Friday, February 29, 2008

J.Kwest- "I Am (Obama)" Campaign Song

Get Ready to have a new favorite.

This is a major moment for J.Kwest and the PureMusic Movement. I won't say anything more before you listen, but this is HUGE. I wrote a song for the campaign, and there's no limit to the good that can come from this. There's a nice long story that follows this song (I wrote this LAST JULY), but God we are. SHOOT THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW.


J.Kwest- "I Am (Obama)"

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Explain your 3-Day fast...

I get a ton of questions on this all the time, so I want to unpack (explicate, even) this new movement...

First of all, it's neither "new" nor a "movement." Folks have been fasting for whatever purpose for 3 or 4 THOUSAND years. And it's not a diet bandwagon; it's a "I sorta like being alive and want to be healthy" bandwagon. And I've jumped all on that thing. So once a month, I'll "fast" for 72 hours: fruits and vegetables only. What does that include?

Fruits and vegetables...

If it came from an animal, no good. If it came from a machine, no good (sorry, Yellow No.5). No preservatives. Spices are optional, but because it's a system cleaning fast I really prefer as little seasoning as possible. Have you ever eaten greens without seasoning? This is not a good idea. I'll use pepper, no salt, lemon juice on pretty much everything, lots of dark green veggies, tons of water (TONS), and V8. No concentrates and no heavy sugars (stay away from the orange juice; eat the orange instead). Once a month. That's my resolution for 2008 and pretty much while I'm alive. Every 30 days I'll clean out the junk I eat every day.

Day 1 is toughest on the mind.
Day 2 is toughest on the body.
Day 3 is hell (whichever "hell" is the worst hell).

Now let's be clear. I don't do this because I'm some sort of mystic. I like to be healthy. I do PRAY while doing it, because I PRAY all the time. The point is this: Most of the time we are thinking about what we would like to eat, what we just ate, or what we shouldn't have eaten. What can happen if we took all of that energy, and focused it on something else? After about 30 hours, your brain just says "Forget it, what else can we work on?" and you start thinking again. You'd be amazed at how little we use our brain because of the toxins we put in our body. It's takes 72 hours to begin releasing toxins.

Will you do a 3-day fast with me starting in March?

A "February 28th" kind of day

"I woke up today and didn't feel like writing" (that's for you Sheri)

She told me to post something every day, even if it's simply:

"I woke up today and didn't feel like writing"

But I do feel like writing. I'm excited because it's the end of the month (well, leap year) and the end of a very long process of applying for a FTE grant (Fund for Theological Education). Folks may not know I'm in school (University of Chicago) while building this PureMusic, and I've been searching for folks who want and are able to help. Keep that in mind.

I want you on my team.

More than anything, it's a "February 28th" kind of day because of ENDINGS. End of month; end of grant; end of a 3-day raw foods fast; NOT the end of Lent (I miss ESPN). In many ways the END of not trying my best. I'm always fascinated by people who are not where they see themselves, unhappy, spend all their time making other people unhappy- generally displeased with life. And they do very little to change it. They complain when no one is "on their side", but one thing seems apparent:

We spend more energy being unhappy than we do trying to find happiness. There's got to be an end to that. A "February 28th" moment has to come; where we say "I'm tired of being unhappy." The world may have caused your source of displeasure, but you sustain it. Looking for a change? BE the change you wish to see.

Most of the time our struggle comes not from what HAPPENED, but how we react, respond, and allow WHAT HAPPENED to dictate what is HAPPENING. Just a thought.

Sorry to go all Gandhi on you

Friday, February 22, 2008

J.Kwest "I Am (Obama)" LYRICS ONLY

I'll tell the story later, but there's something coming (and it's big) and you'll love it. Some of you have it, but need the TEXT...let me help you.

(Verse 1)
And people ask now “Who Am I?”
I am the American Dream personified
I am hope without color, love without borders
Joy without dollars, honor without orders
I don’t serve for war, yo, I stand for peace
I am the drug addict on the blood stained streets
I am the mother who mourns the son who passes
In the dawn, I am the dew, fresh on the grasses
That no American cuts, I’m the landscaper
That came from Mexico, to try to get paper
then feed a family of eight but
I will be a modern day slave for the American Dream
That they want to take away from
Everybody else
I ain’t just SOMEBODY, no
I am Everybody Else
I am without health care, the uninsured
Who die over greed, you pay or go uncured
I am under the floor, the child left behind
My back against the wall, I am the ghetto grind
The suburb meth addict, the white trash
The gay man, who lives fearing the wrath and fear of a straight man
The porn addict, the insecure sister with an eating disorder
Every woman in the force
Trying to make a dollar, out of 77 cents
But can’t pay the rent, wonder why I gotta strip
I wish it didn’t have to be like this
But this is my country, and everything it is
I Am as well, I didn’t dream this up
But I’m here, for all, try to clean this up

And I Am (Obama)
I Am (Obama)

(Verse 2)
And I Am
The Hope for a better future
I am Martin Luther, I am for the youth to
Dream higher, before somebody’s gang come recruit ya
Before somebody’s cult come and shoot ya
In the name of somebody’s god, on the rooftop
Screaming Jihad, death to them other groups of
Other little kids, speak another language that I don’t understand
So I hate then, instead of trying to learn how we all the same
I am EA, I am in the game
I am in the sun in the rain, still the same
I am change for the next boy or girl
I’m the next leader of the free world
I Am

(Verse 3)
And I Am
The same as you, I ain’t trying to be cocky
Somebody had to do it, why not me?
Sloppy politics got the capital looking like a clinic
So I got a bag of penicillin
For these politicians
I play the game as it is
But we need a better world for the kids
I tell it like it is
Other candidates will kill you with the rhetoric
They paying for a vote but we ain’t selling it
I keep on yelling til somebody see the house ain’t right
And even though the house is white, the house needs light
So I’m here to bring the fight to em
The Audacity of Hope, now I’m here to bring sight to em

COPYRIGHT: (2008) Kwestworld/BMI

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Weekend at Morehouse...

Wild and Crazy weekend, have some of these pics

So Robert Franklin Jr., '75 is the 10th president of Morehouse College

My father...

The College honored William "Smokey Joe" Robinson Hill Harper was there (But my girl likes me)
Voltaire Sterling, '02, Great mentor and Great Debaters

The men responsible for Diana Ross, Jackie Wilson, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokie Robinson, and PureMusic (wait, you think we didn't chop it up? stay tuned)
He was tired after InAug (we had to block him off so he could eat)

Back at the Gala (you see how they snuck her in there? Nice)
My Uncles, with my new-found Aunt, or cousin (met a lot of new fam)

Martin Luther King III
Radio!!!! Bill Nun and J.Kwest, Morehouse Men
extra tired at this point (probably because it took forever to tie that bow tie, lol)
or was I thinking about my next move?
Yes indeed...

Special thanks to all the folks who came out and supported the family. Mae Jemison, Andy Young, the King Family, the Men of Morehouse, Chicago, The Franklin/Battle/McCann/DeShazier/Goffney clan, and YOU (just for being you)

This made me want to achieve more. Rap needs some courageous and innovative leadership and it's nothing less than TIME

NEXT WEEK: Rev. J.Kwest and the PureMusic Movement dedicate a song to Barack Obama. Hear it here first!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We Need Love

On this Valentine's Day, as I sit in Atlanta awaiting the inauguration of the 10th President of Morehouse College (my pops), I realize that everything I've been learning today surrounds the same principle. Walk with me, I need someone to talk to:

1. I sat during the Morehouse Convocation (the 141st Birthday of Morehouse College) and listened to the great Otis Moss Jr. (Trinity UCC has Otis III) teach us three things: We, as Morehouse Men, need to be a VOICE in our community; We are the voice of a VISION; and that vision follows a WAY. Leaders with the passion to serve; a passion like our brother Dr. King and Bennie Mays YES but a passion that won't necessarily fuel you into the spotlight.

A voice, a vision, and a way, guided in LOVE.

2. My father is an awesome man. You'll have to hear the story of US one day (good luck) but as I sit here, I realize that of all the emotions I COULD have felt (some say SHOULD HAVE felt)...look at how we abandon our fathers...of all these emotions...I feel LOVE. Straight/Pure/Joy and LOVE. I hope we can articulate this to each other one day, and that our story can be a testimony to the power of reconciliation, forgiveness, and LOVE.

For a love without reconciliation hardly deserves such a glorious title.

3. When you follow your destiny, whatever it is, when you follow it, pain disappears and love forms in its place. We talk about this LOVE word a lot, but today, on Valentine's Day, I learned more about LOVE without seeing one red rose or one couple kissing.

I witness a community of LOVE, where strangers are brothers and problems are opportunities (I realized how many opportunities our country has).

I realize how much love there is in this world, and how many people have no idea about it. How many opportunities there are for us to love one another, to love those who are completely opposite us. To Love All. To love at home and in the classroom, on the internet, and in our music.

For the past few weeks, I've been working on articulating what PUREMUSIC means, so that you will know and so businesses and labels will know. So we can grow. But you have to KNOW what you are supporting. And I've been working on answering the question: What is PureMusic? I know now...and you can answer the same way to those who ask...


and what does J.Kwest do?

He Loves Me

and I do, Happy Valentine's Day

(I have to go for a moment; but I'll be posting something every day during this special time. Stay in tune. ALSO, I'm looking at the television now and seeing this story about Northern Illinois. Some shooting. I'm not able to check now, but it sounds like someone needs some LOVE. Off to work...)

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Lent Challenge

So what are you giving up?