by Minister of Information JR
The revolutionary rap group dead prez, consisting of M-1, Stic.man and DJ/MC Mike Flo, has been one of the hottest groups in music over the last 11 years with their legendary albums and international activism, which has included going to Gaza and the West Bank, networking wit’ the Aborigines in Australia and the native people of New Zealand, visiting the forbidden-by-U.S.-sanctions island of Cuba, and rocking with the Zulus in South Africa and the Kikuyu in Kenya.
Although they get more attention because of their confrontational international politics, they have also been on the forefront at different times of healthy movements such as promoting a vegetarian lifestyle like on the song “Be Healthy,” discipline to stay healthy like on “Discipline” and exercising on “50 in the Clip.”
Stic.man took it a step further with his latest work, “The Workout,” which is completely dedicated to health, fitness and wellness, with songs on it creatively dedicated to running, lifting weights and mamas getting their bodies back after having children.
Sonically, the production is dope, with Stic completely in the driver’s seat. M1 is absent from the project but Stic is joined by Divine RBG on “Back on my Regimen,” San Francyco’s Martin Luther on “Runner’s High” and Stic’s wife Afya Ibomu on “Baby Fat,” just to name a few. The album is rated G for guerrilla and because it is curse- and nigga-free.
This is an independent classic that you should support. Support businesses and products that support you. Now tune into Stic in this exclusive Q&A about “The Workout.”
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us about your new album, “The Workout”? What motivated you to do an album about health and fitness?
Stic: “The Workout” is my latest solo album. I wrote and produced the entire album and it’s themed all around health and fitness. It’s no cursing, no “n” word, and it marks a new beginning for my career as an artist and producer. I have had a passion for fitness through martial arts and holistic health, being a vegetarian for many years.
So “The Workout” is very personal to me, combining my love for music and my lifestyle of health and fitness into one piece of work. I released the album independently through my company, Boss Up Inc. So as an artist and executive, I’m excited about sharing it with the world.
M.O.I. JR: What has inspired your sobriety of the last two years? Why are you a sober, souljah?
Stic: I’d just been seeing how the weed, patron etc. lifestyle has oversaturated the culture and how so many of us are addicted to the escapism through drugs and abusive use of marijuana etc. I wanted to strengthen my own discipline and resolve some health issues and didn’t want to be a slave to the Dutch Master no more. I feel better than ever, and I look forward to continuing on the path, sober mind clear, and facing life straight up, no chaser!
M.O.I. JR: How does “The Workout” differ from your past works and dead prez’s past works?
Stic: On “The Workout,” the activism is geared toward being active and making a commitment to be healthy and fit. So often, the “movement” focuses on the external oppressive issues that affect us; this album focuses on some of the ways we can defend ourselves, as far as health – how to prepare our bodies and minds to be stronger and more proactive.
I think it’s important that the movement for liberation include a push for a preventative, healthy lifestyle because the oppressed communities suffer so much culturally, as well as politically, and it often goes unaddressed. “The Workout” for me was a super fun way to address very serious issues. Hip hop has that power.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us a little bit about the production on the album? And how did you pick your features?
Stic: I sat down in my lab with a vision of a sound in my head that would be cross genre hip hop, rock guitar, universal, motivational music. And I let it flow out, day after day. I had set up an altar with a picture of my grandfather and a new aloe plant, and in this special space I began to write lyrics, make beats, work out and channel the energies to what ultimately became “The Workout.”
Each track is its own sound, but together the album is cohesive conceptually. There’s a range of moods and tempos that compliment a range of health and fitness lifestyles: yoga, boxing, martial arts, weightlifting, running and more!
I reached out to some of my closest artist comrades and friends that I knew were on the same page, either with their own personal health and fitness or musical vibes. I had a specific vision of what contributions I wanted, as far as the subject and style of collaborations.
On “The Workout,” I worked with Martin Luther, Divine RBG, General Steele, Cach NYM, Maimouna Youseff and even got my wife Afya Ibomu, who is a holistic health counselor, to bust a flow on the post pregnancy fitness anthem “Baby Fat.”
M.O.I. JR: What different roles do you and M1 play in raising the community’s consciousness? What is his role? What is yours?
Stic: We do what is on our hearts, what we are interested in at the time and what we feel we are best at expressing. M1 is a powerful speaker and stays on the forefront of international political issues. I’m a lot more hands-on on the business end, and my family and holistic health. Self-determination is my area of focus. So I hope that our life example can be of inspiration, but I do what I do because it is real to me, not to be labeled as anything. Ya dig?
M.O.I. JR: How does health and fitness relate to the political world that we live in?
Stic: Everything is political. The health issues we face in our communities are a direct result of the political environment. It benefits the system to have a sick, weak and high mass population of apathy to govern over. It’s revolutionary to see health as self-defense and empowerment. The stronger the body, the wiser the choices we make for our health, the more discipline we have, the more confidence we have in our freedom. Healthy lifestyle is activism that lets you can see the benefits immediately.
M.O.I. JR: Why did you release this album independently? What is the difference in being independent and being signed, since you have been both?
Stic: I’m on my Marcus Garvey – building a legacy of self-determination. My responsibility is to provide for my family and be proactive in the community. It works out better economically and allows me the freedom to do creative projects like “The Workout” as well, without having to battle narrow minded corperate execs who think hip hop is one dimensional. Ya dig?
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us about the RBG Fit Club? What is its purpose?
Stic: The RBG Fit Club is a community health initiative that I founded to promote holistic health and fitness. Our blog is rbgfitclub.com. We have a rapidly growing following on facebook.com/ RBGFITCLUB, as well. The core five principles are simple but key to a good foundation.
They are knowledge, nutrition, exercise, rest and consistency. My goal is to use the platform of hip hop culture to promote the five principles and be an encouraging force for health and fitness. We are currently developing strategic campaigns to expand our reach and impact.
Right now, we have a network of about 1,500 personal trainers, vegetarians, weightlifters, health counselors, martial artists, runners and activists and we will be developing ways to increase our effectiveness as combined forces. I invite anyone with an interest in health and fitness and a love for the community to join us!
M.O.I. JR: How much do you work out a week? What kind of regimens do you do regularly?
Stic: Four or five days a week, depending on my schedule. I do boxing with my son and my friend’s son twice a week; family stretch with my mom, mother-in-law, wife and son on Sundays. I do my running practice of about 5 miles every other day, preparing for the 10k Atlanta Peachtree Race this July 4th. I do body weight exercises on days I don’t run. And I also practice hot yoga and martial arts when I’m not too busy running Boss Up Inc. or touring.
I always run in cities we tour in or hit the hotel gym. I love training, and I always look for new ways to get it in so I don’t get bored. The more goal focused I am, I find, the better my consistency is.
Stic: I been training about four months for the 2011 Atlanta Peachtree 10k road race. I’m running because running is something that I discovered that I REALLY enjoy doing. It’s a great challenge and a good way for me to promote the RBG Fit Club through my actions.
M.O.I. JR: How can people get “The Workout” and keep up with Stic.man and dead prez?
Stic: I have an all new website, www.sticrbg.com, that is the hub for everything I’m doing these days – dead prez, my books, RBG Fit Club merch and of course the NEW music. “The Workout” is available at www.sticrbg.com in hardcopy and digital format and also on itunes.
Thanks so much, bro.