In Chinese there are two characters for the word crisis: danger and opportunity. A lot of people I know say because I left the comfortable existence in the suburban wilderness of New Jersey, I was more, I was in danger. I was more in danger living five years in a toxic relationship. That was way more dangerous to my soul than being out here. It was a cost of my psyche that was incredible and immeasurable. It's a challenge for me to be here on the other coast but I'm not alone. I have my ancestors walking with me, keeping me motivated to go onward and upward. It is an amazing opportunity to learn who the authentic me is because for five years I forgot.
I'm living la vida pobre even with a job in the poverty industrial complex but
it's all good because things are going to work out some way or somehow. I will never again forget who I am, a strong Indigenous woman. And from now on, I'm serving authentic me realness. I'll never shrink myself to make others
comfortable ever again and money never bought me happiness. Freedom does.
During the Black Joy Parade that I was in, I was reaching out to the people and letting them know that in Oakland, we're still here. We are still here. And we will continue to be here. And it's become like a catchphrase so I kind of like put it in art form. What I want to share with you is my, what I'm very proud of: a little book of a, a children's story. But it's also for the inner child
and everybody. And it's a story that's actually, I interpreted it but it's written in the book of nature. It's a story about meditation, visualization, imagination, and illumination. It's a story about Butter. And Butter was a worm. And he used to go around in his garden community and tell other worms that one day he was going to fly. And the other worms laughed at Butter and called him crazy behind his back because they had never seen a worm fly. But one day Butter disappeared for 40 days and 40 nights and all he thought about, all he dreamed about, all he schemed about was one day flying. And one day to his own amazement he began to notice a little bump coming out of the side of his body and it got longer and longer and he remembered what he had seen the birds do. So, he began to flap his newfound wings and he flapped them harder and harder until it happened. Butter was airborne! Wooo! And all the other worms were looking at their Butter, they're like, “Butter’s like a god world. He's like the king of king of worms!” And Butter was like, “Nah, man. I'm just Butter. Flying. Have faith, do as I do, and one day you'll be able to fly too.” And Butter, because he believes in himself and that he could do what nobody else thought he could do, became the first butterfly in the history of the world. Okay? So, I always believe the dreams that come to you, that's the seed that comes from the divine. Whatever it is, however crazy it may be. Work on it, move on it, believe in it, until something better comes. Or until fruition. Thank you so much.
Three two one cue smalls in, Smaller Baller out of East Stockton by way of Berkeley because this family home to me as well out here. I was doing my thing years ago out here, caught my first felony out here on the streets of Oakland not even on 98th and Brookfield, you know what i'm saying?
So this is home once again. I lost my uncle on December 4th, 1993 when I was 8 years old. I just turned 37 on June 26. Amen. Hallelujah. Eric Ronald Reagan's in front of my own young eyes due to murder shots fired all I can say is - signs of violence. Make peace. I also have my phone number five one zero four three zero zero seven zero nine. Smaller Baller. I would sell my music out here, wise, give or sell food with children, substitutions for my life and keep everybody uplifted on that. Plus taking donations to help us all. We have a 501(c)(3) but due to corona we gonna skip that shit. 2781 Telegram is our United Root Center. That's founded by William and Fergie at the Black Eyed Peas. We established that due to the Ella Baker Center with Van Jones. I finished the court recipes column now you know and um we're just trying to open that up. But you guys are always welcome to always get music off our website. And uh family right here, right here this is family. So you know, I ain't been out here in about a month and a half but had to come show up and just greet everybody and my new word. I stay stankin’.
And how you became homeless or what’s your background? The story is not about homelessness, it’s about my story. I just thought it was a little significant with me in front of my dad. They called him Poncho and this is his tree.
So it's just a little bio with a little spoken word twist to it. Okay, so…
Berkley and Berkley bounce.
We moved to Chi town twice.
Until the rich grew up with Black pride and then we moved back to Oakland Northside
Tackle football on cement I got fast
With gangsters but it wasn't shit
because if you couldn't come from the shoulders then you shut your lip.
These rules for young fools to live by some still apply those were the days,
mm and all those days weren't fly.
But all I know was that they pass you with the blink of an eye.
And all you could do is,
laugh man y'all can’t lie,
But in those days you did.
You see no matter how ugly they wise words hugly
and for no reason unconditionally love me.
The light lace
so I made an about face.
Then I didn’t have to become
a disgrace to my race.
The price was priceless.
This advice for life is
these folks that I toast to keep close with.
Whether I sit twisted with a sip in the fifth
kick back and reminisce with this and feel the vibe.
They go with those nine to five
and think of the things in life that’s gone tight.
It's gonna be alright.
Alright, what's your name? I’m Country, last of the Mohicans. Uh yes sir. Uh I came out here but they call me Cassius, you know what I'm saying? Aka, Toshun, you know what I'm saying? I came out here in 2005, man. I'm telling you, I was homeless and had nowhere to go, you know what I'm saying? I really came out here on faith. Real talk, you know what I'm saying? This is before all of that you know what I'm saying? Look, I was staying in Fremont everything bro. Like I was going through the motions. My ex, man, she was mistreating me, doing me dirty you know what I'm saying? I'm just giving you like the fast paced of it, but you know what I'm saying. But then after that, then I started migrating so I migrated all the way like to like San Leandro, Hayward, everything you know what I'm saying, all the way to the town. So, then when I got to the town it was a whole different flavor a whole different love, whole different everything, you know what I'm saying? Still homeless, still going back and forth, you know. Couchsurfing, everything you know what I'm saying? I even lived in South Hayward too but anyway you know what I'm saying, make a long story short. And all of that man you know what I'm saying through the grace of god man, I got my own place now you know what I'm saying, at age 44 man, you know what I'm saying? I even sold him pants though you know what I'm saying on Brookfield you know what I'm saying? I was in Brookfield selling pants and everything man I was doing everything just to keep my head above water man. Real talk. All I’m saying man is god, god is everything you know I'm saying? The greatest influence that pushed me through everything you know what I'm saying? It's about sipping on the drink, boy, everything you heard me, going through the motions man. On the streets, I'm talking about sleeping on the bench, I'm sleeping on the bench, we was in downtown plaza. I'm talking about sleeping, sleeping uh by the uh by the BART Station actually you know what I'm saying? Real talk, you know what I'm saying? Real life man, real real life situation. It just did, it just really made me a better person you know what I'm saying? Really made me humble and be a better person, man. God is great, man. God is great. It is what it is, man.