The Insurrection
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The Insurrection

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"At Blackstock, Getting Down, and Down to Business"

Standing onstage, Khari Gzifa's dreadlocks whip through the salty summer air. The dashiki-clad singer grabs the mike and sets about schooling the crowd at the inaugural Blackstock music festival in Clinton.

"This is how you start a revolution," the scruffy, goateed singer tells the 400 people gathered Saturday for one local buppie's answer to Woodstock.

Backed by hard bass grooves from Gzifa's rap-rock band, The Insurrection, he warns the crowd of his music's transcendent powers: "This is how you cut people's ears off!"...

Undaunted, the thirty-something Gzifa insists, as do many others among the dozen or so local hip-hop and spoken-word artists performing at Blackstock, that change must a-come.

"Woodstock was about getting everyone together," the former social studies teacher from Forestville says after his performance. Blackstock "is probably more about getting people who are disjointed back together."

"We as a people seem really comfortable with people driving with gold fixtures on the car while there are homeless people on the street," he complains. "Individualism is being pushed more."...

A budding entrepreneur, Asamoah has big plans for the property. He wants to establish an "urban resort." He says he will donate some proceeds to a Ghanaian charity. He talks of hosting kids at summer camps.

"We want to be more country club than club," he says. "We want to create an ambiance. Remember, whatever you might say, Walt Disney started with one little mouse."...

Several yards away, two festival-goers from Northern Virginia who identify themselves as J. Queen and Tiffanie B. are remarking on the success of the event. "I think it's been pretty peaceful," says Tiffanie B., 20, meaning no fights, no shootings, no beefs.

"It's making us feel like they can do [Blackstock] again," Queen, 21, adds.

Just seeing this amount of land in the hands of one black man is a revelation for Adjua Adama, a 27-year-old high school teacher from Pittsburgh. "I'm walking back and forth to get to my car, and I'm thinking I'm in 'The Color Purple,' " he says.

"The idea of cultural festivals and opening your home to strangers is a very African-centered philosophy," he continues. "When you go to the continent, that's what you find. They are very hospitable to strangers."

He applauds the attempt to revive the spirit of Woodstock. "The Woodstock generation had a feeling like they could make a change in the world," he says. "In this generation, they are more apt to watch it on CNN -- if they even watch CNN."

Rane, a 22-year-old radio personality on WPGC 95.5 FM and an aspiring rapper who performed at the festival, feels inspired. "I'm from Northeast," she says. "I don't get to see anything like this very often." Rane says her generation is plagued with so many problems that it's hard to find a cohesive strategy to tackle them.

"If hip-hop took a revolutionary direction, hip-hop could change the world, just like rock-and-roll did," Rane says. "Hip-hop artists have so much power these days. Imagine if they would use it for something besides money?"

"The seed has been planted, and it's a positive seed."

- Washington Post


Discography

BURN BABYLON BURN--LP(2002)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

THE INSURRECTION

The Insurrection is on the attack, openly revolting against those who have yet to witness the musical drama that they bring. This four member crew, hailing from the DC metropolitan area are introducing their aggressive, loud, but rhythmically precise sound to head bangers across the globe. This revolutionary Rock band has the candid lyrics and vintage sound to shake things up for a long time coming. Conceived in 2001, The Insurrection has rocked crowds inside and outside, opening up for Wyclef Jean, Soul Asylum and playing at diverse venues. At DC’s annual Live On Penn, Sunfest and Blacklove, we witnessed The Insurrection rock the Sun out the sky. In house, they have shaken the walls of Baltimore’s The Vault and DC’s Bar Nun, Grog & Tankard, Velvet Lounge and Toka just to name a few. Their musical influences range from metal, punk, funk, hip-hop, jazz to go-go.

In 2002, they released their musical debut, Burn Babylon Burn. They are currently in the lab working to complete their yet-to-be titled sophomore release. The Insurrection believes the time in now for another hard hitting Black Rock band to hit the scene, ala Bad Brains, Fishbone, and of course, Living Colour. They are here and they will definitely be heard.

KHARI MUENDA GZIFA (LEAD VOCALIST & COMPOSER)
Khari is the lead vocalist and composer. He has been composing lyrics, songs and poems since the fifth grade. He is a co-founder of Northside Records. His musical influences include Fishbone, Living Colour, Prince, George Clinton, Bob Marley, Civil Rite, Bad Brains, Joi, The Roots, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix. Khari says that the revolutionary lyrics of The Insurrection, hold his purpose, which is to Nation Build--this is his tool in assisting the underprivileged communities in their struggle, by spreading the word of their trials and tribulations through music.

KWENJI “JUICE” JACKSON (AXE)
Juice has been playing the guitar since the age of five. The musical composer of the group, he has been rocking in go-go bands, since age thirteen. Juice credits Hendrix the god, Chuck Brown, Junk, Backyard, Bob Marley, Ozzy w/Randy Rhodes, Jimi Hendrix, Redman, Mobb Deep, Biggie, Pac, and too many others to mention as major influences in his musical development.

GARRY IMES (BASS)
Garry raised in Maryland, has played the bass for the past seven years. His superior bass expertise allowed him to travel to Korea in 1999 to play with the Punk Rock band “Mondo Pepper” and “Drunk Mobb”. Garry credits Bob Marley, RUSH and Public Enemy as his musical influences.

CHRIS OLIVER (DRUMS)
Chris a Washington, DC native, began his percussion career in the church and started gigging with local church bands, rhythm and blues and later rock bands. Six years ago, Chris was just beginning his drumming career, now he is a regular fixture on the Rock-n-Roll scene. He credits Fred Hammond and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as his musical influences. Chris is busy refining his music and encouraging a host of young drummers.

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