Short Notes: We Facin’ The Storm, Homie, We Ridin’ It Out

Jose Vilson Short Notes

Talib Kweli at Rock the Bells

A few links:

Talib Kweli’s “NY Weather Report” off the album Eardrum rings true now as it did with such quotes as

“Revelation is first and Armageddon is after
Tsunamis and hurricanes, natural disasters …”


“I send this out to my people facin’ the storm, homey we ridin’ it out
You inspire what I’m writin’ about …”

In the song, Talib Kweli takes us through a virtual state of the world, at least the one around him. That’s probably the beauty of rap: the ability to expound and lyrically. With an artist like Talib, he’s able to integrate his real core beliefs over a great beat in ways that others can’t.

Also notice the couplets I pulled out. In a strange turn of events, I was listening to the song right about when the unfortunate news of the 8.8 earthquake hit Chile, and caused panic all across the Pacific. The power of this dynamic voice to relate things that happened 3 years ago (the song came out in 2007) says lots about how we as a culture have become more global. Rap, when used effectively, becomes the oral tradition and record for the culture under its influence.

One of the side effects of empires like the United States and other “Western” countries becoming more global is the alertness and sensitivity we have towards other nations and their struggle, as we see some common threads in the needs within their governments and others. The interconnectedness one feels when the reports come out from those countries essentially holds us together. The same feeling we got through the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina penetrated us through the tragedies of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Becoming global and humanitarian doesn’t just mean knowing where the countries are, or their dates of “independence,” but also their struggles and the themes and ideas behind those struggles. Also, are there glimmers of hope in these places? Do we still hold imperial biases against these countries, castigating them to the “Third World” that makes no sense if we’re still on the same planet?

This is the energy that moves us. We just gotta feel it.

Jose, who is still developing this ideal himself …