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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
3/29/2004 9:53:51 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Dead Prez.

Amateur and professional beats alike were thrown down last night in the Schine Underground. The Student African-American Society and Black Artists League sponsored a Hip-Hop Showcase, featuring a freestyle rap session, rapper Immortal Technique and hip-hop group Dead Prez.

The showcase began with individual battles between seven amateur student artists. First-round competition was limited to 30 seconds, but the final between rappers Fat Free and Heat was extended to two 45-second rounds. Fat Free appeared to be the winner at the outset, but by the end the audience was jeering both rappers.

"The hostess is the winner?" asked Amina Brown, hostess and president of the Student African-American Society. "OK, they both lose."

Dead Prez was the featured act and brought the audience to life with smooth, thumping beats and messages about equality, voting, education and changing the system. The group, headed by rappers Stic man and M-1, first appeared on the Loud Records compilation '97 Set Up. The two met in a traveling national activist organization and began writing their material, which supports the teachings and practices of social defense parties like the Black Panthers.

Many audience members were familiar with the group's lyrics and messages, chanting along to lines such as "I'm an African and I know what's happenin'" and "Know your enemy, know yourself."

The group also sampled from Pink Floyd's hit "Another Brick in the Wall" during its rap about education. The duo flashed facts about minority education in the background, and encouraged the audience to shout "Fuck this school!"

The performance was backed by projected images of blacks in America and discrimination statistics, as well as group members waving red, black and green flags and handkerchiefs.

"I'm a longtime fan from the first album they dropped," said Justin Williams, a senior television, radio and film major. "They're putting out a message that other rappers aren't putting out. It's fresh. It's new and different. It's also rare that artists like this come to SU."

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