Wheels Up: Ten Years in the Making

I don’t think it’s too bold of a statement to say that every artist usually has some kind of personal reason why they title their projects. Something beyond just the obvious. For me, I don’t think I realized the full scope of Wheels Up until very recently.

But lets start from the beginning and get real personal, shan’t we? Off we go.

If you are a long time Kubi fan, follower on Facebook or subscriber to the good ol’ Kubi email list, you know that almost two years ago now, my Mom passed away from Breast Cancer.

The actual experience of my Mom passing was, obviously, difficult, however it was the seeing of my mom through the whole process that was really the bigger monster. The emotional toll on yourself, friends, and family is just not really something you can quantify. No amount of knowledge and intellectual understanding or reading or movies or whatever can prepare you for the grueling intensity that is dealing with watching a loved one, especially your Mother, slowly succumb to something so ugly. The whole thing, if I’m being real, it was about a 7 or 8-year process from the first time she was diagnosed, until she finally passed.

To put that in perspective for long time Kublakai fans, I was half way through making my first album, The Basics (the first one) when she first told me she had Cancer and she passed half way through my remixing and creating the few new songs from Kubi Zoo,  my latest release. Everything in between, including everything with The Let Go was tinged with my Mom’s Cancer looming large.

And these last three years – those being the final year of her life and the two years since – were like nothing I’ve ever been through in my time on this planet. I won’t go into the complicated relationship that I had with my Mom but it was rough……. with or without Cancer in the mix. Now I had to start looking at myself and asking, “What does my life look like without my Mom in it?” There is no candy coating it, it is a very strange question to ask yourself everyday and it never feels normal. But slowly, you get used to a different life. A new life, one without Mom to counsel you, to argue with you, to encourage you or berate you (depending on the moment) but as happens with life, you find the new normal.

So why tell you this? Why rehash it all again?
Well, really, it’s because it’s never too far from my head and my heart. I can’t do very much without it being a part of my consciousness. It’s just a part of my life and who I am and I feel it helps to share. I’m share there will be a day where I can finally feel separation from this portion of my life and really be looking at life through my own lens, not shaded by these events at all. I’m not there yet, however, this is the beginning.

Further though, from the creative side of things, I tell you all this because Wheels Up is the new normal.

It is the beginning of my creative life after these last 9-10 years – a life without my Mom and without my Mom’s Cancer looming large. It wasn’t until after the project was done and in my hands, while I sat back on a summer night at the beach listening to the project and watching the sunset that it dawned on me. This was the first project that I have made since The Change in 2005-06 (a mixtape that probably only a very small few of you know about, even smaller few own and even smaller few actually still enjoy – lol) that I have made where My Mom’s Cancer wasn’t a focal part of my life. That’s not to say she didn’t affect the project. She was my Mom. Her presence and her life will forever impact mine but her death and the worry that surrounds her Cancer is now the past. And when I listened again, with the idea that this was the new normal, the difference between these 6 songs and everything I’ve done before became obvious. I won’t go into it but this album was indeed something more. Their was a lightness to it. It’s less aggressive, more musical and honestly, it’s just better than anything I’ve done before.

This is the beginning of something new.

I named the album Wheels Up because, as long as all goes well (I’m waiting for my VISA), I am leaving the country for Chile in a few weeks for a Study Abroad program that will last 7 months. I’ve wanted to do this for a lonnnnnng time. Besides hip hop, traveling is my passion. I believe in the transformative power of travel and what it can do for personal growth. I’m an International Studies major at UW who is interested in the world in general. I want to encourage more people, especially people in their teen years or early 20’s that may not ever think to, to travel the world. My first trip outside of the country changed my life in the same way the stepping onto a stage or stepping up to a microphone did. I would never be the same again.

There is a song on the EP of the same name, Wheels Up. It is all about my travels, it felt like a fitting title for the EP, especially as I finished the album and then took an amazing summer trip. I spent a couple weeks soaking in the beauty of the Northwest summer while on tour, then flew to Europe and spent a week in a castle in Portugal (No, seriously, I did) and a week exploring Sevilla, Spain by myself. The title just made sense.

I realize now that Wheels Up means much more. It’s a departure from my past. It’s the beginning of a new life. It’s not just about travelling; it’s about moving upwards and onwards after a long battle these last 10 years. It’s also for my Mom. She’s moving forward, onwards and upwards. I even laughed when I looked at the album artwork and realized the obviousness of a plane moving through the sky. The cover fully immersed in the clouds and when you turn it over – above the clouds. I’m not saying I was completely unaware of what I was doing – I was following the concept… but I think that that symbolism was more for Mom than me just simply following the concept.

And when I really think about it, maybe it is even from my Mom, to me.

As an artist, sometimes you just do what feels right and don’t question it. That is undoubtedly what I try to do and I have noticed that when I do it, when I really follow my instinct and my heart no matter if I understand it or not, the outcome always surprises me in the best way possible.

So here is to new beginnings, to healing, to the future, to hip hop, to travel, to Mom’s everywhere, to family and to being the best you that you can be no matter what life throws at you.

Wheels Up.


***You can listen to the first three songs from “Wheels Up” here***

The EP will be released in it’s entirety for Free, and on iTunes February 2nd.

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When I was around 13-14, my mom took me to see Jazz legend Ornette Coleman.Honestly, 99% of that show was avante-garde Jazz that I simply couldn’t wrap my head or ears around. However, towards the end, he did a cover of a song by Charles Mingus called, “Moanin'”. I could have listened to that song forever.

When I got home, I “borrowed indefinitely” my moms Mingus Big Band CD which had the original version of the song. It has remained without question, my favorite song of all time. I always thought about sampling the song for my own music but something felt weird about doing it…. Until now. I took the song to my brother Isaak at @undercaste and together we crafted a hip hop song that preserves the essence of the original song that can I feel proud of and gives it something new. The song itself is short and therapeutic. 1 part homage to Mingus, 1 part call for personal growth and 1 part call to people to do better with their art.
I feel like their isn’t enough Jazz in hip hop anymore. Maybe, in some small way, this can change that.

Kublakai – “Moan” #wheelsup

Inspired by Charles Mingus’ “Moanin'”



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Understanding self-awareness through evolution

As promised, here is my paper on evolution, mushrooms and humanity. This paper took many forms – this one being the final one. Feel free to discuss it, share it or message me about it. To the people that may want to hate on it – ain’t nobody got time for that. I thank everyone who helped out on the survey, I am sorry I couldn’t have used more of it! Enjoy.


Understanding self-awareness through evolution

When I was seventeen, I ate psychedelic mushrooms four separate times. I was a glutton for understanding (I still am) and enjoyed the experience because it tapped into a world I never knew existed and opened my senses to something new. The final time I would take them that year, I had a bad trip – rooms became prison cells, stars morphed into faces that laughed sinister laughs, the ceilings had falling spider webs and the trees howled horrible howls. As I sobered up, returning from what had been a terrifying experience, I sat on my porch and felt different. I looked around my neighborhood and it all looked new in some way. It was the same place, of course, but it was different to me now. I was different – something in me had changed.

This new perception, this different feeling resonated to the core of my young being and flung me towards the idea that life as I knew it may no longer be what I thought it was. It reminded me of my freshman year, two years prior, in science class. I was awful at Science. I failed it and then failed biology, the following course, twice. Although I failed the classes, I did actually attend class and even though my teenage mind wandered, I picked up a few things. One fact, possibly the only fact, that stuck with me in those classes was that evolution is not the study of getting better, bigger, faster or stronger. That doesn’t mean these things don’t happen, it just means that the idea that

evolution inherently means bigger, better, faster, stronger is misleading. In Introduction to Physical Anthropology, it states, “evolution is an ongoing biological process with more than one outcome” (Jurmain et al 5). In other words, evolution is the study of change, not necessarily good, nor bad and with a multitude of different directions possible. “Simply stated,” it continues, “evolution is a change in the genetic makeup of a population from one generation to the next” (5).  Meaning there is no end to evolution. A lineage can end – species go extinct – but the process of evolution will always continue.

At the time, I didn’t pour a great deal of significance into the statement; it just seemed like an interesting enough fact to be filed away for later consideration. And as I sat on that porch coming down from my fear-filled mushroom trip, it seemed that moment had arrived. I had changed, or I was changing, and I had no idea if it was for the better or for the worse but I wanted to make sense of it.  Thinking back to my freshman science class, with this new perception, the definition of evolution not only gave me solace, it seemed to open my eyes to a life bigger than the one before my experience. I felt more awake, more aware of myself, and the life around me.

While my personal experience was profound, I never thought myself the lone transformed teen after a psychedelic mushroom trip. When I conducted a survey about evolution and asked, “Have you ever taken hallucinogenics – (magic) mushrooms, LSD, psilocybin, DMT, etc?”  38 percent responded, “Yes, it was amazing and changed my outlook on life” (Waller). Indeed, I am not alone! Now, of course not everyone’s life changes after they’ve done hallucinogenics, 10 percent said, “Yes, it was weird, I didn’t really feel anything, I didn’t see what the big deal was.” And finally, not everyone does hallucinogenics at all – 30 percent said, “No, never done it and don’t plan to” (Waller). Fair enough, but everyone goes through a transformation of thought at some point, regardless of the catalyst. Maybe it was moving out of your parent’s house for the first time or getting dumped by your true love, or finding your true love or just good ol’ organically grown existential-angst. In the same survey, I asked, “After a life-changing experience – near death, finding love, extreme (impactful) travel or other – did you feel that you had been changed on a physical and/or mental level, forever?” This time fifty percent of people replied yes. (Waller).

This new outlook wasn’t necessarily like believing my whole life that the sky was red and realizing it was blue. It was more like seeing the blue-sky overhead, stopping, and for the first time thinking to myself, “why is the sky blue?” Ram Dass, a Harvard professor turned LSD advocate turned Yogi, calls what I experienced “turning on”(Dass 6). In other words, becoming aware of the fact that I am aware and that there may be some sort of significance in that.

At the heart of my revelation was a cacophony of questions that flurried about my brain at a steadily increasing rate. A constant wondering of how things work and why things, including we as humans, are the way we are. Dass speaks of a similar experience in his memoir, Be Here Now, “I was in the same predicament. I was aware that I didn’t know enough to maintain this state of consciousness and nobody around me seemed to know either. I checked with everyone I thought might know and nobody seemed to know” (13). In short, he had turned-on and upon coming down, he wanted answers. Like Dass, I felt I needed some sort of resolution.

Ram Dass would go to India in search of answers, I however, thought it only seemed fitting that I look for clues to my wonderment where this had all began – in the field of evolution. So, when I was told of a book called Food of the Gods in which a hypothesis is put forth that the link between self-aware humans and our non-aware primate cousins is psychedelic mushrooms – I pounced. American philosopher and ethnobotanist Terrence McKenna boldly asserts, “My contention is that mutation-causing, psychoactive chemical compounds in the early hominen diet influenced the rapid reorganization of the brains information processing capacities” (McKenna 24). He is postulating that not only do mushrooms have an effect on a persons life experience but also that the chemical that causes hallucinations is the gap between non-aware primates and early self-aware hominen populations. As a person who has had positive and life-altering experiences with psychoactive drugs, McKenna’s hypothesis charms the egotistical side of me that wants to say, “I have done this and thus, I am more evolved!”  However, it is not so simple. The evolutionary school of thought is still growing and scholars like Rick Potts have other ideas.

Dr. Potts believes that our human nature comes from our ancestors surviving Mother Nature. Potts uses geology to make sense of early hominen brain growth over the course of evolutionary history. From about “six until two million years ago”, our primate relatives’ brains grew a tiny fraction, if at all. Then suddenly, from “two million years ago up until 200 thousand years ago” there was extreme brain growth like never before (Human Origins). Dr. Potts claims that rapid bursts of climate change in Southeast Africa where the environment went through massive fluctuations of “climate instability” were the impetus for said brain growth (“First Steps”). Think of Mother Nature in this time period as having a severe personality disorder like bi-polar. She went from varying degrees of fury to relative contentment over and over and over again. The weather, and thus, the geography of the region were unpredictable. It went from wet lake-lands with forests to dry savannah plains and desert, back to wet lake-lands with forest, to volcanically active, back to wet, lake-lands and so on and so forth at a rate like never before. It must have been excruciating to navigate these conditions for the inhabitants of the region. Only the rapidly adaptable and most intelligent would survive.

This is the perfect example of Charles Darwin’s Natural Selection theory in action, the idea that as he puts it is the, “preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I have called Natural Selection or the ‘survival of the fittest’” (Darwin 94). Meaning, the best suited and most adaptable to the environment will live and spread. The less suited and less adaptable will most likely die off. In this scenario, brain growth and the intelligence that follows is the favorable variation Darwin speaks of. However, he never thought this process would be a speedy one and Dr. Potts is hypothesizing that while Darwin’s theory is spot on, it happened at an evolutionary hyperactive pace. These primates would have to out think, out hunt, out swim, out climb and simply out live any other species in that region in only a few generations (possibly even ONE generation?) time. They would not only have to adapt, but adapt very, very quickly, and only the smartest individuals with the most adaptable brains would see it through to spawn a new generation.

The competitive nature of this can’t be overlooked. It is no coincidence that Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” term resonates with us when speaking of evolution. So it stands to reason that competition was the catalyst for transforming humans into self-aware beings. The thought only extends so far though.  Edward O. Wilson of The New York Times writes in The Riddle of the Human Species, “The existence of competition and conflict… has been a hallmark of societies as far back as archaeological evidence is able to offer. These and other traits we call human nature are so deeply resident in our emotions and habits of thought as to seem just part of some greater nature, like the air we all breathe, and the molecular machinery that drives all of life” (Wilson). Wilson’s point is that competition is embedded in everything we do as far back as we existed. Not just in humans, in everything. With that in mind, the thought that we humans are the only self-aware creatures on the planet because of our competitive nature seems unlikely. Wilson proposes an alternative idea: Eusociality.

Eusociality as he states it, is when “[the] group cooperatively rear the young across multiple generations… divide labor through the surrender by some members of at least some of their personal reproduction in a way that increases the “reproductive success” (lifetime reproduction) of other members” (Wilson). This theory speaks to our humanity, the antithesis of competition – raising offspring that isn’t our own genetics, sometimes even at detriment to the individual. Frans De Waal, a professor at Emory University  studies altruism and empathy and had this to say in the abstract of his research, “…altruistic behavior evolved for the return-benefits it bears the performer. For return-benefits to play a motivational role, however, they need to be experienced by the organism” (De Waal). It is a complicated behavior that when done repetitiously, and in a group setting means some level of understanding must be had. Why make a sacrifice unless you know it is good for you? His answer is empathy, “With increasing cognition, state-matching evolved into more complex forms, including concern for the other and perspective-taking. Empathy-induced altruism derives its strength from the emotional stake it offers the self in the other’s welfare” (De Waal). In short, as we began to be aware of ourselves, we understood the necessity and advantage of group welfare.

Complex interpersonal relationships in a group dynamic or “eusocial environment” is a supposed evolutionary pressure that creates rapid change in the brain. It makes sense. If you are living alone with your one or two children, only caring for their needs, there are a limited amount of things you need to express and/or communicate to them. But what if you are living in a eusocial community with multiple families and individuals that have constant needs and things that demand complicated expression? Richard Dawkins explains it beautifully; “brains were naturally selected to increase in capacity and power for utilitarian reasons, until those higher faculties of intellect and spirit emerged as a by-product, and blossomed in the cultural environment provided by group living and language” (Dawkins 402). Simply put, the necessity for communication and expression becomes greater in a group setting. Thus, a eusocial setting would create human awareness.

As individuals began to realize their own self-awareness, you have to wonder what they would do with this new perspective? Well, many believe that it is quite obvious; they would begin to make art. Martin Meredith explains in his work, Born in Africa, “[There were] engravings and sculptures of animals and humans and painted the walls of subterranean caves with vivid images of deer, horses, mammoths, wild cattle and other contemporary beasts” (Meredith 176). They began to express themselves. No longer living simply to survive but living to also articulate thought through art. Meredith continues, “All this was taken as evidence of ‘human evolution’, a flowering of consciousness which marked the emergence of human beings” (176). The assumption being that with awareness comes expression. That seems valid but still, I can’t help but think of the question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” I wonder if it was the art that came before the awareness or the awareness that sparked the art.

All of these theories seem to strike a chord of truth with me, at least a little, so the question must be asked, why can’t all of these be true? It may have been the first time a half-human, half hominen ate a psychedelic mushrooms in the African plains. It may have been as an early hominen struggled mightily to save herself and her young and inspiration struck or it may have been an accumulation of moments between a group of individuals struggling to create the direction of a new group dynamic. We may never know.

Trying to reconcile human consciousness with science is a unique dilemma that we are far from understanding. Consciousness, an abstract idea seems counter-intuitive to the rigid rules of science but I think that’s why I find it so fascinating. Using logic to account for the illogical. I like science and I like existentialism but they don’t necessarily mix well.  Rupert Sheldrake, on the other hand, believes they do indeed mix well but thatthe scientific community places too many unwritten restrictions on what can and can’t be investigated and that there are assumptions made that simply aren’t necessarily so. “[The assumption is] Matter is unconscious… atoms, electrons, solar systems, galaxies – it’s all unconscious” (To the best of our knowledge). Meaning, an automated universe, as science supposes, is incapable of consciousness. In essence saying, if we humans are composed of matter, and science presumes matter is unconscious, then, we must not be conscious. Sheldrake continues on the rigid presumptions of the science community, “nature is mechanical, the universe is a machine, animals and plants are machines, the human body is a machine.” This is stating that because the nature of science is so rigid, we are in a nutshell, as Sheldrake quoted Richard Dawkins, “all lumbering robots”(To the best of our knowledge). I don’t know if I agree with that and like Sheldrake, I hope that the world of science and the science of consciousness collide soon.

I will let Darwin, the original co-inspirer of my life changing thought processes speak for my feelings on the subject. “Let it be borne in mind how infinitely complex and close-fitting are the mutual relations of all organic beings to each other and to their physical conditions of life (Darwin 93).”  Darwin is poetically stating that there is a vast grandeur to all things of genetic make that are inextricably linked through being alive. Or as Lauryn Hill sang in one of my favorite songs, “everything is everything” (Hill) and even more simply, as Muhammad Ali elegantly put it, “Me, We.” (When). We are an amalgamation of events that led us to now. The moment in a person’s life when they look up at the sky and think, “I wonder why the sky is blue?” is an evolution of all earthly history. It may sound like a hippy proverb but I feel like any evolutionary biologist would agree with that. Most likely, we will never know the exact moment that the human light of self-awareness first flickered on – and that’s okay. It’s okay to not know, but digging for the answers is at the root of being human… Right?



 Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species. New York: PF Collier & Son, 1909. Print.

Dass, Ram. Be Here Now. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 1978. Print.

Dawkins, Richard. The Greatest Show on Earth. Great Britain: Free Press, 2009. Print.

De Waal, Frans. “Putting the altruism back into altruism: The evolution of empathy.” The Annual Review Psychology. 5 June 2007. Abstract. Web.      http://www.life.umd.edu/faculty/wilkinson/BIOL608W/deWaalAnnRevPsych2008.pdf

“First Steps.” Becoming human. Narr. Lance Lewman. PBS. 31 August 2011.

Hill, Lauryn. Everything is Everything. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Columbia Records, 1998.

Human Origins. Smithsonian: National Museum of National History. Web. 11 April. 2013. http://humanorigins.si.edu/human-characteristics/brains

Jurmain, Robert, et al. Introduction to Physical Anthropology. Cengage Learning, edition    13, 2011. Print.

Mckenna, Terrence. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge. New York: Bantam Books, 1992. Print.

Meredith, Martin. Born in Africa. Great Britain: Simon & Schuster, 2012. Print.

To the best of our knowledge. “Rupert Sheldrake on Set science free”. National Public Radio. KUOW, Seattle. 21 April. 2013. Radio.

Waller, Ian. “Evolution, Humanity and Hallucinogens Survey.” Surveymonkey.org.           2013. Web. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L5SSFTD

When We Were Kings. Dir. Leon Gast. Perf. Muhammed Ali, George Foreman and        George Plimpton. Polygram, 1997. DVD.

Wilson, Edward O. “The Riddle of the human species.” New York Times. 24 February2013. Web. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/the-riddle-of-the-human-species/

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Noisemaker Fest 2012. A long time in the making….

Over the past 4 years, I have been lucky enough to tour the western United States multiple times. Sharing stages with some of my idols like Louis Logic, JFK of Grayskul & One Be Lo of Binary Star. On these tours, I also shared stages with a variety of other hip hop acts, big draw, small draw, big talent and no-talent alike. Two things became strikingly obvious to me over the course of my travels.

First: there is an absolute over-saturation of hip-hop going on. This statement should be no surprise to anyone who even feigns interest when it comes to the hip hop world these days.  The instant communication via the internet has opened the flood gates to anyone with a radio shack mic, a PC and a Youtube ID to create and share their hip hop “art”.  But seeing it first-hand, time and time again really began to hammer this point home.  Lucky for us, the crème-de-la-crème does usually rise to the top even when there is a 500 to 1 ratio of awful-to-good. Thankfully and to my second observation, within this group of hip-hop over-saturation, there is a small circle of people that really make the independent world tick. Without them, good or bad, this world would not exist. Some of them are just promoters and club owners looking to make money off the situation. Which is fine, money makes the world go round, right? I understand and actually think it’s necessary. Others are just fans hungry to see their favorite artists in their respective hometowns but the majority are the artists themselves. Hungry to be heard and hungry to connect with other like-minded, hardworking, touring hip hop artists. The 1 out of 500 that is not only good at his/her art, but making a name for himself, making a little money, cross promoting with others and adding his time and effort to this small niche that is slowly-growing and ever-evolving. I call these people the NOISEMAKERS.

They are the workhorses. They are the glue. They are the ones that, like them or not, good or bad, after a while even if you wanted to ignore, you can’t help but take notice. They are the tie that binds this small group of networking, touring artists together.

In Seattle, I have found that, purposefully or not, we kind of aren’t a part of this community.  I believe it has less to do with any exclusivity but rather the fact that we, Portland as well, are kind of enclosed in a sort-of Northwest bubble. The next true metropolis is, (don’t get mad Rose City, still love you) San Francisco, a 12-hour drive south.  That creates a sense of independence that has helped us thrive creatively and has given birth to a-many unique voice all of our own but that kind of distance isn’t something easy to traverse and makes a touring, poor, indie-artist hesitate….  And they should. Times are hard, man, its just the truth.

The opposite is true as well. If you touring and you are in Boise, Id and you can head up to Montana in four hours, or over to Salt Lake in three and change or down to Reno in five, all of which are closer to other major metropolitan cities or make the trek to Seattle which will probably be a great show but is a nine or ten hour drive and is close to nothing except border patrol……?  A touring artist from Colorado, California, Arizona or anywhere really, will probably tend to skip it unless they know it’s going to be a real money maker for them.  And if you’re truly indie, the unfortunate truth is that there really is no real money maker on tour. There is only “enough for gas” and with that 9 hour drive vs. that 5 hour drive thought in their head, to Reno they go.

With all this in mind, I decided, I wanted to do something.  Try and create the beginnings of a bridge to make that 9 hour drive worth it. I wanted to take a small break from touring to focus on putting a show together here in Seattle that would expose the artists I’ve met on the road with the people that I think are making some real noise here in Seattle, and vice versa.  Not only the talented local hip hop acts(Myself, Gran Rapids & Notion) or the fantastic acts that I’ve met on the road (The Chicharones (PDX), Raashan Ahmad (Oakland) Oso Negro (Boise/Ontario) and Burnell Washburn (SLC), but the local business that makes my shirts (Choke Shirt Company), the talented Video director that I make music videos with (Mike Folden Productions), the venue that I most enjoy performing at (Nectar Lounge), The local blog I read most often (WeOutHereMagazine.Net), the group that I work with to make my moves smoothly (#TEAMKUBI)  and a local Non-profit that’s supportive of my music as well as is just at the beginning of something long reaching and close to my heart (Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation).


Six hip hop acts, burgeoning in their respectively locales, from around the Western United States partnered with some of the up and coming local businesses carving out a name for themselves, doing quality work.  The Noisemakers.


The Chicharones

Raashan Ahmad


Gran Rapids

Oso Negro

& Burnell Washburn

Partnered with:


Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation

Choke Shirt Company

Mike Folden Productions

Nectar Lounge

We Out Here Magazine

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

I sincerely hope you make it. I am planning something special for this one and have hope that it will be the first of many to come. Lets make some noise.

$8.00 advanced. $10.00 at the door.

Advanced tickets available through Ticket Web:


Posted in Hip Hop, Musings, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The “Break The Leg” Tour W/ JFK of Grayskul & Symmetry

One of my favorite things in the world about doing this rap thing is as I progress I’ve gotten to meet some of the people that I admire most. Sometimes you get to do a show with ’em, maybe even a song…. But when you meet people that you knew only through music and were fans of and then begin a friendship that becomes something better. That is what it’s all about. Because really, being an artist isn’t about gaining exposure and making the money, its about connecting with other like-minded artists that do what they love just as much as you do and you do the same thing. Money just allows you to continue doing it. Sounds simple and cliche and maybe even a little childish, but if you are being honest- you probably agree.

This tour marks a big stepping stone for me because I knew of both of these artists before they knew me and I respected them and were enormous fans of their work before we ever spoke. So to be crafting a tour and going on this journey with them means a lot.

PEEP> GAME>                (Continues below)

A brief history:

Around 2005, I began working on my first solo project, The Basics. I had become friends with this guy named Slouch through myspace who made some beats that I thought were pretty amazing. See Suave, Whisper Whisper and the entire Lights for the Dark Nights EP.  As we began to work together on music, he was also working with this guy named Symmetry out of Rhode Island – Sym, in my opinion sounded like a white version of Black Thought from The Roots. But he could also sing! I was hooked, Slouch showed me a few of the songs they were working on which were mostly comedy songs, one about him being on a fantasy island, another about him being a cartoon but occasionally they would drift into the world of seriousness and his real talent would shine.

Long story short, My zeal for his talent inspired me to fly Symmetry out to Seattle for a show with myself, Macklemore and Grieves (Crazyness, I know). We got to hang out and do a show together. It was a brief but good visit. For him, it opened many doors – the big one being his album with Ryan Lewis which is a fantastic record and I feel blessed in having a hand in making that project possible. Over the years our communication has been spotty at best but we kept tabs on each other and one day as I was planning out this new tour I was listening to his album Dusty Pickup, which I consider one of the best hip hop records of the last 10 years, and realized that I want this guy to be a part of this. I called him up and his enthusiasm was palpable. On the edge of finishing his newest album, he told me he had refocused on music, as had I, and is more than excited to do his FIRST west coast tour. And I couldn’t be happier about providing him and the people of the west coast to see one of the hidden gems in underground hip hop – Symmetry.

JFK…. There aren’t really words to explain this guy. His flow is unlike anyone else in the game and he has a character to match – in and out of the booth, I was introduced to JFK way late. Although he has been a vet in the scene for some time now, one half of Grayskul, the legendary Seattle hip hop group that with Boom Bap Project, was the first Seattle group to get signed by Rhymesayers, I never knew who he was or took notice. That is until I heard Scarecrow, the first single off of there latest Rhymesayers release Bloody Radio. On that beat, he redefines flow. If you are an MC you will understand this – JFK is the type of MC that when you hear him rap, it inspires you to be better and makes you almost want to quit because you know you probably can’t ever be that dope. That’s how I felt after hearing his verse on Scarecrow – just ridiculously talented.

So when we (The Let Go) were able to do a song with him, I was all for it – see Stand My Ground off of our album Morning Comes. A few months after we did the song, JFK and I found ourselves drunkenly talking shit about our own verses on the song and complimenting the others.  To this day, I have no idea if he was being serious or not but the exchange made me feel foolish enough to attempt the offer of asking him to tour with me. He was down and here we are.

I can’t tell you how excited I am. For myself and for you guys, If I was just a fan and not part of this show, I would not miss this line-up and if I’m not on stage, you can bet I will be front row watching these two perform every night.

JFK, Kublakai, Symmetry – West Coast Spring Tour – Break the Leg.

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“One of a Kind” music video preview – in pictures.

Thanks so much to everyone involved. Meg, Mike, Midnite, Jay Battle, Jeff, Carol & of course Minnie! That was a really fun shoot and proof that its all about the people you surround yourself with that makes anything worth doing. Love y’all.

And special thanks to Club Sur for allowing us to use their fantastic venue.



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