Edge

‘War Child’ hip-hop star to perform, talk on campus

emmanuel-returns-to-the-battlefieldImagine living throughout your childhood in fear. Imagine being 7 years old and playing with a gun rather than toys. With all of this around you at such a young age, what would be your escape?

For Emmanuel Jal, it was music.

“It was music therapy,” Jal said. “It reduced my nightmares, my depression disappeared. I was very active.”

Jal escaped Sudan after nearly five years of being a child soldier and is now an international hip-hop star. He will be performing and talking about his experiences Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in Gusman Hall.

“Emmanuel Jal is on a whole other level,” said Jared Smith, the special events chair of Hurricane Productions. “He is such an underground superstar. It’s amazing.”

The event, which Smith described as “a few bars higher than def poetry and one bar below a concert,” is cosponsored by Hurricane Productions, the Council of International Students and Organizations, African Students Union, United Black Students and Invisible Children.

Jal has performed alongside Alicia Keys, Damian Marley and Five for Fighting at events such as The Concert to End Slavery, Live 8 and Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration in London. His music is also featured in the movie Blood Diamond.

Jal brings a unique and original style to hip-hop. His lyrics are very direct, almost as if he is speaking instead rapping.

“I’m telling my story through the music,” Jal said. “I’m bringing my neighborhood into the world just like other hip-hop artists do. What’s different is that I am the voice for those who can’t speak.”

Jal’s voice is now heard throughout the world and he is bringing his message to the United States, especially to universities. He is currently touring colleges, both performing and talking to students about his life and experiences. He will also be appearing on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report later this month.

“If you look at history, these [collegiate]people are the ones that have the power. If you go back to MLK, the university people were the ones that made the difference,” Jal said. “They have the free mind and can make the choices. They have the power. I’m trying to tell them, ‘Look you can make it happen.'”

Jal also practices what he preaches. He has recently begun eating only one meal a day, using the money that he saves by not eating to help build a school in Sudan.

Jal’s actions and determination are the reason Smith believes this concert is the perfect event for these organizations – this is why they think the university will embrace Jal’s message.

“This is something that I can relate to,” Smith said. “This is politics. This is music. This is history.”

If You Go

What: Emmanuel Jal Concert

Where: Gusman Hall

When: Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Cost: Free

www.warchildmovie.com

February 8, 2009

Reporters

Ian Hest

Contributing EDGE Writer


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “‘War Child’ hip-hop star to perform, talk on campus”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

After jumping three spots from No. 10 to No. 7 last week in the Amway Coaches Poll (one spot better ...

University of Miami weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney is definitely old-school Miami Hurricane. ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he was locked in. ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Kolby Bird had a career-high 21 kills, but the Hurricanes dropped a five-set battle to Notre Dame on ...

The Miami soccer team recognized its four seniors Sunday afternoon and then dropped a hard-fought 2- ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.