It still amazes me how people somehow find it ok to use cultural words that they don’t understand fully, with no idea of their context or true meaning. I would happen to fall into one of the most targeted cultures…the Jamaican culture. Language/Dialect/Creole? PATOIS.
Since living in the USA, and also being a performer, I have had one too many times when my Jamaican introduction is greeted with choruses of mouth-made vocal gun shots (important I state they were mouth made). “Brap, Brap” (single shots), “Brapapapapapapap” (the ‘Rapid Fire’ Machine Gun), “Blow Blow” (That is the ‘Shot Gun’), “Pie Pie Pie” (this is the hand pistol); Whatever the weapon of choice, it intrigues me that this is one of the highlights of my culture to the non-native Jamaican.
You also can’t forget the use of the word, B0mboCl@@t, like it’s a party favour. Funny the persons doing this don’t see me cringe every time they attempt to pronounce it (incorrectly mind you), and not understand that the visions I associate with this word are a weave about to be pulled out, a man about to get stabbed, often times just anyone at the peak of their anger, and in all fairness to them, many times as a term of endearment or extreme excitement, for instance to forward a big chune (aka used at peak of excitement when hearing a good song. In this way it kinda functions like a testosterone-driven “Guuuuuuuuuuurrrl daz my sooooooooooong!”). It could also happen when you see a really hot car pass by…then you let out the super loooooong one.
Truthfully the biggest fear for me is that I will be at a formal event with said friend who doesn’t appreciate the context of my culture, and of course it will come up that I’m Jamaican, and my friend will pleasantly launch into a string of their favourite new Jamaican words, and I, well I will be a dark shade of purple and trying to find the nearest exit.
I’m just saying if you aren’t sure about what you are saying, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it. Daz all. And maybe the next time you want to wild out in public using my native dialect, then give me enough forewarning so I can play into it - You know, wear my reggae-coloured tam with the fake locks, my favourite Bob Marley t-shirt, and roll my super-sized blunt, which I shall place behind my ear. Don’t forget I will be saying “Mon” after any sentence, and possible “Irie”, and maybe using my own Jamaican curse words out of context. “Do you know where I could find the bl00dcl@@t pickles?…Irie”. “I was wondering why the r@@s you look so beautiful tonight?” (This one doesn’t count cause I have a few friends who would say this. Hey I probably have already too).
To all of this I say, “Weh yu jus seh?”. As Tessanne Chin said, “Your words are your weapons, so use them wisely”. So before you shoot “down your brothers with your lyrical bullets”, you can buy a patois book. Blessed love.
As a musician I’ve gathered that women have been sexually curious about me, and by sexually curious I really mean, curious about ‘what I’d be like in bed’. Myself guilty of this sexual curiosity while watching Beyonce (sorry Jigga) or Rihanna (Sorry again J - He tends to be protective of her too) on stage, I can totally relate to it. So today I decided to let out one of those musician secrets that will help you find some of the answers you are looking for.
As a performer I’ve had the pleasure of working with many talented musicians, and if you thought Trey Songz knew about “Making Love Faces”, then you really haven’t seen anything yet. Granted this post will be more helpful to the ladies since the music industry tends to be male-dominated, but this is definitely not in any way gender specific. I’ve seen the girls in Beyonce’s band make these faces too…The musician face. For bass players I usually call it ‘Bass Face’, and other musicians highly guilty include guitarists, drummers and keyboard players…basically anyone with a free mouth who plays anything percussive. This also includes singers (we do those polyrhythms too).
Just as unconscious as a ‘Love Face’, a musician face is definitely how you’ll know what your musician crush/potential playmate will look in their moment of climax. The best part is that you will get to see it over and over throughout the course of their musical ‘performance’. Enough time to really make a good and proper analysis, and essentially decide if making the next move is worth your while. I don’t even know why I’m sharing this because this information could win a Nobel Prize. I’m definitely onto something.
I can bet any money that a snap shot of your guitar crush in the peak of his/her solo will look very similar to that ‘other face’ that they make at the peak of happy time…just that no one usually has cameras out in that moment, well hmm actually, some people probably do.
This of course brings us to the question, ‘Why should I even care about a musician ‘love face’?’. Really good question. The most truthful answer is that a person’s soul and honest intentions lie in their eyes, and often in their facial expressions. This in turn can directly correlate to sexual performance. It’s kinda like the correlation between dancing ability and waistline action. A love face could tell you if someone is good or bad in bed. Here are some of the faces I’ve definitely seen on stage: ‘The upturned lip face’, ‘The Squinty Eye’, ‘The OMG Open Mouth’, which sometimes actually looks like they are about to vomit imho, ‘The I’m Crying Really Badly’, ‘The clench my Teeth’, ‘The Tongue’ (quite popular, kinda like Jamaicans dancing to dancehall - The tongue must come out especially in a sketel moment), and of course you can’t forget the ‘I’m quivering my lip like Whitney Houston and look like I’m in an old Kung Fu movie’. This last face is quite a popular one too, as many musicians anticipate what they are going to play and literally make this movement with their mouths as they play it. Looks a bit like Mr. Ed to me, but could be a reflections of how they ‘Stay Ahead of the Game’ (Read Part 1 and Part 2 when you have time). You can feel free to attach your own connotations to each of these expressions, but they each mean something very different, and there are different grades and intensities for each…Really too much to talk about in one post.
In summary I’m encouraging you all to be more observant when you are at that next concert because you may just get a little insight into a ‘Love Face’, that may give you a lot more insight into your musician crush. Musicians aside, ‘Love Faces’ happen all the time in life during many non-bedroom activities, so don’t miss your clue in, and if someone writes a research paper on this, lemme know, cuz I was the 1st to blog about it…Mi waan mi credit!!
by Carla Moore (Writer) and Mario Guthrie (Photographer)
land of your naming
we say Jamaica
like you were never here
what of xaymaca?
in 50 years it was gone
I know not how I got here
but for staying
you were a story
a thing a black child learned
a part of Jamaica’s history
the part before the real part
Another 62 words is headed your way tomorrow as we wind down edition 2: 62 words of Jamaica Writes. - JW
Carla Moore (Writer) and Mario Guthrie (Photographer)
hold hands amid flames
watch their skin meld
smile at being joined
she hates you
retching up her feelings
nothing comes out
her feelings are your unborn child nurtured on her blood
come rub her naked belly
even with closed door
even when gone
she hates you so much