Monday, May 26, 2014

New Song: KNOCK (Blamsiss Remix); Free Download + Some Thoughts on #YesAllWomen

Business first: here's a new song for you. Free download. Blamsiss reached out to me a few months ago about potentially doing a song, and this beat immediately grabbed my attention. Beautiful. Official blurb:

A brand new, original remix of the most cutting song from Guante's 2014 experimental mixtape "DUNGEONS," "Knock" can be summed up in one line: "there's a difference between tragedy and injustice." Over a haunting, hypnotic banger from up-and-coming Minneapolis producer Blamsiss, Guante challenges listeners to dig deeper, to explore how so much of the pain we experience in life has its roots not in "destiny" or "circumstance," but in how society is set up to benefit some at the expense of others.

Recorded/Mixed by Graham O'Brien at Bellows STP, 2014
Download the original version, plus the entire "DUNGEONS" project, HERE.

Normally, that's where this post would end. Download the new song, check out the DUNGEONS mixtape if you missed it, etc. But this is a song I've been writing for a long time. And with everything that's happened over the past week-- the UC-Santa Barbara shooting, the #YesAllWomen hashtag, and the ongoing conversation around how gender-based violence is rooted in specific social/cultural attitudes and practices, the song has taken on new meaning. Here's what I've been thinking lately, pulled from my Facebook page:

I don't believe in "isolated incidents." It's easy to look at the shooting in CA last night as the work of an "unbalanced individual," as the media might say, but all of us are products of a culture in which gender-based violence is anything but out-of-the-ordinary.

Especially for those of us who are men, let's challenge ourselves to explore our own complicity in this culture, and ultimately to change this culture. I've written about how men can do this before; don't know what else to post right now.

Also, if you're on Twitter, I hope you're checking out the #YesAllWomen conversation. Thousands of women are taking the time and energy to share their personal stories and experiences regarding misogyny, rape culture, etc. As men, we need to listen... and we also need to be having these kinds of conversations with one another too.

Even beyond this movement, there's been stuff like Ta-Nehisi Coates' brilliant "The Case for Reparations" in the Atlantic, the whole Macklemore fiasco, the Slate article about how millenials don't understand racism, and more. So many opportunities to not just jump on the "outrage of the day" bandwagon, but to really examine the root causes of identity-based oppression and do something about them. I hope we are taking advantage of these opportunities-- thinking critically, challenging ourselves and our friends/families, and ultimately changing. Just... changing. Our attitudes, our actions, our world, etc.

To bring it full circle, THAT's what this song is about. Bad things don't just happen because the world is a bad place. Specific policies, practices, traditions and attitudes have been set up over time to all but ensure that tragedies happen, again and again. You can't fight destiny, but you can fight injustice.

I don't know if destiny is real. But misogyny is real. Racism is real. Economic inequality is real. And we can only fight back when we understand the foundation on which those institutions are built, when we see the big picture. #YesAllWomen, I think, is giving us (men especially), a glimpse of that big picture. Let's pay attention.

1 comment:

Sam Bliss said...

So happy to be behind Guante while he paints this picture. What a guy.