But she a victim of the wicked system that controlled her, it’s all chaotic
What if my life is symbolic? Forever shadow on my mental I never forgot it
Yo the psychotic, the hypnotic check it out the Most Melodic hypnotic
Veronica: In 1963, a movie that claimed to be portraying politics, The Little Soldier, was freshly released to a very polarized public, soon to reveal its convictions, commitments, and fears during May ‘68, and throughout the world. The movie was directed by a genius of New Wave cinema, Jean Luc Godard. In the film, character Bruno works for the French intelligence against the FLN, a party working towards Algerian independence. Along the way, he falls in love with Veronica, a member of the FLN. He offers to kill a man Palivoda to be able to leave to Brazil.
The Little Soldier mostly features Bruno’s person: how he exists, moving about, as a man not truly committed to politics or government but engaged in it, how he falls in love, and how his praxis of love. Politics, in the movie, is the politics of Callicles, as it is often in life; it is real, direct, pays the bills, and tortures. He is only committed to one thing truly and that is saving Veronica from those he works for. Why? 24 photographs per second tell the tale of a man in love with a woman much more than he is in love with the world, whether it be the natural world or the world of humans. It is in her arms that he truly expresses himself with real complexity, that act that separates humans from other animals, instead of being silent when he walks about a splendidly urbanized city, or watching his words. A cigarette in hand, exhaling fumes through his nose as if the dragon of Paris, he is most philosophical in her presence.
In the end, we are told that Veronica is tortured in a Villa near a lake for the new address of the FLN. She is then killed, instead of being released to Bruno in exchange for having killed Palivoda. The world has failed man.
Alana: In 1996, The Roots released a pretty good album, Illadelph Halflife. It was a pretty good album that suffered from a lack of “umph.” Its track list is full of bizarre, esoteric, titles like “The Adventures of Wonderland” and “Clones” that descendent of both funk and soul music.
It was deep. Like the cineastes of the New Wave, The Roots rooted their composition in their questioning music itself. The questioning of “art” reveals possibilities. If “what is film?” was a question that Jean Luc Godard asked himself as a film critic, before becoming a director, and as a director, “what is music?” even more so than what is blackness, is a question that underlies the hip hop of The Roots. It is asking and answering that question that has allowed them to be the only hip hop band marketed commercially.
What is music? The phenomenal “Pass the Popcorn” from their first album Organix was more so comedy than music to dance to with political or apolitical glam. Music is kinetic narrative, even meta-narrative (raps about Hip Hop,) seems to be their answer. Kinetic instrumental and spoken narrative played and listened to feel hypnotized by art.
Illadelph Halflife’s narratives brought forth a character Alana, on “The Hypnotic,” a song that claimed to be painting truth, life, and love. It was 1996, before it became #1996. The black communities of this country were still in a state of profound malaise after Ronald Reagan’s pretty dark “Good Morning, America” that helped the economy, changed the course of this world by pushing for the Berlin Wall to be torn down and leading to triumphant neoliberalism, but hurt the country profoundly by being uncompassionate and waging a terrifying culture war. The Reagan years saw a crack epidemic that would begin the end of popular progressivism, despite the pimps, etc., of Blaxploitation and life, in the discourse of African American communities. The progressivism of the most became that of the crusading few, their actions laying the foundations for black indie culture.
But as time float on we grew more mature – and further apart
When I began to do tours we lost contact
And slowly parted – reminissin of when it started
Perhaps quick-cut cinema and television, often referred to as MTV Style editing, in the 1980’s, is what did away with the idea that lasting ecstasy could mainly be found through slow sequence, classical, editing. The public for narrative suffered because of it, and by 1996 cool quick-cut visuals mattered much more than story. When we #1996, we even venerate quick-cut culture.
Addicted to her presence like a narcotic
Though I wonder if she ever got it – the hypnotic
That faded like a dream sequence that persuaded
The Roots persevered nonetheless with slow plot telling. Their end products were songs from a noble and courageous but often flawed male perspective.
I hit this kid I sign up on his beepa
And ask him if a had a chance to speak ta
Jermaine Palmer who father’s a preacha
To make the story short me and my man soon ran
Into each other on the humble at a show in San Fran
I said “Yo Palma, when did you last see Alana?”
He offer me a seat and attempts to make me calma
When he began to break it down my mind start to wander
Response beyond somber incredible crushed
Kinda feelin on my shoulder – that of a boulder
To find out that her life was over – it made the room feel colder
I thought I could get wif her when she was a little older
“The Hypnotic” is a tragedy, like The Little Soldier. In both, * life and art could not deliver to the narrator what his beloved had offered, hypnosis that inspires confidence. In both, the viewing / listening of art could not rid us of the pain in living the modern world. In both, neither of the women fallen in love with offered their perspective.
Tragically, it was “a wrap” in the end, as all Hip-Hop songs are; most are not subject to much profound public criticism. Whatever happened to Alana? All we know is that she was destroyed by the wicked system, both in the song and in the real world. The issue is that the rich playboy painter Francis Picabia is right in the end. Look at his painting, Calf Worship, for yourself. We are worshippers of what #trends in the end, and in #1996, it was the #quick-cut of the era’s most popular Hip Hop that stopped up from reflecting on that the polity had killed Alana, real woman, metaphor, and even art could not solve things.