Rappers Dead Prez, DJ Tony Touch, The Roots' Black Thought, and Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek of Reflection Eternal have signed on to perform at the third-annual Black August benefit concert in New York City.
Co-sponsored by "Stress" magazine, Rawkus Entertainment, Loud Records, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the show is designed to raise awareness about the U.S. Navy's resumed military operations on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques and to rally support for exiled political activist Assata Shakur.
Shakur, a former Black Panther, escaped from a New Jersey prison on November 2, 1979, after being convicted two years earlier for her involvement in the death of a state trooper during a shoot-out on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973.
Shakur has been living in Cuba since 1986, and New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman has been seeking Shakur's extradition back to the U.S. since 1994.
The Black August concert in New York City will actually
be the sister show to the Sixth Annual National Rap Festival being held in Havana, Cuba, from August 17-21.
Aside from showcasing Cuban hip-hop artists and rappers, Dead Prez and DJ Tony Touch will travel to the island country to perform at the benefit, which will raise money for the creation of a hip-hop studio and library to be built in Havana.
The Black August 2000 benefit concert will be staged at the New Age Cabaret in Manhattan on August 30. For more information about the event and tickets, contact organizers at (718) 622-8292.