Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | September 24, 2014

Remembering Lasana

I remember my big brother Lasana. We met in 2010 at a recording session for the Legacy CD. The brother greeted me by saying “I appreciate you.” After recording the album, we spoke about me joining his group. The message behind the music was powerful so I agreed to be a member. What unfolded over the next four years inspired me…

I loved Lasana’s poetic delivery. When I decided to record my first album, I asked Lasana to be a part of the recording. His track did not make the final cut. But it didn’t stop there. When I began working on my second album, I heard Lasana’s voice. I especially wanted him to perform on Faith. We had some meetings and discussed the meaning behind the music. Lasana came to the studio and captured the essence of the song. It will be strange listening to the Love album knowing Lasana is no longer with us.

Lasana loved Blacknotes. The family atmosphere he built for the group was amazing. In recent years, I knew it troubled him that he did not receive as much support as he desired. Many Blacknotes concerts were funded by Lasana (partly due to low attendance). He wanted to record another album this year and include more originals. But he was taken away before that happened…

Lasana loved community. I was in awe of how Lasana contributed his time and energy to his extended family. He envisioned a credit union for the community and took the steps to make it come to life. I know he wished more people joined Appeal, Inc. But there is still time for us to make the dream a reality…

When we spoke about activism, he would share that the work was hard and necessary. But he also expressed frustration when he did not receive support.

One of the lessons I learned was never let the woes of community building diminish the work needed.

People talk about doing but either don’t have the time or are unwilling to make time. My big brother was about action. He made the time. He taught me a lot and I will be forever grateful for his contributions.

Right now I’m sad, angry, motivated and in disbelief. His work was not boastful. Upon meeting Lasana, you would not know about his many gifts (Mobilizing, organizing, activism, financial empowerment, teaching, poetry, mentoring, father, bandleader, etc.).

Lasana, I appreciate you. I will miss you…

Blacknotes

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Responses

  1. No! Too Much!!

    SCREAMING for attention
    you walk silently with face still
    Emotionless, though we know the pain, joy, pride, power, progressiveness
    You felt within
    Our reigning King
    Who sat in the background so that we might rise…
    Up, Up, ye mighty race
    …and accomplish it we will

    NO! Too Much!!

    A Nu line is now added to your song… Ancestors live
    Written with your name in it
    We sing proudly and loudly that you LIVE ON!
    …and on and on until the break of dawn
    Still knowing, that we are often nothing but pawns
    in this black & white board of strife
    Livin in the bellie of the belly
    You sacrificed your essence to learn from the methods of madness
    and bring us cents out of none sense
    a Tru Robin Hood
    Cloaked in Blackness
    all you’s missing was the skittles n iced tea
    but you left us to taste the rainbow
    …and find within, that pot of gold

    NOooooooo! Tooooo Much!!!!!

    Colors so loud…
    You were scrEEEEEEEEAMing!
    Though you kept yourself invisible
    We saw the Red rage
    Heard the Black busy-ness 
    Felt the Green gratitude

    NO TOO MUCH!

    Humility uncalled for
    You maintained a tiresome balance
    For us
    You’ve left us the blueprint
    To keep playing the BlackNotes
    and now it’s time to step it up and APPEAL to the masses
    those who ready to get off their asses

    Let it begin with me
    Surrounded in a sea of white
    Keys rising above it all to show us what’s right
    2 then 3 then 2 again… Groups of five fisted loosely laying still
    We wisely pause to let them think they lay the foundation
    all the while, we KNOW TOO MUCH
    to stay quiet 

    You knew who was ready and who you had to let go
    You knew it was time, and so you made it so
    You knew when to shine and when to lay it low

    You still…..
    KNOW TOO MUCH
    to be laid to rest
    jus so

    without teaching us something
    Showing us, everything…

    Maybe, you just
    Knew Too Much.?

    @DaraMonifah

  2. Lasana was a good friend, mentor and respective poetic brother of mine. I used to perform w/ him in the early 90s with a collective of other poets and drummers. He always gave his 100% to events, to the collective. He was a true leader, and I was happy to know he pursued his dream of creating Black Notes and continued performing. He was a warm and gentle being and was always attached to his drum, his Afrikan self, that part of him that was at peace when playing the drum. I will always remember his warm smile and solemn laugh. He was a wonderful role model to many. Our many days & nights at Malcolm X park, are fresh on my mind. R.I.Power my brother, may God take you to our Afrikan home of peace and tranquility…


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