“We ain’t thinkin’ about the fuck-shit, cause it’s all love energy…”
There are these ideas that are so perfect, so obvious, that it’s baffling they haven’t come to fruition sooner. A stoner guided meditation tape is one of those slap-yourself-in-the-forehead-and-shout-OF-COURSE! concepts, as inevitable and preposterous an idea as black metal yoga and fried chicken taco shells. Or having Jeff Bridges record an album of sleep music.
HotRock SupaJoint , Phoenix’s Fakest Rapper, is no stranger to brilliant absurdities. Carving a niche for himself as the Valley’s number one weed rapper who also looks like an L.A. Guns roadie, HotRock has been walking the thin green line between cartoon character and fire breathing musician for years. He does what all great “comedy” bands do: he takes his ridiculous work deadly serious, in the same way that groups like the Bonzo Dog Band kept a stiff upper lip going while taking the piss out of everything. There’s earnestness and sincerity buried underneath that mound of Weird Al Chong hair. It’s what makes him endearing, and there’s just enough blunted cleverness to the project to keep it from becoming grating (unlike 90% of most weed comedy, which turns into the Mexican ditch-weed of comedy as soon as the contact high wears off).
It takes a mind as sublimely faded as HotRock’s to come up with “Chakra Khan,” a stoned guided meditation made to cash in on all that sweet “yoga pants money.” Clocking in at less than half an hour, it’s a fun and impressive piece of work. I recently interviewed HotRock’s 56th Street Records label head, Michael “Red” Comunale (who bears a striking resemblance to his lit star), who said that it took four months to animate the short video. 35,000 frames of animation rendered; Comunale said getting the mouths to sync up with the audio proved to be the greatest challenge.
You can see this work in “Chakra Khan”, which looks like the stoned kid brother of “Waking Life”. Like Linklater’s rambling philosophical masterpiece, “Chakra Khan” has a wobbly, almost fluid texture to its visuals. It feels like the whole thing could collapse into a spiral of color and pixels at any moment, like a plume of smoke shooting out of a bong.
After an in-studio intro, the video kicks off with SupaJoint leading viewers through the meditation. Another tidbit Red dropped in that aforementioned interview- HotRock is trained in Reiki and energy work. And that metaphysical proof is in the pudding- while the video is full of goofy humor, it actually really works as a guided meditation.
HotRock’s weed-induced explanations of building up a bubble of protective power and how the chakras work will sound familiar to anyone with a bit of occult or yogic knowledge. And the electronic music that plays throughout the video is soothing and tranquilizing. Divorced from the weed phone calls (a phone call interruption gag that works a hell of a lot better than when Kanye pulled the same shit in “30 Hours”) and HotRock’s talking about turning third eyes into bloodshot eyes, the “Chakra Khan” soundtrack would make a perfect New Age soundtrack. Perfect for any yogi, meditation student, or Chaos magician looking to zone out and get in touch with the astral plane.
The first time I watched “Chakra Khan”, it was with my reviewing hat on. I admired the screensaver on acid visuals and HotRock’s guru monologue. The second time I watched it, I put it on while sitting on the floor. I let the video guide me along, allowed it to try and lift me up like a good hit can make you feel like you’re about to become one with your ceiling fan. I closed my eyes, breathed in, breathed out, and worked on opening up my chakras. And HotRock was there the whole time, breathing holy smoke in my ears, encouraging me to let go of my fuck-shit and feel all the love energy coursing through the universe.
And for just a few minutes, I felt it.
Ashley Naftule is a writer, performer, and lifelong resident of Phoenix, AZ. He regularly performs at Space 55, The Firehouse Gallery, Lawn Gnome Books, and The Trunk Space He also does chalk art, collages, and massacres Billy Idol songs at karaoke. He won 3rd place at FilmBar’s Air Sex Championship in 2013. You can see more of his work at ashleynaftule.com
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