tonight is the last spotzine release for awhile, thank you to everyone who has come out this month and to all the amazing artists who participated | issue #5 features the 86ers | reading by @hifibangalore at 11pm with a special acoustic performance by @cavemanband and @carbonettiguitars to follow!
Now before even starting this I would first like to pose the very direct question – what is beauty?
The Webster dictionary’s definition of beauty is:
1. The quality of being physically attractive
2. The qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
Giving pleasure to the senses, pleasure to the mind. Now what is pleasure? Is pleasure nice? Is it safe? Does it make us feel fuzzy inside? Or does pleasure excite us? Does it give us goose bumps or chills? Does pleasure provoke us; make us think twice, and than again?
Khalik Allah’s work deals in nothing but beauty, but not the beauty we have become so adjusted to, so addicted to. It is not the traditional beauty that reassures us we are the exception. All things beautiful have an underside that is rarely explored out of a silent fear. No one wants to see something beautiful become dirty and distorted and yet that fear is always present in the shadows. No one wants to see a beautiful woman fucked up on drugs in the street because it ruptures our cozy definition of beauty. Beauty is a value system and to watch beauty dissipate nags at our own guilt. We want beauty to make us forget not force us to re-think. We want to see, instead of understand. We easily abandoned beauty when it doesn’t make us feel good; we abandoned beauty when it becomes a conversation rather than a one-sided comment. Khalik picks up where we sheepishly leave off. After the gorgeous model has been lost to drugs and we are all calling her ugly, and a drug addict, and a waste. We assume the beauty has evaporated, but there is so more to see. Khalik see’s beauty in a much less idealistic sense, he is in search of truth. Truth; is a very different definition of beauty than is comfort. Looking for truth means always being ready to think and think again, to see differently something that is familiar.
His latest film entitled Field Niggas continues this prolific pattern. It is art. Art stands alone. Art does not need to pander to what people wish. Art turns the dry rock to expose the damp dirt on the other side. It is important to acknowledge that in a time when people wish to stray farther and farther away from the harsh realities of the world, the harsher the realities become for the people who have no way out. His work is less about giving us what we want and more about making us remember what we have. His work is challenging us to see beyond the image itself. His images are not providing us with a one-way street to safely walk down. The images are asking as much from us as we are asking from them. As the viewer we cannot be passive in the experience. Khalik’s work shifts the conversation from the lust for lavish escape back the traumatic truths, and the beauty that is constantly stirred up by the supreme art of survival.
Peep the trailer for field niggas and be sure to check it out in its entirety when he drops it on September 28th. Peace.
OUR GUESTS OF THE NIGHT STS & BALLERS EVE 1ST LADY DJ SPEAKERFOXXX.
STS ON BALLERS EVE @EVRADIO.
SPEAKEFOXXX & KDS GITTIN IT.
SPEAKERFOXXX SLUMIN IT ON BALLERS EVE.
KAT DADDY SLIM & SUGA TONGUE SLIM
STS & DIRRT
aNYthing is proud to announce that we’ll be sharing the Baller’s Eve archives – actual broadcasts and photos – from their 11 year run at the infamous East Village Radio on 1st Avenue. Countless guests, friends, and parties all came together and coalesced into a real community around southern hip hop in NYC. BIG ups to JDirrt and Kat Daddy for their dedication all of these years to something they truly love and believe in. Real people. Real inspiration! Check back weekly for more.
All photos by Matt McGinley
physical copies available at ALYKCRU
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