In this episode Kwasi brings back Dutty Bookman to discuss the movement he has helped dub as the Reggae Revival after a panel at SXSW 2027. He also speaks to Koro Fyah of the Bevel Rock camp about his ABC’s at SXSW as well. Bomani interviews the founder of the Uganda’s Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku, and their chief archivist Gilbert Daniels about Hip-Hop in Uganda and the Lugaflow movement. Bomani and Kwasi also discuss spirituality in independent music, and how the community discusses things like sin. A must listen!
One of the greatest accomplishments in my life has been facilitating safe havens for young people by using the elements of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop “culture” is not a complete culture by itself, it is an offshoot of black culture and includes expressions of art especially graffiti, breakdancing, dj’ing, mc’ing, beatboxing, fashion etc. This force has a dark side that is mass media’s favorite version to exploit. For those of us who use this force for good, we take the role of training young padawans very seriously.
The true force of hip-hop culture is its history of being a safe haven, an academy, a praxeum for black and brown children escaping the stress of street life while having an opportunity to perfect the art of expressing themselves. We are constantly exposed to the Siths and Darths who use the force to highlight violence, extreme capitalism and misogyny, but my tight knit group of us take our calling seriously. We respect the “dark side” and are often fans of many of its practitioners, but recognize the light that can be brought to our streets through the mediums and ideals of hip-hop. Hip-hop folklore has placed it as a protective and transformative force. The idea that hip-hop parties, ciphers, crews and culture as we know it were a response by the young people to the oppressive conditions of the South Bronx, is something we repeat in every grant application and every time we repeat our mission statements to our youth. This ideal runs across all of my favorite people involved in the culture, as well as their many projects. … Continue Reading
First of all,
my young brother
pull your pants up.
i want to make this clear.
no, I’m not your father, your pastor, probably not your teacher
no, I am not Don Lemon.
I am your brother
in ’92 we were mack daddying and daddy mackin’
with all our clothes ass backwards
I’ve seen the great fathers, husbands and businessmen my boyz have become
your clothes are not an indicator
of your intelligence or aptitude.
Before there was this thing called Google (and yes, for those 25 and younger there was a pre-Google world), the 10 year old me use to spend hours leafing through encyclopedias. There would be one word or concept I’d hear about on the news or see referenced in a movie or book, and I’d go rushing to the big stack of red books in alphabetical order. There should have been 26 books but there were more like 30 something. Some letters had so many words and concepts that they took two volumes. I would start off researching “gravity”, and after flipping towards the end of the G section it would say “see Isaac Newton”. After sifting through the “I” section (then realizing I needed to be in the “N” section) I’d get to the end of the section on Newton and go back to the part where it discussed Newton’s writing on the Bible, and I’d have to look up “textual criticism” and or “pantheists”. Before you know it I had traveled around the world and back again, all while sitting criss-cross apple-sauce in the extra-bedroom in our house that doubled as the library.
I wonder what my face looked like? There weren’t camera phones, and my parents weren’t creeping around the corner waiting to catch me in a cute moment with their Polaroid. I’m sure my big eyes were lighting up, or my brow was wrinkled as I flipped intensely through volumes of information. I’m sure my jaw dropped one or two hundred times, as I learned the connections between historical figures and events I never knew existed. You can’t fake intellectual curiosity. It’s something all children are born with. It’s what causes human progress in the first place. It does not have to be taught, just drawn out. I want my sons to have the same thrill I had, even more. … Continue Reading
Your weekly breakdown of the live entertainment spots in DC this week.
Last week was another great week for the DC live music and art scene, and expect this week to be as good or even better. You can catch two of my favorite percussionist/lyricist, Jali-D & Jabari “Auragin” Exum at two different open mics hosted by Ms. Gowri K, if you’re looking to get your rhythym and your poetry readings on. You can also catch one of my favorite DMV veterans performing at the Upper Room, Mello-D!
Mello-D (aka Baracuda Black) and the Rados have been a staple in hip-hop for a decade, releasing numerous great albums and touring the as far as Brazil. This four piece band is the essence of head knod and the epitome of rocking the mic. Mello is also an accomplished videographer, so make sure you check for the visuals for these great tracks as well! check them out at http://www.livehiphopband.com