ASHERU feat. Talib Kweli / “Mood Swing”

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8 Responses to “ASHERU feat. Talib Kweli / “Mood Swing””

Anonymous Says:
October 2nd, 2005 at 9:26 am

the cosby show (you know, when clair & cliff have a romantic outing in their living room) is where i first heard mr ellington’s “in a sentimental mood.”

cos has his hang ups, but i thank him for that image he placed on the screen in “84/85.” i knew this beautiful song, before being exposed to the music of these extrodinary musicieans (hell, i didn’t know hear coltrane’s name until PE’s: rebel without a pause (88).

After spikes lee’s, “mo’ better blues” in 91(?), every so called “cultural” young adult was coping trane. That’s when i truly became exposed to the colab between duke and trane. spiritually, my life has never been the same.

Big ups’ to kalamu (a serious music critic) & my main man aumra (a true jazz head and wonderful musician) for being my laterns in the blue black roads of our music. I will not pretend to be an expert about any genre but, “hip hop.” so these brothers (along with the great “kid jordan” in my music 101 class at “Southern University at New Orleans”) have enlightened me to the type of uplifting music that i need in my bloated veins today.

Now Asheru, talib, and the unspoken heard i’m up on. Been up on the “heard” since the latter part of the last century. Grown folk hip hop is what i call it. Asheru’s first album, “soon come” (which he recorded with this brother named, Blue Black) is a bona fide classic. The “mood swing”, which i heard a few times on college radio, could have easily made that masterpiece if it was recorded a few years before.

not being able to access the plethora of recordings i accumulated over the years (some fruit fertilizer, many goose grease for the soul)
is difficult at times.

you don’t know how much i appreciate this juke box right now.

thank you mtume.

youngblood Says:
October 3rd, 2005 at 12:18 am
i had said i wasn’t gonna write nommo post like this. having grown a thick, razor sharp hide i didn’t wanna be touched. and for those who dared to put their hands on me i wanted to draw blood. i had promised myself that no matter who or what i read or how provocative it was that none of this shit was gonna get to me. but when you’re up to your ass in aligators it’s hard to come to grips with the mistake of not having planned on some mutha fucker movin the swamp.

you know, swamps are a viable ecosystem through which all water has to flow in order to remain a vital, life-giving source. if water ceases to find its way back to its source it may as well stagnate as it will surely become a source of ill health and death. i remember when Miles, coming back on the scene after being gone for years, was down right depressed with where he was musically. Miles felt as if the shit he was doing just wasn’t right somehow. Chick Corea suggested that Miles go back and play ballads again. Miles knew that as an artist you can’t really go home again. in order to grow, you gotta move on. so, the solution to knowledge of self…

death changes people. and not just the emotional and physical change the body undergoes which is unfathomable in and of itself. but death also changes those of us who are left behind to bear witness to the surprise of faces frozen by the abrupt end of a once warm body that had the sudden coolness of everlasting peace imposed from without. but we must somehow find a way to go on living. what? oh, okay. yeah, i’m in a mutha fuckin sentimental mood swing!

i opened the latest national geographic and saw a full page layout, a panoramic photograph of the circle food store shot from just under interstate 10. amidst the murky flood water an anonymous Black man floated face down. i guess perhaps We are all anonymous. just as anonymous as the millions of Rwandans, Haitians and Sudanese who have also been “laid out” in the pages of national geographic. if there was no sound or subtitles them images from cnn could have been anywhere in the world where Black people live.

new orleans is hallowed. the land is consecrated; bathed in blood of her sons and daughters and water of the gods. its history, once colored by the cabildo’s stained glass, now streaks down in shards of sharp, unfiltered yellow. the dead rest – still above ground – in light of frozen stares and the detached leer of sightseers recreation. the deceased spirits hover just above bodies patiently waiting for bureaucrats to prioritize their expiation.

so you see? i suppose you can say i’m sentimental alright. i get sentimental when remembering Alvin Alcorn and Alvin Thomas, Danny Barker and James Black and of all youngbloods tied to older musicians like ligatures that bound green reeds that eloquently speak through ancient mouthpieces.

i get sentimental but i ain’t no damn fool because when i see what those bastards did to my people; those religious, political and business leaders who have become so perverted with power and could only find satisfaction in the body of its tender innocents and trusting only in the legal tender of commercial trade, those keepers of castles who had become as sly and cunning as wolves and grinned like jackals with the remnants of the community’s heart stuck in their teeth. yeah, sometimes i get sentimental like dante on an acid trip because although i long justice with – all the passion of a super nova – i ultimately know that there is no subbasement in hell low enough nor white-hot enough to fry these mutha fuckers in the manner in which they deserve.

for that anonymous cat,
i love you, brotherman
stay up

Stephanie Renee Says:
October 3rd, 2005 at 8:37 am

I am an ardent fan of this forum, and have sung BOL’s praises on my own podcast for opening my ears to some great music that may have otherwise taken years to reach me. (Like Beady Belle – WOOHOO, you made me a fan!)

I just wanted to add one other note to this fine assessment…the gentleman singing the background vocals is RAHEEM DEVAUGHN, now signed to Jive. Interestingly enough, the first single from his CD The Love Experience, “Guess Who Loves You More,” interpolates another beloved classic track: EWF’s “Can’t Hide Love.”

Such talented brotherhood featured on this song, and as a native DC girl, it’s ALWAYS good to see my hometown folks getting some love. Asheru is da bomb…and he, along with my boy Priest Da Nomad (another uber-talented DC area MC), do call their sound “grown folks’ hiphop.” Ain’t it good to know that we’re listening? 🙂

Jurij Ganjov Says:
October 3rd, 2005 at 10:01 am

Thanks for the post! being a (maybe more a in the know) hungarian hiphop fan its always hard to get to the originals, see the oldies stations play something different here in eastern europe. the absolute good thing about this one is 1. i love unspoken heard, it is definitely grown man music or i would rather say mature hiphop (did i just say the same thing twice?) 2. although i did know about this one, i’m reading a coltrane bio at the moment so basically you just made a soundtrack for my next two page or so… bless you for the post!

Paul Says:
October 3rd, 2005 at 4:53 pm

Great post – I love to hear about connections like this between songs – i think it give great depth to the listening experience – and I love an excuse to go revisit and rediscover a classic.

Tif Says:
October 3rd, 2005 at 10:53 pm

I was totally ignorant of the fact that the Duke had composed the track 30 years prior to the version I thought original (collab with Coltrane) I just listened to both versions and it’s amazing how genius expounds genius. I further appreciate the names of Asheru, Raheem DeVaughn, Fertile Ground, being incorporated into this discussion, I feel amongst giants in working with these latter day greats.

Bilal Salaam Says:
October 4th, 2005 at 7:50 am

U can also connect fertile ground w/asheru. The fellow on the hook of mood swings (raheem devaughn) is on a song called “freedom” from fertile’s season change album.

Ric Says:
October 5th, 2005 at 2:59 pm

Oh man. I’ve never heard this but I always knew TK was the man. And Asheru’s new, but I’ll be digging in the Coltrane later tonight!


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