Born from the turmoil that sparked a revolution which is still shaking the world today. Born from the bloodshed that erupted when the Cold War turned hot. And ultimately, born from the same soil that spawned Black Panthers, Counter-cultures, Free Speech and Free Love. REVOLUTION OF THE MIND represents a collision and a fusion of politics, culture, music and militance from all over the globe. REVOLUTION OF THE MIND represents Hip-Hop in its purest essence. But most vitally, REVOLUTION OF THE MIND represents the people.
ROM consists of one MC (I.Sheik) and a lead turntablist/producer (D-Fi) whose influences are equal part Machiavelli and Miles Davis. Sheik and D-Fi work tirelessly not only at perfecting their crafts, but also at promoting justice and improving the lives of the people by conveying truth through art and standing with like-minded individuals in their community. Their approach reflects the historic intersection of political/social movements with art and counter-culture in the Bay Area, where ROM was created.
Since 2005, ROM has opened for artists such as Dead Prez, RZA & GZA, The Beatnuts, Guru of Gangstarr, Psycho Realm, Hieroglyphics, Zion I & The Grouch, and many others. ROM has also performed on stage alongside Sabac Red (formerly of Non-Phixion) as part of Sabac’s live routine, and plans to continue that relationship in the future.
In 2006, ROM connected with the creators of the groundbreaking 9/11 documentary “Loose Change”. As a result of that partnership, a free DVD of “Loose Change: 2nd Edition” is included in each package of ROM’s debut album “Rebel Rap”.
The Rebel Rap LP represents years of conceptual development, song writing, composing, recording and post-production, and it encapsulates the passion, politics and personal struggles of the group’s members.
Sheik was born amidst the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and his family was deeply entrenched, and often entangled in the political upheaval of that era. His father was an influential freedom fighter and a political official in the years immediately following the revolution. In the early 1980s, Shiek and his family were exiled from their homeland, and remain very active in the Iranian exile community, working toward the liberation of their people.
D-Fi also comes from a background marked by political turmoil. The grandson of Korean refugees, D-Fi demonstrates a diverse array of ideological and musical influences. He has spent more than a decade sharpening his skills as a scratch musician and producer, and utilizes both classical and modern inspirations in working to advance his art forms.
What distinguishes ROM, however, is not just the backgrounds of the group’s members. Sheik and D-Fi approach all of their projects as musicians, making certain that each record is sufficiently complex in its message and its musicianship to warrant being released to the world. “A lot of political-oriented artists in Hip-Hop are so wrapped up in the politics, that their music is garbage,” says Sheik. “The message is obviously vital, but there is a message and a medium. It does no good to craft a message that’s important to the people if you don’t have a mastery of the medium. If Michael Moore didn’t have a mastery of film-making, or Frantz Fanon didn’t have a mastery of literature, no one would give a shit what their message was about. A lot of these artists out now are just politically-enlightened cats who try to rap.”
Says D-Fi, “Our commitment to the music as well as the politics also comes from our love for the culture, and our desire to fill the void of what we feel the game is missing. Hip-Hop has shown itself to be the perfect medium for delivering messages of freedom, social justice and rebellion, but our love for Hip-Hop music is an entity by itself, separate from our political passions.”
“After all,” says Sheik, “I didn’t start rapping because I was in to politics. I started rapping because I love rap music. But I spit about what’s in my head and what’s in my heart, and politics is a big part of that.”