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The Return of Vanguard Sound! “Masquerade EP” VS012

Back to The Front!!!!

After a three year hiatus Vanguard Sound! returns to the act of releasing records with Amir Alexander’s
“The Masquerade EP”.
A four track EP with a cut for every dance-floor scenario.
Soulful, bluesy House. The deepest of Deep House. Epic late late night Micro-House (Berlin Minimal). And Classic “Vanguard Sound!” Modern “Jacking” Chicago House.

“The Masquerade!” (Feat. Tim Collins)

My first official attempt at the “Soulful House” sub-genre. This track is based on the chord changes of George Benson’s “This Masquerade”.
Tim and I had discussed a possible collaboration for years. Then one day suddenly (much like all the inspiration for my creative pursuits come), inspiration struck.
“Why not do a remake of a classic by a guitar virtuoso?” And like that, I set about making a track based on the changes of Big Brother George’s OG.

Upon the completion of a basic rough mix, I linked it to Tim. When he found the time, he traveled to a very nice pro studio to have them engineer and record an improv session.
Tim did a single take of improvised riffs . Jamming to the track I sent him. Then sent me back the results.
After which I set about editing down his seven minute jam; taking the sections I felt best fit my overall vision.
The results of which are what can now be heard on the final cut, and official release.

In keeping with the original; a Jazz improvised number, I decided to “take a solo” myself.
In order to compliment the “organic” sound of Tim’s steel string acoustic guitar, I chose the legendary Hammond B-3 organ to perform my solo with. And with the magic of midi, alongside my production skills. I was able to get the sounds inside my head out of it. As midi allows one to record a performance a bit slower then bring it up to speed. It also allows for the correction of missed notes, and rhythmic hiccups. Thus giving the impression that I am a much better keyboardist that I currently am (full disclosure).
Although, I do indeed plan to build upon my rudimentary piano playing skills by taking lessons online from Tim (who is a professional piano and guitar teacher) as soon as my meager survival budget allows me the funds to do so.

Never am I content to just cruise and plateau with regard to my artistry in any of it’s manifestations; this particular track sees me “setting the bar higher” and stepping outside of my comfort zone to advance my skill-set as a musician, producer, writer, and arranger, etc.
I also seek to become a better keyboardist and better performer as well.

“Freaks of The Deep!”

A track that single-handedly got me booked to open Circo Loco’s ADE party in October 2017.
Antonio loved it so much he asked me to send him an mp3 to listen to, and then booked me for their ADE party after I premiered it that summer in the main room to stunning effect.

I sat on this track and kept it as an exclusive secret weapon for years until I could find the perfect label to release it on.
Since I am a “slept on” (grossly underrated in the opinions of the many die hard supporters who’ve told me this) artist already, it made sense to me at the time to seek to release this track on a label with a profile as large a possible.
Try as I might, this did not happen. Despite every label I submitted it to absolutely loving it.

After the third ‘thanks but no thanks” from some highly esteemed label heads, the idea began to brew in the back of my mind that I would re-launch Vanguard Sound! with it. And this is exactly what I’ve done.

Based upon the initial sales of what amounts to a “free” EP, this track will also be slept on. But at least it’s existence, is known and the track is undeniably “thorough” regardless as to whether it is ignored by the scene at large or not.
To quote David Byrne of The Talking Heads….. “Same as it ever was”.
I am quite pleased with my un-celebrated “cult hero” status within the deepest and truest trenches of the international underground dance music culture, and or scene.

Freaks of The Deep World Premier at Circo Loco Monday
5 Jun 2017

“Blessed Are The Meek!” (Amir’s Zero Dark Thirty Epic) 

The track that is now a certified modern classic and Panorama Bar anthem is now reiterated in epic fashion.
Written during the same sessions at the end of 2019 that spawned the two tracks that will be on my next vinyl release on Chiwax. (A “Blessed Are The Meek” remix EP. More on that in a later post).
When I made this last, and definitive end all be all version; I was inspired by my track Catacombs 2 from my “Wisdom” EP. Which is my most recent vinyl release.
(Out and for sale now on Thomas Melchior’s My king is light label).

Deep, dark, heady, late-night, minimalist Micro-House is the aesthetic. Much in the spirit of the Berlin school of all things Micro and Minimal.
Once again wishing to grow as an artist and step outside of (and or expand) my comfort zone; I set about creating a hypnotic seventeen minute “epic” mental, emotional, and physical workout aimed squarely at the late, late night/early morning after hours dance-floor.

“Blessed Are The Meek!” has such an interesting, and seemingly unending story. And this track (at least for now) is the final chapter in what is now it’s fourth summer of dance-floor relevance.
I feel truly “blessed” to have been chosen to be the “vessel” by which this certified modern classic was brought into the world.

“Dick Pilates!”

Built around an insanely funny vocal by a woman who prefers a small penis she can dominate, versus being “subdued” by a large one; the final track of the EP is already a “cult classic” among the truest of true fans of Vanguard Sound!
Completed five years ago, and only appearing on a single podcast of some of my unreleased and exclusive tracks; Dick Pilates was requested several times during my “Love and Fear” album tour that took me all over Australia, on to Ibiza, and then to New York and Washington DC back in the summer of 2015.

Seemingly lost to the “memory hole” until now. This track was also a super exclusive “secret weapon” for years.
Now with a full re-engineering and mix-down (while keeping the OG “original” Vanguard Sound! aesthetic the heads have come to know and love), D.P. is now available for all who would like to posses it. For the first time ever. Exclusively on my Band-Camp page. As are the other three tracks on the EP.
In fact, they shall remain exclusively available only on the Vanguard Sound! Band-Camp page.

To be completely shunned and ignored because one’s work destroys “the bell curve” and challenges the “status quo” by definition is the very essence of what true underground is. Those who know, know well. Those who do not know, know not due to the lack of “press coverage”. And NOT due to a lack of creativity, and or quality.

100% pure independent true “Underground” House and Techno. With zero support and or exposure from the “mainstream” dance music media outlets.
As being called underground, and functioning as the underground are two entirely different things.

A few words about being content with being ignored and my truly underground underground status within the international scene……
“Unobtanium Arts!”

Yes…. I too am human, and bleed red blood like everyone else. I actually do have feelings. I simply work diligently to control them. Versus them controlling me. My “hard as nails” stoic persona is no act. Ask anyone who really knows me.
No!
It is a basic survival necessity. Being a true “artist”, versus being a “talented performer” in this “slippery”, shark tank music industry is a loveless, thankless life. Especially when you are an artist who is both loved AND (truly) hated for the exact same things.

“Embodying Excellence”

Truth be told, I have in the past completed various projects and felt quite “proud” of my accomplishments. (Though a few years ago, I “canceled” (LOL!) pride in my life. Now I only seek to be “satisfied” with my work.)

Being a “true student” of this art-form, I am quite fortunate to be able to “gauge” my work with ice cold objectivity. Meaning, it doesn’t matter if I made it. I look at the best who ever did it, and then seek to equal, or hopefully supersede the level/quality of their work in order to truly “advance” the art-form(s), and “enrich” the culture (as should be done if a form is to truly advance), but I think that this mentality is likely rare.
Who knows???

In the past, I felt quite slighted. In that I knew for a fact that my work was “good work” yet my earnings were meager at best. I have been, and still am literally “shunned” by the press. If not completely ignored.
Before I “mastered” my emotions, this hurt me greatly.

These days it makes me laugh. Knowing what a joke the whole “name game” popularity contest that is the nucleus of who gets “shine”, and who gets “shade” from the press.
I now overstand that I simply DO NOT fit the narrative. Not in my musical home-town of Chicago. Nor within the international “community”. There simply is not box shaped like me. Thus I cannot be easily put into one.
THIS is the life of a “truly gifted artist”; versus the life of a “talented performer”.

Your life will not be easy. You will be hungry. Poverty will be the rule and NOT the exception……….
YET!
You will have a very tiny core of beloved people (some say fans of your work) who actually recognize your contributions to the art-form that they love so much.
As there is something that you did/will do that truly touches/touched their very hearts and souls.
The exact same way some of my most cherished artists touched mine.

And THIS is why you must do it. THIS and this alone. Sacrificing your life and the potential to have a a very lucrative “normal job”. Wasting your talents and intellectual gifts for a “pipe dream”, as it were.
So back to the press and being objective about one’s work…..

If one IS of the proclivity to be their worst critic; along with being gifted skills and abilities of the highest order. They must then work as though their very lives depended upon doing so.
For free.
And with no recognition. Fully aware that the closer they come to fulfilling their potential, the wider the gulf of perception, and the more “irregular” the box to put one in must be.
The gift (once again), is the curse.
These days I am quite content at setting an unbelievably high bar for myself, “leveling up” and then raising it. Just like “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself and learns everything he can about flying. His increasing unwillingness to conform finally results in his expulsion from the flock. Now an outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities while leading a peaceful and happy life.

One day Jonathan meets two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in which there is no heaven, but a better world found through perfection of knowledge. There he meets another seagull who loves to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous self-education, and teaches him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”
So what’s the point Amir?

The point is to enjoy being an artist. In the lineage of many greats who have gone before me. Unsung heroes who managed to move people. From the inside. Heart to heart. Mind to mind. And Soul to soul.
When I would get a bit down (past tense), I would often think of Fishbone. By ALL measures, the MOST under-rated band in the world. Insanely gifted. And completely un-classifiable.
Wealth, recognition from the press, and even good fortune NEVER came to them.
No! Quite the opposite.

No longer am I “waiting for the One Day”

So when I would look at my life and career, I could see clear parallels.
And THIS gave me a bit of comfort. Especially when I was not as strong in my faith.

Over a two decade period, this “once in a lifetime” band slowly fell apart. Until only two founding members were left. As being “crapped on by the industry” surely took it’s toll. However, in the years since that lowest of low points, many of the founding members have returned (and left again more than once).
Through it all Norwood Fisher and Angelo Moore have stayed true and stayed the course. For better and often for worse.
THIS is the life of a truly gifted “black artist”. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And so in closing…..

As a “truly gifted artist”, versus a very “talented performer”
I embrace the poverty life I’ve lived for the past five years. One that some of my peers fear may be their future.
But let’s hope not. As I would not wish this type of life on anyone.

It made me much stronger (along with the teachings of Christ Jesus and The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius). But for a person who is controlled by their emotions and not the other way around, this life would surely kill them.
No longer am I “waiting for the one day”
Nor must I think to myself “what would Norwood and Angelo do (or think)?”

For, I realized quite some time ago that I’ve already arrived.
And so every time I create a bit of work that has matched and or superseded the level of the artists who inspired me to do this work, I just know it, and keep it moving humbly.
A bit of praise from a true admirer means more than the wealth I shall never receive.
And the rare as “unobtainium” (LOL!) peer recognition, though greatly appreciated (never expected) is also cool. But I take it all with a grain of salt.

Either way, I seek to fly high. Then fly higher. Then higher. For me. Because I feel that I can. And for my son to prove that it can be done.
If you have been blessed with the basic foundation of “God given gifts” and a work ethic to “toil like a slave” ; all of your own volition, with no point to prove to anyone but oneself, then know…….

“The blessing is truly the curse”
THIS is MY life as an artist.

Talent hits a target most cannot hit.
Genius hits a target most cannot see.

Right then…….

Carry on Beloved. Have a “Blessed” day!

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The Hidden truth about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Is BLM legit, and Chaos inducing Puppet Masters – “Thoughts of a Social Iconoclast”

Thank you all very much for reading…..

I must humbly admit that the response to my last blog post and Facebook mini-essays has been quite surprising in the best possible way.
It is my aim with this series of essays to strip back the “veil of deception” that shrouds so much of the true history we are not taught in order to assist my beloved in breaking free from the true “Matrix” of lies that keep us shackled to the walls of Plato’s Cave, and or the term employed by the “bad guy elites” the ‘Artificial Womb”.


For the sake of scientific accuracy, and proper journalistic research practices, you must all pardon me for the technical nature of the first half of this essay.
There will be a lot of facts, dates, and historical factiods…., etc.

I cite references through hyperlinking, attributing quotes, and all that science-y stuff in order to establish credibility with the reader(s).
And also out of respect to the gravity of such a “touchy” subject.

A Social Iconoclast…..

Not amused

I, a philosophical, rational, logical thinker with a probing mind, may function at times as a bit of a social iconoclast.

“Iconoclasts see things differently than other people. Literally. They see things differently because their brains do not fall into efficiency traps as much as the average person’s brain. Iconoclasts, because they were either born that way or they learned to be that way, have found ways to work around the perceptual shortcuts that plague most people…..
Iconoclasts, at least successful ones, have a preternatural affinity for new experiences. Where most people shy away from new experiences, the iconoclast embraces novelty.
The problem with novelty for most people, however, is that it triggers some sort of fear system of the brain. Fear is the second major impediment to thinking like an iconoclast and stops the average person dead in their tracks….
There are many types of fear, but the two types of fear that inhibit iconoclastic thinking are fear of uncertainty and fear of public ridicule…..
The true iconoclast, although they may also experience these types of fears, does not let them inhibit his actions”
.
– excerpt from the book “Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals how to Think Differently”

Today we peel back the web of lies and obfuscation with regard to the true origins of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
It could be argued, quite (successfully mind you) that the Atlantic Slave Trade may never have existed were it not for Africans originating it by selling other Africans.
Of course, this is a highly controversial thesis. Therefore we must comb through the evidence very carefully.

That said, let’s dive in!

The origin…..

A philosopher once said that behind every civilization, there’s barbarism

The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans, or by half European ‘merchant princes’ to Western European slave traders (with a small number being captured directly by the slave traders in coastal raids), who brought them to the Americas. Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade (which was prior to the development of quinine as a treatment for malaria). The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires. – Wikipedia


In the 16th century (1500s) The Portuguese traveled to the Continent of Africa seeking gold. Instead, the rich kings they encountered offered them slaves.
“Until the late medieval era, southern Europe constituted an important market for North African merchants who brought gold and other commodities—and small numbers of slaves—in caravans across the Sahara Desert. But during the early fifteenth century, advances in nautical technology (especially the invention of the caravel, with its aerodynamic hull and triangular lateen sails) enabled Portuguese mariners to travel south along Africa’s Atlantic coast in search of a direct maritime route to gold-producing regions in sub-Saharan West Africa. Founded in 1482 near the town of Elmina in present-day Ghana, the feitoria São Jorge da Mina was of special importance in that it gave the Portuguese far better access to sources of West African gold.”

Elmina castle….

Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina (or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast). It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, after an unsuccessful attempt to the same extent in 1596, and took over all of the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of Great Britain.

I wonder if this piece of history will be canceled?

The Gold Coast, which is now Ghana, gained its independence in 1957 from Britain, and had control of the castle. Elmina Castle is a historical site, and was a major filming location for Werner Herzog‘s 1987 drama film Cobra Verde. The castle is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Slavery in Africa…..

Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa, and still continues today in some African countries.

Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the ancient world. When the Arab slave trade (which started in the 7th century) and Atlantic slave trade (which started in the 16th century) began, many of the pre-existing local African slave systems began supplying captives for slave markets outside Africa.

Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms: Debt slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, slavery for prostitution, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa. Slavery for domestic and court purposes was widespread throughout Africa. Plantation slavery also occurred, primarily on the eastern coast of Africa and in parts of West Africa. The importance of domestic plantation slavery increased during the 19th century, due to the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Many African states dependent on the international slave trade reoriented their economies towards legitimate commerce worked by slave labor.

Slavery was prevalent in many parts of Africa for many centuries before the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade. There is evidence that enslaved people from some parts of Africa were exported to states in Africa, Europe, and Asia prior to the European colonization of the Americas.

It has been said that Africa has suffered so much because of it’s self inflicted curse, by selling so many of it’s own people away

The Atlantic slave trade was not the only slave trade from Africa, although it was the largest in volume and intensity. As Elikia M’bokolo wrote in Le Monde diplomatique:The African continent was bled of its human resources via all possible routes. Across the Sahara, through the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean ports and across the Atlantic. At least ten centuries of slavery for the benefit of the Muslim countries (from the ninth to the nineteenth) … Four million enslaved people exported via the Red Sea, another four million through the Swahili ports of the Indian Ocean, perhaps as many as nine million along the trans-Saharan caravan route, and eleven to twenty million (depending on the author) across the Atlantic Ocean.


By 1494, the Portuguese king had entered agreements with the rulers of several West African states that would allow trade between their respective peoples, enabling the Portuguese to “tap into” the “well-developed commercial economy in Africa … without engaging in hostilities”. “Peaceful trade became the rule all along the African coast”, although there were some rare exceptions when acts of aggression led to violence. For instance, Portuguese traders attempted to conquer the Bissagos Islands in 1535. In 1571 Portugal, supported by the Kingdom of Kongo, took control of the south-western region of Angola in order to secure its threatened economic interest in the area. Although Kongo later joined a coalition in 1591 to force the Portuguese out, Portugal had secured a foothold on the continent that it continued to occupy until the 20th century. Despite these incidences of occasional violence between African and European forces, many African states ensured that any trade went on in their own terms, for instance, imposing custom duties on foreign ships. In 1525, the Kongolese king Afonso I seized a French vessel and its crew for illegally trading on his coast.

Ghana and the Ashanti…….

Africans played a direct role in the slave trade, selling their captives or prisoners of war to European buyers. The prisoners and captives who were sold were usually from neighbouring or enemy ethnic groups. These captive slaves were considered “other”, not part of the people of the ethnic group or “tribe”; African kings held no particular loyalty to them. Sometimes criminals would be sold so that they could no longer commit crimes in that area. Most other slaves were obtained from kidnappings, or through raids that occurred at gunpoint through joint ventures with the Europeans. But some African kings refused to sell any of their captives or criminals. King Jaja of Opobo, a former slave, refused to do any business with the slavers.

According to Pernille Ipsen (in the book Daughters of the Trade: Atlantic Slavers and Interracial Marriage on the Gold Coast), Africans, namely Ghana, also participated in the slave trade through intermarriage, or cassare, meaning “to set up house”. It is derived from the Portuguese word “casar”, meaning “to marry”. Cassare created political and economic bonds between European and African slave traders. Cassare was a pre-European practice used to integrate the “other” from a differing African tribe. Powerful West African groups used these marriages as an alliance used to strengthen their trade networks with European men by marrying off African women from families with ties to the slave trade. Early on in the Atlantic Slave trade, these marriages were common. The marriages were even performed using African customs, which Europeans did not object to, seeing how important the connections were.

The Akan (/əˈkæn/) is a meta-ethnicity living in the southern regions of present-day Ghana and Ivory Coast in West Africa. The Akan language (also known as Twi/Fante) is a group of dialects within the Central Tano branch of the Potou–Tano subfamily of the Niger–Congo family.

Subgroups of the Bia-speaking Akan groups include the Anyin, Baoulé, Chakosi (Anufo), Sefwi (Sehwi), Nzema, Ahanta, and Jwira-Pepesa. The Akan subgroups all have cultural attributes in common; most notably the tracing of matrilineal descent, inheritance of property, and succession to high political office.

Akan culture can also be found in the Americas, where a number of Akans were taken as captives. Roughly ten percent of all slave ships that embarked from the Gold Coast contained Akan people. The primary source of wealth in the Akan economy was gold. However, the capture and sale of Akan people peaked during the Fante and Ashanti conflicts (as both sold many of their captives as prisoners of war). Akan conflicts led to a high number of military captives, known as “Coromantee“, being sold into slavery. The Coromantee soldiers and other Akan captives were notorious for various slave revolts and plantation resistance tactics. These captives were feared throughout America. Their legacy is evident within groups such as the Maroons of the Caribbean and South America.

Subgroups of the Akan people include: Ashanti Fante Akuapem Bono Kwahu Akyem Agona Wassa Akwamu

Ashanti Empire…….

Kente Cloth

The Asante Empire (Asante Twi: Asanteman) was an Akan empire and kingdom from 1670 to 1957, in what is now modern-day Ghana. It expanded from Ashanti to include the Brong-Ahafo Region, Central Region, Eastern Region, Greater Accra Region and Western Region of present-day Ghana. Due to the empire’s military prowess, wealth, architecture, sophisticated hierarchy and culture, the Ashanti Kingdom has been extensively studied and has more historiographies by European, primarily British authors than any other indigenous culture of Sub-Saharan Africa.

*The name Asante means “because of war”. The word derives from the Twi words ɔsa meaning “war” and nti meaning “because of”. This name comes from the Asante’s origin as a kingdom created to fight the Denkyira kingdom.

Slavery was historically a tradition in the Ashanti Empire, with slaves typically taken as captives from enemies in warfare. The welfare of their slaves varied from being able to acquire wealth and intermarry with the master’s family to being sacrificed in funeral ceremonies. The Ashanti believed that slaves would follow their masters into the afterlife. Slaves could sometimes own other slaves, and could also request a new master if the slave believed he or she was being severely mistreated.

Interesting note…..

Kente Cloth
Kente, known as nwentoma in Akan, is an indigenous Ghanaian textile, made of interwoven cloth strips of silk and cotton. Kente is made in Akan lands, in Ghana, from the historic Ashanti Kingdom, including the towns of Bonwire, Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, and Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region.

In my research for this essay I could not help but notice that almost every website I saw regarding Kente cloths had a date of 5 June 2020. And they all conform to one another.
Knowing what I know about how the corporately funded mainstream (matrix) operates, this appears to be a massive “damage control” ploy. As the fallout post Nanci Peloci and her “get along gang’s” highly insulting “pandering ploy” a few weeks ago backfired on them massively.

It is also not lost on me that several “fact checking” websites (many who’s funding can be traced back to the eugenicist and population reduction proponent Bill Gates and his foundation) ran disinformation stories in an attempt to downplay the “slave trading” history of the Ashanti (warrior) people.
With almost two decades of this type of research under my belt, I can sniff this type of thing out from a mile away, but I digress…

Now…..
These people are highly intelligent and highly educated. They are all students of the “Hidden Schools of Mystery Babylon”, well versed in the art of speaking only through ”symbols” in public. Those with eyes to see into a thing can see some pretty nasty mockery underlying other overlying pandering.


Despite appearances, these people are NOT stupid
Props to Traxman for the flick (photo)

Dahomey…..

The Kingdom of Dahomey (/dəˈhoʊmi/) was an African kingdom (located within the area of the present-day country of Benin) that existed from about 1600 until 1904, when the last king, Béhanzin, was defeated by the French, and the country was annexed into the French colonial empire. Dahomey developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon people in the early 17th century and became a regional power in the 18th century by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast.

For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a key regional state, eventually ending tributary status to the Oyo Empire. The Kingdom of Dahomey was an important regional power that had an organized domestic economy built on conquest and slave labor, significant international trade with Europeans, a centralized administration, taxation systems, and an organized military. Notable in the kingdom were significant artwork, an all-female military unit called the Dahomey Amazons by European observers, and the elaborate religious practices of Vodun with the large festival of the Annual Customs of Dahomey which involved large scale human sacrifice. They traded prisoners, which they captured during wars and raids, and exchanged them with Europeans for goods such as knives, bayonets, firearms, fabrics, and spirits.

Human sacrifice of captured and enslaved people was a regular practice in Dahomey

My people are a military people, male and female; my revenue is the proceeds of the sale of prisoners of war….. I cannot send the women to cultivate the soil, it would kill them…All my nation, all are soldiers. And the slave trade feeds them.”Ghezo (King of Dahomey) excerpt from the book “African Military History”

Dahomey’s female “Amazon Warriors” are a very interesting aspect of their culture, but for the sake of time and brevity I must leave you with a link to further research this highly interesting topic.

The mighty Dahomeyans had a hand in the horrible capture, dehumanization, and sale of their fellow African continent brethren. The African slave trade shines a light on just how complex the continent’s individual as well as collective identities really are.


We U.S. Born “black people” are seen and see ourselves as a mostly homogeneous group. With the possible exception of first and second generation of African and Caribbean immigrants. However, in Africa, even differing tribes within a single nation can and do view those outside of their immediate group as “the other”.
As an “American black dude” I find this phenomena immensely fascinating. And yet another part of our historical and or cultural identity that is swept under the proverbial rug.

The crabs in a barrel effect……..

It is quite interesting to note that we U.S. “black folk” have an innate distrust for one another that functions in much the same way as our African “tribal” ancestors. We have been taught either anecdotally, as well as from experience that some of us are simply not to be trusted. (Just like every other race, creed color, and or phenotype of human on the entire face of the earth).

learned helplessness does UGLY things to a people
But not identifying as a victim EVER, fixes it xx

One interesting experience I will share with you here now.
A few months back I was approached by a/some fellow African American (sic) “colleagues” about joining an “empowerment and solidarity” support and networking group on Facebook.
I, having already “broken out” internationally really stood nothing to gain except for the joy of seeing some of my people “come up”.
Seeking to assist my peers with a less visible profile, I invited several of my high profile “Black American” (North American out of respect for my South and Central American Beloved) peers.

Most, having “been there and done that” never accepted, but one in particular came with a bit of “painful truth”. He joined the group conversation to “feel it out”, but expressed his skepticism with regard to the viability of the group. Saying “black people kill each other”. To which I had to publicly concur.
Instantly, this artist was called a “goofy” insulted, bullied, and shame bashed for simply stating an obvious, but painful truth. Said artist is from Jersey City. Growing up in Hoboken. A bridge ride away from Manhattan. This artist is the inimitable wunderkind, Mr. Joey Anderson. (whom I contacted personally to ask permission to quote him for this essay).

Obviously disappointed at what had just occurred, I once again reiterated my support for the truth bomb Joey had just dropped. I also wrote to the group that lack of organization and in-fighting was a major reason our people are “unwelcome guests” in the “House we built” and that for this group to work, we would have to be very mindful of this historical “hobble”.

A day later, I was ejected from the group. Which disbanded and then reformed without me.

Now to be fair, the founder of the group sent me a new add request after un-friending me. Which I sat on for a few weeks thinking it over. As “once bitten twice shy”.
I eventually acquiesced in the spirit of peace, love, and tolerance I “preach” in my writings on Facebook. As to be 100% “congruent” in my words and deeds.
This artist humbly apologized and I accepted gracefully in the true spirit of “black unity”.
“Water under the bridge” I told him.
And since this time, this artist has been very supportive online with regard to my recent maneuvers and posts.
Walk the talk.

Side note….
(it must be mentioned that there are many U.S. People of color who believe that they/we are decedents of one or more of the Biblical “lost 12 tribes” of the original Hebrews. That particular rabbit hole goes quite deep, and is a bit off topic. Therefore I will refrain from exploring it here at this time)


So with this indisputable, historically accurate evidence; we can see that the Transatlantic Slave Trade is in many ways, a European extension of an already centuries old African Slave Trade. The horrendously inhumane rabbit hole of humans being sold into slavery goes so deep, that I at some point must leave it be to be addressed in some of it’s other iterations at a later time.

I feel confident at this point that the backdrop is set. And a mental picture has been taken, processed, and developed in the minds of the reader(s).
And since my exposure of this hidden aspect of “Black American” history is but a fraction of the entire equation, we shall now move on to iconoclastically examine another under scrutinized aspect of modern-day “U.S. Blackness”

Do black lives really matter?????

Some of what I am seeing being done under the umbrella of “Black Lives Mattering” is quite an embarrassment. And I honestly cannot be associated with such foolishness.

Let’s talk about this…..
I pose the question to you all, “what is the biggest killer of black people in the United States?” And before I state the indisputable answer, I pose one more question;
If Black lives really matter to the group that flies this particular banner, and or chants this neuro-linguistic slogan, then surely they are protesting the single most destructive and effective destroyer of black lives in the nation of the USA, aren’t they?

Neurolinguistic programming(NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes.

Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP), in short, is the method of performing mild hypnosis through conversation for the purpose of persuasion. By using certain verbal and non-verbal language patterns, an NLP master can trigger specific responses in their subject’s subconscious mind. –
Learning To Pull The Strings Of A Stranger’s Subconscious: NLP

“NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming is one of the world’s most prevalent methods of mind control, used by everyone from sales callers to politicians to media pundits, and it’s nasty to the core. Here’s ten ways to make sure nobody uses it on you… ever.” –
10 Ways to Protect Yourself From NLP Mind Control


Back to the first question….
The answer is abortion. This is the largest killer of “Black Lives” by an incredibly wide margin. In fact, for every 1000 black children born, 479 are killed before they ever take a breath. This is astounding mathematics. Practically a 50% ratio. This beloved, is no less than genocide. Yet, BLM does no protesting of abortion clinics.
No! Quite the opposite, they (on their own website) promote it.

Let us now examine a bit of “double speak” from their OWN website…..
“We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children.”
These words are found in the paragraph DIRECTLY under the above statement
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure….”

So now, which is it? There is a blatantly obvious contradiction. One that anyone employing rational logic and seeking true overstanding can plainly see immediately.
So why, I now ask the reader, does no one else seem to notice this? At least not among the legions of “followers” now marching and disrupting peace and order claiming “Black Lives Matter”.
Empirical science has proven that children raised in a two parent household have a much better chance at having a happy and successful life.

Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to be physically or sexually abused, less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors, have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married, are less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as a teenager, and are less likely to be raised in poverty. (“Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences,” Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values, www.americanvalues.org/html/r-wmm.html)


Why don’t THESE Black Lives Matter?
Incongruent!

Now, back to the “black genocide” that is completely ignored in the US…..

“Abortion impacts African Americans at a higher rate than any other population group. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an Abortion Surveillance Report. According to that report, black women make up 14 percent of the childbearing population. Yet, 36 percent of all abortions were obtained by black women. At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births, black women have the highest ratio of any group in the country.” –
Abortion: The overlooked tragedy for black Americans – Walt Blackman

So once again, why no mention of this from BLM? It stands to reason that such a highly organized and well funded organization would know this if I, a mere “gym rat and DJ/Beatmaker” would, don’t you think?

Let us dive further into the things BLM’s website wishes us to know (in their own words)……
“In 2013, three radical Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter.”
“Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention……”


Having been at this “rabbit hole research game” for almost 2 decades, I have come across my fair share of “shills” “controlled opposition” front movements, “straw man” decoys, and “useful idiots”

In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.

With all the blatant contradictory incongruence, double speak, radical subversive ideologies, stated purpose of “disrupting” the nuclear family, and dubious funding, this group does not at all function as they should based upon what and who they say they are. Therefore, this group should be viewed with a dose of healthy skepticism at the very least.

Congruence and Controlled Opposition……..

congruence

If it happened to the Black Panthers, it can happen in BLM
Don’t you think?

/ˈkɒŋɡrʊəns/

noun

noun: congruence; plural noun: congruences

  1. agreement or harmony; compatibility.

“the results show quite good congruence with recent studies”

I vote for neither side. They’re ALL puppets.

A controlled opposition
is a protest movement that is actually being led by government agents. Nearly all governments in history have employed this technique to trick and subdue their adversarie. Notably Vladimir Lenin who said ””The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”

So if we take into account BLM’s “footprint” and the fact that oftentimes, well meaning grass roots organizations are often infiltrated by either or:
1. Government agents and agencies such as Co-Intel Pro. In the case of the “Black Panther Party”.
2. Radical (often Bolshevik Marxist) subversives such as the Frankfurt School infiltrating universities both in the U.S. And around the world.

At this point, we must continue to scrutinize BLM and watch them carefully as this organization is the prefect “petri-dish” for such infiltration to fester and take over. Using the cover of a grass-roots movement to either neutralize, and or subvert is for their own nefarious causes.
Ask some who makes a living of studying, combating, and or chronicling these types of groups and subversive movements, and they will tell you that BLM displays all the hallmarks of either controlled opposition, or a radical subversive movement. If not both.

I myself choose to continue to watch and reserve judgement for now. Healthy skepticism shall be my modus operandi moving forward with regard to how I view this odd, disruptive possible wolf in sheep’s clothing. Innocent until proven guilty shall be the way until further evidence proves definitively either way. In the meantime, I will avoid taking sides and remain an independent, non-partisan, apolitical free thinker.

Question everything!

In their OWN words!!!!
The enemy IS among us!

The “Digital Punch In The Face”

The CHAMP!

When Mike Tyson was asked by a reporter whether he was worried about Evander Holyfield and his fight plan he answered; “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth (face).”
What Tyson said is similar to the old saying “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”.

I explored this idea in a recent Facebook mini-essay you can find here…..

The way that the term “digital punch in the face” I recently created relates to the BLM movement is the way this “organization” seems to always lurk around and feed the flames of emotional trauma the corporate media promoted and highly polarizing narrative of black people being under constant attack by police. Yet, the numbers do not support this.
Something does not add up.
And “if something does not add up, then it must be subtracted.”


Something about the name “Black Lives Matter” instantly rubbed me the wrong way back when I first heard it a few years ago. Like many, I thought to myself “wait, when did anyone EVER say that they did not matter?” It struck me as pandering, and even mocking. SUPER CRINGE, but I digress….

Perhaps it is my ability to recognize neuro-linguistinc programming being used on me.
I don’t know. But for whatever reason, I felt like I should keep and eye on this group’s “foot print”.

So now in light of current events, especially those in the state of my birth, Washington State. In a city adjacent to the one I was born in Tacoma. On Fort Lewis Army base.
The city in question is Seattle. Where we now have a whole ceccession on our hands. WTF is that nonsense?
(the philosopher in me asks).
These people do not represent me in any way. What are they really doing there? What do they want? And why are they not being stopped?

Unfortunately, I am quite sure I know the answer to all three of those questions.
1. Please go back to the previous blog post and check the link Yuri Bezmenov’s lecture?
2. Please see the above?
3. They are not being stopped so that the presidential candidate colloquially known as “Orange Man Bad” LOL; can give his opposing party (different wings, same bird) the proverbial rope to hang themselves.

Logic dictates that he will point out to the fact that a major portion of BLM’s donations are funneled directly to the opposing party. And link them in his stump speeches. As well as pointing out that Seattle itself has an ineffective Democratic mayor. And that Washington State has a Democratic Governor who has lost control of the affairs of the “Evergreen State”.
It’s as if the opposing party of the man they call “Dump” are losing on purpose. Especially when you factor in “Creepy Uncle Joe”. Nuts! You cannot write better fiction. Crazy times.

So with people already wound up as much as they are, and looking back at the reaction to the last election; I foresee hella mental meltdowns. And perhaps if it has not already happened by then, full on blood in the streets.
Thus, the reason for these posts here and on the “book”.

Simmer down beloved. This is how “social engineering” works. So I need my people (regardless of skin color) to now cut the invisible puppet strings. Some very evil people have stated many times in their writings that they wish to utilize the Hegelian Dialectic
{Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis aka Ordo Ab Chao (Order out of Chaos)} to bring about their oft written about New World Order.

Don’t be this broad. …. If you’re not her already, beloved x

To do this, they state in their own words that extreme chaos is needed to manifest this into reality.
The following was spoken by David Rockefeller at the Bilderberger Meeting, Baden Germany, June 1991. Rockefeller has devoted his life to one world government, i.e. the New World Order (NWO). He founded the Trilateral Commission and is integral to the Council on Foreign Relations.

We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

Later, he notes: “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure, one world if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”- David Rockefeller 23 September 1994
(His own words. Not mine)

The New World Order is a whole thing. Despite the Wikipedia disinformation
See for yourself

The primary obstacle blocking the “sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers” is a strong, democratic, sovereign America. Both cannot exist simultaneously. Therefore, our mortal enemy has been decimating America for decades, the battlefield littered with the middle class, dazed soldiers wandering in despair, jobs lost, pockets empty, homes foreclosed, dreams crushed and forced to bow to their oppressors if they travel by air. America is on the verge of losing our battle for freedom and has not yet even identified who the real enemy is.

The age-old dream of world domination is alive and well. Our real enemy are the globalists, scientific-technological elites who, as Eisenhower warned, are attempting to establish the NWO. Their primary weapons are perpetual war and central banks, i.e. the Fed which is a cartel of international bankers, including Rockefeller, who control our economy and, astoundingly, have not been audited during the 98 years they have systematically destroyed the dollar while becoming inconceivably powerful. Jefferson, Lincoln, Andrew Jackson – the list is long and distinguished – all scream as to the lethal danger of a central bank. – The Aspen Times “Beware New World Order 15 August 2011

Ordo Ab Chao…….

As above. So Below.

A Latin expression, meaning Order out of Chaos. A motto of the Thirty-third Degree, and having the same allusion as lug e tenebris, which see in this work. The invention of this motto is to be attributed to the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

– Source: Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Many bands and other sources outside of freemasonry have used the term in various works. The term was recently manifested in book title with the release of Order Out Of Chaos The Landmarks of Freemasonry authored by Sean R Bailey.

Although many books have been written on the theory of the masonic landmarks, few are available that provide a complete overview of the centuries of attempts at making any one set of landmarks universally apart of the Masonic Code. This book provides the unique perspective of the many attempts by Authors and Unique men in Masonry. Beginning with the basic concepts of what constitutes a
Landmark, each chapter then traces the steps taken in applying what has been written into what we as modern masons use today in our daily life’s.

The book assumes the reader has a basic knowledge of the” basic” concepts of Freemasonry. It is especially well suited for identification of the dynamics of masons around the world. As no one jurisdiction is the same. So is the case for the landmarks they have instated as code

We now live in the rabbit hole…..

Welcome to The Brave New World!

With these highly charged, and often controversial topics, it is easy to get “lost in the sauce” of conjecture, feels over reals, tin-foil hat-ery, and eyes wide shut fear.
Therefore, I feel that since we’ve now crossed the bough of actually naming the New World Order in this essay; it is a great time to “hit the brakes” and cool off with a bit of a mental/emotional time out.

Everyone can sense now that the “identity politics” being practiced these days is a broken system. One that seems to be doing much more harm than good. We also have more and more people beginning to question the true intentions of the corporately controlled mainstream media (matrix); that is obviously “socially engineering” the people who depend on it for (dis)information, and and UNDER-standing (versus overstanding) of the world we now live in.
And what the whole fuq is up with CHAZ?

(laughs out loud!)

Live Free or die!
Freedom is not being bound by the opinions of others.

One last thing……

You know you’re not a racist. So DON’T virtue signal. It hurts more than it helps xx

White guilt is a form a passive racism. STOP IT!


Next essay we MUST explore the origins of the US democratic party.


With all the most humble love and gracious respect I can muster. Because my Beloved deserve no less.

Amir Alexander – Iconoclast

Posted on 2 Comments

The definitive New Year’s fitness resolution guide.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and success.

Every year at this time, many people make a resolution to finally get their health and fitness in check. Every year the majority of them fail. This is usually not due to laziness, nor lack of will. It is due to lack of information, and or proper education of how to do so.
This final post of the decade is my humble attempt to help any and everyone who has this desire to finally break the cycle.

If you find yourself, or someone you care about in this category, please read on?

Gyms make a huge amount of their profits from a couple things. First of which is selling memberships to people they know will never utilize them. Especially in the U.S. where places like Planet Fitness and the like offer rock bottom prices. They can do this because they lock you into paying for a year knowing that 90% of the people who do this will give up and quit after a month.

Un-flexed, relaxed position. You can tell because my abs are not all bunched up, but long and loose.

How and why can they be so sure of this you might ask…
It is because most people have no clue of what they’re doing in the gym, or why they do it. There is a saying that goes “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” This is absolutely correct

I see many people in the gym in the gym doing things that will NEVER help them achieve their fitness goals. They use horrible form doing useless movements that don’t target any particular muscle or muscle group. They simply try to move the most weight, versus actually working the muscle.

Useless exercises……

Take a simple dumbbell hammer curl for example. You see people with weights that are too heavy. They start the movement with their hips and lower back to get the weight moving, rocking their entire bodies as they lean to the side to bring the dumbbell up to their chin.
However proper form would be to stand completely still and flex the bicep. Slowly bringing the weight up to the nipple then slowly back down. Controlling the weight the entire time. THIS is how you train your bicep. The other way is more of a lower back and oblique exercise than anything. And a very poor one at that.
The goal is to work the muscle. NOT to simply move weight.

Speaking of oblique training, anyone who is doing side bends with weights or a machine is likely trying to slim their “love handle” region. However, the only thing training the obliques does is make your waist, and love handle region thicker. It is completely counterintuitive. A total waste of time. Especially since the obliques are a diagonal muscle. To train them properly one would do the “wood chopper” movement .Which is bending downwards diagonally.

Abs are made in the kitchen. Not the gym.

Since we are on the topic of a slimmer and more defined waist area, I have to address the fact that anyone who is not a Boxer, MMA fighter, or a Martial Artist in general is totally wasting their time training abs directly. There is zero need to do so. We train our abs indirectly with every exercise we do in the gym.
Once again, abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. We all have well developed abs. They are just covered by a layer of adipose tissue.
Facts!

You can’t out train a bad diet……

This is as true as any truth ever spoken. No matter how good your training program is, if you eat a bunch of empty, non-nutritious calories, you will never achieve your fitness goals. We are what we eat, so when one feeds their body calories that it does not even recognize as food, the body is forced to do the only thing it can. That is to convert these extra calories to fat so that they can at least be utilized in some way.

Doing Cardio To Lose Weight Is A Total Waste Of Time….

On any given day, in any given gym, one will notice that the majority of the people therein are utilizing the useless cardio machines. There are several reasons for this. They go as follows…..
Most people are trying to change their physique and improve their health. Simple to understand. And a very noble goal. However I feel so bad for them because they are totally wasting their time.

Why? You ask. Because doing cardio is the worst and most inefficient way to shed extra fat and get more lean. Here’s a bit of math. engaging in elliptical training for an entire hour would burn only 360 calories.
One could simply NOT ingest three of the following to get the very same result. A can of soda, a small bag of potato chips/crisps, a large banana, two medium cookies/biscuits, or a glass of orange juice.
Each of these is approximately 120-160 calories.

Better yet, one less Mac Donald’s Cheeseburger 300 calories, and a small french fry/chips/pomme frites 230 calories. Add a small drink 140 calories, and we are now up to 740 calories. But who eats just a small anything?
At 740 calories we are now at half the daily caloric allowance to maintain and not gain weight for the average woman. This is a third of the caloric allowance for the average man.
What’s worse is that eating these so called “foods” that are so low on nutrition will have a person hungry again in a couple hours or less.

So why do gyms even have this cardio equipment?????
Business. They are not in the business of helping people get more fit, lean, and or healthy. They are in the business of selling. Selling what? Dreams, memberships, and useless supplements. That’s what.
If people quit training after a month or two (like these gyms know they will), they still have you locked in for 10 more months of membership dues.

No one is there to teach people how to train, or how to eat more importantly; to benefit from proper training. Add to this the billion dollar (needless) supplement industry hoax, and you have a lucrative industry based on lies, shadows, and mis/dis-information.
They get rich off the ignorance of well meaning people who are trying to do the right thing.

Just Because We Can Eat It, That Doesn’t Mean That We Should….

Most of what is sold as food today is not at all food. It is “edible foodstuffs”.
Heavily processed, chemically engineered, and highly addictive poisons that are low on actual nutrients, and easily available at very low prices.
If it does not look like what it did when it came out of the ground, off the tree, out of the water, or when it was (humanely) butchered, it is NOT food. And is slowly killing you.

These items are engineered to be highly addictive by teams of scientists who work tirelessly to refine the ultimate “pleasure factor” in these products. This is done by the perfect ratios if fats for mouth-feel, savory salts, and addictive pleasure causing sugars.

It was a difficult question for obesity researchers: do some people overeat because they find eating more pleasurable or gratifying than others? Logically, that makes a lot of sense–it’s a time-tested principle of psychology: if a behavior feels good, we’ll keep doing it. But a new study published today in the journal Science adds to a growing body of research suggesting the opposite: that women who derive less pleasure from eating may eat more to compensate, putting them at higher risk for weight gain and obesity. The research also discovered a particular genetic trait that, when present, is associated with an even stronger relationship between low sense of reward and overeating.

“If you ask overweight individuals if they crave food, I really think they are legitimately thinking it’s more rewarding,” says study author Eric Stice, a senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute. “They’ll say they’re really sensitive to the rewards. But when you look at the brain scans you get a different picture.”

Previous brain imaging studies have looked at what happens when we look at pictures of food. In those cases, obese individuals tend to anticipate a higher level of satisfaction of eating the pictured food than lean individuals do, supporting the idea that the people who overeat are the ones who find it more rewarding. But the Science study was the first to do those same fMRI scans while participants were actually eating–or, in this case, drinking a chocolate milkshake. “Nobody had ever administered food to people in a brain scanner and looked at what happens in the brain while you’re eating,” says Stice. “Now we have evidence that, when you give an obese individual a chocolate milkshake, there’s less of a response going on.”

* “The Pleasure Factor: Why Food Is So Addicting?”
By Newsweek, Newsweek11/17/2008 05:12am EST | Updated November 17, 2011

Sugar……

The nation of my birth is the U.S.A. Commonly known as the most obese country on earth. Coming up second on this list is the UK. Per captita, they are poised to surpass the U.S. in just a few years. There is also Ireland, Qatar, and so on. What these countries all have in common is the amount of sugar consumed.

Sugar is a highly addictive drug. One that fires up the brain’s pleasure centers just as much as any narcotic. If not more. Like heroin, it re-wires the brain and causes the person who ingests it regularly to need it. Or they suffer very un-pleasurable withdrawal symptoms. And even depression.

There are two forms of sugar. Glucose, and fructose. The body converts all carbohydrates into glucose to feed our calorie hogging brains, and for glycogen that our muscles need to do their work.
Fructose is not even recognized as food by the brain. When eaten, it goes directly to the liver, which induces an insulin spike that tells the body to store the empty calories as fat so the body can actually utilize them.

This over time can cause type 2 diabetes as the body becomes more and more insulin resistant due to spiking it so much so often. 100 years ago, type 2 diabetes and cancer were unheard of. These are modern, man-made diseases brought on solely by poor dietary practices.
We are literally eating ourselves to death.

Liquid calories…..

This horrible chain of circumstances is compounded by the fact that many in westernized society consume 25-30% of their daily caloric intake by drinking them.
The body/brain does not register these liquid calories as food. Therefore, one could easily drink half of their entire daily caloric requirement in one sitting and still be hungry enough to eat the other half at the same sitting by having a basic fast food meal.

In fact, the basic fast food meal is easily 50-200% of our calorie requirements.

So with upwards of 100 grams of sugar, starchy white flour, way too much sodium (which leaves us bloated and holding excess water), and unhealthy man-made fats, we get an epidemic of overweight, yet malnourished individuals and families.

Fat is good…

In fact, natural fats are vital and healthy. Olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts, butter, eggs, and even animal fats are vital to good health, brain function, and the endocrine system.
Our brains are comprised mostly of cholesterol, i.e. fat.
The real culprit is sugars, and starches. These things are what raise bad cholesterol. Not fat.

Fat does not make people fat. Eating more calories than you burn makes a person fat. And when we eat things that constantly raise our insulin, it sends a signal from our liver to the brain to store these calories as fat.
I will not get into why these things are allowed to happen in this blog post, as it is already too long, and there is so much to cover with this regard.
If I see a good response, and or high interest in this type of information, I will elaborate in detail in future posts.

Overweight and Dopamine….

There is no denying that some people are born with a natural, genetic predisposition to struggle with weight. Yet they are a rare exception and NOT the rule.
For most, the problem is self induced. Mostly by lack of education. Followed by the ubiquitous availability of cheap, convenient, non-nutritious, highly subsidized, and highly addictive products that are sold as food.
So once a person becomes overweight they become trapped in a vicious cycle triggered by becoming overweight which goes as follows.
A person who is over weight has diminished their capacity for dopamine released when eating food between 20-50%. This means that they must eat more to derive the same amount of pleasure from a tasty treat.
Since many who find themselves in this unfortunate category are “pleasure eaters” due to having fallen prey to the scientifically manufactured addictive properties of these “foods”, they seek pleasure in eating.
This is a very vicious cycle indeed.

On top of that, if a person is actually able to become more lean and take the excess fat off, they can only eat 80% of what a person of the same weight who was never heavy can.
Unfair? Yes, but it is a sad reality.

Fitness is a lifestyle….

Any dietary practices that cannot be sustained for life will inevitably fail. Just ask anyone who is overweight and has been a victim of “yo yo dieting”.
These drastic fad diets, pills, and magazine articles do not address the root cause.
Lifestyle got you there, and it is ONLY lifestyle that can get out out and keep you from ever going back.
Facts!

Consistency Over Time…..

Getting the desired results from any fitness program, and or diet/nutritional plan requires a daily commitment. Consistency over a long period of time is the only way.
Many go into the new year highly motivated, and usually committed to improve their health and physiques. But after spending so much time, effort, and sometimes money with no results, they become disillusioned and give up.

The entire fitness industry makes it’s money on this fact. They function like the “medical industrial complex”. Which is to treat symptoms, but NEVER offer a true cure.
As a personal fitness trainer, it is bad business for me to tell you that no one really needs regular training for more than 16 weeks. That it unless they are a bodybuilder prepping for a show, or some other extreme case.
Money is made in this industry long term by never telling people what they need to know to succeed.
Or by never telling them what they really need to know in order to set realistic goals and stick to them.

But I actually want to help people. I do this by telling you the truth.
If I can help anyone improve their health, looks, and self esteem by taking control of their fitness, I am more than happy to do so.
Of course I seek clients for personal fitness coaching, and or nutritional planning. BUT my goal is to help you to not need me as soon as possible by helping people develop a new, and sustainable lifestyle.
THIS is what any personal fitness trainer worth the money will seek to do.

Cook your own Food….

Preparing inexpensive, nutritionally sound, healthy meals at home is very easy when you have the will and proper education with which to do so.
Anyone claiming otherwise is either lying, misinformed, and or have never tried.
I am living proof. I live way out in the countryside with only a bike and a backpack to transport my groceries.
I have lived on a starving artist’s budget for a few years now, but never have I had to resort to eating fast food as my primary source of sustenance.
If I can do it, anyone can, as I have literally been living in third world conditions for some time now.
Facts!

Track Your Macros…

A key component of a sustainable fitness lifestyle is learning how to, and getting into the habit of tracking your macronutrient intake.
Macros are Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates.
Proteins and fats are necessary for sustaining life, but carbs are not. When getting lean, it is carbs one should cut. NEVER fats, in fact, some people employ a ketogenic diet to help lean out. This diet is up to 80% fat.
More on this diet in a future installment….

I track every single thing I eat, every singe day down to the gram. I typically know exactly what I will eat for the entire day before I even have breakfast. This is “nutritional planning”, and whether we are trying to become more lean, or to simply maintain a healthy and ideal weight, it behooves us all to make this practice a habit.
There are many apps and websites that make doing so extremely easy. So there is simply no excuse for not doing so. With the exception of not knowing how to read. But if you couldn’t read, you would not be reading this right now LOL!
Myfitnesspal.com is my go to website/app for this purpose. Consider it a facebook for fitness. In that you can interact socially, but it also has free tools to help you calculate and track for proper macros. Along with calculators to help you lose, gain, or maintain your weight.
Please check it out?
You can even add me if you want.
https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

True Story….

Happy New Year! May 2020 be the beginning of an amazing new chapter in your lives.
With the utmost love and respect.
Yours Truly,
Amir Alexander xx

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Fear and Loathing in Jax Beach (Day trip gone bad)

“black empty eyes, teenage runaway jail bait, and the police”

Three Fountains

In the days before I began engaging in club “libational activities”, I was a Jazz Man. Double Bass Viol was my axe. As we say in the biz, “Upright Bass”. Bebop was my scene and it was all about building up my chops. At this time I shared a low rent 2 bedroom apartment with one of my two besties from high school in a Complex called Three Fountains.

Well past it’s glory days in the mid 1950’s the namesake three fountains now languished. Dry and filled with that grey Florida sand/soil, pebbles, an old shoe, and a few crack vials. One could imagine the way they stood quite regal in that old Florida art-deco style. Once upper middle class, the majority of the residents were now lower income families, students, and social outcasts.

picked up hella strays, init

Mike and I were on the lease. We both had full music scholarships, book allowance, and Pell Grants, etc. Mike also had a job at Subway sandwiches. His assistant manager was also named Mike. Somehow other Mike began to sleep over. Then live there. Then came his homie Afa Grant. The best (meaning worst) con-man I have ever met. He had a knack of finding and befriending drug dealers. He would eventually set them up to get robbed. Over time he and I became so close people thought we were brothers.
More on that in the future.

Other Mike had this very creepy ex-girlfriend who had some kind of weird sex thing in the past with Afa. She came to live with us when other Mike went to jail for a statutory rape charge. Apparently he was dating a 16 year old who lived in a trailer park.
Other Mike also had a sister who was around 25 at the time making her the hot older woman of the group. She came with a boyfriend who had just returned from living on a Navy ship. He wore the PopEye suit and all. Then there was the dude we called Mr. Wendal.

Mr. Wendal (after the song by the group Arrested Development) because he was a homeless dude who worked with the Mikes at subway. Bro would steal subway meat and eat it by the pound. His sandwiches were 30 slices of roast beef on both sides with 50 slices of turkey, and 25 slices of cheese in between. No bread. No veggies. Zero fiber. Dude would spend an hour on the toilet and shut it down for another two.

what the friggin hell

Perplexed, I found myself wondering “How did all these extra people end up living for free in our apartment? What is going on here?” After what seemed like forever, but was maybe only 2 months, they leave.

My friend Adam is a senior in high school and comes up to visit every weekend so he can be reckless with us two college freshmen. This year he has been selected to represent our Alma matter at Tri-State Honor Band as I had done the year prior.
I decide to take the trip up to Tallahassee with him to visit my ex girlfriend who attends classes at the university the event will be held.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

I’ve got a couple few trips under my belt at this point. The first was trip dope. It was with my ex girlfriend Amy at Florida State University. She was now a sophomore in the Marching Chiefs Band. She like me, played tuba, Or in her case sousaphone. It was amazing. She was an excellent vibe guru.
The second time was NUTS!!!! It most definitely needs it’s own episode. In fact, we’ll explore it next time.

So so, this particular weekend Afa and Mike will be gone on Saturday and Adam isn’t coming up. I’ve decided to do my first solo trip. A day trip of peaceful reflection, poetry, philosophy, and listening to the wild ways in which music mutates. What could go wrong?
Famous last words.

black empty eye holes

It’s cool, the dudes leave and I drop. Just as the trip begins to kick in, this one super sketchy dude Afa knows comes over looking for him. He’s with this one slutty girl from round the way who’s cool, but mad easy. Their eye holes are empty and black. He asks if he can take her up to my room so they can have sex. “FUCK NO!” I think to myself. They look at me startled as I realize I had actually screamed it aloud. Opps. My bad.

I tell him that I can take him a few places he might be, if he can run me over to see my man raver Russ, aka “Kid Nitrous”. He got that name because he used to suck whip-it gas straight from the huge tank in between filling balloons of laughing gas being sold at parties. Dude would go all blue lip and pass out humping the tank. One time he froze his mouth to it.

More on nitrous Russ later, as he most certainly needs his own chapter. Right now he’s just the roommate of my acid man and sometimes weed bro when my main, Jessie isn’t holding. Wow! I’ll most certainly have to do a few episodes on Jessie and his homie (Curious) George. Hilarious. This series is going to be so much fun!
But I digress….

gun play

We go a few places Afa and I would cruise, looking for him to no avail. Then we ride up into the hood where the Raiders have their trap house. There are 2 major gangs at the time. the Sox, and the Raiders. they wore the corresponding black baseball caps. Goofy and lame when you think about it, but they were lowkey feared in the streets.
At any rate, the dude I’m in the car with begins to chase this Raider kid in a Honda Civic. We pull up beside him and this fool pulls out a nickel plated Smith and Wesson 45 caliber cannon. He then proceeds to cock it and tell me that he and that dude fight on sight.
We chase this dude for miles. He eventually pulled into a neighborhood and started circling the block. I noticed that he would honk his horn every time he passed a certain house.

tables turn (for the worse)

After about three passes the dudes in the house catch on to what’s going on. They then start to pile up in their cars. All strapped up with their guns, they begin to chase us. I, at this point am a bit concerned for our safety. Yet, I don’t want to begin to have a bad trip so I remain calm.
We eventually pull into the police parking lot and act like we’re going in to shake off the heat. It works. “Holy crap! What just happened?” I think to myself. Next, I tell him to drop me off at friggin Russ’s place because Afa will be there later tonite. I can ride home with him. Somehow I’ve lost about three hours.

the cops raid?

As luck would have it, Afa had just called Russ from a payphone saying he was coming over right before I got there. The dude stayed, and they linked up do do whatever deal they had set up. Afterward, Mr. Soulless eyes and his crusty broad were off to get busy once they found a place to do so.

Russ had a cool apartment he shared with Chris and Cuff. It was a wild place. Chris was on house arrest from a prior drug bust. Needless to say, homie was hot. They had a couple very young girls over. Apparently the girls were living there now. We smoked some gravity bong hits and vibed out to the little mermaid. Which I had never seen.

“You ain’t never seen the little mermaid on acid?” asked Russ. “Nah man” I replied. “Well, you need to get on that” Right then, little mermaid it is.

A good two hours pass by and we’re all just talking and chilling. One of the girls is even cooking for us. Then suddenly there is a “Cop Knock” at the door.
We all freeze, startled. Russ asks who it is. “Police. We need to…..” That’s all anyone heard before everyone but Chris made a bee line for the backdoor running for dear life. We pour out into the back courtyard screaming and laughing wildly. Maniacally, even. There was a little old lady outside hanging up her laundry. We almost gave the poor lady a heart attack running up on her like that.

About 5 highly inebriated youth make a frenzied hundred meter dash to the other side of the courtyard. There was an 6 foot tall concrete wall. We run up, start throwing the girls over, then we shimmied up it ourselves and ran around the block. This way we could watch Chris’s place from the cut. By the time we got around front they were leaving.
We met Chris smiling at the door looking carefree. Heads was like “what the fuq?”

I’m done yo

Apparently the girls were indeed underage and the cops had been tipped off that they had been spotted there. Afa was going out to The Edge that night with Russ. Chris was chilling with the young ladies, but I was ready to blow that scene and go home.
“You comin’ out with us tonight, or are you all tripped out?” Afa asked. “I’m done yo. Take me home”

dwelt among the dregs

In the following months, occurrences like this seemed to become common place. I found myself hanging with a very “base” element. True losers who were headed nowhere fast. I would often think to myself,
“I do not belong here around these people. I actually have goals and dreams. If I continue down this path things will not end very well.”

I got deeper and deeper into the street life. Catching cases, dodging police, and becoming a very good criminal. Then one day I got a flyer for a rave. The rest is history.



House Music saved my life.

true story.
AAxx

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Raver meets His DJ Hero

Christopher Milo aka DJ Three (Hallucination Limited)

DJ Three – live at Robot Heart 10 Year Anniversary (Burning Man 2017) – September 2017

“I’m The DJ”

It’s been a few months now and the boys are beginning to take weekend road trips to rave all over the state. At this time in Florida, all the kids would do likewise. You would see the Orlando kids, Miami kids, Ft. Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Talahassee, Boca, Daytona, Coco Beach, etc.
After a while we all began to recognize one another, and we all began to clique. If you can imagine, there was a time when every raver in the state knew, or at least knew of one another. Good times.

During the early 90’s Kimball Collins was the most hyped DJ in Florida. The main sound was Progressive House and Trance. Not really my thing. I was quite new to all of this, but I already knew that I liked a more underground sound. A sound that went on to be called Chicago House, and Detroit Techno. Ahhz (Oz) in Orlando was the club to be at. It is where Kimball was a resident. At the time, the raves filled the void, as Ahhz had closed down for a bit.

search mission(s)

By this point, the ritual is to spend a couple hours trying to find acid. LOL to the naivety of these kids looking for “paper” when over 95% of the heads were eating “rolls” (ex/mdma, etc). For the time being, I am too afraid to try it, so we search for acid. A couple hours go by with no luck, then a dude says that his roommate is coming later. COOL! We roll out to the Chevy for a blunt, and then go back inside to wait.

too embarrassed to dance

Back when I first started going out people did not say I like to dance. They said I like to House. We called it “Housing”, and everyone was trying to get good at it. I felt that I would one day be an exceptional Houser, but at this time I am not. I was like the best of the worst, or the best of the newbie housers.

This being the case, I would wait until all the best dancers would go home at around 7 am before I would even go on the floor. As my pride/ego would not allow me to be seen not being as good as I would someday be. Kinda sad.
Glad I worked through those issues. At any rate, the dude came and we copped the cleanest blotter ever. The paper looked like bathroom paper towels, but the trips were clean with no strychnine feeling.
Then it happened. I heard this amazing music and said to myself “this must be the mighty Kimball Collins because this dude is rocking me.” Yet, when I looked up, I see the lasers spelling out DJ Three. Instantly I knew that this dude was likely the best DJ in the state. Despite Kimball’s hype.

fast forward……

It’s like 6 months later and I am feeling like a veteran now. There is a new crop of kids coming in after us and I am wondering were we this annoying also. LOL Backpacks, lollipops, and funny hats. Massaging each other with vap-o-rub, and wearing surgical masks. What a sight!

So by now I have met one of the loves of my life. Marissa. My little rave queen. Together with my buddy Adam, we make the rounds from city to city. It is almost Christmas time and so The Edge in FT. Lauderdale is throwing their annual party. DJ Three is on the bill.

One day I hope to do what you do

It is now morning and people are chilling outside in the back courtyard. I spot DJ Three chilling, so I decide to go walk up to introduce myself. He was quite approachable. We had a very long conversion in which I learned his real name. Where he was from, and that he worked at a record store.
I told him of how I had recently dropped out of music university in hopes of one day being a DJ/producer. To which he replied that his good friend Dave Christopher (Rabbit in The Moon” was also a classically trained musician.
He also encouraged me to stick with it. We parted ways, but kept in touch.

Later Marissa and I would move to Tampa on the strength of knowing many of the same people Chris Milo knew. Brian Busto, Terryn Westbrook, and DJ Jask. It was also here that I would go on to meet Chris Mitchell.
The scene was vibrant and healthy. If you played, you could gig and get paid. Lots of record stores, and cool parties. More on those in the near future.

advice not heeded

In winter of 2006 right after starting Vanguad Sound! I also started a myspace and found DJ Three on there. I was living in the Chicago suburbs and he had recently moved to NYC from Tampa where he held a residency at Twilo. After telling him that I was going to go all out and try music full time he warned me against it. He mentioned the lack of security, retirement, medical benefits, and the overall stress. I think his words were do not ruin your life trying to be a pro DJ. It’s not worth it. The irony is that there have been many times where I thought that perhaps I should have taken his advice.

yet, we are artists

throughout the history of humanity, many of the most lauded artists struggled to survive in their lifetimes. I am no different. the phrase “feast or famine” comes to mind. When it’s good it’s really good, but when it’s bad, the darkness can overwhelm. I am not so cheeky as to compare myself to people like Nina Simone who had similar struggles. Nor Bernie Worrell, or any of the other talented Black Americans who struggled in life, but were celebrated in death.

If I am actually of this lineage, I am more than honored. I do all I can to put myself in this class of artists, but only time will tell. Hopefully I won’t have to die for people to show love.

We shall see.

true story
AAxx

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Oh Sh!t

“we should most definitely have been arrested that night”

box full of blunts

Three young lads, tripping balls, and riding dirty on a Saturday night in the early 90’s. Amir is driving the “Pluto trip mobile”, Adam is riding shotgun, and Jamie is in the back with a box of 50 Tampa nugget blunts, and an ounce of cheeba. Later that night they will attend their first official rave, but for now they’ve decided to chief up a few blunts and ride out listening to the new Pharcyde tape.

“let’s drop now and let it kick in on the way”

Seemed like an excellent idea at the time, so we did just that. The plan is to do the scenic route on the way to the abandoned mall, chief up, and let the acid do it’s work so we hit the party primed and ready to dance.
All is going well as the tracers and body buzz both creep up on us. (By this time I have logged hundreds of hours acid driving. Not proud of it, it just is what it is). Coming out of downtown Jax we are the only car on the highway.

beginning to peak

This tape is DOPE!” Everybody is vibing out as the album unfolds. We had all seen the video for “Passing Me By”, so expectations were high. So far, the 4 Kids from LA have not disappointed.
Then I see them. Out of nowhere come 4 squad cars. The boys in blue. Jacksonville’s finest starting to follow me. Just as I tell the boys what’s up the speakers ring out “Oh Shit!”, then the song of the same name begins to play.

we’re surrounded

Suddenly they fan out and surround us on all 4 sides. Front, left, right, and rear. We ride like this for what seemed like an eternity. “Look normal! Act sober! Don’t look at them!” All these things could be heard as we prepare for the worst. The pressure was on me to not get us caught so “I focused power”, trained my gaze on the rear lights of the car in front of me, and hit cruise control to keep my pace steady.

poof!

After what seemed like forever, but was actually likely only 5 minutes we approached an off ramp/exit. In a flash all 4 po po cars peeled off the highway toward the krispy kreme donut shop that had the “hot donuts now” sign blazing.
For a couple minutes we all sat in silence trying to comprehend what had just happened. Then suddenly we all began to yell, and cheer. No jail for us tonight. “How the hell did they not just pull us over?” I asked. “Who cares as long as they didn’t get us” Adam answered. “Word up” Jamie chimed in.

and so…

We made our way to what would become our first rave ever. Acid heads in search of acid house. Doing unspeakable things. Driving recklessly, breaking the law, and participating in deviant activities.
Us kids with our Adidas suits, and super baggy jeans sleeping all day and staying out all night must have seemed quite strange to our families at the time. We should most definitely have been arrested that night, but it wasn’t meant to be.

over 25 years later

I am now the only one who still actively engages “the culture”, as it were. For the other guys it was a passing phase. For me it was like an orphan finding his tribe. The music has given me the opportunity to live my dreams. To discover myself, and to almost destroy my own life.
I am thankful for it all. As I cannot imagine even being alive right now without such a life giving force underpinning my life for the last three decades.

Once upon a time, a kid could have a dream and pursue it to fruition. A nobody kid from nowhere special. These days, not so much. Time and place (context) are crucial. The luck of the draw must be accounted for. I write these episodes to demonstrate my “universal normalcy”. Meaning, my story is not different than most every other kid in the scene. Except that I totally went for it.
This is something that anyone who believes in themselves can do. Surround yourself with people trying to accomplish similar goals. Support one another, and NEVER GIVE UP!

taking my own advice

So now I find myself returning from hiatus to find the entire climate has changed. And thus, I must rebuild everything from square one. Much of the sector that was home to me and other similar House artists has been decimated and doesn’t exist anymore. So many artists don’t even play out these days. Yet, I choose to remain positive and be optimistic.
This is my career, my business. Built up over the course of almost 3 decades.

So despite the leanness of the land, as it were, I must struggle to find a way. For the culture, the artform, my son, my self, and for those coming after me. Each one, teach one. In the scene many will grow old, but few will become elders. It is a responsibility one must accept.
Looking back on my life in this scene, I am inspired to continue to be that “regular guy who broke out” (even though according to the industry press, I never have. LOL) At any rate, I either let the story end, or I blaze ahead and forge the next chapter.

Any artist who completely dedicates themselves to their craft can begin to feel some kinda way when they feel ignored, or slighted. This is natural. Yet, at some point, dealing with the industry creates the opportunity to truly become the positive and laid back person one claims to be. Because it’s either that, or become a stressed out A-hole no one can deal with.
After having tried on both hats, I’ve settled on the former, not the latter.

grizzled and torn war veteran

“The battles are with oneself. Convenience is the lure.”

I’ve never been connected. Just stating fact. Never had anyone to give advice, etc. Just a regular dude in an extraordinary situation trying to find my path, while making hella mistakes on the way.

Looking back, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. During my implosion I never did or said anything hurtful. I was just an unpleasant areshole who was bringing people down. It takes humility to admit this.
My bad.
Ok then, what’s next?

The struggle continues……

True story
AAx

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Ricky Spitzz! The One Man Gang.

In the Beginning
As a child, Hip Hop was my first love. My first musical love, that is. I was fortunate to be born in a family steeped in the love of Black/African American music. Both Gospel and Secular. My Mother was a Gospel Choir soloist in her youth, and my Father was an avid music collector.
In my parents house I heard R&B, Soul, and Disco daily, but in the early 1980’s I heard rap for the first time.
Like many kids not living in New York City, the first rap I heard was on the radio. Songs like The Double Dutch Bus, and Rappers Delight. This was new music. A new genre entirely, and I loved it. These were but mere shadows of the real rap and hip hop going on in NYC of course, but my interest was piqued. However, it was the mighty Planet Rock that changed my life, and birthed the musician I am now.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The extended version of Planet rock came on the radio in the car. When we got home I asked my Dad to leave the keys in so I could hear it all. I was transformed. It was that day I truly realized how music could stir one’s very soul. 
By this time I was already a little B-Boy and graffiti writer in my small town. I was listening to Jam On it, U.T.F.O, Roxanne Shante, Whodini, The Skinny Boys, and the like, but it was that particular Saturday that I was transformed. Thinking back on it, in the years prior, my ears just weren’t mature enough to really go deep the way I did that day. I came pretty close though, listening to the Skinny Boys tape. My soul really felt those Bros, and could instantly tell that they were the real thing, as opposed to the Fat Boys. I spent hour upon hour listening to that Skinny Boys tape.
Shortly thereafter, we moved to the extreme west side of town with my Dad, as my parents had officially split up by that time. There a dude named David Spells let me dub his Doug E. Fresh tape that had the legendary The Show, and Ladi Dadi by Slick Rick The Ruler.
For those who were fortunate enough to have grown up in Hip Hop’s Golden era, nothing else can, or ever will compare.
I myself embodied all 5 elements of the culture (DJ, Rap, B-Boy (Dancer), Graffiti, and Beat Boxing). Mediocre at first, but as the years progressed I have achieved expert status in most, if not all of them.
I have been fortunate to travel the world performing as a DJ, and have been called a “living legend” by many of my peers and fans of my work. To which I humbly reply, that I am one in training, but I need a few more years to solidify my status among the greats with my contributions to the culture(s), as it were. That brings me to the reason for today’s post.
Rap, my first love. Before I could even pop-lock, or B-Boy, I felt that I had the soul of a rapper, but at the time I was much too shy to even attempt it. In our little crew Junior (Daniel Gibbs) was the natural rapper/MC. Kid had a gift. It was me, him, Charles Pittman (my bestie), Adolph Brown, and later Pompie Drake.
We were all young thugs and petty criminals with long rap sheets even by the ages of 12 and 13 years.
*(Another notable influence with respect to rap was Jamie McLeod. A kid I met in my teens who was known as a dope MC/Freestyler around town. It was my freestyle sessions with him and my crew at the time where I discovered I actually could rap).

Trouble with the law
I was on my way to a very long bid in juvenile prison (Raiford, I believe), when I was just beginning to learn music in 6th grade band. I had been told many times that if I kept it up (my devious unlawful ways, accompanied by my “smart mouth”), that I would not live past the age of 12. They were correct.
Luckily my Grand Parents made me go to church every Sunday and I had a huge sense of right and wrong. All the rest of my homies indeed became cliches. Either dead, or in prison at a very young age. All but me, God, and my music kept me alive.
I had already alienated most of my family who had given up on me as a habitual offender, good for nothing bad seed, yet my Music teacher, Mr. David Vezzetti saw something in me. The potential to become the artist I am today. God bless him.

I found my love of music (which saved my life)
He, along with my high school band director, Mr. James Pignato trained me and set me on the right path. I graduated as the most decorated musician in the history of the town I grew up in. An achievement that will never be eclipsed, as the Arts Education system that birthed me has been decimated. In 6 short years I had completely turned my life around, but I digress…..
Today’s blog is about Rap Music. Specifically my first officially released rap project. I say rap, because Hip Hop as it was is no more. It is a relic. Married to a specific time in history. A time I hold near and dear to my heart. Like every other kid (now in middle age), that was blessed to experience it.

Today
I now do Trap and Drill rap. For adults, and kids who want a message, versus media brainwash, i.e. drugs, sex, and violence. It has taken over three decades for me to refine my craft to a level that I was ready to present it to the world. As I take the “art of rap” quite seriously. I understand it’s transformative power. Be it for good, or for evil.
My first project to be officially released is actually my 4th (hip hop/rap) album. The third I’ve written this year. The first “Chicago Gun Times” is my take of Chicago Drill. From the perspective of an old-school head. Within it, there is “The Trilogy” that chronicles a child becoming radicalized by watching his best friend killed right in front of him on the way to school. Who grows up to be a leader in his gang who eventually gets killed himself. The last part explains the whole “revenge killing” nature of Drill, and what is at the root of all the violence in Chi-City. I close the album with an epilogue. Giving my advice to these talented kids who drop like flies everyday.
Upon it’s completion, I felt that I could in no way contribute to “death culture”, so this album sits in “the vaults”.
The second album was me breaking rule #1 as a male songwriter. Which is “never write a song for a bitch” LOL. I composed 10 songs and dope ass beats for one of the 2 loves of my life. A 42 year old woman whom I have known and loved since she was 14. We in many ways are 2 peas in a pod. However, with almost 30 years of life under the bridge as it were, we live 2 completely different lifestyles. I am a Christian meat eater, she is a pagan vegan. Nuff said.
Yet, our love for one another is as strong as ever. The album is called 17-21.
More on that later.

The new album
This brings us to “Separate Myself”. An ode to the current sound of Chicago. The album is a modern rap Mix-tape of “remixes”. Where a rapper recreates hot songs of the day with their own words and style.
In doing so, the youth of today know undeniably that I am hip to them and the sound of today. Both in the choice of tracks, as well as how lovely I spit over them. I felt that this was my best introduction into today’s rap climate. Again rap, not hip hop. Because Trap and Drill are just that. 2 different sub genres, but not hip hop. Which birthed them all. I am Richard Amir Alexander Junior. My father is Richard Senior. 2 different people. He birthed me. I am his son. Trap and Drill are the sons of hip hop.
So if you’re still with me after all of this, I present to you the first video from the album. Track #9 “One Man Gang”. It’s way slept on at the moment, but crucial in understanding who and what I am as a rapper (my rap persona, as it were).
The intro “Separate Myself” has the most listens, as it is track one as well as the title of the project.
Yet, I felt the need to “push” One Man Gang” as the lead single for the above stated reasons.
I have no favorite track on this album. I think that they are all dope equally. As such, I hope that those of you who rock with me will dig into them all.
The surface “onlookers” will listen to the first (title track) and move on, as I am but a mere curiosity to them. Same as it ever was.

My place in history
However, for those interested in really knowing an artist who has worked over 30 years to become one of the “true greats” of his generation in the entire history of music, here you go.
My “magnum opus”.
Out of all my Chicago House Music contemporaries I am the only one (with the exception of *DJ Taye, perhaps), who makes the “Modern sound of Chicago”. Taye isn’t necessarily a House Head, so I put an asterisk beside his name. He’s also of this current generation and not a student of Chi music going into it’s third decade as far as I can tell.
Since age 13, I have been working to carry on the lineage of great artists, such as Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, John Philip Sousa, Hector Berlioz, Igor Stravinski, Erik Satie, Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. If an artist does not set out with this in mind, it will never happen.
I am like a Monet painting. One must stand back and look at the whole to get the clear picture.
Focusing on a single aspect gives one a blurred impression, at best.
So without further ado.
One Man Gang
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzbOGIUrgg&t=0s

Listen to and download the full album here

 

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Vlog Episode #8 “One Man Gang!”

The struggle is real, and it continues. No gigs. Looking for a fulltime job that is not connected with the music industry. It is what it is. Steady mobbin’, keeping it real, and doing me. Perfecting my bunnyhop technique, and trying to gain height/hang time so that I can begin to learn 360s. Which I hope to have down by my birthday.
We’ll see how it goes though, as meeting basic survival needs living well under the poverty line takes precedence over riding and BMX progression.
At any rate “we out here!” We, meaning me. The one man gang.
Facts!

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BMX Vlog Ep #6 Pinch flats 180’s Exploded bars, and Social Media Experiments!

What a week! So much happened and I didn’t even have to catch a plane. Facebook showed me just how much damage it has done to people’s sense(s) of empathy. It was the catalyst I needed to fully move onto the gram. I am a very friendly and caring person. I try to be the friend I wish to have, but rarely does this go both ways.
So my handlebars broke because I am advancing and progressing so quickly. I bunny hop way too high, and much too often for those Hi-Ten (high tensile) Steel bars to withstand it. I need full chromoly parts from here on out.
So, upon the suggestion of of a friend on facebook (an actual friend), I posted my paypal email to see if there was any love out there. I was hoping for a dollar/euro/quid each from maybe 10 or 20 people. Perhaps 5 bucks tops, but I was good with 10 or 20 cents, a like/comment, and or well wish of acknowledgement.
One person out of over 260 donated $25. My mom. LOL And one person commented that they’re broke, but they feel me. That meant alot. Just acknowledging the struggle would have been good enough, but I got tumbleweeds.
I am not sure why others are on fake-book, but I have my ideas. I was never on there for any of those, and the reason I was on there was voided a couple few years ago.
After the obvious point of negative returns, it is time to make a change. Being that there is no real friendship among fake-book friends, I have shut my Amir Alexander fakebook profile down. I will not delete it, as I have an artist page to maintain. I did however, “seal it up” from outside contact.
If people wish to get up with me, they can do it on the gram.     @dj.amir.alexander
Being a “public figure” destroys one’s ability to have valid relationships with most people you meet through the industry. In the long run, it usually turns out that these people who are your best friends one season can hardly remember your name the next.

Alas, I am not bitter. I accept this as part of “the game”.  As such, I took the necessary steps to prevent feeling bitter or disappointed.
I’ve divested and abandoned ship. Let it sink into the abyss of psychological experimentation it is. People are destroying everything that makes them people. Willingly.
Well……. I ain’t havin’ it. Go along to get along?????? NO!
https://youtu.be/OuLIZuULsgU

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Flux Interview for my new album Dusk Til Dawn!

Amir Alexander’s Flux Interview for the new album!
Shout out Just Jack for sorting the press/promo etc.
Shout out Flux, Dan Heller, and Julia for being so gracious and accommodating.
This music industry is so weird. I get mad love from a very small pocket of clued in/influential heads, but then completely ignored by the majority
of the scene.
I guess this is what it is to be truly underground. The real heads and critics champion you, but “commercial success” eludes.
Either way, the work/discography is there.
Whether I gig and am popular, or whether I disappear into obscurity. Anyone who is really paying attention cannot help but see/hear.
Realest of the real. From Alpha to Omega. xx

An interview with Amir Alexander