Set your soul on fire,
Or let me.
We tell a tale across the skies.
I can just lay across your thighs.
My life is in two chapters;
Before and After You.
So I was at this bar late Saturday evening.
Don’t mind me o. I had spent the earlier part of the day working with a new team, and after we were done we’d gone for some drinks and food. Somehow sha, I still wasn’t sated. I was feeling restless, so when we agreed to go our separate ways, I got in my car and started driving. It wasn’t really late, I really had no idea where I was going; I just knew I wanted to stop at a place with lights.
So sha, I was at this lit bar, chilling and sipping Smirnoff Ice…
No. Forgive me. I definitely wasn’t sipping Smirnoff Ice, because I asked and they said they didn’t have it.
My people please intervene. What sort of facking bar does not have Smirnoff Ice on a Saturday evening?!
And then, to add insult to injury, they offer me Snapp.
I mean, it’s bad enough I drink Smirnoff Ice. I know the looks I get when I ask for Smirnoff Ice.
And then, someone thinks it’s a good idea to offer me SNAPP?!
No offense, but that shit makes me think of soiled diapers – some baby shit. Shit!
So sha, I was at the bar, nursing my injured pride, chewing on some peppered gizzard…
When I noticed this guy a few seats away on my left, staring.
At first, I looked his way and looked away thinking it was just a random glance between strangers. However, as the night progressed I realized he was staring at me. Like, really staring.
Okay. That was odd.
Shifting gently in my seat, I moved my left side away from the bar and my right towards it. By the time I stopped, I was almost facing him but no so much he’d notice I had done anything. I grabbed some more sticks of gizzard, popped them in my mouth and looked at him.
He was slim, but not thin. He was wearing a grey shirt tucked in dark-colored pants and shiny loafers. He had hairy jowls and his complexion was hard to tell with all the lights. However, he didn’t look bad.
But it was clear I hadn’t seen him before. So why was he staring?
He would look, take a swallow from the green bottle he was holding around the neck – and while he swallowed, he would look again. And then, he would set the bottle down and exhale.
As I continued to look at this man, I started to have an idea for some mischief. I continued to chew my meat and watching him – but this time, from the corner of my eye. As far as he was concerned, I was ignoring him.
Which was just as well.
As he lifted the bottle, I turned towards him and waited till involuntarily, his eyes started to seek me out.
That was when I winked.
Somehow, he missed his mouth with the beer. Most of it ended up in his nose, eyes and on his shirt. Gasping for air, he fell forward, spraying beer from his mouth and snorting through his nose. I turned away, bent over the bar in laughter but I could hear him coughing loudly. I was laughing so loudly – at some point, I think chewed gizzard would have come out my nose.
Respecting myself, I stood, pulled some money out my pocket and left it beneath my plate. And then, I left jejely before some wise ass decided to ask why I was laughing.
I’m a writer, not a fighter abeg.
One of the things that suck about life – is how the anticipation of a thing is usually more fun/lasts longer than the thing itself.
Case(s) In Point: Remember when you were waiting for Deadpool? Justice League? An intimate encounter?
Your food to arrive at a restaurant?
Morale of my story: nothing lasts. We’re all dust and shadow – but for our memories and the souls that carry a piece of ours. The who you ate the meal with/beside, the who you saw the movie with/beside is a better memory than of the meal/film itself.
Make love not war. Make memories not enemies.
Peace and Love.
Remember when they said you were too young to love?
You wouldn’t understand the valleys and mountains;
You couldn’t navigate the valley lows and highways
Wells and fountains?
They looked at your age,
And said it would be impossible for you to maintain
Keep up with the pressure,
It takes to hold on to pleasure
And your young heart pleaded;
And they said, ‘You’re too young to understand’.
It’s just another day.
At least, that’s my excuse for not wishing you guys a happy new year.
It’s just another day. And nothing changes if we don’t change it.
Sure, dates and the days they fall on move around. It’s another opportunity to celebrate mundane things like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduations and what-nots.
Truthfully, however, it’s just another day of another cycle of living.
Trust me. If it was hard for you to do on the 30th of June, it will be just as hard for you to do on the first, second or third of January. Truth comes from within, no matter how we feel about it.
It’s the reason it took me this long to put this up. That; and the feeling of ‘who reads this anyway?’
I know. I know.
Anyways, my point is keep your promises to yourself – not because it’s a certain date on the calendar, but because it’s the thing to do. Get busy living or get busy dying.
So long as you get busy.
I’m about to share some stuff that has been on my mind for a minute. Truth is, I’m usually on the forefront of the ‘Not All Men’ argument – however, I understand there’s a time and place for everything. And really?
Shouldn’t we have some sense by now?
When you read stuff like this, you see why shit like #MenAreScum are popular.
I mean, seriously. It’s 20-fucking-18 already. And people who think like this still exist? ‘What was she wearing’? Is that the facking point? ‘She should have gone with a guy’ So. Only women with male escorts should be safe?! Do you fucking hear yourselves?!
Really. This shit has to stop. We need to be better. We need to do better. Women deserve better from us. Saddest thing is, I’m sure you guys believe in the superiority of the male. And you expect a woman to submit – to your kind of thinking?
I’ll let you in on a secret; there are some ways women dress I don’t like; there are things females wear I am not comfortable with. However, I’m a law unto myself. After all, I am ‘Seun Odukoya’ not ‘Commissioner In Charge of Skirt/Blouse Length’.
Note the use of words. ‘Don’t like’ not ‘wrong’.
I have NO right to impose my likes/dislikes on ANYONE. And it sure as hell none of my business what someone decides to put on they body. I don’t like, I look away. It’s not illegal yet.
All this ‘What was she wearing’ shit has to stop. For fuck’s sake, that shit is so 1938. Grow the fuck up. Man the fuck up. Yeah I said it. Be responsible. Equality or no, people look up to us.
We’re fathers. Brothers. Sons. Sons-in-law. We have a responsibility. Again, I say we men have to be better. We have to do better. Women deserve better.
There’s the thing about rap – rap; not the inaudible ramblings that pass for it these days – it has power. Power; in that words that may or may not hold much significance individually become a pledge, an oath, a promise, a threat – whatever the wordsmith intended the listener to feel, when strung together in a witty and interesting way.
And, in the immortal words of Uncle Ben, or Stan Lee, as the case may be –
With great power –
You know the rest.
Psalmurai is a rapper cut from the same cloth that birthed folks like Nas, Killah Priest, Mode9, KRS ONE and a few others. An understanding that words hold power, and therefore wordsmiths hold a responsibility to their listeners. If you’ve ever listened to anything this MC put out, the first thing that strikes you is how serious he takes his craft.
Starting out as a member of The Kalifate; now rebranded as The Brand, Psalmurai has been putting out solo work for a minute. From the critically acclaimed mixtape Grind Finale to the consistent yearly Wrap Up series (dropping since 2006) listeners have come to expect pure rhymes from this young MC.
And he’s yet to disappoint.
Continuing the pattern of consistency is the latest entry in his catalogue; BLTN an acronym which stands for Better Late Than Never. Seven tracks long, tanking at twenty-six minutes, the tape is produced by MHP, a South-Africa based producer. On the first two tracks, MHP’s XYZ (super-producer, best known for his collaborative album with the great Mode9) influence is apparent – but MHP takes it a notch higher by taking the sound and making it distinctively his. Psalmurai’s bars are sharp and nimble as ever, as he spits on the opening track Dusk To Dawn;
Now do I gotta say I’m from the projects?
Or the ghetto in the beast like the Loch Ness?
Chick in stilettos selling sex for a lot less
Sex-working or walking around jobless
But God bless
Not my defense but offence
I’m breaking down the metal gates and the tall fence
Got nothing but smart men in my circumference
And I got what it takes to excite your girlfriend
The feel of the project is introspective; he’s getting on the title track BLTN he goes;
My resolve; praise the Lord God daily
RIP to the late great Marcus Garvey
Who gave you the right, the robe and gravel to judge
We all equal under God and gravel nigga that’s deep
Six feet precisely
And then….he goes on further:
Better late than sorry
I’ll rather say never
Instead of sounding stupid
I’d rather sound clever
But if I sound stupid to make a point
The wise can play the fool but –
Not vice versa
He aight – what is missing is the essence
The new school cool – what is missing is the lessons
I want Kalifa high, DJ Khaled blessings
But before God bless us – first He gon’ test us
There’s a confidence in Psalmurai’s delivery; he’s basically a ronin walking down a familiar path. For old listeners, it’s a known journey, for new listeners it’s a proper introduction. On Django, he’s does a bit of battling – all the time reminding his audience of his authenticity. And then, the tape kind of switches to the b-side, which has Psalmurai dabbling with some issues and storytelling.
On Single, he balances rhyming with objectivity about the pressure the sexes go through:
She got it, yeah yeah she got it
Front to back she got – she a goddess
Mulatto got me hooked to be honest
She fine you cannot be fine beyond this
More stairs no; skyscraper
Oh boy! She’s been single for the longest
Like a thousand men, trying to date her
Makes it hard to pick and choose who the one is
She fine; ah-yeah yeah she the finest
Broke niggas too broke for her highness
Rich not rich enough for her highness
That is not the facts now let me digress
Rhymes like that is what is missing from rap these days; thought-provoking, challenging and memorable words. Words that create pictures that linger in the mind – long after the record has stopped spinning.
NHICT (No Heroes In Capetown) is the story of the search for greener pastures; a story that ends sourly for our lead character, Johnny who falls victim to Xenophobia.
Traveler is a chronicle of Psalm’s journey; how far he’s come and how he moves in his mind. Maka drops a stirring hook that makes me feel as though they need to collaborate more. Posse Cut has a number of rappers dropping bars that, while lackluster in points, are strong enough to round off the project.
BLTN is a strong entry into a genre that is going through an evolution; recreating itself for an audience with less and less of an attention span. I believe in Psalmurai.
And if you enjoy rap, you should too.
Visit: https://soundcloud.com/psalmurai to listen to and download BLTN.