Basquiat Bounce #6

We’re so excited about our partnership with The High Museum of Art’s Basquiat exhibition,
we decided to put out a Basquiat-inspired mixtape series! Each member of our company
has created a playlist that reminds them of the prolific JMB. Check out Mandi’s mix:

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There is something serene about Jean Michel and his work that is humbling. He was a very knowledgeable person who knew what he was capable of, but had so many external and internal issues that he was afraid to face; ultimately redirecting it all in the form of art. The colors and layers of information in his paintings trick you into thinking that he was this overly confident/ exciting person, until you notice the uncertainty underneath the craziness (Track 5 “Timidity”). He would start a painting one way but abruptly go on a tangent in another direction; ending conversations by scratching out or blackening a whole section, just when things were getting interesting. You get the idea that there was a secret babble going on in his head, like he had a television box for a mind (Track 12 “Instrumental”). Even from listening to him speak and observing his body language, you knew he was very quiet, mellow and unsure. He’d sometimes pause in the middle of a sentence, constantly say “uh”, fold his arms or look down. In some moments he’d catch himself and slyly make a smooth Mona Lisa smile to cover his tracks- which could make a girl melt (Track 1 “Uncle ACE,” Track 9 “Pink & Blue). He was awkwardly brilliant, but very good at making everyone think he had his life figured out (Track 13 “Nothing Matters”).

I centered my mixtape around the human that I see Jean Michel as; from his thoughts, emotions and feelings. You’ll hear a lot of spoken word, gibberish, conversations going from English to French, Spanish, and African dialects representing his heritage, but also giving an ode to the conversations in his work. I wanted everyone to FEEL and chill to my mixtape.

 

Basquiat Bash is May 6th at The High Museum of Art.

 

-Mandi B. Mpezo

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