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 #61 & 62: Powder & Lil Mofo

Wanted to share 2 mixes that have been hyping me up lately – Powder’s set on Beats in Space radio and Lil Mofo on RA. Lil Mofo’s is faster/crazier, where Powder stays more in a dancey house world. Totally love em both!

They take me into a cool alternate universe of partying to some rad techno while doing work – sometimes to the point where I laugh a bit at whats pouring in through the headphones while emailing folks from a chill tea shop. Hope you dig!! 🧡💙

Check the archived jam of the week playlists on Spotify & YouTube

Letting the microfiche chill

I was sitting this morning and trying to connect, regroup, do whatever it is I’m trying to do with meditation (probably a forever question…). I started to think about why it’s so hard and maybe even a bit scary to let everything go and just sit.

My mind raced with stuff I want to do, have to do, loved ones in pain, ideas for breakfast – the whole 9. As I sat there it started to feel like when I was a kid and got to use microfiche.

I remember moving it back and forth really fast to make it look like a trippy pile of facts and dust. This is what I was seeing – a never-ending rotation of stuff. Once I acknowledged it and made a clear intention to let the microfeesh chill – after a few breathes – it did.

The scary part is getting there meant looking myself in the core. Not a bunch of cool goals and dreams or even regular tasks – just staring straight in at myself at ground level. Getting here felt good and like I was able to have the courage to see what’s really inside VS everything I do or want to do.

Maybe you can try this out – whether or not you meditate or used to get trippy with the microfiche. A short walk or before falling asleep would work. Try seeing yourself as who you are, not what you do or plan to do.
Hope you dig, and if you want to let me know how it goes
🧡💙

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

The dentist was easier

I hope this helps anyone thinking about meditation and needing to hear more concrete stuff about its benefits. 

I went to the dentist this week and although there are always spots that feel so crazy when they get hit by that tiny laser-water pick… I swear it was easier this time. And I think it’s from meditating.

I felt the pain in a different way and just focussed on relaxing and sitting with it. Maybe I could have done this in the first place, but I think my 4-5 months of meditating pretty regularly is what changed things.

I know putting specific goals on meditation for improvement might be totally backward but its fun to see changes after a practicing anything for a while – super encouraging to keep rocking.

This morning I had another cool breakthrough. I was listening to the audiobook for When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödron and she was talking about focusing on the out breath and facing your fears.

As I sat, focussing on the peace you get from a nice out breath, I realized that I was creating space to just sit with my mind, letting it be in its natural state. All the busy stuff my mind showed me in this space (100% worky to-do listy stuff) is what’s happening in my head, and are the fears/challenges I need to face. It was clear that I need to keep rocking to get to a better place with this stuff, otherwise it wouldn’t have been cluttering up my head while sitting there doing nothing!

This gave me some cool clarity to work with. Far from a solution, but a nice goal to move towards.

Holler 🧡💙

Jam of the Week #52: 17 Days

Woke up with this in my head the other day and been having the best days from it! I think it’s from listening to my dub of the Rev Shines & All Night Tong Prince tribute show they did on XRAY.fm…

Digging into the lyrics at first glance feels pretty heavy and sad – going through a breakup and being lonely. But it starts to feel more like a vibe of acceptance. Bring on these feelings. Meet them head on and go through it, not hiding or being afraid to walk into some pain, knowing there’s some light ahead.

Crazy this is #52! A full year of Jams of the Week are avail on Spotify & YouTube

Massive hearts and hype to anybody jamming and sharing the vibes 🧡💙

Everything

Everything – the good and bad – is all part of the world around us and makes us who we are. Internal good and bad – external good and bad. This morning thinking about this helped me be less hard on myself for something I did over the last week that I kept thinking was in the ‘bad’ category. And maybe it is – but the balance of realizing its all a part of a much larger whole helped me sit with this in a new way. From stuff we did way in the past to stuff we’ll do or witness in the future, maybe this is a perspective that can help us dip through it. 🚢

Jam of the Week #49: Amsterdam

Peter Bjorn John – Amsterdam from the 2006 album Writer’s Block

Might be getting got by the light whistling and cool tones of this pop song but I totally dig it! Heard it about a month ago on one of my favorite XRAY.fm shows Welcome To Your Good Day with DJ Chancie Chance

It brings up some funny questions in my head – esp while I type this listening to some crazy techno. Is it ok to like this song? These are good moments – when you’re wondering if something’s legit for you but are drawn to it anyways. It probably means it’s challenging something inside me and that can only = growth 🌱 📈

Have any songs that hit you with these vibes? Holler: 🧡

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

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 

Jam of the Week #44: Mother Nature’s Son

In honor of the crew’s 17th Annual Weedstem camp-out/get-down/hype-fest… this week’s jam is guest-selected by festival creator and life-changer: The Cuttman.

Mother Nature’s Son by Ramsey Lewis off the 1968 LP with the possibly the coolest cover ever.

This track is The Cuttman’s go-to track for a mood change. Hope the combo of Ramsey feeding a bunny and this mega-uplifting cut does the same for you too 🧡💙

Full Jam of the Week playlists are right here on Spotify YouTube

What’s your OST?

One of the weird things about getting older is a feeling of detachment from newer music, especially compared to stuff I love from a few years back.

We all have records that were huge for us earlier in life.  I don’t like to say when we were becoming who we are because that seems like an excuse to be done learning, growing and changing. But something about these albums touched us in a really special way.

I’ve been trying to make some space in life lately so I’m selling a few records I rarely bump. Turned out a few of the newer People Under the Stairs records I own but never connected with (timing/life/my bad?) are worth a bit of dough. Since I’m in my second week of working freelance you already know they’re up on Discogs (unlimited $5 shipping!)

Anyways this got me bumping one of my favorite albums of all time: PUTS – O.S.T

The last week has been so cool thanks to this!  I constantly have songs from it playing in my head – bringing me right back to the dope feelings I had when I first heard it on Radio K (MPLS) through a tiny radio duct-taped to the forklift I was working on. Total magic ✨

It’s giving me lots of energy and joy and is showing me (with the benefit of some years) how much this record shaped me, the crew, and the art we made and still make.

What’s an album that feels this way to you? Try playing it on for a week or so and see if it hypes you up.

We all listening to new/digital music (which is such an amazing resource) but then there’s that moment you stopped paying attention and Soundcloud moved to a yoga vibes coffee shop station without asking.

Take back your vibe and see what it feels like to bump something you really love. 

Send me your album I’d love to hear it! ☮

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.