Thursday, April 21, 2016

Royalty and Renegades (of Funk) #AtoZChallenge

This has been a fantastic A to Z Challenge so far, but there is more to come.

"P" day was the day of the New York State (where I live) Presidential Primaries - blogging about it was a natural.

Today, "R" day, is the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II of England.  Whether you feel the British monarchy should continue, you have to admire a woman who works as she turns 90-and works hard.

The letter "R" also Reminds me of something else: growing up in a city housing project in New York City, at about the time that the hip-hop music genre was born.  Its birthplace, in a different housing project, on Sedgwick Avenue,was perhaps two or three miles from where I was living.  I blogged more about that here.

I don't regret growing up in a city housing project, although I could wish I was living somewhere else for the last few years of my childhood and coming of age. Sometimes, I was filled with Rage.

In some ways, I identify with the song "Renegades of Funk".

The original was released in 1983 by the former warlord of a gang called the Black Spades.  For years, he has gone by the name of Afrika Bambaataa. with his group Soul Sonic Force.

Where I lived in the Bronx was part of the Black Spades territory.  I admit no love for this gang, but their transformation from a street gang to a musical force is something worthy of study. It's not something that happens every day.

Quoting some of Afrika Bambaataa's lyrics:

" Now renegades are people with their own philosophy
They change the course of history
Everyday people like you and me
You know they have their secret notions
And time is endless motion..."
Could I ever hope to be a renegade?  In some ways, perhaps, the years I homesteaded in rural Arkansas may have been my speaking out my "secret notions".  Because, even as I grew up in a small Bronx apartment in public housing, I dreamed, one day, of being able to garden and to even have the freedom to decide what color to paint the interior where I lived.  You see, we didn't even have that right back in the 50's and 60's.

 I heard, on the way home yesterday, a cover by a group called Rage Against the Machine.  Note that the lyrics are not identical.

Do you ever feel you are a renegade?

"R" day on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.


  1. I don't think anyone ever called me a renegade, but trouble-maker, rabble-rouser, bitch, and being told I don't know my place - yeah. But growing up poor certainly influenced who I am today.

  2. the song has a nice beat to it. Here for some reason we observe the Queen's bday in June.

  3. No, I'm not a renegade. I respect those that are. Sometimes.

  4. I LOVE THIS CHALLENGE! Really makes you think outside the box and remember things that you may not have thought about in a long time!


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