THE BEAT GOES ON
By Jack Walker | June 12, 2021
There is a little, lime green house on the corner of Belmont and South 20th in Abilene, Texas that rests on a tiny upward slope and is hidden by a thick brush to those just passing by as they travel east or west bound on wherever their journey leads them during the given moment.
The irony is lofty. Belmont Boulevard is a small stretch of the key city that parallels Beverly Hills. Meanwhile the seven blocks sit between Abilene’s most notorious -avoid these streets at all costs- part of town. Most folks would not be the slightest bit pleased for one to pinpoint a location and further describe its parameters but those that have been a staple at this establishment were born with a supernatural ability to keep their head above the waves regardless of how salty the water is or may ever become and how treacherous the height the tide climbs and crashes in the blink of an eye. Moreover, these men are ALWAYS ready- and this is proven.
Jeff Riddle is the honcho of this territory. The fearless leader, the dictator, the and the anointed speaker that will step in front of the microphone when sheer talent cannot muster the fortitude to pacify either a wrinkle in the water or a tsunami with the potential to devastate an entire village and everyone that inhabits it.
“This is Graceland,” says a villager familiar with the establishment that wishes to remain unanimous. “It’s hard to explain it.”
Fortunately for those reading this, Jeff is known by many. From the riff raff to the elite and even a somewhat skilled interpreter that sends a story to the paper when the stimuli compel one enough to propel one to do such.
The usual transition the most gifted of storytellers utilize to continue to captivate a reader as the narrative persists as it does now would be to acknowledge the silver lining that encircles every word already read in this instance. Point given. Now the metaphor leaps forward in great faith and the gamble thickens because the lining to ensue is platinum. Perhaps even triple-platinum.
Inside the little lime green house on the tiny slopes where King Riddle reigns, Jessy Abels glares with pure devotion and an anchored-down heart at a computer screen within arms reach of a microphone inside a closet that Jeff converted into a recording booth. That is what Jeff does. He bolsters the rhythm of those that got lost in transition. Jeff, like Jessy, is an expert at persisting courageously despite the obstacles that manifest unexpectedly and with treacherous adversity without the slightest warning sign.
Indeed, it might be a bit more captivating to detail and elaborate on the struggles and pains of the past however both Jeff and Jessy prefer not to place emphasis on the boulders they continue to cut away at every day. Besides, this is just the beginning of the story. It sounds so much better when you listen to the songs anyway. The album has yet to be completed.
The beat goes on and the metaphor balances. Again.
“Delete the last track, start a new one, bring it back and hit record.” Jessy tells Jeff as he steps into the closet and puts the headphones back on. They have been up all night in pursuit of perfection. Recording another masterpiece that reflects a rumble with pain and a solution to the setbacks.
The irony returns. Several years ago, both men -before they went to prison- were up all night in pursuit of perfection but minus the music. The closet that serves as the booth was packed full of hawked-off barters given to the easy-goers quick to trade stolen gimmicks for further setback. The room that accommodates the closet and computers now resembled a pawn shop with lackluster organization and questionable management. Only on the surface though.
The metaphor replaces the irony and what was then Jeff’s trap house is now Jeff’s rap house. Or full-blown professional recording studio and if you think this sounds good, you would be even more impressed to hear how some of the many works in progress harmonize with the brilliance and from the mastery that the staples of the little green house on the tiny slope in ‘Graceland’ play out.
“Jessy is crazy-talented,” an admirer on the other side of town in a similar set-up but minus the revival comments. “He’s pretty special, all his songs are awesome.”
“Jessy will make it out of Abilene,” says another fan familiar with Jessy’s output.
The feedback and compliments would span this and the next entire copies of this paper from front to back. The ones who make these remarks seek no recognition and sometimes even request specifically not to have their name in print.
Jeff prefers to be behind the scenes and will grin with unmerited belligerence if when he reads this story. He is the humble sorcerer that makes everyone else sound so good. He builds the studios, watches marathon hours of instructional videos to not just learn but master the mix he deals with every day, and he manages the melees and symphonies inside the little lime green house on the tiny slope.
The metaphor shines.
Hip Hop is not for everybody, but everybody loves Hip Hop. Especially once they hear hook and melody forged as the hope waged in favor of slaying the adversity, they never believed they would familiarize with until someone stepped in front of the microphone… or the monitor.
The metaphor is rests. The story continues. It is hard to explain. Just believe it. If you, do not it should not be too difficult to find and press the little button with the little green triangle inside the tiny box. Like the men and the metaphor, the music is ALWAYS ready.
TO LISTEN TO SOME OF JESSY ABELS MUSIC FOLLOW HIM ON FACEBOOK @JESSY PAUL ABELS AND SEND HIM A PERSONAL INQUIRY. MENTION THE WEST TEXAS TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FRONT PAGE FEATURE: AND THE BEAT GOES ON.