Hip-hop hit a milestone this week, turning 40 years old. The same week, federal district court Judge Shira Scheindlin, in a 195-page ruling, declared the New York Police Department's practice of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional. Hip-hop and stop-and-frisk are central aspects of the lives of millions of people, especially black and Latino youths.
Vancouver-based artist and performer, Kimmortal (a.k.a. Kim Villagante), first discovered her passion for hip-hop and R&B music during her early adolescent years, and ever since then has been on her grind, evolving and developing her own original material and unique sound to add to the Westcoast music roster.
The Caravan knows how to keep you guessing. Approaching hip hop from the left field, the Halifax-based band has explored influences on all ends of the sonic spectrum. But while a single genre may be elusive for this three-piece, there's nothing vague about its presence. With rhymes pulsing through him from a young age, wise wordsmith Kyle McKenna is a dominant force on stage—both lyrically and physically. Combine his honest and unpredictable flow with the musical chops of genre-bending composer/engineer Mike Ritchie (guitar, keys) and effervescent drummer Mark Bachynski (Classified, Bend the River) and the result is nothing short of dynamic.
For those of us internationals who care deeply about Palestine, it is hard to know just how to make a real difference. Probably the most significant way we can help is to change the foreign policy of our government (particularly if we are American). But while I keep trying on this front, I have come close to despair. I do sense some (too gradual for my taste) shifts in public opinion, but judging by all the political posturing at the AIPAC meeting this year, I feel fairly certain that the U.S. administration and -- especially -- Congress will be the last to change, and a loooong time from now.