• Eric B. & Rakim - Juice

    Take a break.

    This is the hip hop fan's version of "stop and smell the roses." We'll email you a different old school song every Friday. You promise to hit pause on the world and simply zen out as you listen from start to finish.


    On the real - most of us are floating through our days without consciously choosing where we place focus and attention. How many times a day do you unintentionally reach for your phone? We're multi-tasking our entire lives and it ain't good. Zombies.


    This all started when we were sitting in the office listening to an Old School Rap channel on Pandora and the songs immediately pulled us out of our mental fog and commanded attention. We sat back and let the beats wash over us, highlighting every lyric with our minds, letting childhood memories run wild. That was a special moment. Now we want to recreate that for you.


    What we ask is that you make a promise - when you get our weekly emails, you won't listen to the songs until you are willing to make time and space for 100% focus. If you want background music while you work, go to Spotify. This isn't about the music. It's about giving yourself a mini meditation break in a hectic week. No expectations, no desires, no judgments. Just press play, close your eyes if you want, and let your entire world be that song for a few minutes each Friday.



    You'll get one email every Friday morning with a different old school hip hop song.


    Promise: You won't press play until you are in a place where you can do nothing but listen from start to finish.


    Let all other thoughts fade away. It won't be easy and takes practice. Allow the music to take over your mind.

  • Awareness 101

    We're going to skip the new-age self-help guru bullshit here. HipHopZen is not a true meditation technique, nor are we pushing you to delve into that world. But it's safe to assume your experience of daily life would improve if you could better manage your feelings and emotions and seemingly uncontrollable thought patterns. So that's where we will start.


    Here's the dirty little secret about changing perspective - you have to actively train the mind just like any other muscle. Your brain is getting absolutely pummeled with stimuli every single second of every single day and you don't recognize most of it. Awareness is all about training your mind to notice thoughts and feelings before you act on them instead of letting that little voice inside your head fuck with you.


    A significant step in this training is practicing the mental combat art of focusing on one thing (like the breath in traditional Samatha meditation). Unwanted thoughts and feelings will never stop arising; awareness isn't an exercise in stopping them, but rather it aims to spot them when they begin to pop up and dismiss them so you can go back to the intended object of focus.


    Instead of the breath, we say try it with old school hip hop. No Facebook, no emails, no magazines, no talking, no searching around the room for something to keep you busy. Just a song. One song. Three or four minutes of intense absorption every week.