Do you remember when, this past February, the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, and its denizens charred the city to a broil while die-hard fans flipped cars and ate horse shit? Make no mistake: that is Philly being Philly, as one pop culture expert wrote.
What can the temporary demise of a city, after one moment of pure intoxicated bliss, actually teach us about the resurrection of hope?
Brandishing truth as weapon and food for thought, Philadelphia-based rapper N. Ave initiates a similar conversation with his latest EP, “Black Magic.”
“And make no mistake, we out here making love. It’s dog eat dog, and I’m a grizzly club. We all cokeheads, this is Colombia–the house of cards, and I’m the ace of clubs. So f*** with me, I’m going Kevin Spacey. So what up, Washington, this is how you made me.”
In the title track, N. Ave discusses the evil doings of big pharma and corrupt politicians like Elliot Spitzer, and in doing so, he argues that, we, individually and societally, aren’t much different from them. This is largely because of the environment we’ve created for ourselves culturally, psychologically, and sociologically.
In one line, the rapper models himself after a “democratic leader electing Mussolini” to drive this point, and to drive another point that, as a fluid human race, we use different versions of ourselves–the impressionable, the optimistic, the desperate, the greedy–in response to our environments in order to get ahead.
In the instance of the Philly post-Super Bowl rioting, most witnessed an attention-seeking ploy or celebration gone too far that made the evening news. Internet onlookers who didn’t confuse the riots for entertainment and instead took an opportunity to investigate, witnessed an intense desire to belong out of both necessity and choice.
In N. Ave’s case, and the case for many ambitious young black men like him, he is often forced to compromise himself to reach new levels in his career. But from the power used to transform oneself in sacrifice of a greater purpose, comes change. At least that is the hope.
Listen to the rest of the “Black Magic” EP here: