Rebels on the Mic – The 5 Hip Hop Albums to Rock this Fall

There have been a lot of big moments in hip-hop this year, but most of them have had little to do with actual music. Frank Ocean came out. MCA died. 2Pac came back to life…as a hologram. Long since having overtaken rock as our dominant musical genre, hip-hop is both…

White Terror in Wisconsin: Paul Ryan, Segregation, and the Sikh Temple Shooting

I remember the first time I saw a Confederate flag in Wisconsin. It was my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I was driving with my friend Kevin to go see The Roots in Milwaukee. Complaining how we needed to drive an hour and a half just to…

Occupy Your Imagination — Oakland Youth Speak Out

Last month, I had the joy of teaching in two of my favorite schools in the world: Metwest High School and Oakland School for the Arts. And no, they’re not two of my favorite schools just because they’re right down the block from me here in Oakland. Although that doesn’t…

Wisconsin after the Recall Beatdown: Down but Not Out

It is election night in Madison, Wis., and I am standing where it all began, in front of the state Capitol here in the heart of America’s rebel dairyland. Earlier today was the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker, the viciously right-wing governor whose legislative attacks on public workers and…

California Road Trip: Three Cities, Three Shows this Week!

This week I’m wrapping up my spring season of shows with a fun one-two-three punch. On Thursday, I head back to UC-Davis, where the good people of Sacramento Area Youth Speaks continue building one of the most innovative, impressive spoken word and youth empowerment programs in the country. The collaboration…