Photos by Agaton Strom
Last Tuesday, Yoga instructor/hip hopper/vocal Obama proponent MC Yogi (aka Nicholas Giocomini) brought his singular brand of Indian mythology-infused rap to the Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City for the CD release party of his first album, Elephant Power. The goal of Yogi’s composition is to bridge yoga and hip hop, and as dubious or downright incomprehensible as that aim may be, the MC delivers what’s likely the closest thing conceivable. And the release party was pretty ideal for the project: rooted in yoga-related themes, it was exuberant, vibrant, a little goofy, and generally unclassifiable—just like the album.
MC Yogi Releases the Elephant Power
The night opened with Krishna Das playing some more traditional Indian music to crowd of elated yoga practitioners who shook and swayed, sometimes emphatically so, to the droning, moody intonations and Das’s craggy baritone. They joined him in soothing, jubilant melodic chanting.
When MC Yogi took the stage, the evening took a decidedly more rapturous tone—the Yoga rugs were hurriedly abandoned for the center of the room, which became a makeshift dance floor. Energized, sweaty, and generally and happily off-beat, the crowd stepped and swaggered to Yogi’s hip hop/Eastern music hybrids. There were call and response sessions, enthused hand clapping, creatively unpredictable hippy dancing, and somehow not-so strangely, hula hooping.
Judging by the rapt participants—the smiling, vociferous crowd—the consensus seemed to be that Yogi’s music channeled the positivity of yoga into a celebratory musical expression. And the CD just might make an interesting gift to the yoga fiend in your life. Listen for yourself at MC Yogi's website.
More on Unusual Yoga:
Tree Yoga for a New Relationship with the Environment
Make Your Yoga Greener