The irony is unmatched, eh?

Canadian hip hop, r&b, soul, spoken word, beats, rap and all other sub-genres of urban music got a huge break Sunday at the 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver, BC.

Tory Lanez couldn’t have planned it better if he tried. Due to his absence at the awards show, Rascalz, Thrust, Checkmate, Kardinal and Choclair busted into “Northern Touch” in an impromptu self-proclaimed “takeover” of the JUNOS. This, much to the likely chagrin of the brass (and my parents) was a very radical and much needed shakeup in the musical landscape. I think is sad that a nation so proud of its heritage, proud of its diversity and proud of acceptance still has “-gasp- moments” when a group of artists take the microphone and lay down the facts like they did last night…

Its 2018. Let’s get real. Urban music is very much a part of our national identity and because of the talents that took the chance at the shake up last night, we are leaders in the urban space. Much love. Much respect. You’re true foot soldiers. We need more of that.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of these legends of Canadian Hip Hop, Kardinal Offishall this winter, when he hosted an event at NMC, interviewing another leader in the World Music genre, fellow Calgarian, Raghav.

Kardinal is hilarious, classy and it’s great to see him continue to give back to the music community and really help to continue to grow the hip hop movement.

So yeah. I wanted to not just base my argument solely off of opinion, even though I know a lot more than the ignorant, culturally narrowed-minded opposition… so here are three of my favourite arguments to counter those who deny urban music and its legitimacy in the industry.

1. “Rap is not music.”

Oh, is that so? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition music is:vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony.

So if you believe rap is not music, you would be incorrect.

They tie lyrics together in multiple rhythms and rhyme schemes to a beat generally, but not always. Case closed.

2. “Rap Artists have no talent.”

Have you ever tried to fit 14 syllables into one sentence and line it up like poetry and craft stories around your experience?

No? Still not sold?

Okay. Watch this then – The Greatest Rhymers of All Time

3. “It’s just a bunch of gangster noise”

Awfully insecure, ignorant and insensitive, don’t you think? Here, watch this clip and tell me urban music hasn’t moved entire political, socio-economic and popular culture agendas. Straight Outta Compton – trailer

Urban music is charged by emotion. Rhythmically, lyrically and ingeniously it is an art form simply reserved for an elite class of forward thinking artists. Sure, there are some pretty shitty artists out there, like any industry. But generally speaking, the urban scene, especially in Canada is alive and well.

I find that most people fear change. These are typically the same people that horde, and share an incredibly narrow focused belief system about how the ways things are.

We fear what we don’t know.

And a lot of people don’t know urban music, hip hop and the like…

Tonight’s takeover was a huge step in alleviating that fear.

Thank you, Kardinal et al.

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As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

We all live in patterns. It’s been brought to my attention a few times this week so I figure I should address the importance of recognizing these patterns, good or bad and then having the ability to channel them in your best interest, so here it goes.

Consistency is something we tend to talk a lot about but rarely deliver, or at least I know it’s a constant conversation I’ve had with myself over the past few years. It’s good now though that I recognize that I don’t always deliver (ironic seeing as though it’s a vital part of my job to make sure my clients deliver…) sometimes it’s just easier to not have to dig in… not be accountable… to grow up and blow away.

Here’s what I noticed about myself. And I was talking with my friend, and hairstylist about this trend. When I undergo or at least crave change, I alter my appearance.

Easiest and most common through the years was the hairstyle, and as I you can tell – here we are. Another big change, another change in hair. It’s a trend of my reinvention of myself. Cleansing myself of the impurities of my old self, and opening myself up for a new challenge. Personally I love the idea of change. I embrace it, and I’d encourage you to, too.

Here’s a snapshot of a few of my hairstyles and corresponding life events that played a role in the reinvention.

“The Sick Flow” 2005 (Found drums)

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“The Workin’ Man” 2007 (Discovered my career, my passion for life)

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“Hairodynamic” 2014 (started speed skating, became a full time athlete)

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The “JD” 2015 (reinvented myself in single life)

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“Straight Up” 2015 (rediscovered music)

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“The Clark” 2016 (joined The Sweets)

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“Change of Shade: Violet Undertones” 2016 (Started writing my book)

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Hair Massacure “Dope Soul” 2017 (Started working at INLIV; NMC + CMW connection)

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“Mull-Hawk” 2017 (MusicFit, Monkey Tree, The Sweets, more writing)

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As you can see, I welcome change and manifest my reinvention through physical appearance. Adapt. Change. Learn. Grow. Darwin. Moral of the story is I tend to manifest positive change, showing that you can too. Most recently, I dumped the old me. Battling depression, sadness, fear and embraced optimism, vibrance, empowerment and confidence – all represented through a haircut. Just like I did before speed skating, after high school and right before I joined The Sweets. See the trend?

I’m back with The Sweets, MusicFit is taking off and as luck would have it, I just had my hair did by an old bestie… weird how the universe works, right?

If you change your environment, you can change the outcome.

Thanks for listening,

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Stopped again in the drive through

But this time I have more than enough.

Yet I hold back.

“Spare some change?”

Change? I can’t ever bear to lend my blanket of scarcity, never mind money.

I drove off, perfectly comfortable

In my own little hell

But that hell started to burn with every Kilometer I put between myself and this guy. Finally. Home.

I chose to go back over sleep.

With my best friend in tow

And my soul so hopeful to make good of that earlier occurrence

Those four dollars were worth so much more tonight

Jason was forever grateful. He’s been looking for painting jobs since he moved from Montreal to repair things with his pops, who had just passed away

We could have talked for hours.

He said I looked like a commercial or a billboard. Something big was going to happen. Dar liked him. I told him he will bounce. I was just there.

I felt the switch flip and that was what lead me back to Jason the painter.

With the last five dollars in my wallet and a business card I made a deal.

Jason was to reach out when his situation allowed him to. When he gets it, he will.

I told him I was right there last week and I made the conscious effort to change.

He got it.

The next time someone asks me for change I’ll respond “change comes from within. And every little bit counts.”

I didn’t even play Camilo.

Realists don’t 

Really have a 

Real place in what I deem to be 

Reality.

Let’s examine a child’s mind for a moment. Heck, let’s look at your youth. What did you see when you laid out in the freshly cut lawn, face up, staring into the open blue skies that was every lazy Sunday afternoon in your childhood? Did you daydream like me? 

Just because I’m snacking on carrots doesn’t mean I am a bunny. That may be as great of an assumption as if you thought anyone that chases sticks is a puppy. 

It’s not whether you are for the carrot or the stick that defines you. No, no- I believe that if you let what you do define you, you’ve already lost. 

The wonderment in a child’s eyes is simply unmatched in this world. The playground is how I create. The playground is how I thrive. The playground is how I groove. I encourage all of my nearest and dearest and anyone else I respect into that environment of intellectual prosperity. We live in a social construct that doesn’t subscribe to the creativity that the playground, the child’s imagination and the spirit of the phrase “what if” epitomizes. 

I’m here to dispel that fallacy. I’m here to bring about groovement, raditude and a place we call home; Imagine-Nation. 

Look up into the sky this afternoon. That’s your reality. 

If we don’t take that step, that shot, that jump… we’ll never have to worry about where we land. Right?

That featured picture was when I was on track, haha… long track… for an entirely different career. I was an aspiring speed skater, sights set on representing Canada in long track. Things changed. Imagine had I not been able to change with them…

So many times this past week I’ve had the same conversation with different people in my life; clients, friends, strangers… all about the fear of taking action. It’s a theme I’ve visited before, but I even addressed it in my The Symposium this week. (You can listen to it below if you’re into the audio kind of thing…)

Fact is – life throws you curveballs. And it’s up to you how you handle them. You can swing for the fences, play it conservative down the line or you can watch life pass you by because you were expecting a “heater”. Baseball analogies aside (Can you tell I’m a Jays fan?), you are in complete control of your reaction. That’s it. That’s all.

Take a listen to the podcast if you’d like to hear how I recently overcame  adversity when everything that could have gone wrong, did at the L&M “Fitness For Musicians” workshop I hosted last week. Heck, the podcast itself is undergoing format changes. If I weren’t able to switch my game plan up on the fly, adapt and cater to the situation that clinic could have been an absolute train wreck. I’m working on producing a video to capture some of the highlights and you’ll see soon enough that what was made out of that adversity was a thing of pure, raw passion to help others and really make a difference in their lives right there on the spot.

Also tune in if you’d like to learn more about losing weight. Here are two pro tips to losing weight that I discuss on this week’s episode.

  1. Eat slow
  2. Eat only until you’re 80% full

And I’m featuring local talent. So, if you happen to be a creative – especially a musician – that would like to give a little plug about your upcoming show, events or the like – drop me a line. I’m into closing my podcasts out with a piece from the local talent we have in this beautiful city. Heck, even if you’re not local, let’s bring you on and do it up too.

Lastly, shout out to all my fellow speed skaters competing in Calgary for the Finale this weekend. Huge competition to cap off another wonderful season. Go out and kick ass and leave it all out there. If you happen to have time and want to share your experience, please – drop me a line. I’m hosting interviews to add to my podcast lineup, share your story and expose your super crazy work ethic and drive for success.

 

Check it all out here.

 

It sounds so simple. And it is. Oftentimes we get stuck in this victimized state of mind where we feel everything is against us, no one wants to be our friend and the world hates what we are doing. Everyone is out to get us. We didn’t get the promotion because the boss doesn’t like our suit, the girl next door gets all the boys because she’s so skinny, and your mother didn’t call you on your birthday because you’re just not her favourite.

Okay, these are all blasphemy, but I’m sure yo get my point. If you don’t like something that’s going on in your life, you – and only you – have the power to change that. So, do just that. Change.

I talk about it as my second pro tip in the week’s #TheSymposium episode, so click the player and listen right here if you’d prefer. Otherwise, read on…

Three Only Three Steps To Making Change

  1. Identify
  2. Take action
  3. Recalibrate
  1. Identify:images-1

    The first bit is really just as it sounds. In order to fix a problem, you must first recognize (and admit.. holy, this sounds like another 12 step program…). So, identify the problem and we’re on to number two…

  2. Take Action: images-2

    I believe this is the most crucial of the steps. We tend to stay paralyzed in a zone of comfort. If you feel as though you might be a habitual comfort-zoner, ask yourself “How’s that working for ya…” Newsflash – only creatures of mediocrity exist in comfort. Get out of your comfort zone. Jump. You’ll find progress. You’ll find expansion and you’ll find success outside of what you’re comfortable in. So, take a leap and then become a warrior in the battle of figuring out where you land. Until you jump you’ll never have to worry about sticking the landing. And the French judge won’t care either way… you’ll still get a 7.3…

  3. Recalibrate: unknown
    Congrats! You jumped! No what, right? That’s what this step is for. Life is constantly going to throw the proverbial curveballs your way, it’s your job to react appropriately. Expect the unexpected. It makes life fun too if you can embrace this. Who really wants everything to always go the way it’s planned. There’s no room for growth and creativity that way. Get creative, problem solve, laugh at yourself and don’t become too serious about, well, really anything. Live. Love. Laugh. Shit’s gonna happen. You’re gonna deal. All good in the hood, mmmmkay!? Mmmmkay.

There we have it. Your personal game plan to address situations you’re not diggin’. The big secret? Get out of them. Hope this helps, please share and subscribe to the podcast if you are liking the words and the thoughts and the idea of creating a movement of influence.

Link down below!

PPLSKLZ RADIO

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1204530642

Cheers!

Coach