Mankind has been in conversation with itself and its surroundings since the dawn of man. Cave drawings spoke for generations in isolated communities at the beginning of antiquity the same way graffiti on the side of a subway car speaks volumes around the world today.

We love to talk! (myself included)

YouTube is probably the single most incredible place to find the worst display of human interaction, not IRL. Plagued by spelling errors, incorrect grammar, and racism, your favorite video link is filled with prime examples of how ignorant us humans can be. (myself excluded)

As of about fifteen minutes ago, I will begin to highlight the best selections via the YouTube comment sections that I stumble upon. It is important for us to look at the language we use to speak to each other daily.

Follow my Twitter @kenanbell

Feel free to @ me with links/comments that speak to you!

Word up

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story behind the recording session : “T.G.I.F.” featuring Aceyalone


It was a sunny Friday afternoon in November of ’09 when the track “T.G.I.F.” was conceived. jon “sweetpea” siebels made the track at his studio using a toy Casio keyboard, 12 string guitar, and Roland 808 drum kit. We later added Eric Gardner’s live drums at manny’s stuido where he, Shane Mane, Jonathan Hischke, sweetpea, and Milk bounced ideas around during the day while I administered Spelling tests to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students just 15 minutes away. By the time class was dismissed, my dream team had already assembled the perfect foundation for a dissertation in creative expression and myself and Aceyalone were the perfect pupils.
The recording booth was actually a giant live room filled withe keyboards, guitars, percussion instruments and the like. Mixing room sat up above with birds’ eye view of the action. The song was to be recorded digitally and then printed to 2 inch tape for the warmth and feel of an analog recording. This type of recording process is a dream come true for an artist such as myself.
I had been writing my verses throughout that work week and certain ideas were pre-meditated, while others came by mid week. Around hump day, I had what would form the skeleton for my rhymes and spent the next few days arranging lyrics.
Aceyalone and I arrived about the same time, but separately. Intentionally, I came a little earlier and managed to record my verses just prior to him showing up, hoping to expedite the process. Upon hearing my takes, Ace decided he would restructure his raps to reflect a similar uniformity in rhyme sequence.
Being in a room full of musicians, all whose eyes are fixed on you waiting for you to create is an intimidating and almost inorganic environment for any artist. The pressure of having to provide the final piece of the puzzle to a would be hip hop musical masterpiece is also rather daunting. Aceyalone left and returned an hour later with a more profound verse than I could have ever hoped for and helped make the cipher complete.

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For the second consecutive year I was given the opportunity to design a pair of VANS as part of their CUSTOM CULTURE program. Hoping to encourage kids to pursue professions in the arts, the good people at VANS have created a competition where high school students can customize sneakers and potentially win $50,000 for their school’s art program. In an effort to promote the contest, VANS reached out to some of their favorite artists, musicians and creatives such as Conan O’Brien, Justin Bieber, ODD FUTURE and myself 😉

As a CUSTOM CULTURE AMBASSADOR, I was asked to add my personal flair to pair of True White VANS AUTHENTICs.

Last year, I filmed the entire creative process and since the response to the video was so positive, I decided to make another one (3) this year.

This year’s video will be a 3 part series and part I follows the shoes as they spend a day with my roommate Jordan.

(Jordan’s nickname is Lite and once a girl thought i said “Life” so we call him Life too so i call this piece “A Day with Life”)

PART i of iii-



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Uzi Water Gun

FEAT by the Hood Internet

Tuesday the 2nd of October in the Year 2012 is the Pops’ 60th Birthday. Today also marks the date my friends the HOOD INTERNET release their record, FEAT on Decon Records. The duo’s first original studio album features vocals/production from some of today’s freshest MCs and hippest indie acts.

Last summer, I met STV SLV, the Hood half of HOOD INTERNET, outside of the Troubadour in LA after his show. They were opening up for my friends WALLPAPER from the Bay and after a mutual friend made the introduction, STV SLV and I immediately hit it off. We discussed a bevy of topics ranging from candy to my Conway Twitty t-shirt before deciding we should collaborate on music should the opportunity present itself.
STV SLV and I corresponded over email for the better part of the last year, sending beat ideas, rap lyrics and PDF’s back and forth across the country via the interwebs. During this time, I continued to work odd jobs as well as pursue other passions and found myself spending time working with Milk at the home/studio of Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine).

larami uzi water gun

While working out of the rock god’s humble abode, buried beneath the gold and platinum plaques, emerged a vintage uzi water gun. The toy gun had a motor, a shoulder strap and a removable clip. It was almost as old as I am and after much deliberation, we decided we were meant for each other.

The gun would turn up in recording sessions, on fishing trips and even at the beach. One day, while visiting a former student whom I use to mentor, who is now at the Army/Navy Academy, I promised to reward his good behavior by bequeathing him my beloved uzi water gun.

Within minutes of being handed down to the future generation, the plastic soldier met his doom and sputtered out it’s final words to minimal fanfare.

Until now…

A year later, after multiple recording sessions at several different locations thorough out the country, FEATis available on New York’s leading indie hip hop imprint, DECON RECORDS.

I am honored to have been asked to be a part of this project and would love it if everyone supported the release by downloading the song and playing it at high volumes…in other words…TU!


ps….also, I will be performing the song this Sunday at Los Globos in LA…holler if u hear me…X

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A few months ago, I set out on what would end up becoming the most daunting and painstaking adventures of my life. Writing, directing, producing (co-directing/producing with long time collaborator Justin Hiroshi Tagawa aka Butt F) and funding my own music was more rewarding than I could have imagined. The creative process as it pertains to visuals is simply another form of music.

The video for my song “ARCADE”, which I recorded entirely on an iPad, had an extremely simple vision. Butt and I wanted the nostalgia commonly associated with the vintage video games mentioned throughout the song to be depicted visually, allowing the viewer to be somewhat transported back to their childhood selves. With the memorable sights and sounds of classic titles such as Ms. Pac man, The Simpsons, Street Fighter and a host of others, it was fun to immerse myself in that atmosphere for a few days and re-connect with my inner child.

The room smelled like teen spirit and we could feel the electricity in the air. The flickering, fluorescent neon lights ignited my senses and the scene surrounding the video shoot was equally electrifying. (opposite)
The camera captured candid behind the scenes footage such as and and also and my personal favorite

At the beginning of this year I made the declaration that I wanted to focus more on the visuals and how they relate to the overall aesthetic of the art. With three quarters of 2012 in the can, I have already achieved that goal and am only still just getting started.

Good Day!

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recorded entirely on an iPad…actually two iPads! One 1 and one 2.

‘ARCADE’ music video coming soooooon!!!

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