Souls of Hip Hop

East3

November 17, 2020 East3 Season 1 Episode 12
Souls of Hip Hop
East3
Chapters
0:57
How did you get the name East3?
2:20
Community Work
6:54
Getting Up
9:49
Lessons from Phase2
20:05
Growing up in Hawaii & the Bay
25:24
How would your parents describe what you do?
29:38
Continuous learning
32:33
Healing from trauma
38:41
Approach to educating youth
43:21
Collaborations
47:54
Keep it flowing
55:54
Why you shouldn't use the G-word
1:00:22
What is Hip Hop to you?
Souls of Hip Hop
East3
Nov 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 12
East3

In this episode we interview Ken Nishimura aka East3. He is a lifelong writer, hip hop practitioner, designer, multimedia artist, entrepreneur, accountant, and educator. Ken lives in Hawaii and represents the Rock Force Crew.
 
We chat about his inspiring community work with incarcerated youth, the lessons he learned from his mentor Phase2, healing from trauma, why you should not use the G-word, and the evolution of writing as an art form.
 
You can find East3 here: 
www.keepitflowingmedia.com 
www.east-3.com 
www.instagram.com/eastthree 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/soulsofhiphop)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode we interview Ken Nishimura aka East3. He is a lifelong writer, hip hop practitioner, designer, multimedia artist, entrepreneur, accountant, and educator. Ken lives in Hawaii and represents the Rock Force Crew.
 
We chat about his inspiring community work with incarcerated youth, the lessons he learned from his mentor Phase2, healing from trauma, why you should not use the G-word, and the evolution of writing as an art form.
 
You can find East3 here: 
www.keepitflowingmedia.com 
www.east-3.com 
www.instagram.com/eastthree 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/soulsofhiphop)

Unknown:

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 unique stories. My name is Candy, and I'm DJ Razor Cut And together we are Soulidarity, connecting souls organically. What's up fam? Thanks for tuning in. On today's show we welcome Ken Nishimura, aka East3, East3 is a lifelong writer, hip hop practitioner, designer, multimedia artist, entrepreneur, accountant and educator. He represents Rock Force Crew and is currently living in Hawaii. I live on Oahu, it's the main island with the state capitol. How did you get the name East3? Okay, good question. So my first name was off of what I was doing a lot at the time. So my first name was break 38. And I was breaking a lot back then. And then it didn't really sit with me, because I was like, What is the connection here? And at that time, I didn't see a lot of Asians in hip hop, especially like in the later 80s, that did not existed basically, in respect of who's being put in the limelight, right. And that we practice it as well. So eastern hemisphere, is where all the Asians are from. So I wanted a name that represented my culture. That's where the east came in. And then in the mid 80s, my homie in the same crew, he passed away, and his name was Tria three. So I just thought it was appropriate, because my last letter is T. And I want it to take his number. But that evolved into more of an ideal that three represents balance, mind, body and soul balance. And that translates in the letter structure too, because if you taking the E, which could be a half, eight, and you take a three, which is a half eight, when you do pieces that balances out very well. And knowing that all came into effect, You volunteer a lot of your time for your community. Can you tell us about the work you do? My community outreach is basically by myself. Well, before the pandemic, I've been going into youth incarcerated schools and just kind of doing that education with them, because that's the most immediate for me, and then I'm building all of my data from that, to be able to do outreach, because I figure if I can educate them and motivate them, then every other level is a cakewalk. Getting a lot of good data from that. I'm just building all of the things that I need to do a bigger picture here. Was there anything any experience where you're like, these are the groups that I need to work on first? Well, I think I've done different classes, you know, like I've done from the ASC programs in the Department of Education. I've also done workshops where they don't need that type of assistance, and they're just general population. So I've covered all the, you know, different gamuts of it. But I think the end result is that it's really important to really reach the youth that are in there, because it's their last chance, if they continue on, they go straight into state prison or federal prison. So this is the last chance for them. And, you know, just being able to go in there and say, Okay, today we're going to do pieces have styles, different kinds of calligraphy, we're going to set up a mural with, you know, you're getting a paint with aerosol, they're like, wow, you know, they actually connecting to it, and it's helping them through their other areas of academic learning to, because they're more inspired. They're actually getting into a program with me, which I'm volunteering that time. So they're actually getting involved with me where they're connecting through something they're interested in, right? It's just basically hip hop pedagogy. That's where I find like, my use most valued, because I do the community murals. I do different types of other things that I volunteer my time in, but this part of what I do is the most important, I think, because there's a lot of Hawaiians, and there are a lot of different Polynesian ethnicities. And these are the underprivileged here. And so they're all being incarcerated for things that you know, just mistakes. So they just need to understand that it doesn't matter if you may, because I made tons of mistakes. I should have been up in there when I was a youth too. So knowing that they just need to have an outlet. I'm teaching them not only the art but it's attached to entrepreneurship, just building models for a bigger picture like how to get them into a program after they Get out immediately into a program, having that this is kind of a new is a new model, you have to be able to create that data to just the file. Now you guys know, the rest, you know, how did the authorities react when you first approached them? Did they have any concerns? Writing sometimes has this perception of vandalism, was there any hesitation on the part of the authorities? Not at all, they, they invited me there knowing what I do. And they also know that I've partnered with so many different other organizations leading to this. So like, I'm a part of two youth substance abuse prevention organizations, one of which is run by the attorney general's office, and the Department of Health. So basically, what I've done is I've built my reputation through there. So I came highly recommended. Slowly, by slowly, I'm entering the world of, you know, the influencers, and I'm able to communicate the art form, and why the terminology is important to change, because then that creates a different type of dialogue, different type of attitude, different type of feeling towards art form, and you can separate the people who are just trying to get up per se, from the artists who actually trying to say something through their artwork, and whether it's just self expression to build self confidence, or actually having a message far beyond that, because I believe that writing takes you through an evolution. So, you know, at first you're trying to find yourself and that self pride, like yeah, I'm a dissipated this, you know, it moves on to like having other voices within it. So where I'm at is so far away, and so far removed from the ego, that I'm just trying to show them that they don't have to do those steps, because a lot of a lot of writers feel like got to get on the street and prove yourself. Okay, well, what element of hip hop still lives in the 70s? I don't see B was robbing people to buy gear, because that's what they used to do. You know, most writers out there, I can paint. See that? You know, like, if we're gonna live by those outlaw codes, well, then everybody DJs better get out there and start stealing records. You know, like, why are we the ones as writers that still have to have the stigma of going out there and doing something they could put themselves in jail, and the penalties are real. Now, there are a lot more real people are going in, like the way that the collecting data on you is they get enough so that they can charge you at a felony, they just let you run until you get a felony. And then boom, that's already automatic jail time, teaching the youth this process of like, eight doesn't matter what people are doing in the States, we live on an island, our like social culture, and laws are of aloha first, and then hip hop. Second, is because we can't let hip hop in first, because it comes in with a lot of things that are not about the city. You know, we have to be respectful to our community first, like back when I was getting up the 80s here was, you know, like, no homes, no churches, there was rules to this, like maybe this property, that property, okay, in a state of feather, whatever, but not homes and stuff when people are tagging on churches tagging on mortuaries, you know, it's just about the positioning of where the tag will be. There's no law about respect. So that's the kind of the balance that I'm trying to bring in the community to make them understand, like, at this point in a stage, like, what if the B girl or the B boy was just doing the basic, you know, windmill to back spin, that's the same thing as going out there and hitting tags, where's the evolution of the mind towards the art form as well, that's the kind of like thing that I'm educating all the youth in there. And there's a lot of writers in there, believe it or not, because I see things that I don't even have to, like improve on. So it's, it's cool in that way that I can actually touch them and say, I'm not the authority of writing. But I can say I release you from this obligation of having to get up to prove yourself instead, if you want to do fly pieces and birders Go ahead. Just start there. I'm not condoning what you're going to do in life. But I'm saying if you're out there doing that, versus just getting up and tagging all over the place. Like that's more towards what the rules of the island art, which is to respect everyone and respect your neighbors and community, you know, different rules for different places. I know this, but for here, that's what I'm trying to really focus on. Wow, I have to take a moment because that was really powerful. I don't think that I've ever heard a writer speak like that, straight up. I've been mentored by Phase2 since I was 16. Since 86, there's a difference. It clear difference because I've observed a lot of writers in my time. He was always on Critical thinking, and I'm just a reflection of that. Something that I found interesting about your mentor Phase2 was his advocacy of not using the G word and replacing it with the term writing, the global breaking community had a similar challenge. They came together to educate mass media to use the term breaking, instead of breakdancing. This term was also created outside of the culture. How important is terminology to you? The culture cannot be labeled or rewritten by media or any type of platform, other than the cultures. And that's what hip hop advocates have done for the nets. Right? Interesting enough. If you look at the history of writing, it was not called what we call the G word at all. But yet, in hip hop, we still have the issue of one thing being okay to advocate for dads. But excuses when it comes to grading the most common excuse is, Oh, well writing so common. Okay, well, so his master ceremony switched into emcee right, and the DJ was around before Kool Herc and everything to disco days, right. So like, what are we really talking about when you're saying writing is too common? It's an excuse, because if writing was advocated for the whole community, then we would have a different viewpoint from the media pushing. Okay, that's an inappropriate language because the G word is attached to a penal code, that penal code is enforced by law enforcement that was needed to call the art form of crime in the judicional system. So what we're dealing with right now is a whole bunch of youth and elders that are calling it something that wasn't even labeled by us. So in that respect, why are we still doing that? So there's our stance, Polsky and my stance is basically to like, educate and share where there's an open and more receiving platform, we don't try to push it anymore, like how we used to. But in the end, we're looking in forms of writing books, to right the wrongs to that platform, we're going to speak, he's writing his I'm writing minds, you know, that's part of what we're doing in this COVID thing, just making sure that everything that we learned from phase is going to be documented to books, because there's enough authors that are not from the culture that observed the culture from third party, and has never even gone to Bronx River, never even walked the path. there even took the six of the four of town to even feel it. And they're writing about it. So we're, we're coming in, and we're going insane. Well, we did that we done that we've been mentored here, and this is what our viewpoints are. So we can start to unravel it from the inside. Because a lot of people are like, well, this book didn't say, well, this book wasn't even written by culturalist, we have to take that responsibility. So What would you say was the biggest lesson that you learned from Phase2? Oh, that's a good question. So when I was 16, he released me from the obligation, he said, you don't have to take what we did in the 70s. We got up we did it, we had a voice. Your reasoning is similar in your demographic, but he's like, focus on doing fly burners, focus on the art form, if you love it, if you love to do if you just love to get up, you don't love the art form, there's an art form. And then there's getting up. And people have been getting up from the beginning of time, whether it was like Kilroy Was Here, or whatever. So the only thing that happened was technology, you got a bigger spray can with the bigger nozzle, and you can make bigger noise with that. But the purpose and the reasoning, so he taught me, instead of being known to be the most up in your community, be known for the guy who focuses on the letter styles, and how to really get taken to another level to eventually move out of doing letter forms. Why does he even have to be letters? You know, that's what I'm evolving into is more of symbolism and to look at the piece as a piece of art. And to let go that it has to have an attachment to letters, it could be about symbols, it could be about expression feeling, you know, when you're looking at it, how does it make you feel versus like, I don't see no E, I don't see no A, no S, no T, you know, that's basically the most important thing he taught me. Because after that, I really stopped doing tags all over the place. And I really dove into focusing on the culture and understanding what the art form is. Having him cracking the whip helped me a lot to telling me that the art form shouldn't make you feel like you're better than someone else. Because in hip hop, there's an issue that In the past, it should, it was okay. Because you know, I want to be king, I want to be the best. And it's like, okay, as it evolves, your mind has to evolve, and the culture has to grow. And it has to educate itself that it isn't about being the best, it's about being the best version of you. I agree with that. But it shouldn't be where it's like, I want to beat somebody else, what it boosts the thought like that, I'm gonna kick everybody's ass in the world. That's my, that's my mission statement versus like, I'm just trying to find the best version of myself, to be able to express myself to this martial art form, right, and to learn and to grow and to share, I would say that would be the most important things, culture, history, all of that stuff. He's taught to me to blue in the face, or he's blue in the face. And I'm like death. But I think that all of that should be left to the people who were actually there, no one can talk to me about the 80s in on the islands, unless you were there, right. So I don't feel like I'm going to carry on that part of his legacy in history, I'll let New York take care of that, because I was not there, it would just be me pushing his truth. And so I focus on everything that I've learned through him about art form, and about hip hop. And the historians can go and argue about all that stuff themselves, because I wasn't there. When you guys were first exposed to hip hop. And it's that inspirational feeling that you got the overwhelming feeling of like, Wow, this is amazing. But how do you harness that with the youth? And how do you give them the direction from once they get that interest? And keep it and keep them on track? on doing it for the right purpose? Can you give us sort of a brief synopsis on the contributions and who Phase2 was? a good question, I would say, in a nutshell, Phase2 is the first generation of what would be later called hip hop. He was there for all the elements. And a lot of people don't know that. I'm not saying he had mastery of all the elements. But he was definitely a practitioner of all the elements, whether it was dance, DJ, and seeing, and definitely the art. So he comes along with evolving everything that led to the mid 70s. Phase2 is someone that has advocated for the culture, he's an imperfect being like all of us, you know, just for the record, he did get caught in the wave as a youth of calling it the G word. But interestingly enough, I've dived into the history of the whole entire journey of phase. So in 84, he stopped. So there was a small window when he was considered a crew called UGA, United g artists. And he was also using it in interviews. However, he gained consciousness in 84. If you're sitting in a room with pioneers, and when I say pioneers, you could say from the 80s, late 70s, they're gonna have very little to say if he was in the room, because he has the truths. He had the Choose recipes. But he he had all of the truths. He was very objective in his history. If he didn't like you, with you at fly, and you contributed something, he'll acknowledge that. So he tried to keep the history intact for everyone. We call them true. At or like, you know, when we do hashtags, we do true two two two, because he represented the truth. So as a pioneer that really cared about the culture, help bring it up from the first generation, his viewpoints and his ideals and everything, they come from the most deepest and genuine place. Anyone who had the privilege of talking to him, would understand that his care for the culture, it went all the way it was 360 degrees, true to himself and the culture, he wouldn't associate himself for people who are mistreating the culture or exploiting it, he would distance himself from everyone. That's why he had such a small group of people that he actually was around supported, and really shared with in indigenous culture, they have this ideal where edit and this goes through all indigenous where it's an oral history, and it's passed down, passed down, passed down, you're not going to find a lot of things and content in books, especially books about the origins of culture, phases, very much like that. I'm going to share this with the people who are deserving of knowing that knowledge. Definitely someone who had a lot of integrity for the culture, rest and peace We want to talk a bit more about you and get to know like your background a little bit better. Can you tell us how it was for you growing up and how the hip hop scene was like in Hawaii? So I wasn't born here. I was born in San Francisco, and in and out travel from here to the Bay, because my mother was here and my father was there. I would say, when hip hop really came into my view, it was the first element was popping, seeing people pop, not so much the locking, I would say, like I was about maybe 11, almost 12 scene scene, all of my friends, older brothers pop in and you know, like, just observing the culture, and going to see them battle wasn't quite sure what that was about. And then I think when I seen breaking, we didn't have of course, we didn't have internet back then. So we were very limited in what our exposure was. So PBS came out with Style Wars, either caught it, or you missed it, you know, there was no DVR that can record it for you. When I finally did catch it, it was already way until like, after I got started in hip hop. The first book that I got that really was an inspiration was not subway art. It was actually the book called hip hop by Steven Hagar. And that's where phase put in all of his styles, and they call it the evolution of style. And from there, that's what caught me because my mother was an artist, and I was already doing art. So the visual arts really caught me. No course I was breaking back then to as a youth and just trying to do anything. Just seeing right, just stimulated by this whole culture moving forward. And I got to skip rocks, because this is like so long, we're talking about, like, early 80s, right. So, you know, being mentored by faze being taught all of these, you know, things I never even seen or heard about. And back then we were pen palling because the phone costed too much. So a lot of things were like visual learning, right, like reading and then seeing his photos or pieces and learning from him that way, which would lead to him coming here, painted a huge mural. It was a total of 250 feet. I did a super burner, or what we call Pyrogliphics. He did one I did one. And we did these Japanese superheroes in the middle, which led to that, and another project that would have been the source magazine. So the second project was me painting artwork for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's concert that was happening here, which led to a writer from the source magazine that happened to be here during that time to cover it. And he, he, he had heard that, I guess I was the only writer around that whole concert. So he wanted to focus in on a segment of writing about the islands. And he focused on me, so he learned about the face to connection. And he wrote a whole article, interesting enough, Summer of 93, prior to like, in the spring of 93. Crazy lakes goes into the source magazine in New York. And he's like, yeah, I'm going to Hawaii and the writer named Louis romaine said, hey, look, I just wrote up this article about Hawaii should talk to us too. And from there, you get a cold call from legs, which is like, yeah, this home phone like you just think it's a prank. So I thought he was I didn't think he was who he was. So after that whole dialogue, he said, you know, we got to meet and they came here it was Miss mess. And like cuber, Apollo, and Gremlin legs and Wiggles, they came here in 93. Wiggle saw my book, he said, they recruited, no battle needed, you're recruited, started to do all the Rock Steady anniversary artwork. I think the last one I did was 2010. Fast tracking, of course, had an amazing journey in New York. I've learned from so many different pioneers, so so many viewpoints, instead of doing the nightclub thing on the islands, paid my money and traveled to New York, went to the B boy summit. So you know, I could learn the balance of West Coast hip hop in East Coast hip hop, and, you know, fast tracking to most recent days. I representing the Rock force crew, with Polsky. No difference, so no comparisons in both crews. It's just Polsky and I developed the friendship for over a decade first. And so this feels like family. That's where I think like now we have within rock force crew. We have four or five educators. And we're all going in that direction. So it just fit right in line with creating social justice or education or awareness for the youth like it's just part of The viewpoint and belief system of rock force. And as you know, we're not alone in this, this movement, but it just was fitting to connect to people who really believe in that and want to advance culture. And also make sure that the youth are very much involved and can learn from our wisdom and our past and hopefully don't make the same mistakes again, like we did. How would your parents describe what you do? Rest in peace, I think all of them, yeah, all of them. Because I had a mother who passed away when I was young, her best friend adopted me and my father passed away. So I think initially, they thought I was nuts like everyone else, every other parent rights in some way you're gonna do this does not going to make you any money, you know. But I think like, the passion for it, and the dedication for it in time, just like any parent, they come to a point where it's accepted, and then it's supported. Because they see that there's forward movement. And at that time, to parents, they're like, hip hop was in and out, when you get caught in something that's just wasting time, you know, they don't see it, right. And the reality of it is, we all couldn't see it, we all didn't know how far this was going to go. But because of our passion for it, here we are in 2020. So we have to prove ourselves, you know, like I had, at least I had to, I had to prove myself, to my dedication to the due diligence and through learning, I think the key things that my mom especially saw was like how Kpop translated into a learning process. Because in 94, I had to realize like a digital age is coming. And if I don't learn how to transfer my art into these art programs that I'm going to be left behind. So I learned the art programs by like throwing a sketch of a piece in there and learning that way, instead of like, at that time, it was Photoshop and Illustrator for Dummies. Right? Those books, I learned that through just throwing a tag in there, how do I make a cool business card with my tag in there? How to clean up my tag, you know, like, how do I do this? How do I outline the whole piece in the computer so that I can blow it up to the large you know, create vector art and listen, so it became a learning tool that transferred over into, like, how do I learn these are programs and with it will inspire me and keep me inspired to learning? And that's exactly what I'm replicating now, is that type of connection on? Okay? You may not want to learn how to do illustrator, it looks boring from an outside, or what if you were able to do this, so that that could turn into a shirt, or you could wear you know, create embroidery, that's a way more effective way of reaching the youth, getting them to do it in that form versus like, this is the black cursor that does that. That's the white cursor that does that, Okay, everyone, this is what a mark, he is not gonna reach, what the way I educate him, okay, this thing does this thing. You can call this thing, whatever you want to call it, pointer arrow, whatever, that's that thing, that I just try to connect with them using that. And I think that's the most important thing is that the art of learning, or the pedagogy behind being able to transfer that that learning process and the dedication because as a as a, whether you're a dancer, DJ, whatever you are you spending thousands of hours in practice. And so that learning process that dedication, you can transfer that over to enhance your career, or to even develop it into something totally different. any of my students, I tell them straight off, I said, I don't expect to be an artist, I just expect you to be interested in what you do through the learning lessons that I provide, which will give you inspiration and confidence to be able to transfer that type of dedication to something else if you want to. If you want to be a doctor, if you want to be a nurse, you know, say I can do it, then that's the pedagogy that I'm trying to dry behind it. I don't need to have another protege. It's impossible to have a class of 30 or 40 and having all become good writers, but I can have them understand that they can build confidence off of it, learning and proving themselves that they can accomplish it. So obviously, you've mastered your craft, but what do you do to continue learning and staying on top of your art? I'd say always questioning and evaluating. You got to evaluate you know, whether it's in your personal life, your business world, your artistry, you have to evaluate. You have to be the person who is your best critic. Your worst critic, right? That's how I move forward. It's like, okay, I haven't painted my name in three years until my homie slick told me like his pain and your pain in your name. But other than that, like, I kind of let go making my own name. And that was part of a decision that it was like, this art form is not about me anymore. So I'm not going to keep doing the same thing. And that's a evaluation for me, like, I'm going to go right back to not painting my knee. Once in a while, I'll celebrate it, because I do have self confidence. And I do appreciate everything that is given. So once in a blue moon, I will, but for the most part, my latest evaluation was, and that was three years ago, like, paint other words, that your styles speak for you versus like, Oh, I can tell that's a nice piece because it says these mean, but even on that level, like, Who cares? For me, it's, it's not even about wanting to be recognized for my element. My greatest work comes from what I'm doing with the community. That's where my mind has evolved to, I'd rather see a young cat shining versus me, I'm just here to express myself at this point. And make sure that the next generation understands that they don't have to follow the footsteps and the mistakes that they can learn from them. And definitely keep young cats out of jail. misdemeanors, they go right through the judicial system in and out. So they're like, well, we're gonna wait to get you. And that's where it's like, No, nobody, of any ethnicity or culture should be in that prison for any reason. That's where I'm like, trying to do my work and the critical work. That's where I think it's evolved to and that's how my thought process is, am I doing what I need to be doing right now reflecting on my artistry? So it's, it's a lot to do with even self help and self work, right? Being able to understand you have to have a balance everything in order to be healthy and everything you have to understand and evaluate, like, Where am I at in life? And how am I feeling? Am I emotionally connected? Or am I gonna be reactionary and just spontaneous? Like, you have to be able to evaluate your own mental and physical health? And all of that comes into play as an artist for me. Since you mention this; I remember seeing one of your posts talking about Dr. Sato. Oh, yeah, yeah, I'm a massage therapist. A lot of my work has evolved to helping people with trauma. So I'm curious to hear about your experience. Okay, you guys are kind of getting the first view of this because I never really talked about this in-depth. So as a male growing up to the generations that I've grown up in, especially in the 90s, the hip hop mentality was just man up to ignore your emotional health. Something goes wrong, you tighten up the screws, you know, talking about this stuff is just you were perceived as like weaker, when in actuality, you're stronger for being able to express emotional health. I went through decades of just like, through hardships and everything lessons, just ignoring that bottling it up and hoping it'll go away. Because no one really knows when it all comes crashing down. What exactly happened? I started to get dizzy, like I was getting seasick. Last year. I was like, Well, I don't know what this is. But that comes and goes, whatever. But it started to get worse and worse. And as it was getting worse, anxiety got worse, became to the point where I was like, Whoa, this is too crazy. So I was diagnosed with bppv, which is a certain type of vertigo. The doctor said that this was just the crystal in my ear that was dislodged, and that causes seasickness type of field. So I was like, Wow. So how do you put it back? And they gave me the exercise physical therapy. But as I read about it, it was no cure. Your I was gonna have to live with this, right? I was like, Whoa, this is crazy. I can't be on a ladder painting murals doing all this stuff and having the seasickness and fall off, right. So I went to physical therapy to try to fix it didn't work. I tried to do other things in work. So finally, I decided to go to this doctor named Dr. Sato. And what he does is energy work. And he's a licensed chiropractor. So in short, what he does is he assesses your your history, you have to divulge it and talk about it. So he has a minor in having experiencing clinical work. So he's basically a clinician as well. After I disclose he tells me this areas in your body that are carrying childhood trauma In your muscles that won't allow the blood to flow, what you have to do is you have to address these traumas. And he also said, there's also ancestral trauma that's in your body as well. He said, basically, here's what I'm going to do, is what you're going to do, he gave me a whole bunch of exercises to have to really think about, a lot of writing was involved. And what he did on his side was to assess where the trauma was, to tell me where it is, and where it is usually attached to something. So I was able to understand where the trauma was coming from. And as I was doing the work at home, what he was doing was releasing the trauma in my body, so that the blood could start flowing through it, which was affecting my health, through that process, my work at home, and his work was helping me to understand how to not let the bottle up, open things up and express myself in a way where it was like bringing all of that trauma, for example, like let's just take abandon, if you have that, which most people do, everyone has a little bit of something, right? When you have that onion goes unresolved, it's this particular part of your body that has the trauma stuck in that particular muscle group. And anytime you get triggered, what happens is, it's like a supercharged battery pack. that ignites it, and then your whole body goes through stress and shock. And that's what they call being triggered, right. And then the panic attacks happen, then all of that. And so what he does, is through the work that I did at home, and the reading, I had to do it, he was able to work with me on releasing that trauma, psychologically and physically. So that when I do get triggered, I don't have a battery pack charging anymore, which he received through the physical world goes into your mind charges that particular part, and then your body goes into shock. what he's done is just letting the body flow, the work that I did on the exterior, which is writing and reading that helped me understand, okay, when I feel this way, where's this coming from? And how big of a problem is this really. So different types of exercises that you practice to be able to guide yourself through that process, I was able to get to the point now, where I don't have that bppv. And I'm working on just other things in my life now and for overall health. Because when I told them, I had that vertigo, he was like, we get rid of it. Eight months later, it's pretty much one, it's not even there. Amazing. I really appreciate you sharing that. I think a key part is the fact that you are doing also the work. Oh yeah. And I usually associate self help as similar to people who go to church, if you're going to go to church on Sunday, but you're not going to practice what the church had actually told you through Monday through Saturday. And you're just hoping for a miracle cure by physically being at church, you're not spiritual person, not practicing, you know. And that's the same thing. If you're going to go to chiropractor, when you go to condition, you're going to go to them for help. And all you're going to do is receive, but you're not going to execute and take responsibility for that. 1, 2, 3 years later, still in the same boat. It's really about the work that you do. Because ultimately, you can be guided, if you don't go that route. Just going to be back to square one. I can see how important that lesson can be for the youth, in particular at risk adolescence. What is your approach to educating the kids you serve? Well, first, I share with them A Brief History of the art. Now I don't go into like names, dates, and places just more of the mentality of why it started. And the purpose of it at the time and how it's kind of evolved. And then I go into like my process of teaching how to do basic lettering styles, which don't intimidate the youth. It's very simple. And I've broken it down to be able to start with hand styles. There's certain ways they've developed where and styles can be looked at. If you just can kind of follow the visual explanation is like, if you're doing a hand style, and you're doing it in a way where it's just all broad lines, there's no thin areas, what you're doing is if you can create simple font based off of that, that could be looked at as doing a piece without an outline. And if you're able to control the positive and negative space by doing basic funk letters, then they can see how it's supposed to flow. So A lot of times when cats practice piecing they dry each letter, right. But if you start with a hand style, you'll get the feel of it. And you'll be able to understand how it flows, then you'll understand how to dry. So a hand style done in a certain way through my program actually goes and educates the youth on how to make the letters flow, right. And then from there, then I teach them how to dry. Just imagine if they were to draw pieces in one day, and understanding their skill level of not even understanding how to draw a font, even, maybe the youth would do one or two, right. But if they learn how to do the hand stuff properly, they can do hundreds in one day, and get the flow. It's just like dancing to like, you gotta understand the music and understand the brakes, and understand what song is what and the history of that. And to understand that first, or, at the same time is going to help you nansen immensely. So it's the same thing, it's like, I'm just teaching them how to do something, or it's going to fast track them. Because like I said, you draw one piece, or two pieces the kids gonna give up. But if you teach them how to do this kind of stuff. So it's time to look really clean, it's really dope. And it's just simple basic. And you know, all the tilts and the angles they need to draw, they want to see it like chess. And so I always and I also encourage them, of course, from the beginning, not to write your name, right, everything along with their name, but not just the four or 567 letters that it's attached to, you will, you'll grow faster. And you'll learn more, if you check the ego at the door. That's kind of the learning process that I do for, for the youth to help them evolve. And they learn pretty quickly. A lot of them are writers and kind of just fine tune some things here and there. But the overall goal of my workshop is to is to make sure that I'm releasing what they have their potential not to say, No, no do do the angle this way. I'm trying to not be that person at all. And just let them kind of like Oh, you like really curvy stuff. Oh, cool. You're in tissue, doing 3d stuff. Okay, cool. Whatever it is. And I will still policy This is like, I want to see the new generation, rewrite the culture, because hip hop basically evolved off of all of us breaking what was common. This is not art school, this was like yo, a whole bunch of people just inspired to do it. And, you know, 80s and 90s. It was like, it would be taboo, as an artist or an emcee to sound like another emcee, you know, be taboo to be like, Oh, he breaks like so and so and so and so he does his routines and cuts just like this. Do you know? So it has to be something where I don't stick them to a formula. So you got to do it this way. This is the old school way. very progressive in terms of like, hey, do something that I want to follow? I don't know. He asked me what do I think? What do you think making them think about it instead of just like, this is the way it is, and this is what you got to do. You've had so many collaborations, and I was wondering which collaboration is one that like really stands out for you or means the most to you? Well, we of course, I'm going to say the time that Phase2 came here in early 1993, I say late 92, I was able to get him here, because there was a record label here that was doing hip hop mixes at the time. And it's interesting, because I just spoke to this guy, yesterday, we came full circle, and we're going to start collaborating on some new things. But they flew him out here. And I hosted him and he went far beyond the project. So phase actually ended up living with us for about almost a year. And that is the time where he taught me so many things. And that educational time was priceless. And so the the project and the collaboration in terms of like working with anyone was being able to go to the wall every day for like, over a month with days and just painting with him and learning with him. And you know, just having him kind of guide me where I needed to go. And having basically released me from this thought that I had to continue perpetuating like what what I was seeing in subway art, you know, spray can art like he was like like that, like that's all been said and done and ready. Why would you want to keep doing that? You know, what if q was just doing basic stabs whose basic cuts and then it's gone so far past that. And so that's what he was saying for the art form. Don't stay stuck on that stuff, have it in your arsenal, but take it to another level. So learning lessons from that was priceless, even getting with him and him slowly sliding out my pencil out of my hand and replacing it with a pen. And he's like, this is how you're going to do it. watching me and seeing him do like a paper that was maybe like 10 inches high by 40 inches long. And we used to use the old Tower Records calendars, because they were like, long in length. And on the backside, it was white. So he just two super burners on him in, in in 10. I watched him like right there. So I was like, watch. No way. Okay, we'll try. But the thing about it is through that process, and I will document this process, like but now I can just go to wall, no sketch. And I can go from a simple style to a very super complex hieroglyphics style without a sketch as because of that learning process of letting go and being free, you know, similar to a b Boy, that's like, doesn't have any routines in mind, or like this set, it's like, No, I'm going to feel the music and see what happens. And if I slip up, I'm gonna improvise and make it look fresh, right. So it's same thing that improvising and being able to recover, or take it to a different direction. That's like, the things that I learned from him. Just priceless. Not so much like micromanaging me, like know, when this happens this is he allowed me to make mistakes, but he supported me through and doing the same thing right in front of me, that's the beauty of hip hop is that through hip hop, you can gain this confidence to transfer into something else, whether it's just in your life, as a youth, or you carry it through to adulthood, if you at one point, put a lot of time into it, you've actually learned a learning process that will carry through without even knowing it. It could be anything, it could be like basketball, it could be you know, like any type of sport or any type of interest, that educational process will carry through. Hip Hop just happens to be just another form of an outlet for you. And it's very supported by the youth in community now, because we live with hip hop parents, right? So they're like, Oh, yeah, we want you to be a part of that. It's definitely a lot more supported than when I was growing up. There's so many of my friends are our parents, and, you know, like, Oh, yeah, can you teach our classes I want, I want my son or daughter to go over there, you know. And it's like, I could see the way that they support it, because they know that it took so much hours out of their youth and dedicated instead of being getting into trouble or something like that. Yeah, so you have a company called keep it flowing. Can you tell us a bit about how that came about. And in that aspect, like why you decided to found an LLC? as far as keep it flowing. That happened after my mom passed away. Because I was a full time caregiver for over a decade, I decided to those many routes that I could have gone. Initially I was in the hole, I'm gonna make money to take care of her. And that's how I'm gonna be able to sustain and everything. But eventually I took I decided to take a path of giving her more time with me, versus trying to seek the wealth, this time is more important. So I learned that after I was done, caregiving, she passed, that's when I decided, Well, you know, what, I haven't done much for my community. And, you know, the islands are really taking care of me. So I just started giving back. A lot of people don't understand, like, where I'm at now. They're always kind of leaning towards I go, I see you do a lot of things with this and that and can you hook me up? It's like, yeah, I can hook you up, start doing things for your community, because you want to and volunteer and let it let that energy flow. Because otherwise it's opportunity, right? So I just started donating my time just doing things. And I started to meet with the right people connect the right dots, and how keep it flowing all came together was within one day, I said, You know what, in the definition of like islands in the past, I've looked for the perfect wave to ride to create the perfect run, to create the perfect moment. And I've lost moments because of that, you know, so I said, you know, you got one day to create a name. You create an LLC, to file it to have the logo done all one day. I'm not going to self sabotage this. I'm just going to do it. And so I said, Well, what am I always telling the kids Keep that flowing right there. I like that. So I said, Okay, that's the name. And they said, Okay, well logo, they're always drawing when I'm telling them to do that. So that became the little zigzag with the pencil to that process, I just didn't allow myself to get in front of myself to stop myself. It was a learning process for me to do that. Because always I'm like, Ah, man, I don't like that logo, got to do better with that logo, his name really the right name for me. This time, I said, screw it, I'm doing it. This is for the people. It's not about me. So I'm just going to learn, do it, get it up. And I started to collaborate with other nonprofits to learn the lingo the way things work, I'd say out of all the companies that I started, this is the most fast growing, aside from this year, fast growing and progressive company that and sustaining company that I've ever built, it has so many legs, and it has so many connective ways of doing projects with this organization, that organization, I kind of decided to just be organic, instead of I want to do A, B, and C, we can do ocean awareness, we can do substance abuse and prevention for you, we can do bullying, you know, we can do, we were going to cover anything that diamonds to cover, we can adapt our model is creating awareness through art. And that's our tagline. And what we do with that has basically opened up the eyes of the youth community, to the power of art, and that you can speak to the art, you don't have to be vocal about what you do. And that reaches a lot of people because some, you know, our auditory, kinesthetic, you know, visual. So art allows a whole nother side of people to be able to say something without getting behind a mic, which is very intimidating. That's what I love about it, because it's the first company actually feel it's not work. You know, like even when I've done other clothing companies and stuff, and it's fun, it felt like work, being able to like work with the youth and give back in that capacities like that's the best thing, keep it flowing, is going to eventually evolve into creating the solution. So that's why I'm taking all that data and building it. So someone in hip hop has to stand up and stop pointing the finger at like the government. And someone has to stand up and actually educate the government on what hip hop is, what good hip hop is, what the positive sides are, what we're trying to do, because other than that, if it's always going to be them against us, we're never going to be able to communicate. And so many other countries have already done that, you know, like the IBE, obviously, the government supports them, because there was somebody who stepped up. And so for the islands, I'm taking that responsibility to be able to say, Hey, you know, this can also bring them tourism, through a big event, giving them hope, connecting it to other events, and how the youth can get inspired to be a part of these events. And throughout the year, provide them programming so that they can stay focused and, you know, really develop out. It's a long term picture. But this, you know, as I'm taking slow steps, you know, and creating different partnerships, it's getting there. do you have any, like upcoming projects, or anything that you would like to promote? There's been a lot of development early in the year. But all of those things have to take a pause. It's hard to say, I can say what I'd like to work on when this all comes out. But as of right now, when passkey and I are working on terms of like mighty four, is definitely to restart mighty four, but with more of an emphasis on education, and presentations in colleges and different schools, when traveling, to really focus in on that segment of it, and not just the element. And you know, the celebration of the elements is this more so academic approach to it. And so that we can connect with the people and also kind of take responsibility for the information and the education that's coming out about the culture. And not to say we're no it also just taking our steps to be responsible and take the right direction and sharing the information we have. So I would say like the biggest picture would be definitely that mighty forum will make a very strong, strong presence felt, you know, as soon as we're allowed to be able to move freely again and That's what we're working on on the back end. And also finding a balance with my own personal art form, too. So it's not really about just doing community stuff. But it's also to keep the youth inspired. I'm really focusing on my own personal journey in archiving and expressing so finding a balance between the community work and my own personal stuff, so that I stay relevant because a lot of educators A lot of times, they just dive in and they let go of whatever they're doing. And I haven't been asked more than one time from the youth like, what are you doing now? Like, aside from being right here? What are you doing now? So it's important as a practitioner slash person involved with the culture to still stay active, right? So that's where for me, I'm just finding balance right now. I feel we are learning a lot from this interview, especially the importance of language. Is there anything else you would like to share? Well, I think what you really want to walk away with with understanding of the G word is that I will never empower the word. And as a culture as a collective culture, we didn't call this art for visual art form, the G word, it was labeled by authorities. So when people are rocking this word, just like the dancing term, if you're going to be out there, and you're calling yourself an outlaw, and you're doing tags, and you're painting pieces, and you're doing all this type of stuff, that's still Renegade. But you're using a government issued name, to call yourself that. I mean, it is what it is, you can make your own deduction off of that. But how underground are you for using their name, something to think about, because we didn't come up with it. Now, media is powerful. You know, so I understand why the dancers adopted it in the 80s, set released in the mid 70s. Because everyone adopted it, you know, like in all elements, right, started calling it rap. Instead of seeing right culture was changed to relate to the masses, but as the girls and be boys, there's a reclaiming of language. And when language is being taken away, just like in Hawaiian culture, part of the annexation here was that the Hawaiian language was forbidden. dances were forbidden, things are changed. And we can't allow that. We can't allow that on any level for hip hop. I don't care if somebody doesn't understand if I'm a writer, and not just like, no one should care if they understand what a B boy or B girl is, you know, if you're curious about the culture, you can educate yourself, but to try to relate to people that's outside of the culture and make it familiar with the term that doesn't exist in our culture. We can't do that. I don't think so at least, we have to appropriate the right terminology for the next generation. So we set the path straight. I appreciate that you guys are open about it. Because I've talked to different pioneers. like yeah, it is called that originally called that. But cats over here in this country don't understand that. Well, they never understood what a B boy was either. And if you want to go back further, they don't. They never understood what going off was or boiling, right? Like what are we talking about here. So if we, if we become 100, with the culture, then I think it starts to tie back. Maybe just breaking events without the connection to hip hop, maybe that starts to get changed. Maybe the unification through preserving the culture will tie back to becoming whole again, because you've got mural projects in states and countries have nothing to do with hip hop, no acknowledgement of the writers who made this powerful impossible. You've got B boy events that have corporate logos all over the place, no connection to the culture, maybe to just the music, but not the culture in its entirety. You've got a whole generation of people writing that don't know that bit about the voice and vice versa in every element, when you cross section a dying care or want to know about that. To me, that's, that's something that needs to be preserved. But advancement of the art; I hope kids do something that inspires me. I'm a "Let go" master. Just follow them, you know, follow the energy. Because if you empower them with that, that's when true change starts to happen. Where can people find you and how can they support you? I have two websites, keep it flowing media.com and East-3.com . Instagram is eastthree, three is spelt out. It's cool to learn and try to connect with me, I hope that this podcast really inspires minds to look into it themselves. I don't want to be an authority on anything. I'm always a student. So, you know, just learning and moving forward, but I always am down to connect with people to learn and to share We always end that our interviews with the question, what is hip hop to you? Hip Hop to me is basically life. At the age of 11, I was already embracing it, and I turn 50 next month, so almost in my entire life of just understanding it, it's been a guiding force to understanding so many things, in terms of like, even just on different ethnicities and respect for culture, and understanding the importance of equality, whether it's social, creative, or political, it's guided me, Public Enemy, from the very beginning. I mean, they were talking about consciousness of the black community, a lot of their points could carry over into all the cities and, and gender. hearing them at that point was like, okay, respect the woman at an early age in your, your hearing somebody you look up to say, you can't be calling them this, and that, and you know, you've got to have respect. And those types of things are like, it's mentorship. Hip Hop, is something that I think what has united the world. And at the same time, it creates so many different life lessons that when you can put them all together, it is just life. It's a beautiful thing, because it was meant to connect people, every walk of life, if you're involved in some way music, dance, art, whatever it is, you have a common ground, I think that it's actually saves lives educates it's such a powerful force. And it's important to keep that intact and with high integrity. Otherwise, it could easily get manipulated into something that it's not, it goes to say, with the music, at least, like who's on the top 40 already telling you that stuff is the farthest from Hip Hop, you know, it's a spin off of it. But if we don't keep that integrity, in 10 years, people are not even going to know what hip hop is. You know, and the names are not important, because I don't mind I'd follow Trap too if it was like 100% positive. And it was trying to help the community instead of like advocate for x, y and z, which is like hurting the community. Right? So I think like there are good things about Trap. And I think that there are some good artists that do things, but all in all, the history is being lost for hip hop. And that's what we need to really, really chime in. Not so much the names, dates and places from my viewpoint, but all the positive aspects that help community and people. Thank you so much to our guest Ken Nishimura, aka East3 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 Words are crates of power and you select what kind of power they carry, it is important for culturalists to reclaim their power through education and unity. The G word was created by the government to punish the act of vandalism, while the expression "writing" defines the art created through aerosol. In order to preserve cultural heritage for the benefit of the present and future generations, it requires current active practitioners to use deliberate and well designed programs. These are the protectors of the culture. Our theme music was beatbox by Denis the Menace and produced by Zede, a big shout out to the brothers from Switzerland. The background music was produced by Taki Brano. A big thank you to our broski from Providence. Also a big shout out to Mayan Tamang and his ohana for his contributions to the culture and every community he reaches. much love to all our brothers and sisters in Hawaii. Our podcast basically runs on coffee to keep our show running. You can support by buying us a coffee through the link in our show notes. A huge thank you to Cindy Foley and Thalia Guare for providing us the fuel last week. We would love to get your feedback questions and any suggestions you might have. You can reach out to us on Instagram Twitter or Facebook @SoulidarityLLC o via email soulidarit llc@gmail.com if you liked today's show, pleas tell a friend about our podcast

Or as Phife Dawg would say:

ell your mo In our next episode we welcome DJ EFN. He is known as the mix ape king of Miami. EFN is als the founder and co host of m ny radio shows and podcasts such as Drink Champs and Father oods as well as a filmmaker, clo hing retailer, A&R, marketing specialist and so much ore. Don't forget to subscribe to the show and leave a rating and review. See you on our next episode. Thank you for listening to our podcast. Now Seriously though, thank you. I am Candy. I'm DJ Razor Cut and this is So ls of Hip Hop.

How did you get the name East3?
Community Work
Getting Up
Lessons from Phase2
Growing up in Hawaii & the Bay
How would your parents describe what you do?
Continuous learning
Healing from trauma
Approach to educating youth
Collaborations
Keep it flowing
Why you shouldn't use the G-word
What is Hip Hop to you?