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August 05, 2006


When I first met & interviewed Fidel Rodriquez, he was doing a radio show called Seditious Beats on public radio. The show had been removed from mainstream radio, where it was on in the middle of the night/crack of dawn, but Fidel's voice, his movement and his activism were proved too revolutionary for clear channel radio one.

Today his movement is known as
Divine Forces Radio, and he's a force within the community of Hip Hop generation activists. Last night in East Los Angeles, at an outdoor concert held at Self Help Graphics, Fidel did the impossible - gathering together Black and Brown (and Asian and white) at a Hip Hop event with a) children of all ages, b) profits donated toward education (real education for youth, not the los angeles unified school district), c) no alcohol, d) no violence, e) gang unity, f) no involvement/approachment from the lapd. There was even homemade tacos for sale, a table representing Fidel's wife Sol's store IMIX Books, and other vendors selling handmade jewelry and clothing. Aztlan Underground, Olmeca, Immortal Technique, DJ Icey Ice/Beat Junkies, Self Scientific, Sick Symphonies/Psycho Realm and others performed under a clear, moonlit L.A. sky.

I didn't have a tape recorder (although pictures are forthcoming from Miz Vanessa's cellphone) so pardon my paraphrase.

Fidel, MCing a portion of the show. "We're here tonight to deal with Christopher Colombus, but that wasn't his name. He was Cristobal Colon, and when we talk about DECOLONIZATON we are talking about the deconstruction of colonialism, named for Colon. That motherfucker. And when I say motherfucker, you know who I'm talking about right?" (Somone in the crowd screamed out "RAPE" - see, none of us here are illiterate or ignorant...) "I'm talking about the slave master, who came in and fucked our mother."

As always, behind every great event, there is a great woman. I was not at all surprised to see Carmelita Sanchez (World Famous Wake Up Show) quietly/quickly running shit from behind the scenes. I'm hopeful knowing that she's been doing this for over 20 years, she's a mom, and she still looks great and gracefully juggles the dozens of balls one has to keep in the air to pull off an event like this one.

While there were more than a hundred die-hard "Sick Side Soldiers" who'd waited for hours to see Psycho Realm who were damn near ready to riot, Self Scientific MC Chace Infinite performed a few tracks from the Change LP and announced that Self Sci and Sick Symphonies are working on a collaboration album called Black and Brown. He also took a moment to talk about the history of L.A. unity between Blacks and Latinos; and about the inclusion of Native/Latin American peoples in the African diaspora.

And although there was a this-is-not-a-game slampit to rival any 1980s L.A. punk rock show during the Aztlan Underground , there was NO violence. I have to repeat myself, ZERO violence.

I know there are a lot of people who read this blog because I've written for some big-name rap magazines, and because I'm known in the music industry. And I want them to read and re-read this post. And most especially, click on some of the links herein and learn about some of these artists, organizations, and the movement of Hip Hop activism, Los Angeles style.

Because like Immortal Technique so aptly said on stage last night, "Mothafucka, you are NOT in southern California! You ARE in NORTHERN MEXICO."

p.s. I have to thank my homeboys Tone Lopez and Joey Castillo, Hi Def Management, for making the night go smoothly and for staying true even now that they're blowing up. Our crew deserves all the success, we have earned this, and it's been time.