Tuesday, January 27, 2015

70 Years Later...How Should I Feel?

Today marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet forces in World War II. As a third-generation survivor of the Holocaust, today I wonder: how am I supposed to feel?

I inherited the history of my grandparents' survival. From a young age, I heard the horror-stories second-hand through my mother's words. As I grew, I became increasingly obsessed with the topic, this word, this Holocaust, and I read and learned as much as I could, trying to make sense of it all. I eventually heard the unfathomable tales distilled down to individual stories told to me by my grandparents; stories of unloading rotting corpses from cattle cars, sweeping up ashes of the dead from large crematoriums. Tales of being chased, persecuted, lied to, beaten and starved, of eating out of trash cans to survive and working through malnourishment and exhaustion to avoid being murdered. In the devastating poignancy and matter-of-factness of my grandparents' telling, I came to the only rational conclusion I could about the Holocaust: that there is no making sense of it. That human beings are capable of literally creating the nightmares that they imagine is not up for debate. History has proven too many times that people are capable of terrible things - and history continues to prove its point, over and over again.

I came to another conclusion about the profound impact that my heritage had on me in my life: I'm alive because my grandparents survived. Had they not managed to beat the odds and survive the camps, if they hadn't then chosen to continue living their lives and create life despite the fact that the world had robbed them of them of the only lives they knew, then myself, my parents, my aunts and uncles, brothers and cousins, my nephews, and who knows how many countless generations to come would never have existed. We're alive because they survived.

So today, knowing what I know about what happened, knowing that what happened seems to have made little difference in altering the course of history and preventing modern genocides from recurring, fearing that the only living survivor I personally know is nearing the end of his life and that within the next few decades there will be no first-generation Holocaust survivors left - how am I supposed to feel?

I feel sadness and trepidation. I feel optimism and hope. I feel a bottomless despair and an insatiable yearning to make the world a better place in any way that I can.

I don't think I'll ever fully come to peace or make sense of the existence of a place like Auschwitz. I don't think that what I write at this moment will offer me any relief, nor do I think I will necessarily provide any sense of life-affirming contextualization or resolution for the reader. But I guess it's better to feel something than to feel nothing - to care enough to read or write or simply remember than not to. It's worth feeling the pain of the millions of unlived lives for even just a moment if it makes us more grateful to live the lives we live today, if it makes us better parents, lovers and friends, or if it makes us think twice about how we treat the strangers we meet on the paths we traverse in our lives.

Here's a song I wrote about the Holocaust at the age of 15:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


January 13, 2015

 “We all need to belong, is that the wrong assumption?
Will we always be longing for something?”

Toronto Hip Hop Artist MC FÜBB Releases New Project after Two-Year Hiatus

(Toronto, ON) – After a two-year hiatus since his last official release (the critically acclaimed EP, the poet), Toronto hip hop artist MC FÜBB has teamed up with producer/emcee Noyz to release their new collaborative EP: BeLonging. Thematically centered around the fundamental human need to belong, MC FÜBB weaves together notions of authenticity, creativity, peace, and finding one’s place in the world as he raps over a rich instrumental tapestry created by beat-smith Noyz. Featuring soulful vocals by Mike Devine on “Belong” and the buzz single “Grace,” the end result is a cohesive, five-track musical project that aims to strike emotional chords with listeners through thought-provoking lyrics, inspiring melodies, and songs with high replay value.

Here’s what Noyz has to say about the theme of new EP:

“The title ‘BeLonging’ and the artwork is a reflection of struggles that we all face. We don’t want to feel left out; we want a place that feels like home, where we know we belong. However, within this longing, we often miss out on the truth that we already do belong. We are all created from the same materials and the same source, and as beings in this universe, the feeling of belonging is something that should be natural and innate within all of us. Finding and strengthening that connection is a lifelong journey.”

BeLonging isn’t the first time that FÜBB and Noyz have worked together: in 2011, the two artists released In the Face of No Agreement (aka ITFONA), a full length album exploring the theme of using hip hop as an empowering vehicle for overcoming one’s internal obstacles. Noyz also produced “Poetically Correct” on MC FÜBB’s EP the poet, and FÜBB featured on the song “Keep Moving On” on Noyz’s album Degrees of Freedom.

A release party for the new EP will be held on Thursday, February 5 at Studio Bar (824 Dundas Street West, Toronto), featuring performances by MC FÜBB, Noyz, reggae/funk band The Responsables, music by DJ Xplisit, and special guest appearances.

Free streaming/download links to BeLonging:

(includes instrumentals, acapellas, and clean versions of tracks – DJs: Feel free to remix away!)

For all media enquiries, please contact Daniel Farb at mcfubb@gmail.com or call 647-201-9161.


Release Party + Show:

Where: Studio Bar – 824 Dundas Street West, Toronto
When: February 5, 2015 – Doors at 8pm; show starts at 9pm

Come and celebrate the release of MC FÜBB and Noyz's new EP, "BeLonging" (and a belated release celebration of MC FÜBB's previous EP, "the poet")!

Featuring performances by:

(Hip hop emcee)

(Hip hop emcee and producer)

The Responsables
(Live reggae/funk band)

Music supplied by DJ Xplisit
(Toronto's craziest beatboxing DJ!)

Tickets are $5 (+$1.29 Eventbrite fee) in advance via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/belonging-ep-release-party-tickets-15123761578

$10 at the door.

Cover includes a physical copy of the BeLonging EP.

For all media enquiries, please contact Daniel Farb at mcfubb@gmail.com or call 647-201-9161.