Written by Noah Møtion
Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative. This is a work of Gonzo. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
My ears are ringing.
It all started at 5pm. The end of the work day. People in suits scattered out of their cubicles and poured into the streets. A flood in a canal; rats in a maze.
I was caught in the middle of this madness. But was soon comforted by the war call blaring in my headphones:
“If you really want war you can ride with us.”
My body tensed up as the chant pounded my cerebral. Doors open at 7pm. I looked at my phone: 5:30. I looked in my wallet…
A whole sheet of acid; gone.
Panic set in. I had timed everything perfectly. There was no way I wasn’t going to make sure the sheet was at my house.
Hopped on the train. Sat with my hood on, head tilted to the floor.
When I arrived home I smelled shit in the air. The dog laid one out on the floor. I ignored the smell and rushed to my room.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
There it was; on my bed. Unmade and unkempt; my room was a heap. Still I heard the war chants:
“Chop ‘em down wardog, let ‘em all off
All out war ‘til you getting called off”
After wrapping the sheet up in aluminum, I called a cab to the PATH station. Now began the journey to the legendary Saint Vitus bar. Home to spirits from the depths of hell and an assortment of alcoholic metal-heads.
The bar is still new; opening in 2011. I found a whole decades’ worth of stickers piled on top of one another. Competing for my attention like leaves toward the light. Inverted crosses screamed at me while I sipped my water, smoked my e-cigarette and charged my mobile device. The walls told me that tonight would be a historic one. When bits of dust hit the atmosphere and create a falling star in the night.
But we can’t see stars in New York City. So we drink instead. Tonight was a night to create our own stars.
The opening act was good. A rapper and a DJ. Punk sounds. The DJ could’ve been the main feature; she seemed completely at ease behind the turntables. The rapper forgot to say his name for his whole set. I had to do my job and go ask him. If he’s opening for City Morgue there’s a chance I’m going to hear about him again. We got work to do.
After his set I made my way to the front of a huge mass of people. This group wasn’t keen on giving up their precious real estate so I yelled “I’m with the band. Get the fuck out of my way!” I wasn’t here to make a scene; I was here to witness one. A scene out of a cinema. A grimy, grunge flick about two young heroes forging a war against the status quo. A hero’s journey written in real time. For all of us here to witness on this starless night in Brooklyn New York.
Gvllow warmed up the crowd with some punk throwbacks, some Hip Hop anthems. I’m more of a death metal guy I didn’t know most of the punk songs. I was hoping to hear Napalm Death or Morbid Angel. My hopes were futile tonight. But I wasn’t to let those damned expectations to best me.
then… the war call roared.
The night began with a crescendo of white noise. Think Greg Haines forging a blade of steel. Molding the metal into an instrument of death. Insurrections could be fought and won with what would be made. Our two heroes, ZillaKami and SosMula, entered the stage. Hell broke loose.
What happened after that is mostly a blur. Bodies on top of bodies. Blood and sweat covered me. I held up my phone to record the happenings of the night, arms heavy. We shared each others’ heat. Stole each others’ breath. We were soldiers at war ready at a moments notice. In the middle of the chaos there was a moment of clarity. After another five minute medley crescendo ZillaKami split the crowd and made himself a hallway made of sweating bodies. He walked slowly towards the center and began to embrace his loyal supporters.
Chills ran coursed through me. I felt warm then cold. The energy in the room was religious. When the prophet witnesses his disciples. I nearly dropped my phone from shaking.
The adrenaline slowed and this heaviness lifted from my feet to my chest. Tears welled up inside of me. I couldn’t believe that I was here. Just months ago I was living on the streets in a truck. With no community to turn to. Overwhelming hopelessness would consume me and eventually, I became numb to the feeling. Normal. But thanks to ZillaKami’s movement my life would change forever. I owe this man an incredible debt. Without his music I doubt I would’ve been inspired to start this blog. I highly doubt I would’ve moved to New York City. This movement has completely changed my life. I’ve never felt more at home than I do now. No one I grew up with lives here. No family.
“I who have nothing but the comfort of my sins.”
The show ended with the entire crowd piled up on each other. Sweat and blood. Blood and sweat. The chills still ran through my spine.
I turned off my phone for the last fifteen minutes. These last few songs were for me. I had successfully fought my way to the front of the stage. Slamming my chest to the beat like a fucking gorilla. Screaming at the top of my lungs in what little air there was left in the venue. Complete savagery.
My ears are still ringing. I got back home at midnight. Began to write at 2am. Four hours later and I still can’t hear out of my left ear. My head ringing… and ringing… and ringing.
Yet, I don’t want them to stop…
All out war ‘until I get called off.
Before I got out of the cab home I checked and made sure I have everything. Phone, Juul… wallet…
“Where’s my acid?!”
Underneath the flashy Trap sound that has dominated the pop charts for the past few years; there is a beast bellowing, waiting for its time.
An undertow of abrasive and subversive music is aching to hit a wider audience.
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