Nimsins raps about East Oakland with love


Rather than just rapping about it, Nimsins took steps to facilitate improvement.

“The messages we give to children are at odds with our growth,” he says. “Being a father and a teacher made me aware of what I produce and what I do. I can’t be on bullshit.

After being hit by a stray bullet at the age of two in 1997 – an injury that left him with only one fully functional kidney – Nimsins turned his life towards the arts, civic engagement and building his community. . In the past, he dedicated himself as an after-school educator with non-profit organizations like Pueblo and safe passages Get active urban arts, visit classrooms and teach young people in her neighborhood about their rights, local stories and how to paint murals. Himself from Fremont High School, he knows the value of his “predecessors” who knew how to teach, guide and contribute to his career. Today, he continues to do so as a rapper, father, and graffiti artist.

“We get kids rocking with art, cultural literacy, hip-hop. Homework and life skills too,” he says. “There are a lot of Latinos here, so we also explore Aztecs and indigenous cultures, things like that. Just give back to the community. Everyone, teach one.

His actions and songs sound like the opening of a journal entry written by an observant, soft-hearted activist who simply wants to see better for his neighborhood. There are no flashy gimmicks of fame, no hyperbolic claims of toughness, no dissertation on his imaginary enemies. It is a purely meditative contemplation of his living conditions and an unfiltered glimpse of what he hopes to see changed. Yet despite its warmth, there is a roughness and urgency that oozes from having experienced the consequences of poverty and discrimination firsthand. In other words, it never turns around.

His self-education on figures such as the Black Panther Party, Che Guevara, Immortal Technique and The Coup informed his sense of purpose and possibility as an artist and community advocate.

In 2019, for example, Nimsins spent six months calling the city of Oakland, trying to fix a dilapidated basketball court in his neighborhood without success. His tweet about his frustrations went viral and the Golden State Warriors took notice. They sent a team of workers to renovate Concordia Park…with Steph Curry.


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