STREAM EXCLUSIVE ORIGINALS of dead prez on Legacy, Wellness in Hip Hop, and Partnering with eBay & Kirpa Auction House for Hip Hop 50

From his iconic verses with dead prez to his dedication to wellness advocacy, talks about Hip Hop's evolution, the importance of artifacts in preserving its legacy, and the vision for a healthier Hip Hop community.

For over a quarter-century, Khnum Muata Ibomu, widely recognized as, has been a pivotal force in revolutionary Hip Hop. Hailing from Florida, Stic is celebrated not just as a rapper but also as a wellness champion, activist, and martial artist.

During his time at Florida A&M University in the mid-90s, he connected with M-1, leading to the birth of dead prez. Their groundbreaking album "Let’s Get Free" debuted in 2000, garnering widespread praise. They further solidified their legacy with albums such as "RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta" and "Information Age," along with numerous mixtapes and live recordings.

Beyond music, Stic is an accomplished author, having penned, The Art of Emceeing, and The 5 Principles: A Revolutionary Path to Health, Inner Wealth, and Knowledge of Self.

Together with holistic nutritionist Afya Ibomu, he co-founded the RBG Fit Club, championing a health-focused lifestyle for families. caught up with Stic and spoke about partnering with eBay and Kirpa Auction House, the legacy of dead prez, working with the late Big Pun, and his vision for wellness to commemorate Hip Hop 50. How did you first learn about the collaboration with eBay and Kirpa House and what made you want to get involved? My friend Vinny Kumar who's been a lawyer in Atlanta for many years, told me that he had a friend Karishma “Kush” Chawla who was working on the auction. We just started chopping it up about her vision and I thought it was a really cool idea. We always have people talking about the legacy of Hip Hop, especially this year with all the Hip Hop 50 celebrations. But this is such a cool, practical way that people could access these artifacts and these elements of Hip Hop history. What she's doing is allowing the fans to determine the value so I thought it was a brilliant idea. I'm glad we got down with it and partnered up.

Let me give you a metaphor. I saw a meme and it said, “Name one thing that is British but is not British?” And the answer is “All the Egyptian artifacts.”  So when we go to places like museums that “so-called” honor our culture, we're always looking at it like we can't touch it, it ain't ours, or it's above and beyond the people. Kirpa House is inviting you into the museum and then giving you an ownership opportunity. You don’t have to just look at it through the glass, you can bring it home, add that to your legacy, and share the elements of our culture with your community. I think it just gives ownership into something that you can’t really put a price on. Throughout your career, is there one artifact that you gave away that you wish you could have kept your hands on? That’s a great question. There's so much stuff I have accumulated over the years because when you live in it, you know, we take it for granted a lot. That's why this whole celebration of Hip Hop on its heritage and legacy is such a good reminder that we live in history. I just imagined all the times that I wrote down  KRS-One’s lyrics when I was a teenager just trying to learn the art and if I had all those notebooks. The home I used to live in got flooded with decades of rhyme books and all this stuff that I lost. This auction is so special because items like my ASR 10, the machine that I used to produce most of our first album, Let’s Get Free, were offered on the platform. Also, the platinum plaque we earned for working on Big Pun’s Capital Punishment album for a little song we did there was on the platform. Big Pun is hailed as one of the best MCs ever. How was it to work with him on his classic debut album? Pun heard the demo and loved it. He’s singing on top of the demo. We didn't do anything different because he wanted it exactly how it was. It was just an honor to be a part of that history. Then we got a platinum plaque for it. My partner M-1 is more of an archivist than me. He had the mind to keep up with that and took it when Puerto Rico was rebuilding after one of the hurricanes. We did a benefit show down there; he brought it and had all the artists sign it. We were able to offer that one in the auction and some of the proceeds are going to community organizations in Puerto Rico. When it comes to songs that have shaped the culture, dead prez’s “Hip Hop” is regarded as one of the best. I remember your verse getting the verse of the year (2000) in the Source magazine. As we're celebrating Hip Hop 50, how does it feel to have contributed something so important to the history of rap music and the culture? It'd be the simplest things that blow me away. After we finished making Let’s Get Free, our label said that we needed a radio single and we were like, “We're not that kind of group “ [Laughs]. So one day, I'm tapping on the keyboards with that simple three-note baseline. It was really me being sarcastic and never thinking it would become something that has, you know, traveled the world the way that that song has with just those three notes. Decades later, to see that song travel to every continent and to be used in films, games, as the intro on the Chappelle Show, and to perform it on his Block Party, it just shows you that the people are power in Hip Hop. What the people elect moves the crowd and makes it historic. I'm grateful because I would have erased it [Laughs]. I would have said, “Ah, let me try something else.” That has kept us around the culture, so I'm grateful. Lastly, outside of your artistry, you’ve been one of the leading advocates in Hip Hop of political consciousness and being proactive in cultivating wellness. You’ve been on the frontlines about teaching and challenging us to be more intentional about our health and what we consume. So with Hip Hop 50, would you like to emphasize healthier lifestyles? I talked about it in my book, The Five Principles, that my vision for the next five to 10 years in Hip Hop and in the Black community is that we step into our wellness bag unapologetically and learn more about how many Hip Hop folks are investing in their wellness. That should inspire us in the same way so many other things inspire us in the culture. Hip Hop had us drinking all the liquor and buying every name brand that was produced. So that same power in Hip Hop is happening now. You see it in terms of those who are promoting wellness and health. I think that’s the future. I call it the “Wellionaire Age.” If we want to be around for another 50, we must invest in our health. That’s for sure.

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