In Philadelphia, a city where a black male has almost as much a chance of getting a job as being struck by lightning (unemployment is 50% in some areas) and where black males face almost insurmountable barriers across every social-economic indicator measured, an indie hip hop producer/rapper has chosen to reflect the possibilities of “what life can be” instead of simply reporting what is.
A veteran of the Philly neo-soul hip hop scene, Hezikiah has worked with artists like The Roots, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, and Bahamadia, and although he may not be a household name yet, his presence in the industry is inspiring a culture of music rooted in community, knowledge of self, and positive change.
Bryan Green, our Philadelphia-based Game Changers Fellow, interviewed Hezikiah about his work as an artist as well as the greater work, “the Movement” of remaining connected to the community that produced you. For years, Hezikiah has been the driving force behind the Beat Society, a progressive, underground, Philly-based hip hop institution that mentors up-and-coming producers and gives them a chance to perform to wider audiences in a live club setting.
Whether producing or performing his own innovative and provocative music (he has three albums to-date) Hezikiah’s self-determined style has provided a new model for young black men to emulate. That’s why Hezikiah is a Philadelphia game changer.
To learn more about Beat Society, visit http://www.facebook.com/TheBeatSociety
theblackmancan.org wants to provide you with news stories from across the world that promote a positive black male image. Many of the stories featured here may not be on the front page of your local newspaper, but we believe that it is our job to inform you on all the positive black male news circulating the world.