• Social Innovation Fellowship



Award Year 

The Uprising Music Festival

The Uprising Music Festival is a conscious hip-hop festival that exclusively features socially responsible artists, vendors and sponsors. By increasing the popularity and perception of hip-hop as a positive driving force for justice, The Festival will combat the prevalence of violence, misogyny, homophobia and materialism in the mainstream hip-hop industry.

This work matters to me because of my love for hip-hop. I have been an avid hip-hop fan for my entire life. To me, hip-hop is not just music, but also represents my culture. Yet growing up, I often felt isolated and demeaned by the genre. As I grew older and was able to explore the music on my own, I discovered a great deal of conscious hip-hop artists. Artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Janelle Monae, The Roots, Nas and Talib Kweli showed me that hip-hop does not need to be used for destruction. Instead, it can be used for empowerment. But still I knew that these artists should not be so difficult to find. 

Thus, I am determined to help distribute conscious hip-hop to the masses. The industry standard should not be violence and degradation, but instead power and enlightenment. While I know that this project will benefit many people, it will also benefit me very personally as a lover of hip-hop who has also frequently felt degraded by the industry.