The Sistah Vegan Project

Archive for the category “Music”

Sick of Children’s Music That Promotes Speciesism? Me Too.

As a picky mom when it comes to my children’s musical entertainment, it is hard to find vegan-friendly and non-human animal friendly music! I am glad we have Michal “Peanut” Karmi to help change that.

Michal is amazing and she visited us here in Berkeley, CA a few days ago. We met Michal a few years ago while she was in graduate school at UC Berkeley. A very committed animal rights oriented vegan, she also has the unique talent of connecting amazingly with little kids through song. My children, 2.5 and 5, are obsessed with her first album. She has a new album she is working on and I highly recommend it. It will help kids think in non-human animal friendly ways. And let’s face it: most children’s music albums in the USA are quite speciesist.  Please support her newest album through this kickstarter campaign. Also, enjoy the photos of her singing to our family. She is a wonderful spirit!

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The Best Damn Vegan Oriented Children’s Singer: Meet Michal Peanut Karmi

Michal is amazing and she visited us here in Berkeley, CA a few days ago. We met Michal a few years ago while she was in graduate school at UC Berkeley. A very committed animal rights oriented vegan, she also has the unique talent of connecting amazingly with little kids through song. My children, 2.5 and 5, are obsessed with her first album. She has a new album she is working on and I highly recommend it. It will help kids think in pro-vegan and anti-speciesist ways. And let’s face it: most children’s music albums in the USA are quite speciesist.  Please support her newest album through this kickstarter campaign. Also, enjoy the photos of her singing to our family. She is a wonderful spirit!

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One good girl is worth a thousand bitches(?): Kanye West Confuses the Sh*t Out of Me

For the first time in my life, I have been exposed to a Kanye West music video. The other day, my husband asked me if I had seen the new West video, Bound 2.  I told him that I had never consciously listened to West, but from the few quotes I have heard repeated from him, via popular media, I have no interest in supporting his ‘art.’

My husband told me that I just had to watch Bound 2 with him. So, we watched it together and we laughed through the entire thing.

Seriously, can someone please explain to me how it’s possible to sing something like “One good girl is worth a thousand bitches” and then also speak publicly about how Jimmy Kimmel is being racist towards you as a Black man? Did I miss something? And I’m asking these questions not to dismiss West’s experiences with racism, but more or so not sure how one can constantly be sensitive to anti-Black male racism yet be completely insensitive to their own misogyny and sexism; their objectification of women. In a tweet to respond to Jimmy Kimmel’s parody of West, West wrote something to the effect of how much more “pussy” he (West) gets than Kimmel. Excuse me? What, are we in junior high again with the immature uncritical insults? Yes, it’s obvious that West’s feelings were hurt, but to respond in that way (i.e. talking about how he gets more ‘pussy’) is not productive.

In the lyrics to Bound, West sings while holding his fiancee, “One good girl is worth a thousand bitches.”  As a PhD with focus in critical race feminism, I am unapologetically biased against the meaning and power behind these types of lyrics.

And I am just really confused as well as disappointed. Why? I have met plenty of Black cisgender straight identified men who are sensitive to racism, understand how it works structurally… yet they are insensitive/unaware of how they perpetuate sexism and misogyny. (Or, perhaps they know but just don’t care because they hate not having racial privilege but enjoy the  ‘natural’ position of male privilege? )

And I want to make connections across the board. I have met a lot of straight Black men in the holistic health (vegan/raw) movement who are really aware and critical of structural racism and legacies of white supremacy that affect Black physical and emotional health… but then a significant number of them believe in the ‘naturalness’ of heterosexism, sexism, patriarchy, and being homophobic and transphobic… And yes, there are plenty of white males in the animal rights and vegan movement who totally get how messed up speciesism is, but they engage in racist ways of doing animal rights and social justice, only to become upset and defensive when one points out to them that they are being simultaneously anti-speciesist but racist… and yes, many have also engaged in sexist and sexual harassment behavior. Am I missing something here?

Thank goodness for Seth Rogen and James Franco for creating this parody:

[Updated Nov 27, 2013] I wanted to clarify that I don’t find it funny because two men are kissing or lovers. I found the video funny because Rogen and Franco are doing the exact same movements as Kim and Kanye. I also found it clever to have two men together because of the heteronormative/heterosexist culture that pervades mainstream/Top 40 Hip Hop in the USA. For Kanye, it would seem that being a ‘true’ man is calling certain women bitches and talking about all the ‘pussy’ he can get. It’s all so predictable on how he lets us know ‘how to be a real black man’ through being misogynist and hypersexualized striaght Black man. I’d imagine Kanye would never have two men together in his videos to represent love and masculinity. But, this is simply how I was reading the Bound 2 parody and why I thought the video was hilarious.

“We Don’t Want no GMOs” and Eco-Vegan Hip Hop Consciousness

So, is anyone else annoyed and pissed off that mainstream meda continues to represent our beautiful black brothers as incapable of contributing to society?

Is anyone else getting irritated with the constant representations of ‘green’, ‘eco-conscious’, and vegan as NOT black men?

Anyone highly skeptical about all the ‘facts’ that point to how ‘pathetic’ black and brown men are when it comes to being ‘leaders’ for alternative food and health?

Me too.

Above, performing on Oct 13 2012 in Oakland, CA at “Life is Living” is one of my inspirations is DJ Cavem Moetavation.

Listen to him. Listen to his words.

His brilliance in fusing together hip hop, veganism, holistic health activism… then bringing it all up to a higher consciousness by integrating black social justice activists from the past to the present. This man is brilliant and represents one of thousands of brothers of the African Diaspora in the USA who are holding it down and creating social justice/food justice/environmental justice paradigms that do not, cannot, and will not ignore neoliberal whiteness, corporate capitalism, structural racism, and nutritional genocide.

Because let’s face it: You won’t hear these types of critical engagements, found in his lyrics and speech, on PETA or VegNews, which I feel cater to neoliberal whiteness and hyperconsumerism and don’t go deeper.

DJ Cavem’s song above comes from his new album The Produce Section: The HarvestIncredibly brilliant albums that I highly recommend.

My 3 year old son, Sun, sings it all the time. He isn’t allowed to listen to anything unless it brings his consciousness up. DJ Cavem his is favorite singer. Sun is always talking about, “We won’t want no GMOs,” “No Monsanto,” and “I’m a grown man, and I grow food.” I link this musica with his lessons about food and herbs.

Thanks you Dj Cavem for being the type of mentor and leader we all need; and especially for the youth.

Ill effects of being racialized as white and “Wheatgrass”

This is the sequel to “studying racialization in vegans cultural studies” (go here if you haven’t seen that yet because it will help you understand what I mean by ‘racialized’ and ‘racialization’ http://wp.me/pzDsy-kC )

This video below is an update of my dissertation work, my funding campaign to get my PhD, and my friend DJ Cavem’s new vegan and green hip hop CD “Teacher’s Lounge” and video “Wheatgrass”

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Books:

Martinot, Steve. The Machinery of Whiteness : Studies in the Structure of Racialization. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010.

Sullivan, Shannon, and Nancy Tuana. Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance, Suny Series, Philosophy and Race. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.

Yancy, George. What White Looks Like : African-American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question. New York: Routledge, 2004.


New Ecosustainable Vegan Hip Hop Album: DJ CaveM

Like ecosustainable vegan hip hop? Check out the amazing new album by young Denver brotha, DJ CaveM. My favorite song is Wheatgrass. He is amazing people! Wish there were more young brotha hip hop artist role models like him: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cavemmoetavation. Click on the image to buy.

Album Notes

Who is DJ Cavem Moetavation?

Ietef Vita is DJ Cavem Moetavation. He is an internationally known Hip-Hop Artist, Environmental Advocate, Youth Advocate and political genius. He is currently employed as an Eco-cultivator at Denver’s Blue and Yellow Logic, a company devoted to transforming empty lots in urban communities into thriving and vibrant gardens. He is from the hood, loves the hood and wants to uplift the hood through educating and “moetavating” his community. DJ Cavem uses music and words as his tool to not only rock a crowd, but to more importantly bring justice to the environment of the hood.

Blue & Yellow Logic, The GrowHaus & Environmental Sustainability

The goal of Blue & Yellow Logic is to teach urban communities how to support themselves and the environment with this sustainability project. No back yard plots here. The gardens cover city blocks and provide enough food to feed several families throughout the year. Here Cavem supervises a soil delivery to agarden managed by the Eastside Grower’s collective. The project is gaining local and national attention. Recently, Blue & Yellow Logic has made arrangements to develop gardens at the office of Colorado Senator Michael Johnston and The Swansea-Elyria Aquaponic Green House, Growhaus Project in order to provide free organic food to the community.

Youth Outreach

This thoughtful young artist is no airy-fairy performer. Along with gardening comes teaching positive health practices. He engages youth in such forums as the Brown Sugah Fest panels promoting positive and holistic health and Peace Jam; a community music event targeting youth and engaging them in music, health and community activism practices. He encourages both young and old to take care of the environment, develop creativity, and practice behaviors which lead to peace. Contact us if you are interested in DJ Cavem doing a presentation at your school.

DJ Cavem’s Music
DJ Cavem is an international performer having performed in Africa, Europe and throughout the United States. His work has been recognized by such greats as Hazel Miller, Gil Scott Heron and Erykah Badu.

DJ Cavem is a prolific composer and writer. He has five albums available. The fifth album Deep Rokc is available on itunes and amazon now! DJ Cavem’s sixth Album, The Teacher’s Lounge, release date of July 30, 2010, features music inspired by Cavem’s love of HipHop culture, his advocacy for youth, environment and community and his deep rooted value of knowledge. Get ready for this hard hitting, socially conscious release.

DJ Cavem is available for commisions for writers, film makers and other artists. Contact us if you desire music for your art or filim project.

Booking Information
Live Performances, DJ & MC work:
DJ Cavem is available for solo performances as well as live performances with his band, Moetavation. Cavem can MC your special event and draw a crowd just because of his presence. See our booking page for more detailed information on how to book Cavem.

School Lectures and Assemblies:
DJ Cavem enjoys working with youth and sharing how to engage today’s world from a perspective of self-empowerment. He provides interactive classroom presentations as well as performances for your school’s assemblies, instructing youth in environmental, social, community and self awareness.

Non-profit & Corporate presentations:
DJ Cavem also facilitates lectures and panels for non-profit and corporate events. He has lectured at the Denver, Colorado, San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL Green Festivals. He provides workshops for youth and adults on urban sustainability at Denver’s GrowHaus Greenhouse project.

Vegan Hip Hop Movement: Founder, Kevin Tillman

Check out the interview with Kevin Tillman, founder of the Vegan Hip Hop Movement:

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

What is hip-hop doing for veganism?

Hip Hop like any other form of artistic expression is reaching more audiences that may not have had the access to certain information. Whether that be about the exploitation of chickens (S.K.I.P.’s “Chicken Little) or the exploitation of consumers and producers of fast food (Promoe’s “Fast Food World”).

What can hip-hop do for the vegan and AR movement that is not already being done?

Hip Hop can and does broaden people’s perspectives. Hip Hop has historically served as the mouthpiece for oppressed groups in society (i.e. the poor and people of color). Veganism applied to this level of activism only expands the circle for other oppressed beings, other animals. We are all animals and the sooner folks make the connection the better off we all are. (Cited from http://www.veganstraightedge.org/2000/01/08/vegan-hip-hop-movement-interview/)

Go to http://www.veganstraightedge.org/2000/01/08/vegan-hip-hop-movement-interview/ to learn more about this man of the African Diaspora involved in veganism and hip hop art movement.

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