Many thoughts about Questlove’s screed ”How Hiphop Failed Black America”. Gonna give most of them and his post a day to marinate before responding. One thing which immediately sprang to mind though was Toni Morrison’s prophetic thoughts about Black Music from the 90s—summarized here by Mendi Lewis Obadike:’In her “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation,” Morrison argues that traditionally, music has been the primary art form of healing for black people. Because of the changing place of black music as a commodity in US American culture, she asserts, ”music can no longer do this work alone.”.. ”Morrison thinks that one characteristic of black writers is “a quality of hunger and disturbance that never ends.” Her novels “bear witness” to the experience of the black community and blacks in that community. Her work “suggests who the outlaws were, who survived under what circumstances and why, what was legal in the community as opposed to what was legal outside it.” In the past, music expressed these things and “kept us alive. Unfortunately music no longer serves this function and other forms of expression, like the novel, are needed.

A multi- layered riff from Brer Greg Tate’s FB page.

Rest in Power master Marquez….

After The Evil Hour I did not write anything for five years. I had an idea of what I always wanted to do, but there was something missing and I was not sure what it was until one day I discovered the right tone—the tone that I eventually used in One Hundred Years of Solitude. It was based on the way my grandmother used to tell her stories. She told things that sounded supernatural and fantastic, but she told them with complete naturalness. When I finally discovered the tone I had to use, I sat down for eighteen months and worked every day.

How did she express the “fantastic” so naturally?

What was most important was the expression she had on her face. She did not change her expression at all when telling her stories, and everyone was surprised. In previous attempts to write One Hundred Years of Solitude, I tried to tell the story without believing in it. I discovered that what I had to do was believe in them myself and write them with the same expression with which my grandmother told them: with a brick face.