The Rap Battles for Social Justice, in support of the First Nations at the forefront of this fight for climate justice, plans to throw a fundraiser in the form of a Hip Hop concert with the aim of raising awareness. Our goal is to bring attention to the topic of climate change generally – and more specifically – how it disproportionately affects marginalized communities within our own country.
There will also be an educational and writing workshop taking place. The workshop will host a guest speakers involved in this struggle shedding light on its various nuances, and in the second part we will work with the participants in writing hip hop verses relevant to the issue at hand.
Our project’s vision is to not only raise money to help support the struggle of the Wet’suwet’en environmental activists, but to share the voices of indigenous artists while also showcasing the complexities of the situation at hand, as well as unifying local groups and communities in this common fight. The goal is to shed light on both sides of the argument, so as to inform, educate, and empower everyone involved, because these fights for climate justice affect us all, as Canadians, but more importantly, as humans.
The Rap Battle Against Sexual Violence, is aimed at raising awareness on sexual violence by breaking isolating patterns of a silencing culture. In collaboration with the Concordia Student Union (CSU) this showcase seeks to emphasize our shared narratives by bringing an empowering conscious and healing conversation around the topic of Sexual Violence. This intentional space will present alternative accounts, distancing ourselves from a sexual violence culture stemmed in guilt, shame, stigma, and a misrepresentation of the issue.
The second series of events (The Rap Battle For Black History Month ) seeks to celebrate the value and wealth of Black History. Painting a representative and diverse picture of the excellency of Black Folks, Black Culture and the importance to celebrate the roots and heritage of Black/African culture within the Hip-Hop movement, while encouraging the democratisation of knowledge. This event will hold the legacy of Hip-Hop instrumentalizing music as a tool to speak truth to power. The goal is to bridge communities together, by organizing and bringing sustainable social change in a culturally aware and responsive manner. Proceeds of this show will be directed to provide support for DESTA Black Youth Network.
Concordia Hip Hop Community, in collaboration with The Rap Battles For Social Justice (RB4SJ), is looking to continue its success in co-presenting an artistic and educational concert series tackling social justice issues affecting our local and global communities. The first series of events, The Rap Battle For Representation, is aimed at raising awareness of the lack of diversity and accessibility in Hip Hop, especially for women, femmes and non-binary conforming folks. There will be a workshop on gender equity preceding the event as well.
The second series of events (The Rap Battle against the Prison/Justice System) is aimed towards illuminating the failures of our global justice system and the persistent disenfranchisement of marginalized youth as a result, including: the privatization of the prison system and labor exploitation, the inhumanity of solitary confinement, and the abuse of anti-drug regulations for targeting and over-policing of marginalized communities. There will also be a workshop speaking to these issues preceding the event.
The Rap Battle Against Consumerism will be a rehearsed event where local Montreal artists will be ‘battling’ with corporate CEOs, politicians, and other Wall Street types on the topic of consumerism. This will take place on March 29th, 2017 at the Belmont (a haven for local hip hop events like this). This event aims to raise awareness about consumerism and the dangers of capitalism.
The Rap Battle for Gender Freedom will put forward rap and spoken word artists who are trans people of colour, femme­ identified people, as well queer and some cis allies who will rap and speak about gender issues.
There will also be room for spoken word. About the title: Since gender oppression is prevalent in most communities, gender freedom represents the release from the shackles and the violence of the gender binary. The show will take place on Friday April 9th 9pmat Reggie’s, 1455 de MaisonneuveBoulevard West. The venue is wheelchair accessible with gender neutral. The lyrics for the show will be prepared in advance in workshops and other spaces collectively. All artists would have to attend at least one of our workshops about trans and gender issues.
The Rap Battle against the Tar Sands will raise awareness about the social and ecological impacts of the tar sands and to mobilize new ambassadors in the hip hop and spoken word community in Montreal. This being the third event of its name in the past year, the success of the show has helped to mobilize different environmental groups and promote the cause of sustainability.
The hip­hop workshops will grant students the opportunity to educate themselves on the tar sands and climate justice, while giving them the opportunity to experiment with rap as a political art form. Hip Hop Heads Concordia will be providing the space in their meetings to promote the shows and the workshops. Students will perform in the rap battle (as in the past) and raise awareness, all while watching veteran rappers and poets spit verses that will destroy the iron snake that is the Energy East pipeline, along with its destructive tar sands origins.
Climate Justice Montreal will be hosting the Rap Battle Against the Tar Sands on March 28th, 2015, at La Vitrola. The main purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the socialand ecological impacts of the tar sands and to mobilize new ambassadors in the hip hop and spoken word community in Montreal.
Our project bears a resemblance to Hip Hop Caucus’ People’s Climate Music that mobilized diverse and influential artists to create music and culture inspiring action to solve the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced – climate change. First Nations rappers and spoken word artists Project Toombz, Warrior Minded have confirmed their presence, as well as Kalmunity rappers Emrical, the Katalyst, and Sarah MK. Jai Nitai Lotus, nominated for a GAMIQ award and for the Polaris Music Prize, has also confirmed. The rap battle will be filmed and the intention is to create viral videos that will spread the message of this campaign beyond Concordia and Montreal, inspiring communities elsewhere to creatively combat the tar sands and the fossil fuel industry. The event will also collect funds for a First Nations community resisting the tar sands, such as the Unist’ot’en clan.






Jeffrey Asuming Tawiah

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