“Beneath the Underground: Collected Raps 2000 – 2018” by Malik Crumpler

Writer: Malik Ameer Crumpler // Publisher: Satoria Ideas Paperbook

“Walking naked in the battlefield
With my soul as my only weapon”

Multihyphenate wordsmith Malik Ameer Crumpler knows more sides of the Force than Yoda’s reflection in a funhouse mirror.  Poet. MC. Producer. Cuator. Journalist. Video Artist.  The list could go on for days.  For this artist, the titles and mediums are endless, but the core is the same – metaphysical code switching and Afrofuturist bars steeped in Funk. His latest book, “Beneath the Underground: Collected Raps 2000 – 2018” chronicles the entirety of Crumpler’s lyrics from previous musical releases.

Crumpler’s work as an artist not only touches many mediums, but also a cross-cultural spectrum.  Originally hailing from California, his journey has taken him from the West Cost of the United States, to a stint based in New York City, and now, Paris, France. In that time, he has cemented himself as a formidable voice in the experimental-jazz-hip-hop scenes, while also working heavily with the avant-garde art scene. His previous artistic commissions include musicals, ballets, and arias for such organizations as BBC 6 with Giles Peterson (London), Harvestworks (NYC), Double Wei Factory (Hong Kong), and a dozen more locations including Paris, Normandy, and Vancouver.  In his ‘free time,” Crumpler serves as a literary editor or contributor for several literary magazines and websites in the US, UK, and France – Paris Lit Up, Those That This, The Opiate, and ItchySilk.

“Some of Them got lost in the idea to rebel
So, they bring hell on others”

He has also found recent success with his musical collaboration Madison Washington on Def Pressé records. The project features Crumpler’s signature vocals with production from Producer/DJ thatmanmonkz from Sheffield, England.   The group’s name draws inspiration from the enslaved cook who, in 1841, led a revolt aboard a brig called the Creole. Along with seventeen conspirators, Washington overthrew the slave traders of the ship and successfully freed over 100 captured Africans.  They sailed to British controlled Nassau where abolition was established in 1833.  The US government attempted to intercede, but under British rule, they claimed freedom.

Crumpler’s 2018 release, “Beneath the Underground” is an epic collection of the artist’s raps that read like music on their own.  His metaphysical and rebellious diction invoke everything from the Pert Em Heru to Public Enemy, and the Book of Genesis to Guy Fawkes.  His versatility in structure is also evident in his raps as they vary from traditional stanzas to take on theatrical, apocryphal and at times, operatic structures. He also uses characters and punctuation as both a glyphic and literary motif with the text. In the lyrics for “Columbussing”(2006), he writes:

“Birth more Alchemists than MIT? (((( FACTS ))))
God Data = There are no games, none of y’all are playas
In this here divine choreography
Dance through all these Segas
On ya Nintendo goin Super Vedas”

#CopCrumpler


Approaching twenty years active as a professional artist, Crumpler’s newest release encapsulates a powerful testament to his legacy.  With so much work available for the first time, now is a great moment to discover the writer’s work. Highly recommended for fans of the literary works of Saul Williams, Ursula Rucker, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron.The collection is now available for order on Amazon and Lulu.  For more on the writings, music, and further works of Crumpler, head to his homepage. For real time transmissions, follow Crumpler on Twitter.

“‘Nature for the natural

It all comes full circle.

Infinity sign

the outcome is controversial.”

 

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  • Jon-Carlos Evans is a Berlin based filmmaker, audiovisual artist and writer. He holds a B.A. in Film Production from Webster University-St.Louis and a MFA in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York. Under his musical alias Klaas von Karlos, Evans is also is the founder of experimental-electronic collective ReVerse Bullets and creative director of the GLITCH performance series/music label. As Klaas von Karlos, he is also a member of music projects BIINDS, Naked Sweatshop, and Divan Rouge

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