Friday, September 22, 2017

Fr. Pontifex - Invasion of the Light

Thursday, September 21, 2017

If You Are Enjoying Blood Is One, Please Also Check Out Radical Second Things

It seems as if, at least right now, Blood Is One is bringing in a bit more traffic than my blog Radical Second Things. I'm hoping that this is a positive relationship and I don't keep the two separate. I hope to advance the careers of artists like Often Spaced and Kenan Bell and, by effect, also expose the RST project to people who may never have heard about it.

For those who don't know, Radical Second Things is a religious project based on liberation theology, a radical Jesuit branch of Catholicism that took off in Central and South America in the 1970s and 1980s. I have so far put together two print editions of Radical Second Things and will soon put together the third. I'm also hoping to put together a print edition of Blood Is One if this revamp of it really does work out. Please check out the print editions - you can purchase them on Magcloud:

Re-Introducing Kenan Bell

In my last post, I said that it seemed like Kenan Bell had dropped off from the world. I had checked up on him on YouTube and sites like Spotify a few times over the last few years and only found stuff he produced back in 2011 and 2012 (he was really active then). However, it does look like he is still active. Check out this great experimental film that he starred in this year:

This is great stuff and really in tune with the ethereal stuff that Often Spaced is producing. Blood Is One Neo-Hip-Hop Collective - if you want to be part of it again, Kenan, just let me know, homie!!

Again, everyone, please donate so that I can make this all a reality.

Blood Is One Flashback

All the way back in 2011 (not that long ago, I know, but work with me here), right before my drug withdrawal episode, Blood Is One debuted as a website. We were serious about it - the above image is a promo shot a friend and I produced for Carl Roe. I had the support and association with two rap acts - Kenan Bell and Carl Roe. They put together one song to help with the website called "Killers," which I still honestly think is pretty dope:

My drug withdrawal was a bit brutal and I fell off of hip-hop world. Nothing was inspiring. I got Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP 2 and liked it plenty but besides that, I felt like an old man who had been there during Woodstock wondering what all this 1980s hair metal was about. Kenan's music never really took off and he seems to have dropped out of the world while I actually found myself unfriending Carl Roe - his music got weird and he seemed to be on the Trump train, which is a bit weird when you make hip-hop but whatever. I honestly stopped listening to hip-hop for the first time since I was a little kid for well on several years.

I got two albums, Yelawolf's Love Story and the Southpaw soundtrack, and it made me enthused again. I remember getting really excited about Yelawolf when I started this website. However, his major label debut Radioactive was bad even by his own estimates. Love Story was a genuine classic, however, and everything he has put out since has only built on it.

Hip-hop, like rock or jazz, isn't going to be exactly what it started out as. The crack epidemic, 1990s political environment and everything that produced hip-hop to begin with isn't just going to repeat itself. The genre isn't what it was and moves a whole lot slower than it once did but that doesn't mean the inspiration is gone. It's necessary that the art is different. I'm really glad to artists like Often Spaced or Ras Dude who are making this a productive project and one that is still here despite all sorts of forces against it.

An Interview With Often Spaced

Hello all, following is my interview with up and coming ethereal hip-hop artist Often Spaced, part of the Blood Is One neo-hip-hop collective! For those who don't know, Blood Is One started in 2012 to initially promote rappers Kenan Bell and Carl Roe. We're very excited to be associated with Often Spaced and hope to get him where he needs to be.

In addition, please donate a suggested donation of $25 via PayPal. This will help me get the resources I need to print flyers and help make Blood Is One a project that will help artists like Often Spaced get gigs, tour and produce music. It can be donated on PayPal to the e-mail

What inspired the name "Often Spaced?" - I've always been different than anybody I ever knew. I tend to let my mind wander alot and I live in my own little world with my own rules. I also smoke alot of weed and am truly fascinated with space. Being such a daydreamer and dreamer, i decided "Often Spaced" was the perfect moniker to describe myself. It combines all those elements into a phrase that personifies me to the tee.

Why did you choose an ethereal sound over a more traditional hip-hop sound? - I like trippy sounding music being that I am a stoner. A huge influence in my music is Kid Cudi and The Weeknd so elements of their music appear in mine often, no pun intended. I like a more dramatic track with raw emotion and that sound really helps bring it to life.

What music artists have been an inspiration to you? - 2pac, Biggie, Common, Old Kanye West, Kid Cudi, The Weeknd, etc.

Where do you hope to see your career take you? - To making music with one of the artists I idolize. Kid Cudi is my number one. I might die from a happiness overdose if I ever got in the studio with him. Him and the Weeknd at the same time? Bring me back to life so I can die twice please.

If you could work with any other artist, who would it be? - Besides Kid Cudi & The Weeknd, it would be Drake, Amine, Mick Jenkins, Vic Mensa, Kndrick Lamar, J Cole, and PARTYNEXTDOOR.

Often Spaced and the Blood Is One Neo-Hip-Hop Collective

As part of a "neo-hip-hop collective," Blood Is One is proud to announce its association with Often Spaced. The New York based group reached out to me and asked me to help advance his project and I'm going to do so.

Blood Is One is now Oakland / Berkeley based and I hope to help all the artists associated with this project get some circulation in this environment, filled with people open to their creativity. Please make a donation so that I continue this and can help get artists like Often Spaced where they need to go. Let's do it!

 Known for extraterrestrial and ethereal tunes, Often Spaced innovates a new brand of urban music. Using beats from various Producers and his late best friend, DJ C-Jay, Often Spaced announces the most awesome celebration of self-expression and diversity to date. OS released "Lunar" in May and “Stellar” in August of 2017. The releases will be paired along with music videos for the standout song “Whip” (09/15/17), via YouTube, and another track to be named at a later date. Stay tuned for updates by following social media: @OftenSpaced and checking out various forms of social media.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Open Mind Music - An Old School Record Store in Oakland, California

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Open Mind Music, a record store in Rockridge - one of Oakland, California's upscale neighborhoods. I work for two publications, both of which are San Francisco based, and neither green lit a story based on the record store. However, I took some excellent pictures of the record store that I really want to share with you.

Be sure to donate so I can do more unique stories like this: