Jam of the Century – Disc Jock B Hill on Chances With Wolves!

One of the coolest crew moves of all time happened this week when Chances With Wolves put up episode number 408 featuring our bud B Hill!

He texted after it came out to share the hype, and hadn’t said a word about it (to me) leading up. Just let it drop and humbly repped an incredible mix for the crew/WORLD. I texted back wishing I could have told myself this was going to happen 10 years ago…

This got me thinking… what other stuff has happened in life that I’d want to share with myself ten years ago? I know I’d tell myself about my wife (who I was with then but didn’t realize our relationship could ever be this dope), our animals, my job (and hella uncharted path to get here), putting out music on a favorite record label with my best bud, Count Bass D performing at my friends’ underground venue, ThinkTank!!

That’s a bit of what I’d put on my personal list, how about you?

Maybe its not 100% hype. Could be hard stuff you’ve been through and learned from too. Anything surprising is probably fair game.

B Hill X Chances With Wolves is such a perfect example. We’ve looked up to them and listened to them for years (thank you Mars T). And B Hill took that inspo, did his thing for a decade, digging for better records, practicing his craft, and most importantly – being a chiller people love to be around. This combo is destined for the greatness of meeting incredible DJs – why not some we put in the Michael Jordan category?

Maybe we can use this hype for what’s next – what can happen ten years from now based on the work you’re doing today. As our 10 years ago list proves – we can add milestones that we might not even think are possible. Maybe even hide your future list away in a google doc and give yourself a notification to open it in 2029.

If you find it hard to come up with things you’d like to tell your younger self, that might be a good sign to focus on uppercutting the future. A good sign to look ahead at what’s possible, and start doing the small stuff to get there now.

If you’re superstitious is this a bad omen, cart before the horse type of sich? Or is it just adding some amazing things to the back of our minds that we might slowly be working towards right now? I’m hoping for the latter and putting some crazy things in my digi google doc time capsule rn 🙂

Be you – Do you 🧡💙

A spike in the normal

A spike in the normal is what’s needed for real change – the kind of change no one is prepared for or wants – since it would be a lot easier if we all stayed in our same old patterns. The problem is these patterns are doing more than blindly moving us through days. They create lasting and building impressions on us that can lead to stuff breaking down – like a car at over 100,000 miles.

Real change is hard. 99.9% of the world doesn’t know you or care if it happens, and to make it even harder – the people who do love you and want you to do you to the utmost inadvertently support and reinforce your OG patterns (except for the people around you inspiring change – maybe write down who this is in your life and try to hang with them more)! The people closest to you will benefit from who shows up when you decide to be who you are right now vs your default self pulling from years of patterns that might not be serving anyone anymore.

These norms are so ingrained in how we communicate changing is challenging – but isn’t most important stuff? 

Think about how easy it is to get weird in front of strangers. Costume up and walk down a busy street on Halloween (or Tuesday), holler from a car window as a teen: amazing stuff. Easy and while kinda fun on the surface -zero challenge. Changing in front of friends and family is – so lean into it this year! Ditch the default – be 100% you. Does the fam want a weird you-robot version 2.0 flying across the country to hang? Or the dope inspiring person you actually are, above what’s normal? 

It’s like going from kid to teen. That era when you get GI Joes and Public Enemy or Nirvana tapes on the same bday.  Or from teen to adult (by that I of course mean 14-30), when you get bottles of booze and inspiring art. It’s possible a party lifestyle and the patterns that surface can leave you with addiction, poor health, weirdly sporadic motivation – and the easiest vibe to find and hang on to is everyone still wanting you to be that old self who goes hard and gets weird (challenging?).

The people who love you will be down to see doing things to improve your life. People that miss you are plagued by fear of change and FOMO. Be you. That’s the heaviest thing you can do. Do it for you. And for the one life you have – even more, the moments you have because life can mean a lot of things, so start with today.

Forget normal. Save time, live bold. What’s a more awesome, inspiring, and challenging path? What’s a change you could make today that would hype up the people around you to better themselves?

Jams of the Week 64 & 65 & 66: Frenz & Strangerz & Myrrh

Welcome to the happiest 4 seconds of music I can think of – on repeat. 

Ever since revisiting Friends by Whoodini all these cuts moved in my head (again).

First was DOOM’s Deep Fried Frenz off the MM..Food LP (just listened to this podcast w DOOM yesterday – so good, so inspiring!) – then after playing that and the inster for it (also included here) for days I got back into the og sample: Ronnie Laws Friends and Strangers.

I had a tape with a live version of the Ronnie Laws cut back in the day… It eventually died from overplaying. Second jam of the week from that tap actually – here’s the first. Not sure there’s a happier tune/loop and so nice to hear DOOM riff it.

Peep the archived Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify and YouTube

Orange heart/Blue heart

Busy

We’re not so busy when our mind and body is totally still – it can all go away for a sec and give us a sense of connection to everything else…

Had a cool feeling yesterday I wanted to share. I basically tried really hard to forget all the stuff in my mind/body – the to-do’s, the frustrations, the joys, the family stuff, the aches in certain body parts… I let all that go for a sec and let my mind and body get totally still.

And it all went away.

My anxiety around being super busy with work stuff, gone. My overthinking what the hell is happening inside my left knee lately, also gone.

It gave this awesome sense of connection to the world around me, where beyond all the stuff, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all just here starting from scratch every second, even though it feels like so much is set in stone.

What was rad is I was able to carry this attitude into my day for a bit. I definitely forgot about it a lot, getting busy with work stuff, feeling overwhelmed at times… but when I just sat back into that feeling it helped me get a perspective on everything I was doing, what’s important, what I wanted to do, and what I accomplished or didn’t.

 

Jam of the Week #58: Celestial Blues

More trippy and simultaneously literal awesomeness thanks to listening to records with my bud STLB3… Also heard recently on Liquid Beat Radio 👌

Andy Bey – Celestial Blues from the 1974 Experience and Judgement LP

We must get closer to the essence of life
But be aware that it takes courage and strife
Expand your mind, don’t let it wither and die
You’ll find that it lifts your spirits high to the sky, high
So c’mon, meditate

Find archived Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify & YouTube

Jam of the Week #57: Shut Up

Shut Up by Stormzy

One of the ultimate crew jams right here. Stormzy is essentially just spitting killer brag raps the whole time, hyping himself up (in the literal sense of the lyrics). But we feel a crew anthem. The video takes this way over the top but even listening to the cut without visuals – you can feel it is more than a self-indulgent brag fest.

He’s giving anyone down, anyone crew – from his buds in the video to some little London kiddo to (maybe even) me jamming this about 2 million times in Tucson, Arizona – the chance to feel this good. He’s passing his confidence on through song and empowering you to step up, shut the bull shit up, and do you 100%.

And this is really hard to do! How many raps songs have you heard where a dude is talking about how great he is? And how many of them fall totally flat on that and feel like someone who is completing faking the cool routine and unfortunately totally showing it?

Maybe Stomzy is providing some killer Hip-Hop in the most classic sense. Early rap songs where super braggadocio – and they gave the community something to vibe on. This HAS to be the goal of a good MC, unless you’re someone like Percee P who just slays the mic so hard you get blown away just listening. Anyone else. Any rapper or artist of any type (and to be straight Percee P KILLS this vibe too) – MUST focus on the communal vibe if they want more listens/shares/views/praise than their immediate fam/friends. If they want their art to matter, they’ll take the time to give you these feelings. If not, it’s sometimes fun to listen to people brag over nice beats but it doesn’t last.

100% love vibe you me we  🧡💙

Check out all the jams of the week on Spotify & YouTube

 

Jam of the Week #50: I Dream Too Much

Sun Ra Arkestra – I Dream Too Much from the 1987 Reflection in Blue LP

Jam #50 – selected by my dreamiest brother – STLB3

He brought the record down over the weekend and we sat and listened to the track a few times exploring what it might be about.

Sun Ra didn’t write the song and I imagine Jerome Kern who did intended it as a love ballad. In the hands of Sun Ra, it turns into a haunty space orchestra jam that could be about love or dreaming your way into the galaxies.

Dreams are what fuels us to do more in life – but they can only go so far if they stay inside, aren’t shared with friends or fam, and aren’t offered to collaborators who could make them even better.

“I’ll build a world of abstract dreams and wait for you.” – Sun Ra 

🧡☁️💙

Archived Jam of the Week playlists are avail on Spotify & YouTube

Mind your intake: What if art is the news?

We’re a blank slate in the morning, and it’s our choice what starts shaping our day…

I woke up at about my usual time today, always shooting for 5:30 telling myself ‘discipline is a muscle’ and actually getting up around 6.

Most mornings I get my tumeric/honey/lemon drink steeping and head out to my lil shtudio (aka og brown shack aka Xanadu) for about 15 minutes of yoga and then a 15 minutes meditation – capping it off with walking my dog who depending on the day is either losing his shit or asleep on the couch.

I kept reading about how having a solid morning routine is huge for setting the day off right so I slowly worked my way into this version and it’s been a pretty badass way to slide in and set myself in the right direction for the day. *I also totally acknowledge being lucky as hell for not having to jet out for work this early – shoutout: my brother*

Today was a bit different as we didn’t have any water at the house and live in Tucson which is home to not the best drinking water. So I grabbed a 5-gallon jug and started the day with a water mission.

Lots (and maybe most) of my drive time is reserved for blasting Joshua Johnson or other journalists I dig. So I got in the van thinking I’d get some early morning NPR time but stopped short of that and put in the new Busdriver instead. 

My day was totally open. 100% free from any sources beyond my fam. To add anything but raw art to that felt wrong.

Plus Busdriver’s new album is news.  It’s only a couple months old (which I’m old enough to consider new) and consists of track after track of dope vibes and stories reflecting everything happening in our world.

Getting water was so damn fun! I let it bump with the doors open while I filled the jug in the empty liquor store parking lot where our fav water dispenser sits – feeling honored to hear this music and let it meld my morning.

I went into the day knowing I could do or make whatever I want. The things I was about to do felt creatively charged and less like work.

Same goes for our bodies. I’ve been trying something for a little while where if I’m pretty hungry (and still in control of my actions so not hangry) I’ll shoot for some fruit or something small first to subside – instead of smashing right into that sammy.

In the same way my day was wide open this morning, I feel like my hungry self is open for whatever and loves it when I drop some good things inside first.

Is that a stretch? What’s your morning routine? Ever try jumping into some 6am ‘Driver? 

Holler if you want and thanks for peeping ♥

Maximizing post-travel inspiration

I’m just back from a trip where I spent time with my parents, a bunch of crew at our 17th annual yearly camp out, and my sister and her 3 awesome kiddos.

Here are 6 reasons I’m freshly hyped and how I’ll use these travel vibes to crush it.

1 – Coming home

Years of jobs, relationships, and everything life has thrown my way lead me to my current house in Tucson, living with my amazing wife and our dog and cat. As much as I love the vacay vibes – coming home is kinda the best. It represents returning to my intention – the space in the world I’ve worked hard to create.

Our place feels like vacation sometimes, from the homemade blue curtains my wife made out of fabric I thrifted in northern AZ flapping in the wind, to the outdoor cast iron tub in our backyard, to the shed my friends helped deliver, fix up, and paint into the trippiest/hypest creative space.  We laugh and remind ourselves “This is real life!”

Coming home is a reminder to maximize this inspiring place! Oh you have a rad recording studio? Use it! A dope bike – hop upon! An amazing parnter – hang out with them a ton!

2 – Unreal friend/family support 

Sharing space and time with a crew living vastly different but inspiring lives is like reading 2,000 self-help books at the same time while swimming in the coolest waterfall you found on a cross-country road trip with your dog.

It’s such a great challenge to do you to the utmost.  The crew isn’t going to check up on me when I get home – “Hey, Nick are you still feeling super inspired by your trip, I hope so!”  It’s more like – go forth and kill it – we believe in you, and that should propel dopeness until we hang again and re-up the hype.

A couple years ago at the same campout 2 of my main dudes took me aside and thanked me saying they might not be here if it wasn’t for me. Both are incredible artists, musicians, friends, and humans. Thinking about it still makes me shake a bit. When doubt comes up I go back to this memory and know if these 2 have my back this hard I’m 100% good.

3 – Kids

Kids are better at living in the moment then every adult who’s ever preached or read about it.  A couple years ago the first thing my then 6-year-old niece said to me after not seeing each other for more than a year was something like “If you close your eyes really hard it looks like a laser light show.” Hells ya it does!

Same kiddo this year was going super hard jumping off the dock and boat like it was no big deal. She didn’t brag about it – just wanted to do it over and over and over again! Reality is she humbly conquered a fear and it’s f’n incredible! Last year she was scared to do both. Now it’s second nature. Killing it ✓ moving forward ✓ and having fun ✓

4 – Sacrifice

Crew-ups like this get you thinking about people who couldn’t make it. As an avid hater of FOMO, I get inspired by the sacrifices they’re making to do what they need to do.

My brother is killing at work and couldn’t come. It would have been dope to hang but he needed to keep crushing it for his life and that’s exactly the choice he made. Same with my wife. I missed her a lot but what an amazing person she is to prioritize the incredible work she’s doing.

My sister had to take off to go run the summer reading program at the library she started – DOPE! My best bud had to roll early to get back to Detroit and prep for leaving to go cook on the Drake tour. Fun Professionally amazing!

5 – Passion

My 14-year-old nephew is so down for this new X-Box game its crazy. When I told him I didn’t know what it was he stared at me blankly for the weirdest 10 seconds we’ve probably ever had. Totally cracked me up and reminded me how down I used to be for stuff at his age!

I was into vids, basketball, Wu-Tang, and Tribe. I remember listening to every song on every CD I owned with a best friend – carefully deciding that Award Tour was the greatest song in the world. It was for sure the most important thing to do that afternoon – and we questioned it Ø!

6 – Parents

I’m incredibly lucky to get to learn from parents who’ve been married for 46 years. They’re so inherently down for each other at this point it’s one of the sweetest and inspiring things I witness.

They have a small sailboat and are the coolest team for getting it set up and out on the water. I got to be their boat hand which mostly meant watching them carefully rig the boat and make sure their partner stayed safe while hopping on and off during the process.

They eat together, volunteer together, and talk about the future together. They live each other’s dreams realizing how much one partner benefits from the other’s – whether it’s living on a lake in a small town, or traveling to a specific place to escape the cold Minnesota winter. It’s a version of compromise that isn’t really compromise at all, but being down for your partner and knowing them being happy will make you happy too.

What motivates you post-travel? How do you use it to do more of what you love? Comment or send that hype my way!  nick@hype.church 

Thank your jealousy!

Ever been annoyed by someone’s payout? Could be monetary, or maybe they’re getting a lot of props and respect for something they created, a  promotion or a crazy job offer, and maybe they’re just experiencing hella good luck and fortune.

I’m finding myself here right now and this morning I realized I’m looking for the exact same thing. All of the negative emotions I was feeling and directing towards this person instantly went away as I would have to put the same wack pressures on myself to be totally honest and just.

The annoying feeling I was having is jealously straight up. It shouldn’t be this way. They shouldn’t have gotten this/that. Totally 100% jealous wackness. I justified it past jealousy and -even worse- kept making it a topic of convo with fam and friends 🤮

I bet we can put almost anything bugging us to this test. Dig deep – try and find the part of you that wants the same payout (money or not). Call yourself out. It feels really good and nobody has to know anyways – besides not having to hear you talk shit about someone (pretty good trade)!

Even more meta (I think) is that this person’s fortune might have actually seeded my idea! I was so astonished at what they accomplished, my idea probably subconsciously gained steam! Because if anything can happen (and it totally can) then it’s less crazy to think about accomplishing my dreams.

If it wasn’t jealousy we’d celebrate and honor the good fortune. No little voice would find it annoying or unfair. With the garunteed inmperance of life, why not acknowledge, give props, and move on as opposed to adding a lingering negative thought cloud to your head?

For me it took figuring out I wanted the same thing this time, and directing all that negativity on myself seemed like a less cool way to move about the day than staying at peace and trying to do the incredible work we’re all capable of doing all the time.

🤘🏼CREW 🤘🏼

Jams of the Week #39, #40: Climbing Up & A Restful Place

Both these tracks come from this awesome new trip-out Sharing Waves from Cool Maritime

I’ve been lounging, meditating and getting hype to this a bunch for the last week or so. Hope you dig <3

Full Jam of the Week playlists are available on Spotify YouTube

Working like an artist

As published on Medium here

My friend Billy Frey is a prolific artist. One of my favorite things about his art is that it’s constantly changing. Every project is totally unique, while clearly a product of the experience he’s gained along the way.

I’ve had lots of jobs in lots of different industries. Restaurant, nonprofit, marketing, social work, teaching, startup, and traveling the country in a van with my best friend selling on Etsy to later live in our friend’s garage in Minneapolis and shuck oysters for most of the summer… to name a few.

I’m super proud of everything I’ve done. I’ve never been fired and *almost always leave on great terms. *eat one belittling bosses x 2 🙂

I proudly carry my experience to the next job and do better work because of it. On a yoga mat last night I realized this is the Billy Frey way! I (and maybe you?) reinvent my career like an artist!

If this is why I love Billy’s art, why can’t my job experience be a great reason to love and believe in myself and career path?

Not boring: Billy Frey – THE AGE COCOON

Trust your boredom. It’s your spidey sense. The hum that never goes away once introduced.

When a job gets boring I get restless. If you want to pay me to stare at a computer mindlessly and are offended that I’m moving on, you’re a little bit cray.

Society commonly looks at this negatively. You seem to jump around a lot. How long do you think you’ll you work here? I try to answer honestly, not knowing what the future will bring. I explain why I’m a good fit based on my professional experience.

Do they really want another person to lie about a 10-year plan? I’m finally realizing I don’t want to work for someone who does. I’ve signed 1-year agreements that all parties quietly realized were completely non-legally binding. All of us can walk whenever we want.

People come and go, this is a fact in any industry. Let’s make the process a whole lot more constructive.

Real chefs know: The Captain ft. Manimal — Word Up

 

Chefs get it, but with much sacrifice (long hours, physically-demanding work, low wages, lack of benefits). They might leave in a few months if it’s not a good fit. They give notice or leave on the spot if a wack owner doesn’t hear them and take action to make things better. It’s up to the next restaurant to value their experience and create a badass-enough environment to keep them.

Fact is we all can do this, we’re just scared. What if other industries stepped up their game and we didn’t have to be?

Companies could strive to make work awesome. Regular check-in’s creating a space for honest dialogue about your level of motivation. Next-level transparency obviously improving the work you do for them.

Let’s remove the doom feeling around asking a manager about movement, or telling them you’re thinking of transitioning. After a couple months and 200+hours of dedicated hard work, I’d like to believe a supervisor knows I’m not going to leave them in shitty situation.

What if we could sit down and talk about specific reasons I’m not feeling motivated or challenged. On top of that, what if we didn’t need to make a rash decision right then? We could regroup in a week to see if either side came up with good reasons for staying vs leaving.

Supervisors — doesn’t this sound better than employees secretly job-hunting at work, carrying negative vibes around the workplace because of wanting to leave or feeling trapped and discouraged, creating a toxic environment of false-security and entitlement to a position they no longer want to do or aren’t performing as well as they could be anyways?

Maybe staying in one place is the last thing we should do. Maybe getting all the experience we can will keep sending us in awesome new directions — creating space to learn even more.

Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, be proud of your ability to reinvent yourself! Don’t let people treat the knowledge you gain from trusting your heart as pipe dreams or failures.

Jam of the Week #32: Little Brown Dog

Little Brown Dog by Mo Kolours from his self-titled 2014 record on One Handed Music

This song became a soundtrack for me and my wife at our old apartment in Linnton. She used to crack up when it came on – so happy for what a simple and joyful track it is.

I highly recommend everything in the Mo Kolours catalog... slowly catching up via Discogs myself.

Also big shout out to our little dog LUG <3

Follow the full Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

 

Fun professionals

I’ve been thinking a lot about change and impermanence thanks to reading a bunch of Thich Nhat Hanh (specifically FearThe Art of Living, & Peace is Every Step).

I started combining these teachings with what it might mean to be a fun professional. If we look at being a fun pro as making the most of any situation, we roll with change and create the fun pro experience around it. It’s making something new and different awesome, and not clinging to something that no longer exists. Being able to live deeply and honestly in reality, look straight in have a rad and impactful day.

Jam of the Week #31: Something (On My Mind)

Something (On My Mind) by Jack J off the 2014 Looking Forward to You 12″ 

I just really love this song! It’s such an uplifter for me, hope it hits you with the same. King kong heartbeat props to DJ Roane Namuh for putting this on Roane Zone #9 and introducing me to my new lifestyle of vibing to Jack J! Love you!

Full Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

Jam of the Week #29: Teachers

Big thanks to my bro Tom for picking the 29th Jam of the Week!

Teachers by Daft Punk off their 1997 LP Homework

Teachers is the ultimate representation of the ‘face backwards, crew forwards’ mentality. [A] Jon Francois phrase. We saw a dude accepting a trophy turn backwards on the stand to rep his crew on the back of his jacket.” – Tom

This all went down at  Pedal Fabulous (a bicycle fashion show) and sounds magical as hell. Thanks Tom and thanks to the most hype / most polite Jon Francois!

Jam of the Week #28: Spirits of the Ancestors

Spirits of the Ancestors by Josef Leimberg of the 2016 Astral Progressions (recently released on cassette!)

This is a mind-blowing awaking song that I’ve played probably over 50 times right when I wake up. I love what an incredible lead-in to my morning routine it is.

I was lucky enough to see it performed live last fall! They started out the show to it as the sun was setting at the outdoor LA venue. Total magic!

Fully Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify YouTube