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Yasiin Bey, Rapsody Headline as Black August Hip Hop Benefit Concert Goes Virtual: Exclusive

Yasiin Bey
Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage

Yasiin Bey at Webster Hall on April 26, 2019 in New York City.

The 22nd annual event will also feature Big Krit, M1 of dead prez and Audio Push.

Artists-activists Yasiin Bey and Rapsody are set as headliners for the 22nd annual Black August Hip Hop Benefit Concert. The free virtual concert championing social justice reform will air on www.blackaugusthiphop.com via YouTube on Aug. 30 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Additional Black August performers joining Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) and Rapsody will be Big Krit, M1 of dead prez, Audio Push, Oswin Benjamin, Sampa The Great and poet Jessica Care Moore. The concert is being presented by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) in partnership with Movement for Black Lives. Proceeds will benefit social justice political prisoners in the U.S. and their freedom campaigns.

In a release announcing the event, Rapsody says of her participation, “If we don’t care, if we don’t use our voice, if we don’t support these calls to action, how can we progress? So many before us, so many political prisoners, sacrificed for us to have the opportunities we are afforded today. I couldn’t create the art I do without some of those sacrifices. It’s now my turn to do my part so that those now and after me will have even more freedoms and opportunities.”

Adds Black August co-producer Monifa Bandele of concert founder MXGM, “Since 1998, the Black August Hip Hop Benefit Concert has used music to popularize and teach about the legacies of Black revolutionaries like Fred Hampton, Marcus Garvey, Assata Shakur and Nehanda Abiodun. Now in 2020, during a global pandemic, we are facing another racial justice reckoning and a wave of uprisings all over America. There are still so many reasons for us to celebrate Black August, and we will continue the legacy by amplifying our history of resistance and creating spaces for Black people to come together in community to recharge the revolution.”

Staged pre-pandemic at major New York City venues such as Playstation Theater and B.B. King’s, Black August has welcomed past performers such as Erykah Badu, The Roots, Dave Chappelle, Common, David Banner and Fat Joe, among others. For more information, visit Instagram @blackaugusthiphop or @mvmnt4blklives.

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