Arizona school officials made it illegal to play Rage Against the Machine or to even read an essay from hip-hop legend KRS-One. But that hasn’t stopped the icon and self-described “Teacher” from dropping some knowledge on the youth of Arizona.
KRS-One showed up at Tucson’s Cholla Magnet High School on Wednesday and held a marathon three-hour lecture, where he discussed the origins of the hip hop music genre as well as the district’s controversy regarding ethnic studies, which led to them banning his music and writings, as well as Rage Against the Machine, who KRS has teamed up with in the past.
Watch the video of KRS-One and Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha, in “C.I.A. – Criminals In Action,” where the pair calls out the U.S. government for targeting Native American and African American communities, and even for blaming so-called “minority” communities for the government’s own drug-running.
All of this stems from an incident earlier this month when the outgoing head of Arizona’s education department, John Huppenthal, denounced the “culturally relevant” curriculum which Tucson schools offered. He claimed that the program violated a 2010 law which essentially banned ethnic studies.
To top of the bizarreness of this claim, he issued a letter of noncompliance that cited a Rage Against the Machine song and a KRS-One essay called “An Introduction to Hip Hop”. These, Huppenthal said, were examples of the “illegal promotion of ethnic solidarity” and “the overthrow of the U.S. government.”
“You should be proud of your school for doing this,” KRS-One said, encouraging the school to continue to defy the Department of Education.
The 50-year-old musician also encouraged students, saying: “when you feel great, you see others as great and you add value. Lift them up and show other cultures how great your culture is.”
After the lecture, KRS gave an impromptu hip hop show!
What do you think about this law, and KRS-One’s defiant response to it?
(Article by Reagan Ali)