Libra Project
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Libra Project


Band Hip Hop Reggae


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Over Troubled Waters- Libra Project Video Release Party"

March 10, 2007

Over Troubled Waters: To the echoing chants of "Gringo, Go Home," President George Dubya Bush requests another $3.2 billion for 8,200 more U.S. troops as violence continues unabated in Iraq, and opium farmers in Afghanistan post record harvests (junkies everywhere rejoice).... Director Robert S. Mueller III admits that the FBI abused the powers of the PATRIOT ACT to access the private bank, telephone, and internet records of U.S. citizens...Big Brother IS watching you.

We Build a Bridge: Back at home before the Libra Project at On the Rox, watching Gandhi. As sectarian violence threatens a recently liberated India, Gandhi scolds Hindi separatists: "I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Jew - and so are all of you."

Over Troubled Waters: Peak and I are driving down into the heart of Western Babylon itself, the Sunset Strip: "It's the day of Pharoah it seems/Instead of slaves to kings/We become slaves to things." And the slaves are out in force, rolling in style, striding the concrete runways of plastiCity with looks to die for (and many do, such is the price of beauty). And what did the Son of David say? "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity."

We park in front of the Bank of Amerikkka. My ears are greeted with the broken refrain of "Over the Rainbow," courtesy of a greying elder of the Pleasure Zone. A quick stop at the red, white, and blue ATM: I bow before the money god too, and I am reminded of Sandow Birk's painting of Dante's journey into the Gates of Hell. Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter. I turn to the street musician and his pet rodent running round and round and round inside a wheel: "The American Way," he suggests. "Oh, what a rat race," I reply. He shows me his other rat companion, bloated and prostrate. "She just likes to lie there and eat pizza," he laments. "It's the American Dream," I concede. I get in line with the others, pay the man, and head upstairs.

I meet Jason, the Rogue Scholar, at the bar. We waste no time and begin to reason: D.A. Gonzales invading our privacy—"Oops, sorry....It won't happen again," the absence of black men in black churches ("they're all being thrown in prison"), KPFK Divine Forces Radio—KRS ONE, Dialated Peoples, Saul Williams, British oppression of the Irish, Hugo Chavez and "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," 9/11 (How did those planes fall down anyways and where is the wreckage of that plane at the Pentagon?), trans fatty acids vs. marijuana, and Cynthia McKinney speaking in L.A. about her new movie American Blackout.... "Through cultural identity, we can have cultural unity/So we can be a family and one Hip Hop community/Creating a lyrical revolution to end our propaganda pollution." Jason pauses, "I'm writing her in." I think about it for a minute and decide, "Who better to run this nation than a Black woman? Who knows better what this empire can do?" "And a single mother too..." he chimes in.

We Build a Bridge: As we imagine another world, Libra Project takes the stage. All different folks in the crowd: dreadlocks, baldheads, black, white, yellow, and indigenous. And here come the beats. "Fiya! Fiya!" Here comes Rasta. "Fiya! Fiya!" Here comes Jah Love. A full stage: drum 'n bass hitting, MCs bouncing: This is the Libra Project: Seventh Sons & Daughters of the Seventh Sign. The Communicators. The Seekers of Balance, Equilibrium, Justice. The Keepers of the Scales. "In searching days for answers and nights for questions/Bridge sun's spiritual inspiration to moon's soul-testing blessings...." Yet the Graffiti written on the wall reads, "Babylon has been weighed and found wanting," and lest we forget, Libra is the Sign of Revolution. A Project is a scheme, a plan, an extensive undertaking. To Project is to devise, visualize, send forth, and communicate vividly. Maybe the Gladiators said it best: Dreadlocks, the Time is Now.

Over Troubled Waters: After the show, I'm outside, kicking it with Shuummonik, Peak, and Jason. We're back on politics again. Jason confesses, "I'm frustrated, man. I'm frustrated. I feel like I'm in a balloon, trying to punch through...but the walls just keep bouncing me back...." I want to tell him I feel his pain. I want to tell him if you aren't outraged, then you aren't paying attention. I want to tell him that the sun will come out tomorrow. But I'm looking down the Strip, at the valets and the bouncers like footmen, and the children of Mammon, of the Bling Bling, where fashion, not culture, reigns supreme, and I admit, I feel troubled.

We Build a Bridge: And that's when it happens. Out there on the sidewalk, surrounded by the madness, without and within, Jason busts a rhyme:

pushed in to California.../Crumblin herb like…/Feta cheese/Whatup w/ the greens/..Tryin to fill my cup up/so I'm lookin for C.R.E.A.M./...Narrow my focus/...The most dope…/Might quote this/approach this/Hopeless/...Play my cards right/Hold 'em close to where my nose is/Give thanks to Godddddddddd……..

This scholar has stumbled upon the key, our path out of misery. No one told him to spew. It was second nature. He just knew what to do. He was building his own bridge from frustration to hope, giving voice to his aggravation, his awareness, his dreams...."The world of visionary experience and the magic in the irie meditation/Freeing up the minds of the Nation, freeing up the minds of Creation." This is the work of the artist. This is how we resist. This is how we struggle. This is how we overcome.

This Is How We Build a Bridge over Troubled Waters. A bridge between Hip Hop and Roots Rock, between black red yellow and white, a bridge between past present and future, between yin and yang. Balance The Scales. Libra Project. And you don't quit. And you don't stop.

"Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always." –M.K. Gandhi

the tin man - Mensa El's English Prof.

"Libra Project video"

2007 Abbot Awards® Winners
A big congratulations to all of the 2007 Abbot Award® winners! Trying to pick the best of the festival for curated and Audience Choice awards is no easy feat, considering the excellence this year in selections to choose from. We wish all the filmmakers the best in 2007.

Audience Choice Music Video - The Libra Project's BRIDGE
The Audience Choice Abbot Award for music video went to Silver Lake directors Jethro Rothe-Kushel and James Naish for BRIDGE, the debut single by up-and-coming LA hip hop collective THE LIBRA PROJECT, which made its World Premiere at the OVFF. (Photo: The Libra Project members)

see video here:
- The Other Venice Film Festival


The Libra Project EP-2004
"It's Just the Way," "B.R.I.D.G.E." and "Fiya"
have gotten radio airplay from the EP



Libra Project started in 2002 in Western Massachusetts when brothers Joe and Ben Gell joined forces with vocalist/sax player, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel. Joe and Jeremy had found a musical camaraderie while playing traditional African drums together in the Kusika Drum and Dance Ensemble. Shortly thereafter, Roberto, the youngest of the Gell brothers joined the group.

The Libra Project integrates a powerful live musical union of hip hop, reggae and funk.
Their varied sound and message bridges all generation gaps and is deeply conscious and socially-engaging while remaining positive and uplifting. In 2005 the group relocated to Los Angeles and have performed with various musicians with a rotating lineup in Los Angeles. Keyboardist Gabriel Eng joined the group in 2006. Following up their debut, the group is currently working on a Live EP to be released this year.

------- check the award-winning "B.R.I.D.G.E." video:

The members of Libra Project have performed at the following venues around North America:

The Mint (LA)
The Derby (LA)
On the Rox (LA)
Little Pedro's (LA)
The Good Hurt (LA)
14 Below (LA)
El Cid (LA)
Club Gabah (LA)
Kava Lounge (SD)
Velvet Jones (SB)
Saltier Palace (SLC)

CARCEN festival (LA)
South Central Farms Benefit(LA)
Westwood V.A. (LA)
The other Venice film festival (LA)

The Good Life (Bos)
Ned Devine's (Bos)
Rogies (Bos)
The Middle East (Bos)
The Western Front (Bos)
All Asia (Bos)
The Milky Way (Bos)
The Choppin Block (Bos)
Bills Bar (Bos)
The Midway(Bos)
The Strand Theatre (Bos)
Club Envy (Bos)
Club America (Lynn)
Front St. (Salem)
Rhumbline (Gloucester)
Iron Horse (North Hampton)
MASSMOCA (North Adams)
ClubHelsinki (Great Barrington)
La Choza (Pittsfield)
Webster Underground (Hartford)
Rusty Nail (VT)
Snow Barn (VT)
Yellow Kitten (RI)
11(North Adams)
Jupiter Room (Montreal)
Le Swimming (Montreal)
Le Devian Orange (Montreal)
Maison du Reggae (Montreal)
Le Zaricot (Quebec)
Le Ninkasi (QC)
3rd Eye Open Festival (New Bedford)
Charlemont Reggae Fest (Charlemont)
Drums around the world (Amherst)
World Unity Festival (NYC)
Graffiti Hall of Fame (NYC)

Williams College
Salem State
Emerson College