Hip Hop And Life With Jasiri X! (@jasiri_x)

Q. Your lyr­ics are full of fac­tu­al­ity. Where do you get your know­ledge? Was there a par­tic­u­lar per­son in your life, event or book that inspired you to read and edu­cate your­self fur­ther on these truths?

My moth­er first and fore­most because she named me Jasiri, which is Swahili and means brave war­ri­or. She raised me in a con­scious house­hold and encour­aged me to read at a very young age. Today I’ve been blessed to be ment­ored by the Hon­or­able Min­is­ter Louis Far­rakhan and Harry Bela­fonte. Both are incred­ible artists that are known more thought the world for their act­iv­ism. I’m try­ing hard to fol­low in their foot­steps

Q. Your music and videos have spread aware­ness and spoken for the injustices that are occur­ring today. ‘Justice For Trayvon’ became a track that spoke out for a lot of people that were fight­ing for justice for Trayvon Mar­tin, and to date the video has opened up debates around race in Amer­ica today. What were your thoughts after hear­ing the ver­dict? And what can we do now as a com­munity to make sure it doesn’t hap­pen again?

I hon­estly was not sur­prised by the Zim­mer­man ver­dict. I nev­er expec­ted our injustice sys­tem to con­vict him. My thoughts after the ver­dict were its busi­ness as usu­al in Amer­ica. I told people in the Trayvon song that, “only white life is pro­tec­ted in Amer­ica ” but I don’t think they really under­stood until after the ver­dict. What we have to do is first stop killing one anoth­er. We need to take those guns we pull on one anoth­er and use them to defend our com­munit­ies. We have to truly be 1Hood, only we can make sure it nev­er hap­pens again.

Q. What lead you to join Nation Of Islam and how did it help shape you as a Hip Hop artist? What are your thoughts in the rise of Islam­a­pho­bia across the world is there a solu­tion, a mat­ter of edu­cat­ing? Or is it a polit­ic­ally driv­en motive?

I needed guid­ance and dir­ec­tion in my life.  I had reached a point where the decision I made on my own lead me to a very bad pos­i­tion and my life­style was destruct­ive to me and those around me. The Nation gave me know­ledge of self and dis­cip­line and is one of the main reas­ons I’m the per­son I am today. There is def­in­itely a polit­ic­al motive to the rise of Islam­a­pho­bia. The people in power see Islam as a threat because when prac­ticed prop­erly it’s a force that unites people to do good and uphold and defend what’s right.

Q. Your track ’21 Forever’ is an attack on the com­mer­cial Hip Hop Cul­ture. Why do you think Hip Hop took that dir­ec­tion? What are your thoughts on the pris­on indus­tri­al com­plex and Hip Hop today?

Cor­por­a­tions took Hip-Hop in the dir­ec­tion it’s in now. The reas­on Hip-Hop is so one-sided is because there are cer­tain images of Black men and people of col­or in gen­er­al that these old white men are com­fort­able with. Many of these com­pan­ies also invest in pris­ons, so it’s not a coin­cid­ence that main­stream cor­por­ate rap music rein­forces a life­style that will lead you straight to pris­on if you fol­low it.

Q. You have been fea­tured on such a diverse range of plat­forms, from Rus­sia Today and Huff­ing­ton Post to the more music ori­ent­ated BET. What have the advant­ages of this been? Does the response to your music vary from the dif­fer­ent audi­ences?

It’s been great for me to have fans from vari­ous plat­forms and back­grounds. It’s helped me to be able to spread my mes­sage from polit­ic­al con­fer­ences, to uni­ver­sit­ies, to shows in the hood. Good music is good music, so if it’s good people like it and share it no mat­ter who they are

Q. Tell us a bit about your organ­isa­tion ‘One Hood Media’?

One Hood Media came of the suc­cess we had cre­at­ing songs and a video that dealt cre­at­ively with a vari­ety of issues. Organ­iz­a­tion and cam­paigns began to hire us to do videos for them. Recently we star­ted the One Hood Media Academy to teach young Afric­an-Amer­ic­an boys how to ana­lyze and cre­ate media for them­selves.

Q. Tell us a bit about your 2013 album ‘Ascen­sion’? What issues did you cov­er on it? Were there any tracks in par­tic­u­lar that are a favour­ite of yours?

Ascen­sion was a very per­son­al album for me, that’s why it’s more spir­itu­al than polit­ic­al, although I do have songs that deal with income inequal­ity, police bru­tal­ity, oppres­sion, and cen­sor­ship. The concept behind Ascen­sion is, if Hip-Hop is dead then where does it go, heav­en or hell? So me and the album’s pro­du­cer Reli­gion were try­ing to take Hip-Hop to a high­er spir­itu­al level. My favor­ite song is called “We the Changers”. The vibe of the beat and my flow com­bined puts it on a high­er vibra­tion than most songs


Q. What are you cur­rently work­ing on that you can share with us?

The pro­ject I’m work­ing on now is called P.O.W.E.R. which stands for People Oppressed Will Even­tu­ally Rise. It will be more of a col­lab­or­a­tion than my first pro­ject, and a major­ity of the pro­duc­tion will be done by Lon­don’s own Agent of Change.

For more info on Jasiri X and his pro­jects Like his Face­book page.

Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhali­w­al


The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.
Rishma Dhaliwal

Latest posts by Rishma Dhaliwal (see all)

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *