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