As I write this, there are hundreds of thousands of people lining the inexplicably sunlit downtown streets, celebrating the Seattle Seahawks' first-ever Super Bowl victory. People are beaming with pride, frothing over with excitement. It's crazy, it's nuts, it's fucking cold as shit, too. I'm in my crib, glancing at the news, away from the numbers. Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch—immortalized by local producer Spekulation's instant town classic "'Bout That Action" track, and its subsequent Prometheus Brown remix—is sitting on the hood of one of the Ride the Ducks vehicles, throwing out Skittles, his trademark favorite candy, which fans rain down on him when he makes one of his memorable touchdowns.
I think of the last time Skittles so penetrated the national consciousness—that would be after the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin two years ago, when a neighborhood watchman gunned him down in cold blood while the black-hoodie-clad teen was carrying a bag of the candy. That night, he walked away from Martin's corpse, uncharged by police, until national outrage shamed local cops into bringing charges for killing this child. These little details were burned forever into our nation's emotional map, fueling rage, tears, and jokes from shitty, low-vibrating souls. (News of his killer's acquittal by a jury of his pig peers came last summer, on my birthday, which immediately went from great to my worst one ever; this isn't meant to be about me, though.)
Recently, news outlets were ringing with the news that his killer (who has since been making headlines for being charged as a girlfriend-assaulting piece of shit on top of everything else) was to take part in a celebrity boxing match organized by some shyster piece of shit—and that his opponent would be Earl "DMX" Simmons, the Yonkers, New York, rap legend and well-documented troubled spirit. Though the match has been canceled, the parade of tawdry money-minded horror marches on, hand-in-tentacle with the world-groping octopus of white supremacy, which rears its head every day, everywhere we turn, even in the aftermath of a football player's interview. My city is on a cloud right now, but I don't feel like celebrating—yes, I am bumming you out, I am a huge bummer, but not nearly as much as my country is. And I ain't no-parts fucking with DMX no more.
My city is still filthy, and the sun is still shining on us. I am still seeing national media outlets report on Raz Simone's signing. I am seeing big music outlets report on new songs and projects from Seattle's Grieves and Chimurenga Renaissance (aka Tendai from Shabazz Palaces) and Tacoma's Roderic and UGLYFRANK (from ILLFIGHTYOU). Sol is on tour right now, to big crowds. I just watched a phone-recorded video of Dr. Dre in the studio, pointing at the rapper by his side—forever-grinding Seattle native J.Pinder—and calling him and Texas producer S1 the next superstars, declaring that he was getting inspired by their work. There's more, and it's gonna keep coming. We're here, let's go, let's go, let's go. Despite the bullshit.