"You ain't got eyes to see this yet." --from "Brick Walls," by Qwel.
From Chicago comes this former graff writer-turned-rapper who has some of the deepest lyrics in the underground hip-hop scene today. Qwel's words are intelligent, touching, engaging and always on-point. His lyrics hit you deep in the gut, a full on one-two punch to the mid-section. Nothing like the rap crap that you hear out there on MTV or on the general pop chart, Qwel is raw, hard and incredible. I find his work inspiring, especially in this song, "Brick Walls," where we hear a conversation between him and (we're assuming) his dad as he tries to clue his dad in on his world of hip-hop and graffiti. Where else can you hear the names of Van Gogh and DONDI mentioned in the same line? Qwel has great insight into the art of music, the art of hip-hop and the art of graffiti.
Many times I feel that I don't have eyes to see what's in front of me just yet. But I want to. I tend to approach everything with seeming navïeté, eyes wide open and willing to take it all in. For things that I don't "get" right off the bat, I know that in a couple of weeks, months, years, I will. I try to go back and look at the work with new eyes. And 9 times out of 10 it works; I can wrap my brain around the work in new and strange ways. I feel that it's important for artists look at what's around them with new eyes, even if they don't got eyes to see it yet.
Galapagos4: music label Qwel's on.
Qwel on Amazon.