hip-hop’s medicine man brings wellness to the next generation
By Sound Check
June 5, 2018
by Brionna Taylor, AFROPUNK contributor
Within the last few decades, many artists have lost their lives due to health and wellness disparities. While what many artists ‘carry in their cups’ has become the ultimate mystery, Supa Nova Slom’s cup is filled with freshly pressed green juice. As an artist, Slom is helping expand the world of black music as he creates a healing voice for local communities and A-List celebrities. Slom, also known as hip-hop’s medicine man, embodies a different type of artist as he has assisted some of the biggest names in hip-hop to get healthy. By exploring new themes within conscious music, Slom is helping unify and bring wellness to the hip-hop Generation.
“Early on, I noticed most artists didn’t have anyone directly addressing ways that they can be more fortified and energized doing their art,” says Slom. “When you’re an MC and entertainer your health often dictates your whole career.
Slom grew up in Brooklyn during a special time for hip-hop culture. As a byproduct of the hip-hop come up, artists like Public Enemy and Sean Price became key mentors to him. Slom credits his mother Queen Afua, an internationally renowned author, and holistic health practitioner, for teaching him the importance of health at an early age. As time went on, he began to realize a lot of artists and rappers’ careers when ending due to sickness.
“Too many amazing artists who have left this planet before age forty-five,” recalls Slom. “J Dilla passed away from a failed liver, Big Pun from obesity, Heavy D of a heart condition and Poetic of Gravediggaz from colon cancer.”
Inspired to bring potivity change, Slom began working with some of the music industry’s biggest artists including Andre 3000, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Stic Man and Common on wellness. He even traveled with Erykah Badu as her personal medicine man, chef, and doula during her Baduizm tour. As he began to work with artists and give them natural foods and juices, Slom was quickly nicknamed green juice man of hip-hop. “We push chlorophyll, not coke,” said Slom. While actively working among the industry’s top artists, he became noted as a pioneer for the ‘Chlorophyllion’ green lifestyle. Slom often carries this green juice remedy around by the gallon.
Photo by Sheldon Bolton Photography
In order to help bring change on a deeper level, Slom created Wholistic Wellness for the community as an effort to bring wellness mindfulness to the next generation. Unlike so many others, Slom’s message comes straight from the heart. In fact, Slom has been noted as one of the first hip-hop artists to ever do an album on wellness. His critically-acclaimed work includes songs such as ‘Sugar Crack, Purify or Die’ and ‘Medicine Stomp’, efforts to educate younger generations about health in a contemporary way. But his pursuits don’t stop there, his entire music catalog addressing critical social, political, and wellness topics. His conscious albums extend into all genres with some of the most influential artists including The Game, Erykah Badu, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, T.I., Bilal and Dead Prez.
“I am a firm believer in using my art to help educate and bring change,” says Slom. “There are no limits to conscious music.”
As a survivor of the streets, he wants to continue to be a positive mentor for young people. “Wellness is both internal and external,” reiterates Slom. Since many artists didn’t have the proper support, he created the first ever Hip-Hop Meditation Cyphers, a weekly gathering for the hip-hop community, DJs, and MCs to teach them meditation principles.
To help make a greater change, Slom also founded Unify the Hood and Heal the Hood. Slom created both initiatives to facilitate a bridge of understanding between Crips and Bloods. His work with Unify the Hood aids in finding resources and job opportunities to help men get off the streets and transform their lives. “Unfortunately, a large part of hip-hop culture is intertwined with the gang culture,” says Slom. “I want to help bring back value to the culture.”
Photo by Sheldon Bolton Photography
Currently, Slom volunteers his time to speak with different youth organizations and college to teach G’Knowledge 101. The lecture provides information on the social and political history of gangs and street violence. In addition, Slom often travels to speak with schools and communities using music and real-world outlets to educate others on wellness. Slom is also a best-selling author for his book, The Remedy and is the only hip-hop artist to own a health and wellness supplement company.
“We are now living in a time were children are battling type 2 diabetes at thirteen,” says Slom. “Processed sugar is one molecule away from the biochemical structure of crack-cocaine.”
Slom continues to use his music to positively influence and help bring wellness to the next era of musicians. In addition to speaking internationally, he has appeared on BET, CBS, The Today Show, and The Jay Leno Show. For Slom, his music offers tips and remedies for artists who typically aren’t given access to education on health. Through his work, Slom hopes to help others maximize their craft and provide them with the ability to go the long hall.
Photo by Keith Major
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