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Dear Metal Heart, You Are Not Good Enough



Why would I accept who you are, when you can be greater? I am using the word 'accept' loosely here, but for a reason. There has been a societal shaping that has been going on that concerns me for our future. Where acceptance used to be a form of caring, it has been reduced merely to tolerance. To only tolerate where our friends are at, or to only tolerate those that we disagree with is such a condescending perspective. It is to say I give up before living; it is to say I disagree, but I shall do nothing. I challenge Us that we push ourselves to not just tolerate, but to Love. To push ourselves to something greater. Because dear Brothers and Sisters, at no matter what point we are at, things can always be better than this. The fact that none of Us is perfect or righteous is no excuse not to reach for that. Reach for a better future for each other, so we may leave a better future for the children, and so the spiral up foreverly continues.

So this current societal shaping I speak of, the sense of entitlement that everyone is a winner. A generation where we received medals for simply showing up. If Bobby is getting first in all the races, you do not deserve the same recognition for running as Bobby. If Susie is getting straight A's on the tests and you aren't she deserves the scholarship over you. In those areas you are not as good as Bobby or Susie, that is the reality. You didn't put in the same countless arduous hours that Kobe Bryant did, that's why he's better than you. It doesn't mean he's better than you as a human being, but at basketball he's great and you're not. Hey, maybe you can bust out some sick kickflips and whoop him up and down a skatepark. But here is the reality, you showing up does not make you deserving. If your best isn't good enough, that means you have to work harder.

You even see this in workplaces nowadays, some kid fresh out of college, who is fairly smart and competent, but immediately expects special treatment and high pay at a high position. No, everyone has to start at the bottom and prove themselves. A lot of this delusion in my generation stems from social media and the immediacy of the exposure of their voice. So many people seem to now have this grandiose sense that their opinion on anything they've barely read the footnotes is gospel due to the fact they can share it online and get people to like it. This attitude of well, my opinion is just as important as (insert expert who put in massive research, countless hours, and a plethora of failures to get to where they are) because 'Trollthot_69' likes all my posts. This mentality that you don't have to do anything to be great is deteriorating our being of worth. It doesn't matter if you see yourself on top of a mountain, you still need to make the climb to reach there.

So let's get to the bottom-line here. Never be afraid to grow, never be afraid to become great. There are far too many people in this life that will lie to you, that will tell you how great you are just to “be nice.” Curse that apathetic and lukewarm type of “friendship!” This sugarcoating is not nice, and I hope you never allow anyone to limit you as “good enough,” because you are so much more. So I do not accept who you are, I will not simply tolerate who you are, I love you who you are because I know who you can become. I dare you to rise above. And I challenge you to love yourself now, not because of who you are now, but because you know who you truly are, your unfolding you in becoming, and know that you must fight tooth and nail to become the greatness you were born for.

Dear Metal Heart, who do you think you are fooling? “By hiding you are not worth a thing. How selfish of you to believe in the meaning of all the bad dreaming.” I emplore you, please let your light shine. Never tolerate, always Love...

Welcome To The Internet

Where you can find confirmation bias no matter how stupid or crazy your idea for rationalization is - Trump never lies like 'Crooked Hillary,' Obama is a Muslim, being a Muslim means you're a terrorist, Bush is the sole reason for 9/11, being 'at your worst' is not a reason to try to improve yourself people should just 'accept you at it,' pseudo-science is truth as long as it's on a meme, happy quotes are the new love, Global Warming is crazy liberal propaganda, organic foods don't use pesticides, Harambe is STILL more important than any Black human life, Christianity is a far right ideology, viral is validity...

Child-Eyes On Sex

Honest question fellas (and vice versa to the ladies): When you were a young lad, (before you got a few notches on your belt, or told by your homies or the world you need to be a pimp, or before you were screwed over by a significant other), did you view sex as a handshake or routine as any other act to express yourself, or did you dream of finding your princess to make your Queen One day to grow closer and closer until the day you die? Like thinking back to young child-eyes you?

Positive Blackedout Guy

Introducing Black Sheep Shepherd Skits

This is a Snapchat short.

A guy walks into his housemate's room drunk...You may think think this is call for alarm...It turns out this drunk bastard is here to Spread Love!
www.growthofculture.com



Justice is Blind

Holding scales justice is veiled to blind her sight,
Instead weighing bribes to decide which side is right.
Beef in Third World countries CIA incites the fight,
tie economies to the petrodollar and bind tight.
The sun never sets on the new global elites,
Central banks send in tanks to patrol in the streets.

It's amazing the difference an instance makes
when vision blurs and pistons break,
mirages of shipwrecks on distant lakes.
Earthquakes caused by shifting plates.
Life's a dream differed then whisked away

Trees of Eden

By a vast sea sway the trees of Eden, in darkness praying for the return of Prometheus.
The tree reached out to the sea breathing in its self assured melancholy and dark nightmares of Ulysses's escape.
It bore the fruit of original sin bathed in mystic water.
A quick breeze blew the leaves and the tree appeared to be waving,
Bidding farwell to the voyage of poets and sailors, rebels and saints, angels and philosophers.
Calling out into the cool dawn:

"Return soon poets of old! Return soon dark sails of Rimbaud!
May you return bearing guns and whisky.
Return with tales of strange customs and dances from the edge of the world"

The tree of Eden stood facing the horizon waiting, waiting for an adventurer hungry for knowledge to come and pluck a red smooth apple from its quivering branches.

Music Review on "Eight" by Extra Kool

Eight by Extra Kool
Another album review for you right before it's release! ~

This record came across to me from another artist from Denver. His name is Extra Kool and his style is indeed pretty cool. He is also from Dirty Lab Productions like the album I reviewed last week from Time & Ephelant and Time actually makes an appearance on this album as well.

This album “Eight” has the feel of a man struggling to hang on to hope and become great...Maybe. For you will see in the album, “becoming great” is not what he is striving for. It begins with a lone ranger type feel of a Clint Eastwood cowboy with a look in his eyes that says he has seen too much. The album begins to really dig deep into what brings some of his sorrow about on “Rabbit Ears” which features beautiful textural vocals from Church Fire. But honestly, what Extra Kool really seems to want to deliver with this album is something for the “wounded heads” to ease back to, relax their minds and just enjoy the kool.

The main glaring criticism I had with this album is the way that it was mixed, it made the vocals a bit hard to hear and were sometimes overpowered by the instrumentals. The production and flow are nice though and remain so throughout the album. Key tracks for me were: “Phantoms” featuring Onry Ozzbron, “Rabbit Ears,” “Herbert West Starter Kit” and “I Already Knew That.”

Listen here!

I Am Not My Sex.

"Are you gay?" or "Are you bisexual?" are trivial questions that need not be asked. For what differentiation need be made between gay and straight other then to create a false line of divide in our minds.

I am a human being, and that should be the only qualifier to interact with what should be common politeness and human decency to our fellow man (spelt human).

Love what what makes Us different; hate what divides Us. ∞ <3

Return to the Night

Return to the night.
To State street shivering in rain
A crescent moon hovering in the sky like a lonely streetlight.
Coffeehouses with cappuccino adrenaline, buses filled with demented fools
laughing passing out manifestos muttering innuendo.

Is NY Mecca or Babylon?
Is America the shining city on the hill or the belly of the beast?
A sleeping giant wrapped in a catacomb or a weeping lion trapped in a new Rome?
Or maybe, it's all that and more, a mirage in a sand storm, nostalgia in a second hand store
what did we transverse this land for?
As pilgrims or outlaws? Poets or tycoons?

And what of the new frontier?
What ill omens loom in the dawn of the century?
Are we free men or pawns in a penitentiary?
Do we face a precipice or a new day?

Is there joy in this? Is life purely aesthetic or is there a deeper meaning?
Why all the running around late nights, chasing buses / chasing shots, chasing love or lust?
The freeways never stop.
A nation wide artery in which the blood of America flows.
A country restless, moving, moving since Kerouac wrote on the road, since Coltrane blew his first note.

Ephelant & Time - How To Sew Wounds With Words

Before I jump into the music review here is a quick bio for you to get acquainted to these independent artists:

Stephen Vining (Ephelant) produced all of the music for the album and is also an actor most known for his work in the Walking Dead where he has played some of the most notable walkers such as the Water Walker.

Chris Steele (Time) is the rapper on the album who has done songs with with Kool Keith, C-Rayz Walz, Xiu Xiu, Factor, Jake One and Sole, and engineered/produced a track for Common on The Dreamer / The Believer. Steele is also a journalist and has written articles with Noam Chomsky.

Seth Tobocman, who is a political comic book artist known for his books such as War in the Neighborhood, World War 3, and Disaster and Resistance, made the album cover.



"I'm not a solution; I'm a symptom of the broken.
As long as someone is asleep, then none of us have awoken.
I didn't write this for the ears, I wrote this for the hearts.
I didn't write this for the ends, I wrote this for change to start..."

Begins Time on him and Ephelant's new album "How To Sew Wounds With Words" which opens up with an ethereal spoken word song titled "Under A Complicated Sky" which introduces us to the introspective and poetic feel of this album. The needle then threads all the way up beat though as the complicated feeling of falling we are lifted up into an exciting freefall on "Falling Up." Here we are treated to the effect of falling up as Ephelant delivers a solid upbeat production and the use of circularity in the sound gives the wavy and airy effect of flying.

The album then gets a bit darker from here with "Letter To A Hostage" where Time compares addiction with being a hostage with Stockholm syndrome, with the help of a soulful sung chorus from Giuseppe. This is an important song about how we all sometimes fall in love with our crutches. And just like Ruff Ryder veteran Eve once told us, "Love Is Blind," thus making it hard for us to see these crutches as bad habits that are hurting us.

From here, Time gets deeper and more personal while tackling subjects of the horrors of the victimization of the homeless, poverty, personal depression, family strains, alienation, and looking at the bad parts of oneself. The vocals lent from Church Fire are absolutely beautiful and gives the epicenter of the album that crucially needed emotional edge. I might add that this part of the album is reminiscent of Sole's "Selling Live Water."

Especially on the titular track and then on "The New Scum" and if there is 'single' on this alternative and highly introspective album it would be the latter. And this is not a single in the pop sense, but in the hiphop sense, I mean hiphop culture, music for the the lower class, outsiders, disparaged, and marginalized. "The New Scum" has Time going metaphor to metaphor with lyrical onslaughts on current events, world change, the environment, and so on.

Finally the album ends with a buildup of paranoia matched by personal traumas and the craziness of our current world on "World War Me" and then closing with another spoken word etherealness in "2:15 am" where this story is sewn shut like a tight thread.

The two songs on either end of the album are done in the spoken word manner. The two tracks in in from there are the more upbeat sounds production-wise. Then the songs middling in from there, "Letter To A Hostage" and "The New Scum" are claustrophobic feeling with hard hitting drums with lyrics about more specific things than the outside tracks. Weaving closer to the center still, the songs "Foreclosed Ghost Story" and "My Shadow" are more personal still and also more stylized to Ephelant and Time's unique artistry. Then the titular track “How To Sew Wounds With Words” being of course the epicenter and the most personal on this album, and thus the one that is also a bit more detached in understanding Time as he gets so introspective on the song; but like a thread as we untie what they have sewn for us, perhaps will start to open up clearer with more repeated listens...


This album releases tomorrow on 7/26/2016 so make sure you go get it and listen so you can too Sew Your Wounds With Words

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and join our email community to keep updated with more very soon to come releases and more! #BlackSheepShepherd #GrowthOfCulture #SpreadLove

Running Wolf

Running Wolf
As you Culture readers might already know, I am working on a collaboration album with Running Wolf, titled "What You Did To Me"
Anyways, I would like to introduce this fine gentleman and artist here. Running Wolf is merely his new alias. He has been a professional musician in the industry for 27 years now and the owner of Savagely Twisted Records. He is a producer, songwriter, and sound engineer.

Running Wolf is a great partner to work with, because he cares too much. A dangerous notion in today's world where everyone wants to prove how much they don't give a fuck. The only thing one should not give a fuck about, is how much they give a fuck. And this is Running Wolf. Although he can sometimes be a bit much :p it comes from a place of a kind heart and you know he is genuine.

On "What You Did To Me" our souls linked, because we have both had the rare blessing of experiencing every type of pain in this world and in some ways, eerily similarly as well; physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Running Wolf has lent his hand for some innovative production on this project. Exciting new feel from the man who was one of the forefunners in the blues-metal movement. Imagine blues tempered by gospel influence with hiphop all over it...Or something like that ;-)

The songwriting was done as joint effort for this project, with Running Wolf, choosing the initial topics and then with 'Duals' rewriting where need be in needed form. We are currently working on the videos and finalizing things to prepare for the release.

To find more of Running Wolf, find his promotional music and media links at https://soundcloud.com/running-wolf-3

And of course you can find Duals' info at www.growthofculture.com

Doing Nothing Changes Nothing

Hey y'all, sorry for the infrequency of the blogs. It's because this comes secondary to the music and films and everything I've been doing. But I just wanted to share this quick blurb if you so will from a discussion I had on facebook and I felt compelled to feel this expression here as well. I may expand more on the subject of "Doing Nothing Changes Nothing" later.


Doing nothing changes nothing. Black lives have been stereotyped, marginalized, disregarded, unheard, and murdered from the inception of this country. Horror stories beyond your imagination have been passed down in black families that plagues our society to this day. We have so long to go. And when the fight we are fighting for has the invaluable cost of human life, there is nothing that is 'pointless.' We have to take the annoyances, bruises, and faults with the good, because the cost is too high and we are too far in to fall back now. ✊