All I need to write, Grant Snider
You kicked my ass but I’m alive.
Sink into yesterday. I’ll hold the pieces I pieced together. I cam to you in pieces and left you the same. This I know, and I’ll be damned but Marjorie was right: you have to figure out you first. So I did. And so, this:
1. I want no yesterday but the letters I choose.
2. I want no judgmental people in my circumference. So poof, vamoose.
3. If I’m bored, I’m ghost; the rest of it be damned.
4. Music is the best escape.
5. I. Need. To. Make. More. Time. To. Write.
6. A little bit of whiskey goes a long way (see #5)
7. A lotta bit of coffee goes further. (see 5, then 6)
8. Don’t just say yes. Don’t just say to speak. Improve upon the silence or keep it trapped behind your beak.
9. Look at things the way you want to look at them. Chip the traits from your idols piecemeal to shape your hero.
10. When it’s time to say goodnight, say goodnight.
11. Friends are what you make them. Make them know, though, that you care.
12. Don’t just give. Some people don’t know what to do with it.
13. Be explicit.
14. Stop counting.
There it is. Words of wisdom.
On a night like tonight 10 years ago I was driving around Miami in my ‘96 maroon Nissan Sentra, paint peeling from the roof like continents slowly emerging from the sea, lining beneath it sagging like my hopes for the album after track 4. Something was wrong. The record, Seven’s Travels, was advertised like a B-Sides collections for its life changing predecessor godlovesugly, but was touted as a distinct collection when the time came for the album to be promoted. Why did it sound so much like a disjointed collection? I was frustrated.
But to be fair, I was frustrated already. Girlfriend blues, a lousy semester, and a search for a bar that didn’t exist. The music came off as jarring: something about a bird and slug was screaming, the intro that could only be rapped over by Slug was relegated to an intro laced with an airport voice, and then something about walls that sounded like a circus… hmm. That was the one. “Gotta Lotta Walls”. It sounded like I felt. And at that moment, I hit back on the CD player and listened. It starts with the lines that defined me at the time: “Dialed up my homie Murs on the telephone, gotta talk to somebody who can tell me what the hell is wrong”. Switch Murs with Dante (Nick) and you have me. To. A. T.
If godloveugly was a rejuvenation in my faith for Hip-Hop, this one allowed me to define myself by it again. Firmly. Truly. I struggled with the album for bit. It took multiple listens for me to enjoy the oddball, sing-song “Apple”, the skit “Jason”, and the loopy “Los Angeles”. But then you connect to an album. It stays in your car deck. The artwork flits through your mind as the songs play, the varied nature of the songs becomes an arhythmic rhythm. The beats and the lyrics, instead of being song I related to, began to play as the soundtrack to my memories. The instinct to my most basic movements. This was reading literature so vivid that you can’t process the fact that someone else wrote it.
There were other things. “Denvermolorado” was me after rejection, “Liquor Lyles Cool July” was me hoping the waitress, at least, would pay attention, “Shoes” was a perfect, perfect, perfect narrative rap song- and a beat to which I wrote one of my best rhymes- “Trying to Find a Balance” would become my theme song and remain so to this day. “Lifter Puller”, only this year, would come to define a recent downfall.
This is but the postcard. Soon, you’ll visit there with me- a song by song breakdown perhaps? Yes. It’s in order. It deserves it. Never thought I’d be saying Happy Anniversary to an album, but Happy Anniversary. I’m always coming back home to you.
@atmosphere @rhymesayers 10 years. Slug taught me how to brag and still be self-deprecating.
Due to persistent public demand, this is now available as a print or a tee over at Society6. Click Here!
But I might keep it up there for only a limited time. Maybe. I’ll give it till the end of October. Happy Halloween anyway!
LRI would like to pay our respects to Clarence Wolf Guts the Last Lakota code talker from WWII
Below is from the Todd County Tribune
Last Lakota code talker Clarence Wolf Guts dies at 86
When the towers of the World Trade Center f…ell on Sept. 11, 2001, Clarence Wolf Guts asked his son to call the U.S. Department of Defense to see if the country needed his code talking abilities to find Osama Bin Laden.
Wolf Guts was in his late 70s at the time, so his son, Don Doyle, did not make the call, but said the request personified his father’s love of country.
“He still wanted to help. He was trying to still be patriotic,” Doyle said.
Wolf Guts, 86, the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker, died Wednesday afternoon at the South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
A Native American code talker from World War II, Wolf Guts helped defeat Axis forces by transmitting strategic military messages in his native language, which the Japanese and Germans couldn’t translate.
“He’s the last surviving code talker from the whole (Lakota) nation. It’s going to be a little like the passing of an era,” Doyle said.
The 450 Navajo code talkers were the most famous group of Native American soldiers to radio messages from the battlefields, but 15 other tribes used their languages to aid the Allied efforts in World War II. Wolf Guts was one of 11 Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Native American code talkers from South Dakota. Wolf Guts, of Wamblee, enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 17, 1942, at age 18. While in basic training, a general asked Wolf Guts if he spoke Sioux. He explained the three dialects to the general and said he spoke Lakota. Wolf Guts helped develop a phonetic alphabet based on Lakota that was later used to develop a Lakota code.
He and three other Sioux code talkers joined the Pacific campaign; Wolf Guts’ primary job was transmitting coded messages from a general to his chief of staff in the field.
Pfc. Wolf Guts was honorably discharged on Jan. 13, 1946, but the horrors of war followed him home and he turned to alcohol to forget, Doyle said.
“He tried to keep it all inside,” Doyle said.
About a decade ago, Wolf Guts started to share his experiences as a code talker with his son and the public.
Doyle said his father’s deeply religious way of life was also a part of the stories. He always thanked God for bringing him home.
With the sharing of his story came recognition of his service and honors, including national acknowledgement through the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 championed by senators Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and John Thune, R-S.D.
Both senators honored Wolf Guts efforts and offered their sympathies on Thursday night.
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Clarence Wolf Guts. He and his fellow Code Talkers have had a lasting impact on the course of history and helped lead the Allies to success during World War II. He will be greatly missed, but his contributions to our state and nation will live on,” said Johnson.
“Clarence Wolf Guts was an American hero; he was courageous and self-sacrificing. I have a great deal of respect for Clarence and for the extraordinary contributions Mr. Wolf Guts made to our country. The efforts of the Lakota Code Talkers saved the lives of many soldiers, and for too long went unrecognized. Kimberley and I wish to express our sympathy to his family during this difficult time,” Thune said.
Doyle said his father was humbled by the recognition, but was proud of his service during the war. Wolf Guts’ desire to help others continued throughout his life well after the war ended.
“He considered himself just a man, nobody important. A man that tried to make life better for his family and his people. To me that is his legacy, to be able to help people,” Doyle said. “To him, that was being warrior.”