By Shafiqullah Aziz
Rebel Diaz, the revolutionary hip hop group originating out of Chicago, performed a four city concert tour from January 19 to 22 which was organized by Barrio Nuevo and BASICS. They hit up Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa and finally Montréal to cap off the weekend.
Rod Starz, G1, and Lah Tere performed songs from their Otra Guerrillera Mixtape Vol. 1 and 2, along with a couple tracks from their upcoming album.
The crowd in every city would always go crazy when Rebel Diaz performed “Which Side Are You On”:
I rock hard like palestinian children holdin’ slingshots/
I’m with every single kid that’s down for hip-hop/
For the culture the life what it really stands for/
This music is resistance it’s the voice of the poor.
Lah Tere had the crowd jumping when she would perform her single “Crush”:
So now I make a move but I move at my own pace/
Before me there were teachers, speakers, mothers with more face/
They were building on a theme they believed they could dream free/
To justify their lives they believed they could bring me/
So now I stand here, heat-spitta/
Set to change minds while the enemy surrounds and threatens to take mine/
I’ll never give it to them my story is just unfolding/
Realer than real cuz I’m chosen.
The members of Rebel Diaz reside in the Bronx, New York, and do much more than just make music. They have organized a community art centre called the “Rebel Diaz Arts Collective” which they have been operating since March 2009.
At the centre, they provide South Bronx youth with a performing space, computer lab, multimedia studio and an art gallery in an attempt to build up the community and make Bronx youth more politically active and involved in their neighbourhoods.
Artists, organizers, and youth can learn a lot from Rebel Diaz, and they are definitely a group to watch out for. Their new album “The Radical Dilemma” will be released this upcoming March. You can check them out and download their music at www.rebeldiaz.com.