Friday, February 20, 2009

jerry beads and busta rhymes

This week I sang and played at a benefit for the bushfires . In New York at "The Australian Bar" together with Lisa Parrott, Ben Van Der Vaal and Fiona McBain we performed pieces by : Bernie McGann , Mike Nock , INXS , The Divynils , Midnight Oil and Daddy Cool . We also performed Lisa's lovely bebop arrangement of "the road to gundagai " .We would have played more jazz , but tell that to the 400 beer-soaked Aussies singing Jimmy Barnes " Working Class Man " to the jukebox when we arrived .

I am a big fan of American music . 1900-2000 was the "American Century" as far as culture is concerned . In my lifetime ( born 1969) I have seen a great deal of amazing Aussie music too , most of which has yet to receive much international recognition . I received an email today from the Melbourne Jazz Festival and saw that they have booked : Jim Black , Ornette Coleman , Cecil Taylor , Ethan Iverson , Bill Frisell , Nels Kline , Tim Berne and Joshua Redman and a few Australians for their festival . All outstanding American musician's to be sure , but personally I wonder if the Australian tax-payers money could be better spent .  Especially considering many of those artists have already toured Australia in the last 5 years or so . I doubt that we will see many Australian's performing at U.S festivals soon ...  Why not invite musicians from Japan , Germany , Africa etc and try and form some sort of reciprocal partnership instead  ? This is a changing trend I see down under , especially if you consider that the Sydney Sympony Orchestra now regularly performs with American guest artists which is also funded by the taxpayer to some degree . It's difficult for these orchestras to survive and they have to get " bums on seats" I guess . The combination of our popular culture , radio , TV , press giving a great deal of time to American music means that Wynton Marsalis and hundreds of other American jazz and other musicians are household names in Australia yet James Muller is not . I think the taxpayer's dollars should be spent on a better infrastructure for Australian musicians . There should be small venues built in each city which could be hired for a small fee , which come with government subsidised accomodation for touring artists . There should be a good network of international festivals featuring Australian composers and performers with similar accomodation ( in New York , London , Paris , Berlin etc ...) . Australian musicians should get their travel costs subsidised . I am trying to set up such a festival in New York and hope to get it off the ground in September . I don't think handing money to individual artists in the form of grants is a great idea . The infrastructure should be provided first I think . If the government is to fund orchestra's , they should expected perform a good percentage of Australian music and feature Australian performers . In my opinion , the concept of an "orchestra" with an instrumentation devised by 19th century European's is best suited to performing music written before any music was written in Australia . There should be more emphasis on funding ensembles that feature music written by Australians, for Australian performers and for Australian audiences . I am not for "tearing down" the institutions that exist , and sincerely hope that future generations continue to play European classical music , and great music and concepts created by American's such as Duke Ellington , Charlie Parker , Ornette Coleman etc . That being said I think it is high time that we stood up and took a greater value in our own rich cultural history . It should be taught at the conservatorium . When I was there we where forced to learn about 50 Amercian tunes written mostly in the ( first !) great depression .

I remember living in Sydney watching "Jerry Springer" etc on the television and wondering who made the decision to broadcast it down under . I also couldn't forget seeing Busta Rhymes on a Sunday Morning TV music show in Sydney around 2003 . I imagined a future generation of Aussie kids force-fed the very worst of America without getting to see the best that Australia has to offer . I have reprinted the lyrics of Busta's timeless rap " Nigga's gonna break your motherfucking neck " below :

"Break Ya Neck"

[Busta Rhymes]
Yea.. Check it out, see
The only thing you need to do right here is,
Is nod your fuckin head
Yeah, yeah
Break ya fuckin neck bitches
Yeah, yeah
Here we go now..

Where we goin now?
Where we goin now?
Give it away, give it away, give it away now
Give it away, give it away, give it away now
Just give it away nigga
Yeah, here we go now

[Verse 1]
Tell me wat'chu really wanna do (Come here ma)
Talk to a nigga, talk with me
You look like you could really give it to a nigga,
from the way you talk and the way ya try to walk for me
The way you really try to put it on a dawg
Threw ya hips like ya never did before for me
The way you break yo' back, and I break yo' neck,
and the way you try to put it on the floor for me
(Come on!) Come on (Come on!) Oh yeah
Tell me where my niggas is at (Ok!!)
Lemme address y'all niggas one time,
while I lock that down, and I hit'cha wit that (YOU GONE!)
That bomb shit, y'all niggas gone all day
Be the nigga in the drop,
Y'all niggas know every time I come through,
this motherfucker, where we always takin the ride
(So let me do this bitch)
Y'all niggas know when we come, we be makin it flop,
the way we makin it hot'll make a nigga wanna stop... [pause]
Get money, then cash that check for me
All my niggas just bust yo' tech for me
Everybody from every hood bang yo' head,
'til you break your motherfuckin head for me!

Just let me give you real street shit,
to rap in yo' shit with
Recline yo' seat rewind this heat
Keep bouncin up and down these streets
So nod yo' head and
Break yo' neck nigga!
Break yo' neck nigga!
Break yo' neck nigga!
Bang yo' head until you start to
Break yo' neck nigga!
Break yo' neck nigga!
Break yo' neck nigga!
Break yo' neck!

[Verse 2]
Come along now (Let's put it down nigga!)
When I bounce back and you know I done caught my breath,
y'all niggas all know how we do,
when the way we bang niggas in the head, and we do it to death
(We fold 'em back whodi!) The fire boy, you know we bakin a ounce
I know you love the way we be givin you the music, makin you bounce
Now fuck it up just a little for my niggas,
everytime we come through niggas know that we did it for y'all (Uh-huh)
And the way we do it for the people,
niggas know we always give it to y'all
I said bounce (Come on!)
In the day time or the night, when ya creepin along,
Well just bang this shit up in the truck,
while you break yo' neck, now motherfucker try to figure my flow
See the way we come right through (When we come right through!)
We be always blowin the spot, again and again,
and make a nigga really wanna STOP... [pause]
Better tell yo' crew, yo' peeps,
all my niggas better put they troops on
And gather up your soldiers nigga,
you know you better keep yo' boots on
All my niggas in the place (Aiyyo!)
Wave your hands high now, and the way we put it down,
make a nigga wonder what he really gonna try now
What'cha really wanna do?
Just place your bet, and put'cha money where ya mouth is (Ah-hoo)
All my niggas in the street just break yo' neck and keep on boun-cin!


[Verse 3]
Here we go, and you know everytime Busta-Bus be holdin the fort,
my nigga watch how we shuttin it down,
The way we put it on, comin through like a steamroller,
me and Dre nigga ain't no fuckin around
My nigga (WHAT!) Yeah whattup,
Me and my team got a link cuz you know we stay choppin it up
And when get up in the club,
or how my niggas at the bar how we lockin it up
And we get a little (High!) And we get a little (Drunk!)
And we get a little (Crunk! Come on!)
Lemme give y'all niggas some shit,
that'll make you wanna bang this out yo' trunk (Come on!)
Get money, then cash that check for me
All my niggas just bust yo' tech for me
Everybody from every hood, bang yo' head,
'til you break yo' motherfuckin neck for me!


1 comment:

  1. Sean, you are spot on. There's lots money floating around for the arts, but it's all sucked up by the big cover bands (Opera Oz and the Symphonies). They should confiscate that money and pump it into original Australian music and musicians. Your suggestion of building infrastructure is a good idea. A bit like the "live house" concept in Japan - venues that can be hired cheaply and are fully equipped. Just turn up, plug in and go.