I appreciated speaking at Whittier College in the Jobs For Justice series.
Titled, “Why be an Urban Planner?,” the talk explored my route to planning through hip hop, graffiti, and architecture; what urban planning is; careers in public, private, nonprofit planning & allied fields; and my thesis that the future of planning is #EmbeddedPlanning praxis.
Shout out to Dr. Rebecca Overmeyer-Velazquez for the invitation.
I wrote about the impact of Cypress Hill’s trailblazing self-titled debut album that dropped 31 years ago today, and explained why I represented them to the fullest in my 1992 yearbook photo at Montebello High School.
“We saw ourselves in Cypress. They talked like us. We looked like them. Or tried, if you could grow a goatee.
This foolio went all in. I wore out that cassette tape. I grew a whiskery #brocha. I joined the Cypress Hill fan club, scoring stickers, newsletters, and the OG Cypress Hill t-shirt with the skull, weed, & globe in compass album cover on the front, and on the back it read: “The Phuncky Cypress Hill Shit.” The iconic gear got me suspended from Montebello High and gaffeled up by Magic Mountain security —“harassed by a pig real fast,” to quote B-Real.
When it came time for my 1992 yearbook photo, I had to represent. Vatos don’t smile ey. But I was moody too. The night before I’d phucked up my mustache trim. I cut it all off rather than leave it #chueco in the yearbook. I told myself that I was still down for mine. That’s not Johnny, it’s SKUZ ONE.”
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