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Ghetto Palms: SOUND / THE / BIG / THING

November 05, 2008



Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.

SOUND it! CYAAN go round it. BWAAAAAAMP (airhorn sound). I have been known to clown people who over-use the all caps function on their blogs, emails and the comments field of their promo mp3s but I am hereby officially revoking that stance because this week’s column is spelled OH HELL YES.




It was a good day. I won’t go too deep with the details of all my personal mess but suffice it to say that yesterday my mom’s surgery went okay and the baby’s blood tests came back normal. Also, the first black president of the U.S. swept into office on a landslide (out of a necessary 270, he’s got 349 and counting) and at no point did I have to use my AK. With all that happening on the same day there were definitely moments when it felt like there were just too many juggling daggers being held in the air only by the powers of my intensely focused concentration for all of them be sheathed safely by the end. But it's been twenty-four hours and so far so good (knock on forehead.) By midnight I was too thoroughly whelmed by the overpowering sensations of relief and gratitude to dance nekkid in the streets with the rest of Brooklyn. Mrs. Stats and me just popped some champagne and stuck our heads out the window to toast the cabbies and garbage-truck drivers who decided to wake the town and tell some people by dancing on their carhorns.

Under the circumstances it just felt a little corny to come out my blogface today like “Pussy Good riddim! New tunes on the Mini Skirt! Get hyped!” So instead I thought I would rewind on some of the songs that have been my personal soundtrack to this phenomenon—starting with Ray Darwin’s “People’s Choice”—and let them play all the way through:

Ray Darwin, “People’s Choice”
Cocoa Tea, “Barack Obama”

Mavado ft Jay-Z, “We Need Barack”

Capleton, “People Want Change.”





Darwin singing “Breeze a blow! Fire ago blaze!” has been straight giving me chills throughout the primary season. Mavado’s “Step In the Future” is another one. Too aggro and gangster, I know, but for the past few days I just can’t get the phrase “Step in the Fuuuuuture!” out of my brain. And inside my head when it gets to the gun-lyric part, the music cuts and people just yell “ME AN BARACK! BAD AS A MOTHERFUCKER ME AN BARACK!”

This morning when I ducked into the bodega on the way to the train, a 40-something black dude in a fedora interrupted his lotto-buying to shake the hand of every white person that walked by and thanked each of them (us) repeatedly, just for living basically. I was trying to cop a NY Times for the archives (Definition of a fool’s errand: trying to find a newspaper announcing the election of the first black president anywhere on Myrtle Avenue at 10am on Nov. 5th) but eventually I had to settle for the Post which is the only daily in the 5 boroughs that’s not completely sold out—a small revenge for Flavor Flav. In spite of that, somebody had sacrificed their collector’s item to slip a “Mr. President” front page into the empty poster frame inside the R train, and even with the hangovers the energy on the streets in NY is like a reverse 9-11.

So I am officially declaring Nov. 5th Dread Presidents Day. Yes, there’s still a lot of things in the world to be anxious about, but at least now I can stop looking at Google Maps thinking about what country I’d like to raise my kid in, and I’ll never have to write that other “Guns of Brooklyn” Day After column.


From The Collection:

Ghetto Palms
Ghetto Palms: SOUND / THE / BIG / THING