Through April and May 2015 I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Most who know me know I’m all into hip hop/rap, love a good freestyle – still saving up to get T.H.U.G L.I.F.E tattooed across my stomach. So lucky star for me, there was a cool shit dive bar two steps from my apartment and on the night we rolled in, they homies was (gangsta talk, ya feel) showcasing a round robin of rappers, mixed and diverse (as in some of them were White … er of Caucasian, Anglo Saxon looking, non-African American, non – ..er … you know ethnic … let’s not do this here, maybe later on another topic) gents … and they had real talent. Small space, big crowd, mega beats, rainbow flashy lights and a screen playing some 70s porn (or porn from when it was the in thing for the chick to have a massive hairy bush).
It kicked off with some of it being great, after some drinks most of it was pure brilliance, at a much later point I saw all of it in 5D (like 3D but looks much closer), and then someone started blowing on an orchestra quality trumpet (was this person a hologram or real, who cares?). I became a witness to exceptional mastery and craft. Pay over a hundred bucks for a rah rah Broadway musical in Manhattan or pay hardly anything to take the grittier road off the sheeple grazing field … I pity the fool in this mad city who doesn’t know how to get get get it …
This instillation is the work of Pepon Osorio, a Puerto Rican artist. The cats are huge and imposing and looked quirkily cartoonish until I took in the whole scene with the gold OG baller medallions around their necks – once you do, it all starts to make too much sense.
‘ … These oversize domestic animals (their scale accentuated by the small table they sit on) may say something about the exaggerated role that our fears and denials play within our own imaginations.’
People like saying, saying through scribbling and pasting up thoughts, I’ve noticed in New York peeps particularly like doing this saying on city and council property (rebel ballers these Yanks, land of the free etc.). The ones I choose to capture are often just a short phrase, or even one word – relayed and positioned with intention, to show and not tell. A city of millions is also a massive pool of spontaneous brain transmissions and leakage branded throughout the city as everyone splits and rushes through the streets, tunnels and gutters. In one day I see so many sayings, an American friend asked me which ones I relate to and agree with the most – the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, the ‘cynical’ or ‘uplifting’. I relate to being a real person so I also relate to the question itself being bullshit (sorry, but not sorry American friend). Do these ideas really have a set philosophical temperature? Are these notions rival separates – what, we pick a side and stick with it all gangland ride or die style till judgement day?
Consistency for mass produced goods is commerce, a person claiming it as their adopted state of mind is a liar.
I’ve both forgiven and revenge culled the shit out of those who’ve done me wrong.
I’ve both sidelined doubt and pride to fight on while other times I’ve folded and gotten shit faced when the odds were stacked up heavily against all my highest bets.
And I’ve craved and basked in the comfort of work security and then thought of fucking off doing the running man out the office door to be a pygmy nomad selling sexy dance to get by (‘eh, yoo wan sum boi?’). I never understood fully ascribing to militantly being an ‘optimist’ or ‘pessimist’, as a real person, is that possible? Just be honest. High, low, dark or light, joy, despair, loving life or willing death – perspectives and actions can dip along with the stages of life, when it’s hailing down shit pellets or when every egg is landing sunny side up – it’s all about the wisdom/vulnerability/resilience ratio at any time.
And remember for some, it can dip not because of where they’re at but because of what they have, so let them ride through that shit-storm even when all you see, no matter how hard you look, is all their eggs sunny side up.
As in I noticed the streets in this area are enticing you to become a drunk muthapickled drooling mummy with its endless rows of boards advertising Happy Hour … an hour so ‘happy happy good fanks’ it goes on for eight hours. If you have a hernia or just can’t afford to pay anyone to create you a new identity to escape your partner and kids etc., you can probably drink enough around a few blocks in this area on the cheap to dissolve your entire stomach, making you so wasted you’ll wake up looking like a lopsided mutant and have to go into hiding.
Someone’s always letting loose in the New York subway with that black marker. I’m not fully sure what ‘Your cells contain the universe’ means. Maybe it’s a statement about energy or that we’re all each within ourselves – enough, that all things as matter are inextricably linked and feed into each other in harmonious synthesis etc. I dunno son as these types of concepts don’t resonate with me. My observation is an overwhelming sense that many people feel that they’re far off from being enough, which is why they self-sabotage, regret, and/or just act like cunts.
When you read snap shot somethings, it usually only resonates if you agree and you’re able to actualise the sentiment from how you see others – confirmation bias rules it all fuckers. For myself, this subway message conveys a sense and state of peace that the Z-grade wiring and chemical orgy in my brain simply won’t allow. I think I get what it means but I don’t buy it. However, there was one sole person in my life that I sent this picture to directly because I knew she would get it and possibly does believe it. She has a sense of wonder and belief in the good graces of the universe that I have a misalignment with (I know, I know, how could you ever tell). But my disbelief doesn’t make noticing the words, taking the picture, and the act of sharing it any less sincere by me. And neither does my disbelief render the expression of the one who held the black marker any less true. The worth of things noticed, captured and shared doesn’t all start and end with me (or you) and thank fuck for that.
It was awhile ago but when it happened I was here …
And I’m still here (I’m everywhere – in the USA, in Australia, in your worst nightmares if you shit me) … here for whatever happens next … in the meanwhile here’s more of the Cheetos … and the Cheetos hat, plus some other pics:
Yeah that’s right – the title to the left is a rap and I rapped it as I typed it. For a girl who grew up in some of the shittiest suburbs of Melbourne (you know, the areas where tracksuit pants are considered as formal evening wear), I was hooked on hip hop and obsessed with rap before my folks got me hooked on rice for breakfast (you’d think we’d be the fattest fucks in the world the way we consume rice – my mum had her first Big Mac with a side of rice all consumed with chinga brand chilli sauce & a pair of chopsticks). I could relate to the themes of the hip hop genre with its talk of struggle and marginalisation. Many Chinese elders in the community I knew also had gold teeth so I felt an affinity with the rap artists as well. And when I think of the home of both hip hop and one of my fave rappers (Biggy Smalls) my thighs vibrate, I go crazy shaky and then I get all warm, sticky and moist (on my forehead) – I hit New York City for the 3rd time a few weeks ago and as usual the summer vibe there was rocking red hot and on smoky fire! I didn’t just walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, baby I was dancing over it doing the ‘runnin’ man’ forwards, backwards and on the side with arms waving. I looked like a smacked up Japanese tourist slash go-go-go dancer on fertile heat. I love you New York! And some fine buff bodied looking brothers of the city walking over that bridge too I found – made me go all warm, sticky and moist (on my forehead).
Just an unanswered question from EmpressEv’s ‘Book of Why?’ that still puzzles me even after my triple visit to the States: Why has a snack food titled ‘Cheesy Nips’ been permitted to continue trade under this particularly ambiguous name? And how has it done so without instigating racial rioting? Because when I think ‘Cheesy Nips’ I don’t think of a conveniently tasty & crunchy snack in a box, I think more of an image of some whacky Asian chick doing the ‘runnin’ man’ dancin’, skippin’ & gyratin’ over the Brooklyn Bridge…..