Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BOOK FACTS: The Chemistry behind Hip Hop - Soup for your Soul

 I have been hanging in the balance of deleted twitter and facebook accounts, reinventing myself into the less dramatic and less political world of just being the Poet-me, rather than the social network music-promo nut I was. All the while, I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for a moment when I would feel all the bull behind the scenes of supporting the shamefully, still, somewhat-fledgling music market of "Holy Hip-Hop", would be worth my time and energy...not that alot of great music and ministry has not been dropped (Go check out dasouth.com, rapzilla.com, kifalme.com, rekcity.com etc, and see what I mean). And, not that the industry actually needs my services. I ain't that vain (well, except on Tuesdays, after 8:00pm O_O). I was merely looking to return to my former love of sharing the music of Artists of skill and purpose, in a manner that kept my use of my time firmly in the realm of simply enjoying the share, rather than getting too wrapped up in the religiosity and politics of it all. But since those, of late, who have been putting it down wiv ah niceness have decent promo support, I just have not been feeling inclined to really go all out with my usual promo blitz... Anywhooo...more on my behind the scenes rants later...Today, let's just focus on the great stuff...

 I am SUPER-excited-hit-the-jackpot-while-homeless over this upcoming #BOOK "Through My Windows: The History Behind Holy Hip-Hop", by Christopher J Cooper, of Beesyde Ent. More commonly known as Emcee, Soup The Chemist (formerly Super-C & Sup The Chemist of SFC fame), the book's Author helped pioneer a market for what is now known as Holy Hip-Hop, or Christian Hip-Hop. With his band "SFC" (Soldiers For Christ), and with his own solo career, he issued in a flair and perfect synthesis of Deejay and Emcee, setting new standards for quality and creativity within the struggling late 80's and 90's market of a just-born Holy Hip-Hop. SFC's 'Phase III' album of 1992, is laudably noted to have given substantial attention to the Holy Hip-Hop industry, made up of a rather insipid motley crew of Jesus Emcees, only a handful of whom, truly had talent for running their mouth on the mic (trust me, I tell no lie S.M.H smh).

Now some of y'all may be a bit sensitive about me cussing out Rappers who were rapping for the Lord, but, yo!...even Jesus cussed the fig tree that had no fruit...and the tree was not even in season to be able to produce anything to eat! Some people may find salvation in Jesus Christ and discover they are called to ministry, but, frankly, not every Hip-Hop shower-rapper is called, anointed, and gifted to bless the mic WITH ministry AND solid Hip-Hop. Sorry. Just the truth. Ya know, just like the FACT that I could, by motion of the Spirit of God, rush to the aid of people in a burning building, pull them out to safety, saving their lives, but, er, um...that would not make me a Fireman, now, would it? (ya feel me?).

The music of SFC and Soup The Chemist was crucial to my first walk towards a life committed to learning, and living the way of Jesus Christ, not simply for their lyrical Gospel content, but because they expressed that Gospel with excellence. My husband, of The Day Jesus Spoke Hip-Hop ™ fame, an avid Hip-Hop head, and all-round Jesus-music connoisseur, introduced me to Soup's discography when I was emerging out of an atheistic life, with cats like KRS-One, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Method Man, Nas, and even my own baby brother, Young Spray, blowing in my ear. So when I chose to put aside the musical things of a secular world, to refocus and reshape my mind towards Christ, I was seriously hard pressed to enjoy music, especially when Hip-Hop, one of my favorite genres, had been spear-headed, on the God side, by Stephen Wiley's Bible Break (No offense to Wiley, but dat track was the epitome of wiggedy wiggedy wack kindergarten rap).

Now, admittedly, I was not all the way feeling SFC's first full album effort, "Listen Up" (1989), either. When my husband, who loves this album, just a wee bit much for my sanity, slapped it on high volume, at the beginning of my Christian Hip-Hop conversion, it was at a time, in the late 1990's, when Hip-Hop (and I) had grown passed that Big Daddy Kane, Whodini type of sound that the early SFC pumped out well. Thankfully, God had truly used Hip-Hop to speak the Gospel to my husband, so his collection, by the time we met, was significant enough to allow me a sound album sampling of Soup The Chemist and SFC (among others). Without a doubt Soup (and SFC) stood out among the handful of Emcees I respected from that era of my Christian journey, and my experience of the early days of Holy Hip-Hop. His music has continued to be a timeless 'go-to' for those days when I need to renew my mind and remember why I fight that good fight of faith in a world full of assnine people who tempt me towards going to hell, just so I can revel in the satisfaction of knocking their block off (oh yeah, as Soup once rapped, I am a "Saved Man In the Jungle" for sure! lol)....er, but I digress :-).........

The book, "Through My Windows: The History Behind Holy Hip-Hop", by Christopher J Cooper, aka Soup The Chemist, is representative of the journey of this Emcee, Deejay, and now, Author, whose 1987 debut on the EP "Fully Armed", led to an armory of albums that still speak today of how we can cope with a life in this world, holding fast to the hope of Jesus Christ. The book is his personal story of his walk with God, his music, and his, and others' efforts in forging the way for an industry to even exist today, so Emcees, called by God, can consider using their talent to impact, and change the culture of the world.

In the preview of the first chapter of the book, found on his revamped Beesyde Entertainment #WEBSITE, Soup The Chemist drops you off at his window, to look in and peep the world from whence the music and ministry came...and nah, his window pane ain't all that clean and pretty. In his usual flair for anecdotal drops of wisdom he challenges you, with his quick-paced narrative, to not only flow with him on his journey, but to open your mind, your heart, and think, within the experience, of the wisdom that lies outside those experiences you get to peek at. I forewarn you; like his songs, you will ride a wave of information, flowing effortlessly off his pen, then feel like you've been dropped off with thoughts and questions that require you to either rewind the chapter, or keep pressing play for the next page. The book, in it's entirety, thankfully, can be pre-ordered via his Kickstarter campaign, so your need to 'bump his track' will not be too long away satisfied.

Take a preliminary look, through his windows, behind the scenes of the curious world of music, ministry, the mind of an Emcee, and his love of Hip-Hop...PREVIEW Chapter 1 of "Through My Windows: The History Behind Holy Hip-Hop", by Christopher J Cooper, aka Soup The Chemist: http://beesydeent.com/book.html

PRE-ORDER and SUPPORT this pioneer Emcee towards the printing of this book by DONATING here BY APRIL 21, 2013: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/519197365/through-my-windows-the-histroy-behind-holy-hip-hop (and hey! your support can also offer you an opportunity to get with the man in person to chew the fat over an appetizing dinner.)

A Deejay's Hands © 2012 Kalinago Woryi

His hands could rock n groove me,
when the dance had left my feet.
When the pressures of the day had wound me up,
his get-up,
won't-quit breaks would rotate over,
and over,
and over in my head.
And as he made the bridge between Deejay and Emcee,
toasting n bubbling,
chanting n rapping,
I could feel my pores moving,
opening wide,
sucking every sound,
into my blood,
boiling over,
spilling out of me,
in a rushed breath of relief,
mouthing in rhythm,
rapping along,
no, shouting,
at the top of my lungs,
above the beat,
lifting joyful hands,
praising away the Monday blues,
like it was Friday night;
no, like Sunday morning worship -
Yeah bwoy!!! Thank God, for a Deejay's hands!

FOLLOW Soup The Chemist:

facebook:  Christopher J. Cooper http://www.facebook.com/christopher.j.cooper.39

twitter: @SoupTheChemist http://www.twitter.com/SoupTheChemist

Beesyde Entertainment:
web: http://www.beesydeent.com
facebook: Beesyde Ent. http://www.facebook.com/Soupdachemist

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN (((EXPIRES APRIL 21ST, 2013))): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/519197365/through-my-windows-the-histroy-behind-holy-hip-hop

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MUSIC FACTS: The best kinda breakfast - Coffee & Grits

WE R CONSOLED! Breakfast shall be served, ya hearrrrrrd?

When DC Talk dancers, Stacey "Coffee" Jones and Teron "Bonafide" Carter, stepped up to da mic back in 1995, in true b-boy stance, they were a breathe of fresh air upon a genre of Hip-Hop that had been struggling, save for the sweat and tears of a handful of Emcees.

The electric duo converged together as G.R.I.T.S, and, together with another notable group, Cross Movement (now, simply, Cross Movement Records), swiftly set up another level of creativity and Poetry, and matched it with much needed industry infrastructure and media exposure. G.R.I.T.S garnered 'mainstream' attention by way of 2-time nomination for Grammy Awards, prime time media coverage and radio play, and even scoring television/movie airplay for a couple of their singles (“Ooh Ahh”, featured in the theme song for MTV's 'The Buried Life', and in movies, 'Fast and Furious', 'Tokyo Drift', 'Big Momma’s House '; “Here We Go", featured in 'Something’s Gotta to Give'.)  That said, y'all might be like what? Who? So, yeah, I realize these trailblazers might be new to you, but oh, they got big history moccasins for ya'll to fill! Lemme tell ya!...

Seventeen years on the grind, and this perfect pair of Emcees have truly been the embodiment of their band name, G.R.I.T.S - "Grammatical Revolution In The Spirit." As Indie Artists, they have belted out a discography that would make the average big-budget, signed Artist wince: Eleven studio albums, 800,000 records sold worldwide, and the creation of an independent record label, Revolution Art, which houses cross-genre Artists (rock/pop from Hearts of Saints, eclectic RnB/Hip-Hop from Jade Harrell), and even outsources badnessssss music production duo, Studio Caffe. Beyond the depth of pure Hip-Hopoetry and innovative beats, G.R.I.T.S has managed to produce an onslaught of albums during a time when media infrastructure, for their musical content, was either non-existent, wack, or just plain uncoordinated, and, of drip-in-an-ocean significance, when compared to the realm of what we all recognize as the 'secular' (for want of a better term) industry machine. So yeah! I give 'em mad props!

My husband put me on to G.R.I.T.S (the food and this band) years back, when I was a new Christian, and an old Hip-Hop head, not very tolerable of the insipid (c)rap that made up all too much of what was being mis-labelled "Holy Hip-Hop". Frankly, if my husband's stereo had not made a quick turn to G.R.I.T.S' Mental Releases album (and the few choice Emcees who made it passed my ear canal without being sneezed out my nose, including dope Emcee & DJ, Soup The Chemist of SFC fame), I might have given up on Hip-Hop as a genre of music that could be creatively used by Christendom (sorry, but my God said we da salt of the earth and, let's be honest, there just weren't no flavor in alot of Hip-Hop with Christian lyrical content back then).

As a result of the scarcity of dope Hip-Hop that spoke to my walk as a Christ follower, and the sheer stellar talent of G.R.I.T.S, I admit, I became fat, and full, devouring every album they ever put out. When they announced their retirement after a heavyweight career in Hip-Hop, it was a tough pill to swallow. The dynamic duo set a high bar in terms of creative output, and pure unadulterated Hip-Hop, that bridged street and steeple, and spoke, both, to the inner core of my being, and the Poet in me. I sighed, heavily, at the end of the first full rotation of their last album, Quarantine.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! it was a deep delight and joy when I first peeped the news, last year, on Pettidee's youtube channel, that Coffee planned on releasing a solo album. I admit, at first the news was tinged with melancholy. Coffee, with no Bonafide, sounds like coffee with no brown sugar and goat milk (ok ok, that was a cheesy pun, but ya get me? A girl was going through! lol). But, now, the reality of this news is impending upon us, and I am too Fred-Flintstone-off-from-work-on-a-Friday-happy to focus on that small detail of sadness (sniff). The FACT is, Coffee Jones is dropping a much anticipated solo EP in a couple weeks and I am stark raving mad with excitement!!!

Poetically titled, "Fresh Brew", I anticipate a classic mocha-latte delight from Coffee - cinnamon freckles and all, to add to my decadent plate of G.R.I.T.S. Breakfast will undoubtedly be served!

So yeah! I am consoled, because come the first week of December there will be a new Grammatical Revolution In MY Spirit.........and I remain hopeful that Bonafide will follow suit and bust up on da mic, like WHAAAAAT!!! Whether as solo Artists, or as a G.R.I.T.S, I am down to hear these brothers spit lyrical.

Keep up with the impending, "Fresh Brew" EP, and all things Coffee, Bonafide and G.R.I.T.S:


- G.R.I.T.S: http://www.facebook.com/grits
- Coffee: http://www.facebook.com/coffee.jones
- Bonafide: http://www.facebook.com/teron.carter

- G.R.I.T.S: http://twitter.com/OfficialGrits
- Coffee @iamCoffeeJones: http://twitter.com/iamcoffeejones
- Bonafide @TeronCarter22V: http://twitter.com/TeronCarter22V

Coffee - http://coffeejones7.tumblr.com/

G.R.I.T.S - http://www.reverbnation.com/officialgrits

G.R.I.T.S: http://www.myspace.com/officialgrits

- Revolution Art: http://revolutionart.us/
- 22Visionz (Teron 'Bonafide' Carter is President of this entertainment & media company):

album update 2 from maurice barrett on Vimeo.

Electronic press kits

Thursday, October 11, 2012

LIFE & DEATH FACTS: Gone Like The Wind

October can be a pretty sad time for me if I were to allow it. As my Dear Mother, who keeps a calendar of family births, and deaths reminded me, this time of year is quite a tragic one for our family. We have multiple deaths and birth dates of family who have now gone on to the afterlife, all occurring in this month. None of them are less important to me, but of all I am almost forced to reflect on each year, it is my maternal Grandmother who tends to provoke the most sentiment in me. Perhaps because she was both born, died and was buried throughout the stretch of this month, that her absence is marked so heavily in the winds of October.

I can't say I am always sad when I remember her. First off, she would have tell me to hush my mouf (yes the typo is intended), before she give me somefing to cry about. Or even, more likely, she would have just given me that "eye" (and all the Caribbean descendants sayeth...AMEN!). She was not one of those 'lovey dovey, aww sugar-plum, how can I spoil you extensively, and send you back to your mother' kinda grandmas. My Granny would more likely buss my tail than my own Mother....and trust me, that is saying alot, considering how good an aim my Mother is (or rather, used to be) with an inanimate object (my Mummy is a softee of a Grandma for sure, as evidenced by the upteenth jars of candy available freely to visiting grandchildren - even tho I had to beg and plead like it was a matter of life and death to get a half lick of a lollipop...huff, huff huff...grrrrr).

That said, I don't recall a day that Granny ever beat me (read "spank" for all you non-Caribbeans and uptight politically correct nuts). I feared her too much to provoke that. One of the reasons I cannot stomach soggy cereal and lukewarm food is because, as punishment for being a picky eater and letting my cornflakes turn into mush, she put me to sit in front of my unwanted breakfast for a couple hours, until I ate the nasty mess. That was as close to a beating I ever wanted to get. Needless to say, I stopped being picky and learned to eat fast, so as not to encounter slushy cereal and tepid food ever again in my life! Now, on the odd occasion when life with a big family delays me getting to my breakfast bowl, I gotta confess, I have to dump the pasty stuff. But I tell ya, going to that trashcan is almost like slipping stealthily into the Catholic confession box, hoping the Priest (read 'Granny') does not see who he is talking to, coz I'm about to confess some truly deep and profound secret that might get me ostracized from humanity (read 'waste food, when people dying in dee world, of starvation'). SMH. Just because Granny is no longer on earth does not mean I ain't feeling her looking at me, ya know. lol

AHHH! Feeling her looking at me...sigh...

Anyone who has lost a loved one and felt, or longed for, their presence afterwards knows what that means. Human bodies die. But something about one's Spirit remains with those who loved them (here.......take a kleenex). And I am not opening this up for any spiritual, nor hocus pocus nonsense debate. Neither do I subscribe to eastern philosophy on reincarnation and such (goodness knows life is tough the first time around. I sure ain't even trying to imagine coming back). I am just saying, sometimes I feel her, ya heard? Perhaps it is not her Spirit per se, but the memory of her Spirit. Either way...she is occasionally a warm whisper of air filling my lungs when life is overwhelming, or when I see her in my children, or smell her kitchen in my own cooking.

The memory of my Granny, is like a soft cool wind in a deeply equatorial desert. Refreshing, and as fleeting as the mirage that brought it's sensation. I long for her, perhaps more now, than when she first passed away. I watch my children grow, very conscious of the FACT that they, with the exception of my firstborn, have never, and will never know the strength of her arms, the sound of her low and firm voice, the love in her pots and plates (well, after they get used to eating the scotch bonnet peppers, that'll burn their tongue, throat, belly and backside lol lol...because she never rationed the pepper even when children were eating. (read "Eat or Starve").

This year was pretty intense and melancholy, as far as thinking of her goes. Perhaps it was that her last remaining sibling, my Dear Great-Aunt, and her almost twin-lookalike, passed away earlier this year. Perhaps recently painting my kitchen a golden yellow in honor of her sunny yellow kitchen, and one of my Mother's favorite colors, gold, has kept her even closer in my mind. Perhaps I am finally acknowledging, after well over a decade, that she really is gone, and my children will really never personally know the woman who created a legacy of faith in Christ, of pray-full covering of family, of stoic womanhood, which I have been, almost forcefully, assigned to since her passing.

My Granny suffered a series of strokes, the last of which left her exhausted with life. We feared for her, feeling the worse was to come. I visited her, stared at her eyes, and saw her wrestling to live. I observed, at her hospital bed, a strong woman, surrendering physically, yet, emotionally and spiritually holding fast. I knew before I came to see her that I would anoint her with oil and speak blessings of thanks to her. I was not a Christian. I had rejected Christ and the fallacy of the White Man's religion. I only knew, and had it confirmed to me by her eyes, that I was to be there, at that moment. What I did not realize, and learned later on, through Biblical study, was that I was anointing her for death, in the tradition of the Hebrews, and that she, like ancestors of old, would pass on her life's gain and inheritance, her faith and fight, her victories and prayers, laying them in my lap, as the one assigned and chosen to take up the baton.

I held back tears as I rubbed her arm with frankincense and myrrh, looking into her eyes and speaking what she communicated through them. I promised her I would be the one, now, to pray and cover our family. I promised her knowing the life of atheism I had chosen. I promised her knowing that I could not and would never worship at the feet of the untruthful image of a White Jesus. I promised to be the keeper of my family, because my tired and frail Granny would not leave this earth without knowing there was someone praying for her family, someone to take her place. Her faith in the power of prayer was that strong.

The next day, after my visit, my Granny rose, and sat up in her hospital bed, with the gait and gusto of a million armies readying for war. She was lucid, smiling, talking. On the third day, she died, at precisely the time I looked up at a clock and felt her presence. My rebellious atheism was shattered. I wondered at the wonderment that is God. I continued to refuse the lie of a White Jesus. Yet on packing away her estate, I opened my Granny's well-used Bible and began my journey towards keeping my promise to her. When I accepted the truth of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was physically alone, but I could feel my Granny. And perhaps it is sacrilegious to say, but I may, at that point of my faith, have feared having disappointed her more than I was concerned over how I had failed to live up to God's Holy ordinances.

Anywhoo...I could go on and on, but this is not about her death, after-death, nor about her strict discipline of me....the FACT is, this blog is about her LIFE. About the everlasting LOVE that one truly beautiful woman instilled in me of myself, of my heritage, of family, of faith, of God. While she lived my Grandmother was the epitome of a bastion. Her absence has often felt like a spiritual vacuum in my family. It is one of the reasons, when I myself lack focus, and fall below par in my continued walk to follow Christ, that I am reminded of the promise I made to her to be her replacement.  There is power in prayer. There is power in covering your family with the blood of Jesus, the Christ. There is power in a praying mother, a praying wife, a praying daughter...a praying Grandmother. I do not doubt that the storms of life that came my family's way while Granny was yet alive, were curtailed from full-damage effect by her relentless pleas and faithfulness to God. I know I still have big mock-at-sins to fill.

I have not had a perfect walk learning to follow Christ. I have too often failed God in personal areas of my emotional, physical and mental life, in my people interaction, in dealing with family, in just plain being a broken human trying to get it together. But I have not forgotten for one minute that right over God's shoulder, Granny is also giving me the 'eye'. And I still long to please her, like the little girl who revered her every word. It is her consistency and discipline, her steadfast love, her devotion to God that helped teach me who He is. It is that human relationship with my Granny that spoke into my life and caused me to have even more reverence for God's Word, and for pleasing Him.

For the many years since her death, I could never muster up the lyrical energy to write her an ode, till this year. Perhaps it was all part of the grief process. Perhaps by penning it here I accept she is gone, and I acknowledge that I have thus-far failed in my promise to be who she was to our family. This October, I celebrate her life, her love her legacy with my heart, and the sacredness of the unspoken words I shared, looking into her eyes:

A Rock
weathered by howling winds, yet stoic
Majestic in command
Her voice still echoes in my Spirit

A Tree
buttressed to overflowing banks
Branches set to sky
Regal hands
her firm hands, set to waist...I still remember

A River
Saturated in prayer and dedication
The eye of any storm
Proud in heart
She still inspires me to strength

A Sea
cascading waves of love
little voiced
but spoken in pots and pots of seasoned food
spicy - oh! how my tongue still recalls

A Mountain
His-story, Our-story,
etched in her cheekbones
My Kalinago Grand-Mother
a Woman of strength
her love, I still ache for

A Wind
as her Spirit,
reminds of the constancy of legacy;
the kind she commands of me
She was a Queen, my Queen, still...unforgotten
"Kalinago Queen" - © 2012 Kalinago Woryi  

VIDEO/AUDIO of Poem "Kalinago Queen"
© 2012 Kalinago Woryi

"La Cuisine Jaune"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

FACTS OF LIFE: SumpTing for tha Ladies - Part 1

image found on google search - unknown Artist

Ladies, I doh believe in sharing my man, you know. But long time I know dere would come a day when I would have ta let my husband speak to a nexx woman and fing. Since before I married him, Mr. Lynn A Jackson, aka @JesusSpoke, has patiently waded through the tall stack of my emotional luggage, lovingly waiting for me to finish RE-packing, so we can juss get on dee plane to our romantic (read: exotic) getaway. Yes bwoy! I done make dat man work carrying my load! So Ladies, I can tell you for sure...he know a likkle sumpTing about our broken places ...This is the podcast message intro and a weblink to his most latest podcast on The Day Jesus Spoke Hip Hop website...listen up!

What up ladies?

If you don't know by now, I want you to know right now that you are God's fearfully and wonderfully made woman. I know some of you have been subjected to some profoundly negative images of yourself by both men and women, but God created you with intent. Even if the people who brought you to this planet didn't plan on having you here, God has a plan for you and that starts with you submitting your life to Him through Christ.

With this series of podcast it is my intention to help you grow in God's presence. His presence in your life will change everything around you.

Your first task; Stop listening to man ... 
The Day Jesus Spoke Hip Hop™: SumpTing for tha Ladies - Part 1

...And, what would be a FACTS blog, without a likkle musical serenade nah? .... Ladies! May I introduce to you one of, This'l's signed Artists, on his Full Ride Music Group label....... RECONCILE!

FOLLOW: Lynn A. Jackson
@iamLIVINSOUL http://twitter.com/iamlivinsoul
@JesusSpoke http://twitter.com/JesusSpoke
@livinsoul_MIN http://twitter.com/livinsoul_MIN
@livinsoul_ENT http://twitter.com/livinsoul_ENT

* LIVINSOUL® International Ministries - http://www.facebook.com/pages/LIVINSOUL-International-Ministries/184278458268631

* The Day Jesus Spoke Hip-Hop™ - http://www.facebook.com/TheDayJesusSpokeHipHop
* LIVINSOUL® Entertainment - http://www.facebook.com/LivinsoulEntertainment


FOLLOW: Thi'sl
Twitter: @Thisl https://twitter.com/Thisl
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/iamthisl


FOLLOW: Reconcile
Twitter: @ReconcileUS http://twitter.com/reconcileus
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReconcileUS


FOLLOW: Full Ride Music Group
Twitter:@FullRideMusic http://twitter.com/fullridemusic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FullRideMusic

MUSICAL FACTS: The Philly Three (Part 1)...The Appetizer

I love a good Philly Cheesesteak! I cannot count the number of times my family and I have made the spontaneous 3 hour trek JUST to eat a Philly for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert! lol). And I hold the same kind of passion for good Philly-style Hip-Hop. Considering I promote all kinds of music, and as such, all genres of Hip-Hop, I probably should not reveal my bias towards East Coast rap, afterall, I pride myself on having a hybrid and eclectic taste. Now...Let it be known....I am a big time lover of funkdafied Fresh Coast (aka West Coast) and Southern boomtastic Hip-Hop. And I will get trunk-thumped out with the Mid-west on occassion....but yeah....at the end of the day, sorry, the birthplace of Hip-Hop is where my heart is.....yep!....I LOVE REGGAE MUSIC! (lol! 'What??? is? she? on???', you saying to yourself?.....You didn't know that New York rappers, and Hip-Hop, in general,emerged from a form of REGGAE entertainment? Oh ye of little history.....google is thy friend. Suffice to say, many of the main players who brought you the glorious gift of the Deejay and the Emcee, were of Caribbean origin....but I am off on a tangent....back to Philly and...

The Audacity of Rob Hodge:

FUNKY FRESH AND HOT OFF DA PRESS! After years away from the music scene, in he rolls draped with that dirty S-word .............. swagger. Not counting his mixtape, Rob Hodge has not released an official album since 'Born King' in 2006, so his recent and sudden drop of this brand new single, in lieu of promoting his new upcoming album, 'The Audacity" is bringing a wee bit of excitement for me. And I know, I know.......you likely have no idea who I'm talking about, or you know dude only by his quirky and sometimes almost-salacious commentary on twitter and facebook. Still, for those who need that 'google it' moment, here's a quick dip into his website bio:

"Rob Hodge’s music has helped heal broken hearts and uplift the downtrodden. Now, the soul-stirring music has captivated an audience that stretches across the Atlantic, from America to Africa, from conservative reverends to professional athletes and ballers. Rob’s music is the nexus between the conventional setting of the church and the tumultuous lure of street life. Simply put, Rob makes music with substance. By bridging the gap between commercial appeal and artistic integrity, Rob has created a lane for himself unlike anyone before him. From Philly to Paris, audiences have more than just heard Rob’s music – they’ve felt it. Rob stands for what he believes – his music represents the angst of an entire generation."

Yeah! nuff said! Whoever he paid to write that paragraph needs a big-spender tip....coz they got da bwoy well painted. Rob Hodge's music has bridged church and street since his official introduction on the scene in 2005. His style can be labelled RnB Hip-Hop, but that would put him too much in a box when he starts dropping throwback soulful samples on top of a mish-mash of beats. Suffice to say, this Philly native is also all Philadelphia when it comes to creative punchlines and flow within, sometimes, unusual Hip-Hop beats. "The Cure" is no different. Even on this more casual freestyle track, his blood and gore honesty, and easeful flow, to a deliriously hypnotic drum and old-school-style sample of a female vocal, leaves your finger to hover on the rewind touch-tab. Surely he can't be doing rap to these drums, right? At first the afro-beat drums seem all off to his flow, and the boom that lays underneath it, yet, by the end of the track, you realize Rob took it to da paint like a true baller.

Now I give him props as a preface to a good slap! The man has kept us waiting and then just drops a hot one, like he rolled up on some homies on da stoop in surprise, to share a verse, after being gone from da hood! Then he (?) has the audacity to be cheeky with it and be smoking a joint on the front cover, talmbout "The Cure"??? I know Tyler Perry's Madea character has popularized the notion of the weed-smoking Christian, but er um....did Rob get one of those Dave Chappelle notions, and run off to the woods to get blunted from reality? Er....Robby, son...Good Christians don't use herbs...well, except maybe some rosemary, a little oregano and thyme...but then again...the politically incorrect seems to be quite 'normal(?)' these days in Christian Hip-Hop. I wonder if it is a marketing ploy to attract the dope heads, then rock their knot with The Cure, aka Jesus The Christ? Hmmmmm....we shall see. Mr. Hodge has promised to release a track (though not singles from The Audacity) every couple weeks until he drops his official album in the Winter of 2012. Hopefully by then, we will be in the know about his controversial cover photo and his shout out to RocNation in the new single. Perhaps he will respond to the Q&A I slipped him....until then, I guess we await the full message of The Cure....and of course, the highly anticipated new album: "The Audacity".

Below is Rob Hodge's new single, 'The Cure'. Available for FREE DOWNLOAD from robhodge.net

FOLLOW Rob Hodge:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robhodge
Twitter: http://twitter.com/robhodge
Web: http://robhodge.net/
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/robhodge

POETIC FACTS: A Fragmentation of a Whole - Who am I?

Killing me softy with his song,
telling my whole life in his words,
killing me softy -
with memories of words 

that pierced me 

Bakay Blanc
Vrais Kwayibe
Yellow Gyal

never Black

And not beautiful
I was dee white cakapul
The darkest berry was always sweeter
My sugar not brown enough
I was an unsweet,
Bakay Blanc, Vrais Kwayibe, Honky, Yellow ball of sh*t!

I just wanted to fit in, 

blend into the crowd.
Not be different.
No longer a half-breed, 

but a whole person.
Not a mixed up cake -

picking sides.
I could hate White cakapul too.
I could raise my fist for Garvey-separatism.
Except my White cakapul father would not be a part of my world.
And I longed for his love,
for a father’s love to shade me from these words
still imbedded in my Soul
Bakay Blanc
Vrais Kwayibe
Yellow Gyal

never Black

And not beautiful
I was dee white cakapul
With a honky for a father
Whom I love
And a beautiful Black Kalinago Queen for a mother,

whom I adore.
Whose very Blackness proves
I am a WHOLE BLACK person…

"Whole Black" © 2009 Kalinago Woryi

Monday, July 2, 2012

MUSICAL FACTS: Faith without works is DEAD!

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!! May I present to you Kenya's version of a modern Fela Kuti...Activist- Rapper, Entrepreneur, and a man of creativity, and substance in his own right (steel pans please!)...JULIANI!

In the words of Eric Wainaina (Singer/Songwriter), who has succinctly described Kenya's shooting star:
Possessing an unmatched socio-political nous, beautifully tempered in spirituality, Juliani comes correct with an infectious message of religious, social and political emancipation, fresh and relevant in today's society. His sleek and unique lyrical flow, passionate delivery and electrifying performance have collectively and officially hailed him as "an important voice for our time"
With Jesus Christ at his helm, this young man aims to change his society and impact the world and the Earth's environment with a much-needed brand of Hip-Hop, which is unashamedly Kenyan, unashamedly African, unashamedly street, and unashamedly Christ. With the polished combination of his eloquent street poetry, rapped and crooned in Kiswahili (Swahili), intermixed with Sheng - the vernacular of Nairobi's streets (soon, as he claims, to become a legitimate international language), Juliani hits hard with bars and metaphors that leave you to pause, as you ride upon beat after beat of well produced and fully strung music. If, like me, you don't speak Kiswahili or Sheng, you still find yourself locked in to his versatile flow and easeful punctuations of English. He raps seamlessly in all three languages throughout any song. Many of his tracks, like the haunting Bahasha Ya Ocampo, feature female Singers or Femcees, who rock your heart's core and keep aflame the mesmerizing grooves that Juliani so easily fills.

From the ruggedly raw old school Hip-Hop flavor of Red, Black and Green, and the boombastic jazzy-rock of Exponential Potential, you dip and sway through Afro-beat sounds, jazz, blues, RnB and Pop, onto, a little known, and underrated soulful, hypnotic worship masterpiece, by the name of Niko Ju Juu. Before @JustAlffie of Kifalme.com was kind enough to translate the lyrics into English, for me, the hook to the song was already on heavy rotation in my membrane, and much heavy wailing of my Soul would ensue at the first beat of the song.

As if that were not as good as it could get, Juliani adds to his virtuoso, the type of passion and energy you can expect from the heaviest of heavy live metal concerts. He jumps onto the stage - literally, immediately engaging the crowd with a combination of his gaping smile, charm, and a bounce and dance that would leave Tigger, of Winnie the Pooh fame, begging for rest. His live concerts are not to be missed, for the sheer entertaining value of counting how many breaths you hold as he reaches hoop-height above the stage, slam-dunking the crowd with energy, great poetry and solid musical ball.

Add to his musical prowess, a natural and determined ambition and drive to truly impact his community, country and the world, through the vehicle of Hip-Hop, and social/political/economic and environmental campaigns, and Juliani makes the average Artist look lazy. He recently flew in, this weekend, to Washington D.C, U.S.A, from Nairobi, Kenya with a full schedule for the Climate for Change Forum, and immediately turned round to fly back to his home town of Dandora, Kenya, to hold a concert yesterday.

From the moment I discovered him, via a facebook share (Dennis Sauke, please stand up!), to an inundating of Juliani's and other Kenyan music shares, offered by some other multi-talented social network buddies, and mutual music nuts (dap to @Kifalme @JustAlffie @Uncle_Fro), I have been all out impressed with Juliani. From his suave and impish glee, his ever-rocking, kinetic trail of dreads, his versatile, retro and classic fashion combos (Did I mention he has his own clothing brand, "RBG Republik"?), to his energy on and off-stage to engage youth and young adults towards a brighter and better society, he is a name, brand and image, which commands notice. The man is simply a tour de force. I dare say, he is the new face of Hip-Hop and the new poster child for how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be utilized in an all-encompassing manner that answers to the everyday living and needs of our communities, countries and globe. It takes more than faith to move mountains. It takes work.....and Juliani appears to have his hand and back to the plough.

Check out his documentary, which invites you to get to know the man behind the music - his childhood (not so long ago), his inspiration, his passion for community, his poetry and his music - as he journeys on a road-trip from Nairobi, to a concert in Mombasa, with five selected fans (This video is multi-lingual - Kiswahili, Sheng and English, with English subtitles throughout):


Also...Check out the MTV Voices Article and video interview of Juliani, as he tells how he uses his music to promote positive change among his peers, and impact his world to be a better, cleaner, greener place (all- English video and article):


You may listen and/or purchase and download Juliani's music here:

- New album "Pulpit Kwa Street": http://www.kenyandownloads.com/JulianiRBG/

- First album, "Mtaa Mentality", available on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mtaa-mentality/id305677000

 - Listen and watch music videos on Juliani's Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Julianimusic%20

*Twitter: @JulianiKenya - http://twitter.com/julianikenya
*Facebook: Juliani - http://www.facebook.com/JulianiMusic
*Google+: Juliani Muzik - http://plus.google.com/116507519840837638571%20
*Youtube: JulianiMusic - http://www.youtube.com/user/Julianimusic *Web: http://www.julianionline.com/

Monday, March 5, 2012

POETIC FACTS: Word Construction

Ooops! It's March...Am I too late for Black History MONTH? Oh well! The FACT is, "Black" History is being made every second of every day that a descendant of African heritage chooses to hold their head above the hatred of this world, and simply breathe. You may not accept the truth of the FACT that people of African descent, throughout the globe, are consciously and unconsciously treated like sub-humans on this planet, at this very hour of the day....but the day you walk in our shoes, and realize that everyday you must wake up to acknowledge the color of your skin, your culture, your speech, your mannerisms, not because you want to, but simply because you are forced to recognize that people, will judge and treat you solely based on your DNA, and not the content of your character; then you will know what it means to be "Black" and living under the oppression of racism. We are not without self-empowerment. We are not without intellect. We are not without sound ability, tenacity and strength. If you see us fail, it is not for lack of trying. Sure, we have a minority of us, just like your own people, who freebase on life and lack the drive and desire to achieve, but the majority of us are swimming hard against a current that is set against our success. We have been raped and robbed and denied for centuries. Destroyed by the millions. Held to the captivity of our minds and souls....and we are STILL HERE, sometimes, only by the power of our own song!

Words weigh
pressing against emboldened shoulders
Hot, heavy rocks gathered
at the base of the neck
little-weathered by the torrents of freshly-sweetened syllables
that rush over the head in a tidal wave
A cascade of survived Words beating against the cliff of our hearts
reminding us of the STRENGTH of our tired, weary limbs
Oral Histories of Kings and Queens
Ordinary people surviving a journey of tears
across blood-tainted oceans
on board ship-shelves of urine,

menstrual blood and amniotic fluid,
vomit and cries
Speaking to us a PRIDE we once knew before we were tied down
tethered to the boulders at our neck -
Words meant to sink us
into an abyss of our own darkness - BLACKNESS
Cursed from the birth of our mother's waters
Growing up in a pool of stagnant stinking brown
You ain't NOTHING but a good-for-nothing Blackie, BOY!
You just a two-dime TRICK, Black Ho!
Your Mama gave me better head!
And we swallowed
with all the STRENGTH we could muster
Ingesting our PRIDE
Pregnant with fight, trying with all might
to lift ourselves out of the rancid BLACKNESS of the flooded ghettos
Clasping to rocks of achievement
First Black Baseball player
First Black Actress
First Black Doctor
First Black Astronaut
First Black Head Coach
First Black CEO
First Black President
First Hue-man
Last Man left drowning in Words of NIGGERISMS
So, you think you something, huh BOY,

with your fat wallet, mansion and Bentley?
You ain't NOTHING but an Oreo
Who you trying to trick, TRICK?
You know you gotta taste that Laffy-Taffy if you want to get on the ladder, Black Ho!
like boulders, strapped to our necks
unable to imprison us under waters
if we keep swimming
keep climbing
keep moving
Heads above water
Breathing in one death-spiked Word at a time
spitting out the overflow
Inhaling deeply between the waves
until we drag our weighted bodies ashore,
in shouts of VICTORY over Words
Pressed down by Words

but kept afloat by LEGACY
Hurt by Words

but fighting wounded
Delayed by Words

but not denied.
by the POWER of the Words of our own mouths...

"Word Bending"
Copyright 2010. Kalinago Woryi

*Words have consequences...they destroy or they build; they root out or they plant; they subdue or inspire...they drown or propel to greater heights. We can choose their lasting effect on us..........

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" - 2 Corinthians: 8-9

Monday, February 27, 2012

POETIC FACTS: Paradise Lost - The Art of Melancholy...

So long, so far away
So close, the sun's warm face
seeping through my window pane
drawing me home
to a far away land
never forgotten
But somehow, laid aside, by time's distant memory.

I woke this morning
Peeling upward blinds that keep you hidden from me
So long, so far away
So close, the sun's warm face
seeping through my window pane
drawing me home
to island scents and sounds

I struggle through tears
remembering the embrace of your morning sun
Nudging me now
Captivating my skin into rippled memories
of lush mountains and green-blue seas
A sweet island breeze
so long, so far away
So close, the sun's warm face
There is no place like home

Ah! To be in paradise again someday...
So long, so far away
So close to my heart
my island home...

"So Long" © 2012 Kalinago Woryi

Music by Musician and Singer, Jon Gibson. Hear a sample of his musical legacy at http://jongibson.com/.

If you would like an opportunity to help fund another phenomenal musical project by Jon, please visit and DONATE BY MARCH 14, 2012 towards his 10th album: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jgproject10/the-new-jon-gibson-cd

Facebook: JON GIBSON MUSIC http://www.facebook.com/jongibsonmusic
Twitter: @JonRobertGibson http://twitter.com/jonrobertgibson