You make mashed potatoes using milk and blueband just the way you think they do at Art Café, served with minced meat and spinach. Mukundi and Jaber are in the sitting room streaming from YouTube using Jakom wireless. You sit down to eat. The plan is to watch a movie, something sepia of classic vintage. That plan does not happen.
When your Smart TV is connected to the same wireless as your phone or tablet, a box shows on your phone. You pair the two. The images or video from the phone is displayed on the screen of the telly. Jaber takes us back to the 80s and 90s- back when people actually wrote songs, and not just look for rhyming words like mashati, kabati, mavazi and viazi.
Lights are off. She is in green shorts that reflect the screen’s light. They glow. Toni Braxton sings, but she is nothing compared to Whitney Houston. An argument ensues. Who between Beyonce and Jessie J is a better singer? In between trying to defend J’s honour, Barry White comes on. His deep voice makes my tiny house tremble. If you lived during the same times, you would not dare look at his girl. Barry looks like he could dig a crater in your face with just one punch.
The songs play. Songs that take you back to the days when Jeff Koinange was a radio presenter. When wearing Fubu and 08 jeans was considered the coolest shit. When girls wore baggy military jackets over tumbo cuts. When dopest was not even a word. These were the days when America (and practically the rest of the hiphop loving world) was divided into three major compass direction points; East-coast, West-coast and the South (this constituency came later, Jaber corrects me).
Funny how The North was never represented, like it never belonged, like its people barely scratched the surface. Which was a blessing, because they it did not have to suffer the paradox of hiphop music then. It did not bury its sons because some bloke screwed another man’s wife, released a record about it in which he also promised to kill him, and then ironically fell to the same bullets he swore by.
Imagine an entire country getting its knickers in a twist over a beef between two men. Nothing is more preposterous- that is if you do not count the iron in their teeth these days.
You do not notice just how fast time has moved, until someone suggests that you put Anaconda on the playlist. The transition from timeless, transcendent Mariah Carey to Nicki’s silicon stuffed ass is sleep inspiring. From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, or at times, the swipe of a smart phone.
The wall says it’s just shy of 1.00am. You retire. One thing bugs you though: What is it with amazing musicians and drugs? Look at the list; Whitney, Amy, MJ, Elvis Presley, Frank Lymon, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Holiday. This list goes on and on, naming some of the voices I wish I could kiss. And as if that is not deterrent enough, Bruno Mars still snorts that shit. His recalcitrance to appreciate the graves of those that have fallen before them is painful, because this little Hawaiian sings in a way that comes naturally. Perhaps he is just fooled by his charmed existence.
You switch off the telly, hoping alongside Black Ice and Staceyann Chin that, even though these fantastic artists passed on courtesy of the grim white powder, the heavens still opened up to receive them, and that the seas sighed in anticipation of their arrival.
Darkness follows you to your bed.