Platinum pussy juice. A message from Satan. A recipe for curry chicken. Upright births. What is the commonality between these concepts you may ask? Adika Abassi Ani Butler dedicates 222 pages of his most recent offering "Treasures of Darkness" to dig deeper on these themes and much more for those who move through tunnels with low light, burning lamps in hand.
His mind spits with an enormous kickback, your brain then absorbs the impact of each line. Not a read that can be consumed once and collect dust on the shelf, 'Darkness' like a well prepared meal requires a bit more time to properly digest while the transmissions he lays down settles deep within your subconscious.
Recently, I had the opportunity to build with Adika on some of these matters like how this book came together, portals you can likely find him creating at and future plans which already includes a collection of erotic stories that has since released.
AR: About your beginnings from what I understand, you had access to many of these spiritual tenets at a younger age, correct?
AB: Coming up the way I did, we weren't an affluent family by any stretch of the imagination, we were rich in culture and history, which I feel are the rudiments of any community, civilization or what have you. I grew up in a Rastafarian household, the initial images that I saw were Haile Sellasie, Marcus Garvey before I knew who George Washington or Jesus Christ was. These were the the first people that I was aware of outside of my immediate family who seem to hold some space of value and importance.
You had X-Clan, when I was 12, 13, that was one of my favorite rap groups if not my favorite. I remember listening to "To The East Blackwards", being really enthused by all of these deities that they were naming and the imagery that they would conjure up. One time mentioning what I was listening to one of the songs to my Mother and my Mother was like "Oh yeah, ancient Egyptian deities!" I was like "do you have any information on that?" She was like "as a matter of fact, I do."
She went into the closet, pulled out this book, it was a copy of "Black Man of the Nile", by Dr. Ben [Yosef A.A. ben Jochannan]. Skimming through portions of the book as a 12 year old and being inspired from what I was reading in the book to what I was listening to like the X-Clan songs I loved so much.
Coming up within that family household that was exposing me to all that culture and living in New York where Hip Hop is prominent, it's the birthplace, that was pretty much an advantage for me. I was exposed to the information in a very academic sense and exposed to the spirituality, consciousness in a way that appealed to my youthful imagination as somebody who is engaging in the arts. There was a soundtrack to what I was around, seeing and hearing the adults around me were talk about...
AR: Can you elaborate on this soundtrack and other moments that defined the period for you?
AB: I was very fortunate to come up in that time when the top artists were promoting consciousness in some way, shape or form whether it was A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul who had more of a bohemian vibe, Public Enemy which was coming from a more sociopolitical standpoint, X-Clan that was dealing with straight consciousness...even with other rappers like Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane...they may not have been on it quite like that but they were still referencing things in their songs that tied back to knowledge of self, being intelligent in how you moved in the world.
I remember going to a Shango baptist ceremony, I experienced watching these women go into a sacred possession...the diety Shango out of the Ifa tradition, one of the Orisha...that's the eclectic background that I come from and it pretty much informed a lot of the perspectives that I've developed and cultivated as an adult. I was dealing mainly with Rastafarianism but also exposed to aspects of the Nation of Islam, exposed to some aspects of traditional African religion. My Mother would sometimes put up an altar, with food for the ancestors and I observed this and a lot of that informed who I am today.
AR: That's great, it appears that you were privy to the variety of the world's religions whereas most are brought up under one denomination. Is that accurate?
AB: Although I was exposed to spirituality at a young age, it wasn't really coming from a standpoint of "this is what we believe and this is what you gotta believe too." It was more like "this is what we're dealing with but there's other ways of looking at things out there." There was a lot of religious motifs and imagery in my formative years, it was more like an artistic mind that utilized the symbols of the religion.
AR: Tell me about life for you in the 80's.
AB: I was more of a funny guy/comedian around my immediate family and friends, taking the patterns and people around me, how they acted. Was a big Knicks fan back then, my favorite player was Clyde Drexler. Was into basketball, Hip Hop music heavy from about 11 years old on til now...
AR: That era had such a great run of that beginning portion, no matter how you experienced it, whether you were Dj'ing, breakdancing or a kid but when you caught that bug...before the major labels came in and ate it up.
AB: There was a still a level of chaos so to speak, the media was not as pervasive as it is now... people were more inclined to go within themselves and dig into their imagination, unearth those treasures of darkness that were within themselves and articulated that through their art.
Now people have so many distractions, you got all of these different things where you're constantly aware of what other people are doing. That makes it harder for you to get into your own inner world because you're so tied into this outer world so it creates this situation where people sound, look, dress, talk like each other. They make music, the music sounds the same.
I came up in an era where you didn't quite have that, a lot of people didn't even have cable. A lot of times, there wasn't something on tv that you wanted to watch so what did you do to pass time? You got engaged in the arts, cultivated yourself as an artist and you amused yourself.
A lot of these people you see from the early 90's the Nas', Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Biggie, all of these people came up around the same time, in a time where they had to find ways of amusing themselves, emerseing themselves in something that is constructive and worthwhile so that they didn't die out of boredom and stagnation, there was a great desire for self expression.
AR: Moving into 'Treasures' now, how did the book come about?
AB: I started my Mind Glow Media blog back in March of 2009; as a journalist at the time, I was doing a lot of interviews with recording artists, particularly from the Reggae/Dancehall world. There was great fulfillment for me in doing that, I got a chance to meet, interview and have good conversations with artists that I actually enjoyed and listened.
I always wanted to get into writing more heavily about the spiritual or life sciences. Science is the technique and art of dealing with life. When something is the occult, you’re talking about a hidden culture, separating yourself from that culture when you identify it as something that is hidden.
The indigenous people who engage in any culture that other outsiders who observing them would call the occult, they don’t call their own culture the occult…just to get into semantics, I know some people might say that is a superficial thing to put an emphasis on but I do think that it’s important because how you look at a thing definitely impacts and influences how you interact and what you get out of it.
You gotta embrace your work and what you’ve put together… “Treasures of Darkness” is in my view the greatest exposition of metaphysical information that I’ve seen in what we call the “conscious community" in the last seven years, maybe even ten. I have not seen any lecture or any book released that stands and goes beyond “Treasures Of Darkness”…not saying that because I wrote it but I’m looking at it as a body of work that encompasses history, alchemy, popular culture and weave so many different elements in a way that is engaging and exciting.
The way that it’s written is metaphysical because it’s so dense with metaphor, similes and stories…it took me years to get to that space but over time kept writing and knew that I could do better. The book as you know is about two hundred something pages but I had easily close to four hundred pages of information, pretty much ended up cutting the book in half because a lot of the stuff was no longer a representation of where my mind was at.
AR: What's next for you?
AB: The elusive question...I definitely have thoughts of coming with a follow up, I might decide to go in a slightly different direction in terms of the title and start a whole new movement altogether. I will be putting myself in a position to produce something that is far greater than what I've already produced with "Treasures Of Darkness" and it's in me to do so.
There are certain experiences that I need to have and it's going to enrich my message a great deal, make my message far more universal without compromising the integrity of the message that I had previously, it's only gonna build upon it.
AR: Final one, favorite portals in New York?
AB: Any park space can be a portal because if I sit amongst some trees and I'm around some earth, can sit on a rock and just think and chill, read a book, listen to some music..that alone, being in that environment in a warm climate, particularly when it's spring, summer time. Ultimately, being around water ways, like a beach or ocean. It just opens the way to abundance.
My wife and I were away on our honeymoon in the country of northern Jamaica, we were just beach bums everyday, just chilling and constantly being around the water. This small strip of this boardwalk that went deep into the ocean, we would lay on the bench there and relax, talk, listen to music, take naps and wake up look all around us and there was nothing but water, nothing but blue skies. That opened me up to a lot of things.
Find his luminous book here.