Got to watch (and tape!) the live Double K celebration of life Thes One shared on Twitch today. In the span of about 3 hours, I heard the samples to dozens of my favorite People Under the Stairs songs — most of which are about 5-8 seconds taken from a weird jazz or private press cut. To think they cut songs that are sung all over the world from those 5 seconds is absolutely incredible.
It’s another nod to the magic in artists. Anyone can buy an MPC, hit thrift stores, get records, and make stuff. But that doesn’t mean it will sound like what those 2 created. There’s magic there. Magic you can feel in all art and creative work done with feeling, rawness, and truth.
Thes One and Double K spent the time to make those 5 seconds carrrrrrrry. They had FUN to those 5 seconds. Made choruses and raps to those 5 seconds. Looped and recorded those 5 seconds. Played shows with those 5 seconds as the backdrop needing to rep all of the above (loops, raps, choruses, FUN) hard af, or not at all.
It’s a bit like the skateboard theory that comes up for me sometimes. I was never any good but what I learned for the couple of tricks I could do was there wasn’t a halfway. You either own it and do the trick, drop-in, whatever it is… or you don’t. If you halfway drop-in you are pretty much guaranteed to fall.
In terms of PUTS (and all the great rappers, artists, singers, dancers, fill-in-the-blank stuff you do that you love and you’re awesome at) — it’s owning it. Believing in the importance of what you want to share or do. From a song to a new work path. Owning it beyond the inevitable inside voices of doubt, excuses we say out loud and realize how ridiculous they sound, and of course the fear of not being well-received.
When I look inside to ask what this looks like in my life, I see a lack of owning the music and writing I do with at least as much weight (hopefully more) as the paid work I do. We must eat and for me that doesn’t come from this type of creative work, but I def benefit from time contemplating why my creative work doesn’t always get the same hype as my paid stuff. This comes up in funny ways like thinking about a random, unimportant work email when chilling before bed VS thinking about cool art stuff, fam, friends, pets… really anything besides the email!
For me, practicing the hype is continuing to call this out, laugh, and do my best to cruise back to the FUN. Thanks to my CREW for helping me along the way. ♾️💞