Thinking on music goals. Really, the ultimate goal is and has always been: dopeness. Manifest the soulforce, the spirit. In a room working on beats, making the heat flow, inspiring the word, the divine ecstatic poetry. It comes in a wave, in a rush, strikes like a lightening bolt, neurotransmitters firing, words coming together, stories being told, trickster vibes manifest. I got something in me that wants to get out, wants to express, to become real—flowing out of the infinite dreamtime imagination god realm, the infinite sea, crystalizing into something of beauty.
This is a process and experience that is inherently spiritual. Primitive superstition, the machines and their minions call it—how foolish to believe in any power beyond the realm of technological control and scientific explanation. God equations are beyond humans to transcribe; they are beyond space and time, beyond the material. They are the codes that tell the drops where to fall, the leaves where to grow. They can only be represented in abstractions or generalizations. The life tree grows, god creates, and in creating we are god, we are spirit.
Mental and Emotional Health. This is the official babylon category that attempts to describes the indescribable value of creating. To balance myself, to balance the cosmos, I must create, I must give form to the infinite. There are things within me—feelings, demons, angels, whatever you want to call them—and they demand that their stories be told. I do not obey, I do not acquiesce, but I do submit, kneel, crawl, and be humble in the face of the infinite, the creator of all, the song with no name. Speak, spirits, and fill me with your wonder and awe. Tears and laughter, joy and pain and suffering and triumph. Love and beauty, and most of all: truth. These words tell the truth, they are beyond any category, have no focus group, and will not be tamed or chained.
The ultimate democracy: imagination is available to all. It is the most powerful force within us, because anything that manifests in the material realm must begin in the imaginal realm. The forces and institutions of control know this, inherently. Some individuals may know it consciously, and actively seek to limit the field. The engineers of systemized mass control know exactly what they’re doing, and what effects it will have. If you can limit the imagination, you can control. Your rule will never be undermined by Dangerous Ideas. “Psychadelic” plants are not fanatically controlled by Law because of danger to their users—they are fanatically controlled because they really can change how you think, and they deliver a real experience of cosmic divinity, not just the fake kind sold in the promise inherent in all advertisements. They are efficacious sacraments, spiritual by design and nature. Proof of their miraculous powers? That the Native American Church actually got legal rights to use peyote in their ceremonies. If this doesn’t shock you, then you don’t understand how babylon works.
Colonize, control. What corpse-shell of the imaginal remains in a world where the entire field of symbols, stories, and meaning is controlled by a handful of corporate egregores? Tune in, watch the screen. Recently, the Channel Zero authorities have figured out that the last realm of truly inspired and unbridled creativity lives in the pages of comic books. The epic dramas, the gods and their powers, the frozen moments. To hold a comic book is to hold an entire piece of space and time—flip to the end, the middle, the beginning, it’s all there, waiting to be discovered anew. Move back and forth through time at will, just by flipping the page. Windows into another world, we call them panels. The Empire has nothing left but its comic books, and so it syphons their power and puts them on screen, where everyone is already plugged in.
The Marvel universe is best for this process, because the Marvel universe has always had a conceit of “realism,” a nod to the flaws that make for interesting characterization. These are heroes who are human, who make mistakes and get angry and sometimes play for the wrong side. And so they fit neatly into the cinematic universe, one that is obsessed with and beholden to High Tech. No more Peter Parker diddling away in his basement, making web shooters from junk and sewing his own costume. Now we get Spider-Man with super cyborg tech suit, courtesy of Stark Enterprises. You keep the suit as long as you do it right. The suit adds powers, value, authority, complexity. Worship this Tech.
There will be no delicate and beautiful acrobatics, no elegant and devastating martial arts for Daredevil, who in the comics is known for disabling attackers with a few calculated blows and a minimum of scuffle; there will be only punch-porn, the sadism of extended beatings, given and received. Even the monks of Kun Lun, and the Immortal Iron Fist himself, will be swallowed by tantrums, anger, guilt, and regret. There will be no elegance, no dignity; there will be only violence. The soldier Captain America will murder at will, as will the god-warrior Thor and the secret-agents Black Widow and Hawkeye.
With the exception of The Dark Knight—and even in that case, only because of the brilliant horror of Heath Ledger’s Joker—the DC movies of the last decade all suck. The wonder of the DC universe cannot be captured on film, cannot survive the transition from static, illustrated 2D to moving, live-acted 2D. “Real life,” even in the era of CGI, simply cannot live up to the majesty of the Sun God, the Will-Powered Ring, the Amazon Queen, the Living Speed Force, the multiverse, the time travel, the epic scope and sheer absurdity of imagination unleashed.
But I digress. Or do I? When I work with young people, I’ve found them to be, on the whole, totally convinced that the only use or purpose in rap music is to get rich. What a tiny, insignificant goal for something of such power. A goal that is fantastic—in the sense of being a fantasy—nearly to the level of delusion. Even a cursory amount of research will show anyone that there’s no money in the music business. Economic life is harder than ever for working musicians, and the various companies and services that control distribution and streaming outlets are the only ones getting paid.
It’s true: one can learn a lot about themselves, life, business, and the world by embarking on a serious quest to become a professional musician of any sort. These are lessons that nobody can ever take away, and will serve one in whatever one does. This, if anything, is an added bonus, small in the face of the True Power of the spirit, the god-speak. This is a power that can change you, change your reality, change your world. The power of the word, the power of creativity, is transformative. You can’t market that, you can’t put a price tag on it, you can’t do anything to chain it to the dead world of capitalist economics. It is a truth and power that is beyond all of us, beyond the simplicity of some system.
That young people would be so lost and deluded is a testament to the stupifying power of The Screen and The School. Those are the twin powers of imaginal conquest. The youth’s imaginations have already been colonized, shrunk, retarded, caged, enslaved. Some of them escape it. Most of them won’t, because if they could, if they did, this world simply would not be what it is; the machine gods would crash.
To take a crude stance: the power of the word is DC, not Marvel.