Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Interview by Nida Siddiqui

Nida interviewed me sometime in 2009...don't exactly remember when. Anywayz, here is the article she wrote.


By Nida Siddiqui

It’s late in the afternoon as I walk into a Second Cup, located on the corner of Bloor and Spadina. I scan the faces in the busy café, in search of one of Toronto’s best kept secrets. I’m meeting with local rap artist Daniel Farb, better known as MC Fübb (pronounced ‘foob’). Writing poetry since he was nine years old, Fübb is now in the process of launching his hip hop career with the release of his debut album, titled Foundations. I finally spot him seated in the corner with a cup of peppermint tea on the table in front of him. As I pull back a chair to sit down, he stops me and suggests we move somewhere less noisy.

Fübb and I wander down Spadina in search of a quiet place to chat, while he tells me about his day so far. He slept in this morning, got up, took care of some online business, checked his email, and submitted some of his songs to a radio station. Later, he paid a visit to his father. “I got him to sell some CDs for me,” Fübb explained. “He’s a lawyer so he sold them to the other lawyers in his office.”

I asked him how his parents feel about their son being a rapper.

“My parents both support what I’m doing.”

Having just obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, Fübb drastically changed his career path and opted for something less conventional than most of his peers. Fübb’s mother was a bit surprised about the change. Up until that point she assumed that his music was just a hobby. “I said to her, you’re the one that told me I can be whatever I want, and she said ‘yeah, I’m worried that you took me seriously.” He laughs. “I said, I did, so I hope you were telling the truth.”

He leads me into the Hillel building at UofT. I read a sign that says, Centre for Jewish Campus Life. Fübb, who describes himself as a very spiritual person, was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity that would often meet in the Hillel building. We sit down in a cozy student lounge area with black leather sofas and a large flat screen TV. It’s nice and quiet here.

He offers me a copy of his CD, saying he normally sells it for ten dollars, but he’ll give it to me for five. I say sure and take a copy. One of his pet peeves, he explains to me, are those people who say to him that they support him, but then aren’t willing to pay five dollars for his CD. “That’s just a blatant contradiction,” he says. “There was this one person though that I asked, ‘why don’t you want to buy it?’ He says to me, ‘because I’m cheap,’ and I appreciated that because it was honest.”

To sell his album, Fübb is taking on a grassroots approach, involving himself, family, and friends. “I just sold a hundred out of my backpack in the past couple of weeks. I want to sell a thousand in the next four months.”

Realizing I have no cash with me, I make a mental note to remember to stop by a bank machine on our way out. I didn’t want to be one of ‘those people’.

“So what’s keeping you busy lately? What are you doing now”, I ask.

He smiles and answers, “I’m doing lots of things.”

“My focus is getting my career off the ground and just living the life of a hip hop MC, a professional hip hop MC. I wrote that on my business card and since I said it, I’ve started being that. I got my album out now, I’m selling the album, I’m performing wherever I can, setting up a team around me to handle the business side of the music, rather than me doing it, so I can focus more on writing and recording and doing what I actually want to do. I’m doing a lot of other stuff outside of that, but that’s the main focus.”

Very quickly, I get the sense that this career choice isn’t a joke for him. He’s serious about it and his dedication comes through loud and clear. In describing the experience of recording in a studio, he explains, “You go in there and that’s like going to the office, and time is money. You’re paying by the hour and you’re working… It can be fun at times, but it’s more meticulous. You want to make it the best you possibly can, so you go there as prepared as you can be, and just do your thing.”

I try to garner Fübb’s thoughts on the current state of hip hop. He seems disappointed in the selection of artists that are prevalent in the mainstream media, and comments on the perception audiences have of the genre.

“People will say, ‘oh hip hop, that’s about money, drugs, hoes, guns, and ice.’ No, that’s what people are using hip hop to say. It’s not hip hop itself… It can manifest that way, and it does by and large, but it can also be maybe a million other things.” He expands by quoting an underground rapper, J-Live, who says, “It’s like there are 31 flavours of hip hop and most people are only given the choice of chocolate and vanilla.”

In terms of the music industry in general, Fübb has a lot to say.

“I’m cynical about the status quo and how incredibly low the bar is set for what is considered playable on the radio. Not only is the bar set low, but its set so low that anything that doesn’t conform to that bar is not considered, even if it’s better.”

We’re interrupted briefly as a man by the name of Kromar passes by and says hello. I learn that he produced the song, Piece of Mind, on Fübb’s album.

“Sorry, what were we talking about?”

I say, “You were telling me that radio sucks.” He chuckles.

“Yeah, I don’t know. It’s mostly garbage. There’s not much musicality to it at all. It’s just…this is what’s gonna get your head bobbing for the next five minutes in the club. I think in general people just want to numb out when they listen to music, they just want to be taken to a very simple state. It’s almost like being inebriated… I think the music itself and that whole response, that’s a symptom of a very sick society in a lot of ways, if you really want to numb out from reality rather than do something about the reality that you don’t like. That’s the view I have on the majority of people, at least within hip hop. And that being said, I don’t really care where the industry is at because I don’t let it define what I’m doing. I might talk about it, but I’m going to do and push what I want to push out there regardless.”

Despite his cynicism for mainstream radio, Fübb insists that he doesn’t focus on the annoyances. He is actually very hopeful for things to come. His album, Foundations, is a mix of eight diverse and often intense tracks describing who he is, his thoughts on music, and his outlook on life.

Fübb is dedicated to creating a cohesive hip hop and indie community in Toronto. He started an event called Bring it to the Cypher, where local artists including emcees, rappers, break dancers, and DJs, all come together in the street and display their creativity and talents for the public. Fübb is the host of the event, which takes place every couple of months, and encourages artists to network with one another and build their careers together.

As students begin entering the room, we start to wrap up our discussion. I look at the individual I’ve been sitting with for the past hour. Fübb has a wisdom and optimism to him that makes it hard for anyone to believe that he is only 23 years old. I get the feeling that he is genuinely happy about his career choice, and has a strong willingness to reach out to other people, to understand them, and to inspire them.

“I can pursue any career that I want,” he says at one point, “but this is the one I’m passionate about. This is the way that I feel I can make the biggest difference in the world. That inspires me more than anything… If this is really what I want to do, it’s the only thing that’s going to fulfill me in my life, and I don’t want to live a life that doesn’t fulfil me.”

"Shadow Gallery" by Noyz

Peep the new album by the homie Noyz - Shadow Gallery.

Noyz and I are collaborating on a next project, "In the Face of No Agreement."

REAL HIP HOP. Check it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blue Collar Worker - Official Press Release

Sept. 6, 2010

MC FÜBB Presents the Blue Collar Worker Mixtape Official Release Party

Blue Collar Worker Mixtape Release Party, Friday September 10, 2010 at Augusta House

Toronto, ON -- Following the successful viral release of his Blue Collar Worker Mixtape, MC FÜBB is proud to present the Blue Collar Worker Mixtape Release Party. The event, which takes place at Augusta House, 152 Augusta Avenue in Toronto will feature performances by MC FÜBB and special guests. Admission to the event will include a physical copy of the Blue Collar Worker Mixtape.

Blue Collar Worker features 18 powerful tracks including “Six Million”, a song that was written to honour survivors of the Holocaust, something very personal to MC FÜBB as three of his Grandparents are themselves Holocaust survivors. “The topic of the Holocaust is something that was always present in my house growing up, but it wasn’t something that was really talked about. Writing “Six Million” was my way of expressing my thoughts and emotions”, said MC FÜBB

The Blue Collar Worker Mixtape Release Party takes place on Friday September 10, 2010 at Augusta House, 152 Augusta Avenue, Toronto. Live performances by MC FÜBB and special guests; music provided by DJ Bowza. Admission: $5 (Includes copy of Blue Collar Worker)

Blue Collar Worker
"The Blue Collar Worker isn’t about socioeconomic class struggles. It’s a mind-state of the type of grind that nobody sees and yet everybody knows about. It’s not just about rockin’ the mic on stage or spittin’ in the booth; it’s also about trekking around the city with a full backpack and a mission to accomplish. It’s about dragging your ass out of bed when you’d rather sleep-in and taking steps even though your feet hurt. It’s about working that job that you’d rather not work so you can pay for studio time and get your tracks mixed. It’s embodying the type of courage that nobody rewards you for and doing the damn thang instead of complaining about what needs to be done.

The Blue Collar isn’t a status symbol. It’s a representation of everything it takes to achieve one’s goals and materialize one’s dreams. It symbolizes a level of earnestness and integrity that the vast majority of people lack in their lives. It’s a commitment to honouring one’s word and not settling for excuses. It’s the acknowledgment that obstacles are merely limitations that have not yet been overcome. This is what I mean when I say, I’m on a different kind of grind when I pop the Blue Collar…

This mixtape is dedicated to all the people in the world out there putting in work to pursue their dreams - to all the Blue Collar Workers." - MC FÜBB

FB EVENT GROUP:!/event.php?eid=132902290084364&ref=ts

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hip Hop Headz (H3) Constitution

1. Preamble

Hip Hop Headz (H3) is a community of members who consider themselves to be just that – hip hop heads. Whether one considers oneself an MC, rapper, DJ, graffiti artist, b-boy/b-girl/breaker, beatboxer, producer, singer, dancer, promoter, entrepreneur, publicist, agent, etc., is irrelevant in this context. If one identifies oneself as a hip hop head, one has met the necessary requirement to be a member of the H3 crew. It should be noted, however, that fulfilling on the necessary requirement is not sufficient for membership. Members need to adhere to a certain code of conduct to represent H3 and receive the benefits of membership. This document will explain these requirements.

2. Introduction: Who We Are; What We Stand For

H3 stands for the manifestation of hip hop in all of its various forms. Practically, H3 will throw events, support individual artists, endorse causes, and participate in any medium that propagates hip hop as a culture and art-form. H3 is the physical instantiation of hip hop and lives through the creative efforts of its individual members working together towards common goals. H3 creates hip hop – we live hip hop – we are hip hop.

3. Core Values and Principles

H3 has no monopoly on hip hop. H3 does not claim to know the “true form” of hip hop, have the “correct definitions” of all terms, nor the “right way” to go about creating/manifesting hip hop in the world. H3 does have, however, a set of core principles and values which guide its focus and the conduct of its individual members. Members of H3 are expected to place these principles in high regard and do their utmost to uphold these values in all H3 affairs.

• 3.1 - Love: Definitions of love are as various are there are forms of love and ways to express it. H3 has no monopoly on such definitions or what/how love may be present for each individual member. Nobody can judge for certain if there is love in another person’s heart or whether they are “in it for the love” or not. The principle value of love is meant as a general guidepost and reminder as to the origins of the idea of hip hop and the force through which it manifests itself to its fullest possibility.
Before any other motive in any H3 endeavour, the love of hip hop needs to come first.

If there is no love in one’s pursuits within the hip hop culture, then one is not participating in an H3 project. This is not to say that H3 is against pursuing hip hop for other reasons (e.g. money, respect, fame, etc.) – quite the contrary. It is not necessarily what one is doing or even why they are doing it, but how they are being and conducting themselves while pursuing their goals that matters in the context of H3. In the context of H3, love means, at its core, a fundamental acceptance for other human beings and an effort to show goodwill towards all people. It is in this sense that H3 seeks to “spread the love” of hip hop to the world.

• 3.2 - Peace: H3 is committed to non-violence. Under no circumstances will physically violent acts be tolerated by any member. Any member who commits and act of physical violence to another member or at an H3 event will have their membership revoked and possibly be banned from the community.

Violence can take many other forms besides the physical. It is difficult to draw lines and define what constitutes non-physical forms of violence (“psychological violence”, for example, if a very tenuous and subjectively defined term). Since many use hip hop as a form of self-expression, at times frustration, anger, and even rage may be present in its manifestation. The principle value of peace reminds us that whatever may manifest through hip hop, it needs to be channelled and used in a responsible manner. The life and achievements of many human beings (Mahatma Gandhi, for example) are testament to the fact that great things can be achieved through non-violent means. H3 places great importance in “keeping the peace” at all times and in all its pursuits.

It should be noted that self-defence is the only excusable form of violence in the context of H3. Self-defence means only defending oneself against current physical violence against ones person, and exerting only enough force as to stop the current violence from continuing. For example, if a fight breaks out at an H3 event, all members are expected to step in and use the minimum force necessary to stop the violence from continuing. H3 detests all forms of violence, and also recognizes that each human being has the right to defend his/herself from threats against their person. Under no circumstances will the initiation of violent acts by any members be tolerated, nor will retributive acts beyond the above definition of self-defence be acceptable by any H3 member.

• 3.3 - Integrity: Members need to honour themselves as their word at all times. As hip hop heads, our word is our bond. What this means in practical terms: members are expected to do what they say they would do when they said they would do it. This includes everything from punctuality at events to returning phone-calls. This being said, nobody is going to be able to keep their word all the time. Members are expected to be in communication any time they cannot do what they had committed/promised to do and do their utmost to rectify the situation.

Without integrity between members, H3 has no integrity and therefore the idea that is H3 will not work. Members need to treat what they say they will and/or will not do with respect. If there is no integrity in one member’s words, then that member cannot be trusted. Integrity is not to be confused with morality; one who does not keep his/her word is not a bad person, they simply aren’t trustworthy. If a member consistently displays a lack of integrity, then they are probably not a good candidate for membership in H3. Words manifest in the real. Word is bond. The power of the word echoes loudly in hip hop. One’s word is not to be taken lightly in H3.

• 3.4 - Community/Unity: All great accomplishments of historical and global significance occur at the level of community. No one person can change the world unless he/she is supported and believed in by a community strong enough to materialize that person’s ideas. Hip hop has an unlimited potential to create, build, and strengthen individual from various communities and different walks of life. H3 is committed to creating a community of human beings bound together by the common bond of a love for hip hop.

Unity is as intrinsic to the concept of a powerful community as it is in encompassed alphabetically within the word community itself. Without unity, a community has no direction, no common purpose, and is essentially sterile in regard to its ability to create anything of great significance in the world. H3 is about pushing and supporting its individual members as much as possible – provided that that individual member is operating as an agent of H3. This means that if a particular member is not in any way acting in the interests of H3 and what H3 stands for, then he/she is not acting in unity with the H3 and therefore should not receive H3 support. That being said, if a member has the goal of making a large personal profit off of their work, for example, then this goal is not necessarily inconsistent with the mandates of H3. If in pursuing this goal the member is also supplying a service to the hip hop community at large, for example, then they likely are conducting themselves in accordance with the principles of H3.

It is not so much the physical manifestations or methods of expression of one’s work that determine whether or not one supports a given community, but rather the motivations for action, result of one’s action, and the spirit that one has in their pursuits that matter to the issue of unity within in H3.

• 3.5 - Respect: Jackie Robinson once said: “I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
Respect is a term often confounded with many other concepts and has a very
definitive meaning for H3. All H3 members are expected to treat other members and anyone involved in any H3 endeavours with respect. To explain what is meant by the principle of respect, it will be useful first to look at what it does not mean in this context. Respect does not mean that one needs to like another person. One can greatly dislike another person, for example, and still respect that person’s right to be who he/she is, say what they say, and believe what they believe. Respect does not mean one merely tolerates another person; countless events in history show that the principle of tolerance is a far cry from what is necessary to avoid the negative consequences of prejudice, bigotry, hatred, and violence. If one respects another person, tolerance is not necessary, because respect entails a fundamental acceptance of other person’s shortcomings, faults, and in short, his/her humanity.

The principle of respect is closely tied to the idea of humility. In fact, it would be accurate to conceptualize respect and how one conducts oneself with humility towards other human beings. At its core, humility is the ability to accept the humanity of oneself and other people – the good, the bad, and the ugly. With this acceptance, one can show respect to even those who offend and upset them. Respect doesn’t mean that one “bites their tongue” when they disagree with another member. To censor oneself is in direct contradiction to what H3 represents and what hip hop is all about. Acting respectfully does mean, however, that one does not seek to tear down or destroy another person with their criticisms, but rather voices their opinions in a non-violent manner and in the spirit of contribution to the good and welfare of the other person. To disrespect (i.e. “dis”) another person on a personal level is not acceptable conduct between members of H3. In the more conventional sense of “dissing” another member for their actions or even dislike of their work is acceptable in H3, provided it is done in a constructive manner.

If one does not respect another member, then this is an issue that needs to be brought up in conversation immediately and resolved. If there is no respect present between members and non-members in a given project, then that project should not be an H3 event.

• 3.6 - Creativity: H3 exists to foster the creativity of its members and give them greater access to materializing their creative forces than they would have had on their own. The poet and playwright Jonathan Larson once wrote: “The opposite of war isn't peace... It's creation!” In the context of H3, creativity first and foremost is contra to violence and destruction, and hence in alignment with the principle of peace. Creativity is an active force, however, and is about manifesting certain ideas into reality rather than simply preventing the emergence of potentially destructive ones.

Creativity is often spontaneous and therefore unpredictable, which may at times result in words or actions from an individual that are not necessarily in line with H3 principles (e.g. an emcee is freestyling and says something racist or otherwise hateful). In such instances, what is important is that the member acknowledges his/her misalignment with his/her commitments as an H3 member and recommit to not repeating the same mistakes again. H3 is not about censorship. Quite to the contrary, H3 supports the creative expression of its members in whatever ways they may manifest, however unconventional or sometimes even offensive they may be to certain individuals. What matters most is that a member’s creative expression be done in line with the other values and principles of H3, particularly Respect, Love, Respect, and Unity.

H3 will back its members in their creative pursuits, even if they are met with violent opposition from non-members, provided that the member in question can demonstrate his/her alignment with H3 principles. The unity of H3 should be maintained even if a particular member receives much condemnation from communities outside H3, provided that member is in line with H3 principles and is not damaging the H3 community itself with his/her actions.

• 3.7 - Fun: It’s been said by many people about hip hop (among other things) that “if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.” Hip hop is supposed to be fun. H3 members should never lose sight of the spirit of having fun in all H3 endeavours, no matter how serious they may seem or how hard the work may be.

4. Expectations of Members

4.1 All H3 members are expected to support all H3 projects and events in any capacity they can and to as much of an extent as is possible for them.

4.2 Members are expected to support the endeavours of other individual members as much as possible.

4.3 Members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the core values of H3 at all H3 events and in all H3 endeavours and pursuits. This includes when dealing with other individuals within H3. Hatred, bigotry, racism, etc. for example are contrary to the principles of Love and Respect, and therefore will not be tolerated.

4.4 Members are expected to be actively working on hip hop related/oriented projects or towards achieving related goals. There is no such thing as an “inactive” member of H3.

5. Decision Making Protocols

5.1 – Chief Principle Officer: The Chief Principle Officer of H3 is its founding member: MC FÜBB (Daniel Farb). The Chief Principle Officer has the following powers/responsibilities in H3:
5.1.1 Ratification and Amendments of Constitution: The H3 constitution cannot be ratified or amended without agreement and the signature of the Chief Principle Officer.
5.1.2 Addition of New Members: The Chief Principle Officer must be in agreement before any new member can be added to the H3 roster.
5.1.3 Suspension/Expulsion of Members: The Chief Principle Officer must be in agreement before any member can be suspended or expelled from H3.

5.2 – Constitutional Amendments: Amendments to the constitution can only be made by a majority vote and agreement of the Chief Principle Officer. The majority vote is only valid if there is quorum consisting of 51% of members voting.

5.3 – Addition and Removal of Members: Only the Chief Principle Officer has the power to add or remove members of H3. Any member wishing for the removal or addition of a member should consult with the Chief Principle Officer to present their case.

5.4 – Endorsement or Non-Participation in Events/Projects: All H3 events and projects will be endorsed and supported by all H3 members, provided said events/projects are consistent with the principles and values of H3. If issues of whether or not a particular project/event is consistent with H3 principles arise, both sides of the case will be presented and considered, follow by a vote of a minimum quorum of 51% of H3 members. The Chief Principle Officer will not have the authority to remove support for a given event/project without majority support, as long as the member(s) creating the project/event are H3 members.

5.5 – Dissolution of H3: H3 can only be dissolved if the Chief Principle Officer dies or signs a declaration indicating the dissolution of H3. However, if either of the above scenarios occurs and the majority of members vote to keep H3 alive, then H3 will continue to exist and operate.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Poet’s Fight

Hello morning.
My eyes are weary
and my muscles full of

The sun is bright,
the air is warm.
Consciousness sets in
and a new day has come.

My part is here in
the play of life.
I am the saviour
and the damned.
Each day I live
and each day I fight.

People sometimes ask me why
I care so much
about this “wretched world.”
A friend of mine,
down on her luck,
asked me,
“What the hell are you fighting for?”

Beside the blind man
stands his dog
who acts as his eyes
as he walks in the sun,
without fear of what obstacles
could stand in his way.

A little girl
hops down the sidewalk
clinging tightly to her mother’s
right hand,
a smile on her face,
ready to meet the world
with an innocence so pure
it makes clear water look murky.

A little boy who can’t understand
why the kids at school
are so mean to him
and why he feels
so alone.

The lives unlived because
they don’t have the means,
the deaths in vain because
nobody learns from their lives.

I fight for them
without weapon or closed fist.
I fight for them
with words and verse.

She asked me,
“What do you get
out of all of this?”

I replied,
“I get to see tomorrow,
and it never lets me down.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Six Million

straight up – I’m a descendant of Holocaust survivors
six million Jews killed in the holocaust
I remember that every single day
I’m alive because of those who survived

Verse 1:

F to the U to the B to the B
yo my people – step up and get ready
fortify-live, hold it down rock-steady
yo it’s time to act now, got the strength already
I’ma drag up what most don’t recall
bigger than a gun-fight or any damn brawl
genocide - that’s the biggest crime of them all
my people were attacked but we just wouldn’t fall
I know about the yellow stars and the food stamps
I know about the gas chambers and the death camps
this goes way beyond right and wrong
did you know that there were six million dead and gone
on trains to Auschwitz
you wanna talk shit?
wanna talk like you’re rough, like you’re the hot-shit?
have you ever lost someone special in your life?
did you feel the despair, pain sadness and strife?
multiply it ten times, you’re still not even close
to atrocities that occurred beyond the coast
signs were posted, but nobody read ‘em
the criminal stood tall, but no-one would dead ‘em
1.5 million children were slaughtered
from babies, to nephews, to sons, and daughters
“never again” – it’s been said many times
but the ignorance of mankind still shines
people wanna kill us just because we survive
in a pool of sacrifice, my people take a dive
anti-Semites wanna steal my rights?
meet me face to face and I might take your life
‘cause it’s time alright – time to get up and fight
time for my people of the world to unite
I say act sooner rather than later
‘cause I’m sick of sitting back like a damn spectator
time to put an end to the instigators
expose the the neo-nazi fascist haters


While people sat back, the Jews did suffer
barely any food from breakfast to supper
stripped of humanity
brink of insanity
a war machine took our lives with vanity
targets of ignorance and products of arrogance
the more I think about it, the less it makes sense
looking back now, if you my two cents
there’s not grass on the other side of the fence
just train tracks where we were shipped like cattle
the underground war where we fought our battles
sounds of the screams that make the bones rattle
the death of my people that happened in the shadows

Verse 2:

They turned a blind eye
while my people died
while Hitler and his nightmare multiplied
while everybody slept, the blitzkrieg crept
lives out of check – wrecked at the hate intercept
they said concentration camps were just a myth
but it was more real than a shot from a fifth
Poland was invaded, many lives were seized
hey, there’s an idea, Policy to Appease?
from the UK to Germany
while thousands cried and begged on their knees
my grandparents really only had one choice
they had no hope and they didn’t have a voice
instead of falling victim like so many did
they said “fuck death!” and they chose to live
and because of that
I’m rapping on this track
I stand alive because of that just one fact
still they suffered with physicalities
arthritis and dementia abnormalities
like breaking off the leg of a Broadway dancer
for my grandma, no answer
died from the cancer
lives forever scarred, locked behind bars
while people drove around in their fancy cars
while unheard cries went near and far
my people kept faith as they prayed to the stars


While people sat back, the Jews did suffer
barely any food from breakfast to supper
stripped of humanity
brink of insanity
a war machine took our lives with vanity
targets of ignorance and products of arrogance
the more I think about it, the less it makes sense
looking back now, if you my two cents
there’s not grass on the other side of the fence
just train tracks where we were shipped like cattle
the underground war where we fought our battles
sounds of the screams that make the bones rattle
the death of my people that happened in the shadows

Friday, July 23, 2010


I remember the first time the microphone I ever gripped
years ago now, but like yesterday remember it
the benefit of experience, lackin it
still poetically attackin it, I spit rhymes immaculate
nervous as hell, still I held it with the power grip
the beat was like a meal, I devoured it
far from being powerless
and tho I was afraid, as the music played on,
I stayed strong and I overcame my cowardice
feeling that connection as I looked out in the audience
heads bobbin-and, I knew I had to come correct
every time, in every single line if I wanted respect
and that’s something I’ma never forget
every time I picked up the mic, I got stronger
delivery harder, freestyles longer
used to get lifted by smoking marijuana
now I stay gifted, spittin’ what I wanna
more like I got-ta
hip-hoppa core Bambaata
slayin the track like manslaughta
touching my mic, told you not-ta
how u gonna hold a candle up to the sun, you got nadda
word to Big L, 2pac, and Big Poppa
rap’s in the blood in my veins, not the watered
down versions that you be hearing, domineering
on the radio-waves interfering with the culture

Ain’t no time to pretend, it’s 2010
My man FELN it’s 2000-Zen
So we create Zen in 2010
2000-Zen ‘till forever

So I grab mics, and I hold them
silver tongues make way for the golden
they say many called so few are chosen
well I’m both - competition gets frozen
I’ve awoken, yes awakened
to another level, higher elevation
I am the origin of my own creation
fuck change, I cause transformation
you can call it abstract, you can have that
chump-change, you don’t know where my math’s at
I’m like Moses, my mic’s where my staff’s at
I’m like appearances, ya’ll can’t get past that
I’m leading these rhymes in a lyrical exodus
it takes more than flashy flows to come next to this
concentration deep, seems effortless
most can’t F with this
after I’m gone you’ll be left with this
thought-provoking, soul invoking
lyrical brainstorm that gets you open
a token of my appreciation
for hip hop, I add to the conversation
contrary to the self-deprecation
I’m urging humanity to stand as a nation
thru hip hop, I stand for unification
salavation; ain’t no time for move fakin’

Ain’t no time to pretend, it’s 2010
My man FELN it’s 2000-Zen
So we create Zen in 2010
2000-Zen ‘till forever...


Articulating Benevolence in my Character
Devoted to Excellence, I’m the Flow Guarantor
Haphazardly these Idiots try Jockin’ me
Karate Kick these Leeches Methodically
Neurotically Offended by Practical Questions
Rappers’ Stupidity causes more Tension
Unmentioned Veneration for the Wackness
Xenophobic Youths in the game too Zealous
spittin’ Abstract Bullshit that seems Copacetic
it’s Deranged how our Egocentric Faults are Genetic
Horrendous Impairments in our Judgments
Kamikaze Lemmings Living Lives that be Martyred for Nothing
Oppositional Positions that can’t Quell
the Reactive State of our Thoughts, I can Tell
Ultimately all Viciousness Will Weaken
I X-ray eXpanse of Years from my Zenith

Absolutely rappers Are, Awfully Arrogant
Bestowing their own Brand of Bullshit Belligerence
Consequently, the Crap is Concentrated
into Didactically Dated raps, Demonstrated
in an Ever-changing Era that Excludes an Equivalent
Feebly and Frantically we’re Frolicking so Frivolous
Giving up on our God-Given Gifts of Greatness
Holes in our Heads to Hear, instead we Hate this
Intelligence Inside us, Indicating
we should Jump with Jubilation
and the Knowledge of Kings
and Limit our Licentiousness
Moreover gotta Mention this
Nationalistic Narrative is a Negative
Only Obsequious Observers are Obsessed
with a Policy by which Possessions leave you Possessed
Quick-Release Self, it’s Two-Thousand and Ten
Unleash Vivacious Writtens to X-press Your Zen

Straight Talk

they say two things are certain in life: death and taxes
and neither one’s occurred to me yet
what beliefs are you living in that’s holding you back?
choose the way you view the world and find your own facts,
it’s like that
I see time spent complaining about the “the system” as worthless
I say fuck the system, pimp it, then use it for my own purpose
now don’t get it twisted,
my mission and my purpose is to get ya’ll uplifted,
because I’ve been gifted, and so have you been,
but ya’ll too busy acting like you’re victims of original sin
like suffering was pre-ordained to reign
like if you don’t struggle you ain’t real cuz you don’t know the pain
it’s insane
like tryna put a needle in a thin-vein and wondering why it don’t fit
instead of saying fuck it and just calling it quits,
what we really need to breed in our minds is a paradigm shift
but most don’t wanna hear that
rather smoke a blunt while swigging a beer back
although it might appear that I’m bringing fear back
I’m expressing my perspective, many can’t near that
inner-dwelling truth, we seldom revere that
claiming that we on the right course but we letting someone else steer that
so I’m asking you to take the time
to pay attention to the contents of your own mind
and you if disagree that’s fine,
but I’ma keep marching on this path of mine
and I’ll accept what I find
and if you grind, great – what are you grinding for?
what are you living for – is it worth dying for?
if you can’t answer that with an affirmative,
you should take a step back and find out what your purpose is
believe me, I’ve taken time for reflection
seen the deception and cleaned the infection
if I come off a little aggressive,
it’s ‘cause I can’t let you make a mockery out of my profession
rap is a tool, ya’ll use it like a weapon
lacking mental muscle, half-flexin
no cadences in with the vocal inflection
I’m developed with flow, ya’ll premature like c-sections
I won’t join your fan-page, I am not your bredrin
you got one style I got seven – hundred
my boiling point high like tungsten
ya’ll motherfuckers get burned easily like a Bunsen
you repping for the city? man, I question that assumption
you repping for yourself, and you don’t stand for NOTHIN!
talking that shit like the world owes you something
but what you owe to the world is something you ain’t confronting
and that’s the reason why you frontin’
but ya’ll a bunch of little Kanyes, I CAN’T TELL YOU NOTHIN!

Paradigm Shift

I’m not worried about the souls of artists
I’m worried ‘bout the people who don’t know what art is
perpetually living in these narrow definitions of life
but what’s life if the soul’s gone missing?
when the only focus is who’s bringing the cash in
that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for passion
unless the passion is the paper,
in which case we made a mistake and we all caught the vapours
and that’s a topic that’s been touched on,
see I’m in love with hip hop, most of these rappers got a crush on
I bust on, these haters who be lusting for the glamour
line ‘em up like nails, and yes, I bring the hammer
like BANG BANG – I be doing the damn thang
a lot of ya’ll are talking but ain’t doing a damn thang
and it’s a damn shame cuz most of ya’ll are capable
but ya’ll be steady living your lives like they’re replaceable

We gotta get our perspectives right
yo we gotta start respecting life
instead of searching out a dime for a spliff
what we need to bring about is a paradigm shift

picture this: a parentless child, no role-model
liked to get buck-wild, became addicted to the bottle
growing not knowing who’s blood was flowing in his veins
couldn’t cope with all the pain, started smoking crack cocaine
found himself in alleyways
trying just to pass the days
prayed every night to God that in his sleep he’d pass away
but every day he woke up to another
day of living hell, wishing that he had a mother
or a father he could turn to
so vials he burned through
but the streets’ lessons he would learn through
every day the same, he got so sick of the sequence
took a detour, showed up at a 12-step meeting
somebody there shared about struggling and getting by
and for the first time in his life, he could identify
gradually the weight began to lift off his shoulder
life shifted its direction, now he’s 6 months sober

We gotta get our perspectives right
yo we gotta start respecting life
instead of searching out a dime for a spliff
what we need to bring about is a paradigm shift

We all got struggles man, we all go through it
so how come we acting like we the only ones that do it
like "you can’t feel my pain ‘cause my struggle’s so deep"
but we create reality through words that we speak
it’s like, to be strong that means help you can’t seek
we left dragging our asses through the week,
now that’s weak
nobody makes it on their own, no matter what they say
so I got principles that on the mic I must obey
since ya’ll listening it’s my responsibili-tay
to hit you with some rhymes that might make you live your life today
and I’m alright today,
so I’ma write today,
something you can vibe to in the times that I’m away
if my rhymes ain’t influencing you
then I’m failing in the mission I was sent to do
cuz I already see my path, this was meant for you
this is life, the only one that can commence it is you

We gotta get our perspectives right
yo we gotta start respecting life
instead of searching out a dime for a spliff
what we need to bring about is a paradigm shift

Tell You Something

my third eye pierce through the lies like a gamma-ray
I hover over all these suckas like a manta-ray
I’m the sting-ray to ya’ll Steve Irwins
straight to the heart of the matter from which I burgeon
which mean I’m growing, they slowing, I’m not concerned with
these prostitute rappers acting like they flow virgins
you think you know rap, this a different version
where lyricism counts, like Kweli, packing my words in

so either stand tall otherwise be duckin’ me
I ain’t about to waste my time on bull-fuckery
so many say they gifted
but do they make a difference?
are they taking action or paralyzed by indecision?
a lot of ya’ll hesitate to make moves
not even on the court, you’re still up in the locker room
my team don’t even question me and what I got to do
they know that I’m focused, manifesting what is possible

steady dropping you
rhymes philosophical
embodying the very definition of unstoppable
I dropped the Foundations, some of ya’ll copped a few
some of ya’ll didn’t, that’s alright – I’m not watching you
hip hop’s been lacking in integrity
the genomes been cloned, I bring an original pedigree
this is my culture, I refuse to let it be
taken over and sodomized by the inequities
that I see, in front of me, I can’t ignore it
I wish that I could walk away from the ignorance
but then I’d be ignorant, so I gotta face forward
we all gotta die someday, some of ya’ll race for it
life I got a taste for it, so I’m not wasting it
(you) wanna see my origins, I’ll show you where the basement is
now I’m on stage with it, following my passions
now I’m steady taking what’s mine, I’m done asking

Like it or not, I’m here to tell you something
most of ya’ll talk but ain’t saying nothing
rappers spit empty words with no substance
so I feel obliged to say something

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Real Power

When we begin to confront that who we have been in the world has been little more than an ongoing response to a past that we have not yet completed,

When we are courageous enough to create our lives not based on anything except for what we say we stand for,

Then our words have the power to manifest in reality - simply because they are our words - and we become true creators.

And that is our real power in this world.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who You Are

You think you know who you are.

You do not.

Who you think you are
is actually the identity you have constructed;
the person you have chosen to become in life.

You think you are your values,
your beliefs and your conceptualizations -
you are not.

You think you are your past,
your experiences, your successes and failures -
you are not.

Who you are
is the voice inside you that screams for glory
that has become so shrouded
that you can no longer hear it.

Who you are is greatness;
everything else that you think about yourself
is merely what gets in the way
of you being who you are truly capable of being
in this world.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blue Collar Worker

The Blue Collar Worker isn’t about socioeconomic class struggles. It’s a mind-state of the type of grind that nobody sees and yet everybody knows about. It’s not just about rockin’ the mic on stage or spittin’ in the booth; it’s also about trekking around the city with a full backpack and a mission to accomplish. It’s about dragging your ass out of bed when you’d rather sleep-in and taking steps even though your feet hurt. It’s about working that job that you’d rather not work so you can pay for studio time and get your tracks mixed. It’s embodying the type of courage that nobody rewards you for and doing the damn thang instead of complaining about what needs to be done.

The Blue Collar isn’t a status symbol. It’s a representation of everything it takes to achieve one’s goals and materialize one’s dreams. It symbolizes a level of earnestness and integrity that the vast majority of people lack in their lives. It’s a commitment to honouring one’s word and not settling for excuses. It’s the acknowledgment that obstacles are merely limitations that have not yet been overcome.

This is what I mean I say, “I’m on a different kind of grind when I pop the Blue Collar…”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Hip Hop Community is Vital

Human life, at the level of the individual, is like a vacuum. Solitary people have immense limits on their self-expression and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. It is only when one is expressed at the level of a community does the self truly manifest itself and shine onto the world.

Hip hop is a part of life; for some hip hop is life. The same is true of the solitary hip hop head as it is for any other human being. One hiphoppa may have immense talent and creative potential, but this potential will go largely unrealized at the level of the individual. It is only in the context of a like-minded community that one’s ideas can fully be actualized in the material world. Without the community that creates it, hip hop has no real power. Without the listener, even the dopest rhymes in the world will fall on deaf ears. A lone MC cannot form a cypher or move a crowd. Without those who take the time to watch, the illest b-boy is just some guy doing back-flips in his basement. Hip hop can and will survive without community, but it will only be able to do that – survive. If hip hop is to achieve the potential it has to actually be at the source of transformations in the world, then the cohesiveness of the hip hop community is absolutely vital.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I don’t have to do anything. I don’t even have to breathe. It’s all only a necessity inside of a prior choice or commitment. I choose to be alive, so I breathe, I eat, I drink – I do all that because I made a choice to live as opposed to killing myself.

And then I give reasons to my choices. I work because I choose to have money. I speak because I choose to be heard. I create art because I choose to directly impact the lives of others in the most powerful way I possibly can.

Everything is a choice, and then there is circumstance. Circumstances are only as they are because I have not yet chosen to transform them.

Who I am, what I do, and how I live are all matters of my choosing. Anything that stands in the way of my choosing is only there because I have not yet chosen to address it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taking Ground

Every time I take new ground
everything that ever stood in my way,
everything that ever stood within me,
against me,
stands before me.

Watching as the populace runs
frantically to find comfort,
to feel like they belong,
like they’re doing the right thing,
bending over sideways and
talking backwards
to do anything and everything
that might make them feel

Because they say that world
is a dangerous place
and you better duck and run
if you look the wrong way
at the wrong person
at the wrong time…

The mind is the battleground;
the world is a reflection.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thaw of the Dawn

It seems like it's the first time that I’ve let myself live
without being angry about all the space
between who I am and
the person I want to be.

A river doesn’t question why it flows;
it just goes where it must according to
nature’s laws.

I am a force of nature
and I am not a river.

We are not the summation of our actions,
our exhibited behaviours,
our feelings or even our thoughts;
we are the choices behind the actions
and the choosers behind the choices.

God knows I am capable of being more
than the person I have thus far told myself
and others that I am,
and I know that God bears no grudge
against me for not yet being
who He sees me to be.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Absolute Being

In this clearing of absolute being,
razor-blades cut through all the nonsense
that I’ve created
and piled upon this life.

Here I see every single burden I have
and own the fact that I have chosen them,
that I am responsible for my reality.

I have inherited all of the elements of humanity,
damned some of them while valuing others,
and in doing so have condemned myself.

There are no boundaries
but those that I’ve created in my mind;
there are no real barriers
but those that I am not courageous enough
to face.

I am the unstoppable force
that moves mountains;
I am the only obstacle
on my path.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Only Now

Only now,
after I’ve smashed every possible notion
of that ideal relationship’s existence,
after I’ve crushed the childish ideals of
somehow and someway things being OK
in the land of someday,
can I see you as you truly are
and accept myself as I truly am.

the old, gnarled plant that has wrapped your
withered, decaying vines around the
youthful vigour of my soul
and attempted time and time again
to suck the vivacity out of my pores,

for whom I exerted my entire being
in my futile attempts to view you in a positive light,
only to finally be unable to ignore
the sordid person you have become
beneath the veil of helplessness that you project,

You have been the greatest source of my apprehensions
in the recent years of my life.

Only now
that I’ve cut away your toxic grip
from around my heart
do I fully feel the freedom
to be a man in this world.

Only now,
for the first time,
there is no room
for neither guilt nor remorse
in my mind.

Now I am truly free.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Purple Awakening

I awake
on the right side of the wrong bed
in Sunnybrook Hospital.

Everything is turquoise and purple tinted,
in my mind, in my mind.

Awaken to a purple world
where bright colours are shunned,
where bright colours beam across the globe,
where everything is paradox and
riddles that have no answers.

My purple hand squeezes my purple pen
as I write my thoughts,
as I stamp my feelings on
a turquoise page.

All the other colours wait patiently
in a cell with purple bars.