Music has always been a weapon of social change. In 1968 James Brown wrote “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” which most people considered a civil rights anthem. Bob Marley encouraged the people of Haiti to stand up for their rights on his 1973 classic “Get Up, Stand Up.” Countless rappers have encouraged social change by painting pictures of their communities through their rhymes. Hasan Salaam, an emcee/activist from New Jersey, is using his music to give back to his community.
Hasan Salaam considers it his life’s mission to promote freedom, justice and equality. For the past seven years Hasan has run food and clothing drives to help the less fortunate in Jersey City. Hasan’s mother was in the Peace Corps and always encouraged him to give back to the community. As Hasan grew into a talented emcee, he decided he would use Hip-Hop to do just that.
On Dec. 6, 2011, Hasan Salaam released his highly acclaimed EP, “Music is my Weapon.” All of project’s proceeds were used to build a medical facility for the people of Guinea-Bissau. Aside from a successful musical career, Hasan also gives lectures about the spiritual side of Hip-Hop that is too often overlooked by the mainstream media.
“Music has always been a weapon for social change,” said Hasan Salaam over the phone. “There’s a reason Hip-Hop started in the South Bronx. People all over the world can relate to struggle.”
Now Hasan is working on his third full album called “Life in Black and White.” Hasan says this album will be an interpersonal approach on what it took for him to be who he is today. Pain and struggle have always been part of Hassan’s life but Hasan uses music to get though his hardships. As a musician Hasan says it will always be his mission to be a great artists who makes dope music.
“I don’t just want to make good Hip-Hop, I want to make good music,” said Hasan. “Great music is timeless and can’t be but into just one category.”
Hasan promises he will always give back and change his community for the better, and encourages others to do the same. Follow Hasan Salaam on Twitter @HasamSalaam