A long list of key artists in the local hip-hop community are coming together for the release of a new compilation titled Reclaiming the Community. Scheduled for release July 28, the compilation features local artists such as Odessa Kane, Beatsmith Resist, Tiny Doo, Aki Kharmicel and Real J Wallace, and is intended to "promote positive relations within the Southeast San Diego community," according to a press release.
Local nonprofit Pillars of the Community contacted Parker Edison, part of hip-hop duo Parker and the Numberman, to create the "soundtrack for the movement," Edison wrote in an email to CityBeat. He also says this is just one small event in a nationwide community empowerment movement.
"This CD is really just a reflection of movements that are currently happening all over the U.S.," Edison says. "The street rappers and hip-hop artists are the voice of those people. It's the natural outcome of that larger desire for self-determination that you'll see all through southeast San Diego."
Most of the artists featured on the album are native to southeast San Diego, and those that aren't still have close ties to the southeast community. But regardless of ZIP code, Edison says that the message of the compilation is bigger than the district.
"The message transcends southeast and is reflective of issues happening all around the United States in inner cities," he says.
Edison says the primary aim of the Reclaiming the Community album is to inspire others, and he hopes that it sparks other artistic movements.
"I think we'd all love to see similar projects being done using artists from other communities—painters, knitters, athletes, anything—to give voice to similar movements happening throughout the United States," he says.
A Reclaiming the Community concert is tentatively being planned for early fall.