Friday, November 21, 2014

Tomorrow, Jupiter

Looking forward to the shift 
from intense to lucky, all of a sudden.

Everything's a sign of my astrology
- Rufus Wainwright, in Pretty Things

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Jesse Jagz oeuvre in four home-made albums

Jesse Jagz is one of my favourite musicians in the world.
He is called 'The Greatest' - how those rap monikers stick - and that name works fine, but each of his albums, even the first, makes you want to also crown him 'The Genius' for the beauty, breadth and inventiveness of his sounds.
a: Jag of All Tradez
My critique is that sometimes the albums are too good, too diverse, and fail to hammer home an overarching theme or round out a specific style.
Trust me to find something wrong with anything.
Indeed, the first album is titled Jag of all Tradez.  It is a platter of multiple, maybe three, newish styles, and the result is wondrous, and it is wonderful when you're doing the long drive or stuck in traffic and you have all these many beats and lyrics and amazements to accompany you, and even if the album is almost five years old, I still say get it now.
But artistically it is a tiny bit much.
Jesse, na too much talent dey worry you :) 
b. Jagz Nation Vol 1: Thy Nation Come
My publisher, SS at Kraft Books once told me that it's alright for a first album (well, a first poetry collection) to be more diverse, a little more episodic, more an introduction to the many facets of you, you know?  It was he who suggested I cut my gazillion poems into more than one collection, and that I would understand someday, so we went with about 40% of the initial set for Comrade.
After that, I understood, and produced progressively 'tighter' collections in theme and style, so that following the sort of this is me, this is my struggle, this is us, this is what we love, range of Comrade, and still I really love Comrade :)
the next collection Yalla! is about places and travel, with a friendship section tacked on.
Then Big Girl and Big Boy would be loved by any boy, or any girl, each book being at the intersection of romance and this awkward economic situation of being elite in a land full of poor people.
The latest book, Monsters, is really just about Monsters, i.e. fear and loathing.  Preview Monsters.  
Tracklist for Thy Nation Come
Jesse's work too has evolved nicely in this regard.  Even from their titles, you can tell that the next two albums have more definition.
There is 'Thy Nation Come' which is very reggae-and-marijuana-inspired;
followed almost immediately by 'Royal Niger Company' named after the colonial-era trading company that became Nigeria.  He introduced RNC as a gift to the fans (ohmygodd free download, out of the blue) that serves up a little bit of history.
c. Royal Niger Company
Anyway,  I sliced and diced his three albums and created four collections that offer this enhanced thematic / stylistic coherence that I love.  Here they are. 

1a. Take Over (ft. Ice Prince) 2a. Greatest 3a. Jesse Swag 4a. Jargo I (ft. Jago) 5c. Jargo III (Ain't Nobody, ft. Tesh Carter and Chaka Khan) 6c. Louis 7b. God on the Mic 8b. International 9a. Pussy Cat 10a. Chocolate 11a. Dis Jagged Life (ft. Lindsey) 12a. Nobody Test Me (ft. MI and Ice Prince) //

1a. Number One 2a. Intoxicated (ft. Wizkid and Soul E) 3a. Shorty (Wine For Me) 4b. Where You At? 5a. Pump It Up 6a. L-O-V-E-U 7c. Sunrise (Shine On) 8c. Supply and Demand 9c. The Case (ft. Show Dem Camp) 10b. Steady Going 11a. My Brother 12b. Pedal to the Floor //

1b. Intro 2b. Burning Bush 3b. Desire 4b. Redemption 5b. Mamacita 6b. Sex and Scotch 7b. Sativa (Skit) 8b. Sativa 9c. The Window (ft. Jumar) 10a. Inhale Out (ft. Skales) 11b. After Party 12b. Bed of Roses (ft. James Mavrik) 13b. Selassie //

1b. Jargo II (ft. 9ice) 2c. High Life (ft. Rexx) 3c. Sunshine (ft. Fela A Kuti) 4c. Oceans and Lakes (ft. Sarah Mitaru and Dugod) 5a. Wetin Dey 6a. Sugar Cane Baby 7a. Bend Down Low 8x. Murder Dem 9c. The Search (ft. Jumar and Dugod) 10b. Bad Girl (ft. Wizkid) 11x. Las Gidi Grinding 12c. How We Do (ft. Tupac) //

What the albums are about
1. The Greatest - Rap is about building yourself up with praise.  Like a good oriki, it makes you feel good-and-confident. Now What's My Name?
2. LOVEU - Baby, I love you, so wind your behind for me.  Holy Album Sales! 
3. Thy Nation Come - Jah-consciousness.  I just murdered Bob Marley.
4. Royal Niger Company - The new sound of the tropics.  I just murdered Fela. 

Complain in the comments section.  
Advertisement: Read my booksThere is an extended, rather traditional, oriki poem in Big Boy, with a name oriki, twin oriki, and town/clan oriki.  Yoruba people have been doing for (centuries?) this swag-a-brag thing that rappers do all day. 

One day I will write more about
- oriki (re-mi-do)
- thematic unity (in my lecture series on creativity

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monsters, for Halloween

All Saints' Day, a Christian/Catholic festival for bonding with the dead, comes up on November 1.  The night before is Halloween, also called All Saints' Eve or All Hallow's Eve.
In other traditions too, there are explicit festivals, opportunities to make friends, or at least make peace, with death.
 Two models I know of for rationalizing death as life:
Reincarnation, that is, the ancestors come back in our descendants. 
Incorporation - maybe there is a better word for this - that is, the spirit can not die, just as matter (mass/energy) in physics is not created or destroyed, but this goes beyond conservation, just as dead plants are food and fodder, mulch and manure...
Egungun Dancers. Photo credit:

Some examples of incorporation:
- If you loved or were loved, then you invade your companion(s) and they imbibe your essence.  They continue your life in this act of solidarity.  I think of it as eating the hearts of the dead, cannibal-like, gaining their powers and their support.  Have you ever done this - eaten someone's heart, symbolically or not?  Sometimes they choose us, it's weird. 
- If you did great or small works, you live on in the imprint, the impact and the tales.  Sometimes the tales multiply a tree into a forest.  You continue to manipulate the world from beyond the grave. 
- If you had children, voila, you left a small or big piece of you in them.  Should I have put this example first?
Mexican Day of the Dead: November 2
 With a little imagination, we can see that reincarnation is incorporation is reincarnation.
Another model: Heaven and eternal life in another place.  I nearly forgot.

In time for Halloween, I created a cover for my fifth little book.  It's called Monsters.  I regret that there are a few misplaced pixels in the cover art, maybe you won't notice.
I hope the front, the back, and the contents scare the crap out of you.
I hope you let these poems change and rearrange your life.  At any rate, this is my work, my gospel.  An exploration of the beauty in ugly.  An expression of the art in hate.  An analysis of fear - because I analyze everything, God help me.
 In Monsters, we peer into the dark side, so that it'll be so much more fun next year when I unveil the work of brightness and the bright side in another collection of poems.

Tradition has it that when Jesus Christ was 33, the same age I am now, well, you know what happened.  The ultimate contempt.
He had to go, the people thought.
They got rid of him.
They beat him up, then killed him slowly and publicly.
He only came back stronger.
 I used to think (around ten years ago) that I would be that person that pissed off the existing order so much that prison would be a second home.  It looks like I don't have to worry about that any more.  The world has changed.  The world has learned to tolerate rebels, I think.   

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mars, Venus, and meaning.

Boys are funny.  
Girls be so serious.  
Saith I, in the silence of my room.  Woah, I am practically a philosopher, like Osisiye here.

Bob and Weave.
The little phrase 'bob and weave' wouldn't leave me, so I thought about what it means, it reminded me of boxing, which my father used to watch back in the eighties, and I pictured a skilled boxer bobbing and ducking then throwing punches alternately, the rhythm and the beauty of it, like dancing.
She's hot, Bob.
Then I thought that few people in Nigeria would connect bob and weave with sculpted boxer bodies :-/  The bob is obviously a hairstyle, and the weave is also a hair thing - women would know that.
And Bob is a name.  In America, not in Nigeria. 

A month ago, I was pondering essential properties of love, and beginning yet another amazing online course The Fiction Of Relationship, and near the middle of A Brief History of Humankind, and deciding that love had to mean one thing, because what a silly idea that this love thing must remain so irreducible, mean different things to different people, etc.
I re-emphasize the efficient sparseness of the definition I came up with up there, and I suggest that if you analyze it and test it, you would find that it is a definitive definition of this stubborn, previously nebulous concept called love.  Or not?

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Did Myers-Briggs tests again

In 2003 or so, I was NP, well, weakly ENFP.  Was curious, so I took several free MBTI-like tests online just now.  

Looks like I'm still an NP, perhaps an INTP; my type was INTP in 3 of 6 tests.  
The other 3 had one mutation each: I to E, T to a weak F, and P to a weak J.  The ENTP was actually an ExTP, being 50/50 on the N-S scale. 
Whatever this all means.

MYERS-BRIGGS-Style and JUNG-Style Personality Tests

Monday October 13, 2014, around 5pm.


INTP: You're motivated by a need to understand the world around you and you value knowledge. You're a problem solver with an analytical mind, and you probably score very highly on intelligence tests. You have a gift for recognizing inconsistencies in others' logic and reasoning, and you value precise language. You're curious, insightful, and a nonconformist. Others might describe you as aloof at times.

Your personality type is:
Analytical, knowledgeable, and intellectual, you prefer to immerse yourself in complex problems and projects. If the interest is there, you can become so engulfed in the problem and your own thoughts about it that you tend to forget about everyday living and become absent-minded and remote. You are driven by a desire to understand and explore the problems that interest you on an intellectual level, which means that sometimes you are more interested in the ideas that govern a given problem than in the actual problem itself. You want to go your own ways and you resent being controlled or told what to do. And to your credit, you do not want to control other people either, if only you can be left free to organize the ideas in your own head.
Einstein, Lincoln are examples.
E 45% / 55% I
S 18% / 82% N
T 55% / 45% F
P  91%  /  9% J
Strength of Result

According to Myers-Briggs, INFPs focus much of their energy on an inner world dominated by intense feeling and deeply held ethics. They seek an external life that is in keeping with these values. Loyal to the people and causes important to them, INFPs can quickly spot opportunities to implement their ideals. They are curious to understand those around them, and so are accepting and flexible except when their values are threatened.   
According to Keirsey, based on observations of behavior, notable INFPs may include Princess Diana, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Gere, Albert Schweitzer and Isabel Myers.
My INFP personality result

The polite, reserved exterior of INFPs can at first make them difficult to get to know. They enjoy conversation, however, taking particular delight in the unusual. When INFPs are in a sociable mood, their humor and charm shine through. Disposed to like people and to avoid conflict, INFPs tend to make pleasant company.

Devoted to those in their inner circle, INFPs guard the emotional well-being of others, consoling those in distress. Guided by their desire for harmony, INFPs prefer to be flexible unless their ethics are violated. Then, they become passionate advocates for their beliefs. They are often able to sway the opinions of others through tact, diplomacy, and an ability to see varying sides of an issue.

INFPs develop these insights through reflection, and they require substantial time alone to ponder and process new information. While they can be quite patient with complex material, they are generally bored by routine. Though not always organized, INFPs are meticulous about things they value. Perfectionists, they may have trouble completing a task because it cannot meet their high standards. They may even go back to a completed project after the deadline so they can improve it.

INFPs are creative types and often have a gift for language. As introverts, they may prefer to express themselves through writing. Their dominant Feeling drives their desire to communicate, while their auxiliary intuition supplies the imagination. Having a talent for symbolism, they enjoy metaphors and similes. They continually seek new ideas and adapt well to change. They prefer working in an environment that values these gifts and allows them to make a positive difference in the world, according to their personal beliefs.

 Jung Test Results
ENTP - "Inventor". Enthusiastic interest in everything and always sensitive to possibilities. Non-conformist and innovative. 3.2% of the total population.


Extroverted (E) 69% Introverted (I) 31%
Intuitive (N) 50% Sensing (S) 50%
Thinking (T) 70% Feeling (F) 30%
Perceiving (P) 71% Judging (J) 29%

Your type is: ENTP

Your Type
Introvert(78%)  iNtuitive(75%)  Thinking(12%)  Perceiving(11%)
  • You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
  • You have distinct preference of Intuition over Sensing (75%)
  • You have slight preference of Thinking over Feeling (12%)
  • You have slight preference of Perceiving over Judging (11%)
My INTJ Personality Result

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