Talib, Mos Def, Dead Prez Headline Black August; Rappers Say 'Hands off Assata'
The concert, which is produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, is designed to facilitate exchanges between international communities by promoting awareness about the social and political issues that affect young people in their communities.
This year, the 10th Annual Black August concert will promote the MXGM's “Hands off Assata” public awareness campaign that focuses on the persecution of of 1970’s activist Assata Shakur.
“We've been big supporters of Black August since it first started, because we understand that music-- particularly Hip-Hop music-- is the one element that binds people around the world,” said Talib Kweli in a statement. “To be able to play a part in educating young people, show them the importance of speaking up and making a difference, while also raise money for social and racial justice is a no-brainer.”
Dead Prez, the critically acclaimed group known for mixing politics into Hip-Hop, is also scheduled to perform at Black August, which launched in 1997 at Tramps in New York.
MXGM will also promote the "Free Your Hood" coalition as well, an organization that started in 2004, after police brutality trial that involved members of Dead Prez and The A-Alikes, stemming from an incident in Brooklyn.
Every year for the past decade, the concert has helped raise money in support of political prisoners in the U.S., unjustly incarcerated for their efforts to end racial and economic oppression.
Past performers and supporters of the movement over the years include Fat Joe, Les Nubians, David Banner, Dave Chappelle, The Roots, Common and Gil Scott-Heron among many others.
“What started in 1997 as a local collaboration between organizations to use Hip-Hop as a tool to raise political awareness, has evolved into a major fundraising benefit that has taken us around the world,” added Monifa Bandele, MXGM national co-coordinator. “This tenth annual concert marks a tremendous milestone, because it not only represents a decade of progress in the fight for social justice, but also accounts for a support base of politically active young people that is now global… and growing.”
Black August also has an international presence, having held three shows at Cuba's National Rap Festival, five shows in South Africa.
The group has also sent US delegations to Black August in Brazil, Tanzania and Venezuela.
“Everyday, we’re confronted by reports of political corruption, inhumane treatment and ecological peril,” says Bandele. “Left unchecked and without a voice of dissent, we run the risk of accepting the unacceptable. We want the young people to know that, whether it’s considered hip or not, they should always feel free to speak up, and be the change that they seek.”
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the event.
Tickets can be purchased by going online at www.nokiatheatrenyc.com or Ticketmaster charge by phone at 212-307-7171.