Why is it called “The Emerald Tablet”?
Well to give you alittle background: In Esoteric or Occult Circles, “The Emerald Tablet” is considered a sacred book said to have been written by the Neter (Deity) Tehuti of Ancient Khamit/Khemet (Egypt) or from the Ancient Masters of the Lost City of Atlantis. Said to have appeared out of almost nowhere, this God of Science & Math (Tehuti) gave Humanity this ‘Book of Life’ as a means of instruction because it supposedly held all insights of The Creator and Creation. During Medieval Times, this text was viewed as an Alchemy Manual and Alchemists oftentimes hung a copy of it in their laboratories. They viewed it’s hermetic contents as the ‘black elixir’ necessary to turn baser metals into gold. From a metaphysical perspective, this ‘black elixir’ was said to transmute the baseness of Man into the higher image and likeness of the true and living God.
Now, as a Creative Artist, I’ve always ceen Art as a symbolic ‘black elixir’ when it functions in a way to elevate (transmute) the condition and consciousness of People. I am conveying this idea with this Project. All of the Tracks on this Project were produced and recorded by me during different times of my life, different seasons and at different hours of the day. Actually there are even some Tracks like #13 (Doctor Waters) and #17 (Enterspace Nine) that I would recommend People experiment listening to through headphones, on repeat, while they go to sleep. Each track speaks a multitude of pages in my ‘Book of Life’ and will give my listeners an opportunity to experience part of an intimate/sacred Soundtrack to my life. Additionally, many People weren’t aware that I produce/record Music so I also wanted to allow them an opportunity to experience this dimension of me. I call “The Emerald Tablet” ‘The Mysticism of Sound and Music’ and that’s exactly what it is.
What Genre is “The Emerald Tablet”?
I consider any Music I produce/record as World Music and I always define it as a Soundtrack. Because Music is a universal language, I don’t limit this expression. When you listen to the Soundtrack you’ll hear influences from all over the World; from Irish Folk Music, HipHop, Classical Indian, Japanese and 1960’s Soul Music. Sometimes I’m inspired to do a Poetry piece, other times I’ll Rap. Other times I’ll do what can be considered Spoken Word and sometimes I won’t say anything at all. As far as the “Soundtrack” label is concerned, it’s background Music to the life I’ve lived or presently live. By defining it as such I want People to understand that sound a part of the colorful backdrop of our lives. All of us have certain “Theme Music” that when we hear it we’re teleported right back to that space and time when that sound made the deepest impression on us! It may be a Love Song, it may be a Party Song, it may be a Song that symbolizes a difficult time in our life. Whatever that visual impression it may be, this arrangement of sound (Music) conjures up images of page from our own ‘Book of Life’. So, even if I did want to define it as a specific “Genre” I wouldn’t even know what to call it! Lol It’s Music. -shrugs-
What is the Track “Could It Be We” about?
“Could It Be We” was a Song I wrote that was inspired by a Queen whom I met some years back. Although upon first glance I felt a deep connection to her beyond words, which wasn’t sexual, we went on to develop a relationship. My first line, “Wisdom Equality all being born to Be Universally In Love’s Destination” summarizes that relationship. It’s an acronym using Supreme Mathematics to spell “WE BUILD”, and from that premise we went on to share many experiences together. This was a point in my life where I truly learned the most about the intimate and sensual dimensions of Love. At one point in this Song I say "...and now it’s intense/hearts throb like ancestral drums/that beat from the floor of the Atlantic/it’s deep/discreet/divine/refined/giving sight to the blind/my Mind was in a timeless place/void of space where the heaven’s be/I thought/Could It Be We". This was one of the ways I strived to describe the depths of what I thought and felt about the bond we created. One of the most significant parts of this relationship is how Time simply stood still when we were together. The World itself became peripheral and every challenge, trial and problem that we encountered from this vantage point, was approached with an unshakable sense of confidence, security and optimism. This is without question what the “We” represents in the title of this Song. The “Could It Be” is the worldly doubt and insecurity that can creep in whenever vessels of this magnitude become separated on a physical plane. In other words, Love transcends the physical veils that separate us; it’s a journey of reunification with the essential source that bonds us. Sometimes I think People find themselves in dimensions of Love like this and it’s a frightful place to be in. There were times we literally experienced a level of fusion; junctures where we truly became one being, not two separate selves striving to learn about or be as one. It reminds me of the lyrics Minnie Riperton said in her Song ‘Inside My Love’, “Two strangers/not strangers/only lacking the knowing/So willing/feeling/infinite growing”. This sense of intuitive oneness, and the process of learning effective ways to sustain this state of existence, is what you’ll feel and hear in this Track.
What is “Gods In Plain Clothes” about?
This Track showcases not only my lyricism b.u.t. also the intention of my lyrics as a vehicle of my way of life. The first verse is about my cultural credentials and I start off by saying, “I know how deep the rabbit hole goes”. This is to let People know that gaining KOS (Knowledge of Self) and being on this journey of Self Realization is like being in Wonder Land. Not the type of hallucinogenic Wonderland ‘Alice’ was in, b.u.t. a Land of “Wonder” because now we’re in a place where critically examining what we’ve been taught and are now learning typifies this uncharted terrain. In my second verse I describe an experience of someone who claims they want KOS who came amongst me. I talk about their disposition, what I assessed about them and how I responded to their approach. It’s definitely important insight for anyone who has or is striving to educate someone. Also, when People hear about The NGE (The Nation of Gods and Earths) and particularly “The Gods”, they either have this image in their Minds of Clash of the Titans or Characters from the TV Show Heroes with mythical powers when they think about who we are. Lol With “Gods In Plain Clothes”, I wanted to give People a more realistic image of what our Culture is practically about.
When did your Musical Career start?
Even though I come from a Family with a Musical Background, I never actually learned to play any particular instrument proficiently. I’ve always had a profound love for Music and my first public Performance was in front of a couple hundred People at the tender age of 12. My Name was “Chilly C”; a beat-box prodigy for my older sister MC “Double K” while we performed in the Talent Show at our Annual Black Experience. I still remember the crowd and glaring lights. My Grand Ole Earth and my Old Earth played Piano. When my Ole Dad was in Junior High he was the Bass Player in a Band called “The El Morocco’s”. He also loved Jazz, Jimmy McGriff in particular, that ole Hammond B3 Organ, and collected a lot of Albums; which I took with me when I went away to College. So I’ve been around these elements of Culture all my Life and it was only natural that I would grow to develop a means of exploring and expressing these elements. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my journey into Music production/recording began in 1985; I was 10 years old scratching Albums on a dusty record player and using a radio and a tape recorder to loop breaks in beats on 60 minute Maxwell tapes. When HipHop first hit me I was electrified!! The Music, the Art, the Dance and the Cultural Expression itself moved me in a way that Instruments and no other music Genre could!! This Era is called ‘The Golden Age’ for a reason. Through the years I’ve always maintained an intimate relationship with HipHop. The Albums I collected, the Rhymes I recited and the Rhythms I hummed painted a colorful musical backdrop on a canvass called my childhood. Fast forward to the early 90’s and I decided I wanted to start producing/recording Music. I was already writing/reading Poetry (prior to the Spoken Word Genre), writing Rhymes and performing my work at Coffee Houses, so now I wanted to get involved in the Music. I had no formal training, never even touched production equipment before and began to do research on what I needed in order to express the Music I was hearing in my head. One of the first things I did was purchase Magazines with equipment in it. Once I had my Mind set on what I wanted to get I cut some of the pictures out and taped them on my bedroom Wall. Even though I didn’t have the money for this expensive equipment and was working as a Door to Door Salesman at the time, I had a “Determined Idea” and knew that I would get it one day. The reason I posted these pictures on my Wall was to program my Subconscious Mind; I would cee these images every morning I woke up, whenever I went into my room and before I went to bed at night. So along with Creative Visualization, Research, Hard Work and taking advantage of the doors (opportunities) that opened up for me production/recording wise, I was able to successfully do what I set out to do.
Who are your greatest Musical inspirations and why?
Wow! I have some many! Lol First and foremost I gotta give a shout out to my Enlightener’s Enlightener ‘Life Justice’ who has helped broaden my scope and appreciation for Music in a way that’s unimaginable! He’s hipped me to Bob Dylan, who is in fact one of my favorite Writers, and various other Artists and Genres that I never even considered or even thought about. During his College Years he did a Radio Show called ‘Wings of Expansion’ that featured various types of Music. I’ve never met anyone with such eclectic tastes and he’s definitely made a huge impression on me. As far as lyricism is concerned, hands down The GZA. I love the precision and technical nature in which he constructs his lyrics where every word is emphatic. I love the visual imagery of Ghostface. I love the wit and effortlessness of Jay Z. I love the heart/passion of Tupac and I love the honesty/humility of the new Artist Stalley. Music Production wise I’ve been inspired by Artists like Isaac Hayes, Barry White, 4th Disciple, George Duke, Pete Rock, Roy Ayers, The RZA, Jagjit & Chitra Singh, Tru Master, Ultimate Spinach, DJ Premier, Quincy Jones, The Large Professor, Sly and The Family Stone and Fela Kuti to name a few.
How is the Album sales?
They’re excellent! I didn’t really expect the type of support I’ve been getting thus far from the little bit of Promotion I’ve done and I'm really appreciate that! People that aren’t really into Music sometimes have a skewed view of putting an Album out though, especially if they’re only aware of Top 40 Music. Some of the responses I’ve gotten from People is that it kinda conflicts with their preconceived ideas when they cee an actual Album you’ve created. Many People think you need a Major Record Company, a Commercial on TV and to be on '104 and Park' in order to have a legitimate Album you can purchase through legitimate Stores around the World. Lol To them, if you have a brunt copy of a CD with a name written on it in black marker that’s more visually in sync with what they expect to cee. Although I do not have the Distribution that a Major Record Label has, anyone anywhere in the World can still order my Soundtrack at any Store you can purchase Music. I’m essentially selling Music out of my digital trunk. Another misconception that People have is that because you put out an Album your goal and intention is to go Platinum. I’m sure that is some People’s actual intention, in the same way that some Writers are writing to win a Pulitzer Prize. Some People are also creating for the sole purpose of making money. Well I’m not and have never been that type of Creative Artist/Writer. Although these are talents I was naturally born with and have developed with hard word and help along the way, my greater purpose is to create a Legacy for Cultural Sustainability. In other words, I do what I do in order to make my personal contribution to Civilization and to help make this World a better place for the generations to follow. This is why with all the things that I do you never cee me constantly pushing People to financially support what I do. I produce it and there comes a time/opportunity where I think People will be able to benefit from what was produced, even when I’m no longer here! Those who are seeking it will ultimately find it, even if it’s 5 years from now and I’m comfortable with that. For those who are and have been supportive of the things I do, I appreciate it very much, and I think one of best ways to show my appreciation is to continue being a resource/asset to help elevate (transmute) the condition and consciousness of People.
Well I recently invested in another microphone so I’ve definitely been doing some production/recording. As far as what's next, I personally don’t talk much about what I’m going to do, hope to do, want to do, might do and I’m dreaming about doing. I’ve found out that exposing premature ideas to the public is like exposing a newborn baby to the elements. I mean, even with “The Emerald Tablet” Soundtrack, no one had a clue about it; I just put it out! Over the years I’ve learned to operate in this way and I’ve been able to accomplish many long and short term goals by not talking about it b.u.t. being about it. I will say this, with the type of life I lead I’m always doing something and there’s never a dull or boring moment. So you can expect to cee various other Projects in 2012 that I’m directly/indirectly involved in making manifest.