Its Bigger Than Hip Hop

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dead prezWhat an incredible show!  Last Thursday’s Benefit Concert for the Freedom Archives at the New Parish was an amazing experience. Intimate venue, wonderful crowd, positive energy, conscious messages and world class musicians. The night opened with impactful spoken word from YGB Gold (Young Gifted and Black), a youth creative arts group from Oakland. Their selection Don’t Shoot was specifically powerful and unfortunately relevant as protests for Michael Brown (in Ferguson, MO) and Eric Garner (in NYC) continue. Bato Talamantez, one of the San Quentin Six, followed with a moving tribute to George Jackson. Sellassie was up next and represented the Bay while delivering a fiery performance evoking Africa, police brutality and black history. Ja’hi as PE 2.0 ripped the mic and incorporated most of the original elements of hip hop as he DJed, MCed and featured a break dancer on stage. Jennifer Johns rocked the crowd with her soulful and vibrant voice and was joined onstage for a couple cuts by Ryan Nicole Austin, a very talented Bay Area female MC. Kev Choice was next and brought a DJ and live drummer to complement his vocal and keyboard skills. DJ Leydis kept the crowd rocking throughout the night.  All this really grounded the evening in the Bay Area progressive community and brought the energy to a peak. Finally after midnight headliners Dead Prez took the stage. They did not disappoint, ripping through their catalog, speaking on political prisoners, discipline, health, revolution, love and activism. In all this was a great benefit, we’re happy so many folks came out to support and a big thanks to all the people who made this possible especially Ankh Marketing. Stay tuned for more information about our 15th anniversary on October 16th at the African-American Arts and Cultural Complex, 762 Fulton Street in San Francisco!
-Nathaniel
 

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