The Blunt Smoker’s Guide To The One Love Collective

“WHY WOULD WE NEED GALLERIES TO EXHIBIT OUR CREATIVE WORKS WHEN OUR ART FORM IS GROOMED IN THE STREETS?”

 

ONELOVE

ONELOVE

 

It’s late in the afternoon. You’re slowly meandering down a river of post nine to five traffic as it flows between banks of concrete lined by tall buildings. The sun is setting and you are lost in your thoughts. The reflected glint of dusk hued sunlight reflecting off the triple glazed windows of some business premises or other permits you a glimpse of why Johannesburg is called the city of gold.
Then whoosh…

A small, strong wind repeatedly blows into the car in short rapid bursts, a taxi hoots (at what only a few have ever deciphered) and you look up out of the kiddie pool of thoughts you had been lounging in to see a team of fearless skate boarders coasting through traffic like the Silver surfer does the cosmos.

Black_Panther_Tchalla_Hudlin_h3

You think to yourself WTF? Are those guys crazy? Do they have medical aid, or a death wish?

The answer is most definitely NO to all of the above.

What they do have is a desire to experience life to the fullest, to be free from any conventional constraints, to push themselves to the limits of their ability and to excel only in being their best. This is what I’ve come to learn from being in the midst of the skating community.

This is an introduction to The One Love Collective.

OLSE JOZI

The One Love Collective are a group of youths that are changing the face of the inner city, utilising spaces that most would pass in a blink of an eye and disregard as waste even faster than that.
A non-profit organisation geared towards the promotion of skate boarding in, but not limited to, the inner city communities.
Through a diversity of endeavours the One Love Collective directs its energy towards the empowerment, education and upliftment of the youth through the medium of skate boarding. The development of young people with the capacity to utilise their inherent potential to overcome the challenges of life and growing up in the testing context of the African urban environment.

#EnterTheVoid

The aptly named moving indoor skate park, The Void, is one of their principle projects. Currently in its third manifestation, The Void has recently been opened again in the Maboneng Precinct of Jeppestown Johannesburg. In a place defined by the regeneration of underutilised space, the One Love Collective is redefining the definition. Inhabiting places determined as empty ‘voids’ yet to be filled by the dominating expansion that is Maboneng, the One Love Collective’s mobile indoor skate park has been and continues to create a safe haven for inner city kids to develop and refine their skating skills.

Hand built and home grown, the park is an evolving manifestation of the grittiness and drive that defines the City of Gold.

If you want to #EnterTheVoid: kick, push and coast your way over to 308 Fox Str. at the T.F.E  House across the street from the only skate shop in the inner-city Home Grwn.

You can follow the continuing story of the One Love Collective through the following channels:

FCBK

TWTTR

TUMBLR

INTRWBS

The Blunt Smoker’s Guide to Honey and Bass: An Innerview with Lex LaFoy

“The best way to learn my way around was to get lost.” – Lex Lafoy

lex_lafoy_slomokazi_blogspot

 

The Guide: Tell us a bit about the connection between Bass music and Lex LaFoy’s Roots?

 Lex:

 

My first interaction with Bass Music on a soul level was on the 27th of November 2010 at an S.K.A (Street Kulture Appreciation) gig held in a park in Protea North, Soweto, Johannesburg, ZA. I’d performed earlier in the day, and after some sun-soak and great vibes…I heard it. I heard what sounded like a multitude rapping on some heavy bass. That night I met Blindfolders– Cosmo MC and B-Slim (who produced Ifani’s Jonga. Yeah I introduced them. Hehe. Love is funny.), and my life was transformed forever. It just so happened that I had entered into a transitional space within myself as an artist and creative, where I was getting bored with what I’d been doing for the previous 7-8 years, and wanted more. I didn’t know what this more was until that moment.

 

My love for Bass expanded ten-fold after that. As I opened myself to this newness it began to transform me from the inside out. I heard Niskerone at an UberCool Party (Run by Georgios Kretsos) in my home town Durban for the first time in 2012 and knew that Drum n Bass equated to church for me. And no one could say sh*t about that. [For an in-depth diary entry.]

 

The Guide: Who schooled Lex in the art of Bass Rap?

Lex:

Cosmo MC of Blindfolders was my guru. He took the time, effort and love to challenge me as an MC to the utmost. We’d spend hours freestyling battling and rapping over bass music, till eventually, the 2-2 beat was ingrained in my head. And heart. (Of course, like all rebels, we master the rules only to bend them the way we like 🙂 )

 Lexnsex

 

 

The Guide: Which of your songs are your favourite? 

Lex: 

Mm Tough one. I love so many. I seem to fall in love with every song I create now. I will say this though… Look out for the new releases later this year (when I return to South Africa). Then we can discuss favourites on a global scale 🙂 debates, discussions and comments as to what you and I feel.

 

The Guide: What do you love about Jo’burg?

Lex:

I love the ambition in the air. I love the fact that everything I need is at my disposal, and if it isn’t there, someone in the vicinity can hook it up. I love the watermarked heights of sheer determination that are written on the walls around us. Some in achievement, some in aerosol.Making me want to reach higher. And be the best me I can be. I love the healthy frustration I feel that motivates me into a state of action. I love the late nights and the good energy. The beautiful people. The brilliant creatives I’ve come to meet, love and see as my team. I love Maboneng and its founders. I love me that Jewish Dank too 🙂

 

The Guide: What was your experience like the first time you came to JHB from DBN?

Lex:

My first solo mission to Joburg was in 2005 at the UN Hip Hop Summit held in Newtown. I missed my psychology test because of this. Hehe. It was there I met Osmic before the birth of BTTC & the SAHHA’s, and my baby-daddy Psalm1. He and I started dating long distance and I’d come up every now and again to visit and also partake in cyphers and some shows. This helped grow my inter-city connections. I then moved up in July 2012 after I completed my BSocSci Degree (Psychology and Philosophy) at UKZN. I stayed in Zola when I first arrived with a good sister-friend I’d known from Durban. I then stayed with other sister-friend’s who were great to me. That was cool. Humbling to say the least 🙂 I didn’t know my way around and asked for an aerial view map of the city. My homegirls denied me the privilege and said the best way to learn my way around was to get lost. So I did 🙂 I was doing promotion work when I first arrived, and that had me travelling all over Gauteng. It helped me find my bearings.

 

The Guide: How was the Red Bull Bass Camp experience?

                        What did you learn?

Lex:

Bass Camp was awesome. I met some of the country’s best artists and creatives and have developed a familial bond with them and their work. It felt like Professor X’s School for the Gifted.

Only Richard the 3rd didn’t like being compared to an old bald man 🙂 . The lectures by some of the greats were eye-opening and educative. It’s added so much value to who I am as a person along this journey.

 

The Guide: What’s your favourite band?

Lex:

I love my music and the people I create music with the most. I love Frank Marksy and Rehab Tony. I also love Die Antwoord. I’d love to do a song with Yolandi Vi$$er one day 🙂 Putting it out there. Into the Universe. I like me some Drake, James Blake, Jhene Akio, Saul Williams, Florence and the machine, Blaya of BurakaSomSistemo to name a few.

The Guide: Ruby Gold?

Lex:

Ruby is like my sister. We lived together not so long ago. She’s a strong tenacious young woman who’s taught me a lot. She’s a really cool creative. We’ve done a song together that will also feature Moonchild. Look forward to sharing it with you 🙂 xxx

  RRRecordings

The Guide: How did you meet with DJ Doowop?

Lex:

I was working with Jonny Joburg of Renaissance Rock Recordings at the time. It was early 2013. We knew I wanted a female DJ, and while I was visiting my family in Durban Jonny called me and said: “Lex! We found your DJ!!! She’s hot. She plays the sickest bass music and you’ll love her”. So he gave me her contacts and I contacted her when I got back to Joburg. We met up,started gelling and did our first gig together at a party in May 2013 at 162 Anderson Street. That was really fun. A lot of people looked at us like ‘who the f*ck are they’. They still partied with us though 🙂 so it was rad. We then went through a break period of about 8 months, where my publisher and her didn’t get along. After I left my publisher at the time (early 2014), I contacted her and asked if she’d be keen to get together again. It’s been magical.

 

 The Guide:Tell us about this tour you were on?

SookeeLex:

We arrived in Germany last Monday the 5th of May for the international all-female hiphop tour called “The Purple Velvet Tour”, which is centered around the release of, German-Based rapper and activist, Sookee’s latest album Lila Samt (translated as ‘Purple Velvet’).

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had 18 shows booked. We opened the tour at club SO36 in Berlin on Wednesday the 7th, where we met other really dope artists Carmel Zoum and Spoke P Kaye. Then we were along the coast of the Baltic Sea for L-Beach Festival – the biggest Lesbian Music Festival in the world. That was radly interesting… 🙂 .


The next day we were in a small town in the Northeast part of Germany called Greifswald. Where we were educated on the political tension between Neo-Nazi groups and the local youth in the area.The audience was so full of love though. Every day was an adventure of it’s own. Being on the road over those few days, meeting amazing people and loving the expansion 🙂

 

The Guide: What’s the chemistry between you and Doowop?

LEX and Doowap (4)

 

Lex:
I love her dude. I’m really grateful the Universe brought us together. We’re complimentary and we both look good in International. We made a fashionable joke about that the other day 🙂 I really dig her energy.

 

 

Like all people who work together, we also have our own groups of friends, preferences and tastes. Thankfully we both like healthy food a lot. So food isn’t an issue.

 

 

 

doowopnlex

 

 

 

 

We have similar taste in rebellious forms of expression. And share a love for the 90’s. We both fell in love with Bianca Kim Clothing too, so thankfully, when looking for a designer to work with leading up to the tour- a business decision like that wasn’t difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

credits:

IWO of http://www.allthatworks.de (Berlin)

Phillip of Painted Lenses Photography (Berlin)

we-are-awesome.com

Martin of Manic Creations http://www.manic-creations.co.za (Durban, ZA), at a shoot styled and dressed by Bianca Kim Clothing

slomokazi.blogspot.com

Slege Lee – 2014 End of the Weak Intlernational Emcee Title Holder

Slege Lee

EOTWeak

The Blunt Smoker’s Guide and Slege Lee

Together be, Some of the dopest writers,

done puffed ’nuff blunts,

Spoke ’nuff frees and

Smoked ’nuff emcees in enuff cyphers.

Some of the Most High-ness.

Here is a video of his latest offering currently receiving rotation on Channel O, amongst other media channels, radio and on the internet: Namba Namba

You can connect the Brother on the SNDCLD and check out the River Nile style flow on over 20 other tracks.

Mo Slege

#HomeGrwn #dope #J0Z11 #CityOfGold #GoldReefer

.ONE.

PEACE

.

el_circulo_zen

0

_

..

8 diagram

Teaching the Integral Way of uniting with the great and mysterious Tao.

yin-yang-becomes

The teachings are simple; if one tries to make a religion or a science of them, that one they will elude.

Profound yet plain, they contain the entire Truth of the Universe.

Qué-es-el-TAO-www.keliumzeus.net_

Those who wish to know the whole truth take joy in doing the work and service that comes to them. Having completed it, they take joy in cleansing and feeding themselves.

Having cared for others and for themselves, they then turn to the Master for Instruction.

Tao-Garden

This simple path leads to Peace, Virtue, and Abundance.

 Lao Tzu x Brian Walker x The Guide

Peace.

Peace.

Power.

ONE.

void

There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born.
It is serene.

Empty.

The Blunt Smoker’s Guide to Jammin’ N Ting: An African Festival Pilgrimage

 

..oo0O0O2014O0O0oo...

..oo0O0O2014O0O0oo…

I have never been to a primarily African oriented festival before. I have been to festivals. Many, many festivals. This is a first time for me on so many levels.  So I’m very excited to be going to Jammin’N Ting festival held annually over Easter weekend at the foot of the Maluti mountains.

Rustlers valley to be more specific.

To be even more specific; Naledi Cultural Village is the name of the spot on the map one will be heading towards in order to get to the festival gate. The line-ups of previous years have always enticed me to making this pilgrimage and finally this year I am going. I have imagined that the sonic memories that I would come back with would stay with me for a very long time and effect a significant shift in my exposure and appreciation of music, perhaps even elevating my consciousness.

 

UV_bulb_effect

#VibrateHigher

So The Guide reached out to the olsky-wolsky from way back in the day, Sir True Anikulapo Jones, to find out a bit about the festival, his participation, and what kinda jamming and what kinda tings make this festival.

The Blunt Smoker’s Guide:

Greetings earthling. How long have you been involved with the J&T fest and what contribution do you make?

True Anikulapo Jones:

I think I have been there for three years but I can’t be sure, I have had times at Jammin’ when the recollection of the night before is hazed. I guess it is a true escape for me. (Haha).2011. I first got involved as a DJ while hosting StereoDtox , with Lwazi Prolific , Christine Msibi and feature slots by DJ Medicine

DJ Medicine

and Vegetarian Chef.  So Lwazi and I went as an MC, DJ duo representing the radio show . This year I am more involved, assisting with admin and effort of the back-end of a festival.

 

The Guide:

What is your favourite thing about J&T?

True:

The escape at the foot of the Maluti. The lyrics of the song by Foreign Exchange I think puts it rightly ; “Good music , good people , good loving, it makes me happy.”

Grounds for a Festivali_i

The Guide:

What are your thoughts on the seeming lack of festivals that cater to a primarily Black demographic in SA?

Black Africa

True:

I or anyone else would be naive to completely charge the lack of festivals on promoters. One must take a closer look at the audience, if we are speaking of the “camp out” festival. The market is a small one, with a smaller demographic keen on the camping experience. Perhaps we need to think of and work towards creating festivals that are a “black friendly” interpretation of the experience.  That is an expensive process, but possible.

The Guide:

Do you think we will see more African festivals for Africans in South Africa?

Black Land

True:

Yes . Our world views and appeal to international acts/audiences is growing.  I am also seeing a growing interest to explore. The people are beginning to want more than the current norm.

True Anikulapo

 

The Guide:

Why do you think Black South African Youth are, what one might call averse, to travelling out of town, into nature to enjoy experiences such as Jammin’ n Ting?

 

True:

Comforts zones are tough ones to invite people out of.  Many have to first get rid of the idea that travel and exploration means white towels and departure terminals. The festival goers and promoters need to also tackle our responsibility and give them the medicine with some sugar. Jah Seed

We must improve on the reasons they should venture out.  

The Guide:

Please relate one of your most memorable J&T moments.

True:

There are so many and the one I remember most is not one to be shared. Not yet at least, perhaps in a future autobiography or memoires. I can say though, that the naturalness of Naledi Village makes it a grand place to create your own. Black lips

 

The Guide:

What can festival revelers look forward to at this years J&T?

True:

The line up is always grand because the DJ’s and acts that come together to create a 3 day soundtrack are ones that dare to play only “Good Music”.  This year I am excited by hearing Impande Core and the acts coming from Lesotho . There is a cave too …

The Guide:

What’s the recipe, what ingredients go into cooking up a True Jones JNT set?

Farmer True

True:

African music for African people with a sprinkling of funk and a dash of afrobeat . The rest is a secret to be only revealed at JNT . Fair?

The Guide:

Fair. Thank you so Much Brother Jones. Looking forward to you doing your thing at the festival this year. People can also catch True Jones doing his thing at Afro_Futuristic Fridays this week in Braamfontein.

Afro-Futuristic Fridays

 

 

The Blunt Smokers Guide To Spain

My name is Gaz and I am a teacher.

 

It’s rather a weird thing since I was such a massive soft serve turd of a student. For some reason though, I’m pretty damn good at my job… nah… fuck it… I’m fucking AMAZING at it!!!

Anyway, I teach children and teenagers, which at first is somewhat intimidating. I’ve done some shit in my life, but standing in front of a full class of Spanish 12-year-olds can make any persons palms sweat (well, especially if you’re a catholic priest, but that’s an entirely different story, for an entirely different day). Something you may not know about the Spanish, is that they are, hmmm, how shall I put this, uh, somewhat FUCKING RACIST!!!! Not in the offensive North Pretoria ‘Apartheid never ended donker sleutel, get back to work’ sorta way, but more, ‘I’m Just an ignorant prick’ sorta way.

Angry 'cause it's over.

Angry ’cause it’s over.

I mean, really, get with the goddamn program, we have seen enough to get over the whole race bullshit already!!! No? It’s just me??? Well fine then…

So… there I am, taking this class, introducing myself to these kids, and I have this routine, see. I play a game of hang man, with my name as a subject of the game. Once they’ve guessed my name, I ask where it’s from, eventually they guess that it’s from Ireland. Great! Well done you stupid little cocksuckers… whoops, I really don’t know where that came from!! Next, I get the little snot smugglers to guess where I’m from… America… Nope… Spain… ??? Really!!!! SPAIN!!! DO I LOOK SPANISH???? Nope… Australia …. Yes … Really? NOPE!….

You get the idea….

Eventually I get them to guess South Africa. They never believe me. And often for the same reason….

‘You’re not black… How can you be from South Africa?’

So, this is supposed to be about smoking, and it is. It is about smoking in Spain, which is pretty damn awesome. And this is exactly the reason I started with the background that I chose. You see, having moved to Spain to escape the bitter in the mouth and the sharp stab in the chest that Jozies is to me, I was initially gobsmacked by Spain. Reeling from the crisis, it had the sense of hard times, but not as grand hard times as you’d expect, more like the hard times of waking up from a siesta and not feeling like going to work.

Seriously!!! Talk about walking down the road to work at 10:00 (yeah, I start classes earliest at ten o’clock… I’ll let you process that for a bit…) and seeing people drinking beer at the street cafes… Yup, fuck that crisis shit, I’m a drink a motherfucking beer BITCH!!!

I was pretty charmed; it really seemed I had found some like-minded individuals… And this was all before I had investigated their cannabis legislation. That was when I really fell in love. You see, Spain has decided that all this nonsense of a war on drugs helps no-one, and much like her neighbour Portugal did a few years back, Spain has decriminalised cannabis, allowing for any treatment to be healthcare based and not criminally based. Is that so fucking hard? Why, when the drug debate rages, do people have to lump in all the other drugs in with cannabis? If we simply look at the various effects, they are in no way comparable, but this is not the place for this discussion.

The bottom line is that it is legal to grow and legal to smoke. It is not legal to buy or sell. This is fantastic, especially if you’ve been here for long enough to be able to grow. It is not so good if you haven’t been able to grow, because it is near to impossible to find some beautiful clean green supreme for sale.

HASH

HASH

Hash is everywhere, but not so much the green.

1+1

1+1= winning

And now we get to the crux of this here novel.

The older I get, the more nerve-wracking it becomes to hook up a new supplier. I think it’s because I look like a narc.

Undercover Narc much?

Undercover Narc much?

Shaved head facial hair and a fondness for chinos, button ups and sunnies don’t really help the image. So what, I’m in my thirties, I like chinos. Living in a country that doesn’t speak English doesn’t help. Doing this sort of transaction in my broken Spanish would probably make for a good candid camera.

Fortunately, I managed to make a connection. A somewhat intimidating looking Moroccan with what we will term as fair to moderate amount of tattoos. By which I mean a fuck load… an absolute fuck load. This guy is pretty fucking scary looking, just in case I under sold that.

The first time I went to hook up I was dressed in my narcish best. I got to his building and texted him.

‘Sube’ ( pronounced Sue-beh)

Huh? I texted my wife, who speaks Spanish, and she translates it as increase. Huh?

‘Hola amigo… yo no hablo mucho Espagnol… Que es sube?’

‘Come up’

AH!!!

So I do. Up I go. The lights don’t work, the building’s dark, getting slightly nervous now. I climb the stairs, one flight, two… There’s a door that’s partially open and light is spilling out into the musty and dark stairwell. I walk towards it like a man in a desert drawn to an oasis.

I reach the door and behind it is the aforementioned Moroccan. We greet each other and he asks me a question, which I don’t understand due to my aforementioned lack of Spanish. He pushes past me and closes the door. Not sure if that was a glare or if he just always looks pissed off. He asks me how much I want. I understood something!!! I tell him how much.

And then he pulls out a knife. As in a knife the size of which would probably be appropriate to pull out after saying ‘you call that a knife?’you call that a knife He turns on the gas stove and starts heating it up. Did I mention that I was nervous? Well at this point I was slightly more so.

It was at that point that I noticed that the thing on the kitchen counter wasn’t a chopping board but rather it was big block of hash. And that was when the scary Moroccan took the now well heated scary knife and chopped off a chunk for me. Didn’t even weigh it. I wasn’t going to ask him to either… He did have a knife after all.

And so I went home, no longer nervous, but excited. Something of a spring in my step you might say.

And that’s where I’m going to end, with the thought that no matter where you are, when you hook up for the first time after any significant absence, it immediately puts a spring in your step, a bit of zest to your life, and that alone will always take me back. It will always take me back to rain drenched, hot sunny, evaporating steamy streets of Jozies. Spring stepping from the hook up to the smoke up in one of the many different places that I loved to smoke at around that bitter-sweet city

http://sewfunbymonique.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-2011.html.

http://whisperinthecrowds.blogspot.com/2010/03/top-tens.html

http://clubcannabisbarcelona.blogspot.com/2013/10/morocco-exports-of-hash-soar-sky-high.html