Join us for a virtual conversation to meet Black and Indigenous hip hop community organizers, educators, and artists.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Black and Indigenous youth to hear firsthand about their experiences and to learn about different educational and professional pathways.
This event is intended for Black and Indigenous youth (ages 16–24) who are curious about exploring education pathways and careers in the hip hop industry in Canada. U of T Students and community are welcome to attend, however youth voices will be centred in the conversations.
How to join the conversation / What to know
This event will take place entirely online through Zoom. You should have a reliable internet connection, computer or phone, and a working microphone and camera. Once you register, you will receive an email confirmation of registration.
Hip Hop Artist
A pioneer on the Indigenous hip hop scene, Saskatchewan MC Jeremiah Manitopyes, aka Drezus, turned heads with breakout hits like "Warpath" and "Red Winter." His critical accomplishments in the field of music include awards for Best Music Video, Best Producer/Engineer, Best Rap/Hip Hop Album, and Indigenous Entertainer of the Year.
Today, he’s using his music to spread a message of positivity and empowerment. Most recently, he teamed up with Taboo from the Black-Eyed Peas (among others) on "Stand Up/Stand N Rock" (#NoDAPL), which won the MTV Video Music Award for "Best Fight Against the System."
Arts Educator, Poet, and Performance Artist
Haudenosaunee Kanien’kéhà:ka & Mi’kmaw L’sitkuk, Canadian Poet Of Honor, Mahlikah Awe:ri is an Afro-Indigenous Artist For Social Change, “Shifting paradigms through Indigenized ways of knowing and being; while reimagining what it means to be “In-Relation”, to the Land and to each other”.
Awe:ri is a nationally recognized Spoken Word Artist, Arts Educator, Land Defender & Water Protector, Public Speaker, Performance Artist, Curator and Afro-Indigenous Futurist Writer, who was awarded the 2019-2020 Paula Fund for the development of new works for younger audiences for her acclaimed solo work Tionnhéhkwen Tionnká:non (Our Sustenance Our Medicines).
Mahlikah is currently based in Sewatokwa'tshera't Wampum
Tsi Tkarón:to, Oniatarí:io, Kanata, as the acting Deputy Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact at the Centre of Learning & Development in Regent Park, Founding member of Red Slam, an Indigenous Art 4 Social Change Movement, Prologue To The Performing Arts Provincial School Touring Artist, and an Indigenous Art Educator for the The Art Gallery Of Ontario.Website
Hip Hop Artist, Dancer, Teacher and Innovator
Joseph Hersco, more commonly known as J-Rebel within the Hip-Hop Community has been B-Boying (breakdancing) since the age of fourteen. He is a member of the Top Canadian breakdancing crew known as the Supernaturalz . His complex approach to B-Boying and natural flow has set him apart from many other dancers. His footwork is a true testament to the legacy of the Supernaturalz Crew, whose members have been known for having unique styles. His skills have opened doors to travel the globe and compete in world-class B-Boy Competitions.
Some of his many accomplishes include, R-16 2007 and 2010 (Korea), "Warsaw Challenge" 2007 (Poland) Battle of the Year 2004 (Germany), UK Championships (England) 2004 and 2005, Semi Finalist in City vs. City 2006 (1 on 1 battle in Chicago), Out for Fame Finals 2002 (New York) and currently holds the Guinness world record for world's longest B-boy cipher. Along with being a dancer, teacher and innovator.
He's currently working with Right To Play Canada, and runs a Hip-Hop leadership, and mentorship program for urban first nations, Inuit and metis youth within the Toronto District School Board as a community mentor. His program is called "Concrete Warriors" witch engages youth in critical thinking, using Hip-Hop as a culturally relevant pedagogy by addressing complex social issues through the art and culture of Hip-Hop.
J-Rebel has worked in partnership with many individuals and organizations across Canada to promote the preservation of Hip-Hop culture and making positive change within community and institutional spaces. In 2011 he went to Brazil as part of a delegation from Toronto in an international cultural exchange between arts educators under the 'Schools without Borders' emerge initiative.
J-Rebel grew up in the Jane-Finch and Lawrence Heights areas in Toronto, two of the city's northwest neighborhoods known for their high levels of violence, drugs and poverty due to the socio-economic and political realities that have created many systemic barriers for him to overcome in his life. Like many disfranchised youth he found a strong affinity for Hip-Hop culture. Now dedicated to being an active mentor and positive role model for other marginalized and oppressed youth. He hopes of making a difference in the future by creating ripples of positive change in his communities and society as a whole.