[The beach after an afternoon rain]

My last night in Negril was quite possibly the best way to end twelve incredible days in Jamrock. After a buffet dinner of fresh barbecued jerk chicken, fish, rice and beans, and assorted desserts, May went out with some of her friends, while Giles and I grabbed a bottle of Nephew & Wray, and headed for the beach. With the moon as big and as bright as a spaceship directly over our heads, the clouds circled around it mysteriously. I have never seen the sky, the moon, the stars… look anything like that before in my life. In the distance was a live band playing everything from roots reggae to some heavy drumming… and… well, I danced. Giles and I danced like complete utter bafoons. I have never felt so liberated just moving my body in whichever way it chose to groove, a type of connection to the music, my feet, my arms, and the beat. Incredible. Even more incredible? Kung fu kicks, attempts at capoeira, and then having the night guard come through, scare the living crap outta me, and then have an amazing conversation with Giles and I. It was the perfect way to end my trip… Thinking about it now just makes me so nostalgic.

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Spontaneous Introductions

It’s all about spontaneous introductions. Random and uncalled for. You know the type where you are unexpectedly in situations that you didn’t think would turn out so amazing? Yeah, that kind. It’s about meeting someone new, and discovering you know so many of the same people in between all of that. It’s about finally meeting someone you’ve seen around so much before, and breaking that barrier of “I seen you, but I never officially met  you.” Better yet, it’s about meeting someone and then realizing they’re somebody who’s music you’ve followed from time, like I’m talkin’ bout cassette-tape-from-TIME. It’s about writing a song the night before, and getting up on the mic to try it out on the crowd, see if they groove to the beat, take in new inspired words. It’s about taking the risk and putting all your coin in to open up a new joint, just to have good music and good people. It’s about cheap pabst and steigl beer in friggin’ huge ass mason jars, never done that before, no doubt. It’s about that feeling you get when you walk past a spot and you hear the speakers bumpin’ that real sh*t, stuff you might not hear round your parts so often. And having the ability to just walk in, scope the scene, and jump that hurdle to say whattup to a few peeps, only to discover that you just stumbled upon quite possibly the coolest hip hop cats in Toronto.

And before you know it, everybody up in that spot is vibin’, and you realize… it’s only Wednesday and this night just got ten times better.

Spontaneous Introductions.

JANG BANGS. Every Wednesday night.
Old school Hip Hop. Funk. Bass heavy. Classics. Underground. Sh*t banged out from the night before.
i.james.jones. EmDee. Nic Carlino. Junia T. Nana. Mike Jang.
You got ta be startin’ somethin…

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If You Could

If you could say all the things you’ve never said, all the things you wish you had the courage to… would it make a difference? Would it change a thing? Is that the point? Can we just say things for the sake of saying… can we just say it to get it off our chest? What would the world be like if we were all a bit more truthful, all a bit more honest… wore our hearts on our sleeves and didn’t worry about the response… There could be a ‘we’, or maybe just a ‘me.’ There could be more smiles, laughter, maybe even something that never existed before.

If you could say all the things you’ve never said, all the things you wish you had the courage to… What’s stopping you? What’s keeping you silent? If it’s fear, I say that’s a lame excuse. If it’s timing, then I’ll say I understand. But I’ll also tell you, don’t wait too long. Indecisiveness has it’s repercussions.

If you could say all the things you’ve never said… would it sound something like this? I… like you. I… love you. I… don’t want to be with you anymore. I…. wish my father told me he loved me. I… wish my mother stopped criticizing me.  I… am not happy. I… need inspiration. I… am afraid I’ll never make it. I… am afraid of my own success. I… am tired. I… am tired of being treated like this. I… deserve better. I… hate this. I… am ready for something better. I… want nobody or nothing else. I… want You.

If you could say all the things you’ve never said… If you could… where would you be?

Who would you be?

Maybe… someone who is free.

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“Already There” x SonReal x Rich Kidd

[it’s only a matter of time.]

The first time I ever met SonReal, I can’t even recall. An argument between whether or not it was at the Manifesto Film Fest, Art Show, this, that and what not still has yet to be proven. I usually am pretty good at remembering the first time I meet people (unless I was inebriated/in a dimly lit environment, lol) but I guess it’s just that natural comfortability I’ve experienced with SonReal that’s made me feel like I’ve known him since time.

Emcee, singer, and passionately ambitious, SonReal has that natural charisma that wins over a crowd and gains their respect. He’s only been on the rise this past year with the release of “The Lightyear Mixtape”, with a track collab’ing with Toronto’s own Rich Kidd. He came down here two months ago to perform at the Toronto Meet Brooklyn/Jean Grae concert for Manifesto Festival, and came back here this weekend again to film his music video for “Already There” featuring Rich Kidd. Honestly… this man’s hustle seriously impresses me (And I don’t say that about just anybody.)

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JAMROCK: Sunsets and Cliffs

[Morning tea on the cliffs]

The last 4 days of my trip was spent on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world… Negril. Much needed relaxation. Much to my disappointment, after a 4 hour drive up from Kingston, rain seemed to be all that locals predicted for the weekend to come. There was no way… and I mean NO FRICKIN WAY I was going to have the last four days of my trip spent under rain and clouds.

So I decided I was going to do a sundance.

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Whatchu really want.

[Some time in February of 2008. A young, fresh-faced Char, west-coast lulu transfer, new to the concrete jungle…]

For a multitude of reasons, everything resulting to post-Jamrock depression, the school grind, and my resistance to all of it… it’s been difficult to motivate myself. I guess you can say I’ve caught the case of the “Blahs.”

It’s quite common this time of the year, unfortunately.

It also doesn’t help that my financial situation for the coming month of December is a big fat question mark. Nobody likes that feeling. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what I’m going to do job-wise as a winter seasonal position of some sort, and I have to say… it’s so easy to want to revert to jobs of the past.

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JAMROCK: Fire Sessions

[Uprising Roots band in Kingston, JA]

Fire sessions are more than a kumbaya-sing-songs-around-a-campfire sorta dealy. It’s straight up… like a spiritual journey. A few days before Masia and I were to head back to Negril, we went over to the Uprising Roots Band’s recording studio/ultimate headquarters. I walked to the back of the house to see this set up of a huge fire pit and all this paraphernalia surrounding it. Instantly my mind went into inquisitive mode and I found myself getting into the deepest conversations with the people that were there.

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Mind Occupation

[Insert all the unwanted crap occupying your mind here. All the things that make you cringe, make you sadly nostalgic, all the things that make you resentful, hurt, angry all over again. The uninvited Mind Occupation.]

Now, put that grossness in the garbage.

Stick to dreaming.

Dreams of the future, Dreams of what’s to come, because they are so much brighter than the past.

It will propel you forward.

So that nothing and no one else will occupy your mind except your happiness. Your inevitable current and future happiness.

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The Main Ingredient: November Edition

This month marks the November edition of the Main Ingredient. It’s been exactly a year since I’ve been part of the Main Ingredient fam… Wow! Revival has become a second home to me. Mad love to the fams — Ohtakes, Wan Luv, Mensa, Sax, Agile, Sheryl, Zera, Saricha, Notaurious, Phil, and all our extended fam. Many birthdays being celebrated on Saturday, including my beautiful friend Rian, aka Phoenix, as well as some Vancouverites rumored to come through! Yessssss… one of my most favorite parties in the city. Let’s gooooooo….

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Back In The Day: Re-Cap Video

back in the day “fresh prince of bel-air 90s halloween” from Justin Borja on Vimeo.

Shouts to Justin Borja of Black Suits & Broken Hearts for doin’ the edit on this video I shot last weekend on Halloween! Honestly… DOPEST Back In The Day party to date! Ask anyone there… TOO fun.


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