Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Company You Keep

As beautiful as my recent plight has been, building a band, dropping the video, hoopin at a level unprecedented, there has still remained a degree of disappointment that has lied beneath the surface. In search of therapy, I turned to my usual medications known as Vokka and Vokka! :)

I am far from a morning person and quite a strong supporter of the gradual ascent. However, I've been rising with a weight upon my spirit that I couldn't quite pinpoint or detail. Of course there was no one factor to blame for such a phase, but after some self examination, I've come to terms with a major contributor to not only my "morning sickness" (no not the Vokka!) but also my overall energetic well being. MY FRIENDS!

One of the greatest attributes of living in Santa Cruz is the beautiful community that I've been interwoven with through the years. However in recent months I've chosen to spend a great deal of time with people who are not a reflection of the highest self I aim to be. Now this is in no way a judgment upon them as individuals or beings, but rather a self analysis of how my moments are being spent and the depth of what's being exchanged. As I took a closer look, I became aware of how very surface level most of my conversations remained. My roomie was quick to point out that a good deal of the folks I've been kicking it with were receiving a lot from me, but not offering much in return. An interesting dynamic. Not exactly revolutionary but an eye opener none the less on because I was absolutely oblivious to the fact until she made note of it.

With that in mind, I reset my intention, not only mentally/spiritually, but also verbally. I reached out to a handful of brothas here in the area whom I hold a great deal of respect for. That being said, I kept the cap on my bottle and almost immediately began to magnetize not only those I called out to, but also other's who are resonating on a similar frequency. The results have been powerful to say the least.

There's no true measure for making a shift of this sort, but it's refreshing to feel a momentum beginning to build. Almost as if I'm just now paddling in to a wave. Although, the time hasn't come to stand up on the board yet and just enjoy the ride, the anticipation of doing so is now more visible than ever. And that alone is reason to celebrate.

One Perfect Love

Monday, October 11, 2010

World Premiere: FreeDem / Do Ya Thing

Ladies and Gentlemen...Well Rooted Music presents...
Mr Free-Freedem / Do Ya Thing
A music video edited and directed by Salvatore Fullmore.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An interview out the archives w Kristen Kittleson (

DJ Idol Hannz is spinning hip hop and house tunes while Carpool in Herndon, VA awaits Mr Free’s arrival. It’s a thin crowd for a Saturday night, but when Mr Free arrives and takes the stage, the rhyme and rhythm of his words create a new symphony and it is worth the wait. People are looking up and listening to the tall, thin, gentle-looking, dreadlocked man speaking his truths at the front of the room.

But Mr. Free is more than an emcee or rapper. Known to friends and newcomers as Mr Free, Geoffrey Gary has a lot on his mind in addition to making music. He is a visionary, spiritualist, teacher and aspiring inspiration to anyone who will listen.

At 17, his father challenged his self-identity – “Why are you calling yourself Geoff! I named you to be more than that! I blurted out, ‘Cause I’m not Free yet!’” Prophetic words from such a young man, but by that age, he had already begun his path to spiritual enlightenment through reading The Celestine Prophecy and studying Native American philosophy. Combined with the influences of an evangelist mother and a Pentecostal preacher grandfather, it is no wonder that Mr Free’s mission is to open minds and have a positive impact on children through teaching.

Mr Free considers himself a nuisance to the schools he works in sometimes, but only because he spends more time tapping into the minds of the children he teaches than sticking to the lesson plans he’s given. He feels strongly that the current state of American school systems do not cultivate the inherent gifts children posses, but rather forces them to conform with no focus on the energy they bring.

He credits his life as an artist, Scott Stapp, lead singer of the rock band, Creed, who with guitarist Mark Tremonti, heard something he didn’t know he had. Mr Free met the band in Kauai, Hawaii where he was a valet runner for the hotel where they were staying. They hit it off and Mr Free stayed in touch with the band.

They crossed paths again in Virginia, where Mr Free had just been offered a teaching position. Creed asked him to open for them at Nissan Pavilion, which turned into a job offer from Scott Stapp to tour with them. “In my whole life, the biggest blessing has been his (Scott Stapp) belief in me to believe in myself. Up to that point, I didn’t take myself as an artist very seriously. It was more of a fun thing, like a hobby. But when somebody of that magnitude says ‘you’ve got a gift’ you’ve got to cultivate that and take myself seriously.”

Mr Free’s music is much more just notes and words. He wants to pass along the blessing he received to others, to inspire them by his belief in himself to believe in themselves. “People are gonna doubt you. I’m gonna stand up on top of all that of that and say ‘I’m good! I believe in myself!’ That’s something that’s frowned upon. We’re socially raised to sort of bow our heads.”

He says he brings a distinct energy to his shows that takes people a couple of tries to get, though he jokingly admits that his early songs were based in a preconceived notion he had of what hip-hop was, that it sounded more like that ‘nonsense you hear on the radio.’ “I bring a comfort zone, I’m gonna be me up here and maybe in the process, you’re gonna be you.”

The single 30 year old, originally from the Bronx, NY, is frustrated with the DC music scene. He expresses that guys he has worked with for years, that he left to pursue his career in Santa Cruz, CA, are basically where they were when he left four years ago. He has returned to the metro area to spend time with his family before he moves to Japan in 2009 to teach English and pursue his art abroad, where many hip-hop artists have found success. While he is here in DC, he has a show coming up at the St. Stephens Church Youth Center on Newton Street, February 23 and is hoping to line something up with a tour that may be coming to town in April. Check out his website for biographical information, samples of his music, and a calendar of upcoming events. Welcome back to DC, Mr. Free. Hope you’ll stay a while.

It Ain't all Good!

So yeah...I know I have the tendency to choose my stories on the brighter side of life...most times.. But I do feel it's important to tell the whole truth and nothing help me Buddha! And on that note....

So we were hooping in another hum drum city league game. Absolutely slaughtering our opponent...when my ace tried to split the defense with a slick lil between the legs move that ended up bouncing off the back of his heel. Inspired by his creativity and will to do the unthinkable in that situation, I gave chase to the soon to be out of bounds ball. At full sprint I attempted to scoop the ball back inbounds. Yet midway my overall sense of well being said, "Man...there are 2 double doors fast approaching...don't die!" Just then I planted my foot to begin my self preserving maneuver. However, the tile which I planted upon decided to detach itself from the floor beneath, leaving me in the most compromising of positions.. right hand still swung back toward the court (as the aftermath of the attempted save) an all my steam headed directly to wards those double doors. (This was all happening in the space of 6 feet at best.) Oh yes, the inevitable happened, as the only protection I could manage was turning my head to the side as my face slammed into the door before me, and my knee BUSTED off of the metal rod separating the two. Sucked the life outta the whole gym.

Thankfully, I stood up and limped over to the sideline with nothing but a bump on the knee to show for it. My Angels work overtime!

But yeah...just had to let it be beautiful as life ain't ALL good.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

That Santa Cruz Magic

It's said that years back, Native Americans traveling down the California coastline actually looped out of their way to avoid the magnet that is Santa Cruz. As my 1st full year back in the states fast approaches, I can't help but agree whole heartedly with their assessment. Like it or not, this place has a way of plucking your heart strings. And it didn't take long for it to work its' magic on me.


This past Sunday was yet another testament to the brilliance that abounds here. After dropping an obscene number on some old timers that we played against in our city league score 108-52, a few of us headed up the coast for a lil taste of adventure. It turns out it was one of the guys on our squad's birthday, so we had no choice but to show em the ropes a bit out this way.

A good 40 minutes north of SC, we pulled off on a dirt road, put in the magical gate code, and ascended the surrounding hills. When we reached our destination, there were a strong 15-20 people there partying on a property that offered 360 degree (if anyone know's where the degree key is on the keyboard, please do tell!) panoramic views, and lush natural greenery to boot. It wasn't long before the owner of the property escorted us up to his 3 story tree house. Talk about a breath taking view, we could now see well over the surrounding hilltops out onto the Pacific. It was ideal.

And just as we were starting to head down, a few guys showed up with harnesses and handles. Although they previously stated they'd shut it down for the day, they were gracious enough to rekindle the flame and allow us to take a ride on their 900 foot long ZIP LINE!!!! Exhilarating is an understatement. Each of us took a couple of runs and got to hooting and hollering like 12 year-old boys. It was quite the experience.

Apparently the line itself is 150 ft up at it's highest point. But all of us were too cool to show any inhibition to jump out there and go for a ride. "I ain't no punk" was the theme for the day!!

And when it was all said and done we got to soak in a gorgeous sunset, and my homie got a nice lil peak at a different side of SC on his born day.

The Blessings Abound!!

Monday, October 4, 2010