Rocket Juice & The Moon is a collaborative project from Damon Albarn, Tony Allen and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s pointedly African in sound, which is cool. I like Albarn, but Tony Allen is a real cool dude, too. I don’t know how they traded off responsibilities, but I’m thankful they made the album. It’s an aight record, not too exceptional, but one line from it, courtesy of rapper M.anifest, has been stuck in my head for months: “Oh, what a life! Cheat on Death ’til she upset!” It’s from “The Unfadable,” definitely a highlight of the album.
Sometimes you receive wisdom and you don’t even realize it until later. This line, or some mangled version of it, came to mind when I was outside taking a walk one day. It was long after I’d rotated Rocket Juice & The Moon off my iPod, so it wasn’t fresh in my head or anything. It popped into my head out of nowhere — it took me forever to even remember where it was from — and it really struck me as maybe being the realest thing ever wrote.
It’s not deep. It’s just aware of what life is and how we live it. Life sucks. Late night calls never bring good news, your job can be a slog even if you love it, and things are going to go wrong. It’ll make you feel bad, blue, and black and blue, and you won’t be able to do much about it.
But. Life is still amazing. The long rhythms of cars passing through stoplights, the sun setting behind buildings… have you seen the fake stars in cities? The ones that are just antenna or airplane lights? All of that stuff is amazing. “Breathe in: inhale smoke from bright stars that shine. Breathe out: weed smoke retrace the skyline.” We did that. The trick is learning to appreciate it, or letting it pull you out of a black mood.
“Oh, what a life! Cheat on Death ’til she upset” crawled its way up into my brain and came out just when I needed it most.