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 

Jam of the Week #23: Yeah Bud

Yeah Bud by Motëm (2017)

This track was released in the same year my Rap Van crew and I was lucky enough to hang with Motëm in Hamilton, Ontario at the Gebbz Steelo Research Centre (where arts research is conducted). He took us on a nice tour of the city which included a few of the places this video was shot.

It wasn’t an easy trip. A show we booked was canceled last minute and we had artists from neighboring cities in town to perform in the van.

This is where Motëm’s kindness, leadership, and maximum chill took over. He brought us past all the negative energy that was hanging around and took us out to his favorite local dive bar. He never gave any play to the bad vibes from the canceled gig, only focussing on fun stories and cool future ideas. The next morning he gave us a tour of Hamilton including the first Tim Hortons. It sounds simple now, but at the time it was EPIC.

Motëm straight up changed my life this trip

Now about 90% of my bike rides are spent repeating lines from Yeah Bud. ‘Ya bud you know I like to keep it positive / Ya bud you know, I can live and you can live.’ He reps for the fun and weird, and anyone breezing past negative energy.  ❤

Check out the full Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify YouTube

Jam of the Week #17: Celebrate + Finale

It’s New Years Day, 2018. So many feels around this, but trying to learn towards celebrating the future. On that note, prepare to fall in love with this incredible track!

Celebrate + Finale off the Lifesavas 2007 LP Gutterfly.

I played the shit out of this record when it dropped. Remember making a tape of it and listening to it while driving cross country in 2008. We lived in Portland at the time (home to Lifesavas) and these dudes were just a few friends of friends and nervous corner store sitings away from crew.

It honestly still blows me away how incredible Vursatyl and Jumbo are as rappers, on beats, and in ability to fill tracks with an honest love for hip-hop. Combo’d with Rev Shines’ crates and ear – super group status in my opinion.

One time my friend Shawnboy Valvoline made a vector of Vursatyl’s face and I made a sweatshirt out of it at GenEx. I posted it on Vurs’ Facebook, he was hyped, probably a little weirded out, and I forever introduced myself as the sweatshirt dude. We’re definitely best friends.

Full Church of Hype: Jam the Week playlists always avail on my other websites Spotify YouTube

Oh, kill it this year gang!

 Rocket on Apple iOS 11.2

Unplanned & Confident

You’ve worked your entire life to do whatever it is you are doing right now. So why worry about planning the next thing?

My favorite place to think and brainstorm is driving on a weird patch of road in the country, or coming across a bend of highway and finally seeing the Seattle skyline. I’ve spent months living and traveling on the road with friends and family  –  and found planning to be the major reason we had any rough times.

Not saying planning is a terrible thing at all, just remember you’ve already put the work in – enjoy your hard-earned ability to cruise in life! What should we do when we get there? When we get to this turn what will we do? Enjoy the now, and be confident in your ability to make the right decision when you need to, instead of filling your current moment with one you’ll be living soon ☮