This past weekend my homie Chuck bought me a ticket to go checkout this Public Enemy themed exhibit called "The Terrordome". it was my first time seeing Chuck in a couple of years so I was kinda hype to see my OG again. It's been a minute since we worked at this sweatshop in Aurora printing t-shirts. When I arrived I hopped in his car and we caught up on life and talked music ( a primary pillar of our friendship). When we went in I was kind've in awe with how well lit the gallery was. The last time I was at The Blackbook Gallery was for the Mike Giant and Jeremy Fish show in Denver last year I think so it was cool to be back to see what they cooked up for this exhibit.
There was quite a variety of art ranging from sculpture, mixed media, painting, printing, and illustrations. Chuck D, the legend himself even had a couple of dope illustrations for $600, a price I thought was modest given his iconic position in "the game". While I found all the works and the presentation of them to be well executed, the highlight of my night had to be this peculiar interaction I had with this Gen1. For those who who i don't know me like that, "Gen1" is my nickname for the first generation of hip-hop heads (they're probably between 48 and 55 years of age now, not exclusively but mostly). I was looking into the office space of the gallery which was open for people to walk into and observe the collection of the gallery.
While I was in there observing Gen1 says, "You don't KNOW anything about all this do ya?". I think he was speaking to the public themed show as a whole and/or possibly the song that was playing which definitely was from the album "It takes a nation of million to hold us back" but can't recall the specific song at the moment. I glared at him having my attention on divided between his military veteran snapback, the song he may have been referring to, and his condescending question. I replied, "That's the thing about KNOWLEDGE, it transcends TIME".
What I meant by this is just because something may have sprung in a decade or two (or three) before I was coherent or born doesn't mean I can't be up on it (or AWARE of it for my readers unfamiliar with AAVE). My generation came up with youtube and wikipedia. We're simply aloud to NERD out on levels Gen1s dreamed about. In other words, we're informed as FUCK! He dapped me up and smiled and returned a glare that appeared to me as a mixture of embarrassed, impressed, and disappointed because he didn't get to son me. He said nothing else after our prolonged dap had broken and I walked out the office and told Chuck what happened. Chuck thought I looked too into it but I didn't. Approximately 20 mins later the same guy walks up on me and asks me if I knew who the subject of a Shepard Fairy artwork was.
I replied, "I believe that is Gil Scott Heron. A poet and musician." He pretended to be skeptical and quietly said "I think you're right". He walked away again and I slyly smiled behind my Futura 2000 face mask and told Chuck, "I think I passed his second test!". It really seemed like he wanted to inform or enlighten me and didn't get the chance to. I kinda wonder if I might've shut down any attempts he might've had to have genuine discourse about art because I truly love talking art and rap with all the "heads" that I come across. For instance one of the owners/employees of the gallery noticed my Futura tee and we ended up talking about Futura and Jose Parla. That was a dope ass convo and he wasn't eager to educate me because he saw I was up on it already....I dunno. All in all it was a classic evening and if your'e in the Denver Metro area, I highly recommend checking the exhibit out.
Right when I thought I was over trying to holla at gatekeepers about having my art grace their walls, a show such as this got me thinking that maybe one will say "fasho". I'm still bothered by the fact that fan art is valued more than original work/characters but i'm gonna save that rant for another day. As always, thanks for reading my blog/rants!