Free Black Space: Short Take.
I learned about Omar Sosa from T Yuan Chi Nicholson many years ago. T performed with Sosa years ago. When I traveled to Wuhan in China-he had already been there, many years before on tour with Sosa or Steve Coleman. T among all the other things is a hip-hop artist of the highest caliber. The work with Sosa tests the boundaries of hip-hop. It's funky, innovative, and grounded in Orisha music.
In China, I often practiced Taiji to Sosa. In his music, he uses the code of our ancestors as the foundation. Sosa gave me access to an African energy and root, even as I was far away from home.
Like many things black, it is easy to underestimate the proficiency skill and study demanded for such endeavors. Like hip-hop, taiji, and jazz the perfection is in what seems effortless. All art is deceptive in its mastery. Sosa is like that. T is like that.
I study the I-Ching's sixty-four hexagrams, and overtime I have come to look at the system as a construction of root metaphors reality and energy can be reconciled with. Orisha music is the perfection of such code from the black/Africa. That the deities have music, precise forms, precise incantations and structures is preservation of culture and ancient wisdom. These codes are what argument, rhetoric, and science are for the West. In fact, within the structures of such codes is the convergence of what we know as science, magic, music, emotion, spirit, and of course the connection with thought.
T Yuan Chi Nicholson is many things. In addition to his skills as a hip-hop artist, he is also a musician, band leader, and proficient in many styles of martial arts. He is also a sculptor and below is a link to an exhibit of his work.
T led me to Sosa. It is rare that I have found the convergence of so many arts in one person. T seems almost mythical at this point if you contemplate how diverse and multi-talented he is. He's one of my heroes.
If you are in D.C. check out the exhibit. The artist talk is on the 25th. Hope to see you there.
Artist Talk Link