rap | Justice Through Music - Part 2

Tagged rap

Turning Tables Helps Political Rappers Across Middle East

NOV 1, 2013 – Music has been playing a huge role in the Arab Spring and helping to fuel the youth uprisings and calls for progressive changes in their countries. A Danish rapper, Martin Fernando Jakobsen, saw what was happening, and stepped in to help fund Tunisian and activist rappers across the Middle East. Jakobsen has set up "Turning Tables", where he helps young rappers who want to sing about political change get into the studio and get their words out. In an interview on TheNational.ae, he tells Janne Louise Anderson, "The youth movement and the young people's freedom of expression and artistic freedom face an uncertain future because of opposition by powerful conservative forces, societal norms and limited production and expression." Jakobsen also talks about the brutal governmental and police policies that arrest and even jail rappers for expressing their political beliefs. Some rappers in Tunisia have had to go underground after being sentenced to years in prison in absentia, merely for speaking out artistically. Jakobsen also tells Anderson, "We are supporting young people who are fighting for a Tunisia that respects basic freedoms and equal opportunities for all, through the targeted use of art festivals, music events, and the creation of independent media that conveys the youth's views on Tunisia's future." Jakobsen plans to spread his help to Syria and Jordan soon.

Turning Tables allowed Middle East rappers, Vipa, WMD and Katybon, to collaborate on "Up On The Roof" YouTube music video (watch below), and Vipa commented in The National's article, "Tunisians try to move forward with great desire, but there are always some barriers that prevent us from trying to spek about justice, be it political, or economic or social." Read the entire Jakobsen interview on TheNational.ae website here. To learn more about the non-profit Jakobsen has set up to help activist-rappers, check out TurningTables.org.

JTMP Joins Call To Pressure Reebok to Drop Rick Ross For Glorifying Rape

MAR 29, 2013 – JTMP is joining and supporting the calls for Reebok to drop rapper Rick Ross as a spokesperson because his new single talks about drugging and raping a woman. In the single he said, "Put molly [a drug] all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it." This is not only totally offensive and outrageous in general, but coming on the heels of the Steubenville rape case shows very bad taste. Sending the message to young people that it is okay to drug and sexually violate a woman is horrible, and he should be dropped as a Reebok spokesperson, and this single needs to be boycotted.

Ultra Violet has a petition going calling for Reebok to drop Rick Ross as a spokesperson here.

Rap Artist Drake Gets His GED

OCT 19, 2012 – Showing the importance of education and teachers, rap artist Drake studied and worked hard, and got his GED this month. He Tweeted, "“97% on my final exam. 88% in the course. One of the greatest feelings in my entire life. As of tonight I have graduated high school!” Drake added, "Thank you to my teacher Kim Janzen for spending the last 5 months working tirelessly with me!!" JTMP wants to give a shout out to Drake for being a role model for youth. JTMP wants to also take this opportunity to voice our support for more government funding for teachers, education, GED programs, community colleges, job and skill training and more. A strong education leads to great opportunities in life. Read more on ibtimes.com.  (Photo credit: CC/theupcomeshow)

To learn how you can get your GED like me and Drake, please visit the government's "Job Corps" website, where you can learn how to get your GED and more.

MSNBC Entertainment: MCA (Adam Yauch) brought social consciousness to the Beastie Boys

MAY 8, 2012 – Tony Sclafani on MSNBC Entertainment has a great article about MCA, Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys, and how he brought social consciousness to the Beastie Boys. Adam passed away last week from cancer, and JTMP has been blogging about him recently and how he became a Buddhist and evolved into a socially conscious musical activist, with the Free Tibet movement being one of his causes. Tony writes how they started helping out many causes such as ASPCA,  Food Bank for NY, and Habitat for Humanity among others. Check out the article on MSNBC here.  (photo credit: blythe_d/Flickr)

Activist Musician Okanomode Composes “Song for Trayvon”

MAR 30, 2012 – The shooting death of Trayvon Martin was painful for Seattle-based musician Okanomode, and he could relate to the profiling that probably played a role in the death of Trayvon and tells JTMP, “I myself am a young black gay male growing up in America & know first hand what it's like to live in fear of attack by police or others who might fear me simply on the basis of both my blackness &  my gender expression, & i feel more than ever that community is so necessary in these painful times.” He was so moved by the event he composed "Song For Trayvon", check it out below.

Jasiri X Makes Music Video: “A Song for Trayvon”

MAR 26, 2012 – Activist rapper musician Jasiri X, whom JTMP has blogged about when posting about Occupy Wall Street, has wrote and put out a music video titled, "A Song for Trayvon" in honor of Trayvon Martin, the young man shot and killed in Florida last month. Check out the performance at the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, New York in a video below. To sign a petition calling for justice for Trayvon, visit MoveOn.org, and also you can text "Trayvon" to 30644. The hashtag is #SongForTrayvon.

Libyan Activist Music: G-A-B – “Libya Bleeds Just Like Us”

Jan 12, 2012 – Libyan activist musicians, who go by the name GAB Crew, have been putting out activist music supporting the youth uprising and the Arab Spring in Libya from the start. They wrote a song called "Libya Bleeds Just Like Us" while Qaddfi was still in power, and months before Tripoli fell. The song was leaked, and when asked by a Qaddai loyalist to write a pro-Qaddafi song, they were horrified and went underground. When the rebel force took the capital, they returned home, and are happy now that they can be more free to be creative and express themselves with protest songs under the new transitional government.

Read more in a NY Times article here, and check out GAB Crew's "Libyan Bleeds Just Like Us" music video below.


HD Occupy Protest Music Video: Hip Hop Artist MK-Ultra Emcee – “Who’s The Man” – #occupy

OCT 27, 2011 – New York hip-hop artist MK-Ultra Emcee emailed JTMP with his activist protest music video called "Who's The Man", and after watching it we thought we should post it and have everyone check it out. He said he wants to show the many faces of the Occupy movement, and rapper Jasiri X whom JTMP posted about the other day makes an appearance in the video. MK-Ultra says on his Facebook page, "MK-ULTRA is a politically conscious and controversial emcee from New York City introducing a new strain of revolutionary Hip-Hop." Check out the music video below.

Rapper Jasiri X Video: “Occupy (We the 99)”

OCT 25, 2011 – Rapper Jasiri X wrote a great activist song called "Occupy (We the 99)" and put together a video showing that he supports the Occupy movement. Some of the lines from the song are:

"And nobody got more welfare than Wall Street/Hundreds of billions after operatin' falsely/and nobody went to prison/that's where you lost me/but my home, my job and my life is what it cost me."

Rapper Immortal Technique: Occupy Wall Street Not About Obama

OCT 22, 2011 – Rapper Immortal Technique spoke his mind in a WeAreChange video hitting on politics, war, immigration, race and more from Occupy Wall Street. He said, "This is one of the best expressions of democracy that people have seen in America for the past few decades. Unlike the Tea Party, this is organic; it's not corporate-funded, it's not funded by the Koch brothers. This isn't a re-election campaign for Obama. We're willing to put his second term on the altar of democracy and sacrifice it if we need to." He said everyone should do that to send a message that the movement demands real change, not superficial. Check out the interview below.

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