The King of Hearts


~Shout out to my grandma who said this blog is great! Thanks grand mama!


Feed your Mind this week

Feed your Mind this week


You’ve all got a packed schedule this week, & guess whose filling in your calendar? Read on (:

Monday (4/14) – It’s all Archie this week, urbanites. Check Your Body at the Door, Archie’s artful documentary (over two, scratch that, three decades in the making) will be shown tonight in PEBE East (right in the lobby y’all), starting at 8 pm. Fill your backpack with candy, sit back, & relax with us all & absorb the knowledge!

Wednesday (4/16) – A discussion panel, following “To the Grind”—(Adriano Cabral’s piece that delves into social definitions, specifically sexuality & gender, & what we feel is “normal” in our day to day reality). The panel will be a probably not-too-formal yet very enlightening conversation along those topics. ASU professors will be sittin’ in the chairs! Free your mind at PEBE East, (room 132) at 7-10 p.m.

& if you aren’t already a completely different person at this point, the Come as You Are Ball will be smashing down the walls of PEBE East on this Friday. I don’t know if I can handle this one you guys. Bring 5-hour energy & your best friend. Archie Burnett, ASU’s resident artist these past couple weeks, will be hosting the party!


Artist Profile – Archie Burnett


“Check your body at the door, so your spirit can be free!”
Archie Burnett began dancing at age 3, watching Soul Train & learning from James Brown. His family, Seventh Day Adventists, did not approve of dancing or other aspects of popular culture, so his innate, 3-year-old love for music had to be sort of a secret from the beginning.


Consequentially, it was a long while before Archie could go out & experience dancing in the real world, in his case, the clubs in Brooklyn. He told me he didn’t get the chance to go out until after he had gotten his first job, an usher in a movie theater, where the late hours allowed him to stay out a few extra and spend them how he wanted without suspicion.

(Queue scene of Archie Burnett dancing down halls of empty theatre at midnight, broom partner in hand, about to tear the clubs up.)

He told me “where there’s a need, you will find something to fulfill it.” It is easy to imagine the hole in one’s life when dancing is what you love but the only thing you can’t have. So Archie soon became nocturnal, spending his nights in rhythms and his days well-behaved.

I asked Archie for advice regarding artists such as himself, & following your dreams when they go against your circumstances or situation. Guru Burnett told me “don’t worry where you’ll end up, just have a direction. Follow the love & the passion in your life but don’t worry about meeting some specific destination.” Word. Archie’s wisdom reigns true for all artists out there!

Check Yourself

ccheckIn college, Archie teamed up with his professor & the two began work on Check your Body at the Door. The documentary examines how artists in the New York House scene maintain their outside lives, and how they balance what they love in their lifestyle. Definitely intriguing for people of any passion! Their study of House dancing and the life of its aficionados has spanned across three decades, watching the growth and evolution of an art form through generations.

Roll with the Punches, Laugh at the facts

Archie will continue following his direction, the rhythm of good music. He continues to teach his groove to people all across the world. After his couple of weeks at ASU he is taking the globe by storm, touring across Europe and into Asia. Don’t forget us Archie!

Mr. Burnett told me balance was the key to life. If you do too much of one thing, you’ll go crazy. If you don’t do enough of another, you’ll go crazy. That goes for all of us, as we struggle to balance passion with making a paycheck. “Roll with the punches. Accept what comes in life with an open mind, but delete the bullshit. Keep your balance, and keep it simple stupid!”


Archie Burnett will be at the panel discussion this week and will be running the show at the Come as You Are Ball. Don’t miss your chance to learn from his worldly brain! Thank you for inspiring us all to follow our hearts & giving us the knowledge necessary! That’s a rap folks. The man will be in the country till the weekend, so get your fill of the wisdom and charm!

AZ MC Countdown


The valley is full of talented microphone commanding poets, & hardly anyone knows it! Here’s a compiled list of focused dopeness (these guys got the magic like hocus pocus! Okay.. sorry.):

1) Lord Kash & ZeeDubb (of the Stakes); double timed fury over live instrumentation, with tell-tale influences from 30’s jazz to 2pac to slow ballads. These emcees and their band probably get compared to the Roots a lot, but I’m not doing it here! Check out the Stakes for a fresh sound, for a fresh breath in Hip Hop.

2) Mav of Sol Camp; the man has been putting in verses & killin it with several groups over the years, always bringing something genuine & new. Originally from California, Mav has been representing Phoenix since he settled here & made a home in the sun. His group Sol Camp is currently working on their first full length album, which will surely go down as a classic!

3) Myrlin (Phonetic Spit); His mixtape The Funky Autopsy covers a lot of ground. Every song is distinct & different with a different emotion behind it. So real & in tune & in time, it’s the best mixtape I’ve heard around these parts, ever. (really)


4) Ill Al (the Anglo Saxon); another really unique emcee, born & raised in Phoenix. The dude’s got a really good sense for melody in his lyrics, with an original flow the listener truly gets swept into. His lyrics also touch on subjects with perfect clarity that a lot of other rappers usually struggle to convey in their rhymes. Props for putting together 4 mixtapes & showing the world how it’s done down here!

5) Kanon of NewBreedz; a master of the flow! One minute the man is chopping syllables like he’s Kendrick Lamar in perfect rhythm and next thing you know, his flow flooded into full singing. A lot of variety in his subjects as well, & a badass dancer too. Keep holdin’ it down Kanon!

Art!: southwestwar&peace light

latin dragon consumer




It's all about Perception this week (this is by Jake Messing)

It’s all about Perception this week (this is by Jake Messing)

This past week was mind-blowing, urbanites. Last week’s resident artist Brickhouse, (of Urban Artistry), dropped heavy knowledge for ASU’s urban program, teaching us all what it means to be an artist, teacher, as well as an ever-learning student of all art forms. Urban Sol is nearly upon us, and soon after that, the Come as You Are Ball will be pummeling the walls of ASU with emanating bass. More details of those below. All my Arizonans, natives, students, and snowbirds alike, are aware of the immature and close-minded bill making its way passed our uncaring representatives. Keep reading if you want the opportunity to throw a fist in the air and let the Governess know how you feel. Oh yes; this article is chock-full of philosophy, politics, important upcoming events, & of course, pretty pictures. (:

Brickhouse & Urban Artistry

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to sit down with guest artist Brickhouse and nerd-out about art, dance, and life for a while. The gentleman had plenty of wisdom to share about his experiences with his foundation, Urban Artistry, and how they have watered the roots of urban culture. These people are all about embracing the heritage of this culture, educating the current generation, and making sure this art moves in the right, positive direction. Like a b-boy in the 80’s, let me break it down for you:

Urban Artistry Timeline: (study this hard, urbanites)


  • ·         Urban Artistry has won Juste Debout twice (compliments to dancer’s Toya & Latasha) and will continue to compete and represent the good ol’ You Es of Ay in this world-wide urban dance competition.
  • ·         Urban Artistry began teaching in 2005 – originally to all adults, already experienced in house, hip hop, popping, locking, etc. It took a little while for the younger generations to realize the opportunity education can provide and the massive strength your art can gain when the artist knows their history.
  • ·         In addition to travelling all over the world, spreading knowledge and establishing urban dance in cities in Africa & Europe, Urban Artistry has performed at the Kennedy Center & the Smithsonian in D.C. (prestige, y’all!)


  • ·         The House That Jack Built” workshops & lectures teach the youngin’s all about how this thing called “urban culture” began and what it means to be a part of it. These workshops are a positive opportunity for kids (& adults alike) in the D.C. area to get to know one another, to build a community, and strengthen ties within the art. Urban Artistry is a driving force in the continual spread of House dance, as well as helping house dance & urban styles become recognized as the true American art forms they are.
  • ·         Urban Artistry recently began operating as a non-profit organization, signifying their now established connection with and importance to the community.
  • ·         Urban Artistry continues to work extremely hard in pushing house dance & hip hop in the right direction. They teach in cities across the globe that have sprouted their own urban communities, that often have much in common with what we’re doing here in the States.


  • ·         When asked about the future of Urban Artistry, Brickhouse looked me dead in the eye and told me they literally did not have time to write down goals. They will continue to practice their art, translate it to outsiders, welcome in newcomers, as well as teach the world to move and keep learning themselves. Urban Artistry plans to establish house & urban styles within academia (go ASU!) as well as for the history books.

Much love to Urban Artistry & Brickhouse for blessing the Southwest with his knowledge!

keep it rollin' Urban Artistry

keep it rollin’ Urban Artistry

            See what you can learn at these workshops & open sessions, urbanites? The next one is this Friday night (2/28), in FAC 28, led by Coflo at 9 p.m. 7 bucks for both events, or 5 for one, you know the deal! You could drop Carlton in on one of these nights and he’ll come out moving like Michael Jackson. This week’s guest artist, Coflo, is a hip hop producer, dancer, capoeira-warrior, and musician, so there will without a doubt be SOMETHING to learn! Don’t miss it.

And it’s that time again, friends. My favorite duty as artsy intern, WHAT’S GOING DOWN?

Y’allreadyknow; Urban Sol festival is fast approaching. Hip hop will conquer ASU’s Tempe campus the evening of April 4th, giving all our b-boys & girls, graffers & taggers, DJ’s & scratchers, MC’s, poets, & rappers a chance to shine bright. Just announced: Newbreedz will rock the mic, providing all the goosebumps and god-damn’s for the night. More artists are planned; stay in tune (:

Urban Sol (ASU, Galvin Playhouse)

Urban Sol (ASU, Galvin Playhouse)

The Come as You Are Ball (April 18th) is also on our horizons. Hosted by Archie Burnett, this event will be runway show, dance competition, royal ball, as well as jungle-wild party all colliding into one helluva night. Primarily voguing and waacking artists, there’s gonna be a lot of flavor and attitude in the air. You’re probably going to witness things here that you will never see again in your life (: This event is all about broadening the definition of hip hop dance, in  that what we see in movies & what is portrayed in the media is not at all the beginning and end of Urban styles. The Come as You Are Ball will feature voguing & waacking and will be providing a space for these new forms to practice and be enjoyed, but the real ideal is to push the boundary on what hip hop/urban styles have to look like. Come as You Are, don’t restrict yourself to other people’s definitions (:

VogueFunk (Archie Burnett)

VogueFunk (Archie Burnett)

On that socio-cultural note (still with me?), The Ball is serendipitously the same week as Gay Pride. Let’s open our minds up Arizonans; there will be a gender studies panel taking place around this time that will be announced towards the end of March. All this talk of what is right, what’s wrong, what’s hip hop & what’s not, reminds me that we’re all just chimps on a rock in outer space (if you really think about it) & there’s no reason to treat another living breathing human being differently because of some fake division between us. Keep this in mind as 1062 faces approval or repeal this Friday (2/28). If the right to discriminate on religious grounds doesn’t sound like it should be a right, or has anything to do with loving religion, then feel free to join the protest happening at the State capital building, in downtown Phoenix, 9pm Wednesday night (2/26). Protesting is patriotic!

            & that’s some real wisdom for you, readers. You’ve earned these beautiful pictures this week:







She’s a Brickhowwwse!


She’s a Brick… howwse.. She’s mighty might-aaay!


Greetings from the City of the Burning Sun, people of the internet. Today I am busy doing yoga & drinking hibiscus tea in preparation for next week’s Open Sesh. I need my creative chakras to be fully flowing for the musical, visual, and physical work of art the Urban Arts Club is making next Friday (2/21) in FAC 28, Tempe Campus. Come share your area of expertise with us and add to the collective inspiration (:. An open microphone will be ready for all the sophisticated poets out there, as well as space-age Ipad Instruments, & not-so-space-age instruments, with a dance floor full of ASU’s finest. Show love.

Junious Brickhouse will be there, as the Open Sesh follows the workshop he will be leading earlier that evening. This dude moves like water. Flowing over a cliff. On the Moon. Check it out:

Don’t miss the chance to work on your steps with this guy. He won’t teach us how to dress that freshly, but hey, we can’t supply you with everything.



  • Learning a thing or two from Brickhouse & then teaching everyone else a thing or two in the open session will only cost you 7$. Come on, it’s worth it. It’s good for your soul. (I’ll be there, and I recently paid the lady at Fedex two quarters & an old fortune cookie to print an essay for class). I wish that was a joke, really. This is all happening 2/21, in the Nelson Fine Arts Center, FAC 28 (ASU – Tempe).
  • As part of ASU’s Night of the Open Door, half of Phonetic Spit Myrlin Hepworth will be hosting a poetry slam March 1, at 6pm. He is representing the power of the spoken word and the written verse in an event mostly advertised for its science-based activities, so make sure you show up and let the University know that art & poetry is just as essential to the mind as science & mathematics. The Night of the Open Door is the evening of March 1, at Memorial Union on ASU’s Tempe Campus. It’ll be dope & inspiring!

Well, that’s all for this weekend mi amigos. Enjoy some of the fresh paint on our walls around the valley:


Starwars Raids you guys!!

Starwars Raids you guys!!

The Music Drug

The Music Drug


The Tale of Toogie



The Tale of Toogie


Oh yes. I know it was a long week, urbanites. You’ve been waiting day & night for the interview with artist/philosopher Toogie to be published, & now your patience will be greatly rewarded. Go make some coffee, put on some classical music, & prepare yourself for the wisdom about to slap you in the mind. I shouldn’t spoil the readers so much, I know. Enjoy.

Toogie (Heartbreakerz/Substance Over Hype) was the first guest artist of this semester for the Urban program at ASU. She is a dancer, and a teacher, a world traveler, seamstress, sculptress, and hip hop guru. Make sure you tune in.


Our next guest artist will be Junious Brickhouse, who will be teaching his workshop on 2/21. Bring 7 bucks & jump in on the knowledge and the chance to learn from a master at 9 p.m., FAC 28 (ASU Tempe). The workshops are always an enlightening, lively environment and the atmosphere is something you simply cannot find anywhere else on campus. Come learn all the things you don’t get in class!

Smoooooth Jazz

This is what you will feel like at the Open Sessions

The workshop is followed by another 2-hour open session. Bring your creative juices, but leave the shy-bread at home (I’m sorry for that one. I had to.) You can show up & dance in the cyphers, or come jump on the open instruments and jam with us. This is also an open-mic opportunity for anyone who wants to freestyle or has a spoken word piece to share. If you can draw or paint you should come, too. The inspiration will be there, & the more the merrier! (2/21, 7$, FAC 28). Get it? Got it? Write it down. Circle it with a heart on your calendar. Good.

Phoenix-based duo Phonetic Spit will also be teaching another fantastic poetry workshop at the Burton Barr Central Library, Saturday afternoon, on the 15th. Last month, I strolled up the flights of stories in the library not knowing quite what to expect. What I found was a circle of 35-40 kids, busily breaking down the barriers built between them by the unimaginative uniformity forced upon them in our public schools. I contrasted this experience with all the silly college-kid slams I usually attend & was shaken. Everything was down-to-Earth & genuine. No one was trying to be a poet; they just shared their thoughts & impressions on life out here in the desert. Don’t miss it; & do your duty by showing up & showing love (:



& That’s basically what’s going down, Arizona. Go get yourself one of those 100 oz Thirstbusters that we’re so famous for (I’m pretty sure they’re illegal in New York now) and stay cool.

Alleycats & Cellos

Alleycats & Cellos

Saguaro Thorns & Microphones



            Well Hello, & welcome to Urban Arts AZ. This week I have braved frustrated coffee shop owners (they can’t accept that this isn’t the 90’s anymore), broken glass, (and ignored more than a few “trespassing” signs) to present the world with more vibrancy from the heart of Phoenix.

This article will give you lucky art lovers a glimpse of the cultural mosaic of Arizona, as well as news about several new mixtapes being pushed by local hip hop artists. But more of that is to come. First and foremost, I must echo a local tragedy taking place in March:

That is, the closing of Cyphers, our town’s center for all forms of urban art. A dance studio, DJ school, and graffiti haven all rolled into one, this is a tremendous blow to creative culture in Phoenix. The studio has been cherished by younger members as a safe haven from the heat, as well as the trouble to be found among the alleyways and avenues of Phoenix.

Cyphers will forever live on in the hearts of teens who found passion, friendship, and for some, a reason to breathe amongst the mirrors and colorful walls of the studio. The owner of the property has decided to level the building to make room for (ironic drumroll please) another !@#$ing stripmall. Like that is really what our community of at-risk teenagers, artists, and students needs. Good job man. I’ll be sure to throw cartons and cartons of eggs at the pawnshop/taco bell/karate studio/Walgreens franchise pattern that you let move in. (Just kidding. Maybe. Don’t sue me.)

Barbed Wire & Sunflowers (draw your own conclusions)

Barbed Wire & Sunflowers
(draw your own conclusions)

Cyphers is renowned and cherished in the neighborhood for enriching the lives of locals by giving them a passion to pursue, teaching them the culture and art of Hip Hop, and providing a safe, productive way to burn off steam and pent-up energy.

Cuz I don't see any!

Cuz I don’t see any!


To commemorate their 2nd anniversary at this location, Cyphers is holding an all-day donation at the center for those who would like to help. There will be hip hop oozing out onto the sidewalk this Saturday (1/25) so be sure to come and shed tears with us as we party together and raise middle fingers to the man. Please show your love and much-appreciated support; feel free to make a donation while you’re at it (:

It’ll be getting wild at 9201 North 29th Avenue, STE #36. The shindig begins at Noon and will be raging until 9 p.m. Show some love! (You’ll probably hear us echoing all throughout the valley, so you might as well show up.)

I was fortunate enough to have a chat with partial owner and dance master House about some of his favorite memories of being a saint to local teens, the story behind Cyphers, hip hop in Arizona, and the future of art in our community; enlighten yourself:

Despite all my ranting at the landlord above, the real blame is on us as the Phoenix community for not supporting this lovely and much-needed community niche. We can all do our part to support beautiful, meaningful business in our town by loving art more. Make that drive downtown. Enroll your kid in that hip hop dance class (it’s so much more engaging, unique, and fun than karate or soccer, and who knows, you could even make a little $$$ yourself if the kiddo gets the moves right.)


Yeah Baby!

Yeah Baby!


  • ·         Underground god Talib Kweli (if you don’t know who that is, you’re depriving yourself) will be making a guest appearance in the Memorial Union on ASU’s Tempe Campus, on February 4th, in honor of Black History Month. Knowledge will be dropped. Minds will be rocked. You really don’t want to miss the chance to hear this guy speak. BE THERE.

That’s the MU, (@ASU Tempe), 2/4, 6 p.m.

We’ve also got some brand-spanking-new hip hop to let you know about WAY before your hipster friends hear about it (you’re welcome):

  • ·         Local poet & MC Myrlin has dropped The Funky Autopsy. 17 tracks of Niagara Falls flow, intelligent lyrics, and beautiful cover art, you can download that (and name your own price) via his Bandcamp page. This dude is also ½ of Phoenix-based Phonetic Spit, responsible for spreading the love and value of poetry to our youth who have no other outlets. Definitely show this dude some love.
  • ·         Master rapper and current local crown-holder Eddie Wellz  (responsible for The Speed of Thought) has decided to bless us all with more of that… I don’t even have any witty lines or metaphors to describe this guy’s music (take my word for it. He freestyled for me at school and I nearly pee’d myself). Anyways, Mr. Wellz has prepared his second feast of lyricism in Keep Your Head Up, due for release early next month. There will be a link for its download ASAP. Stay up on it.

That’s all for now my fellow desert rats. Enjoy some more pretty pictures: (I literally bled to snap some of these photos)

Beautiful new Gila mural at the Mark apartments, Tempe

Beautiful new Gila mural at the Mark apartments, Tempe

MLK love

MLK love

Pick your favorite color (:

Pick your favorite color (:

Hello World, PHX Here!


Hello World, PHOENIX Here!

Amongst the miles and miles of anonymous cinder block walls, sprawling suburbs broken only by abandoned lots and failed construction projects, and cookie cutter homes that could make even an angel feel like a mass produced robot, you might be asking what “urban”? What art? How could anything lively grow out of this Arizona dust?

Well, my friend, don’t fall into despair just yet. Welcome to UrbanArtsAZ, giving you a full dosage of color, inspiration, and reality through the blossoming music, mural, and movement taking place in our oasis. Here we will provide a spotlight on the brave souls, young and old, who dare to splash life onto Haboob-blasted brick walls, the dancers who capture the rhythm of our heat waves, and the poets and musicians who have translated the Southwest into an epic that must be shared.

All you have to do is sit back, get something cold to sip, and enjoy your fellow Phoenicians as they sweat to breathe life into our City.

So, What’s Going Down?

Need to break the boundaries of “normal”?  Hit the freeway to the Phoenix Central Library for Phonetic Spit, this Saturday, (1/18) for a poetry workshop, as well as an open mic where the brave can showcase their pen’s perspective. You don’t want to miss this chance to support poetry in the community. Check out Phonetic Spit here, as they are central players in bringing spoken word and poetry to a bloom here in cactus land. These guys routinely show local kids the freedom of poetry, so definitely show them some love in return!

Taken by Claire Lawton, of the Phoenix New Times. (Don't sue me!)

Taken by Claire Lawton, of the Phoenix New Times. (Don’t sue me!)

If you’re lucky enough to live downtown, then you are accustomed to the beauty that is springing onto walls all around Roosevelt Row. On UrbanArtsAZ, we will regularly post pictures of the dopest murals and street art in the valley. Seriously, some of these kids use colors like an Arizona sunset. For starters, here’s a collaboration between Francisco Garcia, Francisco Guerrero and Edgar Fernandez. Take a good look and soak it in!


& to wrap things up this week, the Tempe Center for the Arts has started Walk-In Wednesdays. The center has opened its doors to local musicians, poets, really anybody not afraid of an audience with something sick to share, to come and make noise! Right along Tempe Town Lake, on Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Ave, come chill with ASU students as they show the world what it’s like to be HERE. Kids start lining up at the door at 5 p.m., so if you would like to perform, get there early! The place is well known for the friendly, welcoming atmosphere and good vibes. Don’t be afraid to do your thing!
A little inspiration: