Archive for Music:
Bom5 : The Connecting Power of HipHop
A Journey in Black-books
I met Bom5 in the winter of 2013. It was my birthday and he blessed me with pizza, stories and skills.
Many writers threw down in that book but Bom and Erotica67 were the only people who spent any time trying to drop something nice.
Love from Brooklyn & The Bronx
My friend from NYC; a cool girl with a diamond heart and a foul mouth…
…wanted to bless me for my birthday with some pens and a black-book. Bom5 said he would help her pick the right stuff and drop something in the book too. To say I was stoked would be an understatement.
Due to bad past experiences with the postal service, we were trying alternate options to get the book from the U.S. to the U.K.
I had been waiting for this book for months so I was excited and itching to see it.
Finally the book routed back to me in the UK. When I did get it, I was on my way to visit someone so I couldn’t open it until late that evening.
It was more than worth the wait.
Inside the snail mail envelope was a black book…a beautifully bound >>Cachet – Daler Rowney<<. Oh yeeeh!
That wasn’t all, oh no. My generous homie had hooked Moyma up with these pens too.
Just soak that up…
OH….MY…. GAWWWwwWD!!!…Yes yes y’all, that hit the spot.
A pack of Ironlaks! They looked so delicious I wanted to eat them…
Black-books are an artist’s journal/diary. You put your ideas down, then go back through to see where you were at creatively at that time. It works great as a reference of old ideas, a place to create new ones or it can be a portfolio of your styles.
Bom5 has a library of black-books at his home full of dope burners, so I was excited to see what he had put down in this one. Bom walks the walk with this ish, he comes correct with the ink skills. This was the first piece he did in my new Book >>>”Kool Kid Moyma.” – Bom005 RSC<RSC>RTR<TBB>ZULU NATION<MW. Very nice! Funky letters!
The line of colour in the pages showed me there was more for me to see, a wall of colour was waiting for me.
DaAaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAM sonnnnnnnnnnNNNnnnn! This piece is dope. The letters and colours are bold, unashamed and skilfully designed. There is so much detail on all levels. Props BomV! You have set the bar high for this book.
I love the layers of colours and the tag styles. It’s gritty but elegant; Bom5 juxtaposes those ingredients well.
I couldn’t take it all in in one sitting. I have had to do sessions of just staring at it and soaking in all the flavours. I sometimes have it up on my speaker to get a different view. I love this ish!!
Bom understands the importance of black-books, which is why he takes so much pride in throwing down in them, even if they aren’t his own.
But he isn’t just a black book writer, he has taken the creations from his b-books to the subways and train yards.
Hiphop Heritage & Old Skool Loyalty
Bom has a lineage from the foundations of Hiphop, which is one of the reasons why his work is interesting but it’s not the only reason. He has also remained dedicated to his craft for a long time; you can’t fake passion. The struggle and scars that come from life can make you stronger and also make the creative voice in you work potent. In the spine of passion is a vertebrae made up of determination, endurance and focus. I felt that from Bom5.
Bom5 was around when gangs were rampant in the Bronx.
He knows first hand how gangs rolled. To get in, you had to go through an extreme initiation ceremony and so diehard loyalty was the result.
Although the initiation ceremonies changed when Hiphop was born, the loyalty to your crews didn’t. There will always be >>flakes<< but being solid for your people is where it was at. When times are tough, knowing people that ‘have you’ is what makes joining gangs/crews attractive.
This is why Bom always gives props to his people when you meet him and also in his art – “The Bronx Boys, Batch & Slick Inc.”
His UK bredrin…
….and BANE, TBK, NCB, DOG, TED INC, WE ROCK INC, MADWRITERS, ROCKSTEADY, MISSION GRAFF, SLICK INC, TC5, MOMO & SABRINA.
Mentors and Black Belts
In martial arts having a black-belt oviously has it’s credits but who you got your black belt from is really the defining factor. Who you came up under says a lot.
If you have had good mentors; people who have taken you under there wing, looked out for you and let you in to what they have learnt. You will remember them and shout there name.
It’s a shame some people aren’t like that, everyone wants their own shine so they end up forgetting. No one who became great is completely self taught. No one.
Billy167 by Bom5.
“Billy 167 will go down in history as one of the greatest letter stylists in the history of Graffiti.” – MPC Crew
The Hiphop cypher connects people and brings out individual creativity.
Cyphers are usually associated with rapping and rocking but I don’t think it’s exclusive to those elements. It’s an exchange of energy. Exchanging ‘energy’ could also be saying something to encourage someone in their work, sharing knowledge while breaking bread, investing in an artist by hooking him up with pens and a black-book, or hitting them up some special art to inspire them. This in turn inspires that person to throw down themselves, in their own way back into the cypher…and the circle continues.
A big thankyou to Sabrina and Bom005 for hooking me up. You are a great friends, thankyou for your encouragement. Respect to my brother Bom005 >> an extremely rare artist. I look forward to see the progression of his styles. May the cypher continue.
Bom5 : Zen Flow & The Value of Things
Learning by Osmosis
Learning by seeing is a primal way of understanding new things. I had the privilege to watch Bom5 throw down a few times in NYC and I learnt a lot. He doesn’t say to you…’here look, I am teaching you something now…pay attention,’ but make no mistake about it, you are being schooled. When any artist opens up to show you their process, it is an amazing thing which people take for granted.
The Art of Lines
Bom uses subtle devices to get your eye moving where he wants them to go, without you realising it.
It is very easy to mismatch colours and end up with something that looks off key. Bom is nice with the colour palette! He has that funky psychedelic ish!
I love this ‘A’ …yeh baby!! These are well pronounced lines. I see lines, shapes and colours as forms of vocabulary. It’s more than just one thing, it’s how it all works together…but back to the “A.” That “A” is funked out. It is talking to you through it’s shape and the latticed grid which echoes the letter form.
This is a massively overlooked one…
…and I am not breaking that one down…go do some study…but space is extremely effective and used in many other art forms like dance and music. Thelonious Monk…
…and Miles Davis can teach you about the use of space.
This is art, so there are no hard and fast rules but there are concepts and using space in visual art, music and dance is powerful…but it takes restraint. Less can be more.
Bom005 puts a lot of pride into his ink work and as much as he likes precision, it seemed like he also wanted the spontaneity of the moment. You find this this line philosophy in Chinese and Zen calligraphy. Bom wants nice form but there is a “Zen” aspect where he isn’t trying to think too much and just “be.”
“Practice to uncover one’s original self through the brush.” – Yokoyama Tenkei
The whole experience of him putting down is to create something dope but also for him to learn something new.
The Value of Things
I have been told there are scientific studies that show that people value things less when they haven’t paid for them.
I agree with this to a point but with all scientific studies, there are variables. The variable in this case would be dependent on how much value the person receiving the gift places on the gift and value isn’t always measured in gold.
If You Could Only Take Two Things
I have a few pieces of art in my home. If there was a fire and I could only take two things while escaping the flames, it would be two pieces both by Bom Five. This piece (below) was draw in front of me in the early hours of the morning in a Macdonalds in Union Square, NYC and is now framed in my studio in the UK.
These pieces signify more to me than just some lines. The lines are dope but when you learn about the artist’s story; what he is about, how he came up and the struggles he walked through. The lines and his work take on a whole new meaning.
2014 In The Trenches
In the first blog I wrote this year (!) I mentioned a quote by Mike Tyson – “everyone has a plan…’til they get punched in the mouth.” A few punches from life were definitely thrown my way and also towards some of my people. These tough situations shed light on things that I needed to focus on and be thankful for. I have learnt that nothing great is achieved alone, so this blog is to say thank you to some specific people who have had my back this year.
Friendships Are Forged In Adversity
First up is my brother from a Hiphop mother. Bronx original…
I have already blogged about Bom but if you haven’t read those, please click on the picture above.
I met Bom last year in NYC and his work, craftsmanship and friendship has had a huge impact on a lot of my creative work and attitudes this year..gracias Bom005.
I am lucky enough to have his work in my studio…
…in and on new blacks-books…
…and it proves how art can speak to you in a powerful way. His lines school and guide me daily.
Next up is another NYC connect – a sister from a another mother…
Sabrina Mullholland Jjones
I met her in NYC last year, completely randomly…
…and since then she has blessed me continually.
I could write a small book on the encouragement, time and generosity she has extended to me this year. Your friendship, insight and web support has been appreciated. BIG>>>>>>…
Next is a long time friend and ally…
She has looked out for monsieur Moyma for a minute on many levels…
…making sure I see other humans and that I am warm. She is also dream to work with >>> Respect Sharpy! Thankyou! Your friendship and general ‘Hannerisms’ are massively appreciated. BIG…
My boy from the Welsh borders…
The Professor has always has my back on the music tip from day dot>>
From the tech side…
…to everything in between.
If you haven’t checked him out before please click the pic. Thankyou bro…BIG…
To the other people who are as significant, even if you don’t get a picture with ‘respect’ written under it.
Indy, Carla, The Blacks, Toby, Ellie, Mayor, PBurns, Gaizka, Rosie & Sally…
Enjoy your Christmas and New Year people. 2014 went too fast but it was a great ride.
The Black Book Sessions – Biters!!
I found this banana in the supermarket and because it was such a cool shape, I had to draw on it. Sadly, this perishable art attack isn’t in my black book but it was so much fun to do.
I wrote ‘Flavour, Bite it’ on the handy snack which is meant to be a play on words. ‘Flavour’ meaning the taste but it’s also a word used for style. ‘Bite it’ which means to copy someone and ‘bite it’ cos it’s a banana and you would normally do that to it wouldn’t ya?…get it? I thought not.
Don‘t Bite It!
‘Biting’ is a term used when you steal someone’s idea and pass them off as your own. It’s not a good thing to do but everyone copies when they first start learning something new. All of your favourite artists were influenced and inspired by other people. The Beatles started out as a cover band. Paul McCartney has said, “I emulated Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis. We all did.”
That is one example and if you look at any music style or art movement you will see one person being influenced by someone else’s work and so on.
Big Daddy Kane’s style…
was influenced by Grandmaster Caz.
KRS One’s style…
was influenced by Mellie Mel.
was influenced by…
Kool Moe Dee.
I am not saying these are the only MC’s that influenced them but from what I have read and heard they were big influences. Here is a more recent example…
Jay Z was hugely influenced…
by Big Daddy Kane.
Acknowledge Your Influences!
We are all influenced by other people, but most people don’t want to acknowledge others. I have done my best to make sure I acknowledge the people who have influenced my style and ideas on this site. When you have been influenced by people, I believe you should give them credit. I think it is important that you show respect to the people who influence you as it encourages them and also helps others see how ideas develop. I do my best to acknowledge people I have met who have helped and inspired me in what I create…what about you?
Do YOUR thing
It comes back to being yourself because if you dare to do that you won’t end up copying anyone else. Even if you are influenced, you will bring your own >>>FLAVOUR<<<< to whatever you create and that, my fair weather friends, is the crux of this blog.
“Authenticity is invaluable. Originality doesn’t exist”
The Black Book Sessions – Keep it Simple
I drew this to the sounds of De Le Soul – Buhloone Mindstate. It was inspired by a piece Bom5 did for me on my birthday.
I had one pen with me which had an italic nib on one side and a normal round nib on the other. Bom just threw down, the white of the paper (negative space) becomes part of the design and although the design itself doesn’t look simple, the idea was. Please click the image to read about this piece.
Saying any more on this post would negate the title and my point so I will leave you with some words from my boy Da Vinci.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonado Da Vinci
The Blackbook Sessions – Never Give Up
I drew the first three letters of this piece and wasn’t feeling it at all. It looked wak to me with no life or flavour. A week later I looked back at the sketch and saw something different – I saw there was something to work with. I am glad I went back in on this one as I love this piece; it’s simple/complex and the bit I like most is…it’s raw.
I didn’t intend this sketchbook piece to be a reflection of my time in NYC, but the more I look at it….it is. The piece almost looks like a map or architectural and it symbolises a simple start to journey that over time became complicated, jagged but still amazing. I haven’t really written that much about what happened in New York but I have plenty of stories…like almost being homeless after being kicked out of our home in the Bronx, countless moments of serendipity, exploring the subterranean world called the subway at all hours of the night, Katz, Fireball W, stomping L.E.S, breaking bread with legends & new friends for life. I have purposely not said much about my trip as I don’t want to be that person who traveled somewhere and can’t shut the f*ck up about their trip, as it can seem like they are bragging or trying to rub your face in it…I dunno what “it” is but I aint trying to rub your face in…”IT.”
What I will say is, my trip to NYC taught me a lot about myself and that being who I am whatever the cost, will always work out the best in the long run even if at the time you get bitten….cockroaches are everywhere you know! Ha.
So no more esotericalism-isms, I will just say this…whatever your journey, on paper or out in life…never give up…get a new perspective…but never give up.
The Blackbook Sessions – Old MacDonald
Wassup people! Here are two pieces I did a while back and I wasn’t really sure about either of them when I drew them. I was frustrated with the 1st attempt (above) so I did it again but this time I just tried to let go and have fun with it. I am still split on what I think of it either of them…but the one below was more fun to create and looking at it now, I like its energy.
There is a kid who lives in the flat above me. I think she is about 5 years old.
She lives with her Mum, who has a face like a smacked bottom. I am not saying she’s ugly but she pulls a proper stink face whenever she sees me, it’s the effect I have on females I guess.
I Hate Kids Singing
From the minute that kid wakes up, I can here her running from one end of their flat to the other.
Recently I heard her singing a rendition of Old MacDonald Had a Farm.
Old MacDonald has a bloody farm does he?!! Hey?? A farm hey!!!?…Well how about I burn the bloody farm down! Lets see what song you have then hey, Miss Little-Sing-My-Little-Song-a-Long-Marathons at 6 A<<<bloody>>>M in the bloody MORNING!!!
‘Little Miss Sunhine’s’ singing was probably one of the worst sounds I have heard come out of a 5 year old’s mouth. It was out of tune, weird and had a strange pointless vibrato thing going on with it. Daffy Duck on meth has a better voice than that kid…
…but I will give her one thing…the kid has heart.
Kids Talk Too Much
I was working in my place last week and I heard a load of noise in the garden. Yep, it was the little peanut making too much noise again. She was with her even smaller buddy, blowing bubbles. The 5 year old with the terrible voice looked so happy blowing these bubbles, but they were average size, and I was not impressed.
After a few average bubbles, she blew a huge one…err no, not that big…
….ok, this is getting silly….
…yeh, that will do.
It was a huge bubble and she smiled at it. I don’t hang out with kids so I don’t have many points of reference but I haven’t ever seen a kid smile that hard in my life. She smiled with her whole body at that bubble…but to me it was just a bubble.
The Loss of Awe
Why did she get so excited by that bubble? I guess it’s because she is only 5. I had missed what was actually happening and after thinking about it, I realised I had been schooled by that 5 year old. To her, that bubble was something she had created and she thought that shit was dope!! She made that huge bubble…she literally breathed it into existence and it danced in the air in front of her and winked at her before it exploded into the sun.
The Primal Blueprint
I think creating is a primal thing to do and kids get it…when you ‘grow up’ you forget. This isn’t about age, it is about attitude, it’s always about attitude. In my years teaching I did a few visual art sessions with really young kids. They were usually the most free to experiment. The young adults had the most issues and wanted to get it ‘right.’ The little kids didn’t care about being right, they just went with their gut and tried stuff; which is a good way to get new ideas. These new ideas can often get tagged as being ‘fringe’ but the fringe is where the most interesting work is being created.
Once again, I will encourage you to pick up whatever your tool of choice is, get loose and have some fun. I will leave you will another moderately cheesy quote which holds some relevance.
TBS – A Good Workman Blames Their Tools
I love the letters in this piece. The ‘M’ is gully and has the correct amount of swagga. RUH!!
A Good Workman Blames Their Tools
I don’t care what ‘they’ say, the tools you use are important, but having good tools won’t make you dope.
These are the pens I have been using; I love these pens! They have a nice flow and feel great in your hand. Bom5 from NYC put me onto these and my friend, also from NYC sent me a shop load when I got back to the UK. This was dope and made Moyma a very, very happy boy.
The Main Ingredient
The other essential tool I always use for visual ish is…
This is the essential ingredient for me to create and escape.
I will keep it short this week >>>> so grab some pens,
…plug in your portable music device,
…and allow yourself to journey.
The Blackbook Sessions – Funk & Flow
I don’t really have a clue how you teach funk or flow but both of these things are what I am looking for when I create and it isn’t exclusive to Graf. Good flow and funk is really important in Breaking, Scratching and MCing. What I can say is that it’s all subjective as some people can see/hear it and some…some just can’t.
Can You Hear It?
I was out a few months ago and one of my friends was Djing at a bar so I dragged my people there. My friend started playing some Danchall and one of the guys I was with started riffing.
He knew I was a Dj and his opening line to introduce the fact he didn’t like the music was… ‘Do you play this shit?’ He was clearly stating he didn’t like the music. Ok fair nuff but he was also wanting to put me in the music dock in judgment of whether or not I liked it too.
I aint into this type of behaviour so truss, my friend could have be playing the winner from last years Eurovision song contest and I would have said that I loved it.
I said to the guy ‘no I don’t play it but I like it…why don’t you like it?’ He said …’errr I dunno, it just doesn’t have a beat.’ I said…’it does have a beat…but you can’t hear it.’
We all have our opinions but often our views can be based on things we don’t understand. The issue wasn’t with the music it was more the fact he wasn’t familiar with it. He couldn’t catch the riddim son! That ish is swung hard and you have to ‘hear it’ before you can like it. If you struggle to dance to a straight (straight meaning it isn’t swung at all) 4×4 beat you will not deal with Dancehall.
We all have our bias and that is why art is interesting to me. What I like and feel isn’t what you are necessarily gona like which is how it should be.
Feel what you Draw
When I draw letters I practice drawing and editing what I think feels right. I look to see what feels right and it’s the parts that disjoint my internal compass that are the bits I change or work on. It’s completely on a subconscious level which is why I find it hard to describe clearly.
The beauty is…what I think feels right may not be what you like. Some people may like a certain flow and others may not. Having the funk is another one. Ha. Ok how do we approach this one.
Some people are great dancers..they are technically great but in my opinion…they just don’t have the funk or flow. It is really down to what you like and I like the funk and I guess this can vary from person to person. The Funk is a timing thing, it’s the space between notes, it can be what you don’t play or draw and the space between the lines in letters…can you swing it?
These people have the FUNK.
Clinton has the funk,
D-Styles has the funk and a dope flow,
James Brown had the funk,
Elzhi has the funk and a smooth flow,
Doze has the funk!
Bjork doesn’t have ‘the funk’ but I love her stuff, she doesn’t dilute who she is and that is my last and main point.
Graf is about creating your own rhythm and movement through the lines interactions. You may not like my flow but it is just about being yourself and being in touch with your own flow and funk. That is what I practice these days.
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