Back, in Time.

Fashion is cyclical and since art imitates life there is no reason to dispose of non perishable items, simply because something new has come along. In a society that worships youth and casts aside its veterans, renders “basic” for the low budget as apposed to its origin, as foundational and fundamental; and genetically modifies both food and bodies, having (or being) an original is completely antiquated.

We live in a time where people think they invented it themselves; not realizing there is nothing new under the sun. So, this is our way of reinventing what once was–commemorating the predecessor–and taking you on a journey that brings you back, in time.

24 Hours

Are you like everyone else with the same proclamation that 24 hours just isn’t enough time? Does it seem like life is a blur? If so, welcome to the club to which billions of people who mismanage time, belong.

Did you always used to miss the first ten minutes of every movie (until they decided to lead with 15 minutes of pre-movie commercials)? Or the National Anthem and team introductions at a sporting event? Did you rack up consistent unexcused tardies from sixth grade through high school? Possibly a pro at missing flights? Time management is an ailment that we have figured out how to treat.

Lets break down the measurement of time first. In the beginning of time there was no measurement for it. Using a sundial, Egyptians figured out how long the days were Eventually humans decided to further break time up into smaller segments in order to agree on celestial events or harvest seasons. Cyclical measurement of time fit the relative sense of urgency for work that needed to be done. For instance, “many moons” or “a fortnight” were perfectly sufficient measures of efficiency. As population increased, so did the need for labor and demand for production. It was decided to chop and dice time into hours, minutes, and seconds. At this point a dynamic shift occurred and some of us cyclical people are still having trouble adjusting.

Nevertheless, to live a balanced, productive and fulfilled life, a few things need to take place. We need to rest well, mindlessly play, passionately love, and relentlessly work. Taking these into account, we sliced the pie into this divine order:

24 hours
8 hours of sleep
6 hours of work
2 hours of exercise
2 hours of eating
2 hours of sex/cuddle love/ taking a walk (depending on your situation)
2 hours of driving wherever you’re going
2 focused hours of Family/”YOU” time (depending on your situation)

Using this as a module, insert an hour here or subtract one there, to suit your needs. One key to mastering [your] time is learning to say NO to what distracts you from saying YES to what fulfills you. Its imperative that you spend your time consciously–aware. Idleness throughout your day is truly what makes time a limited resource.

Live intentionally, and time will be your ally.


“Be careful to guard your mind; for your thoughts become actions, actions become habits and habits form your lifestyle.” Unknown

Let wise words from a great philosopher, lyrics from a respected musician, or excerpts from a revolutionaries account, guide your week. Words have such an impact on our entirety. Often times we fail to take responsibility for their meanings. Meditation Monday is our weekly reminder that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will ring in the depths of your subconscious and create your atmosphere. We want you to reveal [your] truth and make progress.

…after all, its the Grindstone way!



Check the blog for an updated list of events, shows, pop-up-shops, musical experiences, and collaboration releases, that will be occurring. We Up Next! is a way for us to connect off line; come chat with us, snag some stickers to bomb with or preview the latest pieces of the seasons collections.

Oh–and bring the squad!



In an attempt to enhance your [Fashion] conscious experience, we will offer a unique piece for purchase on the site. An item will go up for sale every Saturday, at a predetermined time–for a limited time–and the only one of its kind. Get it before it’s gone…because once it’s gone, you wont be able to get it again…literally. Exclusive, capsule, archival, and never-released items for a fraction of the price, for just one night.

…another reason Saturday Night will give you fever.


In true spirit of the early 2000s vH1 comedy series, we will beg the question and leave the comment about what things peaked our interest throughout the week. What colors did we see, sounds did we hear, tastes did we encounter that left us wanting more– in a good way.

The first week we hashtag will be New York Fashion Week. This seasons S/S2016 collections, christened the new hosting space, The Dock at Moynihan Station, located in the Meat Packing District in Chelsea. Starting the spring season off were seasoned brands like BCBGMAXAZRIA and pop culture initiative, V Files; which showcased up-and-coming designers. September 11th was commemorated with Givenchy bringing their show to Tribeca and using One World Trade Center as a backdrop. This season also saw Industry vet Betsey Johnson celebrating 50 years!

In other Anniversaire news, king of the collabo (his H&M collection was the most sought after by celebrity and sales person alike) Alexander Wang, celebrated a decade designing his eponymous line–known for its luxurious insouciance, basics reinvented in slinky silhouettes and rock-stud embellished pebbled leather satchels and stilettos–with a retrospective of the past ten years projected down the entire length of the runway. The eerily staggered images of collections and campaigns past, interviews and never-before-seen footage, was merely another visual reminder that Alex Wang is one of those people-#HavingTheBestWeekEver


Time is ILLMATIC: Nas’ triumph is ours

“Word to Christ a disciple of streets, trifle on beats. I decipher prophecies through a mic and say ‘Peace'” -Nas

Stellar achievements born through harsh conditions are the stories that dreams are made of and legacies remembered. This year has brought many realities of our culture to the forefront of global consciousness as it has also demanded of us to be at our most introspective in years. While many public events have been very challenging and polarizing, they can still be viewed as adversity that sculpts us. Through our growth in adversity we are granted the opportunity to celebrate achievement.

On March 29, 2014, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Nasir Jones a.k.a. Nas, celebrated his twentieth year anniversary of his groundbreaking album “Illmatic” by performing the entire album accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! When I first saw the advertisement that this would take place in such a prestigious place in such a big way, I wasn’t sure how to take it. I knew it sounded weird, but curiosity had me on the website clicking and buying 1 ticket (not 2 tickets) so I could witness this piece of history uninterrupted.


Leading up to the event, haircuts and outfits had to be thorough just to honor the milestone appropriately. After all, this was not just a celebration for Nas’ groundbreaking debut album “Illmatic”, it was a celebration for all of us who had rebelliously listened to this album and shouted every lyric at one point in time as it hit our collective core. The night was a confirmation that the world is ours and that we had arrived with our ideas, slang, and vision validated. Stepping into the Kennedy Center for a rap concert was surreal. Sure many have rapped in that building before, but the difference was fact that this was celebrating an album exclusively about street life.

As the crowd rolled in, I noticed a few familiar faces in the crowd all brimming with anxiety and respect. From the very beginning, watching the conductor and all of the musicians take their seats and tune their instruments was larger than life. How could Nas make this make sense? Then he arrived. Holding only one mic, a snifter of cognac, and donned in a black tuxedo, he bowed to a standing ovation from the largely 40-plus year old crowd. From that moment, I didn’t sit down in my orchestra seat for at least the next 20 minutes. The piano started softly but sharply playing the familiar melody of the album’s opening song “N.Y. State of Mind”; and he went in… “Rappers I monkey flip ’em with the funky shit that I be kickin’!”. At this point I was yelling the lyrics and I mentally teleported into an era of wearing Timberlands and Polo again and hanging around the smell of seeded-regular early ’90’s weed while looking for life’s answers. It was suddenly us against the world revisited through his lyrics.


The only sobering facts about this moment were the sounds of these well-tuned instruments and the fact that everyone wasn’t losing their minds with me. This didn’t sound like my “Illmatic” tape. This sounded like… like a new way to record music. This was the fusion of saying “Life’s a bitch” and having a 70-plus piece symphony backing it. This was the evidence that we had endured as grown-ups playing by our own rules. Who woulda thunk it?! It was like an audio/visual scrapbook of sorts for me because I felt my same feelings from 20 years ago but I was blending in an audience of people who appeared to be homeowners with decent credit… Not so Illmatic, but beautiful.

As he went through his renditions of each song in sequence from his classic release, he also blessed us with certain standout hits from other albums. The night was great and life is good. Moreover, it was a lesson in longevity from an artist who has become seasoned in an art form that has been labeled a “young man’s game”. Hopefully, rap as a music will grow with its fearless expression and we will hear an album recorded to a symphony’s composition someday. It’s a dope idea as we look for the next groundbreaking sound in music; and while it does seem risky, never forget: REPRESENTIN’ IS ILLMATIC!!!

Click to watch the trailer of his documentary “Time is Illmatic”

Who’s Afraid of Large Black Men? Charles Barkley could be.

In response to all of the racial tension and authority power dynamics in Ferguson, Missouri, and America’s inner cities as of late, I was pondering when was the perfect time to summate all of my thoughts and write them down. Perhaps there is no perfect way or perfect time. Maybe my thoughts are in their infancy with regards to the abuse and disregard that humans have developed for other humans.

Nevertheless, there is an exposed raw nerve in American civilian society in 2014 that some choose to agitate with placating mocking statements. Exhibit 1: Charles Barkley. When will Sir Charles realize that people laugh at him and not WITH him? The man who boasts of never actually going to any of his college classes is now being used as the touchstone for political commentary by the manipulative mass media. By the Way, Chuck, I still remember seeing you advocate for the Republican election of George Bush, Sr. We laugh at you, not with you… but that’s just me taking the latest series of Barkley’s mouth-to-mic diarrhea spills personally.
A quality piece written by former NBA-player, Etan Thomas, shares my visceral feelings on this issue as well as invokes thought in all of those who are found with a platform and a microphone in our face. Enjoy this read and please share it with someone.

Click here to read it

The EXCLUSIVE Grindstone interview of Anwan (Big G) Glover aka Slim Charles

In the capital city of the United States of America there are many unsung heroes and stories that are untold. Everybody wants a hero, yet the everyday struggle is overlooked by those in search of. Often from the struggle come those who transcend it and become our beacons of light as examples of what is possible through diligence. In Washington, DC, Anwan “Big G” Glover has become an icon amongst his people. You may recognize him as Slim Charles from the HBO series “The Wire” or from the Oscar award winning cast of “12 years a Slave”, but in DC the “Ghetto Prince” is just a homegrown uptown dude who took his talents global.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to sit down with “Big G” and interview him extensively on a variety of topics that ranged from his acting career to his place in the capital city as a political figure. Unfortunately, the last ten minutes of the interview are not shown in the attached link, so I feel the need to preface your viewing experience and explain what you may not know about the man and his city.

As the lead talker (front man) for his go-go band, The Backyard Band (BYB), Big G has earned the respect and attention of the street influentials as well as the local politicians. He has not only entertained endless crowds throughout the past couple of decades, but he has driven those same people to mass HIV testing programs to raise awareness in statistically HIV-riddled neighborhoods. Various DC mayors have utilized him as a point man to relate messages to the youth about “cease-fires” and increasing peace in the midst of crime and murder waves that traumatized the city. When asked what the first thing he would change in the city would be if he had the chance to be mayor (hypothetically), he drew attention to the specific and urgent need for the city to implement more theatre and musical development programs in the inner city schools.

In light of the recently highly publicized police violence against Black people in America’s neighborhoods, he recalled a story of a friend whom he witnessed gunned down by police and subsequently handcuffed and forced to bleed out and die; he claims that he and his friends could have saved his life because they were just approximately “200 bike pedals away” from Washington Hospital Center, but we’re disallowed by police. The riveting first hand accounts of an icon’s experience are stories worth listening to. Later in our interview, that was actually more of conversation between old friends since we used to live across the street from one another, we recalled our experience at the 1995 Million Man March. When every man at the march was instructed to hold up a $1 bill, we fondly acknowledged the power of the unity that we felt that day. Despite his being on crutches and bandaged that day from being victimized from a recent shooting, he recalls attending because he had to “represent for his city”…… What have you done for city your lately?….

Between speaking engagements at various schools throughout the area, preparing for acting roles, performing music multiple times weekly in BYB, being a family man, and having the number one radio show in the DMV area, Big G continues to grind. His parting words (not captured in the attached interview) stressed the need for love in the community to be spread and for non-violence to be our ONLY option. Love your city and it will love you back… even if it takes them a while to admit it.


CLICK HERE to see a brief clip from a BYB performance

The Racism challenge

2014-08-14 21.08.35
Apparently the newest online hype is for people to make challenges of some kind that call people to action. The ALS “Ice Bucket challenge” is perhaps the most significant of its kind. While looking over various social media posts and blogs I’ve seen some people negatively compare the passion that the public has for ALS with the apparent disregard for funding Michael Brown’s family and Ferguson, Missouri’s “prisoners of war” with bail. I smell a challenge brewing.

The list of Black US citizens gunned down and victimized by law enforcement is a consistent population-controlling statistic that has held steady and probably declined very little for the past three or four decades in America. Most Black Americans can personally attest to an instance in which themselves or a friend has been a victim of police injustice, and fortunately technology has allowed for us to actually view these instances more often. As a classic reactionary and NECESSARY show of unity, many people have taken to the streets marching for justice. Lets be real though. That galvanizes people but changes nothing after the fact. PEOPLE WHO DESIRE ANY TYPE OF CHANGE CANNOT STOP AT THE FIRST STEP OF A PROCESS.

Consequently, Ive come up with a solution to end racism in America. Yep, I said it. No one can end prejudice, but racism can indeed be ended by the people who desire that outcome. It is simple. The “ism” in “racism” indicates the existence of an oppressive social condition. Usually, this oppression is fueled by finance. Therefore, the oppressed people need to stop financing their oppressor. With adequate research, the prison builders, the law makers’ cash cows, and the other tools of civil destruction can be pinpointed by the names and functions of their companies. Once, the knowledge of the cooperating companies and their affiliates are discovered by the people, the products that they sell no longer need to be considered as options for purchase. Starve them. We vote in power with every financial transaction made (this means your coveted stock portfolios as well). I understand that this is not the proverbial invention of the wheel, but it is indeed a fundamentally sound solution. One week of zero purchases of a large company’s product would have them scrambling. A year of purchasing the alternative would shift power.

What’s in your shopping cart? What did you buy today? What does that company financially support? Look it up after you march and rant. I CHALLENGE YOU to find the information for one of the companies from whom you purchase food, toiletries, clothes, beauty products, alcohol/tobacco, pharmaceuticals, etc. from who funds a cause that oppresses you; and take a stance by refusing to buy anything from that company for 30 days. Be significant.