Daniel Caesar is Redefining Love for Our Generation

 

A snippet of my music review for Spice Uk Online – http://spiceukonline.com/titomowillz/daniel-caesar-is-redefining-love-for-our-generation/

Will humankind ever find the meaning of love?

That’s a difficult question but listening to ‘Freudian’, Daniel Caesar’s spectacular debut album must be a part of the answer. Freudian is a beautiful insight into our deepest, most fundamental feelings and is the latest project of the rather active Caesar. Fusing together tracks such as: Get You (feat Kali Uchis), Blessed and We Find Love that were released earlier in year to much acclaim as well as an entirely new body of work cement this 22-year-old Toronto native as a vibrant voice of new-school alternative RNB. 2017 has seen an explosion of alternative RNB, soul, funk and jazz, and what Caesar has done is much like his namesake, conquer the field for himself.

It’s hard to believe that he hasn’t seen his fair share of romance and heartbreak for his lyrics strike a chord far too loud to be just be a vapid commercial try. I just don’t hear that hunger for fame and fortune in Caesar’s voice, rather his smooth tones and beautiful crooning are an authentic insight with one’s innermost thoughts on love, religion, and the mind. There has been much growth from his previous EP Pilgrim’s Paradise and a new direction contrasted with the religious tone previously explored.

freudian

Encompassing romance, lust, break-ups and fights, sex and eroticism, flirtation and sorrow, could it be that the various elements of love are what Daniel Caesar is portraying? The album redefines love for a new generation, and much like the album cover art which displays Caesar climbing uphill a steep, metallic structure, highlights the difficulties in finding that wholesomeness you can only achieve in someone else in crazy 2017.

The album starts in familiar territory with the earlier released track, Get You (feat. Kali Uchis). This collaboration combines the talents of the eccentric beauty and tone of Kali Uchis with Caesar’s idiosyncratic soulful yet almost country-esque voice and in this song, his full-throated desire for his imaginary lover. The chorus lyrics of ‘Who might have thought I’d get you?’ were especially touching for me. When you are victorious in your battle to secure the girl (or guy) you want, the feeling is inimitable, and in Caesar’s words we hear that happiness over what he has accomplished. A touch of reality sobers the ecstasy of the song as Uchis slides in and states ‘before it winds down into the memories, it’s all just memories…’. Does love ever truly last? Or is the real beauty in that single, fleeting moment of unparalleled joy?

The rest is only available on Spice UK Online – http://spiceukonline.com/titomowillz/daniel-caesar-is-redefining-love-for-our-generation/

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Is the Death Penalty only for Black People? The Myth of Black Guilt

rash

Whenever I attempt to exit a store, I carry the receipt from my purchase. I fear that simply my blackness will mean that security guard that eyes me up and down will ensure that I am searched. This is a routine occurrence for both myself and the innumerable black males and females in my situation. In 21st century Britain I fear the death penalty. Though it is not present in any legal framework, in any law or in any conversation of our politicians, the death penalty exists whenever a policeman deems himself judge, jury and executioner of black lives. No police officer has been prosecuted for deaths in police custody since 1969, likewise the Crown Prosecution Office is an infrequent ally of people of colour where the unlawful killing by a police officer is in question. Both factors are derived from the concept of black guilt, a twisted and racist logic that white Britain remains unable to cast aside, casting our voices to the wind and many young men and women to prison or a coffin.

The presumption of black guilt is the inability to emphasise or understand the position of a person of colour, particularly a black person; it is the immediate rationalisation that whatsoever the context, the POC is to blame or in some way at fault. Black guilt is intersectional, it appears in an array of social, economic, and gendered contexts. It is the hyper-sexualisation of black women’s bodies, seen as a lustful, raunchy beings with little in the way of intelligence or self-control, our society makes it easy to objectify and blame these women for sexual assault. It is the poisonous logic that black poverty is somehow tied to the very character and morals of black people as a community, and that we are lazy, uneducated, lacking in aspiration, violent and ‘thuggish’. Or that drug usage and the notorious ‘black on black’ crime is someway endemic to blackness. The reality is that years of socio-economic marginalisation in employment, housing, low-wages even within employment, barriers in education and health, combined with the political oppression of institutional racism has created hideous inequality in Britain.

The most obviously hideous face of racism and the black guilt fallacy is within the context of policing and criminal justice in the UK. In a system where blackness is deemed to be synonymous with criminality and inherent violence, even in situations where evidence is not available immediately like the controversy after Rashan Charles, Edson da Costa in Britain or the giant number of police shootings and custody deaths in the U.S with Tamir Race, Mike Brown and Sandra Bland as notable injustices, the common refrain from white liberals and racists alike is always ‘wait for the evidence’, ‘he deserved what he got’, ‘to be expected’, ‘just don’t resist arrest’, ‘simply obey the law and nothing will happen to you’ amidst the usual racist drudge. The dead are blamed for their deaths. Never questioned is they who murdered with impunity, no, their actions are infallible it would seem.

It doesn’t matter how innocent you are or whether you even swallowed the drugs that provided the rationale to brutally choke you to death, that bystander was always going to presume you criminal and defend the attacker. That one should be murdered even if they are is another question that should be answered, drugs are, at the end of the day, a non-violent crime. If one was a drug consumer or dealer, does this warrant death? For in the UK I live in, rapists, paedophiles, corrupt government ministers and war criminals either spend their lives in prison or enjoy liberty. For nothing more than his skin colour, Rashan does not have that option.

No matter how much I use Twitter, I will never understand how ignorant one must be to take pleasure in the death of young black souls. Only an agenda of white supremacy benefits from our powerlessness.

And only persistent, political and powerful resistance can change that.

#blacklivesmatter

Why do we still have a Queen? I’m not a Peasant

queen rich af

The United Kingdom is the opposite of the United States. Think about it. Briefly disregard the fact that we share the same noxious economic system of enriching the already rich and growing inequality and poverty. Also forget the shared legacy of military adventures in warm, sunny places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc.

No. Briefly disregard those ugly similarities and come to the same sudden realisation that I did. Only in the United Kingdom can one be both a Republican and a Democrat simultaneously. Taken in the American context, both are polar opposites, one party is led by a racist, sexist, extremist ignoramus and the other party somehow lost to that individual.

In Britain, one can believe in a system wherein government derives its legitimacy and authority from the people and whether through referenda or elections, at the end of the day the government is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ A (small-d) democrat. Likewise, that same believer can also believe in the necessity of a republic, a system where there is no unelected or hereditary head of state. A (small-R) republican.

Any reasonable person who doesn’t believe in unaccountable and undeserved power, privilege and wealth should be both republican and democrat. Here are 4, and 1 bonus one, reasons why we need referendum on the abolition of the British Royal Family Now.

1: Fairness and Equity

I’m already biased. I admit to being disgusted when I see extravagance and ridiculous wealth, especially in these times where homelessness has risen by 134% since 2010, with 60% of people in poverty in work, and millions STILL using foodbanks even with our ‘growing economy’. Now, I won’t blame the Conservative government for their failed austerity economic project, but I will blame the Queen for picking these troublesome times for young, poor and brown/black communities, to receive a ‘jackpot’ revenue of £19.2m from the Duchy of Lancaster (the monarch’s ancestral estate and private income source) in 2016-17, which is an increase of 7.9% from the previous year. Let’s accept for a moment the premise that she benefits the taxpayer through tourism yada yada. Is this just?

During a time when Brexit and crazy house prices mean normal, working people will be much poorer in the near future, why on Earth should the person who no one decided should rule the country be enjoying wealth so effortlessly attained? What happened to the idea that we’re all in this together, are we a ‘United Kingdom’ or a divided one where the younger royals can pretend they’re Kardashians, the Queen can buy a cheeky helicopter for £8m and Princes Andrew and Edward can live lavish on the people’s money. Revolting

2: Symbolism

Modern Britain espouses the values of democracy, equality under the law, justice and openness. That is incompatible with an unelected head of state. Why? Simply because in a country where these values are held in high esteem by our leaders and institutions is incompatible with a someone holding power and influence over society through bloodline and hereditary privilege.

What does it symbolise in a modern society that our Queen cannot be prosecuted for any crime on her part, that unlike us peasants she can drive out and about without a driving license and when she’s taking one of fancy trips to some hot country ‘cos Britain’s pissing with rain she needs no passport, she does all of this with taxpayers’ money and even though we subsidise her lavish lifestyle her income is not transparent nor accountable. She could very well spend millions on calling and voting on Love Island Couples. No one knows but her. In one of 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace she might have been laughing at Kem with the rest of us.

3. The Cost!

I won’t fault you for believing the monarchy is financially viable, I mean love her or hate her, Lizzy does bring the tourists and their valuable money in…Right? Wrong. The stats usually point to the Sovereign Grant to calculate the expenditure on the Queen, that is 25% surplus revenue from the Crown Estate, a publicly owned property portfolio, and this added up to £76m for her in 2016. The real cost of the Queen and the Monarchy more generally is £350 million annually, with just £106m spent on security.

Since Boris Johnson isn’t going to whip out the £350 million he promised our NHS from Brexit, let’s spend Lizzy’s money instead. Bad enough we pay for the lavish lifestyle of her cousins and kids who are rich enough to pay for their own mansions, we must also pay for the repairs of Buckingham Palace. Unlike the White House and Parliament, Buckingham Palace is only open 2 months a year when taxpayers could make a much larger profit by kicking the royals out and letting its impressive art collection become an accessible national museum.

4. Traditions are Pointless

In 21st Century Britain, we are a nation trapped by dead (and living) relics of the past. Whether it is the collapsing Houses of Parliament who require urgent renovations but cannot due to tradition, the Lords within them who are unelected and unaccountable to the people of the country or even the fact that our MPs do not even swear an oath to democracy or their constituents but instead proclaim their allegiance to the Queen.

Tradition is a vital link to a rich heritage and appreciation of the past, but it cannot be allowed to control the future.

The monarchy is trash and when it is cancelled, perhaps finally the opportunity for wholesale constitutional reform will be on the table. An elected house of lords? True federalisation of the ‘United Republic’? A democratic nation where the privileged by birth need not also be privileged in wealth?

That’s what is at stake in abolishing the monarchy.

For People of Colour

The same monarchy that oversaw imperialism, genocide, grand thievery and conquest in their name, still hold their title in Britain. It does no justice to Britain’s victims that the instigators of empire are still dishing out OBEs like it’s the 1740s. If Britain is truly the multi-cultural, modern, diverse and just country it claims, then no Queen whose stolen crown jewels and wealth are abhorrent to Asian, far eastern, indigenous and aboriginal and black people worldwide should sleep content.