More watchful eyes had to be manufactured
Whether hidden or overt, security had to be in order
All it took was the technological genius
Cameras became placed
Ruffians would think twice before invading
Under those watchful cybernetic eyes
The Originator blessed this woman to utilize these cameras
Those eyes will live on
Closed circuits, open mind
This is the first song/poem I wrote involving a female inventor. This one is about Marie Van Brittan Brown. She is the inventor of security cameras and CCTV. She invented it back in 1966 which made her WAY ahead of her time with that invention. It’s a shame how people have abused and misused it, Brown was able to create this system for home surveillance to protect people. Such a concept was certainly unheard of and I’m sure lives were saved using that device. Never underestimate a woman when she’s inventing something!
The picture of Marie Van Brittan Brown is from Timeline.
A World War and racial segregation
Wasn’t going to stop me from saving lives
Soldiers were dying
I knew how to innovate in times like these
And even my enemies at home had to bank on it
Every type was given to me to save lives
I chilled the sources and stored them for emergencies
Next, came the samples as cargo on the go
To hospitals and beyond
15,000 in the UK alone
Better thank my inventions for saving their lives
Too bad my employer threw racist pseudoscience
As to who got transfusions or not
I would be cut off from this world
But my method of saving lives continues
Isn’t it a shame when people who literally save lives never get credit for their heroism? It’s no wonder why I have superhero fatigue since more people know who Iron Man, Superman, and Captain America are than this doctor. Like most of the people Dear Innovare focuses on, I didn’t know who Dr. Charles R. Drew was until long after I graduated from school (high school AND at the university level). Charles R. Drew invented the blood bank which continues to save lives through the process of blood transfusions. He came up with this concept during WWII and saved a ton of soldiers lives. Not only that, but he created the bloodmobile, so blood can be refrigerated and stored on the go to various hospitals or clinics. Unfortunately, there were racist idiots who denied the blood from black people even if it could save lives and Dr. Drew was disillusioned by this bigotry (he’s an African-American man, by the way). He died in a car crash at the age of 45 which is very tragic and not many people know his name. Don’t worry, Dr. Drew. I’ll make sure more people know who you are.
Side note: The title of the song is a reference to the Canadian band Lifestory: Monologue.
The image of Charles R. Drew is from Ferris State University.
Sisungule ithuluzi elisha
Leli thambo lizosiza abantu ukutui bafunde izinombolo
Singabaqambi bethuluzi elisha
In ancient times at the continent’s Southern points in the mountain range
We told time, counted the days, and tracked the moon
All it took was a baboon fibula tally by tally
We taught our people from the highest to lowest veldts
At least 44,000 years ago
This wasn’t decoration
This was for education as the Originator blessed us and those up north for our tools
I have to show South Africa some love here especially since this won’t be the only time I’ll mention things from that country when it comes to the content of this album. The Congo wasn’t the only nation to produce a calculator in ancient times. In the Lebombo mountains in what would eventually be South Africa and Eswatini (the country formally known as Swaziland), the natives created their own tally stick also using a baboon bone. That was certainly innovative and this needs to be better known because I literally can’t think of any history class I took in school that mentioned ancient African civilizations with the exception of a whitewashed Egypt or maybe a casual mention of Hannibal of Carthage (now modern-day Tunisia). See, there were important math elements in Africa among many other things. Major props to Dr. Y. for informing me about this lesser-known history!
The Lebombo Bone image is from Afrolegends.
I was the son of runaways, yet I would soon be the ignored father of electricity
Draft after draft, I would progress in my innovations despite the lack of praise
Gardens of inventions would be under my watch
They would certainly bloom
Trains would look like outhouses on wheels without me
I even drew up the first phone designs
Ask Alexander about that
Then came my electric lamp
Carbon would be king to shine brighter and longer
How well was a paper filament, Thomas?
I was an originator
The bigger One knows who I am when others give blank stares
This incandescent electric freeman lives whenever you turn a light on
Wait, so Thomas Edison wasn’t the real inventor of the (functioning) light bulb? Alexander Graham Bell relied on someone else for the archetype of the telephone? Yeah, I know you’re shocked, too.
Lewis Howard Latimer is completely slept on in the history books. He created so many inventions and drafts in several fields. His biggest invention was the carbon filament which is the main basis for light bulbs even to this day. Edison’s light bulb used a paper filament which was incredibly short lived. Latimer showed him how to do it right and proved carbon was king when it comes to lighting up things with his patented electric lamp. This isn’t the only song that critiques Edison on this album and I’ll get to that in future posts. Not only that, but he even was the first person in history to write a book on electric lighting. They certainly didn’t teach you that in school and I didn’t know about this innovator until 2018. Seriously! Also, MIT named an entire invention program after him, so at least they got that right.
His legacy lives on every time you flip a switch. You’re welcome, America!
What do you think? Don’t forget to stream and purchase the album!
The image of Lewis Howard Latimer is from Wikipedia.
Hours upon hours were spent reverse engineering and solving boring math problems given to me to kill time
I didn’t want to kill it
I wanted to keep it watch after watch
I took them apart and reconstructed them at will
I wanted something bigger, so I stretched my hands
Every minute and hour of my life
These faces grew as did my ambitions
The majority of this country were confounded that someone they oppressed made something
America, I am the grandfather of your clocks
You can count on that.
How did I not know about this man when I was younger? If that isn’t evidence how much schools don’t tell you, then I don’t know what is. Benjamin Banneker built the first working clock in America and it worked for decades. Banneker was an innovator in watchmaking, irrigation, education, and even astronomy in his time. Anyone who thinks black people can’t do anything constructive or innovative seriously needs their head examined for real. I can’t stand how certain inventors and creators never get appreciated especially in this country.
The image of Benjamin Banneker is from Afrikhepri.
Bodies kept dropping in Boston
In the century of their so-called Lord in the 18th century
While I wasn’t the same as the saint of the Byzantium,
We were both in bondage
My master begged me to save him and the city
With my memory from the motherland before I was chained
Once I was useful like my enforced foreign namesake, more kept breathing
All I want is credit and freedom, doctors
I don’t know about their originator, but I had stubbornness to accept the faith of those who captured me
Shame on me
Boston would’ve been a ghost town without my medical services
Happy New Year, everybody! This is the first new post of the new decade!
Anyways, let’s get to the subject at hand. This track is about the invention of medical inoculation. It was an invented by a slave named Onesimus who lived in Boston, MA hundreds of years ago. People were dying wholesale as smallpox ravaged this New England city. He managed to save thousands of lives with this medical technique that is still used to this day albeit modernized. It’s frustrating that this man never gets credit for his innovation in literally saving lives. One parallel that some Bible readers might notice would be the character of Philemon of the same name who was also a slave. I didn’t know about Onesimus until just a couple of years ago. He should be more renowned and I had to be the one to do it in spoken word form. https://face2faceafrica.com/article/this-slave-curbed-the-smallpox-epidemic-in-boston-in-1721-with-an-african-technique.
The image of Onesimus is from Face2Face Africa.
Tosalaki eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Mokuwa oyo ekosunga bato pona koyekola mitango
Tozali basali ya eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Over 20,000 years ago, we crafted something still being taught to future generations. We made a calculator and calendar from a baboon’s bone. What a prime way for instructions from a primate. We solved problems and tallied up solutions. Nzambe bless our methods. Counting lunar cycles, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying notch by notch. We made generations smarter and efficient. We know other civilizations wouldn’t be born in millennia. Our technology shall not be fractured, only modernized in future ages.
I would like to thank Dr. Y. and Deogratias from Lingala Academy for this song. The former has an article about this aforementioned ancient calculator and the latter helped me with the Lingala part of the song.
This was a good kickoff song besides the intro by covering this overlooked invention. I didn’t realize one of the first calculators was made from a baboon bone from what’s now the DRC. Anyone who says Africa had no civilization or inventions need to get educated. This bone was used as tallies and as a tool for multiple kinds of math problems. Okay, I wasn’t the best at math, but the fact that some of my maternal ancestors could’ve invented this does fill me with joy and some self-esteem.
From a musical standpoint, I listened to a ton of traditional Congolese drum music, so I wanted to do something very percussive, but still lively despite the lack of instrumental melodies. Using Lingala again has been great. It’s a very musical language and has a certain beauty to it.
What are your thoughts on the Ishango Bone or this song? Don’t forget that Dear Innovare is $7 on Bandcamp!
The Ishango Bone image is from MAA.
I didn’t expect to get some attention for my new EP, but I appreciate those who’ve listened to it. If you haven’t then here it is.
I wanted to strip my sound down for this concept. This involved a restricted setting with the recording and writing process. For starters, every song had to be based on the same poetic format. In this case, I chose the nonet. That’s a nine line poem with nine syllables each. There are also nine songs on the EP, so one can say I went up to the nines, right?
The recording process is even more minimal than previous recordings I’ve done with my last EP, singles, and compilation contributions. I only used my voice and acousmatics for this one to see what sounds I can get or manipulate. Some of the found sounds are more obvious than others like using a bathtub in one example.
Besides the composition, I thought this EP was therapy for me. I have to be honest with all you readers. I have a lot of issues with internalizing my anger and sadness. A ton of people have enraged me for most of my lives. Most of them are people I haven’t done anything wrong to. I won’t name names, but the tracks involve people who’ve bullied me in the past, some racists who’ve given me hell, and former co-workers who questioned my worth while getting special treatment. This has been a long time coming. The times when I was open with my anger, people treat me like I’m Satan himself. Not to mention a lot of those same people never owned up to THEIR actions and wrongdoings which frustrates me more. You really want to get on my bad side? It’s when others don’t take responsibility for their words or actions when they do something hurtful. I was sick of hiding these feelings for years now and they manifested in spoken word form.
So what do you think? What was your favorite song on the album? What are your thoughts on how I created this EP?
Maybe this could lead to something good and that’s saying nothing about another album I’m writing and recording. Wink wink.
This is that bright spot in the EP. I used the concept of mutation as a good thing like evolving into something greater and stronger. The osteopathic part revolves around me harboring so many emotions even down to the bone. Although the ending ends on a high note, I know my battles are far from over. I do feel stronger compared to even last year, but I still have work to do.
The “you” has a dualistic meaning which is intentional. It can be God for anyone into theology, but it can also mean a good friend who’s telling me to snap out of my funk. It’s that universal nature that I wanted to add into it if anyone can relate to this poem. Personally, a few friends have really helped me stay sane and don’t even realize it. I know most people don’t care including some of my friends.