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Reportback from The Co-Optation of Hip Hop: Speakers Part Two


On January 7, the All Peoples Revolutionary Front hosted The Co-Optation of Hip Hop at Lincoln High School's Black Box Theater. These videos show the third and fourth speakers, Bridgette Castillo and DJ Kuttin Kandi. Samples of their words are included below.

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Bridgette Castillo
My Personal Narrative as a Young Women and Student of Color in Love with Hip Hop.
"Hip Hop. When I think of Hip Hop and what i means to me, I think of truth, love and hope… This music fills my soul with peace, with hunger, with realness. Hip Hop helped me find myself, find truth in who I really was and what I believed in. If it wasn't for these beautiful women speaking the truth, saying that as a women I have a powerful mind with a voice that needs to be heard, I think I would be another lost soul. Hip Hop moves me. It tells me the importance of cultivating my mind. It speaks to the pain I feel. It tells me to stand up to the struggle we are all facing. It feels my pain and it heals it. My getaway and reality check is Hip Hop."

"Hip Hop is my drive. I use it to work towards change. Hip Hop never told me to sell my soul, but it tells me to stand up for truth even through resistance. One of the main reasons that the love I have for Hip Hop is so strong is because in today's society I feel we are all living a lie. A lie in what really matters. A lie on the value of human beings and love for our culture. So when i first came upon listening to artists like Common and Lauryn Hill, I found truth in their voices. I found that hope, I found that love that is more than just myself, but more my community and my culture. Hip Hop is hope in a better place. It reminds me of what is important."

Bridgette Castillo is a student at Lincoln High School. She has a passion for finding truth for everything she does. She wants to create change in the way women are viewed today. "I am still young and trying to find my purpose in life, the the path I have been taking so far has been a blessing. Being a Latina and growing up with strong women has always kept me fighting for more, for believing in my dreams. Being part of Social Justice at Lincoln High has been a huge turning point in my life, it has made me conscious, and humble about experiences I face daily, it has taught me to challenge what I'm always being told. Today I stand with appreciation for those around me and always trying to seek knowledge from life itself."
DJ Kuttin Kandi
Defining the Co-Optation of Hip Hop and the Connections to Cultural Imperialism
"Payola is no longer the local DJ receiving a couple of dollars for airplay. It is now the organized corporate crime that supports the lack of balanced content and demeaning imagery with no consequence. This is the co-optation of Hip Hop. It is not just the record industry owning People of Color's music. It's the media too, determining what we watch, what we see, what we listen to, on television, on radio, on music videos. All of them a majority of white ceos that own the airwaves and cable stations but know nothing of Hip Hop culture."

"In order to get to universal, it means we have a lot of work to do. We have to embrace our differences, embrace our different histories, our roots, and yes, listen to all of our struggles, every single one of us. Because even though it hurts, even though you might get mad, and even though it pains us, because that pain is still present, and it might be harder to see, than it was generations ago, that pain is still present. While we are now in the year 2012, while we now have a black president, there is still work to be done. There is still work to be done."

"Chuck D stated that Hip Hop is the Black CNN. Speaking truth to power. Its important for me, someone who is Filipino, to recognize that hip hop comes from and is rooted from black experience, Blacks and Latinos from New York City. To deny where it is rooted from is to culturally appropriate and not give it the full respect and its full honor. It is important for me to speak of my relations too, of my connectedness to Hip Hop…"

DJ Kuttin Kandi, born and raised in Queens NY, is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished female DJs in the world, and a Writer, Playwright, Theater Arts Performer, Poet, Mentor, Hip Hop Activist, Radical Feminist and Community Organizer. Kuttin Kandi is a member of 5th Platoon, Founder and DJ for the Anomolies, CoFounder of Guerrilla Words, CoFounder of R.E.A.C Hip Hop and Member of All Peoples Revolutionary Front. Kuttin Kandi is a NY Source Magazine DJ Champion, the only female DJ to go the DMC USA Finals, has performed with Bob James, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Jay-Z, Common, Black Eyed Peas, Gangstar, LL Cool J, May, MC Lyte, the Roots, Young Gunz, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Eternia, BlackStar and LeTigre, has DJed at Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden, and was honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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cooptationofhiphopbridgettecastillo010712.mp4 || Bridgette Castillo

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cooptationofhiphopdjkuttinkandi010712v2.mp4 || DJ Kuttin Kandi

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