I'll be honest with y'all—not that I haven't been—but I've been trying to not live in the rabbit hole I find myself tucking into when I start thinking about this country's War on Everybody but White Men, the most protracted of the conflicts it's been embroiled in for ages. Every new name crossed out by the police—or the unlicensed, unbonded white terrorists who drink from the same well as the cops—is another invitation to be traumatized, to be filled past bursting with bile, frothing over like shook-up soda.
The way news organizations keep humanizing these monsters, murderers, while stripping the humanity from still-cooling black bodies, makes my chest want to implode. I unexpectedly saw the video of Laquan McDonald on Instagram and flinched, the wind audibly flying right the fuck out of me—how many black snuff films do we have to have forced upon our senses? How did fate conspire to make spreading the explicit and repeated footage of our own deaths part of our campaign to breathe? "Staying #woke" implies a watchfulness for white supremacy, a constantly working analysis of this war—but it doesn't imply the "sleep" or recharge needed to function well. "Staying #rested" should be just as much a priority, 'cause sleep-dep doesn't help any movement.
Not that I should be offering advice—like I'm doing even a bit of the work like that, like a dozen people I know that I could name off the top of my head—not at all. I'm just talking to myself, talking my shit into the ether, writing and sending it out because I feel like I'm about to fly apart any time I actually try to talk about it. I can't keep my eyes from shining or my voice from breaking. I hope you're doing better with it all than me—and I hope you're doing more than I am, too. (If you're not even talking about it, or taking it serious, you shouldn't even be here, reading a fucking hiphop column.)
Racist white terrorists everywhere are emboldened, and may even be taking to the streets this Sunday in Ballard and Capitol Hill. Give 'em the boot.
Now on to shit that gives me some life and reassurance: discovering DoNormaal. It was just last week that somebody e-mailed me during my radio show to request her, but her name was news to me. Looking her up brought me to her "Let That Thing" video from this summer and her brilliant new album, Jump or Die, which you'll find on Soundcloud. Sharp, psychedelic, and spiritually charged—with some stark, Kelela-esque type production—Jump is absolutely one of my favorite local releases of the year, and DoNormaal is my favorite local discovery of 2015.
I ask you, what makes me happier than seeing and hearing free-ass black folks, especially women? (Not much, I tell you, that isn't covered in barbecue sauce or aged in charred oak barrels.) Seattle barely deserves it, but goddamn it, do we ever need it. Treat your ears for now, and keep your eyes peeled for her moves, as soon as Thursday, December 3, at the Central Saloon, where she'll be performing as part of the Stay Happy Collective.