Like a lot of people my political and social outlook has been heavily shaped by the music I listen to, in particular hip-hop music. As such it is only right to include a “Rebel Music” section on this blog where we will share some of the music and artists that have influenced us!
One hip-hop group that I have been listening to a lot the past few years are the South Bronx based duo Rebel Diaz, whose tracks are packed with anti-capitalist and internationalist lyrics. From expressing support for the Palestinian people, admiration for Hugo Chaves, sending solidarity to striking workers and calling for a “world without borders and a better tomorrow”, this is a group that are not afraid to express their beliefs and are not caught up in the bling-soaked swag-fest that has become mainstream hip-hop. The following is from their own website:
Fronted by MC’s Rodstarz, and MC/Producer G1, Rebel Diaz shows us the true global power of Hip-Hop. After first performing at an immigrant rights march in New York City in 2006 in front of a half million people, the bilingual crew has taken the international community by storm with their explosive live shows. With influences ranging from Chicago house to South American folk, Rebel Diaz combines classic boom bap tradition with Hip-Hop’s global impact. The group’s versatility has allowed for them to share the stage with the likes of Common, Mos Def, and Public Enemy, while feeling right at home with acts like Rage Against the Machine and Calle 13. Multiple tours throughout Europe and Latin America have only solidified their international appeal.
With roots in Chicago, and now based in the South Bronx, NY, Rebel Diaz has also piqued the interest of the academic community with their poignant social commentary and energetic performances. They have spent the last 8 years visiting dozens of colleges and universities, facilitating workshops, speaking on panels, and performing at national conferences.
Building on this growing network of positive young people in Hip-Hop, the group opened a community arts center in the South Bronx in 2008, the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDACBX). On the heals of their critically acclaimed Otro Guerrillero mixtape series, and 2011′s #Occupy The Airwaves mixtape, Rebel Diaz released their debut album, The Radical Dilemma, on December 4, 2013.
The above video for their Which Side Are You On? REMIX track was released on YouTube on the 30th of April, 2015, although the track initially featured on their The Radical Dilemma album. It features verses from stic.man and M-1 of the revolutionary Hip-Hop group dead prez, and also Rakaa Iriscience of underground legends Dilated Peoples.