Blaq Kush - There's Always Hope Vol.1 & Vol.2

The problem with cyberpunk is that technocrats (today's, tomorrow's, always) read it aspirationally. Hence, while some selfless computational biologists are trying to leverage machine learning to predict and prevent diseases, many more developers are building AI to improve corporate efficiencies. Today, AI-empowered computer programs can draw, write, and code, all with some degree of effectiveness. But, as Blaq Kush so brilliantly elucidates across two volumes of nonstop quotables, There's Always Hope.

The first opens with what seems to be a child's solo performance of "Amazing Grace" before quickly scrolling off a series of "Intense Notes," including what has to be one of the funniest punchlines I've heard this year, with "You're not the man, you're a crew of kids inside a trench coat." Those who've been tuned in for a while will recognize this brand of humor as Kush's forte, but perhaps never before in his catalog has it been applied toward such explicitly noble ends, namely, offering hope. 

Of course, there's something of a Catch 22 there as well, one which Kush effortlessly relays through his trademark sardonic wit. Like books, kids can't eat hope. Indeed, it's in the best interest of the technocrats who would have this entire post created from an algorithm to inspire (false) hope as far and wide as possible. Hell, best interests? Try utter imperative. It can serve as the basis for entire entertainment platforms, let alone individual media enterprises.

But I digress. I recently learned that the spelling of Black in Blaq Kush's name is an homage to the Queensbridge rapper Blaq Poet. I recently sold a Blaq Poet CD to a German rap fan for $45. One of the high points of Vol.2, the TV writer titled "Dan Harmon," concludes with the line "Better days are not far away, I think that they're Canada." That push-pull of idealism and reality gives these albums their tension and release, but even if that's all made up, it's impossible to hear "I think you're Lucifer but you're more like Lil Uzi Vert in the multiverse" (from "2009") and not smile and think. 

And what more can anyone hope for.

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