To quote the immortal Jay-z, "I lived a life you could write a book on, and man I tell ya, it will be a bestseller". I feel that. Someday I'll write that book. But right now, I'll just give ya the bullet point style overview.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest to Hippie Parents, wolves, and gardens. Mother and Father were pot growers in the outlaw crazy 80's. Father was murdered and crops were stolen. Mom later struggled with mental illness and substance abuse issues, was adopted. Bounced around a lot. Was a wild youth often in trouble with the law. Charged with felony before 20 (for growing marijuana). Turned life around, got a labor job and saved up to study abroad in Thailand. Spent time in Thailand meditating with monks as well as partying on beaches with world traveler kids. Came back to the states bounced around for a while and entered college. Studying sociology, psychology, history, creative writing and philosophy in college. Ended up getting general studies and philosophy degrees. The diploma has sat in a box unused for over a decade now (but I do think I have become a working philosopher). Graduated at the dawn of the Great Recession and proceeded to bounce around some more, visiting over 30 states. Wound up in Seattle, before moving to Eugene. While in Eugene, I became a founding and pivotal player in the Occupy Eugene movement. From there came years of more activist projects which eventually settled into gardening and permaculture activism. I co-founded the Eugene Avant Gardeners and acted as the director of gardening operations for Atlas Solutions, Inc. I also developed and lived at an urban homestead and edible food forest for 7 years. Along the way I worked teaching summer camps to kids and art therapy classes at alternative high schools. I also helped develop the downtown youth initiative with the city of Eugene, a successful and innovative program working with street youth. From there I began managing camps for the unhoused for Community Supported Shelters turning "homeless camps" into intentional communities. This lead to me developing training material for working with trauma and the unhoused. All the while, I have also performed music, spoken word poetry, and public speaking across the Pacific Northwest at colleges, conferences, festivals, churches and protests. I am an organizer for Community Village at Oregon Country Faire and regularly perform at OCF. I also am a regular performer at the Whiteaker Block Party. I am also a very involved and loving father of two kids.
Trust me, the full story with all the juicy details will come someday in a better way. Much Love y'all.
Networking is Important
"Plaedo calls himself a 'philosopher of play,' but that doesn't mean the spoken word poet and MC isn't serious about what he spits. Reppin' the 'hood of small town Moscow, Idaho, his rhymes aren't about the glory, the gangs, and the game. They're unabashedly political, pleading tracks that'll have you swallowing your own words and playing right along."
—Pauline Diaz, Seattle Weekly
Music Short List “Artist not to miss” : Plaedo
June 23rd 2010 page 16
Last night (Saturday October 24, 2015) a magical event manifested at the chai shop. Plaedo from Eugene, Oregon, conducted a workshop/ceremony called "Building Community through Story and Song." At the end of the evening, those fortunate enough to attend agreed we really had created a community from a collection of disparate strangers. Pure genius. The word "Namaste" means "I salute the God within you." I often experience namaste when I talk to people. Last night, at Plaedo's event, I experienced true namaste with everyone in the room. The chai shop was filled with angels with glowing eyes. What a blessing!"
-Lewis, manager/owner. Silk Road Tea Shop
"I can relate quickly to Plaedo and what he's rhyming about on Tribal Hop Raptivism. With messages of peace, togetherness and oneness combined with socially aware communication and education lining the walls of this record - I also appreciate quickly that Plaedo is that rare artist that really speaks his mind for the benefit of the rest of the world."
-Sleeping Bag Studios
“Tribal Hop Raptivism” presents a celebration of community, with Plaedo’s lyrics focusing on what it means to truly create a healthy environment. Over the course of the album Plaedo’s thoughtful, socially conscious lyrics describe how one can rise above the things that destroy the environment and destroy communities. Lots of ideas are explored in great depth from how to tap into one’s inner passion, how to protest against oppressive systems, and how to dismantle these structures that work to take away people’s inner artistic sensibilities. Poetic in tone these are careful looks on what is currently wrong in the world and how a more sustainable, more positive way is possible. Songs are carefully woven together creating less of an album and more of a journey. As the pieces continue they represent a story, one that veers between a glorious happier future and the darkness that permeates much of the present. The samples employed throughout the album are magnificent showing off an impressive range from classic rock to the more tribal. “Tribal Revival” begins things on a joyous note. From there the attention shifts to some of the sadness that currently reigns over the world, like environmental destruction “Light A Candle” to how social action can overcome so many problems “Take Direct Action!”. A sweet groove dominates the luxurious sound of “Befriending Shadows” as the song focuses on one’s inner darker impulses. Calmer in nature is the soothing sound of “Next Chapter” as the story unfurls revealing the conflict that capitalism inevitably creates. Ending things on a high note is the passionate “In The Dream Time…” with a colossal rhythm bringing it to a cathartic conclusion. Kaleidoscopic in terms of its tone, its message, and its optimism in the power of the people, Plaedo’s “Tribal Hop Raptivism” is truly inspirational.
-Beach Sloth Review
"Jasun "Plaedo" Wellman came and provided an "Art of Protest" workshop for the students of University of Oregon and Eugene community members on campus last spring. He excels both in content and methodology, creating a unique learning environment that involves active participation and input from the audience. His presence is welcoming and enthusiastic which helps in encouraging everyone to participate. The workshop went above and beyond what I have seen in other artists' workshops. In addition to leaving with having created poetry and art, the audience developed an understanding of political history and new perspectives on the purpose of art. In sum, the strengths of Plaedo's workshops are his encouraging personality and his ability to weave together multiple educational themes while maintaining active audience participation."
-Augustus Beard, University of Oregon ROAR center
“Thank you for sharing your art with us this week. I really loved it. I was excited to see "hippie hop philosopher" on the lineup and this was the only show that I made a point to go to (instead of just stumbling into random performances lol). Three things I love: Hippie culture, hip hop, and philosophy. lol. The best! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. I've been fostering my poetry, spoken word, and freestyle rap for a couple years now. While I'm proud of the content of my poetry, I've always been frustrated that I can't seem to break free of the aggressive tone that so often accompanies rap. Growing up with rap influences like Eminem and other mainstream rappers has given me a wicked awesome flow and rhythm and style but I constantly use heavy profanity and it's always competitive and mean in it's tone. You showed me this weekend though, that it doesn't have to be. You can rap just as well, just as eloquently, but spread the love and the peace and the gratitude and beauty and good vibes that resonate with my heart.
Thank you for showing me that the way I feel about the world can be expressed via rap, and that it doesn't all have to be aggressive. So grateful for this experience. You're wonderful. Keep up the good work. Keep doing you.”
-Review From someone in the audience at an Oregon Country Farie show.
"Plaedo uses his sociological imagination to encourage creativity and social activism, sprinkling in a good dose of humor along the way!"
-LT Hormel, Professor of Sociology, University of Idaho.