In late October, the Brooklyn-based live hip-hop outfit Chen Lo and the Liberation Family – known now as
The Lo Frequency
-came to Beirut for a two-month residency in order to establish a Hip-Hop Academy and to perform with local talent (MCs, DJs, and producers). The US embassy initiative was not exactly what they expected.
Beats and Breath
linked up with the Lo Frequency in Brooklyn to discuss what ultimately became a two-month blessing for the Arab hip-hop movement.
OG members of The Lo Frequency fam (L to R: BAASIK, Chen Lo, Ken White, DJ Scandales)
Photo credit: Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center
Chen Lo and the Liberation Family
just returned from an incredible tour of the Middle East and North Africa, sponsored by the US
State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Jazz at Lincoln Center
, as part of the Rhythm Road program. The 4-member Brooklyn-based Hip Hop band, composed of vocalist Chen Lo, bassist Baassik, turntablist/producer DJ Scandales, and percussionist Ken White, traveled to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, coordinated by the local American Embassies. And, the best part is, they actually got to perform with some prominent local groups, such as
in Salé, Morocco;
in Aleppo, Syria; and
DJ Lethal Skillz
in Beirut, Lebanon. Kudos to the State Department and its embassies for selecting reallocal groups in each city (as opposed to unknown amateurs who just fit the part). Here’s a clip from their visit to Salé, Morocco (via the
US Embassy in Rabat
More videos, photos, and personal blogging from Chen Lo and the fam at:
Neal Marder Winston & Strawn Hip Hop Diplomacy represents the intersection of global Hip Hop culture and geopolitics. It is maintained by Joshua Asen, co-creator of the Hip Hop Diplomacy cultural outreach model.