Before Satch Let Go

I will try to end the year with a bit more action on this here blog. So to get things rolling I figured I’d do a blog interview since I haven’t done one in awhile. Today’s interviewee is a fellow Jacksonian aka Jacktown Ju. The way we came to know of each other is very funny. Twitter was the actual connection. We’d soon come to find out that we had quite a few mutual friends. Doesn’t that sound very Jackson? If that’s not enough, how about me and one of his sisters went to the same schools from 4th grade through 12th grade (I think we even went to Hinds and Jackson State together)! Hilarious stuff. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of six degrees of separation. Well in the Jackson Metro Area, I feel that number can be reduced to “2 or 3”. We may not know it right off the bat but there’s usually some connection. Think about all the times your parents or family asked about someone and then it turns into “You know that’s T-Bird’s son. T-Bird lived around the corner from us growing up…” The best moment for me used to be going somewhere with my dad. That dude knows a lot of people in Jackson. We could never go anywhere without him stopping to have a long conversation. Well this promises to be a funny and good interview with the homie Satch. Yes, he doubles as Delroy Lindo and was once auditioning to be Yasiin Bey (Mos Def).

We’ll get this out of the way early. Will the Cowboys EVER be great again? And if you believe they will, how do they get there?

Of course the Cowboys will be great again. Sports has cycles. The best teams in all sports have had their share of ups and downs. I believe the success of any franchise in any sport begins with the front office. And at some point (I don’t know when) the ‘Boys will be blessed with front office execs that focus on building a team the right way, from GM to coach, to players. Maybe it will take the team leaving the hands of the Jones’s. If so, I pray I’m alive and aware to be able to witness and enjoy it.

LeBron has now joined the Lakers. Is one ring enough? What’s the best case scenario for you as a fan?

LEBRON IS A LAKER. This is a dream come true. My current favorite player (and also the best since Kareem) is on my favorite team. If he is able to guide this team TO the finals, win or lose, I will be satisfied. Especially since we’re in the same division as those pesky Warriors. I’ve held that Lebron has surpassed a certain HoFer who will remain nameless ever since he won a title with the CLEVELAND CAVALIERS. The fact that this man brought a title to the city of Cleveland, Ohio, and in the most dominant fashion any of have ever seen (although some are too petty to admit), is enough to supplant whoever that other guy is and establish as the second-best NBA player ever. And he can pass Kareem as the greatest in my opinion if he can lead the Lakers to just one championship. Because I’m a spoiled Laker fan, the best case scenario for me would be that we go to the Finals every year that he’s on the team. You do realize that the Lakers are the ONLY FRANCHISE IN THE NBA TO PLAY IN THE FINALS AT LEAST ONCE EVERY DECADE. We’ll be back. I believe.

Will the Dodgers end their postseason woes?

As far as the Dodgers go, 2017 was our best chance. I’m still upset that I couldn’t attend Game 4 of the World Series because I had an exam that I couldn’t get out of. We’re looking like ‘Dem Bums from the 50s. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I would like to be optimistic, but if we can’t win just one with this team and this front office, it might not be in the cards for us.

Switching gears, where does your love of music stem from?

I guess my love for music stems from my dad. He had a ton of vinyl. I guess part of the allure was that me touching my dad’s records was off limits. I remember clearly my parents would have parties and they’d play a lot of Prince, MJ, Lakeside, EWF etc., and everyone would be in there dancing. The rhythms lured me in. At a young age I was able to key in on every element of a song: the vocals, the instrumentation, the melodies, harmonic structure, etc. And each time, I hear something different. So there’s always something new for me each  time I hear a song.

We’ve discussed this a few times on social media and you have some interesting thoughts on RAP and JAZZ. Where do you stand with both genres at this time?

As far as rap goes, it needs to die. And I rap. But I firmly believe that the most important feature in Black music that separates it from all other musics in the world is that it is fluid. Exploitation & mimicry have been partly responsible for this. But it goes a little deeper. Black people’s experience in America has been about adaptation and survival. So we’ve always had the ability to reshape and redefine ourselves. That trait is evident in our music. We went from Blues, to the J-word, to Rock, to R&B, to funk, to Rap, and hopefully, the next thing. All of these forms had about 20-30 years of being THE popular form. Rap has been mainstream for far too long. It’s not just the mere existence of rap or the “trap/mumble rap” that is rotting the music. More critical is the unjust and unfair comparison between generations of rap. It’s simply not fair to compare an XXX-tentnagjslfosgeeon with someone like Big Daddy Kane. Not just in skill level, but in the environment that made the “Golden Era of Hip Hop” (be it ’88, ’93, or ’96) what it is. The entire music industry was different and artists/groups like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, NWA, Geto Boys, Redman, et al were able to thrive for reasons that go beyond just being able to rap. So yeah, rap needs to die and the young people need to create something new that is exclusively theirs.

With J***, I do not call it by the name everyone else does. First and foremost, the word “jazz” was used as a derogatory term to denigrate black musicians. This is not opinion. This is fact. In the early stages of Black American Music, white musicians would mockingly play in the style of black musicians, beginning with the Original Dixieland “Jass” Band in 1917. That word was rooted in the mockery of black musicians by their white counterparts. “Jass” became “Jazz”. Previously, mainstream America condemned this music originated by Black musicians, claiming that it would lead to the corruption of American society. Women would become loose and give in to debauchery, teenagers would start smoking reefer, and all the work of the Constitutional Congress would be eradicated. It wasn’t until this mockery that the music began to be accepted. But since white musicians had to look to their black counterparts for “inspiration”, the black musicians always had a home. 

“Jazz” is a name that commodifies. “Jazz” puts the black musician in a box. To call Miles a “jazz” musician completely negates ALL of his cocaine-influenced masterpieces of the 70s (You wouldn’t dare refer to da Vinci as simply, a painter). Because it certainly isn’t “jazz”. Labeling Duke Ellington a “jazz” composer minimizes his major compositions that rival with any of the classical giants of European music. Unfortunately, these legends of Black American Music and others had to label themselves and their product as “Jazz” just to sell a record because many consumers, while hip enough to enjoy, didn’t dig deep enough, or passively ignored the racism behind the whole scene. In short, I don’t really do genres. Never really did. I just never heard music and categorized it that way. It grooves or it doesn’t groove. It slaps or it don’t. That’s it.

The title of this blog is “Before Satch Let Go”…tell the people why it’s time to drop “Before I Let Go” by Maze & Frankie Beverly from the party playlist.

“BEFORE I LET GO” NEEDS TO DIE. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a great song. It is. But we have so much great music and we are not a basic people. I’m a believer in transition. I’m a man of faith and faith in the afterlife. Playing that song less does a couple of things: First, it makes DJ’s/curators have to actually work and not rely on that song as a crutch. WE ARE NOT BASIC PEOPLE. Secondly, it frees us up to really listen and enjoy other great songs that groove as well or (dare I say) better than “Before I Let Go”. By letting that song die, we will finally allow it to receive the “perfect form” that God has promised to all that is righteous. Let that damn song get its heavenly body.

Which of your TV show theories is your favorite? Saved by the Bell or Family Matters

LOL so the two theories are: 1) Steve Urkel is Carl Winslow’s illegitimate lovechild and 2) Zack Morris and AC Slater are Mr. Belding’s id and superego, a way for him to guiltlessly fantasize about the girls at Bayside High. The Family Matters theory is my favorite. However, I need to spend more time developing the Saved By The Bell theory. I think that one, once formalized, can actually be stronger than the Family Matters theory.

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