Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anybody who questions Hip-Hop & Chess...Look below

Harlem rapper Immortal Technique (L) and DJ Green Lantern on the 64 squares.

Immortal Technique has a new album dropping June 24th The 3rd World. He has been, and continues to be a selfless supporter of the HHCF. When I was recently at O'Connell High in SF, I met a young Guatemalan kid named Kevin, who was a major fan of the Peruvian born MC.

I called Immortal Technique on the phone and let Kevin speak with his idol. One cannot describe the joy in his eyes as he heard Techniques voice on the other line. He gave the youngster some positive words and put Kevin in Hip-Hop heaven! Any rapper who is sincere about serving their community, is a rapper we'll always support. Look how many kids showed up to see his last talk....


Parents should be advised that Immortal Technique records have lyrics that are not intended for children.

PS. In related news, JAY-Z, adds chess to his VIP rooms at all of his exclusive 40/40 clubs!!!

READ HERE: http://www.amny.com/entertainment/music/am-chess0624,0,4427867.story

This is a real movement people...REAL.

Monday, June 16, 2008

OMG, if you have never been inspired by the way of the warrior- observe and reflect deeeeply!

Judo Olympian Rhadi doing what he does BEST....Slamming people with precision...

Warriors too, train the body, but they also use the the body as a vehicle to train the mind, calm the spirit, and find goodness and beauty, dimensions that sports lack.- Moreihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido)


GZA Announces Liquid Swords Tour!!

Photo Credit: Anna Garcia

Wu Tang Clan's The GZA is embarking upon his first ever Liquid Swords Tour, which features the rapper performing selections from his 1995 album of the same name. The cross-country tour kicks off August 21st at the El Rey theater in Los Angeles, California and will hit 19 cities before winding down September 13th at Harpers Ferry in Boston, Massachusetts. During the tour, GZA will also debut new material from his upcoming new album Pro Tools.

Full tour dates are listed below:

08-21 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
08-22 Santa Cruz, CA - Moe's Alley
08-23 Petaluma, CA - Phoenix (performing Liquid Swords)
08-25 Portland, OR - Berbati's Pan
08-26 Seattle, WA - Neumos
08-27 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
08-29 Salt Lake City, UT - Palladium
08-30 Denver, CO - Cervantes
09-01 Dallas, TX - Palladium
09-02 Houston, TX - Warehouse
09-03 Austin, TX - Emo's
09-04 Minneapolis, MN - Cabooze
09-05 Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College
09-06 Madison, WI - SoCo Music Series
09-07 Chicago, IL - House of Blues 09-10 Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head
09-11 Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues 09-12 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
09-13 Boston, MA - Harper's Ferry

SOURCE: www.allhiphop.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Interview w/ MMA and Jiu Jitsu Fighter Ralek Gracie

Ralek Gracie at HHCF Chess Kings Invitational
Photo: Anna Garcie

Ralek Gracie is one of the latest to emerge from the new generation of the Gracie family. Just to give you an idea....Raleks father INVENTED the UFC....No joke.

But he is not just a fighter. Not long ago, he became a new father. In this interview we talk about what it means to train properly in jiu jitsu and MMA and his quest for higher understanding. For the record, this interview happened before his cancelled grappling match with Cro-Cop.

AB:How have you been training lately?

RG: Every day I try to do something twice a day. It can be a hard run, or al lift. It might be a full training session. I might do a fight simulation. Where I go 5 rounds, plus some extra. I'll go with a fresh guy each round, so its like I'm fighting a superhuman. Its keeping me on my toes. I'm training with my brothers Ryron, Renner and Raylen, training with Kevin over at Ricksons. They have made vital contributions to my training.

AB: There is a lot of mystique about how Gracie family members train. Is there anything specific you've been doing to get an edge?

RG: The jiu jitsu is there. Its like riding a bike. But you still have to ride if you wanna compete at the high level that we want. I've been working on my stand up. I want people to fear my stand up so that there is nowhere to run in a fight. You'll get knocked out and you'll get choked out. St. Pierre, Anderson Silva- those guys are doing it real big right now. They are feared from anywhere. They can get you at any angle. So I'm just refining my angles. I"m working with some people undercover right now as well.

AB: What?? You can't give ya boy a tidbit? A hint?

RG: It does not matter who I'm training with. What matters is that you're gonna get knocked out if I do what I'm supposed to do [laughs].

AB: What books have you been reading lately? What's going on inside Ralek's head?

RG: Right now, I'm seeking to reach a point where I don't depend on anything accept my own mind and body. Not being outwardly directed. Not doing things for the hype. Not to do things for my ego or to one up somebody else. I want to do it, and be present while I do it- every step of the way. I wanna be at peace while I do it.

AB: How does being a new father change the way you look at the game?

RG: Its changes how hard I work. I was waking up at 11 AM. Now I get up at 7..6 sometimes [laughs]. I'm up before the birds chirp. My son is an inspiration for me to better myself. I Wanna be able to teach him everything. Teach him as much as I can. I wanna be able to give him the key to life. Thats why I've been putting so much work in spiritually, plus on the mat. Regardless of what my kid does, I want him to be happy. I want him to do what he does with no shame. I want him to do it with confidence. I want him to have a good positive mentality.

AB: Tell me about breakthroughs in your training. How have you reached some of your personal heights as a fighter?

RG: Most of my breakthroughs come from training with my brothers. Getting choked out over and over. It gets to a point where its beyond my feeling or my ego. Its just instant action and reaction. I learn instantly what not to do. The question is, can I apply that the next day? Am I gonna be sharper? I've reached a point where losing is more of a completely positive thing. This is hard for most people to understand. Most people are too emotional. They feel like when they lose they are less of a man because of that.

My brothers and I feel that its not about that. You actually become a man when you lose. When you have somebody better than you, you will progress at a faster rate. Compared to someone who wants to go aroudn the gym and pick on dudes that are half his level.

AB: After your first MMA fight, what did you have a personal understanding of in terms of clarity?

RG: I walked away with a lot. Everything became so much more real to me. When you see something or you hear something its only so powerful. But when you feel it, your perception changes. It was a big step for me to go in there and feel what the ring felt like...Under that amount of pressure with that many people watching. It felt good. I felt like I belong there. It was natural. I prepared myself so I could be ready for that moment. It was good.

AB: I know at the Hip-Hop Chess Federation event you got to meet Chess Master Josh Waitzkin and read his book The Art of Learning. How did you view his book on fighting, and living?

RG: I saw so may parallels with my own life. He was so serious and so focused at an early age. I was not the same level in jiu jitsu as he was in chess at his age. But we both started out with an extraordinary amount of pressure for the age we competed at. If anything, as he keeps it going through the book...Its all about continuing that learning and continuing to be humble, to be better by looking deeper. Training harder, not rolling with the easier guys. He always talks about getting outta your shell. Like the hermit crab if you wanna get any bigger you have to get outta your shell. You're gonna be a little vulnerable when you step out. But, you've gotta do it.

AB: Is there anything specific you wanna say to all the other jiu jitsu and MMA fighters out there?

RG: I feel like people need to learn to train and compete without ego. Many people do it because they're gonna get a car, or a house, or respect. Do ti because its something you can't help but do. There is much more power in someone who does something unconsciously, but with complete consciousness. Be it, don't try to be it. Live it, don't try to live it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Had a fantastic game on Wuchess today! Check it out...

LINK: http://www.wuchess.com/game/5444100/

As I have stated a million times before, I am no expert at chess. But I love it and I love the life lessons I gain from playing. Here is a game I played earlier this afternoon. Enjoy the game. See you on there soon. Some celebs been hanging out in the innerchamber on the low...


WuChess and HHCF all over the news! If you missed it, check below

RZA and students from the the last HHCF Chess Kings Invitational looking at new horizons!

NBC 11 w/ Tech Anchor Scott Budman:


NY Times with Dylan McClain:


The Chess Drum:


Hip-Hop DX:


UK Telegraph:


NPR's All Things Considered:


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wuchess has launched!!! Its off the hook...You better get in there...

Hey y'all, Wuchess has launched and its been really amazing. Chesspark and RZA bring the ruckus like none other. See you there.

VISIT: www.wuchess.com and sign up today!Please remember that a portion of the proceeds from WuChess goes to the HHCF Scholarship fund. We can't do our events with out you.


Friday, May 30, 2008


Kevin Powell, April Silver of AKILA WORKSONGS,
Black & Male in America (BAMIA), and Allhiphop.com
present a
Townhall Meeting
Performance, & Booksigning
for the launch of

"Be a Father to Your Child:
Real Talk from Black Men on
Family, Love, and Fatherhood"

Event Hosted by
Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur of Allhiphop.com

June 2, 2008
7:00pm - 9:30pm

located at Brown Memorial Baptist Church
(Rev. Clinton M. Miller, Pastor)
438 Washington Avenue (at Gates Avenue)
Clinton Hill/Brooklyn, NY 11238

doors open at 6:30 | first come, first seated

Join the Discussion, Mix & Mingle with the Writers!
Buy the Book, Support a Cause! *

a groundbreaking anthology featuring
essays, poems, and interviews by

Aaron Lloyd • Adisa Banjoko • Alford Young, Jr. • Bakari Kitwana • Bill Stephney • Byron Hurt • Cheo Tyehimba • Davey D. • Dion Chavis • James Peterson • Kevin Powell • Kevin Williams • Lasana Hotep • Loren Harris • Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele • Mo Beasley • Rhymefest • Saddi Khali • Shaun Neblett • Steven G. Fullwood • Talib Kweli • Thabiti Boone • Timothy D. Jones • William Jelani Cobb

"Editor April R. Silver weaves together a seamless tapestry of essays, poems, lyrics, and interviews from both analytic and anecdotal perspectives- from the corner to the campus- to address issues of Black masculinity and fatherhood at the birth and maturation of hip hop culture." MORE BACKGROUND!

* Book project created to support the "Black Men and Boys Initiative." LEARN MORE!

Book Available at the JUNE 2 Event!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HHCF Fundraising for 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational

It's almost that time again. HHCF 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational is coming!

Hey folks!!! The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (501c3) is looking for donations and sponsorships for the 2nd Annual Chess Kings Invitational. RZA will defend his title (we're getting a new belt designed as we speak) against some of the best and baddest in the business!! MMA fighters, rappers and even some rock stars are lined up to get a shot at the title!!! Josh Waitzkin and Jennifer Shahade will be in the house...Its going down people!

HHCF also plans to have a huge scholastic tournament as well as new scholarship tournament. The HHCF cannot exist without you. We need your help, so we can help the children more effectively. We expect no less than 1500 people in attendance. Press from across the planet will be covering the event and we plan to have some new surprises as well!! To obtain our sponsorship package please email gaborski@shinkenpublicrelations.com !!

Eternal thanks,
Adisa Banjoko

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wuchess is locked and loaded...

Yo, Wuchess.com is about to launch...I have and idea when, but I can't say. What I CAN say, is that neither Hip-Hop, or chess will ever be the same after it drops. See you there soon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If your kids only learn one rap song- make it this one


Once the battle lines are drawn, stay strong

Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. Henry Ward Beecher

MOVIE REVIEW of RED BELT: By Gumby of www.onthemat.com

As an instructor, you come to realize that you cannot truly understand something until you have the ability to explain it someone else. In this way Red Belt, the new movie from Dave Mamet, is his attempt to explain to the masses what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is.

A word of warning however: those of you expecting the Enter the Dragon or Karate Kid to spark a revolution in Jiu Jitsu enrollment, Red Belt is not that movie. Red Belt is essentially a drama with large amount of the back and forth dialogue Mamet is known for. The main theme is not so much Jiu Jitsu itself in that Jiu Jitsu is as much a metaphor for one man’s value system that not necessarily compatible with the world of today about him.

Since we here at OntheMat rarely do movie reviews, we feel compelled to talk about this film on two levels, first and foremost on how successful of a movie this is and secondly if the portrayal of Jiu Jitsu rings as authentic.

Knowing what I was getting into definitely helped my enjoyment of the movie; people I attended with who were expecting a more straight forward action picture were bound to be disappointed. There are certainly some intense action sequences but this is hardly the focal point of the movie.

The story centers around instructor owner Mike Terry (a great performance by Chiwetel Eliofor), a man dedicated to Jiu Jitsu and the concepts of old world principles and honor. While he has a handful of loyal students and is content with his program, he’s also barely making rent on his studio. Tradition versus commercialization is certainly a theme that can resonate with many activities, but it will particularly hit home with an audience of Jiu Jitsu enthusiasts. A chance encounter a shaky Laura Black and an accidental gunshot through the academy window sets off a series of events that will take Mike through the seedier elements of Hollywood and the world of Mixed Martial Arts, which he initially disdains. It’s an enjoyable ride, filled with a few surprising plot twists I won’t give away here culminating in a MMA tournament that doesn’t exactly go as everyone would have expected. The ending is bound to controversial from a few different perspectives, but it invites the viewer to make several conclusions on their own.

Throughout the movie Mamet uses his opportunities to showcase Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, most obviously in the action sequences, but more often in the teachings and the words of wisdom from Mike Terry. I can see instructors and students alike uttering lines like “there’s always an escape” and “I teach people to prevail, not to win” across academies. As a vehicle to promote Jiu Jitsu it may not necessarily excite the uninformed view into wanted to sign up with a local academy, but it will certainly give them a lot to think about and hopefully an appreciation of the art. People well versed in Jiu Jitsu may have a few new insights because of Red Belt as well.

The authenticity of the Jiu Jitsu in Red belt is high, and fans of the art will certainly enjoy recognizing many people who worked on the film. Randy Couture has a fairly substantial speaking role . John Machado has a big role in this movie as well (fair to mention he had a starring role in his own movie, Brazilian Brawl which is somewhat of a cult classic among BJJ affecdionados). A major fight scene takes place Renato Magno (who also happens to be Mamet’s instructor) and Ricco Chipparelli. Ed O’ Neil, the actor who introduced Mamet to Jiu Jitsu and now a black belt himself, has a small walk on role as well. The legendary Dan Inosanto portrays the Grandmaster.

The action sequences showcase a number of popular moves, although sometimes because of the cinematic choices and direction the action is a bit hard to follow. It is nice that Mamet is able to showcase a few different aspects of Jiu Jitsu, including academy training, sport/sport fighting and self defense, the last one showcasing some version of stick fighting in addition to Jiu Jitsu. The action is for the most part believable and the final sequences are very exciting. A few points do require a bit of a suspension of disbelief; it’s a little difficult to believe that the California Athletic Commission would sanction the type of handicapping of bouts that Red Belt suggests (and in an interview Mamer does declare this was a work of Hollywood fiction, however I can vividly remember having train with one or both hands tied in my belt at times.)

In the end this Red Belt is an entertaining film and it portray Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a positive light, so it’s easy to recommend this film. Ultimately, this movie is about a modern day samurai and sticking to one’s principles in a corrupted world and I think (as Jiu Jitsu Jitsu students and instructors ourselves) we can certainly relate to the main character of Mike Terry.

Listen to the Fightworks Podcast Interview with Dave Mamet!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Focus hard and let go when attacking

On the attack your movement is swift and your cry shattering, as fast as thunder and lighting, as though coming from the sky, impossible to prepare for. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Sabertooth vs. Jrobi !!! Nice chess right here


Saturday, May 10, 2008

HHCF EXCLUSIVE: Flashback interview w/ Andre Nickatina from 2000

This Rap World: One on One with Andre Nickatina
By: Adisa Banjoko, The Bishop of Hip-Hop

I met Andre Nickatina in 1989 while taking a Black Psychology class at Skyline College. Over time we got cool and he knew I wrote for the Source. At the time, he rapped under the name Dre Dog. He invited me to his first show at an old club called One Up. He was kinda nervous that night. But he ripped it. Since then, he's made some serious history in the rap game.

Many of his raps are dark, violent and some of them have a lot of drug references. However, while I do not condone a lot of the content in his music- Andre Nickatina is a soldier of the rap game. He has stood the test of time like few others. This interview dropped shortly before the release of Tears of a Clown. He ended this with a serious insight to how important it is to be a good business man. I know a lot of HHCF folks want to be rappers or producers. So, please pay attention to how he closes this interview.

AB: What does the title, Tears of a Clown mean?

AN: Nothin'. Its a phrase that I thought went with the picture. It has no meaning behind it. I thought it would catch peoples ear. When I make and album, if people can't see it, I want it to sound good to them.

AB: Doze Green did the cover right? He's an O.G. graffiti!!

AN: Yep thats him.

AB: We're you trying to accomplish anything in particular with this album?

AN: Nope. I just throw out tapes to sell them until they can't be sold any more. Then I go back into the studio and make another one! I got no accomplishments, expectations or goals...Other than that I wanna get it to the people that wanna hear it. Ain't nothin' else to it.

AB: What's your favorite song on the album?

AN: My Rap World, is my favorite song on the album. It'll have a video to it soon. I was actually looking at a dictionary when I wrote the rap. I remember because I was looking at a rhyme dictionary. It helped me come up with the whole beginning- then I flowed with the rest. I wrote the song before I heard the beat though.

AB: Why do you think so many rappers from the Bay are supported by their own. Rappers in NY can't sell in NY. But when cat's out here see Andre Nickatina, San Quinn, Mac Mall, whoever. they're gonna pick it up. Why is that?

AN: I think its the hustle. People recognize the hustle. They wanna help you get to where you gonna go. The Bay Area is the foundation of people really doing their own independent thing. It went from cats looking for major deals to being like "We gonna sell these by ourselves". So people like, "If he's doing his own independent thing, I'll spend my last seven dollars on his tape". That reputation spread to the South. For a long time, you only had Tony Draper and Rap-a-Lot. 40 was out here doing his thing, and thats how he got down with the South. When you are independent like that you gonna meet more people- because you are doing for self. Thats how the Bay got put on the map. When you are independently hustlin' you know more about whats going on with your S!@#.

You meet more people. But when you on a record label, there are so many people doing things for you. They might have sold ten records, but they'll tell you they sold three!! Thats how dirty they get. Thats the difference between NY and the Bay Area.

AB: Do you think other cats outside of the Bay buy Andre Nickatina?

AN: Not necessarily.

AB: Do you care if people from Florida or NY buy your music?

AN: Nope, no, no...I feel whoever needs to buy my S!@# is the person who is gonna buy my S!@#. Its too many rappers out there. To much other music out there for me to be mad at anybody not buying my S!@#. I'm not in this for competition. I rap because I know there is a certain amount of people out there who will buy my S!@#. If they tune other people onto my stuff, then thats gravy to the situation. But I'm not worried if Florida or NY buys it. 'Cause I know Santa Rosa is buying my tapes. So, I'm gonna concentrate on Santa Rosa. I know people in Oakland are buying my tapes. So, I concentrate there. If you don't want my tapes that ain't no thing either- walk away.

AB: Do you hope to make movies in the future?

AN: I'm sure I might. If I branch out, I'll let you know right before it drops. I'm not gonna tell y'all that I gotta movie coming out. Then people be like "When ya movie droppin'" and I don't know [laughs]. You feel me? Let me say this though. I gotta lot of surprises. I don't even know what I'm gonna put out. But when I do, it'll be something to hold onto. When I do it, you gonna like it. Maybe somewhere down the line. No time soon. But I support anyone else doing it.

One quick thing. I wanna talk to all you cats out there rappin' man. You givin' up your ideas and your children- meaning your ideas...You give it to these record companies who giggle in your face at the time. Then, as soon as you sign on the dotted line- its war. You gotta fight for your money. You gotta fight for your rights. They know exactly what they are doing when they sign you. So, you gotta know WHY you are getting signed to them in the first place. Why you signing? Other than that, you just gonna give up classic stuff that you made and classics to come in the future that ain't even gonna be yours!

You goin' state to state, on the frontline. Goin' into all these hoods and running into all these gangstas, pranksters and thugs. While the record companies are sitting back on silk sheets sending their children to college! So all you rap cats man, you gonna have to dig into this technology. Know these books! I'm not gonna pretend that I read books all the time. But took licks for not knowin'!! In order you gonna have to get up on it. Other than that, you're signing your soul away. I'm not gonna tell you what to do to get there. If someone owe you five dollars, you want it back! Imagine if it was one hundred thousand dollars?! And you got no way of getting it back unless you bring firepower. And I don't mean guns...I mean lawyers or knowing the right way to get the money they owe you.

"You owe me this"! you'll say.

"How do I owe you this?" they gonna say.

If you don't break it down- you won't be gettin' jack S!@# back. I'm gonna tell you that now. You better break down how he owes you that money. If he say he ain't paying you after that, then you gotta get a lawyer. So, to all you rap cats, I love all rap cats that wanna BE rap cats. But there are new rules to the game. You gotta business man, and you gotta be a thug. You gotta be a business thug then!! You just can't be no ignorant thug. That time is gone.

Friday, May 2, 2008

HHCF EXCLUSIVE: 1996 Interview with Bay Area Legend Mac Mall

Mac Mall Interview from 1996
By: Adisa Banjoko, The Bishop of Hip-Hop

In 1996, Mac Mall was just getting ready to drop his Classic LP, Untouchable. His friend Young Lay had recently been shot, his early mentor DJ Cease was killed in an unrelated incident. Life was tough. But Mall, at 19 years old spoke like an OG about leaving Young Black Brother, about how stressful the streets can be and how the east/west beef ain't that real.

AB: First of all, why did you leave Young Black Brother Records?

Mac Mall: [chuckles] Whooo. You jump right into it, huh? Man...I thought it was time for me to be in control of my own destiny as far as music goes. Its already shady. I wanted to take control.

AB: How has it helped you, and how has urt you? What's the difference?

Mac Mall: It hasn't really hurt me. But the ways it helped me is- I have more options. I've got different people to help me in different markets. Its just bigger. I got more tools. I'm in communication with all of them.

AB: Who produced this album?

Mac Mall: Khayree, Mike Mosley, Ant Banks, 187 from Above the Law and Kokane, Harm, Winetime in Seattle.

AB: Where were you when you learned about the shooting of Young Lay.

Mac Mall: I was in LA when Lay got shot. I was recording with Hutch (187). I felt like "My potnah got shot!". I felt like anybody would feel. We grew up rappin' out the same camp. I called KMEL and told everybody to pray for him. Now he's in the new video "Get Right". Back! He made it 100%. He had a lot of people praying for him.

AB: Do you know anything about who did it?

Mac Mall: I don't think anybody knows who did but him, and whoever did it.

AB: Whats up with Ray Luv's DJ (DJ Cease) ? 'Cause he goes way back- like a vet.

Mac Mall: Thats my folks! Much love to him. If it wasn't for him I would not be here right now. Much love to Ray Luv. The Mac, may he rest in peace, Michael Robinson. Cease was DJ'ing back in 1981!! Thats MY folks...Mac Dres DJ. He gave me the first microphone that I EVER touched. He got killed. Its shocking. Times is crazy.

AB: How does all this affect your mind though. RBL's Mr. Cee just got shot. A lot of people up your way have been shot. How does this affect Mac Mall directly?

Mac Mall: If anything, it makes me colder. It makes me tighten up my game. I check with my folks to make sure we all on the same team. So we can all move though this. It makes me notice a lot and peep everything?

AB: Do you own a gun?

Mac Mall: Nope [chuckles].

AB: Do you vote?

Mac Mall: Nope.

AB: Do you not believe in the democratic system- or whats the deal?

Mac Mall: Nope. First of all, democrats and republicans- they don't give a f*** about us. We ain't even in that. The only things I would vote for are the smaller local laws they try to pass. But I got too much other s!@# on my mind to be thinking about that. They ain't thinkin' about me know way.

AB: How do you feel about all the east coast/west coast set trippin'.

Mac Mall: It seems like about 10% of it be like real funk. 90% of it seems like fools fighting over crumbs. What are we trippin' off? Lets flash on record companies or something. If you from the east, how you gonna diss a rapper from the west? If you from the west, how you gonna diss a rapper from the east? When its the fools behind the desks thats doin ya REAL bad- if you ain't got ya paperwork right. They doin' you real bad. Thats not me. I'm trying to get my paper right. It don;t matter where you from.

AB: What's the biggest assumption about you that people make about you thats not true.

Mac Mall: Mostly people be like "I thought you was gonna be all big headed and flashy" you know- stuck on myself.

AB: What are your three favorite movies?

Mac Mall: First, its a tie, between Supafly and The Mack. 'Cause its like Supafly DID It...He did his thing. His Caddy was an El Dorado drop, could have been a 75 with a Rolls Royce it on it. He had the Rolls Royce kit on the front! Thats why it was lookin' like that. Plus, he was in the game. They showed you how the police was was tryin' to get him 'cause he as poppin'. So he tried to get out. He had his lil freak. His lil sista, "Baby we finna get up outta here"! Fat bath tubs, condos, TV's!!

The Mack, 'cause thats The Bay. He said "I'm finna come outta jail and straight bubble! So, I Can relate with both of those movies. Second, Scarface! And King of New York!

AB: What? No Reservoir Dogs?

Mac Mall: I saw Reservoir Dogs. It was dope...But Point Break was hot.

AB: Your three top records?

Mac Mall: My first would be Pato Banton Mad Professor Catches Pato Banton, The Curtis Mayfield album with Runnin' Child, Mac Dre's Young Black Brotha...Oh and anything from Prince. Man, thats that song? Starfish and Coffee!

AB: What about books?

Mac Mall: Black Girl Lost by Donald Goines.

AB: I never read any of his books.

Mac Mall: Man you missin'! I'm serious. What else...The Great Gatsby. There is another one, by this Black dude, Nathaniel something- wrote for the Washington Post to something...I gotta remember that.

AB: Louis Farrakahan said he wanted to go to Africa to collect a billion dollars. He wants to circulate more money within the Black community. If you had a billion dollars to spend in the Black community- how would you spend it?

Mac Mall: Hospitals. A Black staff, Latinos, Asians...Then I'd probably create a TV company or a car company. Then education. Id' set up elementary schools. 'Cause its important when you start. I;d set up schools from kindergarten to seventh grade. Our kids would be doing algebra before they got to high school. I'd also figure how to make something besides welfare for my folks. East At. Louis, Detroit, Louisiana- set up something for my folks?

AB: do you believe in God? I'm curious.

Mac Mall: [ looks at me like he's offended] I had a guy in my video playing God. Dude told me that he didn't believe in God. I'm like "You breathing. I'm breathing. Theres a moon out there. You just happened to come and exist?" You can't go through all this stuff and not know its something else [controlling the universe]. I was raised Christian, when I got older I learned a bit about Islam. But I have my own belief and I know whats real. MY folks, my mother and my Grandmother taught me whats real.

AB: So back when you was young, what did your favorite saturday morning cartoons and cerals used to be?

Mac Mall: I'll say Tom and Jerry, He Man, Thundercats...

AB: What about Transformers?

Mac Mall : They wasn't harder than Thunder Cats! They had a Black dude with the nunchucks. You know that dude was Black [laughs]. My favorite cereals were Apple Jacks, Cookie Crisp.

AB: I never had Cookie Crisp.

Mac Mall: 'Cause it was like five dollas a box. Gettin that was like Christmas [laughs]. Man you'd be GOOD for some Cookie Crisp. Thats real. I gotta box of that at the house right now. Everybody listen about the album though. I got a fat cover, with a aligator - its called Untouchable. With all the s!@# being around me, its telling you I can't be touched. If I can handle a gator on the cover, I deal with this. Theres a lot of little haters out there. Y'all keep shootin' at the sky and a bomb is gonna drop on you. I'm not talkin' about the word Playa hatin what everybody in the industry uses. I'm talking about that old Filhy Phil playa hatin'. 'Cause Filthy Phil was the first person to say playa hatin!! I'm taking about all these fools that claim they a playa- but they hatin'. I'm trying to get my crew tight, my family tight. The industry people that hate one me, that hated on my 'cause I'm 19. But I wanna thank my manager Leila, 'cause she stuck with me. Mike Mosley....

AB: I heard Fat Joe got love for you. I'm lovin' that Firewater track!

Mac Mall: Fa sho. We goes around and kicks it. I dunno though. Maybe I don't be around the right people. I never had no problems out there. When go out there, I be we Joe. Me and Mike Mosely we be out there and we never have problems. Joe! Joey crack. He real. Game recognize game no matter where you at. With any real person, if you trip with them you got problems...If you don't you don't. I'm not gonna be like "Awww I'm finna go to the east coast" hella mad, when all of my enemies are in California. It be love. Everybody real seem to get along. But it be weak rappers, and fools trippin' off they money thats east coast west coast.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Awesome Chess Video by Jrobichess

I mean, its all about the 64 of eternal war- right?


Violinist Miri Ben-Ari Teams with Rappers to Remember the Jewish Holocaust

Hip-Hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari is leading the charge to educate the public on the Jewish Holocaust, through a new campaign launched by her nonprofit organization Gedenk ("Remember").

Ari will officially kick off the effort Friday (May 2) with three public service announcements on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).

Widely regarded as one of the darkest periods in history, the Holocaust pertains to the genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews during World War II, at the hands of the Nazi regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler.

For Ari, the Gedenk campaign hits home, as she works to promote awareness and educate youth about the tragedy with her new effort.

"I founded Gedenk because I discovered there was an urgent need to expand youth education about the Holocaust," the Grammy winner said. "As a third generation to Holocaust survivors, I was appalled by studies showing that 50 percent of kids graduating high school in America don't know what the Holocaust is."

Established in 2006, Gedenk is a humanitarian movement dedicated to teaching and raising youth awareness about the Jewish Holocaust as well as anti-Semitism, racism and its negative consequences on the world today.

The PSAs, which depict how ordinary people can become victims of hate crimes, will debut at 10 a.m. EST Friday on the Viacom screen on 44th and Broadway in Times Square in New York.

In addition to the PSAs, the campaign will include quotes from various celebrities and political figures such as Public Enemy frontman Chuck D, Fugees members Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, rap icon DMC, music mogul Russell Simmons and political activist Kevin Powell.

The entertainers and activists will offer comments that examine why they feel It’s important for young people to learn about the Holocaust.

The Gedenk campaign is the newest endeavor for Ari, who has worked with artists ranging from Kanye West and Jay Z to Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears and Maroon 5.

- www.allhiphop.com

Listen to her tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here she is killing it at the Apollo Theater!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HHCF letting folks know how we do things

Now that the HHCF is catching momentum in the mags, on TV and radio folks done changed....Biz knows how to tell 'em...THEY GOT THE VAPORS!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

HHCF: Giving Eternal Thanks

HHCF's "Mind Over Matter" was an amazing success. Good people, good food, good grappling, good panel, good music!! "Mind Over Matter" had no major financial sponsors. It happened only because of the beauty in the hearts of certain individuals. The HHCF would like to thank the following families and organizations for their generous donations of money or time that made our last event possible: Ginsberg Family, Matthew Levy Esq., Guerilla Funk Records, Parker Family, Garbe Family, Rakaa Iriscience,T-KASH, 580, Sister Nancy, Lipscomb Family, Elaine Moskowitz, Daaim Shabazz and The Chess Drum, Christie Z & Popmaster Fabel, Playahata.com, Davey D, Alan "Gumby" Marques and everybody at www.onthemat.com, Denny Prokopos of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu SF, Hip-Hop Congress, DLabrie, Ramen, XBOX 360, Aiden, Gary Riekes and everybody at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement, Gene Ching, Kung Fu/Tai Chi Magazine, RZA, Chesspark/Wuchess family, Josh Waitzkin and Original Thai BBQ for all the wonderful fooooooood!!

Many times, when people come to HHCF events, they do not see all the work, chaos, blood, sweat, and real tears it takes to make them happen. We at the HHCF know that you did not have to give what you gave. But thanks to the people above, the we are able to throw these kind of events. Thank you for trusting our intent and helping us share our vision of chess, music, martial arts.

Eternal Thanks,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

HHCF Mind Over Matter Photos: World Champion No Gi Grappler Denny Prokopos

World champion no gi grappler Denny Prokopos gave the folks at HHCF's Mind Over Matter a wonderful exhibition. He is a brown belt under Eddie Bravo (World class Black Belt, madman and founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu). It was pretty exciting. Denny is a very smart and personable guy, who is an amazing technique.

We did some flow rolling (meaning we went extra light, so I did not get destroyed- thanks Denny!).

Enough jibber jabba, check out the photos.

For more lessons on how to learn from Denny Prokopos visit:


Denny Explains how learned about Jiu Jitsu and how it has openened many doors for him for him over time.

Denny and Adisa begin their exhibition.

Adisa is just trying to stay alive here.

And here!

Denny shows why his open guard is so respected!

Denny locks in a choke on Adisa!

Denny takes questions from the crowd as Adisa gets ready to grab himself an ice pack...LOL

Much thanks to Denny for sharing his wisdom of Jiu Jitsu with the HHCF family and also for going light on Adisa! We'd also like to thank the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement for opening their doors and hearts so we could have a venue to do what we do best! If you did'nt know, thats rep Hip-Hop, grapple, and play chess.

NEXT PHOTOS: Black belt Alan "Gumby" Marques from www.onthemat.com gives a Jiu Jitsu exhibition with the gi on!! Stay tuned!

Monday, April 14, 2008

RZA Teams with Chesspark to Announce Wuchess.com!!!

RZA announced the creation of www.wuchess.com!! He announced it at the "Mind Over Matter" HHCF Chess and Grappling Exhibition. Wuchess.com will be a global online chess network. You can play with chess with cats, chat with friends, create crews to do battle in tournaments for prizes and learn directly from chess masters. RZA will be in there from time to time playing folks and giving you an inside glimpse to why the Wu reigns supreme!! A portion of the proceeds made from the site will go to scholarships to the youth.

PHOTO: Matt McInerney
Rakaa, Josh Waitzkin, Adisa Banjoko, RZA and Gene Ching at the HHCF "Martial Arts As A Path to Non-violence" Panel at the Riekes Center in Menlo Park, CA.

Sign up NOW at: www.wuchess.com !!

PHOTO: Matt McInerney
RZA hits the boards with Kevin Garbe.

PHOTO: Matt McInerney
NBC TV's Lawrence Scott interivews RZA at HHCF's "Mind Over Matter".

Tomorrow I'll write about the "Mind Over Matter" event. It was nuts, and there is sooo much to discuss...

See you on the boards!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

HHCF Mind Over Matter Updates!!

OK folks, as you can imagine things are pretty crazy. Josh Waitzkin called, he's in town already...Shipments of games and books and other goodies are arriving...The news is spreading all over the net, the schools and the block.

We're gonna have tons of open gaming, amazing panels (you know how we bring it), jiu jitsu and judo exhibitions, chess tutorials, book and video game give aways, movie screenings- all kinds of stuff!! HHCF events bring people together that you would never expect. You will make friends you'll never forget and teach others about beauty of unity.


I'm excited beyond words. You know, we had no major sponsorship for this event. Not in the way of funding it. Private sponsors who care made this event happen. In these rugged economic times, to know that true open hearts still beat- means a lot. Because we do this for the kids.


When I say we, I mean everybody you see and don't see in the HHCF. There are tons of people who help out with the HHCF strictly for the love of the youth and the community. It might be some of the good people in the Universal Zulu Nation, Christie Z, Popmaster Fabel, Hip-Hop Congress and so many others who helped HHCF announce the event. It might be people who came to the last event (or those that just heard about it) and donated a few dollars to help out. Guerrilla Funk, Chesspark, Ubisoft and others donate technology (and technical know how) to help us be more efficient. Others help us set up in the AM or break it all down in the PM. The Riekes Center for Human Enhancement donated the venue. Folks like RZA, Rakaa, Josh, Paris, Immortal Technique, JT The Bigga Figga, T-KASH, Balance, San Quinn, Mike Pechina, Denny Prokopos, Gumby and the OTM team who donate their time and knowledge to spread wisdom to the youth.

These people give because they truly care about the youth. Many hours have been spent by folks most of you will never know, because they truly care about people they will probably never meet. Its so humbling. There are no words to truly express our eternal gratitude we have for you all.


We expect a pretty big crowd, but its a pretty big place! Please try to come early (remember its FREE so when we hit capacity- thats it). We also plan to show 36 Chambers of Shaolin and Searching for Bobby Fischer.

On a sad note, due to unexpected scheduling conflicts Ralek Gracie will be unable to make it. He is cornering a fighter he trains the next day and try as we might, its just not realistic. However, as we always do, we plan to have a surprise or two to balance the scales. He'll be back...

Stepping in to replace Ralek on the Martial Arts As A Path to Nonviolence panel will be Gene Ching, Associate Publisher of Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine. He actually went to Shaolin with RZA!! So, please believe that much knowledge, wisdom and understanding will be jumping off! Here is what he wrote about the HHCF when we did the Chess Kings Invitational:


On April 12th 2008, we will make history again- together!

Much love!



It still makes me laugh to see how rap was demonized (and still is). Show me a song from any other style of music that honors humanity so beautifully.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

RZA & HHCF CEO feat. in May issue of VIBE

BROTHAS GONNA WORK IT OUT: Ray Luv, unidentified brotha, Adisa Banjoko & Tupac Shakur

When the May issue of VIBE drops (with Lil Wayne on the cover) there will be a short autobiography of my life in there. Here is one of the photos from that story. It was taken at the Digital Underground Sex Packets record release party. 89 was the number, it was another Summer...Sound of the funky drummer...Too Short, Eazy E, everybody was there...Surely a party that will live in infamy!!!!Please pick it up the May VIBE and write in your thoughts. The story on RZA is amazing...I'll be posting here will be sporadically as we approach "Mind Over Matter", but trust us, April 12th will be amazing. Be there.


FREE HHCF ALL AGES EVENT: Mind Over Matter on April 12th feat. a panel w/ RZA & Josh Waitzkin

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mind Over Matter: RZA, Rakaa, Josh Waitzkin and more at April 12th HHCF Event

JT The Bigga Figga and Ramen hit the boards to battle!

Yo, we are sorry for being outta commish for a few weeks. Computer viruses and other assorted mayhem had us tangled up! But the HHCF cannot be stopped. With the help of a few good friends and some serious conviction we are in full effect again. We look forward to seeing you all at the "Mind Over Matter" event April 12th. Please remember that this is an all ages event that is FREE to the public. So come one, come all and watch the chess players ball!!


PS. Don't forget www.hiphopchessfederation.org (events section) for the latest flyer...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hip-Hop Chess Federation CEO on NBC's My Dad is Better Than Your Dad"


Hey folks, HHCF CEO Adisa Banjoko will be on NBC's new hit show "My Dad is Better Than Your Dad" 8 PM in your area TONIGHT.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: HHCF Event April 12th!!! RZA, Josh Waitzkin, Jake Sheilds, Ralek Gracie, Rakaa...

Hip-Hop Chess Federation Teams with MMA Fighters Jake Sheilds and Ralek Gracie, RZA, Rakaa, IM Josh Waitzkin, for the “Mind Over Matter” Chess & Grappling Exhibition

HHCF brings together top entertainers and fighters to inspire today’s youth

San Jose, CA March 19th 2008– The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) the world’s first non-profit fusing music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and nonviolence is proud to announce the Mind Over Matter Chess and Grappling Exhibition. Some of the biggest stars from the Hip-Hop, Chess and Martial Arts communities will gather for this one of a kind event.

Mind Over Matter will be held at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement at 3455 Edison Way, in Menlo Park California on April 12th 2008 from 12 noon to 5 PM. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, chess icon and two time tai chi chuan world champion Josh Waitzkin, Rakaa of Dilated Peoples and Casual of Hieroglyphics . Other artists attending “Mind Over Matter” include The Jacka, Paris, T-K.A.S.H., Prince Ali, Director of “Straight Outta Hunters Point” Kevin Epps and many others.

“There is little more beautiful than the eyes of a child lighting up with inspiration, making new connections, falling in love with learning” said Josh Waitzkin. “Educators must take note of the rise of the HHCF. Adisa Banjoko is creating some of the most dynamic, innovative and empowering events for our youth- and “Mind Over Matter” will raise the bar once again. Blending chess, Hip-Hop and martial arts we are generating a dialogue about learning that begins with the love, embraces the unique flavor of each individual, and break down the divisive false constructs some have imposed on our culture, our schools, and our youth. I am honored to be part of this movement.”

“The HHCF’s Mind Over Matter chess and grappling exhibition is going to be a historic on several levels” said Adisa Banjoko, HHCF CEO. “There will be world class grapplers, chess masters and martial artists interweaving the highest aspects of these arts to improve the state of America’s youth. MC’s B-boys and B-girls, Graff writers and DJ’s and chess lovers from all over the planet are returning to the Bay to celebrate the union of these arts.”

In addition, RZA, Josh, and MMA Champion Ralek Gracie will host a panel entitled Martial Arts As A Path to Nonviolence. The panel will outline how students of chess and martial arts are trained to incorporate numerous options outside of violence.

HHCF Life Strategies panels are in high demand because of their intensity and philosophical depth. Previous panelists include San Quinn, Rakaa of Dilated Peoples, Josh Waitzkin, Dr. Daaim Shabazz of thechessdrum.net, RZA, DJ QBert, DJ Kevvy Kev, Balance, Immortal Technique and DLabrie from Hip-Hop Congress.

Additional events of the day will include, MMA Champion Jake Sheilds and No Gi World Champion Denny Prokopos of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu SF hosting an exhibition to showcase some of today’s most effective grappling techniques.

Sponsors for Mind Over Matter include online chess community Chesspark.com, Ubisoft, Brazilian jiu jitsu news outlet Onthemat.com, Luna Bars and Hip-Hop Congress.

For more information or sponsorship opportunities please call (323) 335-4497 or email gaborski@shinkenpublicrelations.com.

Media Contact:
Me’ko Gaborski
(323) 335-4497

Saturday, March 15, 2008

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: HHCF "Life Strategies" Panel feat. Immortal Technique, JT The Bigga Figga & DLabrie

O'Connell Chess Queen Shirley and Adisa Banjoko tangle on the 64 Squares!

Sorry that it took so much time to get back to y'all. Here is the footage I promised of the last HHCF "Life Strategies" panel. I think it is an amazing testament to Hip-Hop can help American youth. I want to thank ALL the aritsts, Ms. Moskowitz and all the faculty and staff at O'Connell High in SF and my brother Guy Raj for all his help and advice behind the scenes. A spuer special shout goes out to my man Rahman Jamaal who put these clips together. There is much more to come, I promise! If you would like to host an HHCF panel at your elementary, middle schoool or high school email Me'ko at gaborski@shinkenpublicrelations.com and she'll get you set up.

O.G. Hip-Hop Historian Davey D & DLabrie of Hip-Hop Congress in effect!

Immortal Technique and my man Chuck from United Playaz get DOWN on the boards!!

JT The Bigga Figga, Davey D, and JR from The Block Report.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deep concentration, 'cause I'm no comedian

Whether playin ball or bobbin in the hall/I'm just writin my name in graffiti on the wall - Rakim "My Melody"

I was once asked how could I love Hip-Hop if graffiti was a crime. I told the person that I agreed that vandalism was a crime. I don't mean someone putting a "throw up" ( a quick two color piece) on someones garage door. I'm talking about a kid who spent all night putting their heart on a wall so the city could see it. A kid ignored by the American education system.

You see, when a failing school system cuts art programs- they are cutting into the soul of the youth. Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Romans....Neanderthals wrote their story on the walls...Its part of who we are to express our souls through art. You can cut a "budget" all day, but what the souls of the youth yearn to express will ALWAYS find A way...

I believe its MORE CRIMINAL to to arrest the youth when you know the educational system has cut them off from their natrual artistic expression. I don't advocate vandalism. But you can never deny that the beautiful, artistic sould of the youth cannot be contained. WHAT YOU SEE BELOW IS NOT VANDALISM. It is graffiti art....It is ART.

I caught this today in San Francisco in an alley behind La Taqueria at 25th and Mission.

Aztec love in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco

I love characters like these. Ya gotta have fun with it!!!

As it was written, so it shall be done. Lets make the peace real.

Never tell me that graf writers don't know how to honor the elders! Normail Mailer gets love...May he rest in peace...through this piece....

If you don't know Norman Mailer, please click below...

When I daydream about graffiti, I hear Mantronix in my head.....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Check out 9 Queens!!


Jennifer Shahade and a team of amazing minds has a new organization promoting chess to the youth: www.9queens.org

Learn it and let go...


Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious. Daisetsu Suzuki

HHCF Teams with Rappers Immortal Technique and San Quinn at O'Connell High School!!!!

March 8th 2008, San Francisco, CA- The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) is proud to announce that Adisa Banjoko, Cheif Executive Officer, will host a panel discussion on "Chess and Life Strategies". The panel featuring rappers Immortal Technique, San Quinn and Hip-Hop Congress Director DLabrie will be heald at O'Connell High School in San Francisco on March 11th.

The HHCF fuses music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and non-violence. They believe that by giving young people direct access to professional athletes, artists and chess players the youth will be inspired to enhance their academic and social life. In the past the HHCF has hosted panels with various icons of chess and Hip-Hop including RZA, Lamont Thompson of the Carolina Panthers, Josh Waitzkin, DJ QBert, DJ Kevvy Kev, Balance, Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, Dr. Daaim Shabazz, and others.

"Immortal Technique and San Quinn are living legends to so many young people who love Hip-Hop" said Adisa Banjoko. "Immortal Technique is from Harlem. San Quinn is from the Fillmore District in SF, which was known as the Harlem of the west. Issues of poverty, ignorance, gentrification and violence have ravaged both of their respective cities. The HHCF wants to teach young people of all races, cultures, classes and faiths they they have more options in life that it appears. We are honored that Immortal Technique and San Quinn are donating their time and minds to the kids at O'Connell. No one has been able to reach the hearts of today's youth like rappers."

Chesspark.com will donote a free account to every O'Connell Student that signs up for a membership. The students will also receive a limited number of copies of Ubisoft's Chessmaster 11 game and the book The Art of Learning: A Journey In The Pursuit of Excellence, by IM Josh Waitzkin.

"I feel privileged to be a part of this chess workshop at O'Connell, where inner city youth can use the experiences learned from strategy and apply it to real life situations when patience, planning and temperment is concerned" said Immortal Technique.

For San Quinn the ability to speak to these kids is mutually beneficial. "It's important to take time with the youth because we had leader to inspire us [too]," he says. "They need to see that we look up to them for being in school. They are the future."

Librarian and Chess Club Sponsor Elaine Moskowitz said "John O'Connell High School is honored to welcome Immortal Technique and Sann Quinn. Very few acclaimed artists will take the time to reach out to young people, many of whom cannot afford to attend concerts or buy cds. By visiting our high school, they will expose our students to artistry they can rarely witness in person. The HHCF's messages of self-empowerment, education, and social justice encourage our students to pursue their goals and their diplomas. Beyond that, many of our students deeply enjoy rap music and spoken word poetry; the HHCF event with Immortal Technique and San Quinn will provide them with an assembly they will always remember."

For more information email Me'ko Gaborski: gaborski@shinkenpubclicrelations.com or call (323) 335 4497.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Remember this face...This dude is changing the face of chess on the internet....

www.chesspark.com is about to drop some MAJOR news...Patrick Mahoney, the President of Chesspark is the Rick Rubin of internet chess. Remember I said that. BIG NEWS coming....He's nice though- even when he's killing me in chess (as he was here) LOL...


Thursday, February 28, 2008

HHCF San Quinn & Balance Show Cali Love at Juan Crespi Middle School!!

San Quinn, Adisa Banjoko & Balance bring wisdom and love to the youth

Today the HHCF was proud to host a panel at Juan Crespi Middle School featuring San Quinn, Balance, and Lamont Thompson (Yes, the football player). We had two groups of youth to kick it with. The day was amazing.

Much love to the kids at Juan Crespi. They have amazing attitudes and clearly love Hip-Hop to the fullest.

The shadow made it so that Quinn did not come out too well in this one. But light on these kids faces made me post it. Juan Crespi in the house!!!!

The Principle, Mrs. Bell and the rest of the staff and faculty were very supportive of the event. It felt good to be embraced by another school that understands how Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts can unify the youth and promote peace.

We gave away tons of books, shirts, boards, pieces and video games.

San Quinn & Balance talk about life strategies and staying focused on your goal.

This here is 1/2 the class...HALF the class??? Yes, half the class. Juan Crespi does it BIG

Lots of rappers TALK about loving the community. HHCF, San Quinn and Balance give the truth to the youth. I throw W's for WISDOM....

I have some incredible video of this event I hope to post next week. Stay strong and stay on the boards. Much love to my man Daud for his help in putting this event together. DLabrie the EOG was in the house to!!!


PS. Play this as you spread Cali love around the world....Rest in peace 2Pac!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mac Mall "Ghetto Theme" video directed by the one and only....2Pac!!!

This song is soooooo deep. Nobody heard him thouugh....Sadly, its more true now, then when it was made...


Sunday, February 24, 2008

HHCF's Adisa Banjoko Competes in No Gi Grappling Event

So, as some of you know, Adisa loves Brazilian Jiu Jitsu...but, being a family man, pursuing it full time was never a real option. I'm a father first. and I have ambitions toward MMA. Anyway, after a long hiatus from anything that could be considered real training, I got back on the mats. I'm real rusty and get tired way too easy, but I love jiu jitsu.

Gumby, co-founder of www.onthemat.com and a recenly crowned Black belt under Ralph Gracie was kind enough to let me train with him. Gumby is a walking encyclopedia of BJJ technique and philosophy. So, any time I get to connect and learn I take it.

The OTM Fight Shop dudes train in a hard to locate warehouse in San Jose. All together its me, Bill, Mike, Sai, Paige, Artie, Jesse, Armando and Will...Gumby runs us all hard several nights a week.

Yesterday Alex Oxendine, a brown belt under the one and only BJ Penn held an open mat/smoker style event. This was a no gi event. You fight in board shorts and a shirt to rash guard. It was held at Milpitas Health and Fitness. Baically, its not a tournament....The atmosphere is more laid back... But you roll 100% with folks you don't know. There are no points for things like takedowns, side controls etc. and if someon taps out, if there is time on the clock, you keep rolling.

I'd heard of these kind of events but I never went to any. When Gumby suggested I get in it, I had a ton of second thoughts. I'm super rusty, I feel like I'm gettin old, I just got off having a staph infection and I twisted my ankle. Thats a long list of reasons to not do it. But Gumby convinced me to jump in...Thats what life is about anyway right?

And you know what? I did it! I had a fantastic time. I saw guys from Guerilla Jiu Jitsu, One World Martial Arts, Sergio Silva's Open Door BJJ, Fight and Fitness, Modcom, Freestyle Submission Academy, Pacific Rim, all kinds of schools. These guys are all races, ages, religions, political affiliations as brothers in combat. As brothers in pursuit of self refinement.

Alex Oxendine gave opening remarks about what techniques were legal and illegal in the matches. Among illegal moves was, no twisting heelhooks! I hate those.

Most of all though, he encourged folks to go hard, but not to try and kill themselves, or their opponent during the matches...This ws a day of personal growth.... The spirit of the matches was to find out where you are technically. There were no medals, no points, so nobody had to have any anxiety about what place they ranked in.

They had three mats and one actual ring. Each match was four minutes. If you got tapped inside the four minutes but wanted to keep going, you could (did I say that already?). You got your name called and what number mat you were supposed to go to, met your opponent and your ref and did your thing. Each time the bell rang you had to listen for your name and what number mat you reported to.

There were a lot of people there who came to roll. At least 80 fighters were on hand. Waiting to hear your name is a huge deal...You are watching guys you have never seen (and some you have!) exhibit high skill, courage and athleticism. Its impressive and intimidating at the same time.

Armando got his name called first. I was unable to see all of his matches from his vantage point- but he tapped his guy with a guillotine choke and something else I could not see because of the crowd. When he came out, he kept telling me- "remember to breathe bro". I was proud of him. He did a great job out there.

About 45 minutes in they called my name. At 212 pounds I had no idea what to expect. They had some BIG DUDES in the house...Becasuse my bracket did not have a lot of guys, I got put against my fellow OTM brother Bill...We rolled in the ring!

Bill is heavier then me and strong as an ox. The main thing here is that we go hard, but obviously, we aint trying to kill one another. That usually sucks (going with a guy from your school in a competition setting), but I found it help get me rid of the "first fight jitters". Bill took me down (told ya he was strong), I had him in some kind of half guard position from the bottom and tried applying a Kimura that never worked. The bell rang, we hugged and headed out.

It was about 30 minutes till my next match. I was in the ring again! Gumby, Artie, Paige, and Omar were cornering me. The guy I went with was bigger than me, so I knew I had to take him down. But this was my first no gi situation and I have never even tried to take people down when I had the gi on.

I never had the confidence to try. I just let them take me down and then worked from the bottom. But I could not afford to have him on top as it would be a lot of work to reverse him. He was at about 255.

We locked up grabbing heads and arms. I walked him back to the turnbuckle. I worked hard to secure the double underhooks, picked him up and swung him to my right to take him down. It did not work. We shifted toward the center of the ring...I tried it again to the same side- and it worked! I landed on top of him and put him in a headlock on the opposite side of the ring.

My head was under the bottom rope so the ref restarted us in the same position in the center of the mat. I went from headlock to side mount and then walked my torso above his to north south. From there I walked to the opposite side of his body and got the top position. This guy was strong and I tried several Kimura and twisting arm control attempts to see if I could turn him on his stomach and choke him. He was not having it. This dude was STRONG.

Eventually, I went for a straight armbar. I had a sloppy technique and missed it. I quickly scrambled to regain top position and then I tried the armbar again- I got it. This has never happnened before for me. It seemed like forever from the time I got the mount, until the time I got the submission. He was strong and the excitement of the crowd and my own adrenaline was overwhelming.

There was still time on the clock, so we went again. I stuck the the script worked the first time. I got the double underhooks and the the same throw, but stepping to the left side. It worked!

He put me in half guard and passed it and we he defedned me attempting a Kimura from the mount. The guy and I hugged (he was a tough and honorable man) shook hands and my dudes were all smiling. This was a great feeling. Seriously, I have not been this happy, on a personal level in a long time. I know this is not a world championship. I know theres no medals. But it was a day I'll never forget. Medals cannot give what I got yesterday and it can never be taken away.

It was an honor...Not just to be a part of it...But to be with people I've known for so long (some of these guys I've known for about ten years now) was so inspirational. Plus I saw people I'll probably never see again, giving their all to a sport they love...Beyond that, personally, I did things in a no gi competition that I've never been able to do WITH A GI (takedowns and armbars!). I realized it wwas not because I was unable to do them- I was unwilling to TRY, because I was afraid to lose...It was a fantastic day of personal growth. My self esteem and internal centeredness are at a new level.

This is why I love the martial arts. The brotherhood, the bonding and the benefits of facing yourself on the mat. Much respect to Alex Oxendine for helping the grappling scene in the Bay get a little bit better. Oh yeah....OTM Fight Shop Crew 4 LIIIIFE!!!!

L to R: Kyle of Guerilla Jiu Jitsu (who is destined to be a champ in the game), with Gumby from OTM and The Bishop

Guerilla Jiu Jitsu fighter Omar helped corner me!

This is my new fight song...Everytime I walk towards the ring, its all I hear...What is YOUR fight song?


Friday, February 22, 2008

HHCF Teams with San Quinn & Balance for Black History Month

HHCF Teams with San Quinn & Balance for Black History Month
For Immediate Release:

Media Contact (323) 335-4497: gaborski@shinkenpublicrelations.com

Hip-Hop Chess Federation Teams with Top Rappers to Celebrate Black History Month

HHCF Brings San Quinn & Balance to Speak to Youth About Overcoming Life's Challenges

February 25, 2008 San Jose, CA - Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) founder Adisa Banjoko will team up with rappers San Quinn and Balance to speak with students about the importance of choosing a positive lifestyle, at Juan Crespi Middle School in El Sobrante, CA on February 28th.

Banjoko will lead a panel discussion that will examine how young people can use the positive aspects of Hip-Hop and Black History to create effective life strategies. "No one has been able to reach the hearts of today's youth like rappers," said Adisa. "San Quinn and Balance are champions to so many young people who love Hip-Hop. The HHCF is honored that San Quinn and Balance are donating their time and minds to the kids at Juan Crespi Middle School. "

The HHCF fuses music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and nonviolence. They believe that giving young people direct access to the athletes, artists and chess players the youth will be inspired to enhance their academic and social life. Through generous donations, www.chesspark.com will provide free accounts to all Juan Crespi students who wish to enhance their lives through the game of chess. Additionally, limited copies of the Ubisoft video game Chessmaster 11 and bestselling book The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin will be available at this one of a kind event.

"It's important to take time with the youth because we had leaders to inspire us" said San Quinn. "They need to see that we look up to them for being in school. They are the future and we want to share our struggles to help children of all ethnicities."

"To many times when Hip-Hop is in the news, they're highlighting something negative," said Balance. "We want to make sure we show the kids the positive aspects of what we do and how they can make better choices for themselves."

For more information on those listed above, please visit:

Hip-Hop Chess Federation: www.hiphopchessfederation.org

San Quinn visit: www.myspace.com/sanquinn

Balance visit: www.myspacec.com/balanceskillz

Uproxx Covers HHCF Founder plus, FREE PDF download of Bobby Bruce and the Bronx Available

The book Bobby Bruce & the Bronx by Adisa the Bishop is now available from this day forward FREE in PDF form. Please enjoy it and share ...