kizmet

YOUTH & RUST STANDARD

It’s been along time coming, but it’s finally done. The first issue of Youth & Rust Standard will be for sale tonight at the S.H.I.T. record release at SHIBGB’s.

Featuring interviews and contributions by
Yo Sick
Kizmet 32
Chelsea Watt
Steve Horvath
Alex Matuszczak
Give Up
Pahnl

with additional content by Dave Kristansen, Sardé Hardie and Anthony Ferrari. 

For sale by donation or PWYC.

In honor of Father’s Day

Here’s a list of my stories from last year featuring Conner (AKA Superboy) with the various father figures he gained from the events of Kizmet’s stories along with her stories as well.

Failing Safely

Muddling through Grey

Nobody’s Child

youtube

I had the dream job after college.

At the end of 2004 I was hired by Youth Sounds, a small digital media youth program, to co-found a music program for youth and young adults in Oakland where we taught beat making & recording.  The program was called BUMP (Bay Unity Music Project), which still exists to this day.  I quit my dream job in 2007 mostly because of non-profit employee burnout syndrome and partly because the Native Guns thing was popping off and I wanted to explore being an independent DJ/Musician.

In those three years, we made a lot of good music, performed a lot of shows, and taught a lot youth throughout Oakland & SF.  However, the experience that sticks with me most was also the most challenging: running our first middle school program, BUMP Kizmet.

Kizmet was created from the guts of West Oakland’s McClymonds High School.  The aging, poor-performing, low-attended high school was split into three small schools: 2 high schools and 1 middle school - Kizmet.  It was intended to be a place for advanced middle schoolers to prepare them for high school.  Instead it became a dumping ground for all the kids that got kicked out of the other middle schools in Oakland.  These kids were bad.  They beat up each other; they beat up high schoolers; they even beat on teachers (and then stole their cars). These kids were BAD.

However, by the end of the year, we were able to guide a small group of 6th and 7th graders to produce, write, and record their own album, as well as perform a concert in front of all their peers.  No, they weren’t the best beats; no, they weren’t the best rhymes; and no, they weren’t the best performers.  But watching those kids be stars in front of their friends, having fun, and forgetting - even if for just 20 minutes - the stresses of living in the hood, brought tears to my eyes.  It was the last week of work before my quit date.

I haven’t kept in touch with any of the BUMP Kizmet kids and wonder what they’re up to now.  Some of them should be juniors in high school, or at least I hope so.

Digging through my backup hard drive, I stumbled upon the album we made and listened to every track.  This song was one of our favorites.