Pages From My Skin

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today, at Brook Park in the South Bronx, several members of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective came to show unconditional love and respect to one of our most important heroes...Malcolm X. He passed on February 21, 1965 and has since left individuals such as myself questioning prospects of potential. Potential to create a new nation by "any means necessary." When he said that, I don't feel he was simply referring to using guns. I think he meant doing whatever it takes to achieve liberation. However, each circumstance is unique, thus, by "any means necessary" applies to each unique situation. It is 2010. Strategies that worked in the 1960s no longer apply today.
With that said, we need to develop a new plan of action. Most of us who choose to be conscious act out of anger and/or frustration with the "system." We march, protest, spit poems and songs because we feel an innate need to express ourselves in relation to the world around us. However, I have come to realize that we have no plan of longevity. No real long term strategy. We need to develop a plan of action before we continue to put our hearts out there because otherwise we are merely passionate balls of energy with no direction.
[Brothers G1 and Rodstarz (2/3 of Rebel Diaz) holdin' it down.]

I think that plan of action starts with confronting the bloody depths of our past. Excavating as far as we can to gather only the truest sources of information. From there, I believe we need to decide where we want to be. What future do you want to offer your children's children? And what about the children's children of strangers who could very well be your brother or sister? We are all connected more intricately than either of us can fathom. Previous Young Lord, Iris Morales says there are 5 steps to a social movement.

1. First, you need a vision.
2. Then, people to believe in that vision.
3. That's when you need to organize.
4. Educate.
5. And finally follow through with action.

Our oppressors have managed to obliterate our collective sense of self over the course of centuries. I mean...think about it. Where are you from? What is your real history? Who are your ancestors? What beliefs did they practice? What was the essence of their culture and why does it matter? Where does your last name come from and how does it relate to who you are not? Why do you have the color eyes you have? Skin tone? Hair type? DNA structure? Who are you really? Malcolm knew he could not accurately answer such questions so he put an X in place of his last name. I believe we still haven't the slightest clue to who we truly are and will never know unless we dig beyond that which is immediately in front of us. We have to break through the facade of the matrix (by any means necessary) and be strong enough to dive into the abyss of truth.

[Fascious, Charlie Hustle, Rodstarz, Lucho, G1]

Power to the Evolution of Revolution.

Photos by the Legendary Photographer JOE CONZO (Author of "Born In The Bronx")

Sunday, May 9, 2010


A few weeks ago, a friend of mine, Dinah Ismail, flew in from Long Beach, CA to see Penumbra play at Teatro La Tea. I was mad happy because 1. "Damn, you flew in from Cali!??" and 2. she's really cool peoples. She held me down on my 2009 Cali Tour and is one of those people who are a blessing to have in your life. After seeing the show, she offered to hook me up with a free photoshoot. We decided to hit up 5 Pointz in Queens. Here are some of the photos that culminated...

The color in this, I think, is powerful. Very vivid. My button up is actually brown but somehow becomes more burgundy in this photo. (The wall looks even more beautiful in person.)

I really like the one above for the fact that there were no after effects made for it to look the way it does. Natural sunlight and I suppose a camera filter of some sort. The transparency feel is awesome. Dope job Dinah! Much love!

Photo Credit: D. Diamonds

Thursday, May 6, 2010


On May 1, 2010, the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective stormed Union Square in New York City for the 2010 May Day Freedom Festival. Thousands of people arrived to march and protest against the SB 1070 Law in Arizona granting Police Officers the right to racially profile "suspected immigrants" and deport them upon absence of their citizenship papers. Artists such as Immortal Technique, Rebel Diaz, Hasan Salaam, Division X, Fascious, and others performed in support of protesting this law. The video above shows what CNN, ABC, NY1, and other news stations refused to report...The truth in the form of Hip-Hop. Check it out!