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Ghetto Concept

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In 1993, Ghetto Concept released their first single "Certified" on vinyl and cassette. It was distributed to 36 Hip Hop outlets across Canada. The group won back-to-back Junos (Canadian Music Awards) in 1994 and 1995 for 'Best Rap Recording'. Still they remain unsigned by a major record label. Undaunted, they formed their own record company, Seven Bills Entertainment.

Rap serves as an anthem for social consciousness and self-empowerment; the style is poetic, while the lyrics are autobiographical. The genre appeals to both black and white audiences; the rappers provide a perspective ignored by mainstream society: it is the voice of the anti-establishment, viewing authority, such as the police and the government, as the oppressor. Rap is a dissident voice too popular for the music industry to ignore, and too independent to be trusted.

Whatever your position on censorship may be, there is no doubt that rap has been unfairly targeted and subsequently made to be the scapegoat for a paranoid society, which chooses to flex it's muscle in the same face of a people whom they have enslaved for decades. Although the times have changed, the battle stills rages and freedom of speech hangs in the balance. The greatest threat to a civilized society is ignorance, not music. The hypocrisy is annoying, while both media and parents have embraced the Spice Girls -- who are marketing sexuality to nine year old girls or Madonna who fondles herself on stage -- they denounce an art that both educates and inspires youth.

Securing this interview with Kwajo of Ghetto Concept provided a lesson in patience. Months of phone tag passed before an interview could be secured. I made interviewing the group a top priority. Their video, "Krazy World", is excellent. I found the lyrics powerful, and the message timely.

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