500 Female Emcees: Meet Isis Tha Saviour-Speaking Heartfelt Truth to Power

Isis tha SaviourThey say music is a universal language and when done right it can excite and agitate and it can calm, sooth and heal. When it comes to Hip Hop we often hear folks say the old adage ‘Hip Hop saved my life’. When you listen to Philly emcee Isis tha Saviour you hear someone who speaking to the pain of a community under siege. You hear someone addressing the senseless violence and mayhem that has visited far too many in our community. Her song Forever on My Mind which is about the murder of her cousin is one that will touch us all. Isis tha Saviour is an emcee with a purpose.

According to her bio

Isis Tha Saviour is an up in coming Lyricist, screen play writer, poet & activist who exploded on Philadelphia’s music scene last fall with her critically acclaimed single “Street Chronicles”. Since her musical debut she has been nominated for both lyricist & female freshman of the year honors at Philly’s 2011 Hip~Hop Music awards!

Isis has also featured as poet of the week for “The Renaissance” which is a collaborative effort by Embacy Entertainment & Legendary Host Tiffany Bacon of WRNB 107.9fm/ Praise 103.9fm to create a resurgence of artistic pride & creativity within Philadelphia’s inner city.

Isis has performed at numerous Open Mic & Showcase venues within the city including “World Cafe Live”, “Fluid Night Club”, “The Arts Garage”, “Dowlings Palace”, “The Boys & Girls Club”, “Sneaker Villa”, “Black & Nobel”, “The Rotunda” & “Waterview Lounge”.

She has appeared on Several Internet & mainstream Radio Shows including “Brain Kave Radio”, “Air It Out Radio”, “Critical Mass Radio”, “Official Smack Radio” & “Batcave 2.0 Radio” on 91.7fm. She has graced the cover of M~PIRE Magazine & is slated to appear in Go Getter Magazine when it launches in September.

Isis has collaborated on mixtapes released both locally and abroad while finishing up her highly anticipated album “The Isis Papers”. This summer her work will also be published in a book called “Creative Beams Of Light” which will be comprised of 27 inspirational poems for children suffering with Autism. Co~ written by artist all around the country, the proceeds from this cooperative project will be donated to help build sensory rooms at Autistic schools.

In addition, Isis networks with fellow artist, community organizers, promoters & activist to coordinate “Stop The Violence” rallies & concerts throughout the city of Philadelphia.

In the past, Isis Tha Saviour teamed up with G.R.A.V.I.T.Y (Get Real About Violence Impacting The Youth) for an 18 city “Stop The Violence” music tour. G.R.A.V.I.T.Y is a non~profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and finding solutions to help curb youth violence.

Isis states that her main goal throughout the tour was “to encourage the youth to find alternatives ways to express themselves through the arts rather than getting involved in criminal activity.” Isis believes that many of the issues affecting todays youth “stem from limited outlets & resources in their communities for constructive and engaging activities.”

Isis Tha Saviour Forever on My Mind


Isis Tha Saviour The Fall of America


Isis Tha Saviour Gunshots & Tattoos


Isis Tha Saviour Black Rose



Editorial: To Those Who Keep Asking; ‘Why ya’ll don’t care when Black folks kill Black folks’

This is for those folks who ask the question “Why ya’ll don’t care when Black folks kill Black folks all the time?”

Black people are just as hurt and concerned and angry when Black men die from gang violence, driveby shootings and “being caught up” every single day, as we are when white racist representatives of governmental institutions (that are supposed to protect and serve us) and ordinary white racist citizens murder us in cold blood.

Black people are just as hurt and concerned and angry when Black women die from domestic violence – murdered by those who say they love us – AND gang violence AND driveby shootings AND “being caught up” as we are when white racist representatives of governmental institutions (that are supposed to protect and serve us) – like Mitrice Richardson and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department – and ordinary white racist citizens murder us in cold blood.


1.  If you are dependent on the mainstream media to tell you that, you will not see it; they have no stake in that.

2.  If you are dependent on Black media, you may not see it there either; they may not have the resources to do it consistently.

3.  If you are not in close proximity to Black institutions or Black people – in other words, if you don’t know the folks that know – you are OOL – Out Of Luck.

In answer to your question “Why ya’ll don’t care when Black folks kill Black folks all the time?”  I say this:  “How come YOU don’t you care?”  It appears that this question ONLY gets raised when Black people vent their RIGHTEOUS indignation and anger over unjustified, racist murders.

If YOU really cared, then you would know about the organizations that exist to stop the senseless, every day murders of Black people by Black people:

1. You would know the names of these organizations

2. You would know when their meetings are

3.  You would know where their meetings were

4.  You would know the people who are a part of these organizations by name

5.  You would know the people who are a part of these organizations by sight

6.  You would go to their meetings

7.  You would ask them, “What can I do to help ya’ll?”

8.  You would ask your Black and mainstream media, “How come ya’ll don’t write/broadcast anything about these organizations on a REGULAR basis?”

9.  You would give them much needed money

10.  You would give them much needed money.

I live in Los Angeles, California.  These are the names I know:  Cease Fire, 2nd Call, Unity One, Unity Two, Professional Community Intervention Training Institute, Project Cry No More, Mothers of the Community, Unity in the Community, Peace in the Streets

What city do you live in?  Do you know the names?  Why not?

That’s what I thought.

If you genuinely and sincerely wanted to know the answer to that question, then I apologize for my tone.  If you just like to stir up crap and make a scene because you’d rather the attention be on you, instead of JUSTICE for Trayvon Martin AND ALL THE OTHERS, you are a sick, sad creature.

written byThandisizwe Chimurenga


Davey D Notes:

I’m glad my sista and fellow journalist/activist, Thandi wrote this piece… It needed to be said, and quite frankly a few folks needed to be called out on this. Folks who are guilty of this; are well-meaning but flawed at best and disingenuous at worse.

I been hit with the question/ assertion all this week and calmly had to point out that I had been to three well attended marches, town hall actions dealing with trauma and drama in our own communities.where were the folks asking? 

One of the activities, was a town hall with Too Short focusing on teen violence and misogyny at jam -packed Oakland City Hall.. I posted up the entire video and article so folks could see and experience themselves, Not one person who asserted that Black people don’t care had bothered to pass / share around that video and write up..You can peep the article and video HERE

Nor did they pass around the flyer and article about local rap artists and activist including T-Kash running a marathon this weekend to stop gun violence..Its something he frequently does…You can peep the info HERE

We have cats like Adisa Banjoko and the Hip Hop Chess Federation.. Not only is working w/ T-Kash, but he frequently does events that focus on martial arts, chess and Hip Hop.

He works with youngstas in the Mission district of San Francisco as well as goes to prisons to work with young brothas..His events are always free, well attended and inspiring… He was just up at SF State at our Hip Hop class working with folks and offering up internships for students to help with his efforts.. he also writes quite few columns for News One about what we can and should do to improve our communities.. You can peep him HERE

None who ask where the outcry for Black on Black crime, bothered to join the thousand plus folks who showed up at Allen Temple Church 3 weeks ago to address the issue of human trafficking/ teenage pimping and prostitution. It was put together by author/ activist Reverend Harry Williams who heads up a organization called Street Disciples/ Hood Movement 21 They are out and about every week in the streets trying to turn lives around.. 2 months ago they had a big gathering for community groups to come together and maximize efforts.. Reach him HERE

Almost none of the naysayers got on board to support the efforts of the 44% Coalition , a group of Black, Latina women along with a number of male allies who stepped to both Too Short and XXL Magazine around the issue of sexual assaults on Black and Latina women..

Apparently these folks weren’t up on the Detroit 300 who are patrolling their neighborhoods and coming after those seek to do harm… or 1Hood out of Pittsburgh, PA  where they not only patrolled the streets but set up youth media academy with the purpose of changing our image. Many of the videos done by Jasiri-x were put together by youth they work with and now train..You can see one of the projects they did about Pittsburgh HERE

These folks don’t seem to know about the tireless work and documentaries put together by former gang member Silky Slim out of Baton Rouge..This brother keeps himself on the front line of trying to stop the killings and turn people around from a life that he once led. You can peep his organization Stop the Killing Inc HERE

These folks don’t seem to know about United Roots, Urban Peace Movement, Silence the Violence, Love Life Foundation, Youth Speaks, United Playza , Homey, Barrios Unidos, Leadership Excellence  the Sista Circle, Homeboy Hotline, Dereca Blackmon’s Gender Walk,  Susan Taylor’s National Cares Mentoring Movement or the tireless work graph writers/ organizer like Refa 1 does .. I think it was last weekend he was out putting in work..and is gearing up[ to do a big event in the summer called Aerosoul  You can peep his work HERE

Maybe they don’t know about the work of Truth Minista Paul Scott out of North Carolina who frequently writes about ways for us to improve our community and backs it up with action.. You can read his columns HERE You can peep the video of him stepping to a malt liquor company -BLAST who he felt was trying to poison his neighborhood..HERE 

Maybe they dont know about artist like Mistah FAB who frequently goes to schools, does keep the Peace rallies, gives away school supplies and tries to give back..You can peep that HERE

He’s one of scores of artists I can name from Rebel Diaz in NY to dead prez to Ise Lyfe to Naughty By Nature, KRS-One, Bambu, Bun B, Kiwi, Metro P, Fly Benzo, Mystic, Mommas Hip Hop Kitchen, NY Oil, Wise Intelligent  who are always in their communities working to uplift, heal and end violence.

Maybe they don’t know about the work local artist Jahi does with young men who he takes under his wings.. A couple of months back they did a Guns Down Stop the Violence actions..Here’s a video


There are so many more organizations and people to mention..Forgive me if I overlooked anyone.. because the list is super long, but I think folks get the point.. People are putting in work everyday in our communities, often unsung and highlighted in the media.. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, nor does it mean work isn’t being done..

I will also add from my own experience, many of those who organize to heal our communities also organize around egregious incidents like Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant or Sean Bell. They do it because life is precious and they step up whether or not its done by a cop or it comes at the hands of each other..They do when the cameras are there and when they are not there..

But hey, as was pointed out in the article, there are many who ask the question ‘where’s the Black community when we kill each other?’ who are simply waiting for BET or CNN to cover it and blow things up-Don’t hold your breath..or even worse, maybe these folks simply can’t help but think the worse when it comes to us.. Like we somehow don’t care… 

-Davey D-

Where are all the Oscar Grant protests when we’re shooting each other in the hood?

It’s time to dispel a pervasive myth. It’s one that suggests Black people are quick to protest incidents of police brutality but nowhere to be seen when it comes to dealing with crime in the community. During the 20 months of protests around Justice for Oscar Grant we’ve all been to town halls where some ‘well-meaning person will stand up and make what they consider a ‘be all end all’ statement about how everyone is misguided for protesting police brutality when we have Black on Black crime happening everyday.

We’ve all read editorials or heard callers on radio talk shows lay claims along these lines; “We are our own worst enemies” “How can we expect the police not to kill us when we keep killing each other” or “Where are all the protests when we’re shooting each other in the hood?”

Now on the surface such remarks seem like a strong dose of tough love where some concerned community member or leader is attempting to redirect misguided anger away from the police and back onto us.. They are supposedly helping get our priorities in order. However, such conclusions are deeply flawed, play into troubling stereotypes and are simply erroneous.

There's always been Peace Efforts in the hood. To suggest there aren't any is a flawed argument

The truth of the matter is we do care about our communities. How we handle complaints against a public servant who we pay with our tax dollars may be very different then how we deal with Ray Ray the Thug who lives in our hood and is causing problems. And to be quite frank, we’ve long had ‘Increase the Peace’ rallies,  ‘Stop the Violence‘ summits Summer Jam festivals to raise money for peace organizations etc all in our communities. Why some insist on acting like they don’t happen is beyond me. It suggests that those who make such claims are disconnected from the people and neighborhood they critiquing.

It’s interesting to note some of these assertions about lack of peace efforts are now increasingly being put forth by police, police sympathizers and right-wing pundits who start off by dismissing activists, protestors and community leaders as misguided or disingenuous for protesting the police but  ‘remaining silent’ to Black on Black crime. Here’s an example of what one police sympathizer posted up on my site the other day.

For the advocates, politicians, religious leader and other community leaders, I found that a lot of you have a habit of getting on the soapbox and crying foul and social justice to your followers when the opportunity avails. However, where are you all when there is/are (1) Black-on-Black or Brown-on-Brown crime, (2) schools are falling apart, (3) affirmative action was eliminated in good old liberal Cali, (3) young Black, Latinas and Asian girls being pimped and exploited [look no further than International Blvd/14th], (4) job/economic development opportunities, (5) low voter/political participation and (6) businesses being looted and temporary shut down that affect jobs and revenue. Where were you all when the young track star was gunned down or the pregnant women were shot or the boy was paralyzed by a stray bullet during piano practice. Where were you? Yes, the typical response to the usually dumbfounded individual when posed the question by the reporter… after trying to find those right words to say, is to blow off the question and stress that injustice of the “racist police” must stop and Oscar Grant’s death will not be in vain. If I was a family member of a victim of crime, I would be saying WTF, where were you all at for me. But, I have found that in the Bay Area, it is better to scream, shout, and react rather than putting deeds to words and being proactive in getting results. Too many of these so-called leaders or voices of the community have been talking (ala Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Fox News etc.) without doing any walking or showing tangible results. And many of them have a hard set take it or leave it mentality (ala Republicans) or it is you and not me mentality. And to tell you the truth, I (and probably the majority of other in Black and Oakland community) are getting real sick of the B.S and rhetoric from these glory hounds.

Here’s another example of a police officer who came out for the Pro-Johannes Mehserle rally in Walnut Creek earlier this summer. He’s the white guy with the baseball hat and you can hear him raising the same questions; Where are you when y’all are out there killing each other?


Now on the surface such remarks sound somewhat ‘logical’ if you watch the news and see coverage of an Oscar Grant protest and don’t see coverage of protests or vigils for victims of crime. The truth of the matter its a false narrative.

For example, several days ago I challenged the person who posted this accusation where he accused organizers of being glory hounds to give me a list of names of organizers who are out there protesting at Oscar Grant rallies, but not doing community based work designed to uplift and heal the community. I also posted up this challenge on my twitter feed. It’s been 4 or 5 days and that person nor anyone else has yet to produce such a list. The reason is because when it comes down to it,  it was all talk. This poster like most critics who echo the sentiment of ‘Where y’all at? was nowhere to be found himself.

In addition, his sweeping statements conveniently discounted the fact that almost all the main organizers behind the Oscar Grant movement have long been involved with healing work in the community. Many are part of organizations that specifically work with at risk youth everyday.

Many of the organizers and activists that have fought for Justice for Oscar Grant have been doing work in their respective communities for a long time. That would include folks like Tony Coleman and spoken word artist Ner City

If he or anyone else actually did look up names then they would’ve discovered most of the folks out there at those rallies come from organizations like Leadership Excellence, Youth Speaks, Eastside Arts Alliance, Black Dot Cafe, Homies, United Playaz, Youth Uprising, Barrios Unidos, Urban Peace Movement, Youth radio, Colorlines, Zulu Nation, Grind for the Green, Silence the Violence, POCC, Ella Baker Center, All of us or None, Love Life Foundation, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and this is just a short list. Point being… all these organizations as well as the numerous churches ranging from Allen Temple, Olivette, the Nation of Islam etc. involved with seeking Justice for Oscar Grant do work every single day in the community. They do this work without the glare and spotlight of TV cameras.

Much of what they do is not glamorous work. It doesn’t make for good TV news coverage. After all, as most who put in work will tell you, it takes more than a march and a vigil to turn things around in the community. It’s about building trust and nurturing relationships. It’s about teaching folks conflict resolution. It’s about trying to find ways to uplift people’s self-esteem. It’s about being there for those who are in the most distressed situations and helping those find ways to heal those who are lashing out because of past traumas as well as heal those who are victims. There are no easy solutions.

Do we really only come together to protest the police? Almost every last one of the mostly religious leaders pictured here has programs that specifically deal with violence in the community. Look them up, check their record

Many of these organizers are also the ones that frequently serve as long-term mentors to the troubled youth they encounter. Other work with them in art and cultural programs where they can express themselves as a way to healing and finding new direction. Many work in the schools or have been a part of leadership camps where they volunteer their time. Others have given money. Still others go behind the walls either to prison or juvenile facilities to work with those who are usually shunned and discarded. Many do work where they help those who just out of jail transition back into society. Very few have sat back and placated violence in the community. One has to question the sincerity of those who would suggest that. Common sense would tell you otherwise.

With respect to protesting police brutality, there’s a few points we should be clear on. First marches and rallies around instances of police brutality usually happen when the most egregious situations go down. I.e. the shooting death of an unarmed Black man. Not every assault, abuse and humiliation has resulted in a huge show of support. Perhaps they should because then folks who live outside those communities most subjected to police abuse would understand how pervasive and widespread it is. But sadly many find themselves spread thin because they are already doing other critical work in the community.

Most organizers understand police misconduct is systemic and requires long-term solutions where your both pushing for change within the department and pushing for accountability mechanisms on the outside via legislation. Because the police are part of the government which our tax dollars pay for, one may use a variety of tactics to bring attention to a concern and petition for change. Hence a large march and rally in front of city hall in theory sends a strong message to lawmakers the community is upset and is demanding changes.

Lawmakers at City Hall looking out their windows and seeing a large protest  understand the end result could be the community voting them out of office if they ignore their demands. Lawmakers understand that a protest could lead to community members withholding campaign contributions in future elections. They also understand that lack of response to a protest could result in a costly disruption of business as usual. Voting, Protesting and economic punishment are the languages many law makers understand and so a skilled organizer applies them.

This leads us to a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play when we’re dealing with the police. Keep in mind,  we pay their salary, training and equipment with our taxes. They are hired to protect and serve us and have been given an array of powers including the right to carry firearms and use deadly force to help them carry that out their duties. When they fail at their job it’s a big deal because much has been invested in them and much is expected.

This is no different then the way we collectively act when an airplane crashes versus a car. Car crashes happen more frequently, but when  plane crashes our societal confidence  is shattered and we quickly seek ways to ensure the public not to be afraid of boarding a plane again..

When incidents of police brutality occur it shatters the confidence we as people are supposed to have in them and the system. People stand up to seek justice as a way to restore faith into the process we are told we need to take to address grievances. When that also fails which is how many saw the judges sentencing decision of Johannes Mehserle, people move dangerously close to completely checking out and being despondent or  they become extremely angry and start rebelling.

We don’t have the same political investment and focused social expectations of the neighborhood thug. In many ways we feel at the end of the day we have as a community have the tools and resources to ultimately contain and shut down the thug. In the back of many people’s minds we simply have not exhausted all our options. It’s only when we feel we dont have final say so over the thug do we as community react the way we do when the police kill someone.

M-1 of dead prez noted our reaction or lack of reaction to police terrorism centers on how we deal with power

Right now we don’t feel we get the last word with the police..I think M1 of dead prez said it best on our radio show yesterday.. This all boils down to power and who ultimately has it. In theory the people are supposed to have it, but thus far the police as an institution have positioned themselves as the final power broker over various marginalized communties in particular Black and Brown.

With the Oscar Grant killing we saw the police exercise that power by executing him for all to see on the eve of the inauguration of nation getting its first African American president-(January  1 2009) Grant’s public slaying was a brutal reminder to folks that even with a Black President in the White House, you have no power.

That feeling of powerlessness motivated a lot of people to seek justice and turn the tables. Lots of obstacles were tossed in the way and with each step they were overcome and done away with by those seeking justice.. The DA was changed, the BART police chief forced to resign, officers were fired and for the first time in California’s history, a white officer was brought to trial in criminal court for the murder of a Black man. The balance of power was shifting resulting in a people starting to believe the system could be something we could depend upon thus giving the people final say so.

Unfortunately but not surprising, there was major push back as the police departments throughout the state sought to retain their hold. Every single police union in California came to Sacramento pledging support for Johannes Mehserle. They chipped in resources, paid for his lawyer and basically went all out to help him win his trial.

When Judge Robert Perry went out of his way to side with the police and blame Oscar Grant for his own death, it was a cruel reminder to the family and the community at large that we dont have power especially within the system we invested in.

Bottom line is that some of the police brutality cases are much more then isolated incidents.  They are major markers that indicate there’s an opportunity to flip the script, dismantle or at the very least, peel away some layers from an oppressive institution. With this in mind, when you hear someone complain that our community is protesting the police but seemingly not protesting the the day to day violence, its hard not to see this as a ploy to keep us from challenging an institution that needs to be held accountable.

Take a second look at that video from the Pro-Mehserle rally and see if you see a man (the white cop) who is genuinely concerned about the loss of Black lives in the hood or someone who simply wants to hold onto power at all costs.

As for the ‘concerned community’ members who raise these questions… well some folks have always been afraid of us leaving the plantation and being free.

Something to ponder

Davey D

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner


Here’s a cool reminder of what we need to be thinking about when the verdict drops..Its from the good folks over at Youth Uprising.


Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Goodie Mob, Jacka, Umi of RBG Drop Pearls of wisdom around Violence in the community


Last night, a historic gathering took place in san Francisco at the 330 Ritch club. That was the locale for the  Stop the Violence panel and townhall featuring reknowned artists like the Goodie Mob, Tha Jacka, Umi of RBG, Elaine Brown of the Black Panther party  and a host of others..

The  panelist spoke to the issue of violence within and outside of the community. They also spoke about political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald a former Black Panther who has served 40 years..

 T-Mo of the Goodie Mobb addressed the audience with his insight on the role he and his group can play on bettering the community..


Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo drops pearls of wisdom on the Stop the Violence panel. He talks about his responsibility to the communityalso talks about how and why Goodie Mob has managed to remain  together over the years..


Goodie Mob members Khujo and Big Gipp address the issue of community violence. They talk about their role as artists, noting that they’ve always put the community first.. The noted that they were activists more than artists..


Umi of RBG/ dead prez  speaks to the audience on the Stop the Violence panel about being revolutionary and having love for the community. He talks about how its important for us to turn that love into action and do things that will benefit the group and not just the individual..


Oakland rap star Tha Jacka talks about not glamorizing our faults and staying connected to the community as a way to set examples for those who look up to him.. Rudy Corbuz of United Playaz laces the audience with the importance of staying grounded and seeing the best within the people of the community.. Both men give us real food for thought


Former Black Panther chair Elaine Brown addressed the packed house for the Stop the Violence panel to talk about how the state places violence on us and we respond by turning on each other. She also talks about Black-Brown violence and lets us know how this has been orchestrated by the police and other law enforcement outlets that deliberately do things to ratch up tensions.. She offers the solution that the Black Panthers, Young Lords and Brown Berets used to come together…
We continue lacing people with inspiring words and solution at the Stop the Violence panel. Here Julio aka Gold Toes and Khujo of the Goodie Mob talk about empowering the community.. Julio talks about unting La Raza and teaming up with Jim Brown and folks from the NOI among others.. Talks about the gang enhancement laws and how the police are smashing on folks..by accusing people of gang banging

Khujo talks about how each person in the community has to be an inspiration and not to wait on and soley depend upon rap artists..

We conclude this Stop the Violence series with words of wisdom from former lifer Gerald of Not Without Tears talks about the gang situation in LA and how a lot of it is oftwen instigated by the police.  He talks about the influence of the Black Panthers and the Black on Brown conflict inside prison..

Nicco talks about the challenges young women are facing and how we must be aware of the hurt people are dealing with and help them heal..

New Trials of a Hip Hop Educator-2010

New Trials of a Hip Hop Educator

By Tony Muhammad



Peace and Blessings! We are now in the year 2010; marking the beginning of a new year and the birth of a new era of intelligence in this universal culture we have come to know as Hip Hop.  Hip Hop has been best defined by one of its greatest icons, KRS-One.  In the song Hip Hop Lives, KRS-One says: 

Hip means to know

It’s a form of intelligence

To be hip is to be up-date and relevant

Hop is a form of movement

You can’t just observe a hop

You got to hop up and do it

Hip and Hop is more than music

Hip is the knowledge

Hop is the movement

Hip and Hop is intelligent movement

All relevant movement

We selling the music 

So according to this lyrical definition, in order to live and express Hip Hop to its greatest potential we must stay in tune with the modern times and act in accordance with what is most needed in those times.  As the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan puts it, “Time dictates the agenda!”  I have encountered many “old school heads” that argue that we need to return to the spirit and expression of Hip Hop’s golden era (late 80s and early 90s).  Time and time again I have disagreed with this assessment.  While it is enriching and inspiring to study how the knowledge and wisdom that was pregnant in the music of that time inspired many of us to become the cultivated men and women that we are today, we must keep in mind that it may not be the medium of expression needed to have a significant impact on the hearts and minds of the people today; especially young people.  The music has changed and so too the culture has changed. 

What we are countering today goes far beyond the senseless street violence of the 80s that prompted noted Hip Hop artists to produce the Stop The Violence Movement in the East Coast and We’re All In The Same Gang Movement in the West Coast.  In truth, we have just experienced a whole decade in which the minds of our people, especially the youth, have been corrupted like never before.  Corporate media on all levels has fostered an attraction and consequently an addiction to materialism, violence, sex and sexual abuse.  This is so much so, that our young Brothers and Sisters, many of whom are growing up in homes that offer very little love and guidance, are being raised to believe that it is totally acceptable, and therefore normal, for a man to inflict harm on another human being so that his own senses could be pleased.  Our young men mainly become victims to this in the streets and our young ladies mainly become victims to this domestically “between the sheets” … or literally by force in the back seat of cars.  The predominant image of a young man of color by way of subliminal media suggestion is one that is constantly in and out of jail, jobless and maintains very little responsibility for self or others.  Our young ladies are made to believe that if they do not look like Beyonce or some object that is “sexually arousing,” then they are not valuable in the eyes of anyone, including themselves.  In response, many of those of the older generations within the culture become disgusted by the new trends and in their bitterness do not take the time to drop seeds of wisdom to the youth.  Either this or in their attempts to stay relevant (A.K.A. “cool”) and therefore financially successful, the older folks pick up the negative trends that the younger generation has adopted, both in music and lifestyle.  When all of this happens, there is no true guidance.  Overall, what has been fostered for well over a decade across the board is a culture of death and disrespect and Hip Hop has been one of the main vehicles used in order to bring it into existence.   

According to a recent national report compiled by Northeastern University criminologists, “54 percent of gun violence victims are black males between the ages of 14 and 17.”  According to the same report, “the number of homicides involving black youths — as victims and perpetrators — surged by more than 30 percent from 2002 to 2007, even as overall murder rates across the U.S. have been relatively stable.”  It is also noted in this same study that guns have increasingly became the weapon of choice since 2000 (by 40 percent).  While the homicide rate among Latino youth is statistically not as high as among Black youth, it is found that the homicide rate among poor urban Latinos is still well over three times higher than the white homicide rate. 

We must pose the question, “Can we afford to lose another generation of young people of color?”  Emphatically, the answer is “No!”  However, in order to effect a change, a new breed of role modeling within Hip Hop needs to be birthed.  We can no longer compromise and simply settle with financially successful personalities who market and distribute music and fashion that promote violence, sexism and unintelligent mass consumerism to speak to young people as why they shouldn’t engage in these behaviors.  These methods have proven to be ineffective. 

This is why a national call is being made right now by a network of activists and artists within the culture to consolidate our efforts nationally and to engage young people in the process of actively rebuilding our economically wasted cities; ultimately devoting ourselves to a day of service that we claim for ourselves in which we are in control of a responsible image of Hip Hop that we can claim for ourselves. 

For anyone interested in joining these national efforts please visit www.miacampaign.wordpress.com.  We can also be reached at Musicofamovement@yahoo.com or call 754-246-0222.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner