This past week, I’ve encountered three examples of hip hop being used as creative forms of cultural/social resistance and also rebuilding.

Treedom EP – by The People’s Tree
A friend I made at the co-op was involved in San Francisco’s underground hip hop scene and shared his group’s album with me. I think it reflects the social/political tensions going on in SF and the US, but also carries a strong message that a new way of relating to the world around us, from a perspective of growth and connectedness, can be what liberates us.

Infinite Dåkot-ta
I met Dåkot-ta at a potluck that my housemate invited me to, and went to his group I Moving Lab‘s dance performance a couple days later. During the event, he mentioned that he also uses music, rap, and creation of new chants to sustain/rebuild his language (only 5 fluent speakers left in the world) and to engage youth in learning it.

Hip Hop’s Place in Palestinian Resistance
I went to a panel discussion at University of Hawaii at Manoa, about Standing Rock and “the importance of solidarity in fighting different forms of oppression.” The professor with a specialization in Middle East Studies, Ibrahim Aoude, mentioned that hip hop is a form of creative resistance that is being used in many different social/cultural movements going on around the world. He mentioned that we need to take our efforts to a global scale too. This had made me pause because I had decided that fighting for local level change (instead of top down change) would be the most effective. My take away was that while we might be fighting the local fights, the strategies and methods we use, can be shared among different groups. That sharing of knowledge and solidarity at a global level can make all of us stronger.

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