It’s been FAR too long! We’ve missed ya. Believe me when I say (Mercer here) this hiatus was not somethin’ I planned, nor enjoyed. However, due to recent events, I realize I’ve taken certain things for granted. And who hasn’t? But DAMN - to think that people I assumed were dear friends (more like family actually) directly contributed to my un-warranted absence from doing what I love: Writing about high-fidelity and music culture for ya’ll. Couple the last few months with the loss of my brother-in-law (who left us WAY too young - I wrote about Rick HERE - unfortunately the column has since been TORN APART editorially as a sort-of joke - more SOON:), following the break-up of my 20-yr marriage:
I can say, without any hesitancy; this has been the most difficult twenty-four months of my forty-two years on this planet (OK wise-asses, I smell your brains cookin' - I set myself up for that one). Sparing you the details (and sparing myself more embarrassment - hey, it is what it is...): Thankfully, I’m slowly getting back to my craft while looking for other opps as well. I'm sure many readers have been wondering: Why the irregularity of blog posts and such after awhile of consistency here at OccupyHifi.org? Well: It hurts more deeply than I can (or will) say here - but I fell victim to the shadowy crimes of identity theft, impersonation, and a host of other atrocities that I can’t get into right now. The reason I'm telling you this much? As it turns out, little was spared, and so our beloved OccupyHifi's content has been altered in places. A joke to some, a lesson to others, and to me, I actually hate to drop an F-bomb this soon into it - but Fuck all I wanna say is that it SUCKED BIG H___________!
Needless to say; there’s quite a bit of collateral damage, as this has been going on (we believe, judging by intel already gathered and safe-guarded) for much longer than I anticipated - and so the arduous task of rebuilding, in some places, from scratch, has just begun. Again: I’m probably saying more than some of my peers would like, but I’ve always promised you guys: The Readers, that I would leave it all on the field, that I would always give you my very best effort, and be straight with you. Well, obviously I let alot of people down by allowing myself to be susceptible to such a breach. I am sorry I let this happen. When I could no longer leave any room for doubt, I kept sayin’ to myself “well, it’s my first time, and I’ve been doin’ this for two decades. But one time is too many, and that’s nothing to brag about. I’ve lost work, friendships, business contacts, all sorts of things that you see in the movies when this sorta’ thing occurs. So, just refer to the last big words in the stanza above if you wanna know how I feel in my heart about it. Unfortunately, we all say “it can’t happen to me” - but unfortunately I learned the hard way that when it comes to online security, I wasn’t nearly as safe as I suspected, and there’s nobody to blame for that but me. As I type these words, I’m overcome with sadness and anger, but I will NOT let the perpetrators enjoy such satisfaction. I already covered some heavy shit that's gone down, and if those weren’t enough? Another damn cliche marked one of the heaviest losses I’ve walked-through: You know how they say deaths come in threes? Well, seriously, that just plain SUCKED too - because my third was my beloved mentor, teacher and dear friend Harry Pearson (Founder of The Absolute Sound: The man who literally coined the term “high end audio”).
And of course, only Harry could, even in death, maintain his wicked sense of humor - because the man just had to shuffle his mortal coil during the early-morning hours of my my 40th birthday! I mean, really Harry, really? You couldn’t hold on for another night (I’m foolin’ of course - MAKE NO MISTAKE - ) I miss the man, the one who often, in his later years, remained tucked behind the myth of Hp (as he became known for in the audiophile industry). Those being the initials he would use to sign every review, column, letter from the editor and beyond. But the man was far more complex than any of his audio reviews could possibly capture: And since this is the Mike Drops section, I felt obligated to share something that I've only told a few close friends in the industry: I think the world got cheated out of a great writer, because he was far too good, IMHO, to be considered just a great "audio reviewer or writer". I would've liked to see the book he was working on get published - or maybe a compilation of his film reviews. He loved his flicks! Going to the movies with the man was always an adventure. When we went to see Scream in the theater, barely twenty-minutes into the thing I thought my right arm was gonna fall off. He'd squeeze it with every scream of his own, or jump, whatever fright came his way, his tugged at me til' I had to scream myself! Not at the movie screen of course, but at the mad man trying to pull my limbs off. We had a blast that day. You know: That good ol' belly-laughter that you feel in your feet by the time you're done. I'll miss those moments most of all.
But we can’t dwell too long now can we? Cuz I’ve also learned the world ain’t gonna wait for a second - and it’s doesnt matter what your personal drama is, or mine for that matter. There’s good work to be done - and I aim to do just that. Harry wouldn’t expect anything less of me. So, in honor of his spirit, his zeal for knowledge, music, films, fine food, and laughter: Which I've rarely experienced lately (that's gotta change) let this lil' Mic Drop act as an open-letter to the peeps that are creating this, well, I stem FAR beyond this phrase, but I often say, when drama between people seems outta hand: Lifes got enough shit to throw at us man. We don't need to pepper it with our own stupidity and make it worse; lose friends and family over bullshit between us - when we should be lifting each other up. The world's got plenty of shit to shovel at us, with or without our tribal beefs. I know, I sound like I'm about to sing (or, more precisely, type) Kumbaya or some shit. Don't worry, I ain't gone soft on ya... I can still let my dirty-hippie flag fly now-and-then, but after walking through (and still going through) the losses and surreal chains of events that've weaved the fabric of the last two years; I'd had enough of what I've begun to call "unnecessary stress" or, put simply, or, rather, more succinctly: Your bullshit ain't my bullshit! And vice versa.
I'm sure a few of my readers and colleagues alike may suffer minor coronaries when they read this - and trust me: It took another friend to basically ground me (or, as he put it, "lay low") in order to start the mental re-calibration process! It's great to be back in the light....
And just like that, luck started to turn: A friend and I got to settle a misunderstanding amongst people in our hood recently. We sat down, figured out what was best for all of us - and moved on stronger than ever. I'd like to Drop the fuckin' Mike with the same thing I told him: "I been startin' fires for so damn long, I'd like to put one out for once". He just shot me a quick look of acknowledgment, followed by a nod and a smile, and it's all good in the hood again. Ironically, before all this madness followed me, I'm not sure if I could've sat at that table. So, if taking all this kinda' crap can have a silver lining like that, Damn: It's good to be alive! Now it's time to get to work.
Sorry to sound like a broken record (not new by any stretch) but I'm also more grateful for all the support I've received from the readers than I know how to express at this moment! I ain't scared to say it a thousand times: You guys are the reason I can keep this up. That, and the fact that I fuckin' love it. Cuz: It certainly isn't the money! And who cares. As my close friends often hear me say: We could be shoeless children on the streets of Calcutta! Right? Lets all hope for a prosperous 2017. Speaking of the new year:
Have you heard the Filthy America...It's Beautiful, the new release from The LOX? I can't stop thumpin' that record on TIDAL when I drive. It's great to hear Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch haven't lost a step. This is hip hop for my generation (X), those of us who had, maybe, FAR too many expectations of new Tribe record! It's drivy and grimy; the beats sit somewhere between house music and hip hop (underground house) and the lyrical delivery of all three are tight and powerful: Creating a hard-hitting, emotively-charged hip hop banger. I've been waiting for a record like this for a long time... Of course, if you're not into hip hop - well, more music coverage comin'...