Posts Tagged ‘Music’


New Video – Fear is Over

Fear is Over Official Video

After my last two videos (To the Sky and My Own Way) which required a ton of pre-prouction and a 4-day shoots each at various locations I told myself the next video I made would be something very simple…

Fast forward a few months to when I had finished writing and recording “Fear is Over”, which I never had any plans of making a video for. One night the lyric “in this corner me, in the other corner – me” inspired a vision of me training in an old boxing gym for a big fight… with myself. I shelved the idea at first since it wasn’t exactly something that would be easy to pull off. But the vision kept coming back to me. I kept fighting it. A few nights later I googled “old boxing gym Los Angeles” just to see what came up. I found the place you see in the video. The rest as they say, is history.

I really did want to do something simple. It was not within my comfort zone to walk into a boxing club that had seen better days in an unfamiliar part of LA and ask about shooting a music video there. I had absolutely zero experience boxing, except for when I would prop up couch cushions and punch them after watching Rocky 4 when I was a kid. And I certainly didn’t want to get up at 5:00 am three times a week for a month and drive downtown through miserable morning LA traffic for training.

During the training I developed some kind of ankle injury which made it nearly impossible to jump rope and do some of the other drills that required any lateral movement. I also messed up my knee playing football on Thanksgiving, which was two weeks before the shoot. I had to wear a brace for the remainder of training. The pinky and ring fingers on both of my hands got so sore from hitting the heavy bag that I could barely make a fist at one point (and they still hurt). Then to top things off, I got the flu during the peak time I was supposed to be training.

It finally came time to shoot the video. All the equipment was loaded into the gym. The lights were all set up. The set dressed. Cameras rolling. But every time “action” was called, the lights would go out. Despite being assured that the building could handle the power required by the production, circuits kept blowing. Someone had to go rent a large generator so we could even make it through a single take. We lost half of the first day of a two-day shoot, which meant we wouldn’t have time to film 25% of the shots we had planned for the video. Adjustments were made. We kept going. Did the best we could with the circumstances.

Given the subject matter of the song, it was only fitting that it was a struggle, that it took a lot of faith to keep going when there were plenty of opportunities to give up. I remember one time at the gym when I was sick, pedaling one of those stationary cycles with “No Easy Way Out” from the Rocky soundtrack playing in my headphones. The sweat dripping off me was half workout sweat and half fever sweat. The image I saw looking in the mirror that day will be burned into memory for a long time, and the extra lessons of faith over fear learned while making this video will never be forgotten.

Here are some “Behind the Scenes” pics from the shoot.

Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot
Fear is Over video shoot


Rap to a Film Score?

I always get inspired by the musical scores in movies. One day I thought about what would happen if I tried to rap to one, so I reached out to talented composer Stephen Anderson, who created this loose cinematic interpretation of the hymn “Father in Heaven, We Do Believe” (see if you can pick out the melody if you’re familiar with it). Then I just put my headphones on, closed my eyes, and wrote what the music spoke to me. This is the result:



New track – Top of the World

A new track from the album! Ok, you might have heard this one before – a rough version was floating around the internets a couple years ago. Here’s a more polished version, though still unmastered. More on the way.

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Album Update – June 23

Just a quick update on the progress of the album… I’m at different stages of 13 songs right now. Working with some great producers and starting to collaborate with some distinguished guest artists. A few songs are already finished and will be posted here within the next few weeks.

I don’t want to let too much out of the bag just yet – I will share more details as the release gets closer. Just wanted to let y’all know that progress is being made. Conscious hip-hop is still alive! What I can say right now is that there will be something for everyone. Something to make you think, something to nod your head to, something to inspire you, something to make you move, maybe even something epic. And some surprises.

Stay tuned.


Why are stand-up comedians so foul?

I recently attended a Flight of the Conchords show. If you haven’t heard of them, check this out (their stage is a little more elaborate nowadays). Two of the funniest guys I’ve ever seen, and they put on a great show. Unfortunately opening up for them were three separate stand-up comic acts – Arj Barker, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal. All three of them are very talented and have obviously worked at their craft for many years. But while their delivery and timing were very much refined, their subject matter was not. Each act predictably degenerated into obscenity-laden discourses and perverted soliloquies. Continue Reading…


Do call it a comeback

I’m officially off hiatus and in the studio! I finally decided to put aside a lot of other projects and get back to doing whats most meaningful to me – making music. And you’re looking at the new site. Blog style as you can see. A bit of a work in progress for sure, but I wanted to get something up while I’m working on the new album. Something more interactive and evolutionary. I plan on sharing some of the tracks here as well as documenting the creative process. I also might post other musings such as social commentary, movie/book reviews, etc. We’ll see.

I want to thank everyone for their support. I apologize for taking this long. While I haven’t released any new material in a while, I have been continuously gathering my thoughts and figuring out how to express them via beats and rhymes. I have a lot to say and I can promise that this album will be by far my best work. Here’s to the journey.