Most Americans and music lovers worldwide acknowledge Elvis Presley as “The King” of rock and roll. But some people have no idea who Elvis Presley is or what it means to be “The King” to millions of loyal fans.
This is what I learned from Cindy, the foreign exchange student from China that I hung out with for a few weeks.
I was taking a class on multi-cultural competency as part of the process towards my master’s degree in counseling. Our instructor, Vince Noble asked for volunteers to escort foreign exchange students and ease their transition into the USA. He may have even offered extra credit, I can’t remember. But I volunteered and was paired up with Cindy from China.
One day, Cindy and I went an art show at Cal State Long Beach. There were many paintings and several rooms filled with original art pieces created by students. We came upon a portrait of Elvis Presley. I admired the creativity of the piece. Cindy pointed at it and asked, “who is that?”
I was stunned. It was as if my life was flashing before me. I could not imagine how to describe who Elvis was. He is so many things to so many people and I couldn’t imagine what the world, or at least my world, would be like without him.
I managed to mumble out some answer about how Elvis was a rock legend and I hummed a few bars of Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock to see if it would ring a bell.
I was speechless.
I had been slapped aside the head once again and reminded that just because I have an experience or a social construct built up around a certain object or person, doesn’t mean everyone else does. Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this, assuming the person you’re talking to knows something when really they don’t; assuming that everyone knows all the same things you do?
The Positive Hip Hop podcast is a series of shows that feature Hip-Hop with a message.
One of my favorites is Episode 6: “Social & Political Change”. This episode is jam-packed with socially aware hip hop with a great beat. Tracks include: KRS-One – “Illegal Business”, Head-Roc – “America!” and Ozomatli ft Common – “Embrace The Chaos”.
Hearts of Space is one of those constants in my life that I never tell anyone about. It’s a little strange, and not particularly “catchy”.
None of the songs have poetic lyrics or infectous guitar riffs. In fact, it’s almost as if Hearts of Space beams you up into it’s starship, takes you on a vacation and spits you out at home when it’s over. Sometimes you don’t remember where you’ve been.
Recently, I discovered the Hearts of Space app. I have been swept away, night after night; lulled away into a world of unbounded creativity. I find that the shows make a perfect backdrop for creative writing, drawing or sewing.
Words and environment impact your life. In this speech from the Toastmasters manual, The Entertaining Speaker, I outline a musical anthology of my life from childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. Influences include weekly immersion in Soul Train, Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder, Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang and People’s Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm by A Tribe Called Quest.
In the 80’s there was fun to be found in the punk rock scene. Songs mentioned and sung in this speech: California Uber Alles and Police Truck by The Dead Kennedys and New Dreams by Naked Raygun. I finished up with my theme song: Galvanize by The Chemical Brothers with Q-Tip on vocals.
Listening to hip hop as a young girl gave me an education in the power of words and imagery. In this speech from the Toastmasters Storytelling manual, I take the liberty to consider the popular hip hop song, “Left My Wallet in El Segundo” as a folk tale and I retell it in my own words.
When you think about it, every musical act you know of is using the Master Mind principle whether they realize it or not. They are joining together as a team with a combined vision. You can use the same principle and make some truly rockin’ things happen in your life.
Do you have a creative project you want to complete? Do you want to find a purpose for your life?
If so, I invite you to come over to my brand new page called Start a Master Mind Group.com. I’m offering 4 freebies to get you started so you can get a sense of what the Master Mind is all about.