10 track album Illustration by: PS Spencer (PS-IM-DOPE)
Graphic Design/Layout by Jean Goode
It’s the final season of John Singleton’s portrait of the CIA’s drug trafficking to fuel the anti-Sandinista war in Nicaragua by selling crack in South Central in the 80s. I was a little kid in the 80s, but I remember Ollie North and the Iran-Contra scandal, but it wouldn’t be until I was an adult when I understood the depth of wrongs the American government committed against the Black community. I never had a misunderstanding of how the country I served in the military for treated Black people. I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X and as I gained knowledge of who I was Cointelpro became the boogeyman vs Michael Myers. While I’m still proud of my service, I understand the duality of my Blackness in the U.S.
Snowfall follows the story of Franklin Saint, the son of Black Panthers as he moves from a high school genius on the precipice of college to becoming a drug dealer, kingpin fueled by cocaine supplied by the CIA. Skyzoo’s New York delivery applies a layered, cross-country duality to this soliloquy. Crack spread throughout every Black community across the country from LA to New York. The lyrics here paint vivid images of previous seasons of the show which also connect to memories of neighborhoods I grew up in. My life began at a point where the neighborhood raised kids and you could sleep with the doors open on hot summer nights. My life transitioned into seeing neighborhood guys end up in wheelchairs and others dead. I saw ball players become gold chain wearing, Corvette driving hustlers.
Skyzoo’s album reflects on the dramatic changes in South Central particularly with those around Franklin Saint. On “Apologies in Order” he reflects on what he’s born, but listening while watching the final episodes makes me want to hear where this project could turn with all that has taken place as the end nears. The Mind of a Saint is almost a masterpiece of storytelling and only falls short in that it was released too soon. I can only hope that the album is updated when the series finale lands.