Omitted from my Ghetto Palms reading list a few weeks back was a coffee table book I got for my birthday called Detroit Disassembled. Built around Andrew Moore's revelatory photos, it features nuff ghetto palms as well as more virulent life-forms reclaiming abandoned houses and office spaces, not to mention my old high school. On a similar note, an art-school homey linked me the other day to a list of “100 Things to Watch For 2011.” Coming in at #24 was Detroit again, noting: “a controversial proposal from Mayor David Bing seeks to raze parts of the city, consolidate the population and create new residential and business areas…while Hollywood has found that its urban decay and empty plants make great backdrops and soundstages.” Its all part of a movement to convert the new urban prairie into a sort of new inner city pastoral frontier.
When I sent my mom a NY Times article about it this summer she emailed back: “Years ago, when we still lived there, I had a dream that Detroit had turned into a green oasis and poor people from the blighted suburbs came into the city on weekends to buy their green groceries from Farmer's markets. Looks like it's coming true.”
Vybz Kartel, “Benz Punany” (So Shifty edit)
Wayne Marshall, “Careless” (Wildlife! edit)
Gyptian, “Watch Gal” (Wildlife! edit)
Busy Signal, “F.Y.I.”
Collie Buddz x Dr. Dre, “Kush” remix
Collie Buddz, “Holiday”
All of which is to say that even though 2010 was too much odyssey and not enough space, for the 1st time since the bottom dropped out of this economic bucket it feels like some green shoots are poking up. The first three tunes in this set are actually 2010 palms that were granted new life by re-edits from So Shifty and Wildlife! respectively, matching Kartel’s new Benz with European engineering on the beat as well (sorry, Detroit.) And the Busy track is just a brilliant JA love-rap that somehow escaped my dragnet.
These Collie tunes, on the other hand, represent legitimately new growth, early emanations from his new Playback EP which is dropping next week (download it here, and get the background info, including a behind the scenes mini-doc, here) his first official release in three years, coincidentally. “Holiday” is a sunny one drop jam perfectly timed to that breaking point when everyone in up here in the Northern hemisphere gets tired of ducking ice-stalagmites on the way to work and starts looking at .jpgs of palm trees and pricing out their escape. The "Kush" refix of course, is about the other kind of buds.