I got J-Dilla’s loopy masterpiece Donuts on full blast, and seeing as I own the biggest speakers on the block, the whole neighborhood is hearing “Geek Down” whether they like it or not. For a platter recorded by a man on his death bed, a man who knew he was headed for the void, this album is crazy joyful, a rollicking sonic boom boom that never stops knocking, and yet it was recorded from a hospital bed as the young Yancey withered away in excruciating pain. This album is what we call a true triumph of the will. Shelby’s walking the dogs up and down the block, and my next door neighbor Luis’ son, who’s around 4, keeps running out the front door and yelling at me in Spanish before running back inside laughing his little head off. Halloween is fast approaching, and the kids on this block are ready… they always are. We hand out candy a little different around these parts… if you’re costume is radical and full of imagination, you can earn yourself up to 10 pieces of candy, but if you’re costume is straight up wacktacular, well, you just earned yourself a roll of floss. Now kick rocks Green Power Ranger, ain’t nobody down with Tommy no more.
It’s cloudy and cool, and everyone is out on their stoops and porches — Fred Next Door, which is the name he goes by, just walked out with a beer, and Fred Next Door has the right idea. As I walk through the living room, headed for the fridge, I see Harvey Weinstein’s mutant face on the muted TV and think to myself: “Fuckin gross” I’m 100 percent done with disgusting old men, I’m done with seeing them, hearing them and even vaguely knowing about their heinous existence. When I saw America’s new champion in mass shooting Stephen Paddock for the first time, I thought to myself “now that’s what you actually see inside a Hooters”… some worn-out gym sock of a dude who collects guns and ammo the way I collect Waylon and Dilla. There are currently two whole generations of old bros towering over everyone, the boomers and the graying grungers, and both can’t make it inside that grave fast enough for me. It’s twenty seventeen — there ain’t no such thing as wise old men, so like if you’re of the AARP crowd, dude, do us all a favor, sit down and shut the fuck up forever, from our Coward and Chief to these dipshit coaches and all the played out geriatric dorks in between. Yo, get lost and stay lost cause your shit ain’t banging in the streets, and I really doubt it ever did. Right as I’m headed back out the front door Donuts concludes, so I switch it over to Welcome 2 Detroit, the Dilla album that sounds as if you’re either heading to, or leaving, from a midnight rondayvough with a special someone. It’s the sound of windows rolled down and wheels rolling slow and low.
Back on the porch with beers in tow I can see the train down the way has stopped, and it’s just sitting there, and Shelby is walking the fat ass woofers up the steps. “I’m gonna take a nap,” she says. “These little turds have me beat.” I walk in behind her, turn off the stereo and then head back outside, this time with my device where I pull up Dilla’s The Shining, and pop in my ear buds just in time for the Common-dominated track “E=MC2.” That has my favorite intro in song history, a distorted vocoded vocal sings the title to the song over a tiny, Casio-sounding drum loop for about a full measure, when out of nowhere Dilla lays on the actual beat right on top of everything, and it’s a whopper, allowing for the whole song to blow the fuck up! Yo, I hope this really is the end for Harvey Weinstein, but I also know that Victor Salva just released “Jeeper’s Creeper’s 3,” and Bryan Singer is gonna direct another X-Men picture, and Woody Allen has a new film coming out, and Roman Polanski was crowned the king of France or some such nonsense at some bullshit ceremony in the last year or so… So, yeah, being evil is easy when you’re rich as fuck. What’s that D’Angelo line? “Ain’t no justice, it’s just us” — like, J-Dilla’s dead, but the principal from Ferris Bueller lives on.
That ain’t fuckin fair!