About the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective

RDAC-BX: “Building community through the arts” – In just over 8 minutes this video covers the history and mission of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, and the controversy around their forced eviction. 

Details on their eviction from the Mott Haven loft they inhabited and paid rent on since 2008.

An outside observer describes what the Bronx lost when the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective was evicted.

Rebel Diaz: The Musical Group

Bio of  the 3-piece hip hop group made up of MC RodStarz, MC/Producer G1, and Producer DJ Illanoiz.

The Rebel Diaz video for “Soy Rebelde”. Their presentation on Thursday is named after this track. The sampled refrain is taken from Jeanette’s “Soy Rebelde”. The sampled lines–“Soy Rebelde, porque el mundo me hecho asi”–translate to “I’m a Rebel, because the world has made me so.”

Among the rebels Rebel Diaz identify with in the lyrics: Emiliano Zapata, the Occupy movement, and the people of Chile in the wake of the CIA-engineered coup of September 11, 1973.

“Craazy” deals with how rebels may are labeled as crazy as a way of dismissing their criticism. “American Spring” draws a link between the Arab Spring and the political agenda of the Occupy Movement. “Work like Chavez” pays tribute to the recently-deceased Venezuelan president. The intro incorporates a sample from Ali Primera, the legendary Venezuelan musician and activist. Why would a Bronx-based group have a special interest in paying tribute to the controversial South American leader?

Rebel Diaz: The Presentation

Here are some questions it might be interesting to ask the members of RDAC. Also, you should come up with some questions of your own based on the above info and links.

How do you negotiate the opposing ideals of community empowerment and competitive individualism in hip hop—the latter as seen in the one-on-one battle tradition and the popular notion that “the world is yours”?

Do you think that hip hop can be  used to work within the American political system, or solely to work outside and against the system as it stands? Do you think that hip hop played any role in making Obama’s election possible?

In hip hop culture’s earliest years, a direct line was drawn between geographic space and empowerment—that is, by “occupying” subway cars, walls, parks, and the airwaves with art, dance, and music that challenged the status quo. Do you feel that this tradition continues today? Is the physical space that Rebel Diaz occupied in the Bronx central to their mission, or can the same goals be accomplished without a physical home base?


2 thoughts on “RDAC-BX

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