It's been a minute since we've had a chance to connect on the podcast and in that time this man has been busy. Releasing a number of projects including Messiah Complex and Indigo Child (U Ain't The Only 1!) He gives his perspective on the Portland music scene and life in general, and speaks on the benefits of honesty. Peep this episode of the Klyph Notes podcast with Rasheed Jamal.
July 16: Art And Race—Mic Capes & Rasheed Jamal, August Wilson Red Door Project, Arvie Smith & More
OPB's State of Wonder
This week on State of Wonder, we’re going to spend the hour exploring how the region’s artists are using their work to process the hurricane of emotions that erupted after last week’s deadly shootings of two African American men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and five policemen in Dallas — although as several of our guests point out, it's nothing new. What's Race Got To Do With It?We begin the show at a recent event organized by a group called the Color of Now on Monday night, where more than 150 people crowded into Imago Theatre. The night began with a performance by actor Joseph Gibson from "Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments,” a series of seven monologues by black playwrights. Next, Color of Now artistic director Chantal DeGroat dug into a wide-ranging conversation about race and social justice with the local theater and social justice veteran Kevin Jones, moving from Jones’s stories about seeing Malcolm X as a child and struggling with early affirmative action at IBM to Oregon’s troubled history with race.The Red Curtain And The Thin Blue Line - 13:28One of the people to see "Hands Up" in recent weeks was Portland Police Captain Mike Crebs. Unlike community meetings and other events, he says the show was unique because he had to sit silently and simply listen to the voices of African American men and women talking about how they move through the world and what it's like to encounter the police. Crebs was so moved he met up with one of the actors a couple of days later to talk it through.Hip-Hop Artists Mic Capes and Rasheed Jamal - 19:58Hip hop has been one of the most important vehicles for the African-American community — especially the under-30 set — to talk about grief, anger, and next steps forward. We caught up with two artists this week who have been writing about justice issues for years: Mic Capes and Rasheed Jamal. With a big voice and a lyric sensibility to match, Capes has one of the largest megaphones on the St Johns scene. And Jamal's been on Portland stages for five years, with a style that’s picked up speed and intensity. The two talk about whether music has moved the needle on race and police shootings and Capes cover of NWA's "F--k The Police."Music For Mourning - 29:47Portland Police sergeant and classically trained pianist Jim Quackenbush plays the third movement from Samuel Barber’s piano sonata. He calls it a song of mourning. "You can hear the desolation, the desperation, the destruction," he says. "Music is what we use when we don't have words. In moments like this last week, I have no words."Aunt Jemima, Buckwheat, and Don't Shoot — Why None of This Is New - 36:00When you see Pacific Northwest College of Art Professor Emeritus Arvie Smith’s vivid, explosive paintings at the Portland Art Museum later this month, you might think they were conceived and created last week, but to know Smith’s work is to realize, there’s nothing new about what happened in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge this month. He tells us about his art and life, which is book-ended on one end by the Jim Crow South, and on the other by smart phone videos capturing the shooting of black Americans by police. Writer Melanie Alldritt Doesn't Want to Be Beautiful - 44:43In a world where we think we’ve seen everything, the videos of the shootings of Alton Sterling and, especially, Philando Castile were shocking because of the intimacy they offered. People took to the streets and to the internet across the country. People mourned and raged on social media. And a number of prominent local writers shared an essay by a young writer that caught our eye. It’s in "Nailed Magazine," and it’s called “I Don’t Want to Be Beautiful” by Melanie Alldritt. We invited her in to read it for us and discuss how writing lets her work through these experiences.
A member of the The Resistance, MC Rasheed Jamal took some time to speak on his upbringing and introduction to music and his mindset as an artist. He also speaks on social issues, race relations, self awareness and the current protest movement culture.