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?
“A Reflection of Hip-Hop” appeared on Representin’ 4 Life EP by Adrian H. Molina aka Mo Brown (2007), CHiTT Productions
I’ve been using this acapella piece as a crowd pleaser since 2005. I spit the rhyme for the first time at an open mic night at Coal Creek Coffee House in Laramie, WY. I recorded this track in 2006 with Will Ross of CHiTT Productions. We recorded in my bedroom, turned the room upside down and inside out: makeshift studio, mattresses pushed up against the windows and the walls. Borrowed mic, laptop setup, homemade pop filter.
We were very meticulous about the details. Everything had to be right. Unplugged the refrigerator and the other appliances in the kitchen even though they were all the way down the hall. We didn’t want the reverberation of the machines’ lull fuckin’ with our energy or our soundwaves. We paused when trucks drove by and scrapped the takes when we felt that minor noises outside might cloud the sound quality of the recording.
Icewater sent the beat track in February of 2009. Aju was living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn NY. I was living on the northside in Denver at the time, traveling back and forth between Denver, New York City, and Oakland to work on the Shine Flow EP and SOULAJU album projects.
Writing and recording this track transported me back to the Up Before the Sunrise days. Experimental rhyme structures and spoken reflections lending context to the poetics.
The odyssey of the DREAMER is riddled with layers of parallel dreams and realities. Imagine two worlds, equivalent in their truths, folded in to mirror one another. The true math lies in the eyes of the dreamer.
There is light and there is dark. There is good and there is evil. There is life and there is death. These are simple matters. It is in the gray area that dream interpretation begins.
Recognizing the power of the Dream, one’s mark is everlasting. All things are connected. All thoughts, words, and ideas manifest, touch, alter, and affect the eternal balance.
Your reality is your perception. Reflection is perpetually open to interpretation.
Play with the day, float away with the blue…
A.M. SOLEIL, RETROSPECTIVELY is a 52-week blog series in 2010, reflecting on 5 years of independent music by yours truly by Molina.
After many hours of learning pains and frustration, offset by a good dose of inspiration, we present an edited short film documenting the SOULAJU Youth Jam and Youth Climate Justice workshop, organized w/ Josh Watkins and Jennie Nevin in conjunction with Green Spaces Denver. The event took place on January 15, 2010. We look forward to hosting future green events in the mile high city, fusing art and music with conscious and sustainable living. Enjoy!
I’ve never been more actively involved in the creation of Hip-Hop, but I’ve never identified less with the “dominant” paradigm in rap music.
I’m not alone. Listeners of Hip-Hop are growing tired of the violence, misogyny and hyper-masculine antics in commercialized rap music. Byron Hurt’s Beyond Beats & Rhymes is one prime example of this discussion.
What I want to focus on is intelligence within Hip-Hop, ‘cause we are geniuses.
I am often faced with the question of what it means to be a Hip-Hop artist from Wyoming.
"WYOMING?” “There’s Hip-Hop in Wyoming?” “Where is that?” "Damn, are there folks of color up there?" "What you rap about? “Riding horses in the street?" “Not getting shot by a rancher?” "Wow, isn’t that like the most conservative state in the country?" "Wyoming… really?" "Fascinating…"