For a good time, sit next to the beat-happy, Krishna-crazed love machine known as MC Yogi (AKA Nick Giacomini) as he works his creative magic up in his Northern California studio, Photoshopping all kinds of dazzling personal India travel photos into wild collage art that will serve as backdrop for his “cosmic, electrifying” new shows with one hand, while simultaneously blasting tracks from his latest record, Pilgrimage, with the other.
Do this while Yogi casually spins the hip-hop, zig-zag, indie-flick story of his life to date. Do all this and be charmed, amazed and hooked.
Nick himself is as devoted a yogi and truth-seeker as you’ll find anywhere. He reads the Bhagavad Gita every day, follows Gandhi’s humble practice of not speaking a word on Mondays. The rest of the time is split between creating art, running the couple’s yoga studio, and of course, the music.
Wait, not done yet. Mix in all manner of pop culture influence: The Doors, the Beatles, the Beastie Boys, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Star Trek, Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, classic comic books and lots of wonderfully insane Bollywood movies. Overlay it all with a preternatural gift for rhyming, and you’ve got a story for the alterna-rap record books.
“I’m just a working class mystic,” shrugs the enviably laid back Yogi, grinning a little as he adjusts his trademark fedora, kicks up his Adidas and cranks the volume on “Born to Fly,” an instantly addictive new track from Pilgrimage, one of those bouncy dub-rap songs that’s so catchy it can stick in your head for a year. But in a good way.
Do not be fooled. Mellow though he may appear, when it comes to the music and the art, Yogi is positively supercharged with a love of message like few others on the yogic path, and probably no other hip-hop musicians you can name. And Pilgrimage proves it.
And not a moment too soon. Yogi’s 2008 shoestring-budget debut, Elephant Power, still floats atop the world music chart on iTunes. Problem is, he wrote most of that one way back in 2005. And while Elephant Power’s extraordinary success brought Yogi invitations to play in dance clubs and yoga festivals all over the world (and still does), the time has come for the next phase.
And Pilgrimage is definitely it. “Everything went into this record,” says Yogi, shaking his head in amazement — meaning the travel, the teaching, the years of yoga study, tirelessly honing his craft on stages large and small, ever improving upon his powerhouse mix of hip-hop and yoga lore. The ultimate goal? “A full, authentic, transformative yogic experience…on the dance floor.”
Wait. Hip-hop and yoga? The Ramayana with a backbeat? Stories of Shiva and Shakti, Ganesh and Hanuman and the rest of the ancient Hindu gods, all funked up and slamming up against potent, propulsive graffiti beats custom built to drive eager listeners into a divine frenzy? It’ll never work.
Unless it does. Unless it works so well you wonder why no one’s thought of it before. The truth is, you’ve never heard anything like Pilgrimage. You’ve never heard anyone like MC Yogi. Together they just may change the world. All over again.
MC Yogi Classes
Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles
Ganesh is the elephant-headed diety of India, known for his ability to remove obstacles and bring success to new endeavors. This will be a strong Vinyasa Yoga Practice embedded with the stories and sacred symbolic teachings of Ganesh. Be prepared to let powerful energy of Ganesh clear the path to bright new possibilities in your life.
Yoga as Pilgrimage
A Pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place with a specific purpose, generally one that benefits something or someone you love. Weaving together asana, pranayama, poetry, story telling, music and art MC Yogi and Amanda Giacomini guide us through a flowing yoga practice designed to be a Pilgrimage, or sacred journey into the Heart of Yoga. This is a mixed level practice, some previous yoga experience recommended.