Lauren Alexander (NYCLU), Evan Ginzburg (Legends TV), Farbeon (Hip Hop Re:Education Project)

Lauren Alexander (NYCLU), Evan Ginzburg (Legends TV), Farbeon (Hip Hop Re:Education Project)

Not only do the young people who take part in the Hip Hop Re:Education project get to flex their lyrical and artistic muscles, but they learn valuable lessons that are applicable in their educational careers, and pretty much throughout life. Fabian Saucedo, known as Farbeon, helps these eager young minds expand into areas they never knew possible, through the use of hip hop music and culture, while finding ways to truly expand their horizons, by organizing, raising funds for and executing cultural exchanges with similarly minded folks in Berlin. The BronxBerlinConnection 2015 is about to take off, so I talked to talk to Farbeon about the Hip Hop Re-Education project and all the great things they’re doing.

Every week for an hour and a half, a man dedicates himself to showcasing artists and creative individuals from all walks of life, hosting his own program to highlight gifted, eclectic, legendary and up-and-coming talent with the ultimate respect and reverence for all, no matter what type of artistry they make partake in. No, I’m not talking about myself in the third person again, I’m talking about someone who I look up to when attempting to do the same, Mr. Evan Ginzburg. Evan has parlayed a long career on New York’s legendary WBAI radio into producer credit on hit movies like The Wrestler, but he’s always had a soft spot in his heart for artists, musicians, writers, poets, actors… just about anybody. And he’s put his money where his mouth is, creating and hosting Legends TV with Evan Ginzburg live, every Saturday morning out of the MadHouse TV studios on Long Island. You never know what you;re going to get on Evan’s show, whether it’s an indie rap artist, an opera singer, a professional wrestler, a poet or a drag queen, and that’s what make each late night TV-show styled episode truly entertaining.

Lastly, I was at a hip hop event in New York City the other day, a monthly event called Freestyle Mondays, where, among other things, talented, clever MCs, wordsmiths really, engage in punchline pugilism, battling each other in rhyme form over the grooves of some of New York’s best live musicians… a battle where there are no rules, except that the rappers must rap off the top of their heads. It’s nothing short of linguistic and musical magic, and I highly recommend the event, even if my media outlet, Birthplace Magazine, wasn’t a partner. However, I was among the lucky participants at this particular edition of Freestyle Mondays to hear from a special guest, during an in-between-battle interlude. Lauren Alexander, from the media relations department of the New York Civil Liberties Union, addressed the audience to give an update as to her organization’s work lobbying Albany for statewide legislation to protect the rights of citizens, as well as working to unseal secret grand jury testimony and evidence in the choking death of Staten Island’s Eric Garner at the hands of police. I loved that Lauren was bringing these issues up at a hip hop event, and I knew the moment I saw her, that I had to have her tell me more. She was gracious enough to accept my invitation, and so we spoke.

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