Vegan eco-hiphop DJ raps about the OG lifestyle for food justice and sustainability
In this case, OG stands for organic gardener, and Denver's DJ Cavem wants kids to grow their own greens, but "not the ones you roll."
Ietef Hotep Vita, also known as "DJ Cavem Moetavation," is a hiphop artist, educator, and vegan chef who's using his lyrical skills to lay down tracks about the OG lifestyle, in the hopes of convincing kids to be gardeners, not gangstas.
DJ Cavem's 2013 album The Produce Section is described as an eco-conscious curriculum, featuring tracks about healthy eating, urban organic farming, local food, holistic health, and community organizing, and is part of his strategy to bring awareness to healthy living and food justice issues, through “teachin’ HIP HOP history and how to grow greens.”
DJ Cavem, who hails from Denver's notorious Five Points neighborhood, says hiphop is a "gateway to our youth," and because of that influence, the medium of hiphop can be a great catalyst for positive changes and a practical teaching tool.
He defines hiphop culture through an acronym - Higher Inner Peace, Helping Other People - and his work reflects that sensibility and ethics, both behind the mic and behind the shovel. DJ Cavem presents his work in classrooms, at summer camps, and in front of audiences, such as at TEDxYouth@MileHigh:
Earlier this year, DJ Cavem ran a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, with the intent of providing interactive workshops at inner city schools on urban farming and green jobs, as well as funding indoor and outdoor garden programs, but the campaign fell well short of its goal of raising $55,000.
His latest video, Hybrid Lex (I Can't Breathe the Air), is a bike-riding, hybrid-driving, sustainable living anthem that strikes at one of the issues facing many urban communities:
“This song in particular pushes riding a bike or driving a hybrid vehicle, making it fresh. And giving props to those that do it already. I really do have a low rider bike with 144 spokes, and I did grow up with asthma, this song is a testimony. My mission is to utilize my music to educate and to inform. I mention the air pollution because it is a serious problem in my community." - DJ Cavem
For more tracks featuring the OG lifestyle and green living, DJ Cavem has a 50 video playlist for "the true eco hiphop head," free downloads on SoundCloud, and more information about his albums and performances can be found at his website and Facebook page.