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Category Archives: hip hop

Jay-Z once famously said, "I check cheddar like a food inspector." It was a brilliant coupling of the hip hop and dairy industries that has yet to be rivaled… till now.

Video stats: Over 777,000 views in just 20 days!
Allow me to reintroduce you to Yeo Valley Farms (pronounced Yo!). Yeo Valley is an organic farm and dairy business in the U.K. with a unique and youthful vision. This family-based company started producing organic yogurt back in 1993 and their line has grown from there to include butter, cheese, milk and ice cream.
Buzz is also growing around this new video ad (now available on itunes!). Deftly designed to draw a young, hip to the green scene, Yeo Valley called in some heavy duty help to shape their message into a music video. They enlisted music video director Julien Lutz (best known for his work with artists like Usher, Alicia Keys, Mystikal, The Ying Yang Twins and Rihanna) and Yeo Boyz to create an authentic organic anthem.
With tractors bumpin like cadillacs on hydraulics and beat-laden production it was hard to go wrong. The lyrics are delivered with skill and don't come off forced at all even with a strong conservation message:
"This isn’t fictional farming
It’s realer than real
You won’t find milk maidens
That’s no longer the deal
In my wax coat and boots
I’m proper farmer Giles
Now look
You urban folk done stole our style"

Did they succeed? I'll let you be the judge. Drop your comments below!
Related links:
BBC: Pump up Milk Production by Pumping up the Volume!

Yeo Valley Organic

The Message Remixed

Hip Hop and Tree Music on Planet Harmony

Image from Dr.

From anthems about clean energy to ballads on fresh fruit, a number of hip hop’s socially conscious artists are on a green streak. Listen to the small but growing genre of green hip hop.

Since its beginnings, rap music has tackled the social issues in the cities that gave rise to the musical form. For instance – “The Message,” from Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five in 1982.

“Broken glass everywhere. People pissing on the stairs, you know they just don’t care. I can’t take the smell, I can’t take the noise. Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice.”

Nearly 30 years later, garbage, pollution, and unemployment are still part of rap’s message and that’s given rise to a small but growing genre of Green Hip Hop. Living on Earth and Planet Harmony’s Ike Sriskandarajah reports.

[MUSIC]: Young Jeezy “My President” from the Recession (Def Jam records 2008).

SRISKANDARAJAH: Young Jeezy and Nas wrote one of the most recognizable hip-hop anthems of 2008.

SONG: My president is black my lambo’s blue and I’ll be goddamned if my rims ain’t too.

SRISKANDARAJAH: The election of president of Barack Obama is still being celebrated by hip-hop artists- now- it’s a different color getting the praise.

[MUSIC]: Doo Dat “The Dream Reborn (My President Is Green) Self Produced

SONG: My President is black, but he’s going green. My president is black, but he’s going green.

SRISKANDARAJAH: Ayana Meade is an environmental writer researching the growing trend of green hip-hop.

MEADE: Yeah, it’s a small genre. You may not hear it on some of the pop radio stations in New York that play hip-hop, you know your 97.1’s or on your BET’s. But, there are a few people who, I don’t know if they exclusively rap about green issues, but they exist.

SRISKANDARAJAH: So, who do you see taking up this ‘green lantern’?

MEADE: Markese Bryant is definitely a star already. He organizes on his campus and his community teaching other young folks about green issues. And then, of course, he moonlights also as a rapper, and his stage name is DooDat, which we probably all should do, you know, DooDat- DooDat with the green movement.

[MUSIC]: Doo Dat “The Dream Reborn (My President Is Green) Self Produced.

SONG: … Doo Dat got a message for the hood. It’s time to go green, we gotta go green The food ain’t fresh and the air ain’t clean…

SRISKANDARAJAH: Markese Doo Dat Bryant, has made a name for himself as a green rapper. But he isn’t thrilled with the label.

BRYANT: Actually, actually no. I consider myself to be a rapper that just happens to be an eco-conscious individual

SRISKANDARAJAH: He’s an Oakland native. But his ecological awakening came while he was living in Vallejo.

BRYANT: And while I was staying in Vallejo, California, we stayed right next to a Chevron refinery. And, so, as far as the fumes, it actually contributes to the asthma rates in the community. And, I just felt that it was very important to speak on it, because a lot of us, especially in the hood, really don’t even understand where our electricity is coming from.

SONG: …In my backyard…The refinery. Something like my neighbors ain’t doin’ me no favors…. We need green jobs, we don’t need no jails…

SRISKANDARAJAH: So how is your song received by people in your community?

BRYANT: It was well received. It was very funny though, because I actually shot that video right in the hood, right on the block, everybody was excited, and then once the song started coming on, and I was talking about, ‘it’s time to go green, it’s time to go green,’ you know, I got a few looks, like, OK, what is he talking about?

SRISKANDARAJAH: Markese may draw some funny looks. But he’s hardly alone. Eco conscious songs have slowly been making headway.

[MUSIC]: Dr Octogon “Trees” from The Return Of Dr. Octogon (CMH Records 2006).

SRISKANDARAJAH: From Dr Octagon AKA Kool Keith lamenting the loss of Trees…

SRISKANDARAJAH: To the Trunk Boiz promotion of tricked out bicycles on Scraper Bike…

[MUSIC]: Trunk Boiz “Scraper Bike” Self Produced.

SONG: …My scraper bike go hard, I don’t need no car…

SRISKANDARAJAH: And then there’s the Dead Prez fitness plan – Be Healthy

[MUSIC]: Dead Prez “Be Healthy” from Lets Get Free (Relativity 2000).

SONG: I don’t eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets, only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat…

SRISKANDARAJAH: These rappers and their environmentally minded tracks have won praise from fans and activist groups. The Bay Area’s Green for All and Grind for the Green and DC’s Hip Hop Caucus have started using rap as a vehicle for their green message. And, one of the most popular performers of the year, Drake, even signed on to the Green the Block tour. But environmental writer, Ayana Meade says there’s still a long way to go.

MEADE: The green rap genre is still under the underground.

SRISKANDARAJAH: So if we’re looking back at hip hop history, Chuck D calls rap music the black CNN. Do you think rappers like Markese are bringing news to their communities?

MEADE: Information about the green movement is not information that a lot of these young people in urban communities are not aware of.

[MUSIC]: Dan Mahle “A Better World” from the Green For All Song Contest.

MEADE: Hip Hop really needs to embrace the green movement, and get kids interested and engaged. I mean, look at the election of Barack Obama, look at how many kids grasped on to that because they need a movement, they need something to feel alive, I think the green movement can be that for young people today.

SRISKANDARAJAH: For Living on Earth and Planet Harmony, I’m Ike Sriskandarajah.

100716rap-02.mp3 1.8 MB

It’s not very often that I like rap songs with a green message.  Usually they’re (in my opinion) really cheesy.  But Talib Kweli and Hi Tek have captured my frustrations about the oil industry in one freakin’ awesome song.  It’s called Ballad of Black Gold and it’s a breath of fresh air from the usually vapid music I hear on the radio. Talib provides a rare voice in hip hop, puting politicians supporting the oil industry on blast.

In an interview on Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner, Talib said inspiration for the song came from a trip to oil-rich and oil-burdened Nigeria.  Over the past 40 years the Nigerian government has estimated 7,000 spills… 1,000 of which belong to Shell. BV Black Spin’s Laura Adibe wrote a really great article on this subject.


You have to check this song out and watch the interview.  Let us know what you guys think!

Photo by jcbehm

    Obesity plagues all states and it’s especially bad in Alabama where nearly 1 in 3 children is overweight, according to a study done by the Alabama Cooperative Extension.

    But Anna Lloyd, a senior at the University of Birmingham at Alabama, hopes to change the way kids are eating, through the power of  music video.

    Lloyd’s “Fresh Grown” features five young performers rapping and dancing in a grocery store and farmers’ market, letting people know that eating healthy foods is cool.

    Lloyd began the project after being recruited by the Jones Valley Urban Farm, a nonprofit organization that educates children in Birmingham about the benefits of healthy eating.

    Lloyd said she surveyed students from urban schools in the area about their opinions on nutrition, music, websites and television.

    “My conclusion was they didn’t think healthy food was cool, but the culture they were most into and they found most cool was the hip-hop culture,” she said. “I thought it’d be unexpected to mix two things that seemed so different and unrelated and would make it more interesting, surprising and memorable.”

    With the help of teacher Michele Foreman and the artistic director of a local dance company who auditioned and selected dancers, Lloyd finished the project last month.

    The video has been reposted on several websites and even viewed in other countries, Lloyd said.

    “My hopes were on a more small scale initially, but I feel the video has already traveled farther on the Internet than I expected it to,” she said.

    Though Lloyd made the video to appeal to all children, she said inner city kids are most negatively impacted by poor nutrition.

    A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service last year shows that 11.5 million people live in low-income areas more than one mile away from a supermarket where fresh produce and fruit is available and affordable.

   “There are a lot of challenges that I think exist for every American family,” Lloyd said. “We need to look at ways to make eating healthier easier, and I certainly think in low income communities it’s even harder for those changes to occur.”

Lloyd said she will continue to use the video to promote awareness on issues of healthy eating. She and those who collaborated on the project are currently pitching the video to television stations.

  “To me, it was such a humbling experience,” she said. “It was so cool to see how I would use other people’s talents and showcase them in a way for the better of the kids.”

Fresh Raps.mp3 1.1 MB

Hip-Hop and environmental action. Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta combine both, so listen up. And also; using trees for music. We owe a lot of our music to wood: the bodies of guitars and violins, the keys of a marimba, drumsticks and, of course, those clarinets and other woodwinds. Sound designer Diego Stocco decided to go straight to the source and play a tree itself, for his project, aptly titled, “Music from a Tree.” All the sounds that you’ll hear come from an old olive tree behind his house in Burbank, California.

Diego Stocco is at it again, shrinking his technique to fit “Music from a Bansai”

Diego Stocco – Music From A Bonsai –

PILOT TREE 3.10.mp3 28.1 MB