Turf Unity Project
BRINGING NEIGHBORHOODS TOGETHER WITH MUSIC
Some of the featured artists on Turf Unity Volume 2 include Oakland’s notorious Trunk Boiz, as well as East Oakland’s Queen Deelah. There are special guest appearances by Mistah FAB, Rocka-T reggae artist, and DJ Cochise of KRS-1. There are many artists from Cov Records, which is a youth-run recording studio that has been putting out music and organizing hip-hop shows for the last 5 years in the Bay Area. The Cov Records collective includes the artists Trinidad, D.Nok, Chaos Da Kader, Diamond, Lil-O, A1 Nemesis, Franceyez, Young Cheez, Joon, Jason Stuntz, Aubri, Sunni Daze, Miss Jones, Chuck Wester, J-Milli-on, Jas’ique, Doe Boy, Darcsage, and many more.
The objective of the Turf Unity Project is to encourage collaboration between rap artists from rival neighborhoods and turfs, and create music that can be performed at music showcases and community events. The project also encourages artists to develop business networks in their communities, and work together for self-determination of all poor and oppressed communities.
More than 50 young people from Art in Action, Cov Records and Silence the Violence came together at Ella Baker Center for the "Turf Unity Music Production Training” November 30th-December 2nd, 2007. Rap artists from all parts of Oakland, including neighborhoods that are often in conflict with one another, decided that the time was right to come together and use their music to call for an end to the violence that continues to plague Oakland's streets.
The young people spent the entire weekend tirelessly producing songs with the themes of "Silence the Violence," and "Turf Unity" (neighborhood unity). "We've lost too many of our folks to violence, and I feel that as an artist, I can use my music to get a message of peace out to the streets," commented Tony Fontaine from the rap group Full Tyme Hustlaz.
All the music created at the second Turf Unity music production training was put together as a professional CD project that came out April 11th, 2008. The first Turf Unity CD put out in 2007 sold over 1000 copies throughout the Bay Area in the first month, and there has been an amazing community response to the music. People in Oakland were really excited to see youth from the neighborhoods where violence was occurring promoting unity and peace, especially since many of the youth on the album have been directly affected by the violence.
The CD release party and music showcase for the second Turf Unity gathering was at the Karribean City in downtown. The show brought together over 30 rappers from Turfs throughout Oakland to promote unity and non-violence. The rappers that plan to participate in the event are advocating for an end to violence happening in the Oakland streets, and peace amongst rival turfs. The project is just the kick off event for a number of other Silence the Violence projects, Art in Action workshops, and Cov Records shows that will be happening throughout the year. Many of the rappers from the Turf Unity project have also performed at other Silence the Violence events, such as candlelight vigils for homicide victims and social justice rallies.