Presented by rapper Hasan Salaam, this discussion will build on how Black Music is, and was born as, a response and tool to deal with and combat the oppression we face in everyday life.
There is a connection and a common thread that weaves the mathematical compositions of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to the science of Rakim and The Wu-Tang Clan. That same spirit of resistance and retaliation against Jim Crow shown by Ray Charles, or the attack on Governor Faubus by Charles Mingus, also lived in N.W.A. when they took on the L.A.P.D.
We have seen as well that music can be used to break down the walls of the prison, to reach in and keep the spirit of our political prisoners strong, and to also serve an integral part in bringing them home. Hasan Salaam has been deeply involved in the movement to free all political prisoners, through Black August and organizations like the Jericho Movement. Hasan has specifically used his hip hop in the service of working to free Sundiata Acoli, 73-year-old Black Panther political prisoner arrested with Assata Shakur who has served over 36 years in prison.
Hasan’s music paints vivid pictures of the commonalities that bind us: struggle, love, and pain. It’s this ability, to touch people at their core, which has garnered Hasan a loyal fan base all over the world. His following has generated over a million plays on Myspace and Youtube alone. He’s been featured in major media publications such as The Source Magazine (twice), The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. Nearly every hip hop site on the Internet has, at some point, done a feature on Hasan Salaam.
Please also join us for a concert at 7pm featuring Hasan Salaam, Siren’s Echo, and March 4th.