I wrote “Letter to Izriah” during the summer of 2005. I was going through a lot, personally, trying to make sense of the circumstances I was given.
I was writing to reclaim my life. My sun was at the heart of the equation. I was contemplating death on a very serious level. Was it death, physically? What is death, spiritually? If I wasn’t around someday, how would that affect my sun?
I co-produced “My America” – a benefit cd for Papers the Movie. I put this project together with CHiTT Productions. It was released on July 4th, 2009. The collaborative project features artists from across the country, including Oakland, Denver, Albuquerque, Laramie, the Twin Cities, and Harlem. The spoken word and music tracks address issues of racial identity, immigration, citizenship, and the question of what it means to be an “American”.
“Wings of the Butterfly” by Mannequin Rituals featuring SOULAJU. This track appears in the movie “Papers” – a film about undocumented youth.
Papers is a documentary film that tells the story of undocumented youth pursuing higher education in American society. The film has screened in all 50 states. It was recently released for personal home DVD purchase and can be licensed for educational use by universities, libraries, non-profit and for-profit organizations.
“Wings of the Butterfly” is one of a half-dozen songs featured in Papers. Dustin Neal of Mannequin Rituals wrote the music and inspired the concept. Will Ross of CHiTT Productions produced the track. Aju and myself wrote and performed the vocals.
Dustin sent the track when i was in Mexico City late in July, 2009. I lay in my hotel room the final morning and bumped the instrumental on repeat, watching monarch butterflies flying in droves high above cities throughout the United States.
I saw THE DREAMERS as butterflies, delicate and susceptible to danger and capture, but strong and agile as they pushed forward in the wind, demanding a space for themselves in the world.
I am not a religious man, but a spiritual man. Nevertheless, the religious imagery came as I watched the men in my family live out their struggle as immigrants. I saw a daughter i did not have, beautiful eyes, hungry and dependent upon me. And I began to write…
“Sacred Paths” – the title track for one of the most creative releases of 2009, period. It’s been over a year since the release of this project, so I make this claim with clarity and confidence.
Love it or hate it, Sacred Paths is a Testament to the divine nature of Creation. A friend in Nuevo Mexico recently reminded me that artists create “something out of nothing”. We are creators. All artists all genres STAND UP! Rep that proudly and celebrate the diversity in that.
“City Night Speak” appears on the album Sacred Paths by Asia Jazz Project featuring Molina Soleil & Aju (2009)
If I remember right, this is the last track we recorded for Sacred Paths, summer 2009. Sacred Paths is a HEAVY music project, coded in spiritual life/love lessons. I felt like it needed a fun track.
This is as FUN as Sacred Paths gets. HA!
In many ways, the city is emblematic of DESTRUCTION and CHAOS. Little is natural or organic in city life… except of course human interaction. Cities bread possibility, creativity, opportunities for interpretation. The city is sexy and limitless. I guess the same can be said about the forest or the countryside.
But you can’t deny the charm of the city. The smell. The grit. City lights and movement. Countless lives converging and rewriting the standards. Potential. This is what I reached for as I wrote my verse from my Northside Denver apartment.
“Without Papers” is a follow-up to “Sin Papeles” , which was released on Shine Flow EP with DJ Icewater, June 2009. “Without Papers” is a lighter and more hopeful version of the same concept, made specifically for “Papers” the movie.
Papers is now available for the first time on DVD for personal use.
As the music supervisor for the film, I needed a theme song. I was given the green light to create some original music to pitch. DJ Icewater worked on the instrumentation with his man G Koop.
The film Papers explores the challenges that undocumented youth face in pursuing higher education. But the film takes on broader issues with respect to American society, American history, and what it means to live in “America”. As artists, we had three and a half minutes to sum up musically not just the themes, but also the energy transmitted on screen.
I am a rapper and a spoken word poet. I also write plays and short stories. I’m a storyteller. It’s all the same. Different mediums but we’re all taking it back to the storytelling days. The spoken word proceeded the written word. Every culture had its storytellers. We transmit and create reality through our stories.
I will be speaking at Latino College Day events in Durango, CO and Farmington, NM this week, in addition to performing at the 3rd annual Real History of the Americas celebration at Fort Lewis College (an alternative event to Columbus day).
“October Myst” by Adrian H. Molina w/ Mannequin Rituals, Up Before the Sunrise (2008)
This week marks the 9-year anniversary of the War in Afghanistan – the longest war in American history. There is no end to this war nor the war in Iraq. These are resource wars, wars of power and geopolitical/economic control.
Many people have asked me what “October Myst” is about. To this point, I have given very few people a straight answer. The Mannequin Rituals, tracks 7-10 of “Up Before the Sunrise” particular, were partially about their mystery. The poetics. Theatrics. The art of storytelling. The art of unraveling truth. Who dares to put forth the time or effort to know?