Inspiration: Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) In Japan

All that I ever wanted to do besides live comfortably is travel the world. I would watch specials on the Travel Channel, random shows on PBS, and anything related to Anthony Bourdain hoping that it would bring me closer to a foreign destination. For the longest, I felt like I didn’t belong in the US and each news story where I’d see those enriched with melanin being beaten and murdered by the police or those long suffering from “Negrophobia”, I’d mentally packed a bag or two, caught a flight and landed in Shibuya. In 2007, I applied to become a Teacher in an ESL program in Japan but the program was shut down by the government for shady practices PLUS they wanted me to pay for my flight over there and with student loans, I didn’t have that kind of frivolous loot stashed in a Nike sneaker box. Japan is sole reason why I took two semesters of the language in college. I can tell you the difference between Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji but I can’t remember more than a few phrases. It’s still in the plans to study again so that I’ll be able to spit a bit of bohemian game whenever I touch down (I promise that I won’t say “Konnichiwa, Bitches!”)

I don’t know if Current still has programs like this or if they, like many other internet shows, took a long walk off of a short pier but this episode is used as personal reference point and anytime that my homies like DJ Skeme Richards gets to travel there, I ask all kinds of goofy questions range from “How was the food” to “Hey uhh how did the air taste?”. If I can’t get there myself, I find nothing wrong about living through the stories of those that I respect. I don’t know what fascinates me more: The food or the country’s history. Video games, Anime (Samurai Champloo, Outlaw Star, Ronin Warriors and Cowboy Bebop get the gold), Fashion, etc are just some of what galvanizes my interest. Also, films like Black Rain and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which featured another Academy Award worthy performance from Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, did the trick as well . The only issue that I had with Japan used to be the PORN! I don’t know if they still do it but they’d censor the penetration and blowjob scenes as if that kept the film wholesome or gave it a bit of integrity. I have an imagination and I know what goes where so it had no effect.

I’m saying it here now and hopefully someone with power sees this but I think it would be cool if the artist formerly known as Mos Def had a travel show journaling his experiences with different cultures on a sociopolitical level. Just a thought…