Tag Archives: jbro and tiger lily

I AM TROY DAVIS: 019 (Heavenly Down/Uploads)

For the next 346 days, I will be writing entries under the title, ‘I AM TROY DAVIS.’  Moved to pick up the pen not merely by Troy Anthony Davis‘ death/execution, but more so by his life/evolution, I hope that there are those out there who can relate.  If so, we must connect.  We are already connected.  Axé.

Ideas are heavenly downloads.  Prayers are heavenly uploads.  Whatever we think (upload) though our prayers/daily walk, comes back to us as ideas (downloads) that we can utilize to manifest our thoughts into reality.  Our bodies are the machines/vessels through which actions are made: after the download has been received.

Some downloads have viruses, or are corrupted, because we weren’t focused/attentive enough when we initially uploaded our intentions towards the heavens.  Other downloads contain the wrong software for the application needed.  Be careful of what you upload into your computer’s mainframe.  Try to keep it clean through meditation, daily exercise and stillness.

Constant activity (over-thinking) slows down your ability to process necessary downloads.  Ideas don’t come through thinking hard/processing information.  On the contrary, your best ideas usually come when you’re doing something totally mundane:  driving your car, sitting on the toilet, waiting for the bus, etc.

More on this later.  I just wanted to begin sharing my ideas/downloads more quickly, since I have been slow with the action of writing them down digitally.  My daily words and actions are my prayers.  My readers bear witness.  Amen.

My name is Jonathan ‘Jbro Mpeanaji’ Mahone, and I am one-half of (RAS) Riders Against the Storm.  I AM TROY DAVIS.



Click album art to DOWNLOAD music

If you don’t know about BODY ROCK yet, than you probably aren’t from Austin, or you don’t know much about (RAS) Riders Against the Storm/DJ Chorizo Funk.  This is your chance to get familiar!  We met Eddie Campos/Chorizo Funk in December through our mutual friend, Martin Perna (founder of the Afro-Beat orchestra, Antibalas).  Since then, it has been hip hop heaven through the creation of BODY ROCK, our monthly residency at PLUSH.

Chorizo always brings the heat on the decks, and of course, RAS got that fiya on the mics.  The combination is one lively party.  Y’all shoud come out soon.  But, before that, download a copy of ‘LIVE FROM BODY ROCK: CHORIZO CHUNKS VOL. 8

We shot some video of BODY ROCK in August when Chicken George came through for an ALL-VINYL set.  Check the video here:


On Friday, August 27, we celebrated an artistic milestone with dead prez at RED 7 in Austin.  For those that missed it, check out the 15-minute video/doc below.  Special shout out to Justin Thyme for holding down the camera work!

We ain’t new to this, we TRUE to this!

by Jbro

Really, I don’t think I have ever used this blog as a rant session of any kind.  But, recent disrespect at the hand of a local promoter has caused me to take a brief moment to vent my frustrations publicly.  His name will remain undisclosed (to protect the ‘innocent’).

Let me take you back a step and give you some background about Tiger and I.  We have been rapping together since 2003.  Before we met, I was a member of hip hop trio called the Falling Stars which came together in 1996.  This group was short-lived (as we recorded/performed until 1999 without releasing a full-fledged studio album).  I reveal these facts simply to give you a brief sense that my performance history goes back a bit.

Beyond the rhyming history, I c0-directed TRUSKOOL STUDIOS,  a Providence-based after-school youth graffiti arts program with a friend, VASE ONE, of the legendary Urban Warriors crew (South Bronx, NYC) for four years.  This experience was unquestionably the most challenging, inspiring, and painful of my life.  I learned more about my purpose on this planet in those four years than in any before, or since.  Angel and I put our heart and soul into our work with those youth.

As a matter of fact, Irving Acosta, one of our students from Truskool’s initial summer (2004) was the artist that inked the cover of our SPEAK THE TRUTH album.  Haven’t seen his beautiful work?  Check it out:

I don’t even want to get into the other elements of hip hop (in order to save your time and eyes..lol!).  However, I will say this: what some people call a grind, I call my life.  Hip hop is more than Tiger and I taking a stage in Austin and rocking a crowd.  It lives in us.  We call ourselves ‘hip hop healers’ – not because of some marketing scheme, but because we have studied healing, and draw a direct connection to hip hop’s ability to shape, build, and grow community.  Like no other art form, this one, we choose as a vehicle to promote positive social change.  That is RAS.  Nobody can take this away because it is a part of our DNA, our vision, our purpose on this planet called earth.

Now…recently, a so-called ‘hip hop promoter’ had the audacity to call RAS ‘newbies’ (via text).  Newbies to what, you may ask?  Exactly.  Not hip hop culture, or rocking shows, or marketing our music, or building community, or anything associated with this thing we call ‘hip hop healing.’

No, this arrogant individual called us ‘newbies’ because we are new to Austin, and he wanted to make sure that we knew he had the power to influence our movement as artists.  He felt it necessary to put us in our place with another offensive comment, “u better recognize…u crossed the wrong person (all via text)”

Why did this individual feel crossed?  Simple.  I stood up for my rights to be paid on time.  I don’t think he appreciated the way I came across on his voicemail (with some choice curse-words), but I also don’t think he EVER took into consideration that I waited on the corner of an entire hour to get paid for a show that we had already rocked an entire day before.  That’s right.

After stating that he was going to meet me downtown, this fool didn’t show up.  Not only did he not show up, but he didn’t call/text to say he was running late, or anything.  I waited 45 minutes before I got on the phone to insult him.  Honestly, most wouldn’t have waited that long.  The money was owed, and this dude thought it was cool to leave this ‘newbie’ on the corner.

Instead of doing the right thing, he STILL hasn’t paid us for said gig.  But, you see, that’s OK.  I got my frustrations out already.

I am moving on.

But, this arrogant, gate-keeping, self-righteous, so-called hip hop promoter S.O.B. needs to ‘recognize’ something his damn self: “we ain’t new to this, we TRUE to this!”

And, the truth shall set us free.

Thanks for reading/listening.

Talib Kweli performs BALLAD OF THE BLACK GOLD on Jimmy Fallon show…

Interesting that Jimmy Fallon shouted out a soldier in the crowd before Talib’s performance (backed by the Legendary Roots Crew)


Kweli's new album 'Revolutions Per Minute' in STORES NOW!

People telling me that this album is FIYA!  I am waiting to hear it.  Stay tuned for an album review soon….

CHECK THE LEVELS: Lil Randy offers a peoples’ history of DJ SCREW

The Legendary DJ SCREW is a world-renowned innovator.

If you are like us, and from the North, you might not have heard of DJ SCREW.  I remember first hearing about ‘chopped and screwed’ music when all the Swissha House artists were making noise for Houston, but I didn’t know much about DJ SCREW’s legend until we sat down with Lil Randy, member of the infamous S.U.C. (Screwed Up Click).  In this CHECK THE LEVELS interview, Lil Randy describes the history of the man behind the myth.  It was amazing to sit back and hear how DJ SCREW put his Southern twist on hip hop, and in turn, changed the face of rap music in the South (and around the globe) forever.  A true innovator, in the  tradition of Afrika Bambaataa and Kool Herc, DJ SCREW (aka Robert Earl Davis, Jr.) surely carved his name in the tree of hip hop history, and even became a branch on his own.

Check it out:

CHECK THE LEVELS: RAS spends a day with Trae Tha Truth (PART 2)

Trae Tha Truth Bobble Heads lined up in factory.

Day two with Trae was interesting as well.  We got a chance to be with his folks during the Young Quis video shoot.  Later on in the day, Trae received his first shipment of Trae Tha Truth bobblehead toys, and immediately started giving them out to kids and friends in the area while he chilled at the tattoo shop.  He also talked with us about his connection to ‘the streets.’  Finally, we caught some footage of Trae getting a tattoo of his son’s birthdate.