Mos Def, Dead Prez, and Black Thought of The Roots have all been confirmed to perform at a June 3 benefit concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal and victims of police brutality. The concert is scheduled to take place on New York City¹s Hunter College campus.
According to a press release issued by the student groups organizing the event, which include the Mumia Youth Task Force, SLAM! Hunter College and the Malcolm X Grassroots Organization, the concert will "continue the tradition of hip-hop as the youth voice of protest" by bringing continued media attention to police brutality cases in New York City and around the nation.
In addition, the organizing groups state that "Mumia represents to us the extent to which police brutality is not only institutionalized, but also the degree to which the government is willing to go to silence those who have stood up [to it]."
Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist and former Black Panther and member of the militant political group MOVE. He is currently on death row in Pennsylvania, charged with the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Mumia claims he is innocent, as do the scores of activists who have been organizing around his case for years (see "Weeding Through The Rhetoric: What's The Rage/Beasties Benefit About?").
The Hunter College benefit, "Voice for the Voiceless," also features Mike Ladd, who, along with other New York City independent hip-hop artists (including Company Flow and the Anti-Pop Consortium) billing themselves as "The Infesticons," recently released a concept album "Gun Hill Road" on British label Ninja Tune. Also appearing will be DJ Marc Ronson, who has appeared in ads for Tommy Hilfiger clothing.
Tickets to the concert will cost $20, $15 for students with I.D. For more information on the benefit, call 212-726-8869.