Group Fuses Hip-Hop and Spoken Word to Enact Change

Sunni Tribe, a group that combines of hip-hop and spoken word resembling that of Last Poets, is trying to take the present scene of hip-hop back to its truest art form of being a tool of social change.  Most recently Sunni Tribe had the opportunity to share the art form in front of about 250 people in the Howard University ballroom.

Messiah Ramkissoon, a member of Sunni Tribe, was the brainchild of the event, which was sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Association. 

Ramkissoon also booked the feature acts to perform, which consisted of Howard University students and local artists such as Free, Archie, Jason, and many more.  The event took place from 7:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. and attracted artists and people alike that had one thing in common: a love for spoken word and hip-hop. 

When asked what the mission of the program was, Ramkissoon replied, “To unite a diverse spectrum of art, through poetry, hip-hop, and song and to bring together people for a powerful event.”

People in the audience could not agree more with Ramkissoon’s comment, that indeed the event was powerful.

“I think Sunni Tribe made history, maybe not in the world or in the country, but definitely in someone’s life.  They have influenced me personally as a writer to not only write things that personally affect me, but to write for a cause,” said Diondra Humphries, a sophomore public relations major and aspiring poet.

Sunni Tribe has been described by many as surpassing the typical expectations of hip-hop by incorporating spoken word into their performances. 

“As a songwriter, with a strong emphasis on lyrical content they are a breath of fresh air,” said Malkia Thumbi, a senior legal communications major.

When Sunni Tribe performed their signature set “I Gotta Write” the crowd erupted with clapping and cheering as Ramkissoon went into his routine and said,

“I gotta write because we don’t look at the whole we only concerned with a fraction so as opposed to takin’ control we just wait for affirmative action.”