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

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5pIULVsYIY[/youtube]

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

 

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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

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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.

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