Rebel Diaz

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Rebel Diaz
Rap rebelde.jpg
G1 (left) and RodStarz (right)
Background information
Origin Bronx, New York
Genres Hip Hop
Years active 2006-present
Labels independent
Associated acts M-1 of dead prez, Hasan Salaam, Immortal Technique
Website Official Page
Rebel Diaz Arts Collective
Members RodStarz, G1
Past members Lah Tere, DJ Illanoiz

Rebel Diaz is a political hip hop duo out of the Bronx, New York and Chicago, IL consisting of the Chilean brothers Rodrigo Venegas (known as RodStarz) and Gonzalo Venegas (known as G1). Rebel Diaz uses their music as an organizing tool and to spread knowledge about injustice.[1] Hip hop website AllHipHop.com named Rebel Diaz one of the top fifty emerging/underground hip hop artists of 2013.[2]

History and activism[edit]

The children of Chilean activists, RodStarz and G1 were born in England and grew up in Chicago's North Side, and former member Lah Tere was raised in Humboldt Park, Chicago. Rebel Diaz identify with and position themselves within a history of political resistance through music, specifically citing the Nueva canción movement.[3] Because of their organizing work, Rebel Diaz was invited to perform during the immigrant rights march in New York City in 2006.[4]

Although Rebel Diaz met in Chicago, Illinois, Rebel Diaz was not born until the three moved to the Bronx[5] - the birthplace of hip hop - to continue their political activism through hip hop.[6] Rebel Diaz see themselves as reclaiming hip hop as a tool in the larger struggle against oppression.[7] RodStarz and G1 work with youth in the South Bronx, teaching them to use music to express themselves.[8]

Rebel Diaz Arts Collective[edit]

In March 2009, Rebel Diaz opened the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC), a community arts center that included a performance space, a multimedia studio, a computer lab, and an art gallery[9] located in an abandoned warehouse in the South Bronx.[5] RDAC served as a space for young people to learn and perform, hosting workshops in addition to providing artistic space.[10] On February 28, 2013, the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective was forcefully evicted from the building.[11]

South by South Bronx[edit]

RodStarz and the RDAC hosted a music festival inspired by South by Southwest in December 2012 called South by South Bronx.[12] The free two-day festival featured Grandmaster Caz, Afrika Bambaataa, C-Rayz Walz, and DJ Kool Herc, among others and in addition to musical performances, included workshops such topics as the "History and Art of DJing," "Hip-Hop and Activism" and "Latinos in Hip-Hop".[13]

Problems with the NYPD[edit]

On June 18, 2008, two days after returning from a conference in Berlin, Germany, G1 and RodStarz were arrested by the NYPD when they were showing a friend around the South Bronx.[7] In response to the arrest, more than 150 supporters gathered outside the 41st Precinct stationhouse, demanding the release of RodStarz and G1, and they were represented by civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel.[8] A week later, on June 24, 2008, at 2 AM, officers from the NYPD entered G1's apartment, which doubles as Rebel Diaz's recording studio, with guns drawn, shouted at G1, and left with no explanation.[3] A year after their arrests, the charges were dropped by judge Darcel Clark, who cited the positive impact they have in their community and told them to "keep up the good work."[9]

Discography[edit]

  • Otra Guerrillera Mixtape Vol. 1
  • Otro Guerrillero Mixtape Vol. 2
  • OccupyTheAirwaves(mixed by DJ Illanoiz)
  • Radical Dilemma

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christina Rodriguez (November 16, 2009). "Rebel Cry". Café Media. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  2. ^ Skyyhook (January 3, 2014). "AllHipHop.com’s Top 50 Underground/Indie/Emerging Artists Of 2013". AllHipHop.com. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  3. ^ a b Timothy Murray (September 12, 2008). "South Bronx Rhythm Resistance". The Indypendent. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  4. ^ "Rebel Diaz (Chile/Puerto Rico/USA)". Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  5. ^ a b Minister of Information JR (June 1, 2010). "Rebel of the underground: an interview with RodStarz of Rebel Diaz". San Francisco Bay View. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  6. ^ Diego Graglia (August 15, 2007). "Political Hip Hop at SOBSs". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  7. ^ a b Armando Salé (June 20, 2008). "Entrevista con G1, miembro del grupo de hip hop Rebel Díaz reprimido por la policía en el Bronx". La Haine. Retrieved 2008-12-21. (Spanish)
  8. ^ a b Tom Robbins (July 8, 2008). "The NYPD Rips Up Rappers". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  9. ^ a b Jaisal Noor (June 22, 2009). "Judge dismisses case against Rebel Diaz, says "Keep up the good work"". The Indypendent. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  10. ^ Daniel Beekman (March 3, 2011). "Hip-hop won't stop in the South Bronx at the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  11. ^ Keith Nelson Jr (March 2, 2013). "Hip-Hop Collective Rebel Diaz Gets “Unjustifiably Violent” Eviction and Raid from South Bronx Home". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  12. ^ Nick Murray (December 18, 2012). "South By South Bronx is Rebel Diaz's rollicking, political answer to Austin". Capital New York. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Tanyanika Samuels (December 14, 2012). "South by South Bronx Festival aims to bare heart and soul of hip hop culture". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 2, 2013.