Hip hop convention draws 3,000

NEWARK, N.J. – Mutulu, of Dead Prez, rubbed shoulders with veteran civil liberties activist Ron Daniels as 3,000 people attended the founding Hip Hop Political Convention (HHPC) here June 16-20. The goal was to build a movement for social progress based on revolutionary music emerging from the inner cities and barrios. There were 500 “official” delegates – youth who registered 50 or more new voters – from 17 states among the 3,000.

“We gotta keep going,” Mutulu proclaimed. “If we don’t keep going, rap will continue to be drafted into the capitalist world, the crack world, the prison-industrial complex.” Attendees flooded 50 workshops on every aspect of organizing and ended the convention with a five-point political agenda demanding equal funding for education, rollbacks of tax breaks for the rich, full employment, reinstatement of civil and human rights, eradication of mandatory sentencing, national free health care and the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate human rights violations by the U.S. government.