Here is a piece by Chicago beat-maker and my good friend, Sev Seveer. He has moved across the country to further his education. Buy his music and support a good dude doing cool things. This piece and much more can be found in our Spring/Summer Jugo and Rada Zine. We worked really hard with lots of artists to make a cool Zine. Get your copy for only $5. We are also trying to raise money for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Afrorack Chicago through these amazing shirts. Please help a great cause.
Making beats has been nearly impossible for three months. In lieu of any consistent ability to make music to my liking, I’ve learned many other things during COVID lockdown: How to live with a life partner in a small space with close to zero conflict. How to scratch with the up fader on my Vestax mixer. The number of household objects that also work as joint filters. That my bike got stolen. Why you shouldn’t lock your bike outside if you have even the slightest amount of room in your home. That I love making Ethiopian food more than I love buying it at a restaurant. But most of all, I learned that time, creativity, and capitalism are far more intricately connected that I have ever considered. And in 2020 they are all trying to kill each other.
Coronavirus lockdown has stranded us with a situation in which every minute feels like it has a life of its own. For many without jobs, a feverish attempt to maximize productive time has led to being unproductively suspended in it.The cost of time has enabled many to realize, the hard way, that they are expendable as workers. And of those still working, a massive number of Americans have been jolted into the surprisingly challenging home office environment—which freelancers and remote-workers have long mastered and developed adaptation to, i.e., they know how to say “no”. For those new to this, time seems to have forsaken the place they once took refuge from labor. Just the same, time has been granted to restaurant industry workers, so that they can engage with the current race struggle in America, which has morphed from marches in protest of George Floyd’s murder to a general mass movement against whiteness, patriarchy, and all the ways they manifest violently in the workplace—not to mention the legal system, academia, and the healthcare industry.
Lockdown has provided me with time to read, time to sleep, time to love, time to gaze at the tree outside my window and watch two seasons change before my eyes. I could never do that before, because I was working, and wondering when the day would come that I could do all of those things. And while deaths have and will always be the products of time, the time we’ve been granted since March has been the product of deaths—nearly 200,000. Negotiating that reality with a positive view of time reclaimed is difficult, and dwelling on it could drive you mad. Americans have felt every day of the last six months. Every day of the last four years. Yet somehow, they’re all still vague and still just one long, bad time. What I know is that I’m grateful for life, I’m grateful for the healthy time I’ve had, and I’m grateful for the time I’ve been granted to think about the future. Last year I dreamt every day of how I’d spend my time if I had it. Soon I’ll be wishing that again. But until that time…