The latest from the “Public Apology” series over @TheAwl. Quoted here to further my stance against comparisons between Odd Future and Gravediggaz.

So as dark as it was, and as thick with the crowd, I felt a bit like there was a white spotlight shining on us. (As stoned as I was, and as generally self-conscious and -absorbed…) This feeling intensified when, about halfway through the concert, the music stopped, and, to introduce the next song, the group rolled out this giant stage prop, a twenty-foot tall guillotine, with a large dummy white person—a plastic mannequin, or maybe paper-mache?—lying at the bottom. Then RZA took the microphone and went into a long diatribe against the white man. Like a mock trial, listing all the offenses the white man had committed against the black man throughout history. The middle passage, slavery, Jim Crow laws, teaching false knowledge, etc. “And for these crimes against the black man,” he shouted at the end, “I pronounce you GUILTY!!!” Then the guillotine’s blade dropped and chopped off the white dummy’s head and the crowd erupted in a roar of approval.

“Fear” is a strong word. I never felt directly threatened. I guess the thought that someone might punch me in the face crossed my mind, but I’d been more legitimately concerned with my physical safety at rock concerts—caught in stampede surges toward the stage, or as a mosh pit spun out of control. That said, I’d reached out and found your hand during RZA’s speech. And after the blade came down, as the crowd was cheering and hollering and throwing fists in the air, as the massive thump of the next song’s opening beats shook the floor, I remember weaving my fingers through yours, and squeezing in a way so as to assert that we were there together, in this together. And to say, “Don’t go anywhere, okay?” And a little bit to ask, “Everything’s going to be all right, right?” There was a lot that I was communicating with that squeeze. I hope I didn’t hurt your hand.