Khnum “Stic” Ibomu of famous hip hop duo dead prez is known as “the father of fit hop,” a genre of hip hop music that motivates listeners to move, live, and eat well. Along with Stic’s bandmate Mutulu “M-1” Olugbala, dead prez has been on the scene for decades, rapping about everything from meditation to veganism (Stic has been vegan for over 25 years).
And to help pass on what Stic, aka stic.man, has learned over the years, Stic’s new book The 5 Principles: A Revolutionary Path to Health, Inner Wealth, and Knowledge of Self is hitting shelves today, Oct. 18, 2022.
In the book, which Stic tells Green Matters is part memoir, part manual, and part manifesto, he guides readers through the reasons they should embrace his five principles — knowledge, nutrition, exercise, rest, and consistency — in order to live a better life.
Is dead prez working on new music? Here’s what stic.man and M-1 are up to.
If you’re a fan of dead prez, get excited, because the duo is working on a new album, set to be released in 2023 — more than a decade after their last studio album. “I'm working on a new dead prez album. It's only for the Green Matters audience. Don't tell anybody else,” Stic jokes.
Stic also released a new song this month called “Lace Up,” which is inspired by his new book.
To learn more about The 5 Principles, Stic’s wellness journey, fit hop music, and more, Green Matters recently caught up with the musician and author over a video call. Keep reading for Stic’s exclusive Green Routine!
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
GREEN MATTERS: Can you share a bit about the book and how it came to be?
STIC: This book is a 20-plus-year labor of love. It's about a few things. It's a part memoir, in that I share stories on my journey to health and fitness.
And, it’s part manual. I didn't want to just tell stories, but I wanted to try to make it actionable and practical for the reader.
It’s part manifesto too, because it's the things I've come to believe, it’s what I stand on, what I stand for, and summarized in these five sections that are life lessons, or what I call the five principles.
GM: What is your favorite principle in the book and why?
S: Oh, easy. Number five: consistency. There’s knowledge, nutrition, exercise, and rest, but what holds that all together is being consistent in those areas.
If we're not consistent, then the results don't happen. And so I spend a lot of time in the book talking about my consistency, and what drives it. And essentially, it's learning how to stay inspired. Because when you're staying inspired, that is the fuel that you need to keep going.
GM: You pioneered the fit hop music genre. Why is it so meaningful to you?
S: Fit hop is so important because we need that motivation. And music is really powerful, especially in the hip hop community, and especially the younger we are. It's everything. Whatever the music is that we’re listening to, it’s answering all our questions about what it means to be alive, what it means to be a person.
It's very important to have music that speaks to our wellness and our well-being in a way that is relatable, it’s not preachy, it's not judging. It's really affirmations to the beat.
Spiritually, I felt like it was something that came through me and said, “This is what you're doing. I don't care what you used to do. I don't care what was trending. I don't care how many records are selling. I don't care about any of that. You are supposed to create music that people can change their lives to — this is what you're supposed to do.” And I'm just trusting the universe and trying to do my best.
GM: You've been on your wellness journey for so long. What inspires you to continue writing about all this?
S: Most of us are pretty familiar with what a comfort zone is. What I introduced in the book is how I discovered what I call a power zone, which is where you intentionally move the needle forward in your life in certain areas. You curate a power zone. You curate your inspirational cues, you curate your nutrition, you curate which exercises you want to explore, what kind of fitness pathways you want to explore, you curate things that feed your mind, you collect different meditations to try — you're curating a power zone.
And that kind of sits there for you like a toolbox, just like you’ve got your chips and cookies and whatever else for your comfort zone. We stack our pantries with the things that give us comfort; then, we want to stack our pantries mentally, emotionally, physically with things that give us power, empowerment. I always have a toolbox of things that I can go to, to power up.
GM: Where would you like the wellness movement and the vegan movement in the future?
S: I tried to make the case in the book that we are at the dawn of a holistic urban renaissance, where fitness and wellness and music and hip hop and culture are holding hands and married and making babies everywhere. Where cool and urban and street are embracing mindfulness and well-being and nutrition and rest and inspiration and all that — kind of back to the roots of hip hop, because the roots of hip hop were peace, love, unity, having fun.
We're seeing that renaissance come back with wellness being what it is post COVID. Everybody's way more conscious of their health, mindfulness is at an all time popularity, we're in a whole different space. And hip hop is the number one voice of the youth around the world. So that's what I see as the future — more synergy, in every way that we use our arts and culture to celebrate and also influence our well-being culture, which I call the “wellionaire” age.
"Green Routine" is a series from Green Matters that invites notable people in the environmental space to share the efforts they make to live more sustainably.