It's not every day that you get to sit down and talk with an actual living legend - though they are hardly the types to claim that designation on their own. It's even less likely that that individual lives and creates in your same city, so we understand just how lucky we are to not only have an Artist like Paten Locke in Jacksonville, but also to be able to pick his brain for this interview - and, dare we say, call him a good friend!
Considering his extensive, highly impressive resume and insane amount of skill, Paten is extremely unpretentious and down-to-earth. Born in Boston and raised by artist parents, his life has been full of music and creativity since day one. From "digging" through his father's expansive record collections as a child, to amassing a mind-bending collection of his own that threatens the very real possibility of taking over his home, his repertoire runs the gamut from DJ, to emcee, to producer, with some of everything else in between. And while his "spirit is fundamentally and philosophically Hip Hop", his tastes are as vast, eclectic, sophisticated, and it shows in every project that he touches - and there are MANY.
Read on after the jump to get to know the visionary and constantly developing Paten Locke, and understand why he is a mainstay in Duval's Hip Hop history.
On Sunday, January 20th, we will all have the chance to become much more familiar with The Art and Times of Frosty Myers. The documentary film of the same name, produced by his wife, Debra Myers, will be featured at the Saint Augustine Film Festival, in the same city where the wildly prolific, but oftentimes non-represented artist resides for at least a portion of the year.
Frosty was born in Long Beach, California in 1941, and by the time he reached the age of 20, he'd relocated to New York City, which was, at the time, an epicenter of artistic evolution and innovation. American art was challenging some of the long standing European ideals and traditions that had defined it for quite some time, and Frosty was in the midst of it all. Described as an "Artist's Artist" and "way, way beyond his time", Frosty helped to lay the groundwork for contemporary art, and was involved in countless projects during his career. His extensive portfolio includes, but is certainly not limited to, The Wall in SoHo and the Moon Museum to name two of his most notable endeavors (the latter making him among one of the first artists to put art on the Moon).
We were honored to have the chance to interview both Frosty and Debra to get to know them better and learn their story before the upcoming Film Festival debut.
Ten Years A Cypher - 10 Questions with LoveReigns and Monsta - Co-Creators of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul
Merriam-Webster defines a Cypher (or, more formally, Cipher) as a method of transforming a text in order to conceal its meaning; a message in code; or a combination of symbolic letters. Hip Hop or Lyrical Culture defines a Cypher in much more colloquial and relevant terms as anything cyclical. For example: if you're freestyling, you rap in a cypher, which defines both the order in which you take your turn - one after the other - as well as the physical arrangement in which you stand - typically in a circle, each participant facing inward, sharing their talent until it's time to pass the mic.
The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul has, over the last ten years, found a way to define itself and has become synonymous with all things positive, uplifting, and progressive about an open mic. Held every Thursday at De Real Ting Cafe in Downtown Jacksonville and stewarded by Artists LoveReigns and Monsta, The Cypher (for short) has become an integral part of the fabric of the Duval Art scene. Many poets, lyricists, artists, and musicians - local and national - have graced its stage. Artists and art appreciators alike gather habitually and faithfully to be inspired, uplifted, and encouraged to "release the innershit". In many ways it can be considered a sort of rite of passage. There aren't many seasoned artists in Jacksonville that haven't, at the very least, heard of The Cypher or attended the weekly event at some point. However, if this is your first time hearing of The Cypher, circle up and don't forget to respect the mic - this is a part of Duval history and you're about to get a lesson.
Questions? Comments? Submit something for consideration?
Please email Jihan@CulturalCouncil.org