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.


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.


“The War of Art” or “Why We Battle”

Inspired by the 25th anniversary of the Bridge Wars

In the early 21st century HipHop has begin to over shadow the typical evolution of youth cultures. A major reason for it’s longevity is that it has grown beyond being a simple ‘sub-culture’ or ‘arts culture’ with timeless art, archives and curriculum built upon the lessons that it presents at it’s most positive moments. However, the fame of hip-hop art and commerce is sometimes magnified through negativity. It would be misleading to think that persons of any culture would always have parallel or similar points of view, we are after all human. A culture such as HipHop is very opinion-conscious from who has the flyest style to who the greatest of all-time is. The GOAT argument, in pop culture, is reserved for rappers, but we all know who our favorite DJ’s are and who the graff writers and dancer are that inspire us. It is in the Hiphopper’s nature to debate, to battle, to “show and prove.”

The traditional arenas in which Hiphoppers bring the noise, the skills, the style are the party spot. Your crew is the crew that is the ONE to tear down the house, no matter what the media is. The DJ and his sound system, the MCs,\; the B-Boys & B-Girls ruling the floor; Did your crew do the backdrop or an installation? Flyers? Maybe it’s your clique tht simply threw the party and helped get the tape out of the headlining group. There is always another artist or crew out to push more and the most primal battles come at the center of the circle.

Before rappers gain the type of legendary status of commercial radio playing their major label releases… Before racking up the statistics and victories of big money contests… Before being crowned the king of your city or sector… A DJ or, much more often, an MC will battle their way out of their neighborhood or district. The tradition is rhyme for rhyme, schoolyard to block to park to party, but also getting recordings out and around because you also need money for resources. There-in is developed an instinct to be and fight for number one.

Rhyme battles have been fought epicly from day- or weekend long festivals, pay-per-view, live radio broadcast, on records and simply traditionally in a club open mic or cipher.

Detractors point to conflicts that have seemingly gone beyond musical and lyrical antics but no major incidents have ever been proven to be a result of “rap beef”. In some cases, conflict resolution and even alliances have resulted from conflict among rappers. In many cases, the music inspired by the feuds have become known as classic songs in the cultural cannon. Research some of the following [beyond my wiki gateway]…

South Bronx vs. Queensbridge – the Bridge Wars

Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J

Scribble Jam

Red Bull BC One

Nas vs. Jay-Z

LL Cool J vs. Canibus


2012 HipHop Appreciation Week, a press release

From the Temple of Hiphop Kulture…


In this year, our 14th Annual Hip Hop Appreciation Week will be celebrated starting on the Monday of May 14th 2012 and will conclude the following Sunday May 20th 2012.

Our theme this year will be LOYALTY!

Remember that Hiphoppas observe Hip Hop Appreciation Week as a time set aside to acknowledge and appreciate the existence of Hip Hop in its Elements.

  • Breakin
  • Emceein
  • Graffiti Art
  • Deejayin
  • Beat Boxin
  • Street Fashion
  • Street language
  • Street Knowledge
  • Street Entrepreneurialism

First announced by The Temple of Hip Hop in 1998, Hip Hop Appreciation Week unites the Hip Hop community around its principles of Peace, Love, Unity and safely having Fun. So despite the sometimes irresponsible handling of hip-hop in mass media, Hip Hop Appreciation Week acknowledges the original intent of Hip Hop and urges those who work in any area of media to upgrade their presentation of productive Hip Hop music, movies and writings to the public.

The Teacha “KRS One” would like to emphasis our need to take action and BE Hip Hop. Remember that the goal of HHAW is to de-criminalize the images of Hip Hop Kulture that are presented to the World by the mainstream media. During HHAW, Hiphoppas should amplify the good work they’re doing in their community through Hip Hop Kulture.

Minista Zin One will be confirming available dates for anyone who may be interested in booking The Temple Of Hip Hop for your local HHAW 2012 event(s) and will be taking proposals for events that week (

During Hip Hop Appreciation Week, serious “Hiphoppas” are advised to:
• Give the next person the right of way. Allow others to pass you.
• Donate your skill to someone who cannot afford it.
• Give the loose change of your purchases to the person behind you in line.
• Be quick to compliment and slow to criticize. Perform forgiveness.
• Give 10% of your salary to your child’s teacher, to your teacher, or to a teacher.
• Offer assistance to a neighbor; clean their kitchen, bathroom, etc., baby-sit, tutor, etc.
• Study and teach the culture, arts, history and philosophies of Hip Hop.
• Talk to young people about images & performances of today’s mainstream Rappers and DJs.
• Acknowledge and celebrate the person or place that introduced you to Hip Hop.

Hip Hop Appreciation Week not only allows real Hiphoppas to promote their own concerts, lectures, workshops, art exhibits and cultural conferences, in their own communities raising money and opportunities for themselves and their families, but it also calls upon Hip Hop’s artists as well as those corporate entities that make money exploiting “hip-hop” to give back to the culture that has given them so much.

Hip Hop Appreciation Week is an opportunity to be a supporter of Hip Hop’s Culture, not just an exploiter of Hip Hop’s arts. The Temple of Hip Hop teaches that the true preservation of Hip Hop must include the preservation of Hip Hop’s people, not just its products and artifacts. This is why Hip Hop Appreciation Week is so important to Hip Hop’s further development; it is because Hip Hop Appreciation Week is an event that gives average everyday Hiphoppas an opportunity to make some money, teach some young people, and enjoy some real Hip Hop; basically preserving the Culture by BEING the Culture.

This year we will also be hosting several Official Temple Of Hip Hop Events during this important week in Hip Hop. If you are interested in becoming involved with this years HHAW Event Series, or seeking Interviews & Booking availability, please feel free to reach out to directly the information below. For all info on how to book interviews, lectures, or events please contact:

Minista Zin One or Kable Reid


KRS-ONE at Temple University