REVOLUTIONARY HIP-HOP

NICOLE KALI

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REVOLUTIONARY HIP-HOP


AFRICA

 Hip-Hop African is a dependable resource for finding African artists in the hip-hop genre.

Soundz of the South

The hip-hop group are anti-capitalists straight out of Cape Town, SA.

Members Anele, Khusta (now deceased), Milliha, Monde and Sipho organize meetings and protests. SOS back debates plus social justice initiatives.

"It’s very interesting how Cape Town hip hop stays socially conscious," Sipho says (Africa's A Country). A

n intelligent creative collective, SOS's songs speak to resurging oppression across Africa, and the world.

Soundz are a revolutionary rap coalition.

The South Africa #FeesMustFall student protests? SOS dedicated a song to them.

Monde: "We’re taking whatever is out there and bring it closer to those who can’t reach it."
Anele: "It demystifies big issues and brings politics back to the people."

Truly radical hip-hop. SOS supports the Farmworkers Union too.

"We’re doing what we’re doing, to make people realise they’re in chains. They are working and creating wealth for others to enjoy."

Soundz of the South created Afrikan Hip-Hop Caravan, with Uhuru Network and other African activists, to give repressed rappers a platform.

An annual Hip-Hop Concert and Conference are set up in each African city hosting the caravan.

2015's centered on refugees, a global look at Black oppression: U.S. police brutality, South African and European xenophobia and more.

SOS entirely dismisses corporate funding, not interested in fake branding.

"We don’t make songs for the radio", Anele mentioned.

South Africa's Anarchist Hip-Hop Collective (Africa's A Country, 12-04-15)

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AMERICA

This Pittsburgh native is a passionate and seasoned rapper. He's been involved in activism and MC'ing since the '90's. Jasiri's anti-violence organization 1Hood is one of its kind.

Jasiri is a revolutionary because he asks the unflinching truth: who are the real gangstas?

He also Formed political rap-duo Kill Switch with Rhymefest, traveled through Colombia to make their album (Sankofa).

As they went, Jasiri and Rhymefest reported on U.S. drug policies' trigger of a global War on Drugs, and an incarceration crisis.

"Real lyricism, people saying things, that's back. The younger generation are looking at popular music and saying 'This is garbage, I want more of this.'

When I see all of that, I think it's my time. People want to see more. We're coming around to real hip-hop with consciousness in it, and it's going to force other artists to change, too." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

 "The condition of our communities, the condition of the country, the plight of young people of color, these are the things I’m most concerned about." (The Olympian)

"Even though we’re in this very perilous time in American history, ultimately, good will win. Ultimately, righteousness will triumph.

So I approach my work with that thought in mind and with a level of fearlessness and believing that if I’m striving to good things with the right motivation and the right intentions, I’ll get the right results."

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Mos Def

"That idea of peace and love toward humanity shouldn't be nationalistic or denominational. It should be a chief concern for all mankind."

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) has been a staunch political activist from day one. He collaborates with rap's visionaries like A Tribe Called Red.

Ten years ago, Def met with fellow rapper Talib Kweli and NYC Councilman Charles Barron.

Their prerogative was to negotiate Assata Shakur's release. The former Black Panther is still exiled to Cuba.

"The facts surrounding her case are indisputable and well-known. People should be more aware of what's going on with her case and the true motivation behind her persecution.

It's a very dangerous time for all Americans when any voice of dissent is this hotly hunted down."

Mos Def has had the same brush with hostile authority himself, in America and South Africa. He's living beyond U.S. borders now.

"As an artist and as a human being, working in the way that I work in the world today…America’s a very challenging place for me. Given the current social, political, economic climate, it’s very difficult."

Mos Def and Talib Fight for Exiled Political Activist Assata Shakur (MTV, 5-25-05)

D.C. Rap and LGBTQ rap covers a broad range of radical artists with revolutionary ideas (prominently from the U.S.). Angel Haze, The Cornel West Theory, Konshens, Krudas Cubensi, Leftist are just some.


EUROPE

Ajah UK

"Orlando is one tiny little story of hundreds of years of abuse of LGBTQI people." (Pulitzer Center)

Jaheda Choudhury-Potter burst onto UK's hip-hop scene two years ago. The Bengali-Muslim rapper is openly gay and very pro-woman.

"It’s about empowering women. I’m always looking for the woman in audience, young or old, who’s feeling her own power because of our presence, making no apology for who we are and what we do."

She holds a revolutionary rhetoric in everyday life.

“My name means warrior. Part of me wants to be Harriet Tubman or Malcolm X.” (Pulitzer Center)

Jaheda's refreshingly honest about the power women hold to change and better their opportunities. She left home at 17, part of a strict Muslim household who wanted marriage for her.

"Women are taught to think that the world will fall apart if you break the rules. I wanted to make my own choices."

Ajah UK fights to contribute toward a less violent world, using woman-centered hip-hop.


OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA

Mau Power

Mau Power is a incredibly insightful, globally minded rapper from Thursday Island (Torres Strait, Pacific).

Mau is a strong indigenous leader representing his homeland's lifestyle in all of his art. To him, fusing Island ideology with hip-hop was a natural move.

"Music is Island culture and Island culture is music. We document our teachings through song and dance.

"Music governs our storytelling; our survival. Hip hop too comes from the storytelling tradition but in a new forum. I saw it as a culture of hope: hope for people who didn’t have any opportunities..." (SBS)

"The core of what hip-hop started out as was to be a vessel for 'the fifth element', which is knowledge. You transfer that over to Torres Strait culture - the similarities are there." (Green Left

"I try to continue carrying on the legacy of what our stories are meant to do that's inspire, educate and empower our people."

"Michael Fielding's opening speech [at the London First Origins Festival], he acknowledged what Britain has done in the colonial past. 'Right now a world is lost and trying to find their way.

And they're looking to indigenous cultures - the cultural values and practices, and their knowledge - to try to find a way of peace."

Mau also is a political organizer, and has a radio broadcast speaking on current issues. He even runs hip-hop workshops for youth across Torres Strait (Green Left).

"...Through the art and language of hip-hop we can all relate."


The knowledge of our ancestors
Fans the flames of our cultural fires
The culture gave our people strength in the past
And will do so today and in the times to come

 Sounds of the Straits: Mau Power (Soundcloud, 2014)

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D.C. Rap

Rap and Social Commentary