Kindred Journey 36 - Rocky Rivera

The majority of my community knows this phenomenal artist, but let me give you a little backstory if you're unfamiliar. Rocky started her music career officially in the mid 2000's as one fourth of the group "Rhapsodistas", then the release of her mixtape "Married to the Hustle". Since 2008 she's released a consistent catalogue of EPs, features, mixtapes with DJ Roza, and three full length albums; most recently "Rocky's Revenge". Born in the Philippines she came to the US as a child. She and her two sisters gravitated heavily to hip hop. She grew up in the San Francisco, specifically the Excelsior district. A student of journalism Rock has written for publications such as XXL, The Source, Ruckus, and was featured as part of MTV's "I'm From Rolling Stone" show where she wrote and covered hip hop stories for the magazine. Always a sharp thinker you can hear subjects ranging from religion, colorism, Pinay pride, Filipin@ history, guerilla warfare, revolutionary politics, and feminism to mob music, gold grills, knocking sound systems, and motherhood. Besides being a fierce MC that will rip any rapper and write a rhyme from multiple vantages of a story, she is a super down to earth person who lives what she spits. On any given day you could catch her rocking a show, working with youth, writing a book, attending a protest, organizing, rocking some fly fashion, or just raising her kids with her partner. As someone who always uplifts other women you'll often see her praising other women too. She is a pioneer that is paving a way and giving other young artists a voice to truly believe in and be inspired by. Ok, please go bump her music, follow, and be a part of new music and writing as a Patreon supporter.

Fav Song: GRLGNG
Sources: Davey D's Hip Hop Corner, HypeBae, East Bay Express, El Tecolote, Beatrock Music

Did you catch the last one of Deb Never?


Kindred Journey 35 - Deb Never

This is Deb Never, a young musician from LA, by way of Spokane Washington. Just down the block from the Cour d' Alene Indian reservation. Deb is fresh and I'm not really sure what music category to put her in yet. She sings, can rhyme a little bit, plays guitar, piano, and probably some other shit. She's a Korean American church kid who started working on music in her teens. Self described as hella awkward and nervous, she's come out of her shell to drop her first EP called House On Wheels. She lead into that with the singles "Swimming" (How I found her) and "Ugly". She just released a new project dedicated to frontline workers for covid 19 called "Intermission" and she started releasing music on Soundcloud in 2017. She dipped to LA, started releasing music, and got signed with some friends, the cats who run "We Did It" records ( Shlomo, RL Grime). Style wise, besides the moody and whatever vibes she gives off you can tell she has a sense of humor and I urge you to check her out.

Fav Song: Swimming
Sources: Complex, Red Bull, Fader, NME

Did you catch the last one of Blue Scholars?


Daddy Thoughts 20 - Other plans

I think there was a saying that if you want to make god laugh, show her/him your plans. I'm probably getting that wrong. But it seems like this entire year has other plans for our plans. Sure some people may just be coasting along like nothing has happened but I think a good majority of the worlds population is adjusting, pivoting, changing, etc.

Take for example my baby girl who is now 20 months old. From the time she was born up until about the age of 1 I stayed home to care for her while Mama worked. Of course I still worked doing what I could at night, in between naps, etc. But she is a fully formed toddler now, asking for things, expressing happiness and discontent. She walks, runs, eats food and spits it out. I thought at the beginning of this year I'm about to make all kinds of new projects in addition to client work, but with childcare closed and our family distancing the time to create and work was cut in half. We're blessed though, making it work. Me and Mama take turns from 8am-5pm. I'm on morning shift, Mama's on afternoon. Trying to work and care for bebe girl has lead to some hilarious moments. Especially since we're potty training. The other day I was answering emails, watching my girl like a hawk for any sign that she might go pee (she had no pants for the first 10 days), all the while making lunch for me and my wife.happened the other day. And as soon as I look away to turn down the stove, season that, she pooped. Haha, right in the middle of the kitchen. So I took a breath, cleaned her, the poop, the floor, my hands, and proceeded to make lunch.

But for my teen, I can't imagine how hard it is. I talk to him regularly and ask him how he's doing. I make sure to check on him and he's in good hands with his Mami. But, leaving the normalcy of the last 12-13 years of seeing other children in school came to a screeching halt. Sure, there's so much that happens nw days over text. I know kids message each other sometimes more than they see one another and that he plays video games and talks to friends via games. But, it is still quite anxiety inducing; this whole culture. I'm lucky he still opens up and shares what makes him happy. We've got a book club going on where we read together. And I try to honestly check out some of the things he shares with me even if I don't understand. And despite all this, he's still doing great on his assigned work. I'm just glad its not his graduating year, or the prom he's missing. I do wish I could encourage him to have his friends over though. Maybe in a few months, I hope.

Me, I'm tired, horny, feeling a bit overwhelmed at times, hungry, contemplative, robotic, and blessed all at the same time. Give thanks that I still have a roof and that there are so many stepping up. Thats it for today.

Here's the last Daddy Thought-Twist and Repeat

Bookmark 10 - Leer Comícs

Check it out, new book mark. En Español for my Spanish speaking readers and bilingual students. 
BUY here

Did you see there are two bilingual bookmark packs?

Here is the most recent one from 2020
here is the pack from 2019

Bookmark Pack 2

Yo, just finished a new pack of bilingual bookmarks for the readers of all ages. This time with a focus on comics. This is a pack so you can get one of each, 3, 5, or more. Check out the close ups of the bookmarks and...

Buy a Pack HERE

Did you see the previous pack of bilingual bookmarks? Here it is LINK.


Kindred Journey 34 - Blue Scholars

Blue Scholars (play on Blue Collar) is a pioneering hip hop group from Seattle Washington and met at the University of Washington in 2002. They've had a prolific career as a group, solo artists, and as  founders of other groups. Their self titled first project dropped in 2004 and they've released three LP's and four EPs. Geo (Pinoy) brings a deep voice, incredible delivery, lived and studied experience to the mic as a rapper, educator, and former poet. Sabzi ( Iranian) is a versatile musician/ producer whose beats bring a cinematic storytelling element to each song; spanning many genres. Geo started rapping in high school and worked as a community organizer in addition to the Wing Luke Museum. Sabzi is a trained pianist who also was a punk music drummer. These cats have performed all over sharing stages with big names and hitting the on stages at Rock The Bells, Bumbershoot, SXSW, and the Sasquatch fest. Some of the projects were released with labels but most has been done independently. Good old bars, hip hop culture, race, class, imperialism, cultural heritage, and their native Seattle are common topics.

Sabzi has produced for many artists. He co-founded "Common Market" with rapper RA Scion and "Made in The Heights" with singer Kelsey Bulkin. He's got his project called Town Folk (Because both Seattle and Oakland call themself "The Town"), and has put out a bunch of instrumental albums.

Geo (Prometheus Brown ) is now a Dad and co runs a bakery called "Hood Famous" with his partner, chef Cherla Amlag. Besides that he started a group with LA native Bambu called "The Bar", signed to Beatrock Music, and has a project called "Rappers with Cameras". 

Although I know Seattle for its indie rock scene. I have to remind myself about how big the hip hop scene there is with cats like The Physics, Macklemore, Canary Sing, Good Medicine, Jake One, Mario & Malice Sweet, Thee Satisfaction, and the OGs Sir Mix-a-lot and Ishmael Butler (Shabazz Palaces/Digable Planets). Please listen to Blue Scholars and support their respective projects. Fellas, visited last year and I love your city. Respect.

Sources: KEXP, Seattle Times, Hip Hop DX, Okay Player, Chris Jespersen, The Word, Wikipedia
Fav Song: 50 Thousand Deep

Did you see the last one I did of Raveena?
What about the painting of The Mountain Brothers?


READ Print Pack

Started this set of new art prints back in March and here are all four prints. Whats the point of these art prints? To encourage reading and literacy and to provide a mirror for some kids to see themselves.  

You can purchase the pack of prints here.


READ Print 4

Here's the last print of this "READ" series encouraging young people to pick up a comic, graphic novel, YA, MG, Magazine, art book, whatever and read. I started this at the beginning of the year in March and I was inspired to do more so I did. For this one, I imagined a young Asian Boy. Check it out and share.


Did you catch the last one? READ print 3


Kindred Journey 33 - Raveena

This artist is one of my favorite soul musicians beginning to get her just due. Raveena is a singer songwriter from NYC via Connecticut. She grew up hearing her family members sing old Bollywood songs and its hopeful to hear about some of her early influences from D'Angelo, Sade, to Taylor Swift. She started writing music in her early teens and later attended school for music at New York's famous Tisch school of the Arts. She released her first EP "Where We Wander" in 2013 while still a student there. She would go on to release other projects such as "Shanti", the LP "Lucid", and the new EP "Moonstone". The song that caught my attention first was "sweet time" and I can remember my friends Franklin and Lara playing her music in a long car ride.

Raveena's music to me is super soulful, beautifully produced (shout out to Everett Orr), very original in its lyrics, and sonically colorful with all its beautiful melodies and chords. She is very smooth, gentle, and soft spoken but I don't imagine she'll always be that way. With a strong fashion sense, a keen eye for directing videos that feel fresh I look forward to seeing a long career for Raveena Aurora who has already been working at it for almost a decade. What else? She is from a supportive Sikh, northern Indian family. She is queer. She sings about spirituality, pleasure, love, abuse, and definitely gives a fuck about justice. Give her music a listen. And when this pandemic is over go see her live! Oh and she was featured on NPR's Tiny Desk, go watch that.

Sources: NPR, Wesleyan Argus, Jai-pur.com, Aerogram
Fav Song: Temptation

Did you see the last ptg of MC Seti-X?
Check out composer/producer KAT Ouano


Bookmark 9 - Read Comics

Here's a new comic to encourage readers of all ages to read comics. I know some will say it's not educational or that they're not real books but who cares. If you enjoy reading them, read em! And for those who haven't fully seen what comics can do, this is to give them a nudge.

Purchase HERE

Did you see the last bilingual bookmark set?