Jasiri X is a jack of all trades; an MC, Activist and Entrepreneur, Jasiri uses his gifts to follow in the footsteps of other groundbreaking, socially-conscious artists such as, Public Enemy, KRS-ONE and Tom Morello. Where other artists proclaim their status as a Hip-Hop mogul, Jasiri dedicates his time to bringing awareness to social, and political issues. Check out, “What if the Tea Party was Black,” and you’ll understand why Jasiri is a force to be reckoned with. MVRemix had the opportunity to talk with Jasiri about what he does, influences, working with artists that share his same passion and fervor for informing the people and future plans.
MVRemix: You are an MC, activist and entrepreneur. How did you become what you are today?
Jasiri X: Reading [chuckles], also I was raised in a household that was very conscious. At a certain point in my life helping my community became more important to me than Hip-Hop, even though I love it. To be able to do both simultaneously has been a blessing.
MVRemix: Your songs always carry a message, and due to the responses you get, you obviously strike a nerve. Is that the intended goal, or are there other things you try to get when you release a new song?
Jasiri X: I want to strike a nerve, but also hopefully create dialogue. I believe the messages I carry are true, and if we can talk about them we can begin to see things eye to eye.
MVRemix: It is great to see you use hip hop in such a positive way, that really has not been seen since the days of Public Enemy. What influenced you to take this approach?
Jasiri X: Public Enemy [laughs], also X-Clan, KRS-ONE, Bob Marley, Nas and Wu Tang.
MVRemix: How was it working with X-Clan’s Paradise the Arkitech and NYOIL when you did “Enough Is Enough?”
Jasiri X: Paradise is like my mentor/brother; I don’t do anything without first having at least a conversation with him. It’s been a blessing to work with someone who has produced classic Hip-Hop albums. NYOIL showed me the power of videos in getting your message across, and he taught me about the video side, and even recommended the program I use to edit. He also connected me to Rel!g!on and Wandering Worx which is my current label, so he deserves a lot of credit in my development.
MVRemix: Your videos have contributed to not only raising awareness about who you are, but raising awareness of issues that are going on in the U.S. How has the reception been from both supporters, and opposers?
Jasiri X: People usually either love it or hate it, especially in the cyber world, but in person I get a great deal of respect from supporters and opposers.
MVRemix: You shot “American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires” in Madison, Wisconsin, during the people’s takeover of the statehouse. It reminded me a little bit of Rage Against the Machine’s video for “Sleep Now in the Fire.” How was the experience, and hearing the opinions of the people there?
Jasiri X: It was an incredible experience! Seeing all those people in the statehouse gave me goosebumps, and really made me understand the power we have when we unify. The people were extremely nice and respectful, and very educated about the issues.
MVRemix: Speaking of Rage Against the Machine, you performed “American Workers vs. Multi-Billionaires” with Tom Morello, in Los Angeles for the Our Communities, Our Jobs Rally. How was it working with Morello, and do you have any plans on collaborating with him on anything else?
Jasiri X: He did one of the most incredible shows I’ve ever seen, and he was one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. I actually just met someone who works closely with him, so hopefully a collab is in the very near future.
MVRemix: You performed and presented at the Netroots Nation, which is a really cool conference featuring people such as, Dan Choi, Biko Baker and other important individuals. How was it performing in front of all of these political activists, and how did your presentation go?
Jasiri X: I got a great reception at Netroots. I don’t think a lot of people knew how powerful a tool Hip-Hop can be, especially politically, when framing our issues. I got recognized a lot too because of, “What if the Tea Party was Black?” which was kinda surreal.
MVRemix: You’re gearing up for a second album, you’re continuing work on your successful series, “This Week With Jasiri X” and you recently headlined a fundraiser for Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha. What inspires you/ pushes you to continue doing all of this?
Jasiri X: Well it’s my job now [laughs]; this is how I make a living so the more I do, the more progress I make, but I also love using my gifts to help others. There is no better feeling in the world.
MVRemix: You are all about change, and supporting problems that need immediate solutions. What would you say to those who also want to make a change, and want to help out?
Jasiri X: Keep pushing and working towards real change; we’re in the late innings and we’re winning so stay focused.
Don’t forget to check out the new video by Jasiri X – Jordan Miles
Jasiri X tells the story of Jordan Miles, the 18 year old honor student who was brutally beaten by 3 undercover Pittsburgh Police officers while walking to his grandmother’s house. “Jordan Miles” was mixed by Diezel and directed by Paradise Gray.
Call Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala at 412.350.4400 and demand he file charges against the 3 police officers who brutally beat Jordan Miles