Tru Ruts presents Free download of E.G. Bailey’s ‘Oracles of Equiano (Starskie’s Pushing Mix)’

21 January 2010 at 9:00 am (Music, News, Recordings, Releases, Spoken Word) (, , , , , )

More than any other performance art, spoken-word is subject to stereotypes.  Everyone knows that spoken-word is read only in dark clubs, only by beret-wearing neo-beatniks who rant and rave about the revolution with pre-programmed flows and unoriginal deliveries.  Everyone knows that spoken-word can be austere and preachy or screamingly emphatic…but never funky.

Enter e.g. bailey.  Over a fun, stuttering house beat produced by Germany’s Starskie, the Twin Cities poet and educator proves that you can indeed dance to spoken-word.  The piece itself refers to Olaudah Equiano, a former slave whose autobiography became a major piece of the abolitionist struggle, and touches on the continuing struggle for justice, the importance of the arts and what “freedom” means in the age of Obama and beyond, for both African-Americans and Africans.  It’s neither a typical club song nor a typical spoken-word track, but bailey has never been a typical artist.

The free download is available at these links: truruts.bandcamp.com

The original version of ‘Oracles of Equiano’, featuring a group of Igbo nuns, will be released on e.g. bailey’s debut album, AMERICAN AFRIKAN, in 2010 on Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records.

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American Afrikan

7 January 2009 at 8:33 am (Poems, Releases, Spoken Word, Writings) (, , , )

we are the first invention of god/flung like stars across the universe/our histories etched on the wind/blood and soil commingled

the drum beats at dawn for her sons to rise/we travel beyond the mountains of the moon/spread across continents like masks/invisible villages shaped into questions/awaiting answers from ancestors

birthsongs traced with the blood of tears/dark face of the sun where birthed the light of man/we traverse the dark night of motherless songs/only to suffer in the promise land

mine like gold from Berber coasts/memories swallowed by living ghosts/from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli/the halls of independence to the fields of the Indies/in ships on the horizon rests/our future burdens and dreams

we adorn ourselves with the bluest skies/tears beaded like sacred rope/to noose our bodies before our spirit dies/tributaries we flow into the American Nile

soldiers of the seventh cataract/we grow skyward like the roots of the baobab/rewrite the books burned to bone and ash/we raise fists like obelisks/arrows shot into the sun

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Vote America

18 October 2008 at 1:06 am (Poems, Recap, Releases, Spoken Word, Work Notes, Writings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In 2007, I was asked by friend and collaborator, Assaad Lakkis, to write a few pieces for an upcoming album by his jazz band, Abstrakt Collision, based in Dubai. The album, titled Polidix, was to be all instrumental except for the pieces I would write. Assaad and I worked on a Miles Davis project back in the 90s, and also worked together on god’s pager. It was always a fruitful collaboration, so there was no question of saying yes. He sent me several recordings and I got to work. The piece was finished in June 2007 and recorded shortly there after by one of my favorite collaborators, Ben Durrant. The sessions also produced, The Last Poet, which featured Madame Mimi. After finishing the tracks I wasn’t sure what I would do with it. Assaad and I had agreed that he would release it on their album and I would release it on my end through Tru Ruts. I continued to perform the piece over the next year, and as the election drew closer I decided I would release it on Election Day as a single. I also decide to do my part with the getting out the vote, and created the postcard below. The design of the poem was created by Meleck Davis and the Vote image was created by Karin Odell, from a photo by Julian Murray. You can hear the recordings of both America and The Last Poet here.

AMERICA POEM POSTCARD BACK (700pxl)

4x6_America_image_V2.ai

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