America has a Problem by Kilo
“ /THEREZ A WHIITTEE GUL IN TOOWNNNNN HER NAYME IZ COOOCCCAAAIINNNNEEE
/GET INSIDE YO BRAAIINN
/PLLAAAYYY YOU LIKKEE A LAMMMEEEEEE!!!!!”””
Sometime’s I think that I have a number of different consciousnesses. Like each part of me has it’s own origin story and listening taste. Each one has it’s own favourite food and even it’s first time hearing music.
The first song that one of me ever heard was Prince’s “1999”. I loved that track so damn much! I believe that Purple Rain was the first time I had the sense of a release date for music. I still remember the discussion going to see the movie as to whether or not the soundtrack was out or not yet.
Another Eiliyas remembers being at home one day and my brother playing a tape that had the Fat Boys and LL Cool J. It was one of my first times I heard Hip Hop and I had heard about it for awhile but I remember being ultimately nonplussed, yet feeling like I should be plussed as it was supposed to be the music of my generation. I tried to act like I liked it but moreso I just made fun of(and with) the chorus of “All You Can Eat”. The moment I did feel that connection and that thing that really resonated with me was hearing A Tribe Called Quest’s “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”. Now THAT I could dig! Especially with Q-Tip’s delivery being much more casual and chilled as I at the time didn’t like the projected voice stylings of The Fat Boys( respect it yes, but, it just wasn’t me). With my exposure to ATCQ was the first time I honestly did feel like this was mine and, me.
The 3rd me we’ll talk about though is Kilo.
Kilo was the first time I started to get any sense of region. He was the first artist that I knew that was from my homestate of Georgia. Hell, I knew that Kilo was from Atlanta before I knew that Little Richard or Otis Redding was from Macon, the town I grew up in. Funny now that I am typing this I realize how identifying where someone was from that was from where I am gave me a sense of where everyone, everywhere was. Or at least was the start of it.
Kilo was the first time I heard, recognized or noticed cars booming up and down the street. The reason hearing booming trunks from the bottom of the hill still coming up to the top of the street reminds me of formative years and the act of growing up.
Not only that but the fact that it was something that was telling you something. The first times it was clear to me that “America Has a Problem”. I guess the south has always had something to say huh.
Eiliyas is a Macon born, Atlanta bred, Berlin-based artist working with music, sound design, creative writing and conceptual art. He also is host and curator of Mixtape Menage, a platform for becoming familiar with cultural facilitators of the world through sound.