Fear Of A Punk Planet

There are so many different ways to be who you are as a person of African descent in America, but for some reason, being a sista or brotha who digs who digs on rock ain’t a good look. Let’s face it: If you’re black and into rock in 2005, you’re labeled a sellout or a wannabe. Blackless, even.

Which is fine if you’re a grown-ass dude or woman, because you probably don’t care. You understand who founded this rock ‘n’ roll thing, and you’re comfortable with who you are. You grew up on Hendrix and Sly & the Family Stone, but you also but you also mess with a little Metallica {Master of Puppets) and a little bit of Black Sabbath (Master of Reality). Radio in the 70s was crazy diverse: You could hear Steely Dan or the Steve Miller Band or Led Zeppelin alongside Stanley Clarke, James Brown, and Kool & the Gang. This is the kind of radio that folks in bands like Bad Brains and Living Colour came up on.

Then hip hop came along in the ’80s, and it was so damn powerful because it incorporated a bit of everything. Biz Markie would have the Steve Miller Band all up in his mix (“Nobody Beats the Biz” sampled Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle”), and it was funky in a brand new way. Then radio suddenly became very genre specific. If a song had too many guitars, it wouldn’t make it onto “urban” radio (unless you were Run-DMC, who made us all walk their way so viciously).

Colored peeps, can’t you see: We have been forced to define ourselves—culturally—based on the organizing principles of radio stations and record stores. Because cash rules everything around us. It’s all marketing and the ability to spoon-feed you what they tell you you want. Black people, I’ve got something to share: Y’all are the most creative people on Earth, but y’all are even better at consuming. Y’all need to pay tribute to history instead. Remember, they can’t sell you something you already own.

To all my young black kids in the rock ‘n’ roll struggle who who have to deal with the haters in the ‘hood and the palefaces in the white hoods in the woods (and cyberspace), please understand:

Before Ike beat Tina, the man was busy pioneering rock ‘n’ roll (and while Ike was beating Tina, she somehow found the strength to pioneer rock’n’roll, too).

Public Enemy was the first def metal band. DMX is one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll front men ever.

In 2005, TV on the Radio are on the TV and the radio (so tune in).

Missy Elliott, you can’t even label the sister, but still she’s rock’n’roll.

When you look in the mirror expect to see a black rock star-corny as that sounds. When you look into your own eyes, you should recall the heritage, the legacy, the suffering, and the love that went into bringing you here. Bloody, cotton-picking hands would go on to create the most resonant, beautiful tones that you’ll ever feel. Bloody fingers and fretting chords bellowing out to our gods.

It was all we had. You are a continuation of that. Recognize. Can’t nobody take that away from you, baby. Feel free to bang your head-even with that wack do-rag on.

Honeychild Coleman - Callus (2008)

Honeychild Coleman - Observe Life (2012)

Honeychild Coleman - Leigh & Me (It’s Always You) (2012)

Honeychild Coleman - Never Goin' Home Again


Honeychild Coleman - Never Goin Home Again


Honeychild Coleman - Comin Thro The Rye

Honeychild Coleman ft. The Reaver - Youths Eternal

Honeychild Coleman - Echelon


Honeychild Coleman - Echelon