Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Curtis Henderson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas during Fun Fun Fun Fest Weekend 2012
"But I am young; and I am young, and strong, and in good health; and I am young, and pretty to look at; and I am too young to worry; and so am I, for my mother is kind to me; and we run in the bright air like animals, and our bare feet like plants in the wholesome earth: the natural world is around us like a lake and a wide smile and we are growing: one by one we are becoming stronger, and one by one in the terrible emptiness and the leisure we shall burn and tremble and shake with lust, and one by one we shall loosen ourselves from this place, and shall be married, and it will be different from what we see, for we will be happy and love each other, and keep the house clean, and a good garden, and buy a cultivator, and use a high grade fertilizer, and we will know how to do things right; it will be very different."
The above passage comes from the classic book, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," the joint work by James Agee an Walker Evans. The book was written in 1936 about three tenant families, living in great poverty in the Deep South. It's not necessarily the first thing that would come to mind when listening to Providence, Rhode Island, artist AraabMuzik, but it wouldn't be the last thing you would think about either and the contrasting texture and tone of both could find a way to mesh together.
The world in world in AraabMuzik songs - with this session having been recorded in Austin, Texas during this fall's Fun Fun Fun Fest - is one that feels packed with darkness, some kind of sorrow that's as common as table salt and all sorts of desirous thoughts. There's a want for something better in the mostly instrumental hip-hop songs, as if the man producing the music was filled with unspeakable want. This man seems like someone who's been faced with a life that's been curdled, that's not what he envisioned and still he finds time to "run in the bright air like animals," just as these folks in the poor and barefoot Deep South do. The wants haven't changed much and the landscape feels just as desperate even if differently so.