Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hard to Bear

Static swamp
of festering muck.
The only sounds are the croaks of frogs
and the erratic bubbling of gases.

I’ve lived with depression for most of my life.

From days when I was too young to name it,
to the inside of a psychiatric ward
where the nurse wrote down the word
on a piece of paper;
should I have cringed,
should I have recoiled at the site
of my not-so-personal demon?

Maybe it’s not that I feel too little,
but that I feel so strongly
and then either chastise myself
or numb out completely
that is the source of my suffering.

A gift that I find it difficult to bear
is still a gift,
a load that I call a burden
may not be what I name it.

It’s made me hard and ferocious at times,
weak and malleable at others,
but those experiences cannot fully make me –
I refuse to let them.

I am the ink that flows
and the paper that receives it.
I am the space between us
and I whisper in the voids within us.

I am a poet,
and this much I can bear
with believing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Steps

People want to see what you’ve done
and to hear about what you’re doing;
nobody cares about who or what you’re becoming
or what you’re capable of.

It’s like we’re willing to give a chance
to those who have proven themselves,
but not willing to give the space needed
for people to show and prove.

It’s that first mountain –
or maybe that first fifty mountains –
we need to climb
mostly by our own efforts.

Some may encourage us,
show us the way to walk,
even open doors for us,
but we must take the steps
on our own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Never doubt the power of human generosity.

In every single moment of life, human beings have the capacity to choose. Perhaps one of the simplest and most powerful choices a person can make is to choose to be generous.

We live in a world where the choice to be generous in any given circumstance can seem counterintuitive. Within a pervasive context of thinking where self-gain reigns supreme, to give of oneself needlessly or without the intention of receiving personal benefit in return makes no sense. From the perspective of one who is a single part of the greater whole which makes up reality, a generous disposition makes perfect sense.

The cliché statement that "it is better to give than receive" actually bears immense wisdom. When a person gives generously to another, they immediately gain benefits that are not obvious, insofar as there is no immediate tangible reward for one's generosity. However, in being generous, a person becomes open to the very idea of generosity itself, and becomes more able to receive generously. This doesn't mean that if I give you a dollar, I'm going to get a dollar back; this notion of reciprocity is simplistic and is a far cry from what is meant by the term "karma." It is a law of human beings (and perhaps all spiritual beings) that how one consciously chooses to behave repeatedly over time will eventually become part of one's character, one's self - one's very being. And our experience of reality, and ultimately the quality and flavour of our lives themselves, flows from how we are being in the world.

Skeptical? Go and try it out. The next time someone is speaking to you, be generous with your listening; you'll be surprised what people are willing to talk about with you if you are actually patient and open enough to listen. The next time someone asks you for a favour in which there seems to be no immediate benefit in your helping them, help them anyway - and do it gladly. You may begin to notice that others are much more likely and willing to go out of their way to help you.

Be persistently generous with others and that very generosity will become part of who you are. You will begin to naturally attract and elicit that same generosity from others and from the universe itself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


People often think you need "motivation" in order to do something. For example: "I don't go to the gym because I'm not motivated enough to go." This type of reasoning is nothing more than an excuse. The idea that one needs to be motivated in order to take a given action is a fallacy.

What does "being motivated" even mean? Is it a feeling? Most of the time, when people say they lack motivation, what they are really saying is, "I don't feel like it." God knows we as human beings often shy away from taking certain actions simply because we feel a certain way about something. But we as human beings have the capacity to act contrary to how we feel. Most people get out of bed in the morning and go to work everyday even if they don't feel like it.

"Aha!" says my imaginary interlocutor, "it's the motivation of keeping the job, of not getting fired, of having money that has people act contrary to their feelings." Yes, on one level of analysis, motivational factors, even reduced to feelings, can have hierarchical values. In this case, the motivation comes from fear (perhaps the most "motivating" emotion of all) of losing a job, of not having money, and all the consequences that come from being unemployed and broke in a capitalist society. I'm not doubting this is a valid theory that may very well describe how human beings operate...according to their motivations/feelings.

But from another (and I believe more empowering) perspective, human beings have a choice even of how they will act in the face of any emotion, including fear. We can see plainly that the term "motivation" is given to describe reasons for behaviour, these reasons usually reducing to nothing more than emotions. If fear is the ultimate motivator for human beings, then a person who can choose to act contrary to their fears, to be courageous, is a powerful person indeed.

We attach all sorts of reasons, concerns, and explanations to our emotions - the reasons we let them run our lives, the concerns upon which they are grounded, the explanations for why we feel the way we feel. Sometimes our reasons are valid (e.g. I'm afraid of running into the middle of moving traffic because I fear that I will be injured or killed). But often our fears are not based on facts, but rather preconceived notions of how the world is, how we are, and how things will turn out based on past experiences. Take the example of the boy who won't ask the girl to dance out of fear of rejection. He doesn't actually know he will be turned down, but he doesn't ask for what he wants because he believes that his fear indicates a predetermined outcome (which is does not, in this case).

So how do we know when our fears are valid, or when anything that we let "motivate" our behaviours are indeed worth basing our lives upon? The truth is, in most cases, we simply can't know. Granted, some outcomes are easier to accurately predict than others. But perhaps the greatest fallacy of the human mind is to relate to certain beliefs we hold as if they were true, empirical facts, when in fact they are nothing more than unverified or even unverifiable propositions. When we live our lives within the confines of our unchallenged beliefs, we limit ourselves as human beings. We limit our growth, our freedom, our self-expression, our ability to learn and engage our creative faculties to the fullest. This is often what people mean when they refer to someone "living in a box."

So what relevance is all of this to my life right now? Well, I have a job. It's actually a pretty good job; it pays well, the hours are flexible, and it's probably one of the best jobs you can get within the industry. But the problem is, I don't want to be there anymore - I don't want to have this job. And the longer I stay at this job not wanting to be there, the more I dread it, the more I even begin to loathe it. So here I've chosen to allow the feelings I have about this job, which I've allowed to accumulate over time, be my "motivation" to quit. At the same time, I have tremendous fear about leaving this job. What will I do that will make as much money? Will I be stuck at a worse job if I quit here? Etc., etc. Thus far, the fear of the unknown, of perhaps making a bad choice, has been the winning "motivator" to keep me employed where I am.

What I really want to do is make money off of doing the things I love; rapping, making music, performing, writing, acting - basically anything entrepreneurial, creative, and most importantly, things that I'm passionate about and that make a positive difference in the world. So here's the big problem for me; I've been using a lack of motivation to grind, to hustle, and to put in the hard work necessary to make my dreams a reality as an excuse for where I'm at in my career as an artist, and where I'm at as a whole in my life. And the reason that I attribute to this lack of motivation? I'm not starving. I have a job. I have money. I'm doing alright.

I know that I can take the actions necessary to be where I want to be professionally without any motivation whatsoever, because I have taken many beneficial actions in my life that I didn't feel like taking. But there's something about it...about FEELING that HUNGER...that NEED to SUCCEED that has driven so many people to greatness. No, I don't NEED to feel that...but it sure couldn't hurt. And I have thus far been unable to manifest that feeling in my current circumstances for a prolonged period of time. So given that as a human being I attribute motivations based on my feelings, and given that fear is (arguably) the ultimate motivator, if I put the fear of being broke, of not having money and all the consequences that come along with that at stake, I would likely be as motivated as I possibly could be to make money doing the things I love to do. And how to create that real, tangible feeling? Create a real situation with real consequences for failure - e.g. quit my job.

And then all the other fears come in: what if I quit and the fear isn't enough to motivate me to grind harder? What if it is motivating enough but I don't get the results I want out of the work I put in? What if I...what if...what if...

What if I took an action that everything inside me is telling me to take in the face of all my fears, all my concerns, all my reasons...

What if I chose to be courageous on a level I have not been for what seems like a very, very long time?

I've heard it said that if you burn the bridge behind you, then you are forced to move forward on your path. I've also heard it said that it's only when you lose everything that you are free to do anything.

And I hear a voice inside me getting louder and louder with each passing day...and it's beginning to grow restless...beginning to scream:


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meaning of the Name

MC FÜBB (pronounced “emcee foob”) has evolved from its origins to what it represents today. The name “FÜB” started out as a nickname given to me by a high school friend (for some ridiculous reason or another), which was a variation on my last name (Farb). By that point, I had already begun rapping and I chose to at “MC” to the front of “FÜB.” MC conventionally stand for Master of Ceremonies, but within the hip hop culture it also means “Move the Crowd” and “Microphone Controller” among other things. I won’t get into detail now all the difference between an MC and a rapper, but I will sum it up this way: almost anybody can rap, very few deserve the title of hip hop MC. In order to make FÜB mean something, I added another “B” to the end of it, making my name MC FÜBB, the “FÜBB” at that point and for several years after stood for “Fucked Up Beyond Belief” (a variation on the military term FUBAR – Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition). As time went on and I grew personally, undergoing many developments in my personal life, I changed the meaning of FÜBB to mean “Foundations of Understanding Based on Benevolence.” This new meaning reflects the spiritual shift that occurred in my life years ago and that the attitude that I carry with me in all my affairs today.
Both meanings of FÜBB are still relevant, however I strive for to represent the latter meaning today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In the Face of No Agreement

The third verse from the title track on my upcoming album, a collaborative produced by Brampton artist Noyz, "In the Face of No Agreement":

in the face of no agreement, feel like I’m bobbing and weaving
from deceiving thoughts and demons, staying focused on what I believe in
through the seasons, I stay true my vision with no reason
thieving heathens try obstructing my path - I’m still breathing
the only real obstacles I face are in my own mind
externally the world is my oyster, a goldmine
we can be run by it or own time
and Noyz came at the right time for this rhyme - so sublime
years past since smoking a dime – my mind’s clear
I ain’t running from anything, I stand to face fear
world’s been waiting for me to appear, now I’m here
hip hop’s train of thought, yo I had to commandeer
I peddle on this bike of life and God steers
eyes wide and I’m listening close with both ears
before I put pen to pad or pick up the mic
I stay conscious of the fact that I’m reppin for life 14
you may or not think that’s significant
but my prolificness when I’m spittin' this is strictly magnificent
we can create a future ya’ll can see with me
word is bond, whether or not you agree with me

Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 Years Ago

On this day five years ago, I was given a second chance at life. I came up against several forks in the road that I was on, and I was blessed with the foresight to see that they all would end in catastrophe. So I chose to get off the path I was on and venture into the unknown, until I was able to find a new direction and purpose for myself and my life. I thank God every day I was able to make that choice at that decisive moment, for if I hadn't, I wouldn't be here today.

A preview of four lines from a track called "From Where I Came" which is going to be on my upcoming album, In the Face of No Agreement:

I had to stop burning all the herb and tobacco
put the plug in the jug so I could break my mental shackles
now I earnestly believe there's no problem I can't tackle
no war anymore, because I won the only battle...

Friday, January 7, 2011

On Not Giving a Fuck

I figure that one of the keys to life is to not care about certain things. I'm not saying to walk around with a "I don't give-a-fuck" attitude; quite the contrary. I think it's important to care about that which we are committed to, among other things. But sometimes it's good to not give a fuck. Like when it comes to art, I'm going to express myself as authentically and powerfully as I can, and I don't give a fuck how it's received by the world. That might sound ignorant, but I think it's actually quite empowering. "For example," someone may say, "you should care how it's received, because you want people to get it and have it impact them and ultimately buy it..." etc. And that someone would be right, I do want all those things. But the moment I put any of those concerns before the authenticity of my art, I compromise the integrity of myself as an artist. I am a person who has chosen to be an artist in the world, and therefore if I compromise my artistic integrity, I compromise my integrity as a human being. Does that sound like a jump in logic, like some kind of fallacious reasoning? You can compute it yourself - as far as I'm concerned it's sound and valid. In other words, I don't give a fuck if it's actually a logically valid or sound argument. The point is, it works for me. And if it works, then why would I give a fuck about trying to fix it?