Tag Archives: music

The African Hip-Hop Generation Arrives


I remember it like it was yesterday. My older brother had just returned from his freshman year of secondary school and the loud engine of my father’s old Nissan Stanza pulling into the compound had sent us all rushing to welcome him.

Amidst my parents chatter about his grades and how he’d lost weight, my brother signaled me to follow him. He pulled out a Sony Walkman and told me he had a new dance to teach me. I can’t remember exactly what he called it, only that it was similar to the running man.

The soundtrack to that dance was a sound I had never heard before: ‘Hip-Hop music.’ I spent the days that followed filled with immense curiosity, digging into this new sound. Years later, I would come to learn the names of the artists on that cassette tape: Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS One, Salt & Pepa, and Public Enemy. This was my introduction to a culture that changed my life.


Seattle mayor announces new music commission

by KING5.com
Posted on June 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM

SEATTLE – The City of Seattle wants to bring music to residents’ ears. On Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn introduced the new music commission.

The group of community and business leaders will guide efforts to support and expand the city’s culture of music.
“Music is such a part of the fabric of our city, and is one of the reasons why it’s so great to live here,” said Mayor McGinn. “I’m pleased that this group of individuals has agreed to serve together and leverage their collective efforts to continue to make sure that Seattle is the City of Music.”

Mayoral Appointments:
Jason Finn – Musician, Presidents of The United States of America
K. Wyking Garrett – Director, Seattle Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council/UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center
Kyle Hopkins – Head of Music Acquisitions, Microsoft X-Box/ On-Air DJ,
Megan Jasper – Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records
Alex Kochan – Vice President, AEG Live (Showbox Venues)
Marcus Lalario – Entrepreneur / Nightclub Owner
Tom Mara – Executive Director, KEXP 90.3 FM/KEXP.org
David Meinert – Owner, Fuzed Inc./National Trustee: The Recording Academy
Larry Mizell, Jr. – Writer, Musician, On-Air DJ at KEXP.org
Griff Morris – Principal, Content Licensing and Vendor Management, Amazon MP3
Marcus Womack – Product Management, iLike Inc./iLike.com
Council Appointments:
Kate Becker – Co-Founder, Vera Project/Director of Development, Seattle Theatre Group
Elena Dubinets – Vice President of Artistic Planning, Seattle Symphony
Holly Hinton – Content & Online Product Manager, Starbucks Entertainment
Jason Hughes – Co-owner, Sonic Boom Records/Owner, Sonic Boom Recordings
Ben London – Executive Director, The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter
DeVon Manier – CEO, Sportn’ Life Records
Mike Meckling – President, SNMA/Co-Owner, Neumo’s and Moe Bar
Jon Stone – Executive Director of Festivals, One Reel
Annette Taborn – Executive Director, Pacific NW Blues in Schools

Fugitive in Cuba: Joanne Chesimard, First Woman on FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List


For the first time, a woman has been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list: Joanne Chesimard. The FBI and the state of New Jersey are now offering $2 million for information leading to her capture.

Chesimard was already wanted for several felonies, including bank robbery, when she was accused of killing New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster execution-style 40 years ago this month. She was convicted in 1977 and served prison time but escaped in 1979 by using a prison van in a dramatic jailbreak. By 1984, she surfaced in Cuba and was granted asylum by Fidel Castro. She remains there to this day.

To her supporters, Joanne Chesimard is Assata Shakur, unfairly targeted and convicted by the United States government. She has also become something of a cultural hero. Not only is she the step-aunt and godmother of rapper Tupac Shakur, but she has written an autobiography and was featured in a documentary while in Cuba. Hip-hop and rap artists have sung about her cause, including “A Song for Assata” by the rapper Common.

“It’s unfortunate that someone involved in the murder of an officer, kidnappings, hostage takings and robberies in a 14-year span is revered by a segment of society,” said Aaron Ford, the special agent in charge at the FBI’s Newark division, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.

“For us, justice never sleeps, justice never rests,” Ford continued. “We’re looking to bring her to justice because she committed a heinous act. She is a member of an organization which espoused hate against the U.S. government.”


Christmas Trees for P.E.A.C.E Available now!…Umoja PEACE Center Report to Community 2012

Dear friends and family,

As you finish off the leftovers and reflect on the increasingly precious moments spent with family and friends, we want to share with you the accomplishments of the Umoja PEACE Center family over the past year and invite you to let your Christmas tree purchase make a difference by supporting our Annual Holiday Trees for P.E.A.C.E. Fundraiser.

If you or someone you know plans to purchase a Christmas tree this year, you can support the work of the Umoja PEACE Center.

Trees are priced to fit YOUR budget so place your order today!

Even better, tell all your family, friends, church and other groups about this opportunity to continue being part of the change and let us know HOW MANY TREES should be set aside.

Trees are available for pick up at the center daily from 9am-9pm. The UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center is located at 1107 24th Avenue (@ Spring St.) in central Seattle. One block south of Union st behind the Post Office.

To place your order today, please call 206.329.1591 or 206.941.2527.

If you do not want a tree but would like to support by making a contribution please click here or mail your contribution to:

Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center c/o Shunpike
PO Box 22328
Seattle, WA 98122

Please reference tax ID# 91-2138554 for your tax deductible contribution.

Thank you for your consideration and we hope that you can help us make the promise of change a reality.


UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center

2012 in review…

PEACE Week Seattle
Umoja PEACE Center started the year by launching the First Annual Seattle Martin Luther King Jr. County PEACEWeek in Seattle to counter the violence in our neighborhoods by encouraging youth and community members to take action to increase the peace instead.

The official Seattle MLK County PEACE Week Kick Off “A Vision 4 PEACE” was hosted at Seattle City Hall by the office of City Councilman Mike O’Brien featuring reception, youth panel & community speakers addressing whats needed to bring peace to our communities. See the video below


SHINE! Talent Competition seriesSHINE! Talent Competition flyer.
The SHINE Talent Competion series provides a stage for young aspiring artists to showcase their skills while promoting positive lifestyle choices to youth.

Winners from the talent competion received an artist development package. Check out song by SHINE! Talent competition winner Perilini Lomiga “Take Your Time” recorded at the UPC studio. http://soundcloud.com/antwon-vinson/take-your-time-mixed-mas.

Winners of the contest were also afforded an exclusive invite only audition with the NBC Show “The Voice” giving them an opportunity to take their talent to the world stage.

Seattle Hip Hop Leadership Conference
Produced in conjunction with the Seattle Hip Hop Summit Action Network and Seattle Central Community College Black Student Union, the 3rd Annual Hip Hop Leadership Conference was the best yet.

Over 150 people attended the event which brought out some of Seattle’s leading hip hop figures including Vitamin D, Jake One, Miss Casey Carter, Julie C, DJ Topspin, DJ Hyphen, Rawha Habte and many others to discuss the social and cultural impacts and potential of hip hop music and culture. Additionally this event inspired the development of Kenyan American Youth Association Roots Festival/Conference held in June at Highline Community College.

Umoja Fest was a success again in 2012 thanks to all of the community support.

We appreciate our community partners stepping up to make this years event a success including Starbucks, Catholic Community Services Village Spirit Center, UNCF, Powerful Schools and Ezells.Please thank these businesses and community organizations and let them know you appreciate them investing in our community.

Umoja Fest seeks to highlight and lift up all of the wonderful and beautiful things in our community so if you have something positive going on please do reach out and get connected with us.

Sunday Potluck Dinner
Every Sunday is Thanksgiving at the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center! Join the UPC family for our weekly potluck dinner.

Find out whats happening around the UPC and community, enjoy great food, conversation and networking, be inspired by movers, shakers and changemakers.

Art In The Park
UPC partnered with Outside Thinc Agency and Seattle Parks Department to offer 8 week Art In The Park program at Othello Park in South Seattle. The program provided over 400 youth and families with summer arts education and enrichment activities in a much needed area.

Watch the video here:

UPC Studio &
Artist Development
The recording studio continues to be the main attraction at the UPC.

Aspiring young artists are assisted in developing recording and performing skills while learning about the business of music, careers in media and entrepreneurship.

Participants learn what it takes to develop their brand, use relevant technology, produce and promote eventget paid shows, network for success and more.

Click to listen to “Destined for Success” by A-Rawlo.

Summer Enrichment Academy
The UPC hosted a summer enrichment academy pilot for elementary and middle school aged youth featuring classes in math, music, entrepreneurship, language arts, astronomy, Arabic and Amaharic languages.

Sista Soul Speak
SistaSoulSpeak is a poetry and spoken word workshop focused on giving young women an opportunity to discover and share the beauty within and express themselves creatively through writing and performing poetry and spoken word.

Participants explore inspirational materials and then create their own. A great release and pick-me-up for young women who may be stressed from life issues. Participants will also have opportunities to perform and be introduced to other personal development resources.

Listen to the piece”Home” produced by Sista Soul Speak class http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKoZeq0O-Eg.

UPC GROW is a Community Youth and Family Urban Gardening Project focused on creating a learning space to share ideas on how to grow healthy and nutritious food, people and communities. The project was held for six Saturdays.

The 8 week winter cycle provided great opportunities for learning, bonding and community building. The project was led by Jamil Suleman and supported by SYVPI. Stay tunded for our winter garden potluck on coming soon.

Raise The Bar Fitness
Umoja PEACE Center continues to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles to youth and families through the Raise the Bar Fitness Initiative.

Through our partnership with the Garfield Teen Life Center, over 300 youth were engaged in fitness based personald development activities and group mentoring.

Raise The Bar is aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

Bridging the Gap
The UPC Partnered with One Reel, Brandon Roy and Jamal Crawford Foundation to send over 250 youth and families to Bumpershoot.

We also became a partner with Seattle Theater Group Theater Access program to increase engagement with high quality arts production in Seattle.

Local to Global
UPC partnered with University of Washington Carlson Center to host international service learning interns from China and Iran. The opportunity provided valuable cultural exchange opportunities and learning opportunities for both the UW students and our high school interns.

We also partnered with the World Affairs Council of Seattleto host a delegation of leaders from North Africa and the Near East visiting as guests of the Department of State professional exchange program entitled “Youth Development: The Power of Music.” They were able to gather valuable insights from our experience using music and performing arts as medium for youth development.

New for 2013…

Seattle Symphony Collaboration
UPC is developing a new partnership with the Seattle Symphony to bring together young music producers and spoken word artists with Seattle Symphony Orchestra musicians to jointly create and perform original community compositions.

Plans for presentation of these performances include Seattle Symphony’s [untitled] series concert scheduled for April 26 at Benaroya Hall also at Umoja Fest 2013 as part of Seattle’s annual Seafair celebration.

Youth Arts, Technology & Enterprise Incubator
The mission of YouthArts, Technology & EnterpriseIncubator project is to coordinate culturally enriching activities using technology as a bridge to future opportunities.

The project will introduce youth to opportunities in Seattle’s Content Technology industries including content creators and distributors of film, music interactive media and gaming.This growing sector contributes over $7 billion in direct revenue annually to the Washington state and supports over 45,000 high wage jobs.

The center is in need of computers and Software Design Kits (SDKs) to begin mobile app development with young people in the central district.

We are working on partnerships with Seattle Interactive Conference, Seattle Music Commission and looking to connect with creative professionals and other stakeholders in the content technology industry.

2013 Events

PEACE Week 2013
January 14 – 21

SHINE Talent Competion

PEACE Week Edition
Saturday, January 21
Vera Project

4th Annual Hip Hop Leadership Conference
Saturday, February 23rd
Seattle Central CC

SHINE Talent Competion

Women’s History Month Edition (All female talent)
Saturday, March 23rd
Vera Project

UPC Live @ Seattle Symphony [untitled]
Friday, April 23rd
Benaroya Hall

SHINE Talent Competion

Black Music Month Edition (All covers)
“Saturday, June 8th
Vera Project

Umoja Fest 2013
August 2-4, 2013
Judkins Park – Seattle, WA

UPC Wish List…

Technology upgrade
Desktop computers

6 Mac Workstations (Mac OS Leopard or above)
10 PC Stations

Multimedia Software (Video & Production)

Adobe CS
Final Cut Pro
Software Development Kits
MS Office

Audio Recording Studio Upgrade

Mixing Board
Compressor (Avalon preferable)
Set Techniques 1200 Turntables (2)
Turntable Mixer (serrato)

Video Production upgrade

SD Memory Cards
External hard drives
Video Lighting Kit
Video Cameras
Viewing screen
Professionals (Cinematographers, Sound people, Writers, Directors, etc.)


Hot water heater installation
Plumbing Repairs (kitchen & bathroom)
Roof leak repair
Hauling Truck & Dump Run
Furnace Replacement w/ Installation
Gutters Cleaned
Portable Trailer Office/Classroom


Two phones
Printers (2)
Copy Machine
Computer Printer Repair Services
Network support
projector w/ stand & Screen
Black fold up chairs (40)
paper shredder (2)
Two executive chairs
Pen holders containers
clips and fasteners
Fabric—Black, White, Silver, Gold, Burgundy, Blue
15 Passenger Van


Rice Cooker/Vegetable Steamer combo
Serving Dishes/Utensils


Plant starts
Gardening Tools


Toilet paper
Paper towels
Paper utensils
Inkjet paper
Ink and toner

Youssou Ndour: Senegalese music icon appointed culture minister

Senegalese music icon Youssou Ndour has been appointed as the West African country’s minister for culture and tourism. The world music icon is one of the twenty five selected members of the new Senegalese cabinet, which also include seven women…

Source: http://www.africanews.com

Africa on the Move: The Power of Song

Africa on the Move follows Ivorian reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly as he fights for Africa’s poor and marginalised. See his LIVE CONCERT

Tiken Jah Fakoly is a reggae artist born in Cote d’Ivoire in Western Africa. His career began in the 1990’s and he has released seven albums most recently “L’Africain.” He sings both in French and in his native language of Dioula.

As a result of his outspoken criticism of the government in his native country, Tiken (as he is known to his fans) has been the target of intimidation and death threats. He has lost several people close to him but he remains an advocate both for reform of the political system in Cote d’Ivoire and for the plight of disadvantaged people in Africa and throughout the world. He was forced into exile in neighbouring Mali and now spends time in France as well.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com

50 Cent goes to Somalia

So rapper 50 Cent (accompanied by American journalists) was in Somalia and Kenya this week to visit people living in refugee camps displaced by the civil war with Islamic militants. Expect lots of ’50 in Somalia’ reports on US television.

50 Cent, who joins a long line of celebrities helping Africans (he is being touted as the 21st century celebrity humanitarian already) handed out food and danced with the children…

Source: http://africaasacountry.com

Civil Rights legal groups file federal request for info on ‘Occupy’ crackdowns

Two civil rights legal groups filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) on Wednesday..

Source: http://www.examiner.com