Just like that, Hasina was the son of all man
Type blood. He a realer fighter, super fro.
Bust it. The beast may want a war in the summer;
Thus, I rock my camoflage playing corners
Represents kites, while they pimp hip hop
I strategize my joints; you know it don't shtop
And it don't pop son, its p-ject 'round together
For beats, and concrete, when I'm creamy with my stilleto
got 16, for the imperial fascist
Bomb beats brothers, and honeys we 'bouts to set it
Domino theory, 'cause they stalled our flow
Collecting pitchforks, till they free Geronimo
Why you blaze up. Right on. I say my fist raise up.
While you bent, I represent... what!...
Uptown, Downtown, across; wherever
Meet me at the Crooklyn, we can piece it all together.

--Butterfly of Digable Planets--"Dial 7 (Axioms of Creamy Spies)", Blowout Comb

Hasina is a Swahili name, meaning "good" but I never figured out just what Butterfly meant there. I do know that Butterfly must have built up quite the pitchfork collection before Johnnny Cochran finally sprang Geronimo Pratt from jail.

But anyway, sing it like that Ladybug and Sara Webb: "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey." Lori informed me that not only have Digable Planets reunited, but they'll be in Boulder in June (Fox Theatre). I'm not sure how I missed the news that they're back and working on an album, but I'm amped on the prospect. I loved their frank use of classic Jazz samples on Reachin' and I loved their Black Panther Funk on Blowout Comb (including the sublime "For Corners" and the cool, playful "Borough Check"). Most importantly, I love Mecca/Ladybug and Ishmael/Butterfly's mega-hip, abstract metaphors and laid back flow. Many of their lines are timeless quotables for Lori and me. Just from Reachin':

"What is really what when the supreme court is, like, all in my uterus"

"They harassed me at the clinic and called me a murderer. Now that's hate."

"In the scheme of things time is unreal. We're just babies. We're just babies, man."

"Hanging out, relax, ain't nothing to fo. Checking out some Frome, some Sartre, Camus."

"As bosoms float by keeping Doodlebug in heat"

"Hit it like a Dig Planet, god dammit!"

and of course

"You down with Digable Planets, you's a hipster. Shit."

Digable Planets--Reachin': A New Refutation of Time and Space Digable Planets--Blowout Comb

The Digable Planets were also one of my first concert experiences with Lori (can't remember whether we saw them before we saw Me'Shell Ndegeocello). We were walking to the venue, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and another black guy happened to be walking with another white girl in front of us. Some students riding by in a bus yelled out the window. "Hey, you black guys better stop stealing all our dates". The girl in front of us, unfazed, said to her companion "you'd almost think we were back in Philly". I've never been able to figure out exactly what she meant. Anyway, the concert was the bomb, especially the explosion that occurred when Ladybug shushed the crowd so we'd get the full effect of the killer Art Blakey sample that forms the backbone of "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)".

I guess we'll see if they still have that magic June 13th. "We groove like dat. We smooth like dat. We funk like that. We out."

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia