AWKWORD Talks Racism, Colin Kaepernick And How To Make America Great Again

"I say Hip Hop Saved My Life, because as a youth it kept me out of trouble, and after my mom died, it kept me from killing myself."

AWKWORD is a father, hip-hop activist, emcee and songwriter whose life goal is to draw attention to the things that matters using what he calls #Protestmusic. Over the years, the NY  based MC has remained vocal when it comes to issues pertaining to racism and social injustice in America and the world in general.

The self-proclaimed global hip hop Ambassador back in 2014 made history when he released what is regarded as the first 100% global hip hop album, World View. All proceeds from the project were donated to "Guns 4 Cameras," a 501c3 registered non-profit organization working to eradicate gun violence.

AWK whose fight against oppression is largely influenced by his late mother, last week released a new rap song titled Heather Heyer. The extremely "woke" record touched on everything that's wrong with Amerikkka right now including Donald Trump. As things in the country continues to get out of hand, Creative-Hiphop reached out to the 36-year old to discuss racism, diversity, Colin Kaepernick and how to make America great again.

It's 2017, how is racism still a thing in America?

Even our National Anthem is racist. America was founded and enriched by the same white European imperialist colonialists who ravaged Africa. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed less than 50 years ago for preaching NON-violence to attain civil rights and equality.

How does America get past diversity?

It's not something we need to get past. We live in perhaps the most heterogeneous society in the world, and that's a good thing. It's what makes our music, film, art, etc., so dynamic and often groundbreaking. But we need to do a better job embracing diversity with honesty. It is not fair to expect everyone to assimilate, it's not enough to simply accept our differences, and most of all it is unacceptable to coopt another's culture.

Will racism ever go away?

Prejudice and bigotry? No. There will always be Nazi fucks preaching bullshit to their children. But systemic racism? Possibly... Every day the leaders and their people in the communities of color, along with allies such as myself, are chipping away at the structures that maintain it. Racism is the way the powerholders keep the disfranchised down, via the prison INjustice system (policing, sentencing, etc.), unequal education, real estate crime, environmental crime, pay differentials. And it is my hope that one day we can have not only a Black president and a few Black congresspeople, justices and CEOs, but a system that is fair and just for all people. I do believe it is possible. And it starts with us. I use my music to inspire the everyman and everywoman, those with the boots on the ground.

How would you define a white supremacist?

Any White person who thinks he/she is better simply because of their skin color or 'heritage'. Before I found Hip Hop, I liked to make them bleed and leave them in the dirt. Blood and soil!

Would you consider Donald Trump a white supremacist?


Is today's America safe for your kids?

My kids? No, because they are Dominican females.

Is what the world seeing right now the true face of America?

That's why I spell it "AmeriKKKa"

How does America become great again?

Again?... We've made great progress since our founding. All we can do is continue on this path, or blow the whole thing up. We've never been "great", so the slogan is absurd, at best. But really Trump's campaign (and post-campaign!?) call was/is a (not so) subliminal reference to 'the good 'ol days' when the Klan could lynch innocent Black people without fear of repercussion.

You've been addressing social issues for years, mainly with your music. Will you ever get tired of speaking out?

I took a nine-month break from not only releasing music, but also writing it. I've been so focused on being a dad, raising two strong, confident, classy, creative young women, who make music too. But after Charlottesville I just could not take it anymore. I cried, looking out at my backyard. A lot of this is referenced in my latest record, "Heather Heyer", named after the activist who was run over and killed during the protests there by that sick Nazi fuck who rammed his car through the crowd. The fact that his friends and peers turned her murder into jokes and memes means I can never stop. No matter how busy I am, I'll never stop doing what I'm known for: making Protest Music for the people.

I've been speaking out in one way or another since my youth, thanks to my mom (RIP). And music has been my method, and my escape from madness, for years. I say Hip Hop Saved My Life, because as a youth it kept me out of trouble, and after my mom died, it kept me from killing myself.

Plus, it's a far more effective revolutionary tool than the random violence I was inflicting on any racist, rapist, etc., I ran across as a kid.

Colin Kaepernick caught a lot of heat for his national anthem protest last year. Do you support him?

I support Colin Kaepernick 100%, and I have from day one. Not only do I support his right to protest, I support his protest itself. And it's about damn time the rest of the league joined him.

Further, any football fan knows Kaep is better than half the quarterbacks in the  league. Not only that, controversy and fanfare bring big dollars to the teams and the towns they represent. So, it's a no-brainer that racism is the one and only reason for his joblessness.

Why do you think it took this long for more NFL players to join in?


You just released a new song called 'Heather Heyer.' Any more new projects coming up in the future?

I'll wait until something needs saying.
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