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 🧡💙

Hype mobile

Emotions roll in some circular spread that feeds us all types over and over. This we know from experience 100%. It’s def not comforting to know we’ll be sad again – especially when feeling it so hard in the moment. But we also know we’ll hit the other side of the circle eventually too, and find some happiness and hype.

I’m learning we’re supposed to try and learn from that (duality?) and think about how we can’t really have one without the other. Which can be hella hard to sit with when you’re feeling low, and almost equally not a fun thought when stuff is great.

Maybe knowing time brings all types of feelings and we aren’t going to feel a certain way permanently is what can help us be know we’ll feel better when things are tuff. It can give us confidence to sit with our feelings and really feel them – knowing we’ll eventually move past.

For some reason this got me thinking about those baby spinning mobiles. Those little dangles can rep an emotion. Probably some days the wind or whatever metaphor to stuff happening in life we want to pull makes it stay in one place, and other days it really spins and we get to feel that too. Like a little staring kiddo, we don’t get to control it so much, just rest in knowing it’s always changing.

So hype vibes are around the corner. Leaning in and learning as much as we can from the less hype zones will probably make it even stronger when we get there. 💪🧡💙

S/O to my mega-strong buds feeling it rn and the dope support system we have in the crew

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

 

Inevitable tuff stuff

Went for a new moon night hike last night! I don’t really know a lot about moon cycles so I didn’t realize that meant dark af until I used the :new_moon: emoji on Slack at work… Basically, the lack of moonlight lets you see brighter and more dynamic stars (this, you might already know).

Talking with my friend about life as you do when you get cooking on the trail, he dropped some cool insight I hoped to remember and write about.

We were talking about the idea of people who tend to dive into drama or stay in negative (sometimes hateful) spaces. As my friend put it, you’re probably going to run into something that’s hard to deal with every couple months, so why go looking for it?

This is not to say hard work doesn’t need to get done and life should be a fluffy cloud with endless coffees. Just that we can probably check ourselves when we’re entering into a self-induced stress-mess and realize that we might as well have some fun and save that energy for the inevitable tuff stuff.

💪🏼

Fun

We’re fun pros – but I need a reminder to max every once in a while and got it huge lately.

The other day Dâm-Funk tweeted this out:

^^So needed. Doing this all day (trading sardines for Gardein nugs) post road trip to hang with my crew in PHX last night.

Work’s been cray and will be again. Gotta refresh to really kill it there and (more importantly) stay present for the crew.

 

Jam of the Week #13: Gang Nativity

Super excited for the first extra-special guest edition of the Jam of the Week, chosen by my most hype, ultra-inspiring, and forever dope friend Christian!

Full disclosure – she chose my group’s song Gang Nativity, from our release on Hit+Run earlier this year 😊

The great Motëm once asked me if I was Grand Cooley. In that moment I realized that, without even noticing it, I had become a part of the most unfuckwithable crew!

I’m incredibly grateful to have such a strong, supportive community of people who are so full of love and positivity. Gang Nativity has served as a continual reminder of this from two of my all time favs and is one of my ultimate hype jams for this week and on! – Christian

🧡Dang thanks Christian! You’re why the gang is unfuckwithable! 💙

Peep the full Church of Hype: Jam the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

CREW! 

Waiting to Exhale

A while ago one of the baddest/raddest yoga teachers in Tucson shared this poem in a yin class (Thanks Shraddha)!  Been staring at it daily every since and loving the re-re-re-re-re-re-reminders it preaches.

Got a dream for re-writing it through my crew lense soon Call Me Hand on Microsoft Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

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) 

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. 💖

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 🍰

Energy

I’ve been working as a bike courier for about a month now. It’s really fun and really challenging –  probably the most physically hard work I’ll ever do (besides that time I shucked oysters for 15hrs straight at the PDX convention center).

I’m getting faster, long rides are getting easier, and it’s all coming down to energy. If I get frustrated (which totally happened the other night) I pedal sporadically fast, not really gaining much speed, and getting hella tired by the time I make my delivery. I’m figuring out going with the flow of my energy and bike makes for faster times and less fatigue. It’s equally mental and physical. 

I started making this comparison to daily life. If we expel a bunch of shit energy on the world, ourselves, or someone we love, we experience real fatigue that holds us back from our potential for a bit. If we cruise through our day openly and positively, moving at a pace that fits our mental and physical demands, we’ll have a much better chance of facing the next challenge with calm clarity.

I’m mostly writing this as a reminder to myself to keep the energy right, holler if you give it a try and it works for you too 🙂

Church of Hype: Jam of the Week #4

The 4th installment of The Jam of the Week is a track that came to mind instantly when the idea of starting the playlist hit me – J Dilla’s Nothing Like This from his Ruff Draft LP.

Dilla is one of if not the best rap producers ever, no question. This is why this track’s simplicity and vibe carry such huge weight! It’s a massive flex and testament to his creativity and ability to shine beyond any expections or even loose ideas of what music can sound like.

I’m straight up scared to look up the sample because I don’t want to question the magic it’s laced me with on every listen since Stones Throw reissued the record in 2007 (OG came out in 2003, fuck!)

Nothing Like This is a timeless, genre-free love song to someone or something he felt really good about. Let’s take this love to something we care about too y’all and party to it, honoring the incredible legacy Dilla left on this planet 🎉❤️ 🙏🏽

Peep the full Church of Hype: Jam of the Week playlist here

Space, man

Yo if you want to feel humbled for a sec check out space! I just copped this paperback at my wife and I’s favorite thrift spot in Tucson.

Dude breaks down all the ways people looked at space (thru 88′) in a way that’s mostly understandable.

It’s facintating to learn about astronomers who were 100% sure they knew what was happening in our sky – only to be completely disproven, or in many cases, there ideas were built upon discovering the truth decades or centuries later!

Also that star you’re looking at might not be where it seems. Light can bend around objects like the sun, making stars appear in the sky far from where they actually are. #questioneverything

Marination Station

  • Space is massive and elusive and we are tiny.
  • What you see isn’t always what you see.
  • Absolute facts can and will later be disproven.

This context is helpful for me – hope you get something from it too.

Give me a shout if you’d like to borrow my copy of A Brief History of Time, I’m happy to send it you. 🚀

PS Writing this outside the local planetarium so you know how serious I am about space! You can tell it’s legit because they’re showing Dark Side and a crew of college kids are playing light-up frisbee to the sounds of a playlist featuring dubstep, country, & punk with bag pipes (back to back to back) in the grass behind me. All love, have fun kidos! 

Finding your good luck charm

BEARDOWN ERICA  L O V E U

I used to bike by this sign everyday on my way to work at the best arthouse in the world. At first I thought it was some funny college sports art, then I actually started getting bugged out by it. How is this thing still in the window?

Then I realized I love this fucking sign! BEARDOWN ERICA L O V E U is my neighborhood good luck charm. It became an unchanged part of the world, something I can count on. There’s a group of people really down for their friend Erica killing it at some sport. So down, this has been blocking the sun in their window for over 2 years.

Finding your good luck charm means discovering something on your daily route you connect with. It might be funny, sad, beautiful, living, rotting and old – anything that makes you turn your head and check in about your day, reminding you the world is crazy, but this small part is unchanged.

Some of my favorite good luck charms have been an old work van with a homemade wooden exterior paint job (if you’ve lived in NE Portland you’ve probably seen it), a rad purple low rider for sale in West Tucson, and a beautiful old sign for a defunct painting service – which I later got tattooed on my right arm!

Think about the piece of the world you count on on your daily route, I’m sure you have one already.  It isn’t necessary to interact with it (don’t break the 4th wall!), just rest in the grounded feeling you get when you see it.

L O V E U

It’s my best friend’s birthday

And I almost forgot to reach out. Life got too crazy for me to remember.

Friends are more important than money,  bigger than stress from jobs or life, and the least replaceable thing you have. I doubt if I know someone who would disagree, but we all forget this sometimes and that’s natural and ok. Just be on the lookout for reminders to check back in with what really matters.

Today I was reminded by my best friend. Thanks, and Happy Birthday Tom ♥