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Hip Hop for the Environment

A few weeks ago, I heard a story on NPR about a California-based rapper called Doo Dat having some songs about the environment.  Check out this YouTube video of his song "The Dream Reborn:  My President is Green."  Some of the lyrics go:  " My President is black, but he's going green..."  His song even caught the attention of the EPA!

Doo Dat isn't the only rapper with songs about the environment.

One of the most famous rappers of today, Drake, (known better to me as Jimmy Brooks from "Degrassi" fame!) has gotten involved with Green the Block, part of The Hip Hop Caucus of Washington DC. (Check out their campaigns and events)  Drake is traveling in biodiesel buses, working with concert venues to encourage recycling, and carbon offsetting. 

Rapping about the environment isn't new.  Another well-known, rapper, Dr. Octagon has a song called "Trees" released back in 2006. Lyrics include:  "Watch your atmosphere and pesticides / Control damaging trees and roots...” 

Hip hop can be an excellent tool to engage younger folks in the importance of saving the earth.  Here in Massachusetts, where I live, there's an organization in inner city Boston called Environmental Justice Action Media, or EJAM.  They've been using hip hop to get urban kids into saving the environment.

Lastly, although not pure hip hop, I can't finish this post without mentioning Michael Franti and Spearhead.  Michael Franti is notoriously politically active, socially conscious, and eco-friendly.  My personal experience:  in about 2003, they did a free concert at Golden Gate Park.  They were the headliners, and after the show was over and people began to leave, there was litter all over the place.  Michael Franti actually went around the area of the park where the concert was, and picked up trash.   I was beyond impressed!  

It's getting me to think more about this...what other ways can we get youth more enthusiastic about saving the environment?