Saturday, December 12, 2009

Super Fly

My man Mike Gonzales put his goon hand down fo sho in this months Wax Poetics. His article about Curtis Mayfield and the the making of the Super Fly soundtrack bought back alot of memories for me.

First, my moms is in theatre so she kinda turned her nose up at flicks like Super Fly, The Mack, Trick Baby - you know all of the movies I would later love.

It was at the Jamaica Alden where I first saw Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier's "A Piece of the Action". Out of all of the blaxploitation flicks, the pairing of Cosby and Poitier were the funniest.

I didn't get to see Super Fly until I was in the 9th grade. My home boy John's dad had all of them joints on Betamax. "Super Fly" was the ultimate shit. I loved the ending:

Priest raises his cross containing his secret sniff stash and inhales a lil somethin...(sniff, sniff)
"Yeah, you see that envelope, in that envelope I got names, baby!
Places. Your daughter. Your faggot son.
Yeah, if you touch one hair on my pretty head that envelope goes everywhere..."

I don't know what they had in those envelopes in all of those films, they used the envelope trick in "A Piece of the Action" and a bunch of other films as well. Had to be some powerful shit in them envelopes I can only imagine what they had in there that was so incriminating (pics of the boss blowin' a dude, pics of pay offs, pics of the boss gettin' raped by a horse - and lovin it) that these big powerful "Outfit hitters" would back the fuck up...

Anyway, my two favorite tracks from the "Super Fly" soundtrack are "Little Child Runnin Wild" and 'Freddie's Dead".

"Little Child Runnin' Wild" was used some years back in an episode of "New York Undercover" where a young girl who was raped by a gang member and HIV positive was on the run. Nothing captures the desperation of the moment like those violins at the end of the song. The sadness, the despair are all encapsulated in that recording.

Oh yeah, big shout out to Patrick Sisson, his story "Night Life" is bonkers too! Love the pics can't wait to pick up the album "Pepper's Jukebox". Cop the issue and you'll see what I mean.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Iceberg Slim in Wax Poetics

 last Mark Skillz is back in the place. Okay true believers, haters, students, teachers and bored web surfers, here it is: BAM! And ya say 'Gotdamn"

After three years it's finally here. And I ain't mad. They say God sends you your blessings when you need it, not when you want it. Well, I'm not God, but I'm blessing ya'll with my long awaited, hard fought, tenaciously researched feature article about the life of Robert "Iceberg Slim" Beck.

Just so ya know, I originally entitled the article "The Pimp Chronicles", my editor Brian DiGenti came up with a new title, one that I ain't mad at, it's called "The Next Hustle". I'm feeling that.

My man Michael A Gonzales put his mutha funkin goon hand down on the Curtis Mayfield cover story. And Ronnie Reese is no joke either!

Beck to me is like Louis Jordan to James Brown, or Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis, he's my favorite favorite writer in the world - and I have alot of favorite writers, its just that Beck stands head, shoulders, knees and toes above everyone else for me. This article is the beginning of my monument to the man. He hasn't been given his just due props on any kind of major level. No one - Dr. Pete Muckley excluded, has given him the respect of say Baldwin, Hughes, Steinbeck, Wright and Claude McKay. He deserves it.

There are all kinds of biographies about Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin but nothing about Bob Beck. And its ashamed. Hell, even Donald Goines has had two books written about him.

Anyway, you can get Wax Poetics at Barnes and Noble, Border Books or any used record store, if you can't find the issue order it here:

I'll be posting it up in a few months, but please go and buy a copy so that you can see the pics and the great layout we did.

Aiiiight then two fingers...