Bringing Hip Hop to the United Nations
On Wednesday, March 8, I had the privilege of performing my brand new song “PPL Callin” for Mr. Maina Kiai, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to celebrate the successful end of his 6-year mandate.
I was approached by the Human Rights House Network (HRHF), an NGO based in Oslo, Norway that also has an office in Geneva, Switzerland. Their dynamic Geneva-based team hired me to rap for Mr. Kiai because they knew that, despite his high level international stature, Maina was a huge fan of Hip Hop. Needless to say that he got served!
Still, The challenge for me was to come up with content that would be suitable for that special night. Because, you know, yes he likes rap music, but what about all the other officials in attendance right? Could they handle a few cuss words?
Without watering-down my lyrics though, I thought it would be better to rap on a topic related to Maina Kiai’s work as a UN Special Rapporteur. I was inspired to write about the freedom of peaceful assembly. As we’re all aware, 2017 is really a year with protests going around the World. Some are more successful than others – I mean there’s an impeachment going on right now in South Korea – but protests are a widespread phenomenon.
So, people all over the World standing up for their rights has inspired me to write this song and I’m so pumped by how it turned out that it would be a shame not to put the song out. So stay tuned for the official release in the coming weeks! Coz you know, mixing, mastering…
And a little freestyle by Maina Kiai.
You can also check some of previously recorded materials on my Soundcloud.
Power to the People.