It was already clear upon his first breath, on the African island of Mauritius, that Mohammad Ali was destined to bridge the gap in Canada between social justice and Hip Hop.
MC Mohammad Ali first came to Canada at the tender age of eight. By the time he turned sixteen, and throughout his high school years, Mohammad could be found spitting rhymes on Toronto park benches and inside stairwells. With time, his passion for music grew stronger and, combined with a passion for social justice, became a force to be reckoned with. Today his music takes emceeing into every genre, be it Techno, Jazz or Salsa and infuses intricate flows and an energy level that is matched by very few others. All of this while still bringing forward a message of peace, unity and solidarity.
His work in the community goes beyond performing as an Emcee. He has given lectures and workshops on campuses across Ontario about the political roots of Hip Hop culture, examining the emergence of Hip Hop culture as one of the purest and most important legacies of the civil rights movement in 1960’s America to its transformation to what we see today: A vital culture globally wrapped in contradictions. He has also worked closely since 2006 with social justice organizations such as the Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canada Haiti Action Network and the War Resisters Support Campaign, working to both educate Canadians on a local level and affect change nationally.
In his work as a Hip Hop artist, social justice activist and post-secondary student leader, Mohammad has shared the stage with the likes of artists such as KRS-One, DL Incognito, Dan-E-O, DJ Dopey and Propaghandhi, among others, and has performed all over Canada, from the steps of Parliament Hill during the globalization protests against the failed SPP agreement in 2005, to small club concerts in Africa, spreading his message to the world. In 2004 and 2005, He cut his teeth as an emcee in Havana, Cuba rocking local stages with the Los Sicarios crew, and producing "The Habana Sessions" mixtape under the alias 3rd Word.
Upon his return from Havana, MC Mohammad Ali began work on his first solo album, "Such A Long Journey". The 2006 release was a benefit project for US soldiers who opposed George Bush’s wars of terrorism, and were seeking refugee status in Canada. The album, and its accompanying national music tour, "Not In Our Names" , helped to raise awareness across Canadian campuses about the plight of these soldiers, and was able to provide over $4,000 to the legal costs and material needs of the soldiers.
That year, through his participation with the Canada Haiti Action Network, MC Mohammad Ali also helped to produce the compilation album "Hands Off Haiti", which has raised over $2,000 for the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti to date. The project featured top Haitian and Canadian artists such as So Anne, Chavanou Chavanne, DL Incognito, Arabesque and Propaghandhi.
From 2008—2010, Mohammad served first as a Vice-President, then President of one CESAR, the students' union representing Part-Time students at Ryerson University, Local 105 of the Canadian Federation of Students. Much of his on-campus work in building the student movement has been campaign-related, covering topics like dropping tuition fees, anti-racism, women’s rights and sustainability. In 2006, he initiated "Students in Solidarity with Haiti", a network of student clubs in Ontario, and worked as the coordinator until 2010.
In the Fall of 2010, MC Mohammad will be releasing his second solo project, "I-Rep", a double album featuring: (i) "Initial Representation", a Hip Hop album rooted in the Ol' Skool traditions of up-tempo productions, mixed with high energy lyrical delivery and (ii) "Ignorance Reproached", a spoken word album meant not only to explain the contradictions in the world we live in, but also to inspire collective action toward the mantra, "A Better World Is Possible".
MC Mohammad will also be releasing the "I-Rep: Instant Replay" mixtape in the Summer of 2010 to accompany the upcoming double album. The mixtape will be available as a free download online at socialisthiphop.com. In addition to his "I-Rep" releases, Mohammad is currently working on "Hands Off Haiti II" and "Hands Off Burma" compilation albums, respectively.
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