i’m in the middle of questlove’s book “mo’ meta blues” right now. it’s somewhat of a memoir, but it could be better described as a glimpse at the musical atmosphere of quest’s brain. it’s fascinating stuff, and i’ve spent the last two hours sampling the tip of his musical influence iceberg. sly and the family stone. prince. stevie wonder. the ohio players. and now that i’m officially going to see d’angelo in chicago next month, i feel like there’s a deadline that i need to figure it all out by (whatever “it” is).
it’s fun, but it’s exhausting. it seems like every album i try to take in turns into a string of mental connections for me. for example…
kernel event: trying to digest prince’s album “1999” —> making it through track 3, “delirious” –> recognizing the baby sound at the end of the song because it’s sampled in aaliyah’s “are you that somebody?” (begins at the 1:02 mark) –> i also make the connection that delirious is used somewhere on the girl talk album “all day”, but i’m not sure which track it is –> it’s from track 4 called “jump on stage” (4:25 mark) —> and it’s mashed up with master p’s “rock it” so naturally i need to go watch the music video.
it’s a never-ending process of making connections. which, i suppose is what the creative process is all about: making connections. it also feels like some sort of “six degrees of separation” game when it’s all written out like that.
but knowledge is insatiable. the more i read, the more i listen, the more i research, the more i study, the more the chasm of need-to-know information stretches beyond my mental capacity. i get quickly overwhelmed as i feel myself sinking deeper into the depths of my desire for knowledge.
i think we all have a quest for knowledge, and i think it looks drastically different depending on the person. for me, i could break it down into 3 different categories, which you could probably predict from me: baseball, music/hip-hop/pop culture, theology/youth ministry. i’d say that those are the three that i have spent the most amount of time intentionally researching over the years. the bummer is that all three of them have an extensive history, and they are all constantly expanding faster than my mind can keep up.
i’ve often wondered if there’s a capacity that my mind reaches where i won’t be able to handle all three of those anymore. if i want to become an expert at one of these, will i have to sacrifice my knowledge of one of the others? or both? or do i have the capacity to be an expert across all three categories? or will i be able to add a fourth or fifth someday?
maybe if i keep doing sudokus in the bathroom.