Though now largely forgotten, hip-hop was once strictly a vehicle for local, social change. The earliest incarnation of the form can be found in truces established by New York street gangs in the early 1980s as a remedy for the violence they saw in the streets. The founding member of the world-renowned Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambaataa, is a former gang warlord who found salvation and purpose through hip-hop, which he transformed into street activism. Oakland's Hip-Hop For Change brings this legacy into the 21st Century by re-inserting education, empowerment, and efficacy in the free music concerts it hosts, the classes it offers, and the young activists it has helped mobilize on the Oakland streets. Hip-hop, and you don't stop. Word up.
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