Imagine a HipHop culture in which each active participant, successful in their own right, undenianly talented in the arts and/ or business of the culture taking a protégée; imagine the master and apprentice leading study and practice groupsamong the youngest in art-and-culture cwntered schhols founded by practicioners of the culture instead of just the university-approved pop culture professor and rap star guest lecturer.
Imagine organizations like the Universal Zulu Nation, Rock Steady Crew, Temple of HipHop at the forefront of this effort.

Now… If we can continueto imagine, we can biild.


Great interview from 3/9/14…

Vocalist/poet/educator/commentator; the Bay Area’s Epiphany Castro hosts a weekly 2 hour gab called Epiphany’s House I was her guest and we listened to great music and talked of our backgrounds in it; What mentoring means to me; lots lots more. Check her out every week on Blogtalk Radio, home of other great spoken word & performance poetry related shows.

Suggested reading for HipHop cultural study [an ever growing list]

The Gospel of Hiphop, KRS-ONE
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Jeff Chang
Hip-Hop Revolution, Dr. Jeff Ogbar
Fight the Power- Rap, Race and Reality, Chuck D
Black Noise- Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Tricia Rose
Have Gun, Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Death Row Records, Ronin Ro
Gunshots in Me Cookup, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
Bomb the Suburbs, William “Upski” Wimsatt
Total Chaos- The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, an anthology edited by Jeff Chang; features Bill Adler, Suheir Hammad, Kevin Coval, Staceyann Chin, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Rha Goddess, Danny Hoch and more
The Art of Getting Over, Stephen Powers
Don’t Rhyme For the Sake of Riddlin’- the Authorized Biography of Public Enemy, Russel Myrie
The Ice Opinion, Ice T
The Dead MC Scrolls, Saul Williams
No More Prisons, William “Upski” Wimsatt
B-Boy Cynics Getting Weeded in the Garden of Delights, Adam Mansbach
These Are The Breaks, Idris Goodwin
The Anthology of Rap, edited by Adam Bradley & Andrew DuBois- a collection of lyrics from popular rap and HipHop music.


…another edition of ‘Ill Documentary Theater’…


Back to the Sanctuary…

KRS-One in Chicago with Chuck Diesal…
This interview and performance capped a great weekend of Blastmaster KRS ONE headlining clubs and festivals in Chicago.


Inspiration for The Way of the B-Boy… The music.


The Way of the B-Boy: Curriculum, poems and life.

At this stage of my career as a performance poet, there are certain expectations within this community of artists and writers: a book. Not just any book, but hopefully a publisher will hook up editing, press, ISBN, the whole 9. Luckily for me, my first book was a part effort by Fractal Edge Press, a brainchild of  Chicago writers affiliated with Puddinhead Press. In 2004/5 Fractal Edge gathered writing from many hosts and regulars of Chicago’s open-mic poetry scene. Conscience Under Pressure was one of the 1st 10 collections released, followed by The PolyRhythmic Anthology [a.k.a. The Hosts @ Trace]. Both with ISBN codes, square-bound spines and the best distribution that consignment can buy or D.I.Y.

Conscience represented my first few years immersed in a scene that to that point had boosted or provided career foundation for writers that sprung from HipHop culture such as Saul Williams, Sage Francis, B Dolan, Dessa, Kevin Coval and many others. The poetry slam community has seen more than it’s share of both failed rappers, and MC’s true to their culture even with their non-linear, often abstract “spoken word” as opposed to straight beats and rhymes. It was the written side that had flourished since I decided that the “Let’s start a band!” wouldn’t get past “Let’s start.” My book (as well as  my work PolyRhythmic book) contained relatively diverse styles, mostly free-form and representative of my early frontman B-Boy meets Rocker MO. As I have improved over the last decade as a writer I have had many submissions to journals and anthologies accepted and published, recorded a couple CD’s. I always intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with my published peers by repeating the difficult trick of hooking on with a publisher/distributor that will put your career in a more literary, more academic spotlight. BUT…first, a mission…

I am Hip Hop. I am a B-Boy. There are certain aesthetic principles that I lean towards in order to legitimize my career to myself. My newest collection, Way of the B-Boy is hand-made, mostly self-edited, complete personal expression of my culture with no other filter. From recreating images of late night club or block jams to spelling out the Zen of rooftop “one-man-show” to simply how the language is used, Way of the B-Boy is not an example of what is expected of a writer-performer in the slam community. It is what is expected of any MC or DJ, breaker or graff writer: Self-creation, action and an example of not just doing something but being.

The book is hand-made, black cover similar to journal or piece book, no page numbers or table of contents, just 4 sections preceded by the HipHop curriculum sketch previously seen in this blog. Each section its own theme and distinctive energy and related pieces. Altogether, it is a testament to the urban inspirations that have gotten me and much of the world around me to this point. It is a testament to the being of HipHop, an expression of spirit not unlike Saul’s The Dead Emcee Scrolls or KRS-ONE’s The Gospel of HipHop.

I look forward to presenting much of the work at feature readings. Some of the work has already seen light at festivals, open mics and major slam competitions, if you are interested in a copy, they will be available in the coming weeks on the retooled as well as straight out of the backpack.