Photographs by Joe Conzo

Bringinn it Back ..

For ten years Tools of War has been rockinn the park like this was nineteen seventywhanow and This Is New York. The Bronx, thas whas up. Like Grandmaster Caz said, where we startinn from. And so it was and so it is that Tools of War got the line up this year. We talkin Bobbito the otha day, Tony Toca next week, then ohmagosh, I’ma be cominn thru when they hit up Crotona cause it’s Theodore, Biz Markie, Bambaataa, Red Alert, Jazzy Jay, Lord Finesse, hot daaamn the list goes on. Shout out to Christie Z. Pabon for doinn her thing cause without her energies, the past wouldn’t be present today.

Cause it’s like this: Ain’t a damn thang changed. Nice N Smooth know what I’m talkinn bout. I asked Joe Conzo, Was it like this back in the days? Yes, he told me, the DJ spinnin and the b-boys and b-girls in the circle and the crew is five to fifty and the gangs over there lookinn out and the kids are ballinn on the court and everyone’s doinn they thang and it’s just the way we be and my heart lit up. Cause I’m sayinnn….

It’s been a long time (I shouldn’t have left you). I’ma start rhyminn cause my heart is singing. I had this moment while my hips swished and my ass went bumpadumpbump juslikethis. And I’m watchinn this guy go off and I’m feelinn the vibes and it reminded me of something deep, way deep down inside. It’s been something I lost cause I had to walk away only I neva lost it cause what is mine will forever remain. There is a spirit and an energy and it’s like nothinn else and I don’t know where it comes from, all I know is that it is eternal and it vibrates in everything. And I feel it in my bones and in my blood and in my heart and it makes me smile like nothing else.

Peace. Love. Unity. Respect. Having Fun. Alla this, you see. It’s been so long I nearly forgot til I went uptown and it all came back. And see, it’s not just that we hit up the park and that I was feelinn the love and that in that love I found a part of my soul. It’s that it doesn’t end here, but here it begins because after we hit the park we walked up to One Sixteen and Second and went for Dominican and it was arroz con gandules y maduros y a nice glass of wine with my girls and we talkinn about whatever and everywhere on the walls are photos of A-Rod. And then it’s back down to BeeKay cause this is New York and it got me reconnected to the place I am from and the place where I been and the place where I am is the place I been goinn for as long as I am here. Cause that’s Hip Hop. It’s a spirit that’s as much a way of life as a work of art.

Come Thru