I was living in a nightmare when Pharoahe Monch around he time dropped his W.A.R. album in 2010. Everything had gone wrong and I was walking alone towards and uncertain future. I needed this record then, but I also wasn’t ready to hear it. When it came to me today through a cosmic crossroads of social media links, I now know that it wouldn’t have carried the same weight with me back then. I walked past Pharaohe on the way to one of my first official hip hop journalism gigs back in ’91. He was one of my favorite interview subjects 8 years later when I was planting roots at Blaze Online. And he remembered me from that same interview when I ran into him in Union Square just before I left NYC for LA a good seven years later. His lyrics represent the kind of artistry I aim for: always vivid, frightening complex and ferociously raw. This one’s been on repeat all night. I think I’ll crank it up again tomorrow too. I think I’m ready to listen to hip-hop again, which a good thing 😉
The Other Place
A native of Washington, DC, Kenji Jasper is the author of five books including the bestselling Dark, the acclaimed House on Childress Street and the crime novella, Snow. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, in Newsweek, Essence, VIBE and in many other publications. The Other Place is a boutique media arts initiative that will bring the world offerings in books, film and food, all with a subterranean 21st Century flair. It's first release, Jasper's own The Morning After, will be released in the Summer of 2013 followed by several web and television projects and Eve, Jasper's first full novel since 2007.