Originally posted on Nottingham Indymedia.
On Thursday November 10th 2011, over 250 people attended the Nottingham launch of revolutionary rapper Lowkey’s “Soundtrack to the Struggle” album.
The hiphop artist and activist who has traveled to Palestine and whose #1-selling album raises awareness about the arms trade, Islamophobia, the so-called “War on Terror”, international U.S military bases and the hypocrisy of Western leaders including Obama, enjoyed a warm welcome from the Nottingham crowd which included students from both universities and colleges as well as local residents. Fans sang along to lyrics rejecting war and Western consumerism, promoting instead justice, equality and peace. Prior to the headline act, an open mic took place, and local artists such as El Dia (who’s performing at the Sumac‘s Insurrection Hiphop night this Friday) and MC Drago warmed up the crowd with their politically conscious lyrics and cheers of “Free Free Palestine!” Logic, Awate, and Crazy Haze, who accompany Lowkey on tour, were also met with enthusiastic appreciation of their inspiring lyrics. Poet and journalist Jody McIntyre then shared his critical, witty, political poetry to a receptive audience.
The stage was adorned with a large Palestinian flag and graffiti pieces created by 16-year old Lowkey fan Usamah Qaiser and the venue also hosted a diverse range of stalls from local activist organisations and campaign groups. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign was joined by Notts Uni Palestinian Society, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts, Nottingham Refugee Forum, local artists and Veggies from the Sumac who provided tasty samosas and vegan cake along with relevant newspapers and pamphlets such as Peace News. Radical feminist collective Sisters of Resistance politicised the women’s toilets with details of their anti-imperialist, pro-vegan hip-hop blog.
The diverse crowd engaged with the stalls, took flyers and purchased Palestinian scarfs (kuffiyehs) raising money for Palestine and becoming aware of the need for organised resistance. Members of the audience were encouraged to become actively involved in building alternatives to the exploitative, unsustainable system that the featured artists powerfully denounced. With Lowkey’s soundtrack as the inspiration, the successful event saw revolutionary activists and hiphop fans, students and locals alike united in their determination to continue the struggle.
We are huge fans of Akua Naru, a female rapper from Philadelphia currently residing in Germany. We find her music uplifting, inspiring and empowering and we wanted to share Poetry, her latest release, with you as we think it’s a beautiful piece of music and a powerful articulation of female sexuality.