I pointed out in my introductory blog post for Go Hard. Superstar. that we’re not creating this community from scratch, this is not the beginning of it all, just a continuation of what we already have in the NW, a community of artists that respect and support each other, show it, and know each other’s stories. I was referring to this special something that I noticed in the artists that rep “The Town.”
I don’t know everyone in this camp personally, nor do I pretend to, but I’ve always been watching. Geo invited me backstage for Grynch’s “Perspective” Album Release Party over the weekend and even though it seemed like everyone knew each other, every person I came in contact with looked over and said, “Hello, how are you?”
I’ve been backstage enough to know that this doesn’t always happen. Backstages are either filled with random people with cameras and free t-shirts that you can walk past without making eye contact, or close friends. And if you’re picky about who you surround yourself with, you’re curious to know who the “stranger” is.
This was an example of what I envision is going to “put Seattle on the map.”
Look who I bumped into at the Hip Hop Occupies Rally at Westlake Center this afternoon. Geo from Blue Scholars and Jamil Suleman, local activist, hip hop artist, and poet.
Geo has stated in previous press interviews that “all the principles that guide why this movement is happening in the first place I already agreed with.” He even wrote a piece in Al Jazeera about his experience visiting occupy sites around the country while on tour. Titled, “Despite flaws, OWS deserves our participation” he voices that ‘occupy’ protests across the country are promising, though often deaf to the issues facing people of color and that he’d like to see minorities participating.
While walking and talking with Jamil, he spoke about a future where a similar movement would take place involving EVERYONE involved in Hip Hop, regardless of political views, that would come together under one common cause, Hip Hop, and really make an impact on the broader public. We’d work side by side in building awareness about what Hip Hop is, the influence those involved hold, and how we can use it bring more positivity into our every day lives.
Their #gohard is not only for their careers as artists, but for their community.
And I’m always down with that.
Find out more about the national Hip Hop Occupies Movement here: http://www.hiphopoccupies.com
Geo from Blue Scholars wrote this for Al Jazeera English. I’ve heard time and time again from critics that our “socially conscious” hip hop artists should walk the walk and talk the talk, that they should also be hands-on involved in the community.
We don’t have to be attached to every movement. We’re entitled to our own opinion too. And when we decide to, we all participate in our own way.
Now, I don’t have time to sleep in a tent, but when we make public what our opinions are, we’re just as much part of the movement. It’s not a matter of whether or not we believe occupying is the right approach, it’s about remembering what the initial objective was and working towards that in our own style.