This 13 song album was created between 1995 and 2000 as the final product of three efforts toward putting together Kasuf and the Mazz Muvement's debut album. It was a far departure from any of the hip-hop and r&b material I was producing at that time or up until that point. I didn't have a band. I played all of the instruments on the album.
There were several local musicians in New York and Atlanta, Ga that would assist me with working out much of my music. I would write out the music to test new ideas, and the musicians would give me feedback. These were my first attempts at composing.
Blackopolis was my "F**k You" statement toward all of those who wouldn't allow me the opportunity of scoring a major motion picture or a weekly television show. I had so much music locked up inside of me that I wanted to get out. I had just come out a 3 year lawsuit with Aftermath Records; I was pissed off, financially broke, I felt abandoned by all of my peers. I didn't have any work coming in as a producer or composer. So, I was faced with the task of having to re-define myself. There is no album concept; only one of self expression.....tension release.
Two cover tracks and eleven original compositions. The first track on the album, entitle The Dead Headz, was inspired by Funkadelic's Maggot Brain album. This, along with much of the album's material was created at the Slam Jamz studio in College Park, Ga. Just imagine a blackened room with Miles Davis posters and old 45 records on the walls. That helped to create the mood. "The Dead Headz", "Street Dweller", "Manic Depressive", and "There's No Progress Without Struggle" were all created during the dead of night when I'd get home from working at Delta Airlines. These four cuts definitely reveal how I felt at the time.
I re-did George Clinton's "I Bet You", and remixed it two years later. I sampled the original drums and played everything else live. "I Bet You" was recorded on a digital four-track and overdubbed to death!!! The title cut, "Blackopolis" was originally recorded in 1995, along with "Designs". I love the funk. TSOB is a my dedication to MFSB, Thom Bell, Bobby Martin, Blue Magic, and the lessons I learned from Kenny Gamble while working at he and Huff's studio in Philly, Pa during 1992-93.
"My People" is dedicated to Curtis Mayfield. George Clinton even gave me the approval of this song. The first thing he told me was, "Hey, I hear some Curtis up in there". "I Wish It Rain" is quite obvious, although there is a hint of Jimi Hendrix in there. The rest of the album is pure improv and experimentation into sound. And, so goes the final track, "The Age of Aries". I'm an aries, and as long as I live.........it is the age of aries!
Kerwin Young- Geometric Khemist; U.S. Secretary of the Arts