THEY ARE CLEAN AND USE FUNNY CATCHPHRASES AND DON’T KNOW THINGS THAT I DON’T KNOW AND CAN’T DO THINGS THAT I CAN’T DO AND BEHAVE AND DRESS EXACTLY THE WAY I SAY THEY SHOULD AND HAVE NO BOUNDARIES AND ALLOW ME TO TREAT THEM HOWEVER I CHOOSE AND OH YEAH I SHOULD ALSO HAVE FREE REIGN TO FUCK THEM AT WILL YEAH THOSE BLACKS ARE FINE WITH ME!”

So I am stuck in this No Woman’s Land between “Real Black people cain’t do shit” Black people who believe the White Supremacist hype and actually think their Blackness is a hindrance  and White people who are so racist yet try to pretend that they are not and have this unspoken “Stay in your place and we’re fine with you” reaction and both options are so gross to me and I decided in 2000 that I would not hang out with self hating indie negroes anymore because even though we have similar artistic tastes, lbr, that shit is just depressing and I refuse to be stuck in a room full of insecure Black people talking about how other Black people suck and White people are so much better while passing around photographs of their disrespectful and unattractive White bfs/gfs as though that’s “a step up” or something- Btw, if you are going to be a self hating poc and say “I only date White guys/gals, I hate [insert your own people here].” , can you please rescue a tenth of a degree of decency and at least date White people that are hot and awesome? PoC like that usually date seemingly just the worst, most bargain basement White people you can find. I would love for once to meet some Black person who is like “I only date White people, oh, btw, here comes my White s.o. now!” and out walks- no floats– this, like Goddess/Adonis with wit, intelligence, class and style and treats you like royalty and has, like, super bitchin’ hair, or something. Then I could be like, “Oh ok, point taken, good luck, enjoy smashing that, etc.” But it’s never like that. It’s always some gross ugly coked-up moronic douche/douchess. I’m like, “Oh ok thanks for that c u.”

I am ANGRY. I am angry that I am capable of so much but in one of the largest cities in the world, I feel like I have no options. No people. I have no people. Most people are cowards and the ones who have the fire and the passion are usually consumed and destroyed by it so they are not even of use to themselves let alone me. What use could I have for someone? Hm. It would be nice to exchange ideas with someone who is as unafraid as I am. Who makes up their own mind. Who doesn’t sit back and watch when they see someone unique and valuable; someone who is the first one there with an outstreched hand. Hello. Who are you? What do you think about all this shit and how quick can we take a couple sticks of dynamite to it?

Hello. What do you think?

What do you hate?

What do you love?

Can you love? More than you can hate? Do you?

Are you a coward or are you brave? Do you know the difference between being brave and being fearless? Which one are you?

Are you the same person at all times? Are you different people? Do you take responsibility for all of them? Do you know that if you don’t, you’re a coward?

What’s the point if you won’t come up with one?

I would love to meet someone as angry and passionate as I am. Someone who knows it’s their place to be so.

I have to get the fuck out of this town. Maybe you are afraid because you know I could rip you apart from the inside. I probably could. I know this. But who’s to say I will? Unless you expect to treat me in such a way that would earn such retribution. If that’s the case, then, yes, it would be in your best interest to stay away.

I’ve got an atom bomb in my head and in my chest. I have power. I am Black. I am a woman. I am an African. And I have power.

Why does that scare you? Oh yeah. The whole “bottom of the pyramid” thing. Gotcha.

The most surefire way to find yourself surrounded by weak people is to deny your own strength. That’s my line. You can have it. I’ve got plenty.

A manifesto of sorts

God I am so disappointed in everyone. Can’t I have a hero? Why’ve you gotta fuck it up?…

It makes me wonder what these people are responsible for. These actors and musicians. An actor is different. I don’t have to know anything about you. I don’t have to care about you. It’s what you do after they say “action” that makes you someone to take notice of or not. But with music, you give of yourself. It’s a part of you, isn’t it? So how can I like your music but hate you? And if I think you’re a cunt, should I burn all your records? I own Desertshore. granted I bought it before I found out that Nico was a monstrous junkie twat. But I kept it and still listen to music she is a part of. I made that decision. But what am I supporting?

I resent that I am put into that position where I have to fucking delve into the past and practically become a private detective whenever I discover a new band or artist I like. Or maybe I am just taking it way too seriously. People who make movies and music are fucked up. I mean, as long as you are not a fucking child rapist like Polanski I mean who gives a fuck what you do?

I do. God forbid I champion a sexist or a racist. I don’t know what to do about Bad Brains’ homophobia. I mean if a person’s just a twat, well that’s one thing. I can just listen to records and pray that the person who makes them never opens their mouth within earshot. But when it comes to things that I find fucking morally reprehensible…who’s responsibility is that? Especially these older acts…what if they were alcoholic wife beaters or racists or whatever? Should I still care? I’d like to see Nico come at me with a broken bottle now, the creep. But does it invalidate good music?

Is it my responsibility to walk the straight and narrow in public like mainstream acts do, desperately? Should I not swear and call people twats and smile more and “network” and all that nauseating shit? Why? Maybe I’m an asshole. Does that have anything to do with my music?

I really don’t know. We love thse artists. Like, LOVE them. Sometimes they are the only people we care about. The only people that understand. The only people that can make us feel…anything. They are gods and godesses, right? So if they fall from grace in our eyes, should they be held accountable? Or is admiring a rock star sort of like an ornery senior citizen yelling at the t.v. set?

I think about this because I intend to do this professionally. But where do I stop and where does the creation begin? Do I give of myself and take the responsibility? Or do I corner myself off, give you what you need to see, be elevated, then feel free to take a big shit on the top of your head?

I am no God. I am ridiculous. I know this. But why can’t I say it? Why can’t I wear my ratty jeans and not make eye contact and sing these beautiful songs that blow your fucking soul wide open then go home and eat a sandwich and go to sleep? Why do I have to put on a fucking act and namedrop and take pictures and look ridiculous trying to get you to believe that I am not ridiculous? Which I am?

I make music for people who see the infinite in flesh and bone. You don’t have to be spectacular to create spectacular things. I don’t wear leather pants or sequins. God help me if I ever do.

I’m just tired of having to keep up appearances. I don’t want to be what you think I have to be. I want to be who I am.

I’m going my way. Follow if you’d like.