Black Spade, Kingdom Crumbs, and Small-Town Middle America
(Co)captain's log, number whatever: As I write this, I watch a lively, Fruitopia-colored sunset sink behind the sturdy skyline of St. Louis—home of the Tim McGraw collaborator Nelly, the homie Black Spade, and Provel-coated STL-style pizza (thin crust, sliced into squares, not for everyone). Spade will be opening up for Shabazz Palaces with his crew Hawthorne Headhunters, which also includes talented LA resident Coultrain. Their new album, Myriad of Now, is some ol' glorious future soul, a thing of beauty. Anyway, by the time you read this, I'll be back home, refusing to get out of my much-missed bed, and Shabazz will be gearing up to go right back out—this time to Europe, where sisters THEESatisfaction just finished their own smashing string of sold-out shows. (If you haven't, peep THEE's new dream hampton–directed "QueenS" video.)
You'll recall that the homie Tay Sean of that madass Cloud Nice click is here, whipping the van and smoking the Newports. Tay, his Helladope cohort Jerm, Mr. Mikey Nice, and Jarv Dee are collectively known as Kingdom Crumbs. The Kickstarter campaign for their self-titled album is rolling, and sponsors can find themselves the happy owners of a T-shirt, a hard copy, or even a Motif keyboard used in the making of the album (that keyboard was stolen fair and square from Macklemore, who signed it first). Meanwhile, they keep delivering dope, free product, most recently in the form of Dopamine, the new LP from Jarv Dee (hit www.jarvdee.com). Dopamine showcases Jarv's instantly recognizable, out-front, whistle-tip vocals, ballsy flow, and truly immense growth he's seen since the fall 2009 release of his debut EP, Talkin' Shit. Here you'll find both versions of his local classic "I Just Wanna," not to mention new material with the wrist-snatching game of a half-dozen gorilla pimps. Jarv's fellow BAYB/Moor Gang member, people's champ Nacho Picasso, pops up a couple times, obnoxious as the GOP and twice as high (on drugs).
I wanna send a big shout to Scribes, the Seattle MC who recently broke out to Los Angeles to pursue his passion in music. Godspeed, good luck, and go get you some In-N-Out Burger, fam. It's a ways off, but I see that in June, Sol is having his farewell show, before he walks the earth like Caine from Kung Fu. I can't help but remember THEESat's farewell show before they traveled the country, soaking up game and making connects before they brought it all back home.
Whatever you do, though, don't funk with the isolated cuts of small town Middle America. We've seen swastika tats, pickups trailing double Confederate flags, and huge billboards for pastors advertising themselves as "TRUE REAGAN CONSERVATIVES." This is the Amerikkka most of the folks who read this never see, myself included. Never forget, these are the folks who see our multiracial urban experience as a pox on THEIR country, and they want it the fuck back. Don't sleep on them, no matter how ridiculous their champions appear—dog, they're as serious as a motherfucking heart attack.