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Urban Culture News United Revolutions African Vocalist Hip-Hop Activist
United Revolutions African Vocalist Hip-Hop Activist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert ID2034   
Sunday, 23 October 2005 13:15

Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Executive Director David Hilliard recently arranged an unprecedented multi-cultural alliance between anti-apartheid legend Thomas Mapfumo and Hip-Hop activist Raoul Juneja (a.k.a. Deejay Ra) at the Bamboo club solo Toronto stop of Mapfumo's ''Panther-Zimbabwe Legacy'' tour.


Hilliard's Panther Records and Mapfumo's Chimurenga Music have been represented in Canada through Juneja's award-winning Lyrical Knockout Entertainment company since September/October 2003, when the rap radio host of Indian heritage first collaborated with the American and African human rights leaders to create literary themed giveaway tributes to Alex Haley and the late hip-hop rap icon Tupac Amaru Shakur across North American community radio stations and world-wide urban web sites.


As Chief of Staff David Hilliard's Black Panther Party free food, medical and legal 1960's global initiatives were being branded "the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States" by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Thomas Mapfumo's anti-colonial songs performed in his banned Shona language weren''t being taken lightly by Zimbabwe ruler Ian Smith either, who assured the young 70's vocalist during constant jailings of "never seeing colored majority rule in Africa for a thousand years."


It took Mapfumo less than ten to end up sharing a stage with Jamaica's Bob Marley at Zimbabwe's 1980 independence concert, credited to this day by members of "the Hip-Hop generation" like Juneja as "the Roots of African music's permanent fusion with North American civil rights." This union, carried on by Mapfumo after Marley's passing for the last twenty years, is considered to have reached a 2004 climax when ''Lion of Zimbabwe'' Mapfumo made further political history by recording with the Panther Party's Fugitives rap group (managed by Hilliard's son Dorion) for the official mixtape to the Van Peebles'' acclaimed "BaadAsss" films.


Oregon-based Thomas Mapfumo was voted Zimbabwe's Arts, Literature and Culture ''Person of the Century'' in exile and is Mugabe-banned from the country's media and stores. His 34th album "Chimurenga Rebel" sold 30,000 copies in two days. An estimated 70,000 additional Zimbabwe citizens were detained under suspicion of attempting to purchase the Shona language release.


Oakland-based David Hilliard has authored "The Story of the Black Panther Party" and edited "The Huey Newton Reader" plus supervised Mario Van Peebles'' "Panther" and Spike Lee's "Huey" respective films with the late Panther leader's wife Fredrika. Last year Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper became the first mainstream TV hosts to mention the Black Panther Party on syndicated US entertainment media in over ten years during their review of the Van Peebles'' "BaadAsss" film.


Toronto-based Raoul Juneja's current "Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin" calendar reform campaign centres on achieving official Canada-UK September 18th birthday recognition for Ojibway-Englishman Archie ''Grey Owl'' Belaney, Canada's foremost ethnic author/filmmaker and founder of the environmentalist movement. Birthdays of Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X are also named in Juneja's campaign as subsequent reforms to billion-dollar American calendar industry products which have yet to formally recognize a historical figure of non-Christian faith.


More details about Thomas Mapfumo, David Hilliard or Deejay Ra available via www.AnonymousWeb.com , www.BlackPanther.org and www.LyricalKnockout.com respectively.

*Photography courtesy of Jag Gundu.

Urban Culture News United Revolutions African Vocalist Hip-Hop Activist

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