Once again in the land of dogs walking off the leash, misty rain, and the god damned best mocha know to man (Four Barrel Coffee on Valencia). I had the privilege of attending my best friend's wedding. Jeb and I go back to pre-Blend days. Before I ever put a band together, back when I was pleading to rock bands to to turn the volume down while I rap over their riffs, Jeb approached me after I had performed at the Lake Harriet bandshell. In classic Jeb fashion, he asked me if I wanted to work with him on some music, connect, network, take over the world. I was like "who is this crazy white boy"? Meh, got his number, he called me a few times, I dodged it, but finally came around.
When we met for the second time, I noticed Jeb's presence; declaritive, sincere, honest. He had an air about him that commanded the present moment without uttering a single word. We chatted about hip-hop here and there, and quickly jumped into sociology, white privilege, the relevance of hip-hop culture in the U.S. Since then we've worked through music, community organizing, and numerous crazy nights of debauchery.
Jeb's wife, Lian, had family flown into the U.S. from China, visiting the country for the first time. The reception was huge- I mean giant curtain with Chinese characters across it in the background, placed in the Silver Dragon Restaurant smack dab in the middle of Oakland's lovely Chinatown, 200+ seated, 10-course meal, folks from all walks of life (hikers, scholars, professors, musicians, bboys, reality TV stars, etc.) I couldn't help but take a step back and look at all of these people that Jeb & Lian have touched throughout their lives. I had a hard time believing I made it to the reception, after the last few nights out in SF, just to find the dude sitting across from me is visiting the U.S. for the first time in his life.
We danced, we drank, we ate shark fin soup, danced some more. and finally headed out on the town dive bar hopping with an amalgam of folks from across the country. Reflecting on it, this is what I want. I've always known what I want, but seeing it in motion puts you at grips with the reality of it versus what it looks like in your head.
It's not the ceremony, the dancing, the open bar, the 100$ per bowl of shark fin soup- the aesthetics are nice, but not the point. The point is being capable of loving with sincerity, genuity, and compassion enough to wake up each morning and chose the person your heart dances for... everyday. Still reflecting on it, I'm excited, because I know I'm capable of this, I know I want this, and I know that I am already in motion with it, driving right alongside it. It's truely not a thing of getting there, attaining it, or accomplishing a married life, but moreso practicing love everyday.
I'm damn honored to be Jeb's friend, and blessed to spend my time with so many positive folks, activists, and community organizers in the same room. It's been a trip, time to head back to Minneapolis, finish the mixtape, finish the album, tour the midwest and somehow find my way back... to here, Chinatown, Oakland.