Hmmm, Lets see.....The Nike Air Maxes drop next week....I could buy those.......and add ANOTHER shoe to the collection...
Orrrr, I could pay for studio time and invest in my dreams...
Hmmm....(clock ticks away...)
Now, Common Sense(not the rapper : D) would say pay for the studio time, heh! no kidding right...but for most, it's not that easy(if it was, there'd be no need for this article!).... If the answer is so blatantly obvious, how come we so often choose the opposite? Why do we prioritize our addictions over our passions, when it's so easy to fix? Lets find out... : D
Ahem, So, we find ourselves in the never ending struggle of..... Addiction versus Passion.....which is stronger in you??
Now, we all have different problems, so take a breather...and correlate this story to an area in life where YOU struggle....shoe collecting has been a particular vice of mine for the last few years....So to keep things simple, will stick with that!
1. My Addiction!
Over the years I gained respect as a shoehead. Digging through Mom and Pop shops, traveling the state of Cali for the rarest, authentic sneaks....and spending an arm and leg in the process. Sure, I had a few hookups, but money makes the world go round' (C.R.E.A.M! for the Wu heads!).... Often times I bought the same model in various colorways, in an effort to own every shoe that I loved....After amassing a large collection, I sat back...and pondered....what are all these shoes doing for my life?? Sure, I felt great after each purchase, and even better after rocking each pair for the first time(never been the type of cat to keep'em on ice, if your a collector, you know what that means : D) But I counted my feet (two!) and I couldn't rationalize a reason to own more than one hundred kicks...An addiction is often something you think you need, but doesn't bring true happiness.
Even worse, looking at my bank account after my shoe escapades....not cool. At times, I had no money to do any of the things I dreamed of doing in life. The shoes became nothing more than baggage, a burden tying me to a closet of fresh kicks....chained to them and unable to see the world.....Stuck in this trap.... And we wonder why our dreams are on standby?
A passion for music. A goal I feverishly chase to this day. A calling in life. A dream etched in my heart through an unspoken language of the soul. It is, happiness...
But to get that feeling from my soul into the natural world....I need one thing.....Money! The Ruler of this world. Like it or not, you need it. It unlocks doors. And also....your money is where your heart is....think about it....you trade hours of your life to earn it..... If my heart is in my dream, than it should be natural to spend my cash there as well. It's no other option....Put up or Shut up!
3. The Shift!
Okay, I'm giving you game here...listen up. Start funneling your money into your dreams immediately. If you have a dream, throw away the thing that you don't need! Whatevers draining your money (I don't care if it's going out, buying alcohol, or collecting pogs, stop doing it!). The moment I shifted my money(my heart) to my dreams, doors began to open instantly. It's not just a shift in your cash, this is a change in character. You show the world, and God(I believe) where your heart is....and he honors that....Nas said it best, concerning God....
"You take one step towards him, he takes two towards you..."
Needless to say, my shoe buying days have dwindled....but the path to my goal is now illuminated! It's that easy. You write your own story.... And I'm not saying you have to go cold turkey on your addiction....because you may have a genuine love for it. Myself, I still buy shoes here and there, but balance is key. And it always comes after my dream....
(Oh right, the clocks still ticking...)
Sooooo.... I think I finally decided.....I'll probably pass on the Nike Air Maxes for now...I've got a dream to pay for... : D
You know.....You can't serve two Masters...so which will it be?
"The finish line seemed far at first....but when I think about what you endured....the suffering I could never take from your body....I found the strength....to go on." ~Your Son~
"Goodbye Lupus" was the code name I chose. After completing the 5k charity race, I was welcomed by a brief stint of euphoria. The sweet sensation of victory overwhelmed me in its unfamiliarity. I had arrived to a place I had always been denied entry. Attained the unattainable. The very goal which had always alluded my grasp was mines to savor.... All the days spent wallowing in futility.............vanished. Seeming so distant as to have been experienced in a past life....I did, what I felt....I could never do, for you....
Lord knows how much I wished to remove the illness from your body, shoulder the burden, exchange places so you'd never have to suffer.... Never have to grin, and bear the pain, putting your best foot forward for the family's sake. Smiling in a way only you can.....masking the pain, in efforts to raise us well....concealing it, because your tough, tougher than anyone I know....the indescribable tough with a beauty and smoothness to its edges....you hid the pain, because...you know us, and, you know me, you did not want us to worry....The Sacrificial Tough....and deep down, I knew it.
I cried when I found out you had it...I don't even know if I knew what "it" was, or what "it" meant....but you had it, and it made you sad....it made....us sad.
I watched. I went to school. You fell ill. I waited........you felt better. Or, you feigned good health, as I grew older I could distinguish the two, discernment had arrived...Pops use to warn us "You boys need to stay outta trouble, it may not look it, but she's not feeling well, don't do anything to make it worse." It was hard, for me.....being powerless to fix it. I sat, bedside with you one day, despair and frustration sweltering inside of me. This was one of those, "weak moments." No hiding, no smiling, you didn't feel well. And I watched, nothing I could do, I prayed....it was out of my hands.....
Where's the justice?! Why you? How come some people are born, and seemingly destined to live threatened by illness? Some of us are even born with disease included...an inherited disadvantage? Reason, please? Whats the answer to these trick questions? Some incomprehensible pattern in life that man fails to rationalize? These thoughts plagued my impressionable mind growing up. And still, nothing I could do.
But yours...yours is a Champion Story!
Penciled in by a hand stroke from God. A miracle arrived. Almost dropped the Phone....Silence fell. Tears welled up. They can't, find what? They can't......find....the Lupus? Amazement. Coupled with Disbelief. Shock! Rejoicing! After so many years....countless prayers.....it had become.....dormant. The Lupus had entered a remission period.
*A remission period is a time in which an illness remains inactive. Sometimes permanent, sometimes temporal. If a remission period comes to an end, the illness returns*
An answered prayer.
When we live through moments of helplessness, the one rock we can cling to is faith. It begins as a small seed, nurtured by what we cannot see, but what we believe to be true.... A seed, planted by a 3rd grader....the very day he found out about Lupus....and against all odds wished for it to go away....or....a way to help fight it. To Fight.....That wish, would soon come true.
The Lupus Race.
In all it's glory, smashed the invisible barrier. Lupus is no longer an enigma, free to move and dance about, wreaking havoc in the lives of our loved ones. It could be touched. It could be fought. And it could possibly....be cured, by the the souls of many running in unison. I was...correction...I am, proud to have left my footprints in the battle against Lupus.
To help, was all I ever wanted to do....And I can't even say having ran, and contributed to the charity, brings any kind of peace of mind, or solace to either of our souls....Because I know very well the fight doesn't end there. But I do.....hope it's enough, to let you know, Im with you. In your corner.
You know, I could have written this story two different ways...I could have written it about how I trained for the race, where it takes place, and how spectacular the event was.....or...I could've written it, about you.... My heart made the decision.
Dueces! (cuz I know you love it!)
*I encourage everyone to raise their awareness on Lupus. Or, find what's close to home in your life. What's affecting you? Read about it, and fight it! Okay, I went really far in on this one, just how I feel at the moment.
* Pictured above- # 378 Goodbye Lupus(me)
# 984 Haile Fekadu
The Dreamkiller, and most destructive of the aforementioned lies, is Self-deception. At some point in life we achieve, or adopt, a masters degree in the art of deceiving ourselves. Wow. Your one smooth operator. Not only do you tell the lies, but your so good, even you believe'em!
Lets start it off with a Jay Electronica Quote:
"Dear God, Im a sick Muh-F***a.
I even fool myself.... Im a slick Muh-F***a!"
And oh, as long as you can maintain the image, you can be anything, or anyone you want! After all, if music videos have taught us anything, life is just a slow motion sequence of girls, swimming pools, and champagne....and you can have it all...just leave your "true self" at home, and audition for a part!
Part. 2 "Dreams"
Why is it that one's life achievements are magnified upon an untimely death? Jay Dee, Baatin...While I'm glad that their work is being recognized, and glorified, why is it that we only appreciate their art upon their passing? Why couldn't they have been the recipient of fame while they were still with us?
"No one gets the roses while they can still smell'em..."
Honestly, look deep inside of yourself and ask this question...When did you discover J Dilla? His popularity is at an all-time high today, and I've never seen so many J Dilla t-shirts in my life! He was always magnificient, but I saw very few, if any t-shirts when he was alive. Who was a fan back when JD was part of The Ummah? The who? exactly...1st down? J-88? The Fantastic volumes?.... I remember bumping Get Dis Money off of vol. 2 every Friday when I got spare change for my allowance. Who shares these memories? Back in the day if you brought up Dilla's name a lot of people were like...hmmm? oh yeah JD? the guy from SoSoDef? Nope! Why is his afterlife success dwarfing the recognition he received when he walked amongst us. Wait, hear that coming?....it's the sheep. These are the mindless drones that bought up all his records, wikipedi-uhd his career : D, and celebrate him as the greatest producer ever, but never knew he existed before his death. The sheep move when society moves...you market to them, they buy it.
The sheep love trends.
Sometimes, I don't even know if they genuinely like Dilla, or, if it's just culturally cool to like him...? Or maybe, out of a sense of guilt, it's human nature to feel an obligation to research his work.... simply because we didn't appreciate, or celebrate it sufficiently while he was still here? Either way, Dilla is well-deserving of praise...I'm just saying, we coulda delivered the roses a little sooner...
Not even Michael Jackson could escape the allure Death and Fame provides the sheep. I was shopping in Amoeba the other day and two girls next to me came across an old Michael Jackson record..."We have got to buy this!" one of'em yelled....Why? Why have you got to buy this? This Michael Jackson record...Two months ago I doubt they would have looked at it twice! But ya know...so goes the story of death and fame. A week before his death, roughly 48,000 Michael Jackson songs were downloaded....One week after his death...an estimated 2.6 million Michael Jackson songs were downloaded....Damn, did I miss something? Did his music get THAT GOOD upon his passing into the eternal? No, it didn't. But now, the sheep seem to love him. I can't walk down the street without hearing someone bumping thriller now.... : D I can't help but laugh at the thought of it! As far as album sales, Michael Jackson had a reported increase of almost 3,500(wait I have to spell that out) Three Thousand, Five hundred percent! ....after his death. Shame on you, Sheep.
Ahem. Can we deliver the roses sooner please? There's so many other artists, humanitarians, musicians I could mention....but you get the point. Let's cherish the talents, individuality, that each person brings to this planet, both during, and after life...I agree, we should do things in remembrance of these people when they're gone, but lets celebrate them equally while they are here.............Well, that's a nice thought, but as for now...
I'll just kick back and wait for the numerous Baatin t-shirts every streetwear brand is gonna be producing out the ass pretty soon.
Wake up, People.
dublab presents...SECONDHAND SURESHOTS (preview) from dublab on Vimeo.
Recycling at it's best! The Secondhand Sureshots!
Check it out...if you missed this event...I'm gonna get my CL Smooth on and reminisce for a moment!...All the while giving you a clue as to how you can own a slice of hip hop, no forget that, music history....Producers, step your game up! Pen and Pad, Take Notes! This is one of the most creative projects ever, featuring the creme de la creme of producing, a Pokemon-esque adventure for viewers, and a live performance I was honored to be in attendance of...Without further ado...The Secondhand Sureshots are..
Daedalus. J Rocc. DJ Nobody. & Ras G
FOUR of the most notable producers walking God's green Earth (whom I'm a fan of each one : D) received specific orders for this documentary. Objective One, infiltrate record thrift stores in Los Angeles(all four producers go to different stores). Objective Two, Dig! It's what vinyl heads do! Each producer must find, and buy FIVE obscure, forgotten by time, overlooked records...with a budget of only FIVE bucks! Okay, straight to the 1 dollar bin! After the records are randomly selected, the creative process begins...We get to watch the minds of Daedalus, J Rocc, DJ Nobody, and Ras G, flip into action as they each transform their five dusty records, into classic hip hop beats. Sampling at it's best! And the documentary captures it all on film for our viewing pleasure!
Now....The Hunt! After they finish creating their delightful masterpieces, each producer goes to an undisclosed record store, and hides the record!..Yeah, that's right, all four records are hidden in local thrift stores in LA for anyone to purchase! Each one features an unreleased beat from Daedulus...J Rocc...DJ Nobody...and Ras G! The catch...no one, besides the producers, has any clue where they're hidden! To my knowledge, none of the records have been discovered as of today! What's even cooler, is that each record features different cover art, if all four records are found, they come together (Voltron Style) to form a new picture! Citizens..I think it's time to dig...dig through each record store in LA...dig until we unearth these records and savor the musical goodness...And if y'all don't wanna look for'em, well...I guess I have a better chance of finding one!
The Silent Movie Theatre! The Last Part!
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the few showings of this documentary at the Silent Movie Theatre off of Fairfax and Melrose. Incredible! After watching the film, we got to witness Ras G and Dj Nobody make beats on the spot with records provided by the audience. Daedulus later gave a breathtaking performance that words fail to describe...Making beats in seemingly mere seconds with various, random samples, live, as we watched in amazement. Hit+Run also made custom shirts for attendees featuring the Secondhand Sureshots logo (mine is pictured above : D).
Peep the preview of this documentary Above.
And Oh yeah....
Secondhand Sureshots come First in my book!