TNB Night Owl–Toynbee Suite

Toynbee tile at Market Street in Philadelphia, photo by Zuzu

In the Night Owl two night ago, AlienMotives asked what our favorite song inspired by a historical event was. I have a few, but one came to the forefront of my mind, even if it’s not a specific event.

About a year ago I did a Friday Movie Night Owl on RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES. Something about the tiles, their creation, the story and mystery behind them, fascinates me. My interest was piqued further when I learned there was a rap song based around them.

Toynbee Suite” is not your typical rap song. Raj Haldar, under the name Lushlife, created a ten minute opus that, yes, includes rap and hip hop. It also includes extended classical-based intrumental interludes. The song is in four verses, each addressing a different line of the Toynbee tiles:

Toynbee Idea

In Kubrick’s 2001

Resurrect Dead

On Planet Jupiter

Then again, Lushlife isn’t your typical rapper. In 2018 he hit number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list for his children’s book, P IS FOR PTERODACTYL* THE WORST ALPHABET BOOK EVER. The picture book celebrates the oddities in the English language with entries like “G is for Gnocchi” and “T is for Tsunami.”

Question of the night: what song do you love from a genre you don’t normally listen to?

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