HHCF’s “Life Stategies” rouses O’Connell H.S.!

Immortal Technique

Adisa Banjoko was welcomed to a full gymnasium by the students at O’Connell high school in San Francisco. The panel included: Immortal Technique, JT the Bigga Figga and DLabrie (artist of “Vote for Barack“).

Immortal Technique, an Afro-Peruvian raised in Harlem, spoke of poor decisions he made which landed him in prison. He spoke of his solitude and his immersion in chess during this time.

Through chess he learned a different way to plot the course of hs life once he was set free. He made a profound statement which addresses a bit of the materialistic mindset of the youth today. His chess metaphor was onpoint and he articulated it by saying,

I taught me that, even if you have more pieces… for example… if someone has more money than you, their family has more money than you and they dress a little bit nicer, that doesn’t mean they’re winning. Because you have more pieces doesn’t in the game doesn’t mean you’re winning, it’s the position you’re in that dictates how things end. You could be up a rook and be up a bishop and be up a few pieces… up a pawn and still lose. So the game doesn’t depend on just material possessions. It’s how you think about it and how strong your family is as a unit. So that’s the one thing that definitely I could relate to from the board to real life… especially in that position in my life… it gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do.

JT the Bigga Figga talked about his exposure into the rap game and the founding of his company. He recounted a meeting of rappers who were assembled by Minister Louis Farrakhan to discuss the state of rap music. JT brought his chess pieces and then related that to the networking that needed to happen to be successful. Each of the attendees (rappers, CEOs) needed to strategize and put pieces together in order to come up with a winning strategy. That led to his successful company at 18-years old and the discovering the mega-talent, “The Game.” He made the first move to invest in this artist in the frame of studio time, marketing, production and management.

DLabrie, the artist of the “Life Strategies” chess song, has had a successful career and is the founder of the Hip Hop Chess Congress. He talked about his upbringing of having half-brothers and sisters, but growing up as an only child. He stated that it was sometimes difficult to work in a team. One of his lines in the chess anthem was “Do you know what your team can do? Will you sacrifice four pawns to kill off two?” He stated that it relates to assembling a diverse team to win… as in the diverse pieces in chess.

It was a positive atmosphere and the students were very attentive. A good day for chess. See videos below.


  1. Hip-Hop Chess Federation Teams with MMA Fighters Jake Sheilds and Ralek Gracie, RZA, Rakaa, IM Josh Waitzkin, for the “Mind Over Matter” Chess & Grappling Exhibition

    HHCF brings together top entertainers and fighters to inspire today’s youth


    San Jose, CA March 19th 2008– The Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF) the world’s first non-profit fusing music, chess and martial arts to promote unity, strategy and nonviolence is proud to announce the Mind Over Matter Chess and Grappling Exhibition. Some of the biggest stars from the Hip-Hop, Chess and Martial Arts communities will gather for this one of a kind event.

    Mind Over Matter will be held at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement at 3455 Edison Way, in Menlo Park California on April 12th 2008 from 12 noon to 5 PM. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, chess icon and two time tai chi chuan world champion Josh Waitzkin, Rakaa of Dilated Peoples and Casual of Hieroglyphics . Other artists attending “Mind Over Matter” include The Jacka, Paris, T-K.A.S.H., Prince Ali, Director of “Straight Outta Hunters Point” Kevin Epps and many others.

    “There is little more beautiful than the eyes of a child lighting up with inspiration, making new connections, falling in love with learning” said Josh Waitzkin. “Educators must take note of the rise of the HHCF. Adisa Banjoko is creating some of the most dynamic, innovative and empowering events for our youth- and “Mind Over Matter” will raise the bar once again. Blending chess, Hip-Hop and martial arts we are generating a dialogue about learning that begins with the love, embraces the unique flavor of each individual, and break down the divisive false constructs some have imposed on our culture, our schools, and our youth. I am honored to be part of this movement.”

    Banjoko adds,

    “The HHCF’s Mind Over Matter chess and grappling exhibition is going to be a historic on several levels” said Adisa Banjoko, HHCF CEO. “There will be world class grapplers, chess masters and martial artists interweaving the highest aspects of these arts to improve the state of America’s youth. MC’s B-boys and B-girls, Graff writers and DJ’s and chess lovers from all over the planet are returning to the Bay to celebrate the union of these arts.”

    In addition, RZA, Josh, and MMA Champion Ralek Gracie will host a panel entitled Martial Arts As A Path to Nonviolence. The panel will outline how students of chess and martial arts are trained to incorporate numerous options outside of violence.

    HHCF Life Strategies panels are in high demand because of their intensity and philosophical depth. Previous panelists include San Quinn, Rakaa of Dilated Peoples, Josh Waitzkin, Dr. Daaim Shabazz of thechessdrum.net, RZA, DJ QBert, DJ Kevvy Kev, Balance, Immortal Technique and DLabrie from Hip-Hop Congress.

    Additional events of the day will include, MMA Champion Jake Sheilds and No Gi World Champion Denny Prokopos of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu SF hosting an exhibition to showcase some of today’s most effective grappling techniques.

    Sponsors for Mind Over Matter include online chess community Chesspark.com, Ubisoft, Brazilian jiu jitsu news outlet Onthemat.com, Luna Bars and Hip-Hop Congress.

    For more information or sponsorship opportunities please call (323) 335-4497 or email gaborski@shinkenpublicrelations.com.

    Media Contact:

    Me’ko Gaborski
    (323) 335-4497

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