DJs Unite for Civil Rights and Social Justice through launch of “Freedom Sound DJs”
New York, NY – February 21, 2017 – DJs join together to use their platforms to advocate for the safety and civil rights of their communities. Since the 2016 election, a group of 80+ DJs have organized as part of a mission-driven collective with the unique purpose of using their artist platforms to challenge injustice, share information and serve their communities through their music, artistry, community presence and their events. “Freedom Sound DJs” is a DJ crew committed to creating new institutions, structures, alliances and possibilities, through their music and in their communities. The crew challenges the perception that DJs only exist to entertain, or share the opinions of others in the music they play; together, they embrace making greater a contribution by sharing their visions, thoughts, and critiques of society and politics, organizing and acting on issues, and advocating for marginalized people. “DJs are experts in bringing people together—we are community organizers in our highest expression,” says co-founder DJ Chela. “We have a keen sense of listening to the needs of the people. We felt this group needed to come into existence for us to really value the connection we have to our communities and strategize together how we can best keep us, our families, and the people that support us, safe in a time when people’s livelihoods are threatened. By doing so, create more sustainable and inclusive ways of life.” “We are committed to creating a more just world by using music and arts as a cultural weapon,” says co-founder Kuttin Kandi. “We seek to amplify the voices of the unheard and center those who are at the margins as we strive for the liberation of all oppressed peoples.” Board member and DMC World Champion DJ I-Dee says: "The days of wearing a muzzle are long behind us and our principles serve as a daily reminder as to how firm and vigilant we have to be when living in a despotic environment. This isn’t just about gathering a group of prestigious artists who share common ground, it’s about making sure our inner conscious is prepped and ready to do whats right at any given moment." The group includes many notable members such as DMC World Champions DJ I-Dee and DJ QBert, vlogger Jay Smooth, DJ and rapper Talib Kweli, the first Hip Hop Journalist Davey D, DJ/author/filmmaker Bobbito Garcia, DJ Kuttin Kandi, Tony Touch, DJ Statik Selektah, DJ Day, DJ Platurn, Latin Prince, DJ Lindsey, Mr. Len, DJ Reborn, DJ Fusion, Ushka, Lumumba Bandele, DJ Johnny Juice, DJ Ethos, DJ Mark Luv, D-Stroy, DJ Orión, DJ Laylo, Donwill, Slopfunkdust, Rok One, DJ Rekha, DJ Perly, Wonway Posibul, DJ Tara, DJ Scribe, OP!, SUCE, Christián Martir, DJ Phatrick, DJ Chela, Quickie Mart, Manny Faces, Nasty Nes, Gingee, DJ Bianca Oblivion, Anna Morgan and a multitude of others, all celebrated leaders in their field and communities. The collective’s founding principles state a commitment to racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and protection and advocacy for First Nations people, Muslims, immigrants, women, and the environment. The group holds that DJs are uniquely positioned to utilize their leadership skills in a time when traditional media channels are openly threatened. Members feel that issues of civil rights and social justice are not separate from music, entertainment, their lives and their careers. Members hold that current occurrences in politics are beyond normal, and that new skills and approaches are needed to address them. In doing so, they “normalize” the value of resistance, of activism, and caring for the well-being of others across lines of identity. The crew honors the legacy and teachings of past civil rights movements and helps to facilitate passing the torch to current and future generations. The group has the immediate task of responding to policies in the realm of politics, as well as the long term goals of seeking creative solutions for their communities. Freedom Sound DJs are poised to create new music and shape music trends, enforcing higher standards within the music industry of music that is relevant to the reality of the people in times of socio-political duress. The collective is prepared to take action in voter education and GOTV efforts in future political elections, including addressing racist voter suppression and gerrymandering. In an autocratic political climate where many fear speaking out, Freedom Sound DJs use their artist platforms to center the voices of those marginalized. The DJs pledge to remain connected to each other and be a trustworthy source of information with their communities, while the civil rights of many marginalized groups are directly challenged currently and in the face of the unknown in the months and years ahead.
Freedom Sound DJs have an upcoming fundraiser for Immigrant and Muslim Justice to benefit #nobannowallsnoraids with DJ's Talib Kweli, Latin Prince, DJ Rekha and DJ Reborn on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:00 pm at Friends and Lovers in Brooklyn, N.Y with a donation request of $10-$20 sliding scale. Proceeds will be going to The New York Immigration Coalition, Arab American Association of New York, and United We Dream. For more information on Freedom Sound DJ's visit their website at FreedomSoundDJs.com