Tonight is the night ! If you're in L.A. come out or watch it streaming live!!
Spoken Word, Music and Arte for the next Revolution.
Tonight is the night ! If you're in L.A. come out or watch it streaming live!!
Spoken Word, Music and Arte for the next Revolution.
It is time for the rapper/producer known as MEXICA BROWN to get some much deserved credit. He is making Hip Hop as it was intended! He has a message and is using it to give us a glimpse into a world that mainstream USA society doesn't cover. If you don't want to be educated or enlightened - DO NOT DOWNLOAD - 'MEXICA BROWN vs THE PEOPLE' if on the other hand you want to broaden your horizons, get educated and/or enlightened - DOWNLOAD RIGHT NOW!!!
I will be a part of the REVOLUTION! Click for more info below !
Click here > FEAR and LOATHING in LA
April 24th (6-7:30pm) event "Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles: Spoken Word, Music and Arte for the next Revolution.
CYPRESS PARK/ LA PUBLIC LIBRARY
Today I went to the corner gas station I usually go to for my morning paper. I've become friendly with the attendant & his boyfriend who also works there. Most mornings it's just small talk but today his boyfriend wasn't around. Long story short his boyfriend has been battling cancer while at the same time being HIV Positive. His first round of chemo went well & he was back at work, but this time around his T Cells dropped to zero & he's on life support.
During this election year these two young men's story should not go unnoticed. They are two Gay Mexican Immigrants ( illegal immigrants to some) who are trying to live the American Dream. They got to work at 4am (three hours before their shift) to sell tamales so they can buy a truck. I remember their joy when they moved out of a single in the hood & on to a one bedroom in a nicer area of Los Angeles. They brought two additions to their family to the station one morning, two baby puppies. Like most couples they had some ups & downs complaining to me about the other some mornings. They were living, loving and striving to make a better life.
This morning when I heard one of them is near death I experienced a few different emotions. My first was sadness as his boyfriend told me the mother in Mexico wants his body flown back if he passes. He said they don't have ten thousand to do that & his boyfriend didn't want that. His boyfriend's last wishes are to be cremated & wants his ashes to go wherever he goes.
I'm not a big cry baby but the image made me start to cry right there. My tears & emotions turned to anger when he said since they're a gay couple with nothing in writing his boyfriend's wishes might not happen. He's frustrated they never put his wishes on paper & might be at the mercy of laws, not equal for same sex partners. He must also be worried because his & his dying partners "legal" status could be an issue.
All this got me steamed at our elected officials who go out of their way to make life more difficult for some. I also caution all who believe your vote is for the lesser of two evils. When you go vote in November think about these two men. President Obama has passed more gay legislation than all other presidents combined. He also began work on immigration issues by helping 'The Dreamers', which I hope is a foreshadowing of his plans in a second term.
I can't get the image of a box or urn of his ashes going with his boyfriend through the rest of his life's journey. I also think that some homophobic anti-immigrant leader would look for a way to send his ashes back to Mexico or say his boyfriend had no rights to them. If he passes, his soul will be Free from judgments about his sexuality! Free from borders and laws against immigrants! He will also be Free from the stigma HIV has created for him. The cancer may take his life, but this cancer of hate in the world against 'the other' will one day be our downfall.
Today Carlos passed with his boyfriend Abel at his side. R.I.P.
Please note: If Romney becomes President, Carlos would have died alone.
Sept. 11th from 5:00-7:30pm
Cypress Park branch of the L.A. Public Library
1150 Cypress Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90065
Broken Sword Publications proudly presents, ¡Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature, an unparalleled survey of some the best Xican@ voices of the modern era.
Santino J. Rivera, author and indie publisher, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling voices of the Xican@ movement since Message to Aztlán.
I AM one of those Voices!! COME meet the authors & hear us read this TUESDAY!!! Sept 11th 5pm - 730pm!!
With the exception of an occasional rant on Twitter or an LGBT Rights article I'll post on Facebook; I have lived by the old saying "Don't discuss Religion or Politics" and applied it to my Social Media sites. I feel its well known where I stand regarding my politics and most of my FB friends or Twitter followers have similar ideology so why even preach to the choir. Over ten years ago when I first got into music my 'ANGER' fueled my art. If I wasn't angry about racist cops, it was Bush era politics or the challenges of coming out as a gay person of color. On stage and in my lyrics I pushed boundaries of "sexual norms" & verbally vomited all over the stage. Blame it on age, complacency or just a feeling of peace within but for the most part I am not that same angry fueled person.
That being said it was all the more amusing that I got into a spat on Facebook with a "family" member over a Gay Marriage post. After talking with some friends, all gay men who have been with the same partners for 9, 13, 18 years respectively; I had to post something. I basically said FUCK YOU to anyone who dismisses gay relationships as less than theirs because we still can't get married in the majority of states. Soon after, this "Family" member posted a response quoting Bible passages that "marriage is between a man & woman" and the foundation of her 24 year marriage. After some back and forth on her page, she left me with this : " I pray you find peace and some day able to let go of all the anger pain and frustration you feel, You are and always will be family." Within that sentence there is a lot to say, one being what "FAMILY" is, and I will save that for next week.
What stood out to me more were the words PEACE & ANGER. I have probably never been more at peace with who I am than right now. I have the best mom, supportive friends, loving boyfriend and although not where I want to be career wise I am on my journey. She said to "LET GO OF ALL THE ANGER" somehow she perceived my feelings on same-sex marriage as ANGER. I had to laugh because maybe 7 to 10 years ago she could have said that but I have LET GO OF THE ANGER until that post on Facebook where ANGER made a cameo after being gone for so long.
This talk of Anger reminded me of my favorite band RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and their song FREEDOM. Very quietly under the loud guitar riffs and bombastic bass, lead singer ZACH DE LA ROCHA says " YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT" . I never understood that until this week. Anger or perceived anger is actually an agent for change. When I used my anger productively and channeled it in my art and music i did so subconsciously. I know anger manifested in the form of violence or hate doesn't get a lot accomplished, but ANGER channeled in campaigns for Equality and betterment of the human race is never wrong. This week a member of the band RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE , TOM MORELLO was in the news when he had some choice words for Republican VP Candidate PAUL RYAN. You see Paul Ryan came out as a fan of RAGE, and TOM didn't mince words: “He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage … Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
I want to thank this "family" member for actually reminding me that I had let go of the anger, and now is not the time. There are people running to lead our country who are raging against me, raging against my friends, raging against my family. It's not the time to be passive or complacent! Don't let go of your anger, use it in your art, use it at the voting booth, use it on social media. I may be preaching to the choir but we all need to be reminded to stay strong & remain steadfast in our march for human rights. So this Sunday I have a gift for all of my homies. I know!! KNOW it's not even your Birthday & I am not the best wrapper, or rapper for that matter lol, but open it up!!! It's YOUR ANGER! Let's go out and make this world a better place!
RATM performs FREEDOM live in MEXICO!
Today is my first of what I hope will be a weekly blog I'll do called SUNDAY SERMON. I have not been a regular church goer, but when I have gone I always looked forward to the Sermon. I felt it was the only part of the Mass that dealt with reality and/or the here n now! This blog isn't just for my readers as it will be a sort of writing catharsis for me! Sunday is the beginning of a new week and its time to let go of last weeks baggage and keep moving forward! With that here is my first Sunday Sermon!
Sunday Sermon -"LIVE DRUMS" .... Yesterday there was a memorial of sorts for a friend that passed, Saul Acuna who played drums for the band I AM LOVED. L.A. in early 2000's became the hot bed of the Queercore / Punk music scene including the monthly queercore club called "The Freak Show" at the leather bar The Gauntlet. Saul's band & myself along with other bands played to packed crowds! I was the lone rapper who was accepted as part of this music scene. Cut to yesterday .. Guys from those bands, friends, fans & family reunited at The Gauntlet Bar now The Eagle to pay their final respects to Saul.
It was a revelation of sorts for me seeing these friends & fellow artists after so many years. I realized we have a family like bond that felt just as strong today. We were the gay guys who didn't fit the West Hollywood mold but at the same time unabashedly Queer/Homo to the core! We were also the first ones to Bash Back, like a title of the BEST REVENGE song, in our music.
Dare I say that the LGBT rights - NOH8 - Gay Marriage movements of today can be directly related to what we were doing as artists over a decade ago. I wouldn't say we set out to be activists but our truth and honesty in our music planted the seed for LGBT to rise above our 2nd class status. I always felt Rap & Punk are the realist n rawest forms of music and probably why I related so well to the Queercore movement. My rap was definitely not the mainstream kind, but borrowed heavily from punks rebellious no holds barred attitude. Our lyrics were a call to arms & in your face no apologies story of Homos who weren't just dismissed by society but also by their own gay community. So it was within this framework I believe all of us rejects rebels and realists bonded. None of us ended up with mainstream success but looking back it wasn't about that. It was more about the journey and what was going on at that moment. It should also be said that this was right before social media and smart phones took over our lives, so being a part of a community was still special. These were also the last days of Cd's, fliers Zines, & the Independent Artist before the advent of free music downloading.
Walking into the bar my first observation is that time stood still for most of us. Sure maybe a few more greys and pounds but everyone still exuded youthful energy and a zeal for life. So it was ironic our getting back together was to say goodbye to a family member. There were a few tears but mostly it was a celebration of Saul's life. Fun stories and memories of a man who lived and drummed with a passion. Eddie Hibbs, co creator of FREAK SHOW and so instrumental behind the Queercore movement, said it best " When Saul played the drums he wasn't just pounding an instrument but he was in the music" I am sad to see Saul leave this life form so early but what he did by bringing us back together even for a day I will be forever grateful for. I realized yesterday that these friends, fans & fellow artists were the first to believe in Deadlee & supported loved & encouraged me for who I was. I also realized that this lack of community in the age of social media has left a void in my heart. Saul may have lost his life, but he showed me that when playing the life game you gotta be in the music and passionate about every moment ! Saul would always watch my rap set at various shows and without fail tell me the same thing after every performance. "You know Deadlee I think your shi would be tighter with some live drums behind you" I think Saul's message can be applied to life. When you walk out your front door to start the week think of LIVE DRUMS behind your LIFE track..... not just regular drumming but with the passion of Sauls. RIP homie
Have a great week everyone!
RAMPART the Cop Drama with WOODY HARRELSON has finally made its way to DENVER! My mom had been patiently waiting since I have a cameo in it! The most important reviews are in - hers! I was happy to see I made my mom proud! Click link for Denver Show-times RAMPART SHOWTIMES
FLASH GORDON has been extended for 2 more weeks! Hope to see you! I am playing MING THE MERCILESS in this stage production! Get your tickets here! > FLASH GORDON