Oh, hi, Shafiq Husayn!

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I had half-forgotten how much your album was just the perfect summertime-driving-around and also chilling and grilling record. Deep yet catchy, soulful, bouncy and meaningful, all rolled up into a collection that is unmistakably yours—all original, no filler, and with the kind of unique brilliance that makes someone want to track down everything else you’ve been involved in.

I have been tracking Shafiq and the Sa-Ra Creative Partners since I got Pharoahe Monch’s Agent Orange in the mail on a promo CD single; maybe the last, dying gasp of Rawkus Records. Their “beat” on that track baffled me and I immediately had them on my radar; the next thing I heard by them was “Glorious“—both literally and emotionally—and I was on board for life. Sa-Ra has yet to let me down, whether as a trio or its individual members’ efforts. (See also PPP; aka Platinum Pied Pipers.) Taz Arnold recently turned up with nice production on some To Pimp a Butterfly tracks, while Om’Mas Keith has worked with Frank Ocean and Mark Pritchard and dropped his own solo record a few years back, which is a sweet ride in itself.

But Shafiq is the guy I keep coming back to. His style is so unique; hip-hop based, but with so many diverse and almost-but-not-quite-familiar sounds in his palette. Twitchy but not glitchy, it’s got bass definition but is rich in high end subtleties. He’s got a new one on the way; can’t wait.

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Good to keep in mind.

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Lotic is a producer I learned about through my ongoing love for Tri Angle Records. His recent EP release on that label, Heterocetera, has been in heavy rotation, lately. And as of the other day, he’s risen even further in my (so lofty, so precious) estimation.

Over at FACT, there’s an item about his response to a crassly racist comment made by a member of PC Music. The comment was part of “an iMessage review” (so that’s a thing now?) of the Field Day festival for Noisey (always thoughtfully on the cutting edge of where music meets challenging preconceptions of the entrenched and oh I can’t finish; it’s just Vice meets music).

I’m not going to quote the whole thing (it’s on his Facebook page in full, obv.), but a couple of his points are either right in line with the premise I’ve based this blog around, or close enough to being so that I should probably incorporate them into the manifesto or something. To wit:

to me this is more a result of press/club culture over-intellectualizing music and being too curious about ‘mysterious’ producers, congratulating mediocrity and creating false heroes because we’re so desperate to save our clubs. and i get it.

but. you can congratulate pc music et al. for their mystery and ‘clever’ use of ‘irony’ or you can just investigate and realize that it’s merely a vapid art project by a handful of rich kids (mostly male, with female avatars btw) that’s diluting the club pool and that your making excuses for their boring music is part of the problem. you actually don’t have to pretend that anything that’s even vaguely non-conforming is good or cool?

there is so much music being made by incredibly talented queers and people of color that it’s almost always comical to read headlines about straight white musicians. i personally never click on them, and i would actually bet money (of which i have little) that no other queer/poc gave a shit about pc music or ten walls until, like, today.