Occupy All Streets.
Fittingly, on May Day, a day after the release — to critical acclaim and great fanfare — of the video for AWKWORD's World View single “Bars & Hooks”, The Village Voice's Sound of the City blog drops its interview with the Activist Rapper…
N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police” burst into Awkword’s life thanks to his baby-sitter. The Manhattan-based rapper visibly remembers the day when his part-time watchdog turned up with a copy of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube’s anti-establishment rant; hearing the song kick-started his first forays into writing his own raps. True to that song’s sentiment, today Awkward is as much an activist as an artist, channeling the idea of conveying a message and a viewpoint through rhyme and attempting to cause a change in the world around him. His upcoming World View project is the next stage in his mission, with all profits from the project going towards the Guns 4 Cameras (Aim To Live) anti-street-violence organization.
With the Occupy Wall Street movement set to snag more headlines today, we checked in with Awkword to speak about the potential for instigating social change through music, the dynamics of organizing a successful protest, and how his music is equally as inspired by Ill Bill as The Beatles.
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Nation, 20 October 1956