YO CHING: Ancient Knowledge for Streets Today

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The following article is excerpted from Yo Ching: Ancient Knowledge for Street Today, written by True Player and produced by Hugh Gallagher. 




An Introduction by Hugh Gallagher and True Player


The I Ching is one of the oldest books in the world, dating back to BC China. The original author remains lost in the mists of time. But the cryptic text has since puzzled scholars, mystics, and seekers of truth for more than 3000 years. A myriad of minds, from Confucius to Jung, have meditated on the I Ching, trying to decipher the meaning of its 64 different “hexagrams”. Dividing the book into chapters, these cryptic lines are filled with Princes and Inferiors, armies and kingdoms, jackals, arrows, rivers, stars and seasons, all providing metaphoric images reflecting profound Chinese wisdom. The I Ching has been described by Terence McKenna as a “Periodic Table of Time”. Like the Western Periodic Table defines the elements of matter, the Eastern I Ching defines the temporal elements which generate life situations. But people are not meant to digest this wisdom by reading the I Ching straight through. This text is used as a tool. Randomly accessing various chapters, followers of the I Ching believe the spirit of the book presents precisely what they need to know, about whatever situation they are seeking guidance on, without their conscious choice.

It was without conscious choice that I became involved in YO CHING: Ancient Knowledge for Streets Today. The path of events that lead me to reinterpret an ancient Chinese classic for today’s hip hop generation began in 2010. When economic stagnation sank the US job market, my life long dream of moving to Asia seemed a reasonable reality. Selling what I owned, I bought a one way ticket. With dumb luck and smart hustle, I lived for several years in Bangkok, where I met lots of people, many characters, and one True Player.

True Player was a regular at my favorite Bangkok watering hole. We chatted often. New York City formed an easy, instant bond between us. I had spent most of my life there. True Player had been born in The Bronx. His business in Asia started in 1989, when a hip-hop tour he was with finished in Tokyo. Choosing to remain in Japan, True Player began as a party promoter and later expanded into other ventures throughout Asia. These were obviously lucrative, as judged by his tailored slacks, high end cologne, bespoke white silk shirts, jade cuff links, and top-shelf female companionship. Beyond worldly success, True Player possessed the richest trove of street knowledge I have ever encountered. Framed in a gallery of “motherfucker” “bitches” and “shit”, his jewels of wisdom were both hilarious and limitless. So one night when True Player brought up the I Ching, which he claimed to have memorized, I wasn’t too surprised. But when he began reciting from memory various passages—translated into “motherfucker”-thick Bronx patois, I was blown away.

Player’s profound and casual take on the I Ching—which he called Yo Ching—was totally profane and utterly wise. His disregard for propriety opened new dimensions within the work. Throughout history, many learned sages have applied themselves to translations of this classic world text. But none of them, to my knowledge, have utilized phrases like “crab ass”, “bitch slap”, and references to “roll on motherfuckers cross town”. Impressed, I proposed to preserve it for posterity. We shook hands on that arrangement, and late that night in a Bangkok bar, Yo Ching was born. For the next two years, off and on, months at times passing between meetings, I sat with True Player in a Bangkok bar and transcribed Yo Ching. When I left The Big Mango in 2014, I brought those notebooks with me back to the US and honed them into YO CHING: Ancient Knowledge for Streets Today, which is available on www.yoching.net.

The book is both transcendent and brutally practical. The depth of wisdom that has enticed I Ching scholars of all schools, through many generations, is evident within every “Wrexagram” of Yo Ching. But the blunt brilliance of the Bronx brings these lessons to modern heights. Both savvy and sage, profane and noble, True Player’s Yo Ching reflects the disjointed contradictions of our time, and provides strategies for navigating them. But Yo Ching does this without the Machiavellian maneuvers so popular in “dark triad” manipulative arts. Like environmental conservation, Yo Ching provides mental conservation. Instead of slashing down people and burning the competition, readers of Yo Ching learn to perceive reality, blend their intentions, measure results, and refine efforts to realize highest potentials.

As an intuitive decision making tool (soon to be digitized in the YO CHING app) or just a life strategy book to peruse casually, the riches held in Yo Ching are difficult to relate in a short article. My own attempts would fall short, but perhaps True Player’s words are better. From here, I’ll turn it over to my collaborator.



Yo Ching knowledge started in China, three thousand years back. While Europeans were living in caves, Chinese brothers were thinking on some advanced shit. Trying to understand how Time works in The Heavens, and the life of ordinary motherfuckers. Chinese brothers learned that planets, stars, oceans, and seasons all move in rhythm. That rhythm moved through people’s reality. Shit was linked. Same power running The Heavens ran them streets. Recognizing that rhythm and learning to flow with it let players run high level game. Put brothers on top of changes, instead of getting played by them. This shit was written down in the deepest book ever. It showed how reality works. Every situation in life was broken down. Brothers called that book I Ching: Book of Changes.

I Ching is the oldest book on the planet still being read today. True Player picked it up in China, during years running business in Asia. Shit is different out there. Motherfuckers roll real long game. Chinese brothers step into business and political situations thinking: Yo, what’s our 150 year plan here? Thai brothers believe in reincarnation. Treat a bad life the way motherfuckers might look at a bad job: just some shit to deal with, next one around be better. Looking at time like that changes the game. Visitors pick that shit up or get shaken out. Lucky for True Player, some Chinese brothers shared that I Ching. Told True Player to do some learning if he planned on living that side of the planet.

Chinese people have a saying. If a brother wants to understand life, he shouldn’t read a whole mess of books. He should read one book, over and over, until he understand that shit. Only certain books a brother can spend his lifetime reading. I Ching is one of them. True Player got deep into that joint. Read about the rhythm of reality, and how shit changes. Learned to flow with those hidden forces. Business picked up. Plays popped off. I Ching lead the way. True Player started thinking: Yo, there’s some knowledge here brothers back home should be rolling with. But True Player know his people. Motherfuckers from around the way ain’t having shit to do with no 3000 year old book from China. So what True Player did was break down them ancient Chinese formulas to make sense for streets today. That’s Yo Ching: Ancient Knowledge for Streets Today.

Check out one of True Player’s favorite Wrexagrams: FLOWING. There’s more up on www.yoching.net. Buy Yo Ching for all 64, and become a True Player yourself.


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An older brother is real polite and patient to some young slim thing he wants to get with. That’s what makes her down with him. That’s what FLOWING is like. Being real, so people are down.


Flowing gets paid for real.

Maintain. All good.

If a brother wants motherfuckers to throw in with him, first he have to flow with the times. His shit got to fit what’s hitting them streets. Player finds a crew by being real and down, then taking care his people. That way, brothers throw in with him for real reasons. Crab asses run their crew by being hard, telling lies, or running shady game. They work one set of brothers off another. That shit usually blows up in a motherfucker’s face. At very least, it leads to x-amount of problems to handle. That shit slows down business.

But just treating people right don’t make shit happen. Player have to maintain all the time. Handle business right, deal with situations correct. That’s real responsibility. It never stops. Player don’t ask brothers to throw in with him unless he plans on FLOWING for the long game. Nobody should throw in with a motherfucker who don’t maintain for the duration.


Movie theater closed.

The look of Flowing.

At night True Player

Chills back home to remain crisp.

Movie theaters ain’t open all night long. They shut down and people maintain the place. Keep them popcorn machines working, soda fountains flowing. Make sure no motherfucking seats busted up. Whatever.

True Player’s the same. FLOWING all day long, running the operation. Nights he ain’t out there popping bottles in the club. That shit’s for motherfuckers without responsibilities. True Player rolls home at night. Rests up. Stays crisp for shit he have to handle the following day.

Brothers who wear their ass down trying to get over play themselves. If they do finally make it, them motherfuckers are too tired to hold on. Whoever said it’s a long way to the top was lying. It’s a real long ass haul just halfway down that road. Then shit starts getting steep. Reaching the top takes all a brother got, for a real long time. Motherfuckers have five seconds to enjoy the view. From there it’s a fight to hold tight or fall off.

FLOWING for the long game ain’t easy. Brother should chill whenever he have the chance.


Break on the one means:

Shit be changing.

Maintain. All Good.

Step out. Mix up with people.

Shit gets done.

The game changes fast. Player starts out in one situation. Then shit flips. He might not know how this new area works. So Player can’t be hung up on running things. If he don’t know how shit works, he have to talk with his people. Hand over the wheel a minute. Even when Player understands shit, and the operation is FLOWING, he checks in with his people. Some brother might have a look that leads to improvements.

That said, Player have to run his operation the way he feel is right. He don’t flip up business just because he saw some motherfucker talking shit on TV. And he don’t stay so deep in his people that he miss what streets are saying. Player steps out. Mixes up. Hears what other brothers who ain’t got shit to do with him are saying and feeling. That’s how he stays FLOWING.


Break on the two means:

Stay tight with the shorties,

Miss that serious brother.

When a brother picks his friends and the people he does business with, that shit is mad serious. He puts real or ill brothers around himself. Can’t have both at once. Throw in with some childish motherfuckers still running around like shorties, he miss the chance to meet some serious brothers doing real shit.


Break on the three means:

Down with the serious brother, lose the shorty.

Player Flowing to find what he’s after.

Maintain. Good look.

Linking up with serious players can make a brother sad. Shit gets real. He ain’t have time for people he used to party with. Party motherfuckers might have heart, but their head ain’t in the game. That shit wastes time. Brother has to let them go. He might be sad a minute. But them feelings will pass. If he wants to be FLOWING high level, brother’s doing the right thing. Life is about focus. Brother has to know what he wants, then stay tight with it.

That ain’t easy all the time. Some night a brother might pass his old crew puffing la on the corner. One them motherfuckers shouts out and has a brew ready. Homegirl’s there and she gives up that ass real good. Nobody trying to say it wouldn’t feel nice. But if a brother want be a True Player, he really don’t have the time. He should say what up, show respect, and keep it moving.


Break on the four means:

Flowing paid.

Maintain brings problems.

Flow straight up for real.

Who talk shit about that?

Sometimes when a Player gets over, he starts talking down to people. Act like he on a higher level. His people treat him special. But brothers who talk Player’s shit up are not to be trusted. Them motherfuckers try and move up the chain by licking Player’s ass. Try to get in tight by talking him up. If Player gets used to brothers like that, he starts to need them motherfuckers. That’s a problem. Now he’s rolling with a bunch of fake ass bitches. So Player have to be real at every level of the game. If Player acts right, he knows what’s right. Maintaining his life correct helps him see through bitch motherfuckers. Then Player’s FLOWING nice and nobody talking shit.


Break on the five means:

Down with what’s good. Paid.

Every brother got to believe in something. If he’s down with what’s good, and don’t swerve from that, streets will lean his way. A brother have to remember that when shit is thick and motherfuckers up in his face.


Break at the top means:

Meet up with brother seriously down.

Connects made.

Big Dog breaks off serious family piece.

Player been paid out for life. Retired from the game. But a brother shows up who ain’t bullshit. Wants to roll on a play real positive for them streets. Player don’t tell that brother to fuck off. Since this brother is for real, trying to do positive shit, Player puts himself back in the game. Helps him out. Them two bond for life over that.

Back in the day, Big Dogs had a special place for loyal True Players who maintained a legendary run. Big Dog would offer his niece or daughter for True Player to marry. Break off a family piece of the game to run. Real moneymaking angles only blood be in on. That’s how Big Dogs showed love for True Players real valuable to the operation. Made them family. Nothing better can happen for a Player.


Brought you to by www.yoching.net


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