Jasiri X: Raising the Flag & Using Music as a Weapon to Fight Oppression

Jasiri  x micWe sat down and spoke with long time activist/ artist Jasiri X about his latest moves and why he continues to raise up the flag of activism  and use music as a potent weapon.

In recent months Jasiri X has been doing a lot of work with Harry Belafonte. He talks at length about the profound influence this iconic human rights leader has had on his activism as well as his music. He went into depth about some of the work that Belafonte has been doing to combat mass incarceration as it pertains to juveniles. He also notes all the behind the scenes closed-door meetings Belafonte has been having since last year with prominent artists and entertainers, encouraging them to raise awareness and take appropriate action.

Jasiri noted there have been significant changes amongst the many who Belafonte has been meeting with which is great. In terms of how it’s impacted him, he noted that after traveling with Belafonte to the rural south and Appalachia his understanding of poverty and how its impacted folks was greatly expanded. His commitment to working with youth was strengthened. His music was sharpened..

2001 Hip Hop summit FarrakhanDuring our interview Jasiri X talked about the influence of his other mentor Minister Farrakhan. We talked about the the powerful speech Farrakhan gave in 2001 at the Hip Hop Summit in New York and the tour he made around the country speaking directly with popular rappers. From NY to LA to Atlanta, the Minister laid out key issues he felt artists should be addressing. He described them as world leaders whose music had great impact and encouraged them to step up and fully embrace their responsibilities.  It was at one of these gatherings that Jasiri X first heard the Minister and it changed his life. It opened Jasiri’s eyes to activism and inspired him to join the NOI. It was there he honed his skills and came to understand the power cultural expression has on the community and the world at large.

During our interview Jasiri gave some insight as to how both men are similar in their desire for change but different in their approach in terms of how they engage the Hip Hop community. Jasir noted he has benefited greatly from both.

Paradise Gray  the Arkitech

Paradise Gray the Arkitech

Although we didn’t talk too much about him, it should be noted that Jasiri has a 3rd mentor who has helped him greatly over the years and has been with him at many of the gatherings with Harry Belafonte and is his partner in the 1 Hood organization they helped co-found. That individual is Paradise Gray who is founding member of the iconic group X-Clan and Blackwatch and a long time fixture within Hip Hop.

During our interview Jasiri X updated us on some key cases of police terrorism that he brought to light in his songs, including the vicious beating that took place in his native Pittsburgh, 3 years ago, of honor student Jordan Miles. He talked about some of the new strategies people are using to deal with this scourge of violence at the hands of police. He talked about how and why music and cultural expressions are important tools in our quest to fight back. Jasiri also talked about how two of his songs were banned from concerts and caused alot of controversy because they made police and others in power feel uncomfortable.

Jasiri X also spoke on the work he, Paradise Gray and educator Amil Cook are doing with their 1 Hood Media Academy. In recent months they’ve been doing an interview/mentor series where popular artists land activists like Pharaoh Monch, Jean Grae, Rhymefest, Rosa Clemente, Bakari Kitwanna and KRS-One to name a few have all stopped by and worked directly with the youth. In our interview we hear from the kids as they weigh in on their opinion around the recent NBA controversy with Donald Sterling..



3 Dope Songs to Check for that Clap Back at Oppression

Jasiri X

Jasiri X

Pittsburgh based emcee Jasiri X needs no introduction as each month he’s puts out dope music accompanied by compelling videos that address key issues of the day. If there is anyone who has been providing and essential sound track for the lives of this generation it would be him..

This latest offering details his recent trip to Palestine where he got to see first hand whats going down. He was part of a much larger delegation which included among others labor leader Bill Fletcher and long time writer/ activist Dream Hampton..

This song Checkpoint‘ is based on the oppression and discrimination Jasiri X witnessed firsthand during his recent trip to Palestine and Israel “Checkpoint”


Rebel Diaz

Rebel Diaz

Chicago raised, Bronx based Rebel Diaz has been putting down incredible music for a while that is squarely backed up by their intense activism..In the song below to put to rest the debate around immigration as the detail the fallacy behind the term ‘illegal alien’. They break down how its not as simple as saying someone broke the laws by crossing the borders. They note that such activities are a form of displacement initiated by harsh foreign policies that leave folks with little or no choice..  props to them for this video..


MV Bill is an artist we should all know

MV Bill is an artist we should all know

If you’re not up on MV Bill aka the Messenger of Truth you need to be as he one of the most popular, prolific and politically charged emcees in Brazil. Hailing from the infamous City of God in Rio, most of his songs deal with social justice, police and government corruption and the unequal treatment of Black folks  living in the Favelas which are now being upended and people being massively and unceremoniously displaced to make way for the 2016 Olympics.

For those not up on MV Bill you may wanna check out this in-depth documentary from 4 Real TV  done by Sol Guy out of Canada and Mos Def now  known as Yasiin Bey... Its riveting to say the least.. http://www.4real.com/tv/details.asp?pageid=10

In the song below titled ‘Causa e Efeito‘ MV Bill talks about the police being an arm of the government and the elite and they help in them stealing millions from the poor. He also addresses the fact that the rich are often evil, and abusive and have their devilish deeds covered up..


Dream Defenders & Hip Hop Generation Activists Weigh in on State of the Union Address

Phil Agnew Dream Defenders On January 28th, Phil Agnew of the Dream Defenders delivered a  State of the Youth Address, outlining the social justice priorities of millions of young voters. It took place during the annual #Barack Talk

“For the past 4 years, #BarackTalk has been an opportunity for young people to meet online and hold real conversations about our biggest issues, from climate change to gun control,” says Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters.

“This year, we wanted to make it clear that the Rising American Electorate is diverse, powerful, and passionate about impacting the world we live in today.”

Phillip Agnew, Executive Director of Dream Defenders, says, “The emerging face of our country has begun to fight for the world we will inherit. Our generation knows that true change is more than words and slogans. We are building towards it at every level and, in 2014, we will show our power at the polls.”

Below is a video of Phil’s address


Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente

Earlier that day we at Hard Knock Radio sat down with a number of stellar Hip Hop Generation folks from around the country and asked them to address the issues that they are tackling and put forth key items President Obama would need to address in order to resonate with their constituents…Everything from voter suppression to police brutality to Stand Your Ground abuses and the fast tracking of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership ) agreements were addressed.

The conversation that unfolded was inspiring, enlightening and a clear indication that many folks are hard at work making things happen in a big way.. These accomplishments range from folks bringing out record numbers to the polls both during the presidential elections and on off years, fighting ALEC, launching success Stop the Violence campaigns, establishing historic redistricting commissions, leading the fight for environmental justice and being deeply involved in media justice campaigns. to name a few..As one of our guest Rosa Clemente noted in our round table, this is about being a movement, not a moment..

Our guest included the following folks:

Rosa Clemente former 2008 Vice Presidential candidate for the Green Party
Shamako Noble-president Hip Hop Congress
Jazz Hudson-Educator, Poet Black Youth project
Elandria Williams-Highlander Center, Tennessee
Carmen LIanes -Voting rights advocate and a member PODER out of Austin, Texas
Biko Baker-League of Young Voters who put on the annual #BarackTalk


As we leave out, here’s some new music from Jasiri X.. He along with long time writer and activist Dream Hampton were part of a delegation that went to Palestine.. They just got back and he flipped this video


Strange Fruit: We Must Not Forget Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell & Kendrick Johnson

Jasiri X

Jasiri X

Pittsburgh based artist/ activist Jasiri X is always on time with a compelling song and riveting video to speak to the issues confronting us in the Black community and beyond. His music is uncompromising. His commitment to justice is unwavering..In recent weeks we’ve seen some disturbing incidents where unarmed Black folks were shot and killed as they sought help after being in car accidents. That was the case of Renisha McBride and Jonathan Ferrell. In the case of Kendrick Johnson, he was killed in a room full of people at his school gym and yet no one knows nothing …

This song which does what kanye West should’ve ideally did with his song of the same title, Strange Fruit  is dedicated to the memories of Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell and Kendrick Johnson, Strange Fruit (Class of 2013) was produced by Religion and directed by Haute Muslim.


Jasiri X Steps Up for October 22 Drops a New song to Resist Police Brutality

Police--fight-back-blueToday is October 22, marking the 18th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Since 1996 the National Day of Protest on October 22nd has been bringing together those under the gun and those not under the gun as a powerful voice to expose the epidemic of police brutality.

This year has seen a sharp escalation in a full spectrum of attacks on the people. In Bakersfield, CA, 33-year old David Silva was hogtied and savagely beaten to death by law enforcement officers, who had found him passed out on a street. The vicious killing of 30-year old Melissa Williams< and 40-year old Timothy Russell, shot down in a hail of 137 bullets by Cleveland police, has been described as a modern-day lynching. As of yet, the thirteen officers are still on the job.

In an assisted living home in Chicago, 95-year old John Wrana was killed by police after being tasered and shot with a bean bag round. Witnesses say that Miami Beach police high-fived each other after tasering to death 18-year old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach Police around the country continue to kill young Black men with impunity, such as 25-year old Cary Ball, Jr killed in a hail of 25 bullets by St. Louis, MO police, and 16-year old Kimani Gray shot seven times by NYPD, three times in the back.

In Dallas, TX, the last time a killer cop was indicted was in 1973. Dallas police have killed 250 since, with 68 Black men killed since 2001. Over and over, we hear the justifications for police brutality and killing. The reason Miami-Dade police gave for restraining and choking 14-year old Tremaine McMillian that he gave “dehumanizing stares,” shows just how much law enforcement expects impunity.

Police October 22The list goes on and on with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement releasing a report that shows every 28 hours a Black person is killed by police…Yet even through some of the most repressive attacks that the government has made, there are signs of hope in the nationwide eruptions of outraged people and communities who are fighting back. We have a heavy responsibility going into the 2013 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, to stoke these sparks of resistance into a movement that can not only stop but reverse these escalating attacks.  For more info on Oct 22.. go to http://www.october22.org/

Here’s one example of that resistance … Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X goes in..



Hip Hop Pays Tribute to Workers Trying to Come Up This Labor Day

Jasiri X

Jasiri X

On this Labor Day we should stop and think about what this day is really all about. How about we take some time to acknowledge the workers?  How about we honor those who are underpaid, trying to make ends meet while those who employ them decrease wages and benefits, make work conditions more dangerous and use corporate media to create a climate of hostility toward those who dare ask for a wage that’s liveable?

Never one to shy away from issues of the day is Pittsburgh artist Jasiri X who has always been a friend of the working class.  In honor of the Fast Food workers who went on strike for one day last week, Jasiri X penned a song called ‘We Coming‘. He then went to Milwaukee for a rally.

The year before Jasiri was out in that city supporting workers who found themselves under siege by anti-union governor Scott Walker..  Many are pleased that he stays in the trenches supporting poor and working class folks. One would not have known there was a fast food worker strike from the lack of mentions and discussion during the highly publicized 50th anniversary March on Washington..  We need more artists like Jasiri to bring to light what many of our ‘leaders’ like to forget or overlook.. Here’s what Jasiri X said about this new effort..

“We Coming” was inspired by the Dream Defenders, BYP100, and the movement of fast food and low wage workers to get $15 an hour and the right to form a union. “We Coming” was shot on location in Milwaukee, WI during the 8/29 Strike that took place in over 50 cities around the country. “We Coming” was produced by GM3, shot by Paradise Gray, and based off a chant by Artist and Activist Jazz Hudson. Young people are rising up all over the country and the world, believe me when I say, “WE COMING”!


Verse 1
We organize stakes is high, in every hood and state we ride
Defend the dream the winning team Malcolm said by any means
50 years since Dr. King
School of hard knocks took shots in the boxing ring
Studied and we got degrees
Feeling like the Dr’s seeds the block is locked we got the keys
We got our shot cocked and squeezed
Hit the mark watch us lead
Prophecy born in an economy of poverty
Reagan era policies and hustler psychologies
Street corner pharmacies, car trunk armories
New Jack City Carter dreams yellow tape marks the scene
Mass indoctrination into Mass incarceration
When your school is like a prison every class is occupation
We try and say its wrong they wanna pass it off as hating
If America is beautiful
Why she wanna freeze us in place just like medusa do
We came to turn on the lights this is our future too
Who is you we new improved
Movement we were meant to move its what we were created for
We believe we are the ones we’ve been waiting for
Verse 2
We Fight for 15 Fight for this Dream
You and I unified to strike against the machine
This right wing regime got the country on lean
Cause the richest companies get the biggest subsidies
But wanting me to leave making $7.25
Coming home to my family and staring in hungry eyes
No not another day cause our movement’s coming alive
And I’m on the front lines so you know I’m coming for mine
Chicago, Milwaukee rise
New York to the West Side
St. Louis, KC and Detroit is ready to ride
All we got is our lives our dignity and our pride
Our enemy is the lies
The remedy is our energy when we see its the time
To turn up in these streets so deep that police can’t see the concrete
Shut em down we gonna show em who really run the town
We came up from the underground them tables done spun around
Young people of color found the crown we were created for
We believe we are the ones we’ve been waiting for
Here’s the song Your Fired which dealt with Scott Walker’s recall


Here’s a song that addresses income inequality..  American Workers vs Multi-Billionaires


I wanna toss in one other song to get you going this Labor Day.. Its from Bronx based Rebel Diaz.. It Hits Wall Street bankers hard who got bailed out and left American workers economically stranded. It’s called A Trillion


NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg Takes Issue w/ Kendrick Lamar’s ‘King of NY’ Remarks

michael-bloombergIt’s hard to say for sure what Kendrick Lamar really intended when he dropped his wicked verse on Big Sean‘s Outta Control, but weeks later all sorts of folks continue to get into the act.. There are thus far over 30 responses with luminaries such as basketball coaching legend Phil Jackson weighing after being name checked.

Over the past couple of weeks there have been heated discussions both on radio and all across the internet about whether or not Kendrick’s verse even warrants all this attention..

As was noted in previous posts on the subject, the most controversial line in that verse was Kendrick claiming to be ‘The King of New York”. That rubbed many the wrong way and has been the motivation for many of the responses to the West Coast based emcee.

One thing about New York City,  is folks do not like anyone who is not from there disparaging the city. Folks may recall back in the days when Death Row Records was in full swing, Snoop Dogg along with the Dogg Pound decided to do video to their song New York, New York. They depicted Snoop and others knocking down buildings or sitting on top of them. Not only did a set off a firestorm including a immediate song and video response from Mobb Deep,  but when word got out they were filming, angry New Yorkers showed up and started shooting.


With respect to Kendrick Lamar, he has been feeling a lot of heat from proud New Yorkers. For him things just got real when New York’ ‘s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a response. He too wasn’t appreciative of what Kendrick had to say and let it be known. He reminded Lamar as well as fellow New Yorkers, how the city is run and who is really in control in spite of the Outta Control verse.




100 young Black activists respond to the George Zimmerman verdict

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 8.18.57 AM

jasiri x hood

Jasiri X read the statement crafted by the 100 Black Youth leaders in response to the Zimmerman verdict.

Over the weekend in the City of Chicago over 100 Black Youth from all over the country came together for a convention put together by the Black Youth Project.. Their mission was to identify key issues in their community and develop long and short-term strategies for dealing with them. Many of the participants  in attendance were there because they had already proven to be effected grassroots leaders in their communities so in essence, this weekend saw a whose who of incredible young minds determined to improve their respective communities..

This weekend’s Black Youth Project Summit was planned months in advance happen to occur the same weekend that the George Zimmerman trial wrapped up and a verdict was read. Needless to say the folks BYP100 had lots of keen insight and heartfelt emotions around the outcome.. They wasted no time in laying out plans of actions both to respond what they felt was a grave injustice. They also issue in incredible statement underscoring their collective position..

Pittsburgh artist/ activist Jasiri X who was one of the elders in attendance helping the BYP100 came on our radio show Sunday morning to share his thoughts and music. He also read off the statement these 100 youth put together.. Below is a link to the interview and statement being read.. Below that is the actual text.. Please reflect and find ways to encourage more folks in our community to address their pains and aspirations

HKR-Jasiri X intv on Black Youth project 100 statement

100 young Black activists respond to the George Zimmerman verdict

To the Family of Brother Trayvon Martin and to the Black Community:

May this statement find us in the spirit of peace and solidarity.

We know that justice for Black life is justice for humanity.

Our hope and community was shaken through a system that is supposed to be built on freedom and justice for all. We are your sons and daughters. We are the marginalized and disenfranchised. We are one hundred next generation leaders. We are the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100).

We see the hopelessness of a generation that has been broken trying to find its place in this world. We understand that we need to turn anger into action and pain into power.

As we waited to hear the verdict, in the spirit of unity, we formed a circle and locked hands. When we heard “not guilty,” our hearts broke collectively. In that moment, it was clear that Black life had no value. Emotions poured out – emotions that are real, natural and normal, as we grieved for Trayvon and his stolen humanity. Black people, WE LOVE AND SEE YOU. We mourn, but there’s hope as long as love endures.

Trayvon was manifested from ancestral excellence. The salt water falling from our eyes now, is not different from the salt water we were trafficked on then. If the soil of the United States could speak, before saying a word it would cough up our blood. Choking frantically, crust-curdling with the gore of a oppressed peoples it has been force-fed. White supremacy has water-boarded it with the remnants of its genocide of us.

This moment reminds us that we can’t look to others to see our value but we have to recognize our own value. In spite of what was said in court, what verdict has been reached, or how hopeless we feel, Trayvon did NOT die in vain. A mother should never have to bury her son. However, his death will serve as the catalyst of a new movement where the struggle for justice will prevail.

Instead of a moment of silence, we raise our voices together. As Audre Lorde said, “our silence will NOT PROTECT US.” We are young leaders standing on the shoulders of our ancestors, carrying the historical trauma embedded in a legal system that will NOT PROTECT US. We are the legacy of Black resilience that compels us to fight for our lives.

We continue to call out Black Love, Black Power and Black is Beautiful in the face of continued devaluation of Black life. We affirm a love of ALL Black life, no matter if we are in hoodies or business suits, incarcerated or in boardrooms, on welfare or in the WNBA, on the corner or in the White House. We declare the fundamental value, beauty and power of ALL Black people. The poet Claude McKay once said, “Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave…we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack. Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”




Beyond November Movement

July 14, 2013


Contact information:

Farajii Muhammad


Kai M. Green



Black Youth Project (BYP100) is 100 young black activists from across the country convened by the Black Youth Project to mobilize communities of color beyond electoral politics.

Jasiri X: George Zimmerman is a ‘Creepy Azz Cracka’


George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman

I’m Loving what Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X just did around this George Zimmerman Trial..here’s what he had to say:

I decided to put my thoughts about the Zimmerman trial, the ruling on the Voting Rights Act, and Race in America into a 16 bar verse:

Oh you was born black welcome to the curse race

Oh you was born brown you sure this is your birthplace

This is America the home of the white man

Where every other American gets a hyphen

People of color police shoot us on site man

And then be like damn I was just frightened

See just the color of my skin is intimidating

Here I’m a criminal just based on my pigmentation

We need God our only mass is incarceration

We need Jesus cause these preachers got the heart of Satan

They toast to our death celebrating with ice cream

Vanilla with the cake cone must be a white thing

They wanna stop us from voting well what do rights mean?

If the end result of our struggle can just be wiped clean

And Zimmerman is a creepy ass cracka

A racist child murdering liar and bad actor


Kanye Says We the New Slaves..Some us Say We the New Nat Turners


Produced by Religion. Shot by Haute Muslim
Download New Nat Turners at http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/
I’m tired of Black murders
If they the new slaves we the New Nat Turners
No bodyguards no entourage
We them Cinque niggas taking the Amistad
Bombaclad we need to fast like Ramadan
The industry’s a bunch of fake heros like Comic-Con
Behind that mask you Robert Downey jr
My sheros got a 2 million bounty on her future
Mutulu’s locked in San Bernardino County as a shooter
You some go a long to get a long howie y’all neutered
I’m a mother f*cking Truther
My truth scars you gonna need a mother f*cking suture
Don’t let these new Stephen ass niggas recruit ya
Cause when Monsieur Candie gets tired he gonna mute ya
And I ain’t Django either
I ain’t waiting for no white man to come and give me my freedom
I won’t join em I’ll beat em leave em rottin in the hot sun
Rockin em with the shotgun Shotta I’m the top one
Tell the coroner box em eulogize then drop em
If the chose is freedom or death then what’s the option?
Oh y’all them RG3 niggas
Smiling at the camera them happy that y’all can please niggas
I’m Barack but Fonzworth is a marine nigga
Deep like the mind of Farrakhan I’m on my dean nigga
That’s why I never believe niggas
Oh you got them instagrams how come we never see pictures
Then claim God but never read scriptures
So we worship fame because a celebrities richer
So Jesus becomes Yeezus
then I guess Kim Kardashian is Mary Magdalene
And all her sins are cleansed through the camera lens
But then again maybe I’m just rambling
Line up these industry CEOs and let me battle them
Show Jimmy Iovine the crime scene with his headless brethren and tell him sign these
And when I hear sirens disconnect his neck from his spine clean
The difference my spitting is the equivalent of using ya high beams
All I want is you and ya mind freed the time needs
Way more than a nice beat and a rhyme scheme
Cause all that bull shit y’all talking don’t fertilize seeds
I heard it takes 2 chains to make a slave
One on your physical frame and one on ya brain
And once they got ya mental enslaved it runs like a train
So what are you really saying when you claim you stuck in the game
See they create corporations cause they never wanted fame
So the nigga that you see is the nigga that’s underpaid
Damn just another slave
I’m Jean-Jacques Dessalines I swing a mother f*cking blade