Greetings from California, folks. Still haven’t gone back East after Burning Man let out in early September. Read my post? “Making Real: Brown At Burning Man“. I know I owe the internet (and mostly myself) some reflections on the experience, but it’s taken some time to get the grand scope of these thoughts out in a clear way. So, I’d rather wait even if you’ve already read all the “relevant” BM posts…this one’s a little harder to chew, swallow and digest. Plus, Latinos operate on our own time paradigm, so deal with it!
While out here on the left coast, I’ve been putting in work at Los Rakas office – who I am now excited to be co-managing – and based out of Ineffable Music, a dope artist management office who handle tons of artists & West Coast mainstays like Hieroglyphics, Zion-I, etc. It’s been great to be here and vibe out with IMG’s staff, who I had normally only engaged with from New York City over the years. What a difference being in the same office makes!
After these last few weeks in the office, visiting Apple Headquarters, connecting with the Raka Fam all over the city at shows like the Feel Good Fest a couple weekends back and just getting focused in this new role, it feels like the start of something new, fresh and growing…Raka es la marca! Lots of exciting things in store for the rest of 2014 and 2015. Make sure you visit www.losrakas.com to keep up…
I’ve also been visiting Sacramento, about an hour east from the Bay Area, to kick it with my folks over at Sol Collective – a center dedicated to arts, culture and activism – who I’ve been collaborating with on with “Global Local” (F/K/A “Listen Global, Act Local” at SXSW) the last few years. Not familiar? Read my post: “#PuentesFuentes: “Community Support Is About Collaboration, Not Competition“! Check out this video from their most recent edition of Global Local in Sacramento featuring A Tribe Called Red, Lowleaf, Dre-T, World Hood and so much more in August:
#SolLifeMusic (Sol Collective’s record label) have become family over the years and I can’t wait to continue growing things with them. There’s something special about the community here in Sacramento that I’ve witnessed with my own eyes, a more integrated place where Latinos, Desi, Black, White, Older, Younger people really do fuck with each other more it feels like…plus, the sunshine is stronger here. Sol Power!
Last weekend and the week right after Burning Man, I kicked it with my #DiosaTribe and some #EvolvedKings out in Los Angeles. It’s been 4 years since I lived in LA, so imagine, it always feels good to be back, taking in all the changes and familiar places. From attending a beautiful wedding of a dear friend up in the LA mountains, to sipping Pinot Noir on the beach in Venice Beach as the last light of the day left, to cruising thru Malibu on crispy California blue day…yeah, you can say I’ve caught a much-needed Cali vibe again.
So perhaps I’m just missing home a tad, but as someone who is from a more out-of-the-way area of a much larger metropolis, I really like the narrative of the tomorrow’s Oakland Music Fest. I think it’s a symptom of a new age coming that people from locales not normally heralded as a “world-class city” assert their uniqueness and build experiences which highlight not only the local but also bring the global as well.
It’s inspiring to see whether it’s Oakland in relation to San Francisco or Staten Island in relation to New York City or East Austin in relation to the rest of Austin during SXSW. Remember, local is global! There’s a lot more to say, but it’s a growing narrative I get excited about when I see it articulated well (see below). Check out the festival line-up HERE.
I am constantly battling with myself to write more (Read this post: “Warrior Poets, We Are…“) from a personal place and often times get swept away in the day-to-day of this hybrid cultural advocacy work that’s evolving constantly…but hey, I’m getting into more of a zone where I know I MUST write and create the space for the dynamic times we’re living in, from the only view I can write from… so, stay tuned and thank you for any comments, correspondence or love!
Oh yeah, New York City!!! See you next Saturday, October 4th for the Target Free Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum. Not only will Los Rakas be playing but so will La Mecanica Popular – plus artist talks, films, hand-on art projects, dance and programming will be going on all afternoon and into the evening as the museum is open to the public until 11 PM. More on that next week!