The impetus for these pieces began partially with Brooklyn emcee J-Live’s 2002 song, “A Charmed Life.” Released post September 11th, the album deals with gratitude, anxiety, and uncertainty. The song charts the ways in which we benefit from the connection of familial and peer relations. Serendipity. Charms.

Because of my interest in language, and dichotomies, I felt compelled to make new works that addressed the realities below the surface of our modern world. KWN and KNG Scarab, as well as Shell 1 {Falling Down} and Shell 2 {Most Eyed/Most High} linguistically originate from the phrase ‘Black Magic’. The darkness associated with term ‘black’ and ‘magic’ dissipates when considering the wealth accumulated from the commodification of what is described as black culture. However, the bearers of that ‘blackness’ or ‘magic’ rarely get to indulge in the glory associated. Instead, ‘black’ becomes associated with victimization and mass incarceration, and ‘magic’ associated with one’s ability to entertain and amaze.

The cowry shells, which decorate the aforementioned works, are used as currency, adornment, and tools of divination. Each use facilitating it’s own particular sort of charm or luck. When one considers our contemporary utilization of charms; such as in a wishbone or rabbits foot, it becomes evident that rarely do we speak of the sacrifice(s) that are made so that others may reap the benefits. Is the rabbit’s foot luckier to the rabbit that loses it, or the human who possesses it?