By Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities Nov/Dec 2014 issue
Cambridge had the honor of having its consciousness raised when Leroy Moore and Keith Jones presented their multi-media event, Krip-Hop Nation: Speaking & Rapping Politically & Culturally. Held at the Agassiz House Theater at Harvard University on October 7, 2014, audience members were gifted words, video, and fierce thought.
Moore and Jones are disabled artists who are black. Moore is from Berkeley, California and Jones is a Boston local, and both are long-time activists.
They have been raising truth through spoken verse for more than a couple of decades, reminding people of violence against persons with disabilities (PWD), of being black, disabled, and profiled, and of unacceptable unemployment rates for PWD – African American males even more so.
Using music as a means to get the word out, Moore and Jones created Krip-Hop Nation after having met in person at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. “Disability is not a sexy topic in politics,” Jones told the room.
Not one political candidate or elected representative visited the two men who were available at the Convention to discuss the needs of PWD. “We represent one out of five people in America and no one wanted to hear what we had to say! We use our music and poetry as a way in, to talk about politics and policy.”
Moore explains, “Hip-Hop roots are from fighting back, so Krip-Hop is in complete alignment [with that] but Krip-Hop is not recognized.” So he and other disabled rappers and Hip Hop artists are using song writing to tell their story, and not just in the United States. Moore showed the audience video taken backstage at a Krip-Hop event in the United Kingdom a few years ago, and their next big goal is to tour Africa.
Look up videos and interviews with the gentlemen on You Tube (look for Krip-Hop Nation on your favorite search engine) and reach them directly on Facebook at Krip Hop World Wide to get a copy of their latest CD on police brutality against people with disabilities.