Souls of Hip Hop

B-Boy Abstrak & Sulim Soto

May 19, 2020 B-Boy Abstrak Season 1 Episode 3
Souls of Hip Hop
B-Boy Abstrak & Sulim Soto
How did you get into dancing?
How did you two meet?
Judging in China
Family reactions
Jumping into a new relationship
Male stereotypes in Hip Hop
Finding a spiritual foundation
Challenges of parenting
Career advice
Power couple
What is Hip Hop to you?
Upcoming projects
Souls of Hip Hop
B-Boy Abstrak & Sulim Soto
May 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 3
B-Boy Abstrak

On this episode, we talk to Richie aka Abstrak & Sulim Soto. Abstrak is the founder of Skill Methodz Crew, an incredible breaker, martial artist, film maker, and video editor. Sulim expresses her creativity through Photoshop and video editing. Together they founded "Instrumntl Media", a company based out of Orlando, FL, that aims to inspire people on health and their journey for truth.
We learn about their passion for dancing, their diligent research for spiritual truth, overcoming challenges in pursuing the life of an artist, mastering parenting, and supporting each other in a relationship.
You can find them here: 

Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

On this episode, we talk to Richie aka Abstrak & Sulim Soto. Abstrak is the founder of Skill Methodz Crew, an incredible breaker, martial artist, film maker, and video editor. Sulim expresses her creativity through Photoshop and video editing. Together they founded "Instrumntl Media", a company based out of Orlando, FL, that aims to inspire people on health and their journey for truth.
We learn about their passion for dancing, their diligent research for spiritual truth, overcoming challenges in pursuing the life of an artist, mastering parenting, and supporting each other in a relationship.
You can find them here: 

Support the show (

spk_1:   0:03
Welcome to souls of hip hop - a podcast for hip hop heads that aims to bring inspiring people together to share their wisdom, passion and their unique stories. My name is Candy, and I'm DJ Razor Cut. Together we are Soulidarity - connecting souls organically.

spk_2:   0:26
Welcome to the show. Today we have Ritchie and Sulim Soto as our guest. They are parents, dancers, filmmakers and video editors. Richie aka Abstrak, is the founder of Skill Methodz Crew, and has over 25 years of experience in Breaking as well as 11 years in martial arts. Sulim is very passionate about expressing her creativity through Photoshop and video editing. Together, they co founded Instrumntl Media, a company based out of Orlando, Florida, that aims to inspire people on health and their journey for truth.

spk_1:   1:01
When I started breaking in the late nineties, Abstrak was the first person to teach me the six step at a rave. Six Step is a part of breaking foundation. After many years of friendship, it was great to sit down and learn more about him And Sulim.

spk_0:   1:13
My name is Sulim Soto. How are you guys?

spk_3:   1:16
My name is Ricardo, some know me by the name of Abstrak. But that guy is whack.

spk_2:   1:22
How did both of you get into dancing? What was your first experience and what was the factor that really drew you into the culture?

spk_3:   1:34
I was a kid. I must have been like, I mean, there's videos of me when I was two, but every kid dances as a kid. I was a kid. I was like, maybe around six or seven. I was seven when I got, like, hooked on breaking, you know, like just watching other people  do it? I just didn't know what it was. So I just wanted to do it at that time when I was younger. You see Michael Jackson, you like he's doing the moonwalk like I want to do that. So I started impersonating my projects. I was the Puerto Rican Michael Jackson, my school. The funny thing is that I have to find it, but there's some clips. We did a competition like it was like a band and us dancing and me doing Michael Jackson and my school one. It was so another way 1 20 give Michael Jackson would, but yeah, I think, uh, I don't know. I every time I think about dancing. I always picture that my grandmother's leg room and I was a kid. They always tell me dance. That's and I do like Jackson. I do like a little whack. Backspin. Something called for work. I guess at that time I don't know what I was doing. So it was very early for me, but I don't remember exactly how I stopped. You know, I remember that there was like, if I try to go back in time, like I wasn't that I stopped, you know, like I must have been, like, maybe eight or something. Not seeing it, not seeing it anymore and then is weird cause it was like, you know, when When scientists talk about dark ages that's what comes to mind when I think about my life. There's some dark ages. I know what happened there, I can tell you, but it definitely breaking was not there. Dancer was not there, you know. But every time I was with my grandmother, she was the one that most raised. I was always incidences, like Hurley Room. It was like, Okay, this

spk_1:   3:32
is where I can be free and just do

spk_3:   3:34
whatever. Now that's a lot was 14 was when my mom was like, We're gonna move to Florida from New York and I probably like months in. That's when I started getting back into dancing because I met this guy from Connecticut. What a very Connecticut. He danced his brother dance. They wrapped. They would have house parties hit part parties in the house. It was just that was just the family. So I was like, I'm a pickup moving to then I was like, you know, going to some clubs. I wasn't even of age, but they had 10 clubs. I guess I was like, OK, cool. In New York, they don't don't remember hearing about teen closing. Plus, I was only 14 when I left New York at that time. Then I ended up battling some guy doing windmills. At one point I was like, That's all that's my wag out when I was doing was wack. And then a year later, after that, like that's what I like. I have met some graphic California. We do like a talent show in school, and I wanted to like I wanted to do like confusion. I want to do in my my style of dancing. It's like a flare and do some cool stuff. And that was it. I didn't want to do nothing like the whole breaking template, you know? But that didn't happen. Months. IHS was like practising breaking. I was like, I need to take breaking serious. So I took breaking Siri's And here we are now.

spk_2:   4:58
So when you just, like, learned it on your own

spk_3:   5:01
No, Uh,

spk_0:   5:02
you're like I did back spin and I did a windmill in late and I'm abstract now Way. So

spk_3:   5:15
that was when I was told it was like, you know, when I was a kid, there was I used to go to this day care with There was all the kids and they danced So they were ready, like advanced on me. They were doing back Smith with for work. That's all they did. So I picked it up from them, and then, like I said, I went to my Dark Ages. I don't know what happened as far as like what that's but I remember, like family situations and all this stuff. Oh my God, Thank God I'm alive and then flowing into, like when I'm age 14 coming to Tapper I'm like I said, I met this kid. His name is Ryan Gonzalez, Filipino Bay from the San Diego. He's from San Diego. I believe he was always get into trouble. So his father lived in Tampa. And so his mom said into Tampa to, I guess, to better because his father's here. Yeah, but then, after a year breaking, he disappeared. To this day, I don't know what he's that hopefully still alive. I don't know. It would be nice to see him again. So show him like, Hey, look, this is how far took it. Yeah, Brian Gonzalez, Credit Ryan is honestly helping me out. Started off. You don't like the whole breaking thing because before I was just challenge, infusion, incorporate 112 moves of breaking into, like some house dancing or what I thought was house back then.

spk_2:   6:39
Can you

spk_0:   6:39
dance as well? When I found interest in dancing all around was when I was in high school or something like that, and my thing was, what's ballroom dancing? I just love the way they look, the way they danced, how elegant, and I watch it all the time and my mom saying, What's up with you like, don't you get bored. I'm going. No, I want to do that. I want to be that, you know. But at that time, my mom never know took interest into the things. And I saw I would be in my backyard getting all the guys think I was a tomboy growing up. But, um, I would get the girls that would hang out with the guys. I would try and set up a group dancer, and I remember was So this is how we do. It s so stupid. But I read them, do some dance moves. I'm like him. We're gonna do this at Hubbard Park and Connecticut, because that's where I grew up. And I was like, If we do this, correct, I'll talk to the guy that almost a placed in and during the deaf deaf, it'll festival. Make sure we get get us in there and never happened. Um e I was in middle school at that time. I was trying to get a group together, Teoh. Yeah, but after that I was like I started listening to house not knowing that it was house and I will rock out in my room and across the street there was this boy I used to like. I had, like, a crush on him and him. His brother was sit on the roof, watch me. And I didn't know my because my window was open. But I was like, jamming. I'll say, Yeah, I'm feeling this, you know, I remember once I'm asking my mom to show me how to dance. I saw because I wanted to learn. She never taught me. So I had some of these things. I just talked myself. When I wanted to do something, I just go ahead and talk myself. There was no YouTube back then, so I was like, All right, let me take this room and practice with it. I told myself on the dance sensor maintained and whatever All Simba ciattei And that's when I started going to the clubs and dancing. Or even when they came temper the homecoming. I remember. Remember, one Tootsie Roll came out me and my best friend. We made a dance to that. And when that song came on, we like the whole everybody that was there was just watching us, and I even noticed because I was so like into the song and I was just feeling in it. And when I hear a song, I just get lost in the music. And then when I finally moved here toe Tampa and that was in 2007 I think, um, I started hanging out with Denise. She became my best friend and she wasn't No. I think we got into it together the whole breaking thing. But she knew about it because it's tech. Um, and I remember it was her. Me and another girl called solely also, You always try and do this, you know, thing. That's why don't we try learning, you know? And I remember when I first got my 1st 6 done and I called them on you. I got it on my 1st 6 way, about to be a bigger crew, Theo. Only one that comes with a R was the niece, but she never really battled like that. Whatever. She was just doing it for fun. And then we started hanging out. Were like are sending reaction, and I started seeing what they were doing. But the first person I met out here, there was no well, a mouse, and that's when I really got into the club and seen and I stopped hanging out with them. It wasn't more me and didn't me and Denise always in the clubs. And at that time since she was my best friend and the only person I know here, we were going to have its own clubs and that was our thing. So every week and I would dress up into a different character. But whether it was a cheerleader or whatever was I don't know why and half naked. I'm like when I think about Michael Margai but at the time is like I didn't care, cause you know, when you're skinning your this and now you're like, Screw this up your sexy I'm gonna do with me Then I got tired of the whole Higgins. Don't think I'll say Rice, what phase of my going through, you know, And I was hanging out with a bunch of Dominicans. I was like, back chatter now, but every time they will play that one hit pop song or two of them, my heart was like It's like you see somebody in love with for the first time. That's what it felt like. I'm like we just heard freestyle. Wait, What? And nobody's on the floor. I'm like, Why not? I'm like, don't do you know this is you know now I'll be out there rocking And also you know that that hip hop actually has my heart.

spk_2:   11:15
Speaking of her connections, how did the two of you meet?

spk_3:   11:20
How do we meet? Funny thing is, when I first leave my eyes was at a 15 year anniversary schoolmate this anniversary in New York And she, you know, she was helping out selling, uh, merch. And one of them happens to be my beauty. Hey, but she was like,

spk_0:   11:44
always in the store. I'm like I asked, I was like, Why XYZ Who's this kid on the DVD Is a gold as actually I was like, Well, the homeless, the bottomless you Are you serious? He's like the president like skill methods. I was like, OK, I still don't buy. Thank you. Yes, there's much I'm like, you know, nobody. He's gonna spend that much, but everybody ended up. I'm the DVD and I'm like, Alright, Okay, cool. And then that's when he came up to the table with his hands in his pockets like also how we're doing on the d reduce. And I'm like, yeah, we're doing okay. Just took my hand and just, you know, introduced themselves or whatever, but I didn't think nothing of it at that moment, you know? I'm saying because I was, like, so hype that I was then already knew the crew before I knew him for a long time. The next day, it's one tech and no. Well, we're like, you're welcome fruit through the picnic. I'm like, All right, Cool. Then when I was there at the picnic and I see him running around with his daughter, Jenny said even know him was his daughter. So I just saw him like Children or whatever. And we spoke only briefly on then. I don't know if he wants to take

spk_2:   12:57
it from there. Yeah, I mean, I didn't impaired too much mine there, so it wasn't

spk_0:   13:04
like it was a little recite. No, more like a one. Stop whatever.

spk_3:   13:09
She's cool. And, you know, at that time, it's funny, cause at that time I didn't know she was roommates with Arlene, which is text ex girlfriend. So I was like, Oh, maybe text us. It's his you know, side chick or something like that.

spk_0:   13:21
I like.

spk_3:   13:25
But, um, so then after that fast forward, I don't know how many,

spk_0:   13:31
maybe a month

spk_3:   13:32
There was this come about the shirt that we were selling and I guess she had one that she cut up or no Well, cut it for her and it was like it was dope was style, like 80 style, like cut. And I just saw it. I saw it in the Facebook and I was like, Oh, it looks like I said I said in Spanish, I was like, um, it looks like like a lion got to that to that shirt. At the time I was in the Middle East, I was in a Qatar Kate are and we're going back and forth and so really like it started online, which is funny.

spk_0:   14:06
And I was like, maybe film. Those were my thoughts and that started the conversation. And then that's what started, though, you know, being hey myself. So Obama block through the messenger or whatever, and then I started after that, started with spoken words and the things we like. And then he left to China, and that's when I started getting deep and I could tell he was starting to feel me. And I was feeling him. I'm like, When is he coming back home? You know, and then that's when we actually met for the first time. There was the biggest snowstorm in New York City. They closed everything down. No transportation, nothing. Nothing. Even the next day, the cards you couldn't even tell they were cars. Everything was buried under snow. Was this high? It was ridiculous. But early. So what does all you I said over like like cars. You couldn't tell the way anyways inside me, I didn't say out loud, but inside of me, I feel disappointed because that's the day we planned on meeting and Children in what I was looking forward to that and then Tech was at the house. At that time. I didn't want nobody to know what's going on between us, you know, and I don't know how to figure it out. But I was trying to talk to him on the low in the little room on my yo I'm so yeah, I take issue. So I don't think this sucks, but we can't meet. I give my parents are home to a boat like and he's I know the where I'm a farm like noble. No taxes. Nothing's nothing's happening. It's OK, It's OK. Don't worry about it. It's a big snowstorm. Imagine Long Island all the way to like Jersey City. That's a long ride. So he finally found a cab. You couldn't tell that part. So, like, two hours,

spk_3:   15:53
was it? So I

spk_0:   15:54
was felt long that Dr,

spk_3:   15:56
because I don't remember how many I was, but yeah, I found a cab that would drive in the snow all the way to Long Island. It was a lot. I paid for it. I was like, Yo, I ain't gonna let store stop us. I was running, actually got to the apartment, and I was running from, like, I think was

spk_0:   16:16
the grocery store. We were there for a few minutes. Me with the camp guys in the lake. If he doesn't come up in a few minutes, then we have to leave. I'm like, Do you have me come here three hours later? You're still not here. Not all of a sudden. You see this little man with bags, So yeah. Um, so he comes to the front of the cab gives him the money. And then I went almost mad. Nervous? That looks like my God. See him in person that actually have feelings for him this time. You know, inside, Get out the car. He's a hero. You go, you got it was a good round. I'm like, Okay, let's go inside. No, When I got inside, he actually before on the phone. When we spoke, he was asking me things that I liked, but I didn't know he was listing them down as faras foods and stuff like that. He bought my strawberry my mint chocolate chip, everything, he added, like prepped. Were you trying to get me? But he was respectful. He wasn't like I'm trying to get at that. It wasn't he was different. It wasn't like wham bam anus, this de even as it is, it was more like you really like me. I would really like Tim and the feelings there were like deep It was crazy that maybe it's because of all the spoken words, but that's how we met. And that's how we just like So let's not like

spk_2:   17:32
other spoken words that you guys have spoken words to each other. You were sharing spoken words back and forth or

spk_0:   17:38
yeah, back and forth. Words. Do you guys know any of them that we don't? Do you remember any of them Know? Because way would talk about colors. Different animals, Like I know it doesn't make

spk_3:   17:49
way. Would write spoken words to each other. Yeah, it wasn't like it was to each other,

spk_0:   17:55
so we would do it sometimes on Facebook, where everybody could see, but they didn't know what we were talking about. We will send it to each other. People are readable. Has don't That's don't e like code. Yeah, they know how

spk_3:   18:10
our thing was. Turquoise in red? Yes, that was Did that? Like the code name? Yeah, she was Turquoise. I was Red.

spk_0:   18:17
Our favorite colors. Uh, no. Match. Easy. That's when we started. That's like, the deepest I've ever been with anybody that gravitated. Like I knew that this was gonna be a thing where I was like, I'm set, you know, but yeah, that's how

spk_2:   18:33
I started. What were you doing in China at the time?

spk_3:   18:37
I was doing ah, hustle and freeze, judging hustle and freeze.

spk_2:   18:41
I heard the prelims are pretty intense, too. Yeah,

spk_3:   18:44
and it's funny, because at that time, uh, I didn't want a judge because it was like fleet at the battle. I think he has a better machine. And he battled this kid No name, and that started a whole like issue. Like after I left behind the scenes, like there was talking smack about it. Why?

spk_0:   19:03
Because you're in the same crew?

spk_3:   19:04
Well, yeah, because I chose him over the kid. I chose Mike, remember? And then ever since then, I was always like it When I had said the knights of gentle If I'm judging and my crews judging, I was stepped to the side.

spk_2:   19:17
So we get into breaking a little later, but to continue your story. So when you started to get serious about dating each other, what was the reaction from, like, your close friends or family?

spk_0:   19:31
Well, for friends, because most of my friends are in the dance world. They're like, Yeah, right. You dating? Um, I'm like, Huh? What happened? Some people know his background, and I don't nothing. I'm just stepping into something new. I'm and I'm in love. I'm not think about nothing. You know my mom she was asking me, You know who stand guy you're dating and say he's a dancer. Oh, he spends his house, too. And I'm like Here we go And she's like, You know how parents are. Well, this one particular she is like how you make money like that. How is he going to provide by doing that? I only if, you know it's not just about that. You, like most of you guys out here are not educated on that. That really sucks that you're so like brainwashed. To think that you have to work on 9 to 5 and that's it. That's life. And you have to you have to go to college or your failure. Mostly people that are like that famous and have so much money dropped out of college because not colleges, everybody for everyone. If it wasn't for me, I went. I tried it twice, and it wasn't for me. You know, I'm saying and people are blessed with certain talents where they make money off of that. So I told her, you know, he went here. He went here. He went here and then I started. I had a show for proof not that she asked for it because they look because I took private right. I'm say, look at these videos low you see as a Whitney. Oh, you saw that movie? Yeah, that he was in that 10 you see this other celebrity? And she's like, Oh, okay, like, you know, her whole expression change. She's like, Also how much did he make for this one? And when I gave her, you know, the estimate. She's like he made more than what I normally would make in a year or whatever. And I'm like, I'm that's what it does And he does more than just dance. I'm saying you can't just don't don't be critical. Don't do that. She loves the way that he is with me. If we ever went through any type of trouble relationship wise shoe, I will talk to her and she would give me some type of advice. But she would never give me the advice of leave him ever because she's attached to him. And she loves him to the same way she loves me because she thinks he sweet. He treats me going, which she's right, you know. But that was the reaction mama. But my sister Tudo, she my sister was like, because you gotta know my family. Um, they're all over the place. My sister was like way. So he spends on his hand. I'm like, Here we go. Oh, my God. You guys are just the same. I'm like, Yes, he does. Also. What is he doing when I showed her the video shows, See, like famous or something I'm like and this world, he kind of is important, you know? Hey, doesn't this and that? And I'm saying he's really humble, so he's gonna put it out there and be like, Yeah, I do this. And he never even told Now he still does it. I'm more of the cheerleader of, like, you know what he has done, you know, because I'm like, I think it's cool for you to read. You work so hard for so many years to be, like, quiet about it. No, I know that wouldn't be flashy about be like, yo one. This is what I did. And my work talk sports or speaks for itself. In other words, you know, So after that they're like, where is he leaving out of town? This month or blah, blah blah. You're gonna be alone and they're more like that's cool and they'll be like, That's not brother in law. That's my son in law. So they, they're they're proud of him. But yeah, going about me I think you make

spk_2:   22:52
a good point. It's hard for people to appreciate artists and artists life. It's hard for families. Understand when when you are with an artist or when you are an artist, are you going to make a living? You know, we asked that with our daughter, who she wants to be a visual artist. You know, there's all regular questions, but there isn't that much respect. I mean, there's over two decades or more that you've worked on a craft, and yet people just

spk_0:   23:18
don't respect. That was up in the face. Yeah, yeah, I work out. It's hard for this as you work for that degree. Exactly. It's more, you know, I'm saying more like boom, boom, boom. Get it done. You know, respect that the same way I respect what you're doing. Respect what I do. Yeah. So go ahead.

spk_3:   23:36
I think at that time also, what was difficult, Not difficult. But you know, I had just, like, you know, gotta set. I was separated from my ex wife at the time, you know? So I was like, How do I How do I do this? I really like her. And she knew. She's like, Are you sure you want to do this? You know, like you just got a relationship.

spk_0:   23:58
I give him a choice. Even when we were dating, I was like, I know how this could be. Come on. You just You got a relationship. After all year? I know you've been free for a year, six months or something like that on. And you've been in a long relationship. Sometimes you need a break. You need to breathe and explore what you want and see what you like. Because I might not be the one. So do what you gotta do. I tell him it's not going to hurt me. If you still need that free time, let me know. Now, even though we're like months in, I was like, let me know. You gotta let me go. We are just understand. We'll do it later. Cool. I just wanted to make sure that you let everything out because if you don't, things will happen. And I was smart enough to know that because I didn't. Because when I fought for hard and I didn't want to get hurt, that's all. I was telling him. I'm willing to let you go, you know, saying, go ahead.

spk_3:   24:46
So I wasn't smart enough to do that

spk_0:   24:48
Exact thing for me

spk_3:   24:50
was like, ma'am. But what if I lose something that's good? That that is in the past already. Whatever that I have had a relationship with a head is in the past, But a lot of situations came about because of that. At some point, I was questioning my decision, but we're already deep, you know, like we're really like, Okay, I love you. You

spk_0:   25:12
and 1/2 deep.

spk_3:   25:14
After a year and 1/2 years, I think, uh, put it this week. We've gone through everything and in and even everything has a broken like our connection.

spk_0:   25:24
We went through the good and the bad life. I'm open and I'm straight up about what we go through, whatever it is, because maybe somebody out there's going through the same thing. And they're like, I could never get away when Oh, my God, you're tough. Your just your that. No, I'm not. You know, im a woman so hurt. I went to a lot. I lost my way, suffered pregnant everything. And it wasn't a nisi road through during those rough times that we went through, It was so freaking hard. But I'm on the term in check. So it was when I go through those hard times, I always get right back up. And I'm like, I've got a daughter to maintain and I can't be selfish. I think about her. Forget my heart right now. Those were my thoughts. And then when that happened and we kind of split ways and it wasn't for long, I believe in God. That's my thing on. And so I used to pray Allah and be like God. If he for me, just leave him where he is on. I don't I don't need this in my life. I'm saying and God answered my prayers and he came back. We sort it out and we promised each other yo anything and everything. We have to be honest and straight up with each other. No more lies. No more nothing. And either one of us like Messa. That's it. No more second chances, third chances, Nothing. That is it. And I mean it, you know, I'm saying so. I think that help that help us strengthen our relationship. And while that time separated kind of, um gave us time enough to realize how much we love each other and why you say it is like it's hard to find somebody else that she used to the way you are and it's it's not easy. They don't get your ways. And then you got to start all over again. That's a lot of work. And I wasn't trying to go for that either. So I was kind of, you know, students. I was ready, toe, do it out there by myself, where I was ready the terminos I can't do this. I got this. But block apartment was like, Why the sucks? I miss him, you know, saying. But at the same time, he was thinking the same things. In a way, I kind of knew why he was going through what he was going through his mind, and I felt him, and I kind of sympathize with him instead of spewing hate at him or whatever. I actually sympathize with him, but I didn't tarnishing him down because I didn't out during that time. And I'm like, Hey, you, I hate you. I

spk_1:   27:50
hate you when

spk_0:   27:50
it was more like I'm hurting but you don't realize that. But that's switched a lot of things around in our relationship. Words to the point where it's like if I step into a jam or wherever it is because you know, in your jams you got little groupies. So you have someone we screwed up on in the past. If we would have want a big jam, I'll be worrying about. You know why she looked at him like that? Why she talking to him like that Watcher, watcher, want a picture or send a message? Because that would always happen no matter where he was in what country? And I will have anxiety. It was so bad, but I was like, Go ahead, try it. I'll be sitting right over here and argue this myself like a was up and, you know, people friendly but never know thoughts in my head running like he's gonna do something or this is gonna happen is to that point now that it's like good luck to you for trying to break this. If we were to break this relationship, it wouldn't be overall grow anything. It's because we wanted. So as to that point, where were that honest with you turn? And I'm glad that it took a lot of work to get there like it took a lot of work. And sometimes when you people are liking, I want to get that kind of cheese. But look what happens when you do give a chance. It doesn't mean I'm a been there. How our sucker. It just means that I cared enough to give him a chance and see that my daughter has a father

spk_2:   29:10
who was a big stereotype, would be poisoned. I was mainly hip. Men in hip hop together that their players, that they can't stick to one woman that you know these very negative things and the fact that that is seen like that old that she's opened a hash immediately. The woman takes the heat for being with some, you know, with the B boy who is apparently Sarah. Typically this way,

spk_0:   29:33
you know, sometimes the woman has to see past that and see was really in there. Why they're doing that. And it's not because of you. There's something that's messing with the mind or the heart. And it gets steeper than that. When the playing starts. It doesn't always mean like I dislike her. I can't stand her no more, asked what other

spk_2:   29:51
circumstances? And they just don't involve you win it. They just hurt you because they think that

spk_1:   29:56
that's going to make them feel better in some soda wear

spk_0:   29:59
way, if that makes any sense. But I can't let him continue. And then we bring the

spk_2:   30:03
Titian. What was the ship for you?

spk_3:   30:07
Well, there was There was several. I think I think one of the ships were waas that already foreseen how my my eldest daughter and he said it was gonna live separate for me, you know, and that it was already like I was starting the same thing again. It was like, Ok, now I'm gonna have another child. That's not gonna be that's not gonna grow up with me, So I was like, I can't do that. But it is weird because at the same times, like, I always feel like I wish the first child didn't go to that. But I don't regret what happened. I don't regret her being here, you know. So that was one of the ships where it was like, I can't I can't be a statistic again. And just just like hearing her pain, you know, like, you know, pain our separation. It was like, What am I doing? Like I'm not a people anymore? I would. The person I need to, like, carry myself as another personal become a man. You know, I want to be the ideal man, as far as like, you know, I've been through that. And then this is where I'm at right now, because I see people that, you know, like they just took this day, like just still doing the same thing, whether it's relationship wise or just not building their their their character, not the character, but, like make improving themselves. So I wanted to improve person as a father, as a man to a woman. I felt like she deserved that. I didn't deserve her. You know, I could say it down right now. I didn't deserve her, and I probably still don't deserve her, but she gave me that chance. So it's like I either gonna mess up again or take the chance that she's gonna that she's given me and make it better. So that was one of the ships, The other shift, that other shit was God. And it's hard to talk about that. These not hard because it z what I hold true to my heart. Well, you know, when we're in the age where, like so much misinformation is out there and people were just slowly not. But leaving that, you know that there is a creator and that's fine. That's fine. Everybody has their own experiences. Uh, but I always feel like that There was something that was gonna guide me to try to be at least the president of supposed to be righteous and stuff like that, you know, And not so recently was that I think that's what held us together even more, and why we needed to to be one because of that, because I was like, OK, and we're committing ourselves to God. We have to be. We have to represent that, you know, not be in a relationship, and we're not even married, so that's definitely a big factor for us. You know, like, who advised you guys? There was no one. It wasn't a human being. Put it that way. You know, it was It was It was who we consider got in the past. I used to always, like, express my feelings in my am I my issues to friends. But for what, Like it was just for them to Really? Oh, yeah, That's cool. Yeah, hopefully you get through it. You know, it's like they can. They don't know. They can't do nothing for you. They can't carry that burden for you. You have to carry yourself. And if you for me, because of our relationship with God, he can help us carry that where he could just take it entirely. And that's what helped us. So what we have now

spk_2:   33:36
a spiritual for sure, and a spiritual foundation is really important. Exactly. So you just were talking about you didn't have the human being influence you. They had religious guidance that helped you through that phase or even today through life. But how did you find that? Was their particular moment? Or was that your upbringing or how did you find that?

spk_3:   34:01
Well, ever since I was young. Yes, I grew up in the church, but obviously, like, you know, just like a lot of people. They need the church because you see force like gospels. You see, people, you see the way people act. They destroy what? What what God is supposed to be, you know, But then again, today is like what you're talking about. So in a sense, even though I said he's not human According to the one that we believe in, he took human form. But as a kid, I've always felt something guiding me always. It was like is always, like, always pictured a path. I'm walking this path ivory now a path, but I always wanna deviate. But I always saw the image of it. This person there, this man and you know, is always It was It was almost like I'm here whenever you're ready. But don't don't wait too long. You know, I had my questions like everybody else. Everybody is a skeptic. And then, you know, there was a time when really, you know, let's try to do this. Let's see, let's commit ourselves. But that wasn't enough of me, for me was like, if I'm gonna come in myself to faith. I have to know that I have to see if I can if it is true but not faith. But research and and especially revelation is what helped me continue to, like be, you know, believing in Christ. But that's something that everybody has a spirit experiencing themselves with them by themselves, because it's not. I can tell you what I experienced buoyant until you experience it yourself. You won't know what that is. Just like breaking for me. And like somebody looking in is like you said, You know, they think I'm mopping the floor. They don't know what it feels like for us to create, but that person would never know what it's like to become the movement, you know, to create so the same thing with having a belief system, you're not gonna know what that is. So you, actually, and it is not recent not practice because you can practice anything but research it to me. Yeah. I don't know where I was going with that.

spk_2:   36:05
Like you study. Certainly, I think, And I still do know after having a baby and trying toe, you know, practice again. It's You gotta just really let go of yourself. Just surrender into the space. It was breaking nerd for a long time. You know the moves. You know the things. You know, things intellectually, but it isn't until you actually believe it for yourself in your way of what believe means to you that is really gonna impact your life. I kind of see that with your story that intellectually, you understood what was the right thing to do. But it wasn't until you really started believing what you know for your son experienced and

spk_3:   36:46
because you can't believe something but not experience it, I'll tell you right now, like, even up to, like, you know, this year. Like, although I was, you know, putting my practice into into the Bible. There was a lot of things I really didn't believe. But until I experienced God, like, really experience them, you can call a supernatural. You can call it whatever you wanna call it Until you experienced that. It's for me. It was confirmation, like Okay, cool. Thank you. I finally got an answer after all this time all these years, you know, I think that I was like to me the greatest thing.

spk_2:   37:20
So I wanna learn a little bit about how you guys manage challenges of big parents being working. You know, you should. I say you guys both work from home. Tell me a little bit about that.

spk_0:   37:35
It's hard. It's hard working from home and schooling at home. And, well, hopes. Quality is I can't tell him home schooling because I

spk_3:   37:44
know what I'm funded by. Let me finish. First of all, I try. When she first got it during the whole school thing, I was like, Let me know the days that I could switch off with you a lot. That never happened. But I'm trying to Better with that.

spk_0:   38:00
He's trying to get this out the way first, just what was What was your reasoning like, What was your choice to homeschool? Oh, no. Okay, so the reason why I decided to home school my daughter is because my daughter waas nonverbal until four years old, so I couldn't figure out what was the issue. So when she went to school for the first time, which was preschool, the kids will come toe, want to hug her, whatever it was, and she'll start crying. Blake know, and I know how what she would say even though she couldn't communication. But no touch. That's all she could say. I'm grateful. Why? See, honey and I would get annoyed with her like CNN's not being ruled. They just wanna give you a home that say no. No. And she wouldn't lose it, Have a tantrum. Or if she heard a loud noises, She was constantly have very hands on her years. And I never recognized the symptoms or whatever it was I I never noticed. I'm just thinking like, man, you're spoiling your this And that was my my I'm like, Why did I think like that? Trust me. I cried about this once we realized what it was, you know? What was it? We don't know yet. We thought Army. I don't know if it's autism on the lower spectrum of autism or 8 80 HD. I'm not sure what it is, but, um has to do with sensory. She don't. They're sees that, you know, she has her days where it's like she's cool with Ah huh. Go without. It depends on there's days where it was a stranger. Whatever. I don't want you don't feel like being touched, or I don't know where she'll cover her ears or there's times If I'm trying to stop, stop, stop. She doesn't recognize that she keeps being hyper and hyper and it's nonstop. And for us it's frustrating because we're like, How do we come or down? It's not her fault, really. But as a human being younger, you just want to kill your kids something cause you know you're not listening, but it's it's just she can't help it. But some people would see that's her being spoiled. You know, I'm saying it's not that. And so the reason why we decided home schooler is because, um, we tried the elementary school. That's not too far from here, and I swing to the teacher what the issue was with her, and I come to find out. By this time she could already say a couple words and her explanation to me. Waas, mommy, teacher face right screen screamed down and Siani hands our ears. I'm like, Oh, she's screaming at you right in your face, all right? And I don't even know that her. She separated her dust next to the door where everybody comes in she's distance separated her from everybody else. When I went to the teaching so well, how to say she didn't like me, but I ended up finding out she she quit and I was like, You know what? Nobody gets her. I need to take out And I think the only way she'll learn it's with me And that's the way she's on learning. You know, she focuses here. It's a whole class. It's not happening. It is not happening. Wow. So it's that's that's hard because she's already had has that going on and then trying to teach at the same time. It's hard then at the same time, while trying to take care of my house. And it's hard and working, trying to get work done. I get stressed out so much or there's times I have my time. What crime I'm like This is so sneaking har. I can't I can't do this, you know. But I kind of figured out my own Latinos, like, how can I have that time for me to breathe? And we were talking about this not so long ago, you know, I set up a schedule. Words like I get up in the morning. Do what I gotta do. But her cook breakfast for everybody. If I can, you know, I'm gonna stress myself about it. Go have my hour at the gym so I can release everything their home, home then get started on my work. And I'm I'm like, nice mommy, you know, and I get to cook. Don't bother nobody, but it also takes the work of two people. You know, I'm saying, because there's times that felt where I'm just by myself and in the house when he's here, because I get it. He works here and he does most of the work, But at the same time, I always felt like I have, like, 10 jobs, one house. I still need help. You got to see me to you know, I'm saying cause it sucks when it's too much pressure on somebody, it's you tend to blow up. And when it comes to that, we both instead of blowing up on each other and being like no other whining, pointing fingers, it's more like we gotta talk. And we learned that. So Asai, if there's an issue Mr Time to talk about it, see how we can figure this out.

spk_3:   42:34
I do the same. I mean, sometimes I'm here. Like what? I could be in the front of the computer for, like, 13 hours, sometimes 15. So for me to keep my sanity, I have to go to the gym. Did you get to punch in the face like a Forget about editing because they get stressful. I get anxiety like it's funny, cause I've never got anxiety before deciding, Remember as a kid, But I've got an anxiety, anything you know, like, Oh, I need these changes, the change. Like I've been here, how many I was already I have to go. So definitely, you know, obviously, like breaking used to be my outlet. And it's not anymore, you know, I still love it. It's like second inches of me. But I think, you know, having like my shoulder injury is kind of like discouraging. You know, it's funny because, like, okay, discouraging. But I do jiu jitsu. So how do you do that? I'll tell you right now I hurt myself more breaking the introducer, so definitely, uh, you know, going to the gym and training jujitsu and striking like it definitely takes me out of this.

spk_2:   43:42
I just have two things I want to touch on. One is we're just talking about kind of career advice and fab. You're kind of known for having a lot of movie appearances. If a young be boys starting out and wants to pursue breaking as a career, what advice would you give them if they wanna earn a living from it,

spk_3:   44:07
create your movie? Because originally always used to say, Don't don't break for a living, which is true, Like I I honestly feel like you shouldn't Not that you shouldn't assistant must have walked in to say, because everybody's different. Breaking as a career is not, I don't know. For me, it wasn't the way to go. I mean, yes, I don't a little bit of appearances, but it wasn't it wasn't enough to like, Hey, look at my bank account, maybe once, But even then I I blew it. You know, it wasn't I wasn't mature about the money. I've always heard he was a computer. People complain about certain movies about breaking more reasons, like we're in a that you could just buy a $600 camera and you can make your movie. You know, if you have that skill, you don't say it and find somebody like producing what? Whatever. I know that that's one of the advice I would give, like, Don't you create your We're in the age and we can create movies when an iPhone, you know, saying and I know you said breaking. But I'm just saying I'm saying movies because there are a lot of people that complain about the breaking waves that come on. So, you know, people have complained about some of the last movie that I came on, and you don't even know what it took to be in that movie like we're in meetings with. These people are trying to join me to give them an authentic, like Avenue Teoh go by for breaking. We wouldn't do this. We wouldn't do that. Don't do this, but you know, it's a business, so they got to do what they're gonna do. They got to get people into the seats. I would say. Don't think of Brick as the only career you know. I always have something out like, Well, I feel like every individual has obviously more than two or three talents. We just have to tap into them. And maybe breaking is the strongest one. For me, breaking has always been the strongest one. Um but I want I nurture the other ones as well and then the other the rebel side of me wants to see. Take it as far as you can see what happens. Like doing what it would have with a pure heart.

spk_0:   46:11
Also say, put on your You're all in it because you did. You didn't quit. Was if I If anything, I was alone. Number one fan I before, when we started talking, I watches and study his videos. Nine and Dana, even though I wasn't trying to practice how toe break this, I would watch his moves, everything, everything. Even now when I see him breaking Bolena that we didn't Not that not one like that because people will probably be like your but what she knew about breaking. But I've been around enough around it long enough. I know how my man breaks and I know he could do better. So I'm gonna be straight up with him be like that, were there and then I know when you did that mistake.

spk_2:   46:53
She's probably

spk_3:   46:54
the only one that's honest with me.

spk_0:   46:56
Yeah, I'm just gonna break his.

spk_3:   46:58
I asked you. What do you think about this? What did you think about this? And I just did in that video, because for a long time there were people even in my crew. You know you at, bro. I think that's a cop out. The only other person that was rule with me like she is, which always rather is Dr Try was late na. That was wack. You know, you could do better,

spk_0:   47:18
but you could sound like even when you die, school to jams when you see somebody house dancing, whacking whatever it is you could tell when it's genuine when it's pure, when it's telling when it's not just them doing a choreograph step or whatever you're like. Oh, I felt that one, you know, saying that's how I feel. My he dances and when all of a sudden, like not so long ago, he they send ups. Ah, clip of him house dancing with the guys and I'm watching the guys. I'm like, OK, why did he some things along? Video. Michael, come on board as soon as he started there. Sounds like, Oh my God, I could watch him. Or so this day. Eight years later, I could still watch him dance. He's so smooth at what he does and the way he does his house and make well, there is so bad, you know? But he's like I'm his number one fan. But I always say that whoever is trying toe go out there make as a b boil. Just put your into it and so you can't know. Morning, I'm saying, if it's your passion, continue to do it cause he did it with passion and went all the way through and believe that himself. Hey, got there really for hey inspired others. So that could be the next person that was trying to get there with his own

spk_2:   48:24
power. Couple means to you

spk_0:   48:27
Way talked about this in the car to

spk_3:   48:29
when I picture Apollo Cup by picture, like just two couples that can go through anything together, you cannot blame each other for anything. Even if they do, they can fix it minutes later. Like just I mean, power couple is a couple that can pass five, maybe seven years together. You know, I'm saying, but still love each other,

spk_0:   48:57
keep the humor and their cousin

spk_3:   48:59
got love on the here. So and if they do, the NF thick, if they can do, like, work on their craft together, whatever it is, it could be like you guys don't a podcast filming dancing, you know, choreographing a theater piece that could be a Pollock, Oprah's well, but Coupal. But the foundation of that is where the power is, I believe how they can get do anything like just trials and tribulations,

spk_0:   49:29
little showing appreciation for each other and showing support for each other for whatever it is because I hear so much in the breaking, seen or dancing singing Oh, my other couple. Sheer here is not to intuit where that somewhere along about yo be there are 100%

spk_2:   49:44
over the other, uplifting the prison. I do think it kind of goes back to what we're talking about earlier with experiencing it, and I think especially for people like us that have experienced that feeling of the culture and what it gives you, it's really hard when you have a partner that does not share that experience, and especially if they then start to belittle your passion if they don't show to respect for it, I think it's that makes it extremely

spk_3:   50:16
difficult. Sucks. You guys gonna be in the same frequency?

spk_2:   50:21
So just to wrap it up? Last but not least, we always end out our interviews with what is hip hop to you. Connection art feeling you only elaborated because I've been I've that

spk_3:   50:45
I've been asked that before. And for some reason it made me cry because I was like, You know, I don't think Like I said, people have to experience it. You know, people have to experience our culture. What we do appears that people have the experience of God for themselves. So like that connection that we have, we can connect with anybody in the world that we don't have the have the same. We don't speak the same audible language. We could speak the movement.

spk_0:   51:11
It's like hip hop is a language.

spk_3:   51:13
It is a long and so it is. It's a sold physical languages, like already. You burn me without even telling me. You don't say, but definitely connection. It's, uh, I think it's a beautiful thing that the world needs. It sounds corny, but always in my mind. I've always used to say, like at the world, like get except on my experience, hip hop the way we do Then I think things will be better. I ultimately think that people need God, but this this is also this could also be a bridge that because it was for me.

spk_2:   51:45
So what's next for you? Guys

spk_3:   51:47
were working on vision 2020 vision. So the goal is to this year's, too. I just want to release stuff, even if it's not so dough. Because we we tend to like, hold onto things because we is not perfect yet. And then it never gets released on its catching dust and and never sees the light. So the goal is of that procrastinate. This year, the goal is to be more of a company this year. Um,

spk_0:   52:13
and I think that's only they hold you to channel. That was like I kept pushing him on it. It's just the way this just still, who cares if it's not perfect and come to find out we were getting a lot of feedback from our sick. They like how I act like me, how I am.

spk_3:   52:26
There's a lot of stuff do you want to do? Where

spk_2:   52:28
can we find that

spk_3:   52:29
At Project on the score Momentum you can also go to this is momentum dot com Momentum is, uh, the way of just kind of like shedding light, and it is that people don't know about, you know? So everybody has a story, you know, whether it's good or bad, somebody has an interesting story, and we want we want to capture

spk_0:   52:46
for me. What started that That thought of doing something like this was when I was in a way that once I'm visiting where he was filming and I wake up visiting friends or whatever and seen more dancers and more talented dancers, I'm like, you know, this sucks that these people, they they dance and put their whole heart out there. And the only one notices the celebrity in the front. I want to know what their story is. How did they get there? What inspired them to be here were solidly behind the celebrity. And why can't they be the light? So we're like, lesson. Let's do something about that. Listen, this put the light on them for ones.

spk_2:   53:21
Yeah. I mean, we're on the exact same mission. We also we had the same inspiration. That's why we're here interviewing you, right? We we have all these people that are very inspiring Tow us whose story we want to highlight.

spk_0:   53:34
But I think this is dope. Enough of that. You guys are doing podcasts and getting people out there. That friend, because my immediate thought was when you guys contacted us, I was like Power couple. I was like my first thought was like, I I'm not even even out there like that in the hip hop scene. They know him, his wife, But I don't know famous then so whatever. Cause that stuff was just my thought. My head, you know? But I would say, You know what? No, it's not even like that.

spk_2:   53:59
I mean, look, not everybody likes to be in the light for sure. You know, even after many years of dancing, I

spk_3:   54:04
don't like to be. I like to be in my little dark corner if you have the camera when that's cool. But you know, bright lights and like see who

spk_2:   54:14
I am. No. Get again. I really appreciate transparency. I really appreciate you guys this time.

spk_0:   54:21
I think you guys were interviewing us because I think this was dull because, you know, some people need to hear some stuff that has to be said in case they need to take it some type of ice off of it, or it might help somebody

spk_3:   54:31
within the community. So that is, that is, that is needed. And one other thing that I feel like is needed. And I wanted to do. And maybe I should just shut up and do it cause I voice it to other people and they just I don't know. I don't get why they're not wanting to do anything about it. And I think that our community needs not a spokesperson, but somebody t like, tell like the audience your like It's OK if you're depressed. It's okay. I've been there. You might not think I'm reachable because you think I have this name, but if you need to talk to somebody hit me up, we'll talk. You know, like this. Been like a couple people like I don't know where I can't me up about like them having going to these depression stages. And I'm like, you know, obviously, you know, check this out you know, like this is what has helped other people or less me. And you talk because I've been there. Been there were as a younger person. I was always thinking about an exit saying, But obviously that's not the way. And I feel like that there needs to be a movement within our community because there isn't There's just a 1 800 number

spk_2:   55:36
rights it has not really talked about. And then even after people have experienced very tragic things happening within, you know, many leaders of our community, it's still quiet. Yeah, I think why we wanted to talk about mental health, and

spk_3:   55:51
I've been wanting to talk about, and I asked people to get on board with me. I just I want to do something like, Picture this, you know, like sometimes you'll see actors like in a white background like donate to this cause,

spk_2:   56:03
right, something like that, like

spk_3:   56:04
Absolute. So I know what you're going through, and it's just different people. Just because it's not just one person, it could be just what person collected exactly when it comes to, you know, depression and suicide. It's a touchy subject when it comes to believing in God and and an experience that is a touchy subject because nobody wants to believe it or like they experienced. You know, they experienced so many horrible things that they are like how can that happen. But it has to be talked about.

spk_1:   56:31
Thank you so much to our guest Abstrak and Sulim Soto, for taking the time and being so open while sharing your perspective with us. Some of the gems we took away from this interview were: Artists often do not receive the respect for the life they choose because many do not understand how they make a living. But it's important to acknowledge that they work just as hard on their craft as others do on their degree. After ending a long relationship, you may need some time to breathe and explore what you want and see what you like. Let everything out because if you don't, it might negatively affect your future relationship. Spiritual awareness can come in many forms, but you have to experience it for yourself to truly understand what it means for you. The music was beatboxed by Denis the Menace and produced by Zede. Big shout outs to the homies in Switzerland. Big shout out to Siani for allowing her parents to give this interview. Also to Sasha for taking care of our baby. We would love to get your feedback, questions or any suggestions you might have. You can reach out to us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @SoulidarityLLC or via Email . Did you like today's show? Please tell a friend about our podcast or as Phife Dawg would say, tell your mother, tell your father, sent a telegram. In our next episode, We chat about balancing DJ life, music production and creating memorable events with international DJ, producer, musician, B-Boy and promoter Stephen Fleg, based out of Baltimore. Thank you for listening  to our podcast. No, seriously, though, Thank you. I'm Candy. and I'm DJ Razor Cut, and this is Souls of Hip Hop.

How did you get into dancing?
How did you two meet?
Judging in China
Family reactions
Jumping into a new relationship
Male stereotypes in Hip Hop
Finding a spiritual foundation
Challenges of parenting
Career advice
Power couple
What is Hip Hop to you?
Upcoming projects