Which Side Are You On? REMIX – Rebel Diaz ft. Dead Prez and Rakaa Iriscience

Rebel Diaz

The homies from Rebel Diaz team up with dead prez and Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples to go in on their hit song Which Side Are You On? Nice intro from the Blastmaster KRS-One..

Report Backs from the Front lines of Ferguson & LA Over Police Shootings

Ferguson ProtestsDay 9 of the Uprisings in Ferguson. We caught up with Rodstarz and G1 of Rebel Diaz who gave us a sobering front line report bout the police militarization and brutality unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. The pair spoke about the onslaught of vehicles and the over the top response by police to those protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown…

They also gave us insightful context and perspective on things that took into account mass gentrification and media sensationalism that has added to the problems we see playing out before us. They also spoke on the type of anger that is seething in the community and how certain types of people and leaders are being propped up as buffers to trying and repress or redirect the concerns people are expressing

Rodstarz linked up with Michael Brown’s  family and spoke at length about what they are dealing with and what we on the outside who are concerned could and should be doing..

Lastly we talked about the role of mass media and how they have been willing mouthpieces for the police as even as they are being threatened, roughed up, arrested  and confined to so-called Free speech zones. G1 of Rebel Diaz was caught in one of those holding pens.. The two shared the types of lap dog politics many in corporate media have engaged in when reporting this story..

Ezell Ford ProtestsLater we spoke with Ivy Quicho of the organization AF3IRM‬ out of LA who was amongst those who protested in front of LAPD headquarters over the weekend in response to the police shooting unarmed Ezell Ford.. She spoke about the Ford being one who had mental health challenges and how police are ill equipped to deal with the special needs that many in the community have. Their response is systemically overbearing often resulting in fatal results.

Ivy also talked about the larger picture at hand and how reform will not be enough to turn things around..Ivy shares her experience of what has worked in LA with dealing with police militarization

Lastly we speak with Kat of Onyx and the Oscar Grant Movement who details upcoming short and long term actions planned here in the Bay Area. She compared and contrasted what is going on in Ferguson with what we in the Bay Area experienced in the past when dealing with Oscar Grant protests. She talks about the big marches and rallies planned for Wednesday August 20th here in Oakland.


500 Female Emcees: Meet Lah Tere-Chicago Born, Soulful, Mic Wrecker

Lah TereOne of the fiercest to bless a mic is Lah Tere. She’s a humanitarian, organizer, activist, femcee, songstress, proud BBW, and a visionary speaker for the 21st Century. ​​​​​The Afro-Antillian/Puerto Rican/Boricua sister grew up in Chicago’s historic Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park near the famed Paseo Boricua. She is first generation born on the mainland, and the daughter of ​revolutionary ​​​educators and survivors of Chicago’s notorious ghettos.​​​​

Lah was a member of Rebel Diaz, an internationally known rap group that took a critical and political stance on many social issues from police brutality on the streets of New York to violence against women globally. Her dedication and hard work granted her the opportunity to travel to Spain, Germany, Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela. She is also a founding member of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC), a multimedia arts and music community center in the South Bronx.

Lah writes and performs about domestic violence issues and links popular media examples of violence against women to secrets and silences in communities of color around molestation, rape, and other forms of violence against women’s bodies that is too often normalized and naturalized in popular culture. She is a proud BBW ( Big, Beautiful Woman).

Through her political and global activism, Lah Tere has worked to carve her own niche outside of the commercial hip-hop industry, and focused on building communities from within. As an emcee, she uses hip-hop as a didactic tool as well as an emotional release technique for individual and communal healing.

Lah is a co-founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: The Soup Kitchen for the Hip Hop Soul (MHHK), a multifaceted hip hop event designed to showcase intergenerational women artists, especially women of color. MHHK serves as a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color on issues that impact their lives, including Health, HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice.

Lah is also the founder of InnerCityQueens, an organization who is set out to provide a mobile safe healing space for children, women and men in war torn/third world countries through events, workshops, and meditation using the arts. In recent years Lah Tere’s vision of teaching women and children about the healing power of Hip Hop truly manifested itself.

She taught and performed in some of the poorest communities in Palestine (West Bank), Guatemala City (Comunidad Incencio),  Ireland’s Ballymun (like the BX) and most recently Azua, Dominican Republic.  These experiences have equipped her with a wealth of knowledge and have expanded her career. She is currently being booked internationally as a motivational speaker and lecturer on women’s rights and Hip Hop Healing.

Lah is globally sharing her message that “Self-Love dissolves Self-Hate” and is conjointly working on her own personal healing. Be on the look out for her debut solo album which is armed with piercing lyrics and a message that could change the world for better. Lah Tere plans on bringing everything to the party, and leaving no life untouched.

source: http://www.lahtere.com

Lah Tere Terra


Lah Tere You Are


Lah Tere  Live at 7efa


Lah Tere Crush


One ‘No’, Many ‘Yesses’ in Venezuela-What’s Behind all the Drama Jumping Off?

Venezuela protestsA lot of drama jumping off in Venezuela right now and sadly our corporate media is doing what it always does when events like this take place, deliberately misleading folks and playing to our collective tendency to react to 30 second sound bites and ‘fast moving footage filled with rock throwing, fires and marches.

Corporate media manipulation is able to work in this country because many of are grossly unaware of what goes on outside our borders. Many who are jumping on the bandwagon about Venezuela would be hard pressed to point it out on a map.

Below is an insightful article about whats going on right now along with a couple of interviews with folks who are well versed in Venezuelan politics…  G1 of the group Rebel Diaz. The late Hugo Chavez was supportive of their Bronx based organization RBDAC, Professor George Ciccariello-Maher author of the book  ‘We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution’ and William Camacaro of the Boliverian Circles. All this is happening in the backdrop of the US expelling Venezuelian diplomats in what is being described as a tit for tat move.

G1 of Rebel Diaz speaks on the protests in Venezuela

Long time artist/ activist G1 of the group Rebel Diaz offers up some keen insight as to what is going on Venezuela. It’s a follow up to his insightful article ‘One No, Many Yesses in Venezuela

In our interview G1 draw the comparisons to what has taken place in his native country of Chile and the role that multi-national corporations have played in both shaping policy in Latin American countries and in some cases bringing about regime change. He also speaks about how Chavez supported local Bronx based groups including RBDAC who are trying top bring about transformation.

George Ciccariello-Maher speaks on Venezeula protests

Long time activist/ professor and author George Ciccariello-Maher drops serious science about the on going protests Venezuela and politics behind them.  He gives keen insight into all the major players and stakeholders. He also gives insight into the various anarchist communities who are on the ground and some stark contradictions some of them are playing in recent days.

William Camacaro of the Boliverian Circle speaks on protests in Venezuela

We spoke with William Camacaro who is part of the Boliverian Circle who talked about the important role his organization plays and what we should be watching for as the recent protest unfold in the streets of Venezuela.

One No, Many Yesses in Venezuela

by G1 of Rebel Diaz

G1 of Rebel Diaz

G1 of Rebel Diaz

We’ve read with concern the vaguely humanitarian and dangerously ‘impartial’ opinion pieces by the likes of prominent musicians who, although honest in their emotional responses, fail to accurately assess the social and geopolitical realities happening today in Venezuela.

We all can agree that US foreign policy towards Venezuela since 1999 has been economic sabotage and attempts at regime change in order to protect vested oil interests. We also can agree that the corporate media distorts the reality on the ground in Venezuela to manipulate public opinion towards the interests of US multinationals and their cronies in the Venezuelan oligarch. Facts only.

From here we can begin to understand the nature of the protests in Venezuela.

We recently returned from Chile, where a student protest movement eight years strong has raised important questions about the fundamental human right of high quality, accessible public education. So imagine our surprise when we read about these ‘student’ protests occurring in Venezuela, a country where the constitution enshrines the right to free K-College public education. So, if not the question of access to education, what are their concerns exactly?

We’ve heard of the shortages in toothpaste and toilet paper but this is hardly the Toiletry Revolution. There is also the supposed concern about public safety but it seems counterintuitive to organize violent flash mob protests for safer streets. CNN and Univision paint the picture that there is massive opposition to the Bolivarian Revolution, despite the fact that it has won over 16 internationally-recognized local and national elections since 1999. Moreover, despite the claims of silenced dissent, the majority of press in Venezuela is in the hands of private media companies that operate with open hostilies and lies to destabilize the social fabric. So who is this ‘opposition’ really and why have they mobilized all of their disinformation channels now?

The protests began surfacing on February 12th of this year. On February 10th, The Law for the Control of Fare Costs, Prices, and Profits went into regulation. This law puts a cap on grotesque profit margins to ensure companies doing business in Venezuela are not simply pimping the resources of the national economy at the expense of its people. It seeks to address the economic warfare being waged by multinational corporations, who are hoarding goods to create artificial shortages, raise consumer prices, and foment social unrest. The law seeks to avoid what occurred in Chile during the presidency of Salvador Allende, where the CIA, and the US/Chilean oligarchy initially attempted to instigate a ‘soft coup’ by hoarding warehouses full of everyday necesities like rice, cooking oil, and flour in order to fabricate popular discontent. We need only to look back at this history and other imperial US interventions in Latin America to know that when the power of the global elite is threatened, as is happening in Venezuela today, the empire will respond with unmitigated violence, manipulation, and deceit in order to protect their profits.

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

Since receiving Hugo Chavez here in the South Bronx in 2005, we have been inspired to create safe, liberated cultural spaces for young people in the poorest congressional district of the United States through the RDACBX.

Recently, we held a concert to commemorate the 20 years of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, where the indigenous community has waged a 3 decades-long struggle to protect their land and culture from the same tentacles of predatory multinational ‘development’ companies that threaten Venezuela today; the same entities that spur gentrification and racist police brutality here in the South Bronx.

Although different in context and process, our struggle for survival in the Bronx, the Zapatista uprising, and the Bolivarian Revolution face the same foe; a violently imposed socioeconomic model that threatens our very existence as a human race; a system that values profits over people and the planet. Perhaps we can all take a cue from the ancient wisdom of the Zapatista struggle; that of Leading by Following; For Everyone, Everything and For Us Nothing; and most importantly, One No, Many Yesses. A defiant, unequivocal, unified NO to imperial domination, and diverse, inclusive, participatory, creative, multiple YESSES to the wants and needs of the people- to be determined by, and only by, the people.

Abajo el imperio!
No a la violencia y los golpistas!
Que viva el pueblo Venezolano!

G1 of Rebel Diaz
South Bronx 02/21/14

Work Like Chavez (Rebel Diaz video)


South of the Border documentary that shows the attempt Coup in 2002 in Venezeula and the role corporate media played




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..


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


Rebel Diaz Moves Onward with a New Video About Hugo Chavez

Rebel Diaz collectiveGlad to see Rebel Diaz and the RDACBX Collective are standing strong and pushing back hard in spite of the set backs imposed on them by the greedy developers in the Bronx, NYC and its gentrification projects and the FEDs.. After the group painted a mural on the walls of their community center, bringing attention to political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, there was a chilling response from those in power.. The building owner refused to sell the space to the group and he refused to take their rent or negotiate for new terms… He also never expressed concern about the mural..but nevertheless the group came to learn it was a trigger..

As they noted in a recent press conference, RDACBX is not limited to a building, it’s the spirit of the community and that community is everywhere and expanding..Their latest project is a song and dope video that pays tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who was a big supported of the South Bronx community center the group and the neighborhood built.

Here’s what they penned about the video..

Peace Familia!

The direct connection we have with the The Bolivarian Revolution is
that our community space The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective -BX (RDACBX)
was directly funded by Venezuelan owned oil company- Citgo. For 4 1/2
years we received direct assistance from Comandante Hugo Chavez and
the people of Venezuela.

This song is our tribute to him as we consider him to be a champion of poor people around the world. Hugo
Chavez supported Hip Hop in The South Bronx. Hugo Chavez is Hip Hop.
Our community space was violently shut down on Feb. 28th by The NYPD and federal
marshalls. We know what it is. We were a threat because we were
teaching the youth, speaking out against Stop and Frisk, doing
political graffiti, doing open mics, etc.

We are living historic moments of oppression to which we can only respond
with historic moments of resistance!! It is time to Work Like


Rebel Diaz Arts Collective Launch Fundraising Campaign As They Rebound From Eviction

Peace World….Good Morning and Good Day….
Many of you have asked us how you can help The RDACBX after our collective and space was violently evicted..well we have finally launched our IndieGoGo Campaign in which we are seeking to raise $50,000 to recover from our losses and trying to get into a new space…….check out the campaign here and please donate what you can and please spread the word!!!!!…



Below RDAC BX is speaking about the violent eviction they endured


This is one of my favorite songs and oldie but goodie from Rebel Diaz shot in Chile..


FEDS & NYPD Fearing their Politics Violently Raid & Evict Rebel Diaz Artistic Collective


Rebel Diaz top viewUpon hearing about the Feds and NYPD coming down and violently evicting Rebel Diaz and the Artist Collective from an abandoned space in the South Bronx, that they painfully transformed into a first class community center is beyond angering. It’s beyond frustrating..These folks did everything we say we want the ‘youth’ in our community to do.. They did everything we say Hip Hop is supposed to represent.. They didn’t wait around for a savior, Rebel Diaz saved themselves.. They brought the community in who also saved themselves.

The RDACBX is a space in which damn near everyone in that South Bronx neighborhood where it’s located can lay claim that they had hand in helping build it.. I recall Rodstarz explaining how folks who were homeless, but had various trade skillz, were inspired to clean themselves up and proudly put in work. Local youth who were being attracted to the lure of the streets, flipped their lives around and partook in the various workshops and programs put on by Rebel Diaz.. many of those youth eventually became part of the collective and put on workshops themselves..

Rebel Diaz Troy DavisInstead of waiting around to be invited to yet another showcase or music convention that left them dissatisfied, RDACBX put on their own landmark convention South By South Bronx and invited the pioneers of Hip Hop to speak. The RDACBX is where they had former members of the Young Lords, Black Liberation Army and political prisoners speak to standing room only audiences about Black Brown unity… This space was home to countless book readings, movie screenings and epic showcases.

But as you build community in a city and space where they are trying to keep you marginalized,  you can bet that outside forces will try their best to shut it down..You can count on those who find politicized Black and Brown youth doing for self to be something not celebrated but crushed..Now that the South Bronx has been lovingly transformed, developers, the city and others wanna come on in evict, co-opt shut down and take over.. This is a pattern we see happening from Coast to Coast From the Art Murmur in Oakland to whats going in the South Bronx. It’s the same predictable playbook..

Rebel Diaz bannerHowever this time is different..a building is not the movement.. A building is not community.. It never was.. It’s the people and the love and respect they have for one another that makes this space so special.. Rebel Diaz will not go out or be shut down.. you best believe that.. We should all be aware of whats going on, support them in the best ways we can.. and continue to build and re-strengthen our respective local communities.


RDACBX Shut Down by Federal Marshals and NYPD. Rally Today  3/1 at 6pm


Rebel Diaz collectiveSouth Bronx community center Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDACBX) shut down by Federal marshals and NYPD. Rally to be held denouncing lockout and forced eviction.

March 1, 2013- After a violent daytime raid yesterday, Thursday, February 28, 2013, on the warehouse turned arts space at 478 Austin Place in the Bronx, members of Hip-Hop community center RDACBX are denouncing their forced eviction at a rally to be held at 6pm today in front of their locked out building.

The building landowner, local commercial developer Marc Pogostin of Austin Property Corp., had for months stalled negotiations on a new agreement with the RDACBX after the group’s original lease expired this past November. Despite diverse support for RDACBX from local politicians, churches, and community organizations in the area, Austin Property Corp. eventually refused to renew the lease, citing concerns about the group’s political murals, and prompting the surprise eviction yesterday.

“The violent actions taken yesterday are an attack on young people, artists, and Hip Hop culture,” says RDACBX co-founder RodStarz. “In a time where budget cuts, stop and frisk, and gentrification are affecting our communities, it’s a shame we are being treated like criminals. There is no justification for this eviction.”

Rebel Diaz pieceKaren Louviere, 19, a past participant in RDACBX youth programs, expressed her disappointment at the violent shutdown of the space. “They came in with armed officers into what is supposed to be a safe space for the community. A space that has served as an alternative for young people in the area, helping develop their talents in a positive way.”

The internationally renowned RDACBX, host to weekly cultural performances and educational workshops, had recently announced plans for the creation of the Richie Perez Radical Library, as well as the continuation of their widely recognized Boogie Mics open mic series, and the SxSBX Hip-Hop Festival.

“Despite the violent removal of RDACBX from its space, RDACBX will continue to work on its development, as it strives to be a resource for the community. There is a need for this organization to exist in The South Bronx,” says Claudia De La Cruz, a member of the collective.

What: Press Conference/ Rally to Defend RDACBX
When: Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: 478 Austin Place, Bronx NY 10455

Gonzalo “G1” Venegas
(646) 431 – 7037
Rodrigo “RodStarz” Venegas
(646) 250 – 4405


Some Random and Not So RandomThings I Remember from 2012

Davey-D-brown-frameAt the end of each year all of us have things we can and should reflect upon. We assess all that has happened and make promises to build upon successes, shed bad habits and bad energy and create better tomorrows..

In looking back at 2012 I would say it was a turbulent, very contentious years..It seemed like everything that went down was in your face and folks were pulling out all the stops to literally body you.. From voter suppression tactics to stand your ground laws to a war on women where sitting law makers  not only stated but tried to pass legislation that reflected a twisted belief that some rapes are legitimate while others are actually blessings… Yes, I’m looking at you Gov Mike Huckabee, Todd Akin and Richard Murdock.. Oh yeah I’m looking at you as well Congressman Paul Ryan..

In 2012 billionaires went all out to make life miserable if you weren’t in their circle, it just seemed like the pressure never let up.

And while 2012 was challenging, there were some shining moments, where folks fought back and triumphed. It showed up in the form of Biko Baker and League of Young Voters doing their historic Ignite Tour around Voter Education or Bakari Kitwana of Rap Sessions who gathered up scholars, activists and artists and did a similar tour.

It showed up in the form of Javier Gonzalez and the Soundstrike which put a serious dent in SB 1070 laws in Arizona. It showed up in the form of Jasiri X, Paradise Gray and One Hood who never let up providing a sound track for many of the struggles folks were undertaking in 2012.


It showed up in the form of Barbara Arwine of the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights and political activist Angela Woodson out of Ohio who were on the front lines dealing with Voter Suppression.. You can check them out HERE.. It showed up in the form of folks who stood on voting lines for 6, 7 and 8 hours to cast their ballot while oppressive forces were doing their best to get them to leave and not partake at all.

Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez

It showed up in the form of artists Favianna Rodriguez and activists like the Dreamers who were part of the big Undocubus Tour where folks toured the country and challenged the systemic deportations. They put in mad work and at the end of the day had both political parties and the staunchest of enemies changing their tune about immigration.. Now everyone wants to find a way to get comprehensive immigration reform on the books.

It showed in the form of Rebel Diaz and their Bronx based collective who traveled the country, spoke truth to power and showed the true meaning and power of cooperative economics. The fact that they own their own building/ community center in the middle of the South Bronx is testament to their hard word.

It showed up in the form of graf writers Refa 1 who brought us AeroSoul 3 where he gathered pioneering Black and Brown graf artists to Oakland to not only share their crafts but to talk about ways to raise consciousness and why it was important to connect the dots between Khemet and Aztlan..


Gabby speaksIt showed in the form of Serena Williams and Gabby Douglass taking Gold Medals in the London Olympics and dealing with horrific negative feedback because of how they danced or wore their hair..The disrespect that gymnastic champ Gabby Douglass endured over her hair was outlandish, but she handled it with class and dignity and kept it moving. Her 90 million dollar endorsement deal from Wheaties was also nice..

It showed in the form of Jill Stein and Cheri Hunkula who stayed the course and push valiantly the virtues and un-compromised positions of a 3rd party (the Greens). It was more than just them being in a 3rd party.. It was watching them put their principles to practice…I would encourage folks to peep the interview we did with them at the democratic National Convention

It showed up in the form of brave folks from the Occupy Movement to Medea Benjamin and Code Pink activists who shun strong light on the Drone Warfare that were are currently engaged in.. It showed up in the form of 30 thousand people who marched against the Stop and Frisk Practices in New York City.. Y’all remember the Silent March?

Elon James White

Elon James White

It showed up in the form of folks taking their time to create innovative broadcasts as way to fight the stranglehold of corporate media..Elon James white‘s daily This Week In Blackness is one example.. Weyland Southon and author Adam Mansbach‘s weekly Father Figure show which airs on KPFA is another.

We be remissed not to shout out Skyyhook Radio which has been innovative, woman owned and runs 24/7..and Chuck D‘s Cant Stop Won’t Stop Hip Hop Show and Occupy the Hood’s radio show. We also have scholar Marc Anthony Neal‘s Left of Black TV show along with Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford‘s Black Agenda Radio.

On the mainstream front we had Melissa Harris Perry‘s show on MSNBC and Roland Martin‘s Washington Watch on TVone .  We also had Marc Lamont Hill and Alyonna on Huffington Post Live. That’s just to name a few of the many.

It showed up in the form of folks who endured 16 mass shootings, from Colorado to Oakland to Newtown and still managed to push forward, keep their humanity and fight to bring about a better way and a brighter tomorrow…I could go on and on..Here’s a few more things that stood out in 2012…

BrotherAli-Flag-1Album of the Year… It was a toss up between Nas‘ ‘Life is Good‘, Kendrick LamarGood Kid Maad CityKiller MikeRAP MusicPublic EnemyMost of My Heroes Don’t Appear on No Stamps‘  and  Brother AliMourning in America and Dreaming in Color

winner: Brother Ali...


Song of the Year…There were too many joints to name that moved me in 2012 everyone from Nas to Asap Rocky to E-40 to Melina Jones had bangers. depending on my mood, dictated what I was rocking with.. 3 Songs seemed to keep me in step all years… Public Enemy w/ Brother AliStand UpKiller MikeAnywhere But Here‘ and Rebel DiazRevolution

winner: Rebel Diaz


don-corneliusThe Death of Soul Train Host and Founder Don Cornelius...He was one of many people we lost in 2012 including the seemingly immortal Dick Clark and Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes. All of us grew up on those 3 gentlemen. Even though we knew they were aging we never thought they’d pass.

In the case of Don Cornelius it was troubling because he committed suicide. I don’t think we ever really sat down and dealt with what that really was about..We just kinda swept it under the rug…8 months later we were all forced to confront it again with the sudden passing of former Jungle Brother, music mogul and founder of Violator Entertainment Chris Lighty. His passing shook us  and made many of us reflect on mental health which is sadly a taboo subject in many of our circles.

One of the things that stood out for me around the time of Lighty’s passing was this powerful essay by Hip Hop activist Rosa Clemente titled Depression, Hip Hop and the Death of Chris Lighty

With respect to Don we paid tribute with a great interview from Chuck D of Public Enemy  who reminded us of his greatness. You peep that HERE

paul mooney, Dick Gregory davey DComedians Dick Gregory and Paul Mooney Link Up…Earlier this year I started doing a weekly spot OLM News w/ Davey D on Free Speech TV... I interviewed lots of folks but the highlight was when I got comedian Paul Mooney who is a frequent guest on my daily radio show and comedian Dick Gregory who is also no stranger to my outlet on the air at the same time.

According to them it was the first time it had ever happened and it wasn’t totally planned. They just happened to be in town at the same time. I was scheduled to do separate interviews with them.. Mooney was running a late, Gregory needed to move his time up and boom magic happened. Out of this landmark show the two set up a successful tour together.. Enjoy the conversation below


Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin set things off in a big way during 2012.. It was one of many deaths that would come to Black folks at the hands of the police.. From Rekia Boyd to Ramarley Graham to Alan Bluford to Jordan Davis, the list of folks who fell victim to police terrorism was long.. It was enough to prompt an explosive report from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in early July that documented all the the Black people who had been killed by police. Initially it worked out to every 40 hours a Black person died at the hands of the police…  After it was updated it came down to Every 36 Hours..You can read that report HERE.

The most tragic thing about this report was it was embraced all over the world except at home including amongst our own Black intelligentsia who seemed hell-bent on keeping a lid on this so as not to disrupt a contentious presidential election that may have impacted Barack Obama..



I don’t think she and her legacy was ever fully appreciated.. Already we are seeing and hearing younger generation attribute her signature song At last to Beyoncé who sung it at President Obama’s Inauguration ..We were thankful Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X and producers Agent of Change had a tribute song for here called Etta and ran down her amazing legacy


Atlanta based rap star Killer Mike was a high point for 2012..I feel he as an artist and his album were totally underplayed. What stood out for me with Killer Mike was how he went in on President Reagan and completely took a part the revisionist image that had been carefully crafted for him over the years…You can check out our insightful interview HERE


Tooshort-225Bay Area rapper Too Short got into some hot water in 2012 when he was complimented by rap star 2 Chainz who called him a father figure.. Short took that compliment to another level at the urging of XXL editor Vanessa Satten by penning what was supposed to be a satirical advice column for kids. His advice included telling little boys how to take it to the hole and force sex upon ‘little girls’.. needless to say this caused a lot of outrage..

A coalition of women within the Hip Hop industry formed the 44% Coalition to bring attention to the alarming statistic that shows 44% of the women who are sexually assaulted are under 18. The women called for the firing of Satten and a boycott of Too Short..  As the debate heated up Too Short reached out and had an impassioned conversation with coalition member and writer dream hampton about misogyny… You can read that interview HERE.

From there Too Short agreed to be apart of a well attended town hall meeting at Oakland City Hall… Unfortunately while Short was well received by the audience, local media outlets never bothered to stay for the talk and instead ran unflattering hit pieces that had very little to do with the intense conversation that took place that evening. You can read about that HERE


Jimmy Castor who gave us the b-boy anthem ‘It’s Just begun‘ along with fun funk songs like Troglodytes (Cave Man) and  Bertha Butt Boogie..Although him and his band The Castor Bunch were funk legends, they were also cornerstones to Hip Hop.. many a bboy move was done to his signature song…


Chuck-Brown-Blue2Chuck Brown..The Godfather of Go Go Music Passes 

We were sorry to see so many music and entertainment outlets overlook him when he passed as well as in their end of year tributes. Chuck was a giant among giants. His musicianship was exceptional. The GoGo sound was essential in continuing DC’s long music legacy as well as helping shape Hip Hop’s evolution. Here’s our tribute to him who always kept it 100% and in the pocket. Looking Back, Remembering Chuck Brown and the Go Go Sound He Pioneered




We Lost MCA from the legendary group Beastie Boys after he endured along battle with cancer…We paid tribute to him and had an insightful interview w/ author Dan Charnas of the Big Payback about MCA’s legacy

Here’s our tribute mix to him courtesy of DJ Sloepoke out of LA who did him true justice

We lost the iconic Whitney Houston in 2012 Her funeral which was viewed by folks all over the world was moving and much needed considering all the drama surrounding her death. It was something to behold..

We lost actor Michael Clark Duncan.. His passing caught many of us off guard, because we had no idea he was sick until we got word he had a heart attack and his finance former Reality TV star Omarrosa helped revive him.. We didn’t hear anything more for what seemed like a few weeks and then we got word the popular actor had passed at age 52.

We lost George Jefferson (actor Sherman Hemsley) We lost Moesha star Yvette Wilson. We also lost music legend Donna Summer

Drake-225“Woke up this morning and got hit w/ this foolishness from the bottle thrower named Drake.. He’s just told the Jewish press he’s the ‘first person to successfully rap and sing’ I was ike WTF? This is why Hip Hop history should be required b4 putting out a record.. Can we start with Angie Stone of Sequence.. she raps and sings better.. Maybe Drake forgot 8x Grammy winner Lauryn Hill? Cee-Lo, Mos Def, hell Black Thought kills it in both genres? Did dude forget Queen Latifah, Force MDs, Devin the Dude? Hell, Teena Marie, Blondie and Tom Tom Club blow Drake out the water doing both.. First time I heard singing and rapping was in 78-79 when GMF and the Furious 4 came to Bx Science and harmonized routines.. Later I heard Crash Crew and of course we had Cold Crush who killed it everytime on the singing/ rap tip y’all remember this from back in the days?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCTjA9zapLc&feature=related.. Damn Drake even ja Rule and 50 Cent kill u on the sing rap tip..LOL

kreayshawn fail