Wednesday, June 7, 2017

GZA Lecture SDSU: Race, Globalization, and Hip Hop in American Culture

                                                       Delores Fisher  June reminiscing

The flier stated: GZA would lecture at San Diego State on April 11, 2017. I blinked my eyes in disbelief. GZA? Wu-Tang Clan's GZA? Wha-a-a-at?

I kept the flier in my briefcase, took it out several times for those two weeks before the event. It was going take careful scheduling. On April 11th, I would be teaching the Tuesday/Thursday Afras 140 Oral Communication class that spanned early morning into early noon on the other side of campus.

It was a sure bet that a GZA speaking event event would have standing room only. (It did--someone kindly gave me their seat.) I excitedly decided to hear him in person. I  stayed after class about 3 minutes talking with students.  I walked out the classroom door still talking to students  as we approached the elevator. They said "See you later."  and took the stairs down to their next class.

With a lot of semi-fast walking, I calculated  while waiting for the elevator, I could arrive in time to hear at least some of Gza's talk.

Why? Youtube a few of his speaking events.lectures. He's really good with words. He carefully shapes knowledge, thoughts, observations, theories, wise sayings.

It's now June.  His words continue to illuminate my 24-7.

A few thoughts from GZA (some of them paraphrased) :

Who we were see, with Wu-Tang, we were:
RZA: the scientist
ODB: The mathematician
GZA: The Genius

Knowledge: Study AND pracice. Live in pursuit of new knowledge.

Collaborative knowledge is now globally possible.

Scientific process is usable throughout life.
A. Identify the probles
B. Create a solution to address the problem.Then---try it out
C. If it works--OK/ Not--repeat creating new solutions until one works

Is in everything,  working together harmonically.
Feel, acknowledge, know when you are encountering " A vibe of an individual, music of their soul."

There are many worlds around us. Tune, re-tune souls to various pitches in order to resonate.

When one raps, one person hears in 1world: another person hears in other realms.

When doing "real" free style, do so with integrity, meaning, come from the heart(depth of spirit)
You have to let it out, thought coming into life, one's music within becoming music without, outside the self.

Music is from a divine source. Can be detrimental, but also can be healing for the soul. Think of the O'Jays song I love Music (live, Soul Train dance show). As soon as GZA named the song, memories flooded over me transporting me to years ago. It was a fun song to dance to-in a club or at a party.

"Music is a natural source of Joy"

Question and answer highlights:

Audience member: Can Hip Hop be a vehicle to heal the racial divide?
 GZA: "It already has. Consider it's global impact: Japan, Germany, Russia-just to name a few."

Audience member: Is there a Renaissance anywhere in Hip Hop
GZA: "Yes, underground. It won't come from the mainstream."

Audience memberr: What are tou listening to right now?

GZA: "YOU!"   pause . . .I don't listen to a lot of radio. Usually someone will tell me about a new artist in an underground club. That's who I usually listen to. . . .We took some of our hooks in Wu Tang Clan from wherever . . .Earth, Wind, Fire, Diana Ross."

Audience member: Who  were some of the poets you listened to?
GZA: Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, the Last Poets"

Audience member: What do you suggest we do to get to a higher level in Hip Hop?
GZA: "Keep on creating new things, draw on your life experiences, enjoy the process."

Audience member: Do you have any advice for a writer?
GZA: "Half short/twice strong. Make it add up. Make it heavy. (deep)"


                                                                    Producer: Elevate 1

Although on a schedule, GZA made time for photos for a lot of people. I sped up my photo op moment to talk with him. We then talked for a few minutes about music in culture, music philosophy and performance.

(. . . didn't check  the photo until later that evening. Although not perfect, wanted to share it with you). I treasure it.

                     Delores Fisher, blogger  with the dynamic lyricist/lecturer  GZA

Listening to GZA droppin' "urban science,"
Delores Fisher

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