Host an Intimate Listening of the upcoming Album, 'Jaws of Life'

After several years in the making, my second official full length album is at last ready to enter the world. ‘Jaws of Life’, in collaboration with master beat-maker Serebellum One, is like an audio sculpture, with layers of production and input from an impressive, unexpected team of musicians. Serebellum provided the driving thrust of instrumentation and I went on to write and record the songs. Jason Peterson DeLaire, disciple of the Minneapolis Sound pioneered by Prince, contributed galaxies of synths the collection of anthems and ballads. Finally, classically trained songstress Katherine Parent offered washes of haunting, ethereal vocals. As if that wasn't enough, Dameun Strange adds a bit of other wordly synth on 'Dandelions', and Tish Jones as a poignant poem on 'All Will Be Free'. I would be so honored to share a preview of this new work with you!
‘Jaws of Life’ takes off with the metaphor of an auto accident with a song written while my papá was in the hospital after suddenly losing his ability to walk. Through the lens of the ensuing wreckage, the album views the crises of our personal, social, and political lives: The fleeting thoughts that pass as everything is smashed in slow motion, the hopelessness of lying in the aftermath, and the possibility of liberation. The album plays as an earnest response to our bleak time, yet is filled with joy, passion, and a patient, realistic, and soft determination for survival.

Full of moments that range from apocalyptic to booty-shaking playfulness, ‘Jaws of Life’ is a psychedelic death trip that seduces us back into our bodies to fight until our time truly comes. It’s an out-of-body, life-after-death call to hope. The type of hope that makes you spit out blood and reach out to whatever is near to help you out of a dire situation; clawing, kicking, and screaming for life. ‘Jaws of Life’ isn’t an album that will tell you everything’s gonna be ok. In fact, it fully acknowledges that all things will most certainly come to an end, and when that time does indeed arrive, that we can be ok in letting go.

At these events, an audience consisting of a host or co-hosts and their friends, family, and colleagues will listen to the album, and be invited into discourse about the music, it’s themes, and our lives. The hope is to introduce the album as a facilitation of honest, healing conversation about the challenges we face as individuals and as a people, providing the opportunity to listen and be heard while we ease a little pain and grow a little stronger in our communities.

Contact me if you're interested!

Refocusing on Visual a Visual arts Practice: New Energy for an Old Habit


My life is alotta bass ‘n’ alotta flourishes
A lot that takes ‘n’ alotta nourishment
I was born on the outside, in cyphers ‘n’ vinyl collections
Found self through art, work, growth - alignment corrections
 My heart’s a chile (chee-leh), pumpin’ blood of canela
 Greatest art I practice,lightin’ eyes like candelas
 Gimme a beat, your tattered shelves, ‘n’a paint marker
I’ll shed a little light as the world gets darker

For a poet and musical artist already on the fringe, even lesser known is my upbringing in, passion for, and continuing practice of visual art. This is the visual language of poetry poetry, mind, and spirituality. Working mostly in line drawing and lettering from a graffiti background, my work explores the line between poetry and visual art. Often including language as visual form, messages can be drawn from the words themselves of course, but also the layers and cosmology each piece creates for itself. Intimate details establish rules of engagement with the piece that follow lines of thought, leading the viewer a bit closer to their own moment of epiphany. Sometimes in your face (literally and figuratively; with mirrors becoming a favorite backdrop for for pieces), sometimes nuanced to a point nearing obscurity, every piece is an honest expression of self, the world, and the myriad relationships between. Even more than a reflection though, My work is about intention, possibility, and empathy. I know folks may not catch everything the first time; and that's cool with me. The pieces can be viewed in a glance or returned to for more. It’s art that provides something different to every viewer; something that urges another step toward compassion, self-love, and progress of the human condition. 

From about as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been led by art on this path of life. I’ve been moved by the healing found in storytelling, the strength in creating a voice, and the power of self-discovery. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother telling stories about the stars and the universe, or my father’s game in getting me to ask how much he loved me, so that he could answer, “Hasta el cielo mijo” (to the heavens, my son”).

Whether my father’s Mariachi vinyl, his Ranchero tapes, my mother’s Beatles collection, or the persistent array of radio waves in our home and in the car, music has been a part of me since birth. That music filled me with inspiration to discover and create my own narratives - Before I developed the ability to write poetry, I drew it. I was compelled to tell my own stories, even without the words to share them. As I matured, those themes and visual narratives created a universe of imagination, culture, and empowerment.

I grew up alongside hip hop, and eventually we became one as I continued to marinate in the Twin Cities hip hop scene, and eventually that of Chicago. I came to live on that thin line of writing and developing my own hand-style, the hip hop art of calligraphy. My characters (both in terms of lettering and otherwise) represented aspects of self, culture, personal identity, and what’s more; everything I hoped for. Hip Hop became my lens, mirror and my loudspeaker. I’ve labored over the tender swoop of letters in words full of frustration and hope. as I practiced this art that reclaims space and refuses imposed narratives of invisibility. It’s because of hip hop that I discovered I could be my own artist. I used these words and beats to process and evaluate myself, my experiences, and my world.

I spend my life studying and practicing my craft within communities steeped in long traditions hip-hop and poetry. I spend my time discovering and exercising my voice to create something outside the lines, while pointing audiences in that direction for themselves. I create inspired art with purpose and joy. I aspire to open doors of creativity, history, culture, humanity, and justice. I create to teach, to learn, and to inspire. There’s always another perspective to see, and I hope to share angles and vantages that can improve our relationships with our world, each other, and ourselves.

These past several years have been full of challenges and difficulty. At the same time, it’s been full of blessings and creativity. Art has always been a spiritual practice for me, but it’s continued to become a deeper way to create living prayer. Pieces dedicated to my cousin who passed away, my mom who was diagnosed with cancer, and my dying cat, have helped me focus grief and hope. The day after I spent the day working on a piece as a prayer for my mom and my cat, I discovered that on that same day, my mom had been to the doctor and learned that she was in remission. I was able to share the piece dedicated to my cousin with our grieving family and spark cherished memories of coffee shops, markers, philosophy, and wild, fun ideas. My dear cat also ended up leaving us, though the stories and art she’s inspired preserve her legend as a mystical time traveler delivering a message of love.

As a working artist I’m always searching for ways my art can be experienced and acknowledged while making a living. This grant would help recover from the loss incurred from trying to heal my cat before realizing the situation couldn’t be remedied. What’s more, this opportunity would help signal boost the work I do as a visual artist. It can be difficult breaking through conceptions of the work you do when people put you in a category. This grant would come at a time where I’m connecting to more opportunities and expanding people’s view of what I do and offer. I’ve done a handful of commissions recently, one of which was an indoor mural at a local business. I’m in the right place and time in my own development and craft to take a step forward and more deeply connect with reaches of the art community. More than that though, I am realizing my potential as I continue the journey of embodying the hip hop arts in new and authentic ways.

As a unique voice and underrepresented artist of color, there aren’t a lot of opportunities lent to uplifting my work, message, or identity. I'm seeking and creating opportunities to take further steps in a lifelong commitment to the arts and the human spirit. 

Sex Tape Music Video Suite Premiere at Trylon Cinema 12.12.19

I'm so delighted to share this news with y'all! December 12th at 6:30pm, I'll be hosting the premiere of a three-part music video suite from the album Sex Tape (featuring beats by Nye), a sex positive EP about healthy sexuality, consent, and burning down the patriarchy. 

The evening will feature the new videos as well as a community conversation with directors SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE and JMaki Maki, collaborators MagnifiKat and Ryan Stopera, and special guests filmmaker/educator Adja Gildersleve and sex educator Jacki Trelawny.
Moderated by Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre. Arrive early for a community mingling to the sounds of DJ TaliaKnight right at 6:30.

Each magically real video takes place in a different aspect of the cultural heart/mind/spirit of society. 'Dude Interrupted' shows a conversation between See More and people and places under the influence of rape culture and misogyny. 'Funny Bone' takes place in a religious service of sorts and explores the inner relationships with different aspects of one persons identity and sexuality. Finally, in ‘Our Love', Ananya Chatterjea of Ananya Dance Theatre becomes the divine feminine, re-balancing relationships in our hearts and mind with sexuality, each other, and ourselves.

Listen to the EP here.

Buy Tickets here.

RSVP, share the event, and invite friends here.

This activity is made possible by possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Mini Midwest Tour: Taproot and Nandi's Knowledge Cafe, Detroit

After a harrowing arrival and magical first night, I slept in and headed to a nearby coffee shop for way too much bomb, strong coffee and a little writing and admin time before things ensued for the evening.

I proceeded back to home base at Taproot Sanctuary where one of the house mates was throwing night two of her birthday party. I helped in the kitchen by mostly cutting up some fresh mango and cracking jokes, then hopped in bed for a power nap. When I woke up, I ran a few pieces by candlelight, and slinkied down the stairs into some fresh ponche and a lively group of lovely people celebrating their friend. Word spread that I was an artist and they asked me to share something, so I kicked 'Pyramids'. We then dug into the layers of metaphor of that piece, and chatted and laughed and learned about each other a bit. By the way, Taproot is an intentional community living space where they strive to have a small ecological footprint, hence all the talk about candlelight. They filter rain water and do all sorts of other cool, environmentally conscious stuff there as well. Apparently they're even part of a network of POC homes living somewhere on a spectrum of off the power grid. I can't say enough about how dope it is, but I'll try ;)

I gotta say how not jarring it is to stay in a place that almost exclusively uses candlelight. It felt so natural meeting people in that intimate, twinkling place. It most certainly had a lot to do with the light in and between the people in that space (celebrating a birthday, no less), but there really is something to be said about social interactions surrounded by candles. I know I'm someone who prefers darker spaces as it is, and that I'm really comfortable wrapping myself in complete darkness, even when I'm not preparing for slumber. Still, I think there's an element of peeling back layers between us, and the bit of magic that feels much more free in that soft, warm light. It's like the little sprites of our auras feel more at ease to come out and play.xsdx

So with that, I launched into the evening at Nandi's for the tri-video premiere, performance and QnA with Will See and GMAC. Nandi's is a Detroit institution, and recently moved from a much smaller place they had been for over a decade, if I understand it correctly. The new place is a big, open, and welcoming space full of wall to wall books and gorgeous African masks that Nandi herself has been collecting for over thirty years. Apparently, she has a warehouse full of masks that she accumulated through relationships with people who brought them from small towns throughout Africa. Most of them have been used in ceremonies in their respective villages. And they have a kitchen.

Stepping into that spot was all love as an inter-generational crowd slowly gathered for the video, performance, and conversation to come. Everyone killed the performances, the videos were super on point, and we enjoyed some powerful statements from the crowd about social change. One elder in the house was celebrating his birthday, and honored and humbled us by choosing to celebrate it with us, mentioning that he hadn't enjoyed a weekend birthday in years and years. From his wheelchair, oxygen at his side, Baba Baxter spoke about how inspired he is by the work people are doing and the energy people have right now to make a difference. He said he hasn't seen this type of activism, and community work since the 60's. In fact, he noted that people haven't shown up to vote in these numbers in Detroit since 1968. After the crowd sang happy birthday, he closed by saying that even if he doesn't live to see the change we're all working toward, he'll be with us in spirit when we do achieve it. And on that note, I began my set.

Performing for a mix of youth, OG activists, and young socially engaged peoples from all over Detroit was one thing...but performing to that crowd along with the collective spirit of the authors and craftspeople (and all that their work represents) was like performing across time to so many past global community members and ancestors. Nandi and her friends vibed with us all night and stayed the latest, smoking in the back and dancing front and center. They were delightful, and I loved chatting with them and learning more about the space and community there. In a way, they also showed what it can mean to be an elder in community with younger generations.

Videos from the night:

Midwest MiniTour: Minneapolis to Detroit

I've decided to experiment with a little series of thoughts and experiences from my travels. I'm starting here with a trip I started two days ago to Detroit and back through Chicago. The first leg through Detroit is set up through a Cultural Exchange with Collective Wisdom Detroit.

Prelude:The day before I left I screen printed a bunch of merch and even made a bit of jewelry. After teaching me how to screen print by hand last year, Katherine invited me to her studio at Redeemer (her church and an important part of our community in North Minneapolis), where I helped her put the finishing touches on a screen press build (!). Once we figured that out with any instructions, it made quick work of the printing, and I gotta say, this batch looks even better than the last. I then went home and dove into the jewelry supply box and started creating. I stayed up entirely too late, but really dig the pieces I came up with. It was all a bit of a freestyle, and I'm still experimenting and learning, but I personally dig what I'm comin' up with...someone else has gotta feel it too, right? So the next day, I scraped myself together and barely made it out of the door. I stopped for a bag of sambusa and a burger (from the new spot on Glenwood which is a+), and while I waited, ended up buildin' with the owners Sara and Osman. Sara has been cooking at another spot over south for 17 years, and has lived over North for decades, so she's finally making the leap and running her own kitchen. Osman talked about bringin' art into the space and how he's tryin' put people on from the neighborhood. While that took way longer than I anticipated, the food was bomb and I had what I needed to cover me for the first part of the trip along with some apples and some random jello my pops gave me (lol). It was snowing and rush hour was just getting started...

Yo...after 9 hours for a 6.5 hour trip through terrible road conditions, a few terrifying moments with semis, and a path littered with spun out cars, crashes, and emergency vehicles, I made it to my overnight stay, and got back on the road yesterday, beautiful cup of coffee in hand and bomb breakfast sambusa (just sambusa for breakfast) waiting for me. *Then I realized I was losing an hour in Detroit and made a harrowing arrival *just in time for a delightful workshop with a dope circle of humans. I did my pyramids workshop on identity and opening up moments of our story through poetry for Riverwise Magazine at Cass Corridor Commons (connected to me by William Whole Note and #CollectiveWisdomDetroit). A lovely elderly woman incidentally offered the most insightful and profound feedback on the workshop, and I was so honored and moved to be in community there. After everything it took to get here, I knew this was right.

After that, I met my housemates for the next few days at the warm and welcoming Taproot Sanctuary, where I felt like a ghost walking into the most intimate birthday gathering with song by candlelight. Once everyone floated away on the magic they came in on, I made brief plans to help with some repotting, herb organizing, and wedding art in the way of earning my keep.
It's been a slow start today, but I'm enjoying my time and getting a little work done as I prepare for tonight's performance and video premiere of 'So Called Prez' at NANDI'S KNOWLEDGE CAFE'. I am so spent, but also feeling so very blessed.

New Video: 'Dude, Interrupted'


Over the past week, women across the country have shared stories of harassment and gender violence, and one of many important questions to come from that is "what is the responsibility of men to do something about it?" Because there is power in witnessing, in listening, and in critical self-reflection, but there are also limits to that power. At some point, men need to start holding one another accountable, in real, concrete ways, for their words and actions. "Dude, Interrupted" is not a five-point manifesto for how to do that. Rather, it's a snapshot of what that work can look like, in the moment, in real life. Taken from SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE'S "Sex Tape" album (an exploration of consent, healthy sexuality, and the importance of sex ed), the song models just how important it is for men to interrupt and disrupt sexism wherever and whenever it manifests-- even when it's uncomfortable, even when it doesn't "work" right away. These conversations-- about the connection between "small" thoughts/words/actions, and the larger realities of harassment, discrimination, rape culture, and violence-- are a crucial step in the process. Talk about it and be about it. We can all do so much better.

Listen to the full album, 'Sex Tape' and learn more at the SEE-site

A Tale of My Time Traveling Cat

So, I'm not feeling well tonight. My body's prolly tellin' me to chill, and today was especially stressful...emotional, really. Bootsy Cat, my dear friend, copilot, and time traveling cat from the future, went missing and it was really hard on me. I feared she went back to the future and I was. not. Ready. I woke up and knew something was off. No meowing, no adorable head butts. I didn't trip, she does other things. She has her life. I poured her food, cooked and ate breakfast. She never sauntered in for her meal. Such stillness, such quiet, consumed me. Afterward with no sign of her whatsoever, I started freaking out a little, but told myself to chill. "Wait it out, big storms are scary, and when she's gotten scared in the past (pun intended---she's a time traveling cat from the future, do try and keep up) from a dog or something, she's found refuge in a nook or cranny. I looked around the house, got my roommate involved in a search but tried not to trip. Checked out the yard, called out; nothing. I was shook, but still hoped for the best. Got emotional. "I'm not ready to say goodbye". Felt like it was going to be ok, but the thought still scared me...Went to a meeting. Ran mantras all day. Set intention. Scared, yet calm, hopeful. Got home, called out, looked around; nothing. Looked in the closets, drawers, cabinets, under the couch, the whole deal; nothing. "My life will be totally different without her". But where could she have gone?? Doing the math of the previous evening, there was no way for her to have gotten outside. Defeated and exhausted, I felt like a nap was in order. Told myself I'd keep praying and wake up and everything would be ok. Fell asleep repeating a mantra. I woke up heart broken that she wasn't around...checked my phone. "how long was I asleep now? A minute? An hour?" Then I heard a knock on my bedroom door. It was my roommate. "Can I come in?" "Yeah", heart on the floor. He opened the door...with Bootsy in his arms!! He says, "she was just there, in the kitchen, eating her food."