Interview with Brother Ali

November 28, 2009

I had the opportunity to sit down with one of my favorite MC’s of all time, Brother Ali, and have an in-depth discussion about hip-hop music, domestic violence, and his new album entitled Us.

After editing the interviewing, and watching it a few times, I honestly feel like this is an interview that the world needs to see.  I think Brother Ali touches on some amazing points and he was gracious enough to take us into his own personal life in hopes of others learning from what he went through.  I encourage you all to support conscious musicians like Brother Ali in their quest of spreading the truth.

NOTE: This interview does have some explicit language that may not be suitable for young audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

i-appreciate.org interview with Brother Ali about domestic violence, his songs Dorian and Babygirl, and his new album entitled Us.

For more information about i-appreciate.org please visit:

http://www.i-appreciate.org

http://www.facebook.com/iappreciateorg

http://www.twitter.com/iappreciateorg

For more information about Brother Ali please visit:

http://www.brotherali.com/

http://www.twitter.com/brotheralimpls

peace

-ai-

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Featured article about i-appreciate.org

October 20, 2009

The wonderful people at Save The World Blog recently interviewed me for an article that they were doing on i-appreciate.org and domestic violence.

I highly encourage you all to take a minute and visit the website at Save The World Blog and to join their Facebook Group

Enjoy…

peace

-ai-


Interview with Immortal Technique

October 16, 2009

I had the opportunity to sit down with my man Immortal Technique and talk to him about domestic violence, hip-hop and his humanitarian mission to open an orphanage in Afghanistan.

There are parts of the interview that contains explicit language so viewer discretion is advised.

peace

-ai-

Altamash Iftikhar and Immortal Technique talking after the interview...

Altamash Iftikhar and Immortal Technique talking after the interview...

Altamash Iftikhar giving Immortal Technique an i-appreciate.org shirt after the interview

Altamash Iftikhar giving Immortal Technique an i-appreciate.org shirt after the interview


Empty Space…

September 10, 2009

Ever since we had our first piece submitted by a young woman from Nairobi, Kenya, other people have been submitting works as well.

I love this kind of involvement and encourage people of all creative styles to submit written works, photos/art, or videos to be premiered on our blog.  I hope you enjoy this piece (as it’s from my boy Muhi) and encourage each and every one of you to get involved in the fight against domestic violence…

peace

-ai-

About the author: Muhi is a senior at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and is majoring in History with a minor in Psychology.  He’s always been fond of the arts and sensitive towards the development of communities.  Muhi has many aspirations, but one of his favorite passions is to mobilize others.  Muhi plays rugby for UM-Dearborn and is a well connected and involved optimistic humanitarian in the metro Detroit area.  For more of his poetry, check out www.xanga.com/poetichermit85 or for his daily dose of thoughts find him on Twitter, www.twitter.com/michiganmuhi.

Empty Space – 1/10/2008

It’s too late to hate,
I’m one step passed ‘had enough’,
It’s like nothing resonates in his head when I say ‘stop’.
He says ‘I love you’ and it frustrates me beyond belief.
Those deadly words have bruised me, they’ve scarred me.

Part of me feels torn, and the other feels nothing,
There is an empty space that eats me up inside,
The warmth of his body cuts me cold,
But I can’t seem to let go.

It’s too late to hate,
I’m one step passed ‘I’m done with this’.
He doesn’t seem to care and promises he’ll stop,
I don’t trust him anymore and the look on his face hurts me so much,
As his hand connects with my face,
This empty space engulfs in flames and destroys a memory bank of pictures in frames.
‘I’ve had enough, I’m done with this’.

It’s too late to hate,
I’m one step passed ‘I’m leaving’.
NO man will ever raise their hand against me,
This beauty is profound and I’m a woman on a mission,
To help with getting past the remission,
Barren trees and dried up leafs,
I can only love when it’s in season,
I’m single for a reason,
Maybe it’s cyclical in this empty space,
The void between love and hate,
Maybe you can relate,
But in some way this was my fate,
I’m here to give a voice,
To tell you there is a choice,
To be bold and brave,
And not living in a grave,
To stand up and fight,
And give the abused their right,
To take this empty space,
Give it up with haste.

It’s too late to hate,
I’m one step passed ‘I’m going to make a difference’.
This new reality is of the essence,
It is the only thing that makes sense,
I am finally reasoning for myself,
Finally respecting myself.

This empty space mutates and isolates,
When all I really need is someone who can relate,
We all carry these empty spaces,
Lets shatter these vases,
That are holding flowers blooming with sensation.

It’s too late to hate,
I’m one step passed ‘living my life right’.
I got past the empty spaces,
I’ve filled them with smiling faces and happy occasions,
Thank you for the courage,
Thank you for the support,
Thank you for helping me find my own worth,
It’s too late to hate,
And I’m one step passed ‘forgetting him’.


Downtown Chicago Event — 8.29.09

August 30, 2009

So today was our first volunteering event in downtown Chicago.  We had about 10 volunteers show up and we hit the streets (State St. and Michigan Ave. to be exact) with 2,000 fliers.  The fliers had statistics on them (i.e. 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, more than 3 women and 1 man are killed as a result of domestic violence every day, etc…) with the words “don’t become another statistic” and the website (http://www.i-appreciate.org) on the bottom of the flier.

First of all, I want to thank each volunteer that made it out and helped spread the word today.  We definitely reached a ton of people and we all had some pretty deep and insightful conversations with people.  I had a lot of people asking about the shirt and just asking about the organization in general, but I wanted to reflect on two special encounters that I had today.

The first instance was on State St. when I was passing fliers out.  As I said before, each flier had a statistic on it and the web address.  As I was handing them out, an African American man came back and stopped me and repeated the stat on his card to me.  I said yeah and he said “that’s a hell of a statistic”.  And walked away looking pretty upset.  I believe the statistic was 1 in 5 teenage girls are abused by their partner.  And that is a “hell of a statistic.”  It’s a scary statistic and it is the sincere hope of i-appreciate.org that we either help to educate the youth more so to minimize such horrifying numbers, or that we do everything in our power to help empower victims to these acts…

The second instance impacted me tremendously.  As I made my way to Michigan Ave. I met this young lady with kids and began talking to her about what i-appreciate.org is all about.  She smiled and put her hand on my shoulder and told me that this was great work and that she would definitely buy a shirt.  She got a little emotional but was being strong in front of her kids and said to me “my sister was murdered three years ago…” and didn’t need to end that sentence.  She didn’t need to finish the rest.  We need to put an end to this.  We need to come together and fight for good and fight against evil.  We need to put aside our differences whether they be religious or cultural and unite for a good cause.  As my man Brother Ali says in his new album, there’s no me and no you it’s just us…

I met some really other interesting people while passing these things out (and was even interviewed by a group of high school girls for a project they were doing–big ups to Stagg High School and I hope you get an A on your project Jessica!) not to mention meeting the famous New York rapper Jadakiss after the whole thing was over.  All in all things went well and I look forward to working with you all in the future to help make a difference in the lives of many…

peace

-ai-


Interview with K’naan

August 18, 2009

I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with a rising hip-hop artist, K’naan Warsame, and discuss his growing up in Somalia, domestic violence, and women in hip-hop music.  Check out the interview and feel free to comment on it here or on Youtube…

peace

-ai-

Part 1 of 2 of Interview with K’naan

Part 2 of 2 of Interview with K’naan


The Fire Unnamed by AJ…

July 28, 2009

Ever since we featured a piece by a young lady from Kenya on our blog, we have been getting more interest from others as well.  So I decided to lay another piece for you all written by a friend of mine, Asad Jaleel.

If you are a writer, artist, photographer, singer/performer, or have some type of talent and want to submit a piece on domestic violence.  I have had some people contact me asking if they have to be a victim of domestic violence or have to experience it to submit a piece.  This is not the case at all!  We welcome any people who have a creative way to portray domestic violence from any viewpoint!  So if you have something and would like to share, please feel free to submit it and we will feature it on our blog.

Enjoy it and spread peace…

-ai-

About the Author: Asad Jaleel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has a B.S. in Biology. He has taught with Kaplan, the Chicago Public Schools, and Islamic Foundation School. He is a published poet.


Title:
The Fire Unnamed

In fever dreams
I hear her cries for help
Her quick steps across the kitchen floor

Moon and stars witness
As do I from the stairs
Veins in his head throbbing

His angry shouts
The curse-words spilling from the mouth
Words that belie the ancient vows

Flesh on flesh
Two locked in a struggle
But one so much weaker

When I turned eighteen
I left the madness
And told her to escape too

She said it would stop
She said not to worry
She said it wasn’t his fault

Buried rage
Hidden but not forgotten
Simmering like hot soup

I swore to myself
I would never be that kind of man
I feared becoming feared

Missteps I’ve made
My blood has boiled
But I remember the heavens watching