La Soul Renaissance #HipHop4Flint New Bedford

Saturday March 19th 2016 from 6pm-10pm  

La Soul Renaissance rallies local hip-hop community for fundraiser to provide water filters for Flint as part of 47-city global concert initiative

La Soul Renaissance will host a local Hip-Hop 4 Flint fundraiser Saturday March 19th from 6pm – 10pm at the Cape Verdean Vets Hall on 561 Purchase St New Bedford. Tickets are sliding scale from $10-$20

The event is one of 47 to be held solidarity worldwide on Saturday with the goal of raising funds for 500 water filtration systems for Flint, Michigan residents affected by the city’s ongoing water contamination and health crisis.

“Water is the most precious natural resource, so seeing the community of Flint struggle without this basic human need really stuck an emotional chord for many of us in the hip hop community,” said Erik Andrade, founder of La Soul Renaissance. “Hip-Hop 4 Flint New Bedford will showcase local hip hop and spoken word poetry talent on the world stage, while making a clear and tangible impact on the situation on the ground in Flint.”

Local talent will include DJ Jules of JAM’N 94.5 FM, Nicole Terez Dutton (Poet Laurette of Somerville), jazz band Native Spaces, Shiesty L, Paranom, Jazzmyn Red, Flizz, Don Chizzle, Jo St Surin, Erik Andrade, and DJ Anghelli

The event is partnership with Queen Yonasda of HipHop4Flint and the non-profit Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Flint Michigan Each cities showcase will be live streamed on national media sponsor AllHipHop.Com,, as well as


Sat March 19th 6pm-10pm at Cape Verdean Vets Hall

La Soul Renaissance #HipHop4Flint at Cape Verdean Vets Hall

La Soul Renaissance New Bedford Shows Friday Oct 23 Pour Farm & Saturday Oct 24 No Problemo’s

In honor of creative director Erik Andrade being selected to perform at TEDx New Bedford, La Soul Renaissance  is curating two nights of culture with live art, music, spoken word poetry, hip hop, and community building on Friday October 23rd at the Pour Farm Tavern and Saturday October 24th at No Problemo’s.The audience for both events is mature 21+ and geared towards  artist, poets, emcees, activists, spiritual truth seekers, dreamers, and fans of a good time.

Overflowing Cup Project – Friday Saturday 23rd, 2015

The first night is La Soul Renaissance The Overflowing Cup Project   will happen right in the heart of LaSoulRenaissanceFriOct23SmallFlyercity at the Pour Farm Tavern and Grille  780 Purchase  St. Downtown New Bedford. The event is free of charge with no cover charge. The night will begin with an open mic from 8pm – 9pm  for spoken word artists, poets, artist with an enlightening message La Soul Renaissance encourages uplifting and truth telling poetry posed with passion, purpose, and thirst for peace and prosperity for all.


Following the open mic from  9-10 PM our vibe be set  by DJ DMott as he spins and all vinyl set. Mixing and eclectic collection of soul, funk,  and classic underground hip hop. Think lounge  setting the vibe with an intentional space for for communication, community building, networking, dancing and getting ready for an amazing live show. 

10PM – 12PM  featuring performances from  Jared Paul, Paranom, and Erik Andrade


Having toured internationally in over 200 cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe playing alongside legendary poets, musicians, journalists, and speakers such as Amy Goodman, Saul Williams, Bill Clinton, Sage Francis, Our Lady Peace, Paul Hawken, Jello Biafra, Immortal Technique, Anti-Flag, Atmosphere, The Misfits and many others, Jared is widely recognized as one of the premiere performance poets in the world. His work has been featured on the Canadian Broadcast Company program, “Zed TV,” as well as in CMJ Magazine and The Providence Journal. Jared is a two time Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist and has been a featured poet at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Post Secret national book tour, South By Southwest Music Festival, and Net Roots Nation. He was also the headlining act for the 2009 Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach grand opening at the nationally acclaimed Villa Stuck gallery in Munich, Germany.

“Jared Paul is a stunning performer – staring audiences in the eyes and calling for conscious responses to injustice. His talent at sharing complex ideas through verse should not be missed.”
-The Eureka Times Standard

“If the United Nations needed a representative from the Slam/poetry community, we’d send them Jared.”
-Buddy Wakefield, 2004 & 2005 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion


Recently returned from a tour of Europe with Killah Priest of Wu Tang tour – visiting maxresdefaultGermany, Austria, and Greece. While overseas his hit “Microphone Phenomenal” peaked at the #1 spot on Europe’s Underground Hip Hop chart. Upon returning to states he has contained to released highly respected music with several successful project including Paranom 777 (EP) available for download at his website here 

Additionally,  Paranom had the great honor of being awarded the 2014 “RAPPER OF THE YEAR AWARD” He will be performing in New Bedford fresh from his tour down to Atlanta where he performed on Hip Hop Music’s Biggest Stage at AC3 Hip Hop Festival.  Paranom is sure to leave the crowd in enlightened and caught up in the music, if your a fan of hip hop do your ears a favor and be sure to check out his special featured set at La Soul Renaissance The Overflowing Cup Project Friday October 23rd at the Pour Farm Tavern in New Bedford MA.

“Simply put, Paranom is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. On his Wreck Shop/SonicBids profile his sound is described as a soulful sound “akin to the likes of John Coltrane meets Black Thought meets Nas”
-Producers United


As a performance artist Erik was awarded 2012 SouthCoast Music Awards Poet of the year. He 484265_4793904215430_391724858_nhas opened up and shared the stage with Mos Def, Angela Davis, Sonia Sanchez, Everett Hoagland, Askia Toure, Climbing PoeTree, Saul Williams, Wise Intelligent, Dead Prez, Masta Ace, Killah Priest,  Slick Rick, Ursula Rucker, Jessica Care Moore, Fred Ho, and many more.

His poetry has been featured on over 15 recording projects, including the Foundation Movement’s Greatest Hits, which was awarded 2006 New England Urban Music Award’s “Best Hip Hop Album”. Additionally, in 2014 his poem “I Can’t Breathe (for Eric Garner) was published internationally on MixedWorldMusic.Com, nationally by CNN Headline News TV, and locally in the Standard Times. 

Erik has presented nationally and internationally touring the Islands of Cabo Verde, Africa (Sal, Santiago, Boa Vista). The highlight of the tour being  performance Chachi Carvalho on the Ubran Stage at the 2014 Atlantic Music Expo in front of a crowd of thousands outside the Presidential Plaza downtown Praia. No stranger to large crowds and big stages Erik  has performed at Jazz Festivals, Connecting for Change Conferences and is currently is scheduled for a performance for TED talks at a TEDx New Bedford event November 6th at the Zeiterion Theatre (purchase tickets here) . 

Erik’s commitment and passion for his community is where he relishes, he exemplifies dynamic artistry-his uniqueness breaths life to social change!
-Lucy Coutinho (BET, Think Positive Magazine, Sodade Magazine)  



La Soul Renaissance: The Harvest 3 starring Caliph. Hosted by Erik Andrade featuring music by Doc Lek, Cedric Josey and spoken word poetry by Vanessa Andrade, Iva Brito, Hannah Brown, and Michael Bonds with Dj Anghelli. 21+ event, FREE NO COVER, 10pm – 1 am at No Problemo

Dirty Durdie MCs nominated for 2015 “Best Hip Hop Act” at Motif Music Awards

La Soul Renaissance would like to congratulate the hip hop dynamic duo Dirty Durdie ( Dirty Ice & Dirty Furbie) for their recent nomination for yet another Motif Magazine Music Award. Dirty Durdie won for “BEST HIP HOP ACT” in 2012 and again for “BEST HIP HOP ACT” IN 2014. Quite and honor to be nominated for yet a 3rd time in the last four years!

Check out video of the duo performing at La Soul Renaissance: Overflowing Cup Project Show


AND MAKE SURE TO VOTE TODAY for DirtyDurdie as the  “BEST HIP HOP ACT” in the 2015 Motif Magazine Music Awards. Take a minute and help the good brothers win once again for the 3rd time in 4 years! Link here:  VOTE Dirty Durdie 2015 “Best HIP HOP ACT” for Motif Magazine!


And more music for your listening pleasure!

La Soul Renaissance’s 2nd MLK Day “Children’s March” Teach-In & Day of Service

La Soul Renaissance’s 2nd Annual New Bedford Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday “Children’s March” Teach-In cordinated by Erik Andrade with keynote presentation from internationally spoken word artist and renowned activist Jared Paul as the keynote


La Soul Renaissance’s The 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Day “Children’s March” Teach-In also began with an opening address from Rev. David Lima of Greater New Bedford Inter-Church Council. And was followed with Leanne Neves, reciting Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” Speech while Michael Jo Santos video from La Soul Renaissance’s First Annual Martin Luther King Day “Children’s March” to Gifts to Give.

Master of Ceromony Erik Andrade introduced Teaching Tolerance’s  documentary “The Children’s March”. The film tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. Their heroism complements discussions about the ability of today’s young people to be catalysts for positive social change.

The film was processed by Erik which lead into the introduction of keynote speaker Jared Paul.

JARED PAUL’s Biography

Having toured internationally in over 200 cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe playing alongside legendary poets, musicians, journalists, and speakers such as Amy Goodman, Saul Williams, Bill Clinton, Sage Francis, Our Lady Peace, Paul Hawken, Jello Biafra, Immortal Technique, Anti-Flag, Atmosphere, The Misfits and many others, Jared is widely recognized as one of the premiere performance poets in the world. His work has been featured on the Canadian Broadcast Company program, “Zed TV,” as well as in CMJ Magazine and The Providence Journal. Jared is a two time Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist and has been a featured poet at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Post Secret national book tour, South By Southwest Music Festival, and Net Roots Nation. He was also the headlining act for the 2009 Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach grand opening at the nationally acclaimed Villa Stuck gallery in Munich, Germany.

“Jared Paul is a stunning performer – staring audiences in the eyes and calling for conscious responses to injustice. His talent at sharing complex ideas through verse should not be missed.”
-The Eureka Times Standard

“Jared Paul has some real flow mastery.” 
-Vice Magazine

“If the United Nations needed a representative from the Slam/poetry community, we’d send them Jared.” 
-Buddy Wakefield, 2004 & 2005 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion

“(Jared) rocks like Public Enemy bumrushing a basement hardcore matinee…”
-CMJ Magazine


With over a decade of anti-war/animal rights/environmental protection organizing and a storied career laden with protest arrests, Jared Paul has become somewhat of a modern folk hero within the underground American counter-culture. In his capacity as an organizer he has interviewed, photographed, or featured on NPR, WPRO, RI Channel 5, 10, and 12, as well as in the New York Times, The Denver Post, the Associated Press, and many other outlets. His most notable run-in with the law happened during the 2008 Republican National Convention, where Jared was the victim of a mass arbitrary arrest. Fans and supporters jumped to action via online fundraisers and live benefit shows, through which an attorney was hired and the case was eventually dropped. His “Conspiracy To Riot” creative non-fiction series was published by the quarterly Providence periodical “The Agenda” and Strange Famous Records.

Jared is featured in the following radical documentaries:
Manufacturing Dissent
Life Is Easy
This Revolution
Slam Planet
5 Days In Denver

“Jared Paul is a firestorm of conviction and flow. In a world long on words and short on action, Jared delivers both.” 
-Peter Young, nationally renowned animal rights organizer and advocate for social justice.

“Emerson said that character is higher than intellect. What happens when someone has both character and intellect, as well as a sense of conviction that can be described only as humbling? You have made Jared Paul’s acquaintance.”
-Columbia Recording Artist, Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace


Jared is an artist in residence at AS220, the award winning Rhode Island arts collective dedicated to providing unjuried spaces for local and national artists since 1985. He is the founder and an 8 time coach of the Providence National Youth Poetry Slam Team, assisting and encouraging Rhode Island youth to seize the reins of performance art since 2001. Under Jared’s direction Team Providence advanced to finals stage at The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Jared has facilitated performance poetry and direct action workshops at festivals, conferences, universities, prep schools, youth correctional facilities, public schools, and writer’s groups across America.

“The only thing stronger than Jared Paul’s convictions is his ability to change yours with the craft of his language.”
-Sonya Renee, 2004 Individual National Poetry Slam Champion

“Jared Paul is a juggernaut who lives his politics. His work speaks to the political – which is his personal – that he lives with sincere conviction and integrity.”
-Michael Cirelli, Executive Director URBAN WORD NYC

“Jared Paul is the watchdog of poetry, a force not unlike a hurricane– a very skinny, loud, sweaty hurricane that wants you to know your life is worth everything and that this planet belongs to us all.”
-Mike McGee, 2003 Individual National Poetry Slam Champ and 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Champ

Jared has presented at the following colleges and universities:

Boston University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of London-Goldsmiths (UK), Georgetown University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Michigan, Amherst College, NYU, University of Washington-Seattle, Emerson College, Bates College, Rhode Island School of Design, Humboldt State University, Brandeis University, Evergreen University, Stonehill College, University of New Hampshire, Massachusetts College of Art, Hampshire College, Clark University, Smith College, Wheaton College, University of Rhode Island, University of Delaware, SUNY-Albany, Culinary Institute of America, Washington University (St. Louis), University of Northern Colorado, University of Idaho-Moscow, Boise State University, Western Washington University, University of Oregon-Eugene, Chico State University, Sacramento State University, Rhode Island College, Sierra College, Santa Clara University, University of California-San Jose, University of California-Santa Cruz, Johnson & Wales University, SUNY-Oneonta, Los Positas State College, University of California-San Diego, University of New Mexico-Albuquerque, University of Washington-Tacoma, Providence College, College of the Redwoods, Northeastern University, West Valley College, University of Connecticut, St. Michael’s College, and more.


Following the keynote. Erik facilitated the group reflections as volunteers were asked to reflected upon the modern issues of these times that they are concerned with and to focus on things in the world they wish to create in response.  Creating a signs as affirmations of those dreams members where given markers and poster boards and were encouraged to be creative.

While students designed signs, Joshua Letourneau began painting a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A live Jazz performance from La Soul Renaissance’s The Overflowing Cup Project: Native Spaces shaped the creative soundscape with:

  • Tony Menotti – Electric Guitar
  • Evan MacLeod – Upright Bass
  • Al Nawrocki – Percussion
  • Miles Flisher – Electric Keyboard
  • Erik Andrade – Spoken Word Poet
  •  DJ Anghelli – Freestyle Emcee

During performance Venc Cultural Soul Academy began distributing Martin Luther King “Evolutionary Love” sweatshirt designed by artist Erik Andrade and Master of Fine Arts illustrator and painter Nick Mello for La Soul Renaissance. Hand Printed locally by master silk screener Mamaodou Doumboya for MA2K Impressions in Wamsutta Mills along with volunteer Erik Andrade. La Soul Renaissance’s MLK “Evolutionary Love” Sweatshirt were sponsored through generation donation by Jim Stevens of Gift to Give.

Gifts to Give founder and CEO Jim Steven’s gave presentation on the mission and the vision of the South Coast “all volunteer” community non profit. Jim’s presentations highlighted the success and need of Gifts to Give.  Mr. Steven’s message encouraged youth graduate high school and sought  to inspire student leaders to develop more compassionate community. This presentation helped give context and  a sense  purpose to the volunteers. As it is crucial that volunteers understand the value and the impact of their community service.

From La Soul Renaissance’s  2nd Annual “Children’s March” Teach In, volunteers then march one mile to major event sponsor and the Greater New Bedford Martin Luther King. Jr National Service site of Gifts To Give one mile from Normandin Middle School. The march was lead by crowd energizer Dj Anghelli aka Angel Diaz, and parade safety and direction was managed by Reverend David Lima Executive Minister of Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford and the New Bedford City Police Department under the leadership of New Bedford Police Chief David Prevencher. With additional support from La Soul Renaissance’s volunteer leadership, UMass Volunteers, New Bedford Public School Staff, Our Sister School Staff, Morton Middle School Staff, New Bedford Teachers Union, and event Chaperones.

New England celebrity  mix-show Dj Jules of JAMN 94.5FM Boston and iHeartRadio’s Master of the Mix show donated his sound and his service providing a positive and uplifting soundtrack at the Gifts To Give service site, and managed sound during the afternoon closing ceremony which special guest (to be listed at a later date)

Group ice breakers in the early morning where facilitated by volunteer mentors from Umass Dartmouth Track Team and Leduc Civic Engagement Center recruited by Volunteer Outreach Coordinator (SCI AmeriCorps) for SouthCoast Serves, Ashley Nunez under supervision of Diedre Heally.

Service Site Saftey  volunteers at the GiftstoGive were supervised and managed under leadership of volunteers Jim Stevens, Sarah, Mary Kay,  Gilbert, Russell Souza, David, Vivian, along with volunteer leadership from Bristol County Saving Bank, the District Attorney Quinn, members of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Ward 4 New Bedford City Councilor’s Dana Rebeiro, State Representative Keating Office, Mayor of New Bedford Jon Mitchell, Chancellor Davina Grossman of University of Massachesetts in Dartmouth, City Councilor at Large Naomi Carney and many more to all the community volunteers whom choose to invest their Martin Luther King Jr Holiday at our event.

The student leaders were feed lunch donated by Dominoes Pizza in the North End of New Bedford and which was delivered and distrubted by New Bedford Teachers Union under leadership of president Lou St. John with water donated by New Bedford Marathon committee cordinated by Jim Stevens of Gifts to Give.

  • Videography by Erik Andrade &  VENC Cultural Soul Academy ( Nair Andrade &  Vanila Silva)
  • Additional photography by Michael Jo Santos Photography & Desa Van Laarhoven of Round the Bend Farm.
  • Sound provided by Chris Chambers of Normandin Middle School Music Department under leadership of Principal Stephen Farrell.
  • Additional sound system provided to La Soul Renaissance via the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Mini-Grants Resource Library.
  • “We March For” signs designed by Nick Mello for La Soul Renaissance


La Soul Renaissance honors Dr. Jibreel Khazan of “Greensboro 4” on 55th year anniversary of Sit-In Movement

La Soul Renaissance would like to salute  Civil Rights Icon and Good Brother Jibreel Khazan (born Ezell Alexander Blair, Jr.; October 18, 1941). The Good Brother Jibreel is a civil rights activist who is best known as a member of the Greensboro Four; a group of African American college students who, 55 years ago on February 1, 1960, sat down at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina challenging the store’s policy of denying service to non-white customers. They refused to leave when denied service and stayed until the store closed.The protests, and the subsequent events were major milestone in the African-American Civil Rights Movement

On Feburary 11, 2012 La Soul Renaissance organized a  Jibreel Khazan & Frederick Douglass celebration in New Bedford at the National Park. The special La Soul Renaissance show  featured musical and poetic performances by Cape Verdean Roots Reggae band Afrika Rainbow,  Caliph  (Senegalese American Hip Hop Artist), Spoken Word Poet Erik Andrade,  singer & song writer Mike Wyche, Dj Reza Wreckage, and spoken word poet Raena Camacho.

Additionally, Erik Andrade of La Soul Renaissance dedicated his performance at the  Connecting for Change Conference, in New Bedford MA to Dr. Jibreel Khazan.

Dr. Jibreel Khazan is a brilliant and humble soul whom has blessed not only the world via his courageous direct action and civil disobedience 55 years ago today but in his day to day interactions with everyone his path crosses. Thank you Dr. Jibreel Khazan for all you have contributed to make the world a better place for all.  Happy 55th Anniversary!


Dr. Jibreel Khazan was also a keynote speaker at La Soul Renaissance’s Tearing Down the Walls along with Gloria Clarke, Ernesto “Eroc” Arroyo, Camille Viveros, and Ross Grace in 2004. The conference was designed to connect progressive people from all backgrounds and generations.



Good Brother Jibreel Khazan, May your peace, prosperity, and love continue guide and protect you and may you continue to be a blessing to all.


JIbreel Khazan

“AN OPEN LETTER TO THE OPEN MINDED” #BlackLivesMatter by Eroc Arroyo-Montano

There is a public discourse happening beyond the trolling, internet bullying, and death threats. It is taking place on a local and national level, and it is crucial for the future of America. We must not allow corporate media and their obsession with false equivalencies, red herrings, and battle royales distract us from the issue at hand: #BlackLivesMatter.

We must move beyond the obvious disagreements with obvious bigots, and go beyond the “fuck them” part of the conversation. This is a call to continue and, in some cases, start conversations with those of us who are ready to accept that there is something deeply wrong with our sociopolitical system. It’s for those who are willing to ask how our individual and collective actions reinforce America’s systemic injustices. 

“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.

-Howard Zinn

This latest round of rebellions draws on a time-honored tradition and a beautiful history of pushing this country forward through agitation. From one of America’s most popular acts of civil disobedience, the Boston Tea Party, to Susan B. Anthony’s arrest for voting at a time when women were prohibited from doing so. From Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks refusing to give up their seats on the bus for white folks, to the many being arrested in opposition of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Civil Disobedience is as American as selective historical amnesia. 

In light of recent direct actions in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Boston, in which protesters locked arms on I-93 during the morning rush hour commute, many people are asking questions about what this moment means for their communities. Sadly, in some circles the actions of the protestors elicited more rage than the chokehold murder of Eric Garner at the hands of New York City Detective Daniel Pantaleo.

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful not to be neutral.”

-Paulo Freire

Make no mistake: For many, this nation’s current unrest is bigger than Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Jones, and the countless other unarmed black and brown men, women and children who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement in the United States. These murders have rekindled a fire that has never fully been extinguished, and that has been burning for centuries. From daily microaggressions, to more extreme acts of domestic terror, from the School-to-Prison-Pipeline to the War on the Poor, the effects of ideological and institutional oppression have wreaked havoc. As such, lines have been drawn in the sand and allegiances are being chosen, with only one side believing there has been a disproportionate amount of pain and anguish inflicted upon this country’s Black community. Conversely, there are those who have seemingly mastered cognitive dissonance, and who choose to ignore systemic injustices. In the most basic terms, you either acknowledge that white supremacy and racism are interwoven into the fabric of American society, or you do not.

Which side are you on?

Those who do not believe we are in a system with severe inequities have placed the onus on Black folks, and in the case of the I-93 action their accomplices, to convince deniers that their pain and struggle is not only real, but that it is systemic and worthy of such distrust and unrest. Therein lies the root of much interpersonal tension; it is a ridiculous expectation that Black folks should have to prove their own humanity.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

-Frederick Douglas 

Acceptance is a beautiful ideal. But the pragmatic idealist in me remembers the words of my father. He, with my mother and sister, arrived in Boston from Puerto Rico in the 1970’s during a tumultuous and racially motivated busing crisis to find a largely disenfranchised Latino community that was fighting to be heard. He said, “Although we knew we would not necessarily be accepted, we would do the work to be respected.” For many of us, owning the fact that we will not be accepted by others because of our differences can be hard, but it is necessary and liberating work. Opposing forces and ideologies may never accept us, and we do not need them to, but we must do the work to be respected.

And we must ask questions: What can come from creating traffic jams and angering commuters? What can come from bringing lives to a standstill? Like many others I have questions about the strategy employed by those with whom I write in solidarity. Not because I want to tear down demonstrators, but because I truly want dissent to make an impact. No one is beyond critical love. While I won’t attempt to speak for the protesters who have already spoken for themselves, I have inquired of myself: “Would I have participated? Would I have helped jam rush hour?” 

My genuine answer, in all likelihood, is no. That does not conflict with my solidarity though; in fact because I wouldn’t have done so, and because they so courageously did, I am especially grateful for their actions. Organizers must have known there would be backlash, and yet it did not stop them. I applaud their courage. Even if their actions simply spark more conversations that opposing ideologies would love to sweep under the rug, that within itself is a victory.

There are moments when it feels effortless to understand other peoples’ perspectives on polarizing issues, such as race in America. There are other times when it feels impossible. I have learned that there are people who seemingly refuse to think for themselves and refuse to question the system’s doctrine. Digesting, regurgitating and spreading its poison like a highly contagious virus. We have seen its mob mentality, its group think that refuses to isolate itself and attempt to look beyond its own stake in reality. Rather than approaching different perspectives, they double down on their ignorance. This was evident in peoples’ responses to the protesters in Boston and across the country. Many of these people are deeply committed to not entertaining anything other than their own lived experiences and pathologies. This willful ignorance – I am convinced – is oppressed people’s greatest enemy.

“Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council or the Ku Klux Klan, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

The very idea of justice and equity, especially for marginalized people, has never been embraced by the masses in America’s dominant culture. Nevertheless, people all around us are choosing to participate in this awakening, voicing their frustrations and voicing their outrage. We have an opportunity to embrace a stronger, interconnected, intergenerational movement. We must give ourselves permission to ask the questions and continue to work toward answers.

If protesters practice civil disobedience in a forest and no one hears it, witnesses, reports it, or reckons it, does it make a sound? Does it make a difference? Does it amplify dissent? Does it challenge the status quo? Furthermore, what are the actual desired outcomes, and how can we use these moments to educate, to learn, and to grow as a society? How do we effectively challenge and dismantle a system that activist author bell hooks pointedly described as white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy? Context is everything. This is a country that is at extreme odds with its own narrative of justice and liberty for all.

A country whose birth story coincides with the displacement and attempted genocide of indigenous peoples. A country that went on to build its economy on the backs of one of history’s most despicable atrocities, the chattel slavery of captured African people. Humans were sold and forced to work colonized land. They faced brutal punishments. Families were torn apart, women raped, dissidents hung from trees like “strange fruit.” Thug slave owners so dependent on this free labor that many of them gave their lives defending the institution. This country has not yet come to terms with much of our dreadful history. Many have naively wished it away, ignored it, or simply don’t see the connection of America’s inception to the plight of today. Without a historical context though, how can one make sense of recent uprisings? How and when will we dismantle systemic injustices? Who is willing to admit they don’t have all the answers?

Mallory Hanora, one of the protesters arrested on I-93, said “Too often we confuse safety with our own comfort. I hope we can move away from comfort and towards justice. The police will not stop killing Black peopleisn’t that dangerous? Isn’t that violent? It is necessary and urgent to take significant actions to address the systemic oppression of Black people; white supremacy is deadly. Because Black lives matter all the time, always.”

Maybe, we should all take a moment and stand on the highway. Or at least stand with the people who do.

“Oh, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

and yet I swear this oath—

America will be!”

-Langston Hughes

Eroc Arroyo-Montano is a founding member of the Hip Hop group Foundation Movement. An educator, artist, activist and a proud father of 3.  


“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised and misunderstood.”

-Audre Lorde


D’Angelo & The Vanguard- Black Lives Matter Statement on SNL

Neo soul singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer D’Angelo used the national platform of Saturday Night Live to strengthen the growing voice of the Black Lives Matter movement. During the performance of “The Charade”  off the recently released “Black Messiah” album members of The Vanguard band sported “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts with clench fist raised while D’Angelo wore a hoodie in remembrance of Trayvon Martin. The stage also featured and outlined body representing all the black lives that have been murdered with immunity by police in the United States of America.

“The deaths of Garner and Brown and the subsequent grand jury decisions not to press charges against police officers in both cases fueled D’Angelo to complete and rush-release Black Messiah, and with his outstanding SNL visit, he delivered his message loudly: Black Lives Matter” – Daniel Krepps journalist for Rolling Stone.

The Charade

Crawling through a systematic maze
And it pains to demise
Pain in our eyes
Strain of drownin’, wading into your lies
Degradation so loud that you can’t hear the sound of our cries (doo, doo)
All the dreamers have gone to the side of the road which we will lay on
Inundated by media, virtual mind fucks in streams

All we wanted was a chance to talk
‘Stead we only got outlined in chalk
Feet have bled a million miles we’ve walked
Revealing at the end of the day, the charade

Perpetrators beware say a prayer if you dare for the believers
With a faith at the size of a seed enough to be redeemed (doo doo)
Relegated to savages bound by the way of the deceivers
So anchors be sure that you’re sure we ain’t no amateurs

All we wanted was a chance to talk
‘Stead we only got outlined in chalk
Feet have bled a million miles we’ve walked
Revealing at the end of the day, the charade

With the veil off our eyes we’ll truly see
And we’ll march on
And it really won’t take too long
And it really won’t take us very long

Shiesty L – LIVE Saturday Feb 7th at La Soul Renaissance at No Problemo

The Far Rockaway NYC emcee Shiesty L of 3rd Society Entertainment has just agreed to  perform a live set at  La Soul Renaissance Harvest Part III featuring Erik Andrade with the Overflowing Cup Project Band, open mic, and more to be announced . The event is FREE with no cover charge and is a 21+ event.

The addition of Shiesty L  to the line up is an absolute blessing and will undoubtedly ensure this a show you do not want to miss. Shiesty L’s new video “Black Mongol”  off his acclaimed “Barbaric Musik” mixtape was shot on location in New Bedford Massachusetts. The video was released on Martin Luther King’s Birthday and has already recieved nearly 4,000 views. The mixtape  itself has recieved tremendous online support with over 25,000 views – 10,000 streams – and 4,000 downloads. (available here.)

“Black Mongol” was produced by New Bedford resident producer Shawn Rudolph and was filmed on location in New Bedford at the Frederick Douglass Mural, The Cultural Book Mural, and Fort Taber. The video also features New Bedford creative artist, poet, community organizer Erik Andrade of La Soul Renaissance.


Shiesty L recently performed and provided testimonial at Black Lives Matter New Bedford‘s Community Teach-In as part of La Soul Renaissance’s contribution to the movement. Shiesty L’s personal experience with police brutatlity coupled with his powerful performance of his viral self affirmation hit “I Am Somebody”  helped create a successful event.


The La Soul Renaissance Harvest III Show is on Saturday February 7th, 2015 from 10 pm – 1 am at No Problemo 813 Purchase Street, New Bedford Ma, 21 + and FREE with zero cover charge!

Shiesty L also has viral hit “Sincerely Yours” which features Battle Rap Super Star Math Hoffa & and New Bedford resident by way of Brooklyn NYC emcee and good brother Mega Millz 


Rudy Rudacious “Choose GOD not a JOB” with Jeff Robinson Trio live at Lizard Lounge

The talented actor, spoken word artist, radio personality, event host, motivational speaker, Rudy Rudacious just dropped new video for his powerful spoken word poem “God is not a J-O-B” performed live backed by the infamous Jeff Robinson Trio –  Jeff Robinson on saxophone, Brian Rothwell on drums, and Blake Newman on Upright Bass LIVE at the Lizard Lounge, in Cambridge Massachusetts for his featured set Sunday  October 12, 2014 in defiance of columbus and in Declaration of Indeginous people’s day. With out further adou Rudy Rudacious “Choose GOD not a JOB” live at Lizard Lounge


filmed by Lionelll Monsanto and assistant Erik Andrade for 3rd Soceity Entertainment

Erik Andrade on Wellworded NYC special BLIZZARD ONLINE OPEN MIC!

La Soul Renaissance creative artist and spoken word poet Erik Andrade was honored with the first out of state feature as a Massachusetts poet on the online live video series WellWorded NYC for the special online live “Blizzard Open Mic“, many thanks to the good  brother
Shaun Van Laarhoven for making the connection. What a blessing to be featured along with fellow poets Wendy AnguloEmily KleinCindy AnaCaona Peralta & Roya Marsh (via text )

Each of the featured poets were granted a set to perform two poems and then answer questions curated by Wellworded NYC  hosted  by Advocate of Words and founding member and spoken word poet with El Grito De Poetas, as well as poet, teacher, founding member or  Slam 101 and Host at Nuyrican Poets Cafe Host Mr. Erik Wordz Maldonado. The show also created space for feedback and dialogue around the poetry with group conversations between Erik Andrade, Wendy AnguloEmily KleinCindy AnaCaona Peralta & Roya Marsh. Click the link to see recorded video from the live show recorded at 10pm EST Monday January 26, 2015.