Q: What is it that you love most about melanin?
A: Melanin is the supreme creator. When I think of melanin I think of the triple darkness of the universe, that everything came forth from. Melanin is everything. It’s everything.
Q: Why is this event important?
A: Mississippi Mud is important because it expresses a freedom that we take for granted. We have taken the spirituality out of it. Mississippi Mud is a way for us to express sex in a healthy medium and in an environment that is conducive for how it should be received and how it should be emanated. Sex is cultural. Each culture of people has different sexual habits, that are acceptable and not acceptable. This event is to make it palatable.
Q: Could you consider Mississippi Mud to be a ritual?
A: Mississippi Mud is a ritual. It happens ritualistically. It will happen ritualistically in places that are ritualistically connected to Africans living in America. The first one is happening days after the winter solstice.
Q: What initially led to Mississippi Mud?
A: Curiosity. The desire to see other Africans be intimate with each other; to paint us in a light where we can be freaky, we can be revolutionary, we can be sophisticated, we can be nasty, we can be us in every form.
Q: What of your life experiences made you want to create something like Mississippi Mud, you could have responded in a number of different ways, so why this?
A: When I go out music is my religion and dancing is my spirituality. And when you dance with somebody, it’s almost like you making love with that person spirit on the dance floor to a tempo. And I used to go this reggae spot called Trenchtown and it was like going to church. It was my church. It was my release. It was also a spiritual release because I would always find one sister and would dance with her. And I just want to bring that feeling back to partying and enjoying an evening but with blackness of all blackness in general. Trenchtown used to have a black light. I think melanin and black light is just so fucking awesome.
Q: In your humble opinion, what is the most important thing about sex?
A: The electricity. The chemical reaction.
Q: Do you think that what frightens us (humans), we find the most attractive?
A: No doubt. We call gravitate towards things that we fear. It’s natural. It’s the natural way of things.
Q: What is Mississippi Mud?
A: Mississippi Mud is a black experience. An erotic, black sexual experience. It’s artistic expression and erotic art exhibition. It’s a party. It’s a mixture of spirituality, art and raunchiness.
Q: How has our sense of sexuality been stolen from us? Or better yet held captive?
A: I was always interested in amateur porn when I was younger and it was because of the innocence of the individuals having the sex. It seems more innocent and natural. One time looked up African sex rituals on YouTube and one of the rituals involved sex and it was a marriage between two of the people that lived in the village. And I thought it was so interesting that how did we get to the point where we are now from seeing it as a spiritual ritual that kind of brought to people together in the community, because it was a public thing. It wasn’t like it was some odd freaky taboo. Now, black sex is category in porn. We have been placed into a box, made into a fetish; made into a zoo. We’ve been made into something that every culture exploits. Every culture exploits black sexuality except black, we don’t distribute our own sex. We don’t distribute our own erotic energy. We don’t have control over our base chakra.
Q: What do you expect to accomplish on the 26th of December, with Mississippi Mud?
A: I will raise the consciousness of our people to fact that we need to unify holistically with each other and with who we are.
Q: Why is being of African descent potentially dangerous with regards to fetishes?
A: Because we were slaves and sold as sex slaves and that’s something that is traumatic in our memory. So, when you think of black sex, it’s kind of like don’t speak on that. We can talk about white sex and it’s acceptable but when you start talking about black sex is like WAIT A MINUTE put your dick away!
Q: How has history proven the presence of this danger?
A: Well, presently this year we’ve had 500 rapes in Detroit, Michigan. That means almost on and half women are raped a day. So, there’s something wrong. That’s an alarming rate, this is something we’re going to talk about at Mississippi Mud. It’s a sexual health exhibition as well, we’re going to give out information because we are affected sexually in the African American community on a crisis level, as far as HIV/AIDS rates, rape cases, sexual predators. We have a ridiculous problem with that. It needs to be addressed.
Q: Finish this sentence, if our love was free…
A: We would be free.
Q: Can blackness be defined?
A: Blackness is the definition.
Q: Who gains from shaming or perverting black sexuality?
A: The powers that be.
Q: One can argue that sex is sex, what so different about sexuality and Africans?
A: Our love is big. Our love is wet. Our love is tight. Our love is thick. Our love is natural. Our love is animalistic. Our love is hot. Our is godly. It’s supreme.
Q: Aspects of black sexuality is easily objectified, what isn’t it celebrated more?
A: We’re ashamed.
Q: What does this celebration look like to you?
A: Dope music, good food, beautiful people, great energy, unity, laughter, deep thought, triple darkness, glossy, unrefined, elegance.
Q: What does it sound like?
A: It sounds like…it must sound like what Beethoven heard.
Q: Who has sonically made the best song that visually makes you feel sex?
A: Mmm…That is a hard one. Maxwell.
Q: Any song in particular?
A: “Submerge: Til We Become the Sun.”
Q: How do we take ownership of something so delicate as exchanging energy?
A: Living ourselves and learning how to love ourselves. Most people don’t even know how to masturbate, which is the first step to loving yourself–knowing how to make yourself have an orgasm. And that keeps you out of a lot of trouble. Sometimes we make mistakes based on our carnal energy, our base energy. We kind of let that govern us because we don’t have control of how we love ourselves. And when we don’t know how to love ourselves, we think we’re supposed to get it from someone else. And that kind of leads us into lives and worlds and shit that we wouldn’t normally do but because we’re thirsty or uncontrolled in our base, our natural selves.
Q: What will solidify Mississippi Mud’s success, in your eyes?
A: It’s already a success. It was a success when I thought about it.
Q: How important is it for black love, sex, and erotica to be portrayed honestly?
A: It’s extremely important. It’s who we are. It’s who we are. We are sexual beings. We’re creators, that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we’ve been doing. That’s why it’s so many of us on Earth. The Sun doesn’t set on an African and that’s because we reproduce. Black people are everywhere.
Q: Is it power, that they are afraid of?
A: Definitely. Blackness has always been scary. Darkness has always been scary.
Q: Who are they?
A: Those that are not at peace with being dark or from the darkness.
Q: Has there been any conflicted concerns since the announcement of the event?
A: Yea, plenty of people have. It’s caught a lot of controversy from different friends, different people. I’ve been in a liquor store and heard people talking about it and some people where feeling it, others weren’t. I just listened.
Q: Do you think that their concerns were valid?
A: Yea, definitely. Sex is powerful and if it’s not in an environment that is conducive for its energy, it can potentially wreak havoc by those that are viewing it. That’s why parental advisory are on things that are of explicit content. Explicit content can be damaging to the wrong viewers, someone that is not ready for that.
Q: How do you get ready for something like that?
A: You’re not. You just have to make a choice. Love is a choice. Sex is a choice. We all made it. Sometimes it’s taken away from us and that’s another aspect of it. Some people don’t have a choice. It’s taken away from them and that concerns me as well.
Q: What positive struggles have you had to solve to make Mississippi Mud a reality?
A: Making sure it’s received right and I make it palatable and elegant without losing the rawness of it.
Q: What would you like to say to your supporters?
A: Thank you and I feel like I’m living a dream made possible by them.
Q: Describe Mississippi Mud in three words only.
A: In the beginning.
Q: Does the word freak have a negative connotation?
A: Yea, no one wants be a freak anymore. But everybody still freaks. Everybody’s a shame of being a freak because of the stigma that’s attached to it. But normally when people say it, they associate slut, all those negative things; whore. You know! Who’s a whore? Who’s not a whore?
Q: So, do you think it’s hard to be a freak if you’re a woman?
A: I think women are the biggest freaks. I think they’re freakier than men. Men are so contained when it comes to sexuality, more closeted. I think men are more closeted about sex than women. Actually, I think women are more in tune with sex than men are.
Q: But normally or usually women receive most of the backlash.
A: They do. We live in a sexist society that don’t give women the space to be themselves without labeling them. That’s another thing about Mississippi Mud. I want women to feel comfortable to wear whatever they want wear and know that they are safe. That they can be them and be human and respected as beautiful human beings. That they don’t have to hide and be ashamed of their beauty and feel unsafe if they decide to be free with their beauty.
Q: So since there is a negative connotation, what should we call “freaks” instead?
A: I don’t think we should change it. I think freaks should be freaks. If you’re a freak, you should be happy you’re a freak. Why be ashamed, I wouldn’t care. I don’t give a fuck. I’m a freak.
Q: I mean we live in the age of slogans, catch phrases and hashtags so what should we call freaks instead?
A: Chocolate droppas. [Insert laughter here]
Q: Has these barriers from controversy, stigma and connotations created deep spaces for lies, with regards to sex?
A: Definitely, of course.
Q: Why is “white” love swallowed easier?
A: They do it quick. Sex scenes be like *snaps fingers* [Insert uncontrollable laughter here]. God, brothas are nasty. We are filthy. And we like being filthy for our women. And our women like being filthy for us. Because behind closed doors, we know we be doing some filthy stuff, filthy.
Q: Can sex be godly?
A: Sex is godly. No sex, nobody. If there is no sex, there is nobody. That’s what God is.
Q: Who are you? A: “SHANGO. African Storm God. Also known as CHANGO, XANGO, the syncopated Spirit of Thunder, Drums and Dance. He was long ago elevated to the ORISHAS after a glorious career as fourth King and warrior hero of the Yoruba. Now he bangs the drum for his people and plays rolling rhythms on his storm clouds. When thunder is heard, you should salute him by crying ‘Cabio Sile Shango’, or words to that effect. SHANGO leads a full red blooded life and likes to party. He is in great demand as a drummer and his dancing talents cause severe outbreaks of funkiness wherever perpetrated. His special Feast Day is 4th of December and during this time he has a piper employed to play all the latest hits. His special number is six, and his favorite colors are red and white. He likes animals, particularly dogs. He also favors roosters and turtles, although we think these are more for eating than companionship. If you invite him to a feast you will need to stock up on bananas, apples, cornmeal, okra, red wine and rum. Very much the ladies’ man, SHANGO does have a relationship with OYA which can at times get pretty tempestuous. He does not get on well with his brother OGUN and is not averse to a good punch-up. But on the whole he’s a great God to have on your side as he is loyal, protective and — as far as [I’m] concerned — extremely groovy.” Some call me Ben Jones.
FOR MORE INFORMATION BEN JONES CAN BE CONTACTED THROUGH FACEBOOK MESSENGER (BENJONESDETROIT) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This a great interview. You thought of some really amazing questions.
Thanks. The questions came to me at like 3 am, fitting I suppose.