Hip-hop artist Boots Riley raps with the crowd at Moot Court,
in the University of Otago Richardson Building, yesterday.
The controversial American rapper and political activist
regaled a packed court with his public lecture, ''Hip-Hop and
the Class Struggle'', as part of a media, film and
communication department symposium.
''There are so many parallels between New Zealand and what is
happening in the US. On Friday nights, everyone is wondering
where the party is at and at the end of the month, everyone
is wondering how they're going to pay the rent,'' he said.
''It's translated into different ways, of course. But we're
in a worldwide economic system and I want to talk to people
about the need for a movement for social change. If we want
any power to change, we have to use labour as a tool. People
can make change by withdrawing their labour. They can shut
down an industry. Otherwise, we're just complaining.''
The 42-year-old Coup frontman is regarded as one of the most
influential radical American musicians of the past two
However, his highlighting of economic inequality and
exploitation issues has also seen him monitored by United
States Government intelligence agencies and barred from
speaking at universities.
Riley will play a Radio One acoustic session with hip-hop
producer Scalper and DJ Goldstein at Chick's Hotel tonight.