Tag Archives: rap

Kush Powers raps One More Shot

The thing I like about hip-hop music is that it allows people to express themselves in a very real way. Hip-hop can be direct to the point where you know exactly what the rapper is trying to say to you, right?

Kush Powers

There’s an artist named Kush Powers who has his act together. One listen to his song “One More Shot” and I think you’ll agree he’s good at what he does.

“I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to be a rapper since the age of six,” he tells the Mark Weber Music Blog. “I grew up in a crazy broken home. In my opinion that only made me stronger.”

Most rappers, at least these days, are focused on drugs, sex and violence, so I was quite surprised to find out Kush Powers is “the proud father of two twin boys and I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart.”

Thank God for family. Meanwhile, though, Kush will be the first to tell you he still has to deal with “addictive personalities in everyday situations.”

Listening to his music, I’m intrigued. I literally want to know more about his background. So I asked him…

“I was raised by my father and my stepmom. My father would constantly work so that just left me to do whatever I wanted to do because my stepmom did not care in the slightest. That obviously lead to bad decisions. I was arrested at the age of 16 after a monstrous party– drinking, drugs, sex and all that jazz,” he recalls.

After the party which lead to the arrest, Kush was sent to live with his mother, only to discover she was an addict and an alcoholic. Obviously, life was challenging to say the least.

Thankfully, though, Kush is at a point in his life, now, where he says he always wants to “be there for my sons.” He works a full-time job while pursuing his music career. He considers himself a full-time father and husband, which is something you don’t normally hear rappers saying– that makes me want to root for him.

Finally, even though some of his songs have words in them I don’t personally like promoting to my audience, I think Kush Powers is, like all of us, a work in progress, and he seems headed in a positive and good direction. He tells me, “I believe that the hottest fire creates the strongest steel. That’s so true– through everything that I’ve gone through it only made me better.”

Kush Powers’ message to people is that things get better. He was able to escape a horrible situation and he wants others to know that they can too. For that reason, I’m glad to tell others about him. –Mark Weber

Rep offers up Co-Laborations featuring Can’t Breathe

RepRep is known for his “To Be Honest” ministries. Here’s what Rep has to say about his new project, Co-Laborations. 

One of the songs on the project is called “Can’t Breathe.”  With all of the craziness of racial tension and social justice going on in our world, this one phrase stuck out to me. Many of you know this specific injustice that happened in New York to Eric Garner.  If not, here is an excerpt from a CNN report on it…

Camera phone footage shows Garner, whom police accused of illegally selling single cigarettes, arguing with two officers. The 350-pound man tells the police he’s minding his business. He’s clearly upset, gesticulating as he accuses officers of previous harassment.

“I’m tired of it. This stops today,” he tells them. “I did not sell nothing.”

As the two officers reach for his arms to make an arrest, he pulls away, telling them, “Don’t touch me.” Office Pantaleo administers the chokehold after two more officers appear, and within nine seconds, they take Garner to the ground.

A fifth officer joins the fray as Pantaleo forces Garner’s head into the sidewalk, eliciting repeated, muffled cries from the 43-year-old, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

Garner later died.

While we know of the phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ being a part of the injustice and ultimately the death of Eric Garner, I don’t want to just talk about social injustice, about a man who was outnumbered, about a man who was overwhelmed. I don’t want to just talk about a man who was opposed. I want to talk about seeds.  Seeds?  What in the world?  Yeah.  See, I truly believe that we need to continue to talk about these social issues, but we also need to realize that the root of the injustice in our world ultimately is not social, but spiritual.

Eric Garner? Put in a choke-hold.

Eric Garner could not breath.

Spiritually, there are a lot of Eric Garners.

I started to look at one of Jesus’ most popular parables.  The Seeds.  Check it.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow, but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

You may be trying to figure out what this has to do with “I can’t breathe”.

Well, to understand where I’m coming from, you need to know what the parable means.

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.  The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Wait?  So, this parable is just talking about reading the Bible? No. And I get it. When I was a kid, people always explained this parable as “so, if you read your Bible and obey it, then you will be fine.” No! Let me bring it out for you.

The message of the Gospel is one of hope, freedom, and salvation. I think about everything going on in the world—what we mentioned earlier—the outnumbered, the overwhelmed, and the opposed. Seriously, that describes a lot of people. These people feel like they have no protection and are vulnerable, like they are on rocky ground and have no support system, like they are being choked and suffocated by the worries and fears of life. These people “can’t breathe.” They need that message of hope and life. Maybe you are one of these people.

Rep’s Co-Laborations project addresses social and cultural issues, promotes other artists featured, and encourages people. Give it a listen via Bandcamp.

Rep

Salt and Pepa still got it

salt and pepa
The Salt-N-Pepa Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember Salt and Pepa’s 1980s hit, “Push It,” and their hits “Shoop” and “Whatta Man (with En Vogue)” in the 1990s. They did those three songs and many more at their HUGE Buffalo Salt and Pepa concert on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

Salt and Pepa, without their DJ Spinderella, also did a mash-up of “I’ll Take Your Man/My Mic Sounds Nice,” “Shake Yo Thang,” and “Tramp.”

Salt and Pepa took the crowd on a trip down hip-hop memory lane, playing snippets of jams from old school artists like Montell Jordan and Naughty By Nature. The crowd had not just a good time, but a great time. Other big hits performed? “Express Yourself” and the crowd favorite, “Let’s Talk About Sex.”

Toward the end of the concert, Salt brought her buff husband, Gavin, up on stage, and Pepa brought Buffalo’s mayor, Byron Brown, on stage, for “Whatta Man.” Later, we got to see Salt’s son Chapele and Pepa’s daughter Egypt.

At the very end of the concert, they closed with Kirk Franklin/God’s Property’s late 1990s hit, “Stomp,” on which Salt raps about God. Salt preached to the crowd about not losing faith in God, forgiving one another, and caring for your family. It was the most positive hip-hop concert I’ve ever been to!

S-n-P’s concert was part of Buffalo’s Thursday At The Harbor free concert series held Thursday nights in the summer. Located at “Canalside,” in downtown Buffalo, the event takes place near the water’s edge– there were about 50 boats in the water–docked, floating or anchored– to catch the concert, and Lake Erie is just a stone’s throw away from the hot new gathering spot.

The Salt and Pepa concert was Thursday At The Harbor’s most crowded concert ever– so crowded, in fact, that security wouldn’t let any more people in, so literally thousands of people ended up hanging out on two main streets near the event in order to party and have a fun night outside. Overall, there were probably 15-16,000 people hanging out at the concert, and to me it was “Buffalo’s biggest block party!” My three friends and I were fortunate to be let in through a security gate, so I was able to get up close to the action. It was ear-splittingly loud “up front,” so eventually my friends and I settled in a good spot closer to the water “in the back,” where we still had a great view of the stage.

I was really excited to see The BoomWear Company caught a lot of the concert on video for you all to enjoy:




–Do you miss when hip-hop was fun and not so blah like it is now? Salt and Pepa are awesome– glad they’ve still got it! –Mark Weber

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