♫♪  John Robinson - “True School Stylin”

In “Frankenstein, the Baroness, and the Climate Refugees of 1816,” Gillen D’Arcy Wood argues that Mary Shelly’s novel can be viewed as a reaction to the climate disaster unfolding during what historians now call “The Year Without a Summer.” At that time, volcanic dust clouds engulfed the earth, blocking out the sun, causing a freakishly cold and wet summer, widespread crop failures and the death of thousands, perhaps even millions, from starvation and disease. Wood goes on to explain that “The Year Without a Summer” was actually more like three years, and posits that “The experiences of Shelley’s Creature in the novel make for an unforgettable psychological account of what it meant to be an environmental refugee in that period: full of fear, consumed with rage and despair, racked with hunger, empty with loneliness.”

In addition to whatever literal parallels exist today due to earth’s ongoing ecological crises, it could be argued that 200 years later, hip-hop culture is itself an environmental refugee, similarly “full of fear, consumed with rage and despair, racked with hunger, empty with loneliness.” Yet, there always remain Scienz of Life, and John Robinson’s response to the current famine is not to send Igor out to the graveyard in search of a fresh cadaver, but rather to simply Water the Plants. Before cultivation can begin, though, one must tend to the soil, and that starts here with “True School Stylin,” an organically frrrrrrresh jam featuring Lonnie Gordon, produced by DJ Gargamel and visualized in this new video directed by Ryan Calvano.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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