Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Love Will keep us TOGETHER


So I landed in the Bay Area last night, some say i'm the illegitimate son of the Bay due to my slang and constant presence out here. They are pretty right. I'm out here to do a couple events with the homies, you know spread the good word. I've been doing this for a couple years and have always loved how much better I breathe out here, how many more trees I see out here. The air is beautiful out here, the food is so rich with freshness. There's also this air of revolutionary spirit out here too. I stay not too far from the old stomping grounds of the Black Panther Party and also the some the birthplaces of the civil rights movements in 60's. Berkeley is known for its radical heydays and white Rastafarian's. Which always reminds me of a hilarious SNL skit, actually the skit always remind me of Berkeley.



The Bay Area is a very progressive community. So I tried to absorb as much as I can while i'm out here. Especially this week.
We started the week with MLK's Birthday, then Obama's Innauguration, and it feels like a new day. Just the fact we have somebody smarter in the white house now above all. Also while watching the innauguration I can't help but watch the love. A very specific one, Michelle & Barack. I always watch them closely. There love is just so evident. It really gets me excited to have this example of support and pride in a relationship that is the center of the White House now. She holds him down, you can see that. We were warned about this day too. Captain and Tennille called it a long time ago...witness the awkward caucasion dancing at its best.









So if your in the Bay this week come by and kick it, We got a couple thangs going down. I got a bunch of Tees I will be slinging and also will be doing some Live Screenprinting in The Sco next week, I will def keep ya'll posted with photos and all.

CHECK OUT THE "EVENTS" SECTION OVER ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLOG TO SEE THE "GOINGS ON".
I use Spongecell(spongecelll.com) for my events listing that is Updated across all MVMT websites from one interface. You can also email the event, post it to facebook or Myspace directly from the Widget. Its a great online productivity tool.



Friday, January 16, 2009

FREAKNIK 2009


So this is it. A moment we have all been waiting for I guess. An African American becoming President of the United Snakes of America. Everybody is flocking to D.C. this weekend to be a part of history. Just so we can all answer the question - "Where were you when Obama became President?".

I will not be there. Does that make me less of an artivist? Been really back and forth with this whole inauguration thang. Should I stay, Should I go? Would I even be able to see anything, will I just be stuck in People traffic the whole time? Should I take off work? All these questions I've been dwelling over for like a month. I've decided not to go because of many different factors. Personally I'm not a fan of being stuck in ocean of people that goes nowhere. Its just not my thing. I also don't wanna be surrounded by a bunch of pigs in riot gear, and don't think that won't go down. Its D.C.. Its kind of known for its fear tactics.

I really wanted to be apart of this experience but I feel like it has been romanticized so much it's ruining my perception of whats really going on. It became the "In" thing to do this month. People are selling thousand dollar tickets to all these "Balls" and parties. Its just kinda ridiculous. There was too much capitalism going on for me. They have turned it into FREAKNIK 2009. Not in the sexual sense but almost. The liquor sponsors are running a muck in D.C. now. There a million parties going down and a million buses. Promoters from all over the nation have set their sights on D.C. and its money signs in their eyes.

This is one of my favorite scenes from the movie "Get on the Bus" by Spike Lee(yes I can reference a Spike lee film every week).



"We can't be the helpless romantic in this relationship..."

Lets remain aware of our surroundings. Lets not let this Nostalgia set in. Don't get me wrong I'm really happy Obama was elected, but we cannot leave all the work up to him. We cannot sit back and relax now. We are really building this up, the Obama Presidency that is. If we have to compare it to the 8 years of Bush then yea it will probably be phenomenal, but lets not do that. Bush was a fluke. To compare Obama to him is an insult. That can't be our margin for approval. We can't be the helpless romantic in this relationship.

Boots Riley from The Coup on the Presidency.



So I hope that we remain aware this weekend and all throughout the Inauguration festivities. Lets not get caught up in the "Party & Bullshit" atmosphere. There is still work to be done. Gaza is still there. Oscar grant is still dead. Lets not lose focus.

Heres a free OBAMA Mixtape my homie Dion Decibels from the BAY AREA put out. As always folks Listen responsibly,

Photobucket

Friday, January 9, 2009

Radio Oscar Grant Raheem


From Gaza to Fruitvale, Oakland, 2009 is off to a social breaking start. Cultural annihilation is taking place in Gaza that is somewhat similar and also doesn't even compare to whats going down in America. If you haven't heard about the BART Shooting yet, then this blog is not for you. A BART Officer (BART is bay area's mass transit system) handcuffs and tases Oscar Grant in the Fruitvale Bart station on New Years Day and shoots him in the back while he was subdued on the floor. Not only that but there are 4 different videos mostly from Camera phones, from different angles to put you there at that moment. Technology comes thru again! But yet the officer hasn't been arrested? Which is why this past Wednesday night, protests turn violent in Oakland. People are smashing windows, burning cars, and trying to turn over police cars. A song that plays all too often in our communities.



I like when he says "...protesters, who have been determined to cause trouble" DAMN RIGHT!

This story is all too reminiscent of the ending of "Do the Right thing", in fact, its uncannily the same story. Cops subdue a minority into submission then kills them, cold bloodily. It also reminds me of the quote at the end of Do the Right thing from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys a community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers".
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence".
- Malcolm X

So there are these two parallels that we seem to operate between. I like to call it the Malcom King Parallel. Making the conversion of our oppressors our self defense. Conversion tactics being our weapons. Does this work?

A police brutality strikes again, and a rally/march ain't gonna do shit. Sorry, we gotta start admitting this to ourselves. We have been saturating the Civil Rights market with protests so much that nobody even pays attention anymore. This has been going on for way too long. If they are not gonna listen to our protests, then something else must be done. And I am not saying that I may have a solutions to that, but I do want us to come together and admit to ourselves that this tactic is not working, because they are not listening, and they don't care. They are still killing us. They are shooting us while come home from a long day of work and mistaking wallets for guns. They are shooting us on the eve of our wedding days. They are shooting us in the back while we lay on the floor handcuffed.




Over the years the situation seem to get worst and worst, and I'm talking bout all the way from Rodney King. Yes 1991. People, 18 years. The LA "Riots" of 91 came out of the Rodney King Case, but lets really look at what transpired there. The media and government officials are the ones who labeled it as "Riots" the same way they labeled black people taking food and supplies from flooded markets during Katrina as "Looters". They weren't riots, that was a Revolution. Is it time for another one?


"They outsourced racism...to us."


There's a real dope documentary that I urge you to check out if you haven't. It's called "Bastards of the Party" and it addresses alot of whats wrong with our communities today. It traces back the orgins of gangs and the breakdown in family structure from the 1970's. Its also talks about how programs and tactics were used to break us apart and get us fighting each other, to kill ourselves off. They outsourced racism....to us.

"The Crips and Bloods are the bastard offspring of the political parties of the 60's, Black panther party, US organization...."




I'm bringing this up because I want us to try to understand what was lost and how we get back that fight we had, that communal fight that the black panthers so aggressively and so beautifully integrated into our lives. They realized back then that marches and rallies were futile without real community empowerment. That's us really feeling that we can affect change, because we did change something.

The police have been killing us for years. HOW DO WE CHANGE THIS? They are shooting us in the back. They are dropping bombs on us. I feel so helpless in this Gaza Situation when we can't even fight for our rights to live in our own communities in America. Where are our relief efforts?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Art of Consciously Hustling

So I started this blog to be a manifestation of my inner musings, thoughts and social critiques. I adapted the term Conscious Hustler a few years ago and made a t-shirt design for my brand 1SOULDESIGNS that was very well received. I realized it was well received because I was not alone. There are more of us. We hustle in progressing our community the same way others hustle in the stunting of our social growth.

hustle

(hŭs'əl)
  1. To move or act energetically and rapidly: We hustled to get dinner ready on time.
  2. To push or force one's way.
  3. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings.

"Evolution of the Revolution"




The Black Panthers were hustlers, the Young Lords were hustlers. They adapted to the times. They took what they wanted. We must do what they did in today's context. Their tactics are outdated, but not their hustle. We need to adapt to the times, to technology. A new age of "Conscious Hustlers" is needed.

There are many stigmas and stereotypes that plague "Hustlers" in our day and time. Usually a hustler preys on people who they feel they can take advantage of, people they can swindle into buying into whatever they want by deceit. This is the classic meaning of the word Hustle. Today we have evolved. This Hustle still does exist, but there is a niche of those same hustlers who "hustle for change". Not change in the monetary way but change in the social context. I am one of these hustlers. Yes I take advantage of my connections, but only to better their lives. To lead them to the doors that need to be opened. I hustle. I hustle for CHANGE, I hustle to cure hate, I hustle to demonetize profit, I hustle for empathy, I hustle for creativity, I hustle for the Evolution of the Revolution

"Sometimes the Revolution is televised..."

In today's Social Movements, there is a positive role for hustlers. We must continue to find a way to appeal to victims of mass media and capitalism. In doing so we partake in the same capitalist structure which can be labeled as "in the trenches", because that is the best place to be to fight back an opposing force. I hustle minds to take them back form the grasp of superficial lifestyles. I hustle because sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sometimes the Revolution is televised.

My goal is to evoke new tactics for today's Progressive movements. Show people how to Adapt to technology instead of being dismissive of it, we must use their force back on them. You should never bring a Knife to a gunfight.

"...never bring a Knife to a gunfight."



Philip Zimbardo: How ordinary people become monsters ... or heroes

There are no evil products or people, just evil factors. Lets go after the factors instead of the people. Change the factors to change the product.

Welcome to my plight to leave something behind that is bigger than me. Take a inside look into the lifestyle and mind of a Conscious Hustler. Follow me in my personal life, my life with my brand 1SOULDESIGNS, which I started before I turned 21, by selling t-shirts I printed in my Screenprinting class at F.I.T. at street festivals. Follow me in my life with PARALELL MVMT, one of the companies I help run with like minded individuals who seek to grow progressive MVMTS and Buisnesses through technology and design. Follow me in my life with FRESTHETIC, a shop I co-own and opened in 2007 to provide a space for Independant artist and grassroots companies to showcase progressive products and artwork. Accompany me in my life with fellow artist in my art crew TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE, a collective of socially progressive "muralists" and artists from across the nation. Follow my adventures in Teaching with URBAN ARTS PARTNERSHIP and how our youth will set us free for tomorrow.
THIS IS MY CONSCIOUS HUSTLE.