the people's poets
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the people's poets

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Band Hip Hop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS #10 on National Charts for Hip Hop"

NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS #10 on National Charts for Hip Hop
For the Week Ending: Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- Earshot

"NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS #16 on National MAY Top 20 HIP HOP Charts"

NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS #16 on National Top 20 Charts
For the Month of May 2009

"CD Release Party"

Week of April 16, 2009, Issue #704
Carolyn Nikodym /

There is rage in the People's Poets' debut No Life Without Roots. The rage is against life's oppression and society's omissions.

"We're taught to ignore in a way where we're only taught certain stories, right? By the way that the information is presented and what information is presented-a lot of information is left out," says MC solidario (aka Vlad Gomez). "Being taught to ignore, we're fed stereotypes; certain stereotypes are perpetuated about other countries, about immigrants who come here, and I think that not enough work is done to provide history or context to things."

While deep dissatisfaction motivates, it is the lives of ordinary people that inspires-as the local hip-hop group's name implies. The People's Poets-made up of Gomez, rosouljah (Rod Loyola), 4Life (Julio Garcia) and DJ Dice (Cristian Cousino)-are much more about making friends than enemies.

"You can express your frustration and your feelings, but our music is inspired more by love than anything. It's love for our history and the roots and the culture that we're a part of, that we've inherited. More than anything, we use the music to raise an awareness about contradictions and also about some of the positive people in history that we haven't heard about-or that their stories have been ignored," Gomez explains. "Whether you're doing spoken-word poetry or hip-hop music, you can increase your tone and you can let a little bit of rage out. I think that's perfectly fine. Letting out your emotions and your energy with flavour is quite different than expressing violence or hatred against another group-which we don't do. We're passionate about this stuff, so I think balancing your passion with how you deliver your message is definitely important."

The "where" also figures strongly, as well. "If you've got privilege, then you've got to use it," sing the three MCs in "The Game of Life"-and over the last two years, the People's Poets has lent its talents to many a march, gathering, protest and conference.

"Music is a part of every community," Gomez says. "Music-and art in all its forms, whether it's murals or theatre or any kind of art-is a useful tool in raising awareness about issues. If our way of supporting an event is to play 20 minutes worth of music and hopefully connect with some people, we're honoured to do it.

"I just think that you can't really talk about this stuff in a vacuum. You have to get out there and you have to be a part of these movements," he adds. "We've been influenced by the people that we run into along the way, whether it's at a conference or at a peace rally, because we hear their stories too, and we see the passion that they have for a certain issue and it inspires us to make more music; it inspires us to write different songs, and it inspires us to connect with other groups."

In making its first CD, however, the quartet had to set aside some alone time-take a bit of a break from performing. Between full-time jobs and other volunteer commitments, there simply wasn't enough time to sit down and write an album's worth of music. Now that No Life Without Roots is in the bag, though, not only are the People's Poets keen on writing and recording a second album, the group is also eager to celebrate. As important as it is to rage, there also has to be time to make merry. V

Fri, Apr 17 (9 pm)
The People's Poets
With Khadija, DJ Creeasion, Corvid Lorax, Tzadeka, Aroot's Bazaar, Souljah Fyah
Artery, $10 - VUE Weekly

"NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS No. 16 on National JUNE Top 20 HIP HOP Charts"

NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS No. 16 on National Top 20 HIP HOP Charts.
For the Month of June - Earshot

"City hip-hop trio to play Cuban fest, April 25, 2010"

City hip-hop trio to play Cuban fest

Island's influence inspires Chilean expatriates


Days before they're set to leave for Cuba, the members of People's Poets are madly penning new material, anxious to share their musical stories with a new audience.

The Edmonton hip-hop trio mixes social and political commentary with rhyme in their music, drawing heavily on their Chileanrefugee roots. The rappers have been invited to perform at the 17th annual World Festival of Youth Artists in Holguin, Cuba, which gets underway May 2.

There is much they want to say while they're there, and much they want to see.

"Most of our lyrics are in English, so we want to focus on some songs that are in Spanish," Vlad Gomez says. "We've always wanted to go to Cuba and perform."

The seven-day event is a global cultural exchange, where hundreds of artists from around the world gather to learn from one another, and to celebrate diversity in literature, poetry, art, music and culture.

"Rod (Rodrigo Loyola), myself and Chris (Christian Cousino) are all originally from Chile; my father was a political prisoner who came to Canada in the mid-'70s," said Gomez, "and Cuba has contributed so much to the development of music and culture in Latin America in the past 50 years.

"We've been influenced by Cuban music and Latin American music, as well as the history and the role Cuba plays in the western hemisphere."

Like Chile, it has had a tumultuous and complex political history, but Gomez insists Cuba "is a very misunderstood place."

In much the same way that the group doesn't always embrace popular political ideology, they also eschew the sometimes "artificial-sounding" mainstream music scene. Even so, in the three years they've been together, they've found a solid audience for their sound, getting what Gomez calls "decent" airplay from campus radio and CKUA for their debut CD, No Life Without Roots, and performing at festivals in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Some of their most important work takes place closer to home, in Edmonton, where they lend their support to a variety of community groups and organizations to help immigrant youth.

"There are youth today who come to Edmonton -- from Somalia, from the Congo -- who have had similar experiences to ours; our aim is to facilitate the experience of their own story and their own identity," Gomez says.

"Part of what we do is about youth empowerment, which is why being able to travel to Cuba is such a great opportunity for us."
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

Read more: - Edmonton Journal, Canwest Publishing


No Life Without Roots - March 2009



People’s poets are two Edmonton emcees and one DJ who rap about social justice issues, local and global. Representing their refugee roots from Chile this hip-hop collective mix rhymes about life experiences with social and political commentary. Performing at a variety of music festivals, cultural events and international conferences, people’s poets combine music and action for social change and community building.

People’s Poets have been invited by the Cuban Ministry of Culture and Tourism to participate in several events at the World Festival of Youth Artists, Romerias de Mayo, which will take place from May 2 - 8, 2010 in the city of Holguín, Cuba. The World Festival of Youth Artists held during the 17th Romerias de Mayo is an exceptional opportunity to network with and learn from over 400 guests representing over 40 countries during 7 days in the city of Holguin. During the Festival there will be a variety of presentations, symposiums, workshops and performances that will provide participants with new tools for cultural expression and interchange.

People’s Poets self released album NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS debuted at No. 1 on the CIUT 89.5 (U of Toronto) Hip Hop Chart in mid April and maintained a presence for 5 weeks. National chart activity also included 88.5 CJSR (University of Alberta) 90.9 CJSW (U of Calgary), 102.7 FM CILU (Lakehead University), CJSF 90.1 MHz (Burnaby) and CFBX 92.5FM (Kamloops) Hip Hop Charts.
NO LIFE WITHOUT ROOTS was also no. 16 on the top 20 Hip-Hop earshot charts for May and June 2009!

Aside from lending their voice and support to a variety of community groups, the people’s poets also offer workshops on hip-hop, art and resistance, and tools for expression.

Workshops have been provided for:
Edmonton Immigrant Services Association
Change For Children Rural Roots
University of Alberta International Week
Global Youth Assembly John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
Alberta Federation of Labour

Festival & Conference Highlights

2010 - Edmonton Public Library Freedom Ball, Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
2010 - Pras of the Fugees and Haiti Relief, Global Awareness Week MacEwan University (Edmonton, AB)

2009 – Make Poverty History, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
2009 - Ernesto Che Guevara Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2009 - Youth Emergency Shelter Society Grand Opening (Edmonton, AB)
2009 - IHuman Block Party
2009 - Arts on the Ave Eastwood Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2009 - Governor General Hip Hop Youth Dialogue and Concert
Global Youth Assembly Ignite Change Now (Edmonton, AB)
2009 – 2nd Annual Hip-Hop in the Park (Edmonton, AB)
2009 Slingshot Hip Hop Edmonton Premiere
2009 University of Alberta International Week
Opening Ceremonies and Finale Concert

2008 Once de Septiembre Commemoration (Edmonton, AB)
2008 Parkland Conference (Edmonton, AB)
2008 The Works Art and Design Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2008 Heart of the City Music Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2008 Hip Hop in the Park (Edmonton, AB)
2008 May Day Cabaret (Edmonton, AB)
2008 Alberta Social Forum (Red Deer, AB)
2008 Rural Roots Conference (Gull Lake, AB)

2007 Global Visions Film Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Resistance and Revolution: Che Guevara 40 year Commemoration (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Edmonton Poetry Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Igniting for Change Summit (Edmonton, AB)
2007 3rd Annual Anti-War Hip Hop Festival (Vancouver, BC)
2007 The Works Art and Design Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Heart of the City Music Festival (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Voices for Unity (Edmonton, AB)
2007 Art Aware (Edmonton, AB)