The enemy

“We can’t defeat the ultimate enemy (death), but why not try?”  – my favorite boss I’ve ever had aka Mr. Miyagi aka Brandy from Hit+Run

At the same dinner greyliens were discussed, I got the dude who believes in my art to go off a bit…

His perspective is basically we’re gonna die, life is a battle, might as well kill it everyday. Crew up. Do cool shit. Don’t complain. Don’t worry about drama. Don’t be lame. Just kill it.

It’s intense but rad. And I’ve learned from communicating with B that if we’re not discussing doing dope shit, why the fuck are we talking right now? The more you apply this the scarier it gets. Good scary. Own your shit and you’re good. Move halfway and move aside.

Jam of the Week #9: Use Ya Mnd (Twentyfourseven)

Less literal than other Jam of the Week selections (no diss McFadden & Whitehead!), this track is here for what it does

Use Ya Mnd by Mndsgn off his 2016 Body Wash LP

I put it every time I enter my studio, and let it play while I get organized and start feeling what I’m about to get into. By the time it’s over I’m usually ready to start a project, that or I lift the needle keep the song on repeat until I am. Somehow it’s become an anthem of entering my art.

It’s also an inspiring track on the level of what Mndsgn did and continues to do musically. He went from experimental, tripped-out beat maker to so much more on this record, creating songs that are harder to explain than to vibe to. Still beats, but laid down smooth enough to go unnoticed in the most complimentary way… less rap banger, more soul vibes.  The lyrics stay ultra-positive, often-literal, and forever real.

Try jamming Use Ya Mnd while getting ready make something cool, and lemme know if it works for you like it does for me in Xanadu ⬇⬇

Check out the archived Church of Hype: Jam the Week playlists on Spotify & YouTube

No Fear ™

“Imagined fears are worse than real ones.” – My bad ass friend Sarah’s husband Michael, at age 12, as remembered by his dad at their wedding.

Sarah just married the raddest human, guru-like being who kills it at life in a chiller way than maybe anyone I’ve ever met. They catered and hosted their own wedding (of more than 50 people), and all questions towards Michael were met with the perfect joke, putting you at ease while adding a casual message actually telling you how to help out.

I was talking to his dad a bit in the kitchen and he confirmed Michael’s always been a mega-chiller. He told us some stories including the above quote his son said over 20 years ago.

Alright so the quote is dope, but how bout a 12 year old with this perspective? You’re in 6th grade. Life is getting ‘real’ – or at least it feels like it cuz you have a locker now. You’re starting to realize what your mind is doing and what gets in the way of success.

Imagined fear. You probably see people around you freaking no reason. You feel pressure and realize (if you’re the future chillest adult in the world), it’s unnecessary and doesn’t matter.

Shoutout to my friend Sarah’s new husband Michael, his 12 year old chillness, and his dad for remembering this quote for over 20 years. I didn’t ask Michael about it because I already know he would respond humbly, joking about how he might have said something like that…

Chill count = 4 (chiller, mega-chiller, chillest, chillness) 

Jam of the Week #8: The Rhythm

Cool it’s been 2 months already! The 8th Jam of the Week is Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio’s The Rhythm, off the monster-positive 2005 LP Love Is The Answer.

My good bud DJ Roane aka Roane Namuh aka the best DJ I’ve ever met intro’d me to this track on his Cancer 09′ mix – I’ve also been lucky enough to hear him play it at a few parties where he knew I had to run to the DJ booth and give props!

You can should download and listen to the hours of mixes and check his radio show at roanenamuh.com. I highly recommend the Roane Zone podcasts… all 11 are ridiculously dope!

I hope you enjoy this anthem of music x life uniting and the good feels it brings.

Check out the archived Church of Hype: Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify & YouTube

➕➕➕

I love when the world calls me out!

Or as my wife put it – “No need to put your assumptions around on people!”

Today started out rad. Woke up feeling great with all my favorite people and animals.  Chilled listening to Laraaji’s Sun Zither doing yoga and staring at clouds (cuz I Do Whatever I Want).

Then my attitude got off track… Had a flat tire I needed to fix before starting my bike messenger gig, and went through a tube I just bought yesterday and couldn’t repair.

For whatever lame-ass reason this stuff put me in a less-cool mood (lame-ass = less-cool). Anyways I took off for my first order and thought I’d shake the weird vibes by riding.

Picked up the food and brought it to a sorta bouchie college-kido apartment downtown Tucson, where I noticed someone running on a treadmill in the window. My current lameness questioned why he wasn’t outside, it was so nice out! Go walk outside bro!

Oh… He was the one who ordered the food and was just exercising while waiting for me to show up. Dude was super nice and added a solid tip.

I biked away happy and laughing, thanking the world for calling me out on being a huge dick! Rest of the day is looking up ↗↗

Working backwords

Alright want to go to yoga tonight, get ready in the morning. Get your stuff together (water bottle, yoga mat, incense, chakra shades…). Put them by the door. Make sure there’s air in them bike tires, and chilllllll! Work backwords and watch your day open up w i d e !

I think I stole this idea from a Herzog moment in the massive interview collection, A Guide For The Perplexed (aptly titled 👊). He talks about packing for trips a day early, making sure to leave from a settled place. By working backwords we can even do this in small ways, like if you just have an hour to work with and you’re not leaving the country to rip a ship over a mountain.

I do it with my bike messenger job almost daily. I wake up and get the lights on the charger, make sure my bike is still working (today’s morning I’m fixing last night’s tire explosion which lead to a comically slow fall into a drainage ditch), fill my water bottles (whoa just like yoga !💥 !), and then enjoy the openness of my pre-work day.

Maybe you already do this, hells ya. Lemme know if it works, if it doesn’t, or if you’ve discovered an even better way to get ready in the morning than reinterpreting Herzog. 💖

Jam(s) of the Week #7: gospel mix for Colin

I’ve owed my friend Colin this mix for a couple years. Way back I put a few of these tracks on a tape and shared it around. Kinda recently (past couple years) he asked for another copy. I’m not really sure where the OG tape went so I finally put down a proper mix for my dude.

Listen on Mixcloud / Download link

Nothing fancy, just letting these beautiful tracks speak for themselves. All vinyl. All thrifted. Most from one magic night at the Goodwill super store off MLK in Portland back in 2003.

I’m not traditionally religious. At the Church of Hype love is everything and we lounge for the light. Thanks to these musicians for pouring their hearts into these songs.

Tracklist
Teddy Grover & Joy – We Need Love on I Am Determined (Greentree)
Serenity – Serenity on …Like It Is! (Deep Roots)
The East St. Louis Gospelettes – Have Mercy On Me on Love Is The Key (Birthright)
Voices of Watts – Changed My Way on God Is What You Need (Birthright)
Myrna Summers and the Myrna Summers Singers – Tell Me on self-titled (Savoy)
Rev. Milton Brunson And The Thompson Community Singers ‎- Fill My Cup on Give Me A Clean Heart (Scepter)
Arvis Strickling Jones – All The Way on “LIVE” in Concert (Sound of Gospel / Secret)
Donell Hickman and The San Francisco Inspirational Choir – Keep A Light In My Window on Live! (Unity)

“All religion can be distilled down to the search for answers to the following questions: Is this all there is? Is this all I am?” – Patrick Rhone

Check out the Church of Hype: Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify here or on YouTube here ✌🏽

Jam of the Week #6: It’s Your World

The 6th Jam of the Week is probably the most verbatim, spot-on Church of Hype anthem we got gang.

We should do a parade with it on repeat, or have a kind of positive zenned-out hour-long listen at a crew up sometime and see how soon we all take the fuck over afterwords 🌝

Talking about Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson’s It’s Your World from the 1976 album by the same name.

I send this track to people on their bday (what up Dad!) or if I just want them to feel awesome, and it turned into a bit of a soundtrack for a dear friend I used to help navigate the city of Portland, OR on daily adventures.

My history with the song goes back to around 2003 when my dude Underfed hit me up and basically said get over here now!

Apparently a roommate had done a bad job roommating and skipped town. His friend took it as an invite to sell his stuff including a couple nice crates of rap, reggae, and some sparse jazz and funk, which I bought in a parking lot from the trunk of a car (life goals ✔️)!

I still wonder if dude was ok with letting the wax go but it’s most definitely found it’s way into lots of ears and now is the reason it’s landing here today. Thank you mystery DJ 🙏🏼

Check out the full Church of Hype: Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify here

*And since this song isn’t on Spotify (💻🔥) I’m starting a YouTube playlist with all the jams of all the weeks you can check out right here ✌🏽

Want to believe

I just finished The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, after being introduced to her on Democracy Now! (aka my favorite tv show).

Anjum, one of the books leading characters, lives in a graveyard. In it is a gravestone that simple says Islahi.

Some thought Islahi was a prince killed by the British after the rebellion of 1857, others believed he was a pimp knifed to death by a prostitute in the 1960’s.

“As always, everybody believed what they wanted to believe.”

Im looking at this quote as a way to worry a bit less about what people think, acknowledging it could just be what’s most convenient for them to believe… and what if that’s ok sometimes?

If the group that believes Islahi was killed in battle does so as a means of pride and it actually helps them maintain and build pride, why not believe it?

Facts are facts (mostly). And people believing hateful things without digging deeper isn’t ever acceptable (always). But in some instances maybe it’s ok to not worry as much about what others think.

It could be cool to focus our time and energy on something besides proving right vs wrong, like dreaming about cool stuff we haven’t thought of yet! 

I also always love a total switch of what I thought was a definitely truth. Thanks my bro Jacob for showing me how dope this realization can be.

All this said, I might be missing some major cultural context in this piece of Roy’s novel, but to put even that wrongness through this lens would say that I’m learning from my interpretation so maybe it’s still ok too 🍰

Church of Hype: Jam of the Week #5

This week’s track is Dâm (pronounced dame) Funk’s We Continue from his Invite The Light triple vinyl LP (2015).

When I worked a 9-5 I’d start my weekend with this song. It gave me the feeling of reclaiming my time, myself really. It erased any negativity I dealt with over the week and set the vibe for my time off.

Dâm Funk’s music is unapologetically positive, leading us on a quest of self discovery and intenion towards being the best version of ourselves we possible can.

“You know you’re legit / cuz you never quit… Don’t you give up on the love you got inside y’all / And keep your passion and your pride, you know it’s alive!”

I’m honored to add We Continue to the Church of Hype: Jam of the Week playlist and hyped to do it justice with the company it’ll keep there 🚀🤘🏽

…oh and if you want to add some ⚡️focus⚡️ to your feed peep Dâm Funk’s twitter. So many cool takes on music, politics, and life.

He also runs Glydezone, a “…refreshing, humbly gearing up to fire on all cylinders” record label and Red Bull radio show.