What is Palestine in America?

Palestine in America Inc NFP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people in the United States about Palestinian-American issues using journalism and cultural events. Palestine in America hosts articles, short stories, poems written by or about Palestinians. We produce our print magazine quarterly and hosts educational and cultural events.

PiA is always looking for original content to publish. Send in your reports to Material will be edited by our team of editors and published as we see fit.

There are opportunities to earn blog space for regular  contributors, especially for student journalists, student activists and Palestinian-Americans.  Video and audio reports are accepted as well.

We ask that all entries be original. Any plagiarism will result in losing future opportunities to be published.

Once the report is published, Palestine in America reserves the right to keep or take down the report at anytime.

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My own way: How Safi G is taking Chicago underground by storm

My own way: How Safi G is taking Chicago underground by storm

This article was originally published in Palestine in America’s second annual print issue. Buy a copy here

Safe M. Safi, aka Safi G, is a 22-year-old Palestinian underground rapper hailing from Chicago’s North side. Safi G is part of a motley crew of Chicago native artists called , “Bad Ass Niños Doing Incredible Things” (B.A.N.D.I.T.).

Safi was introduced to hip-hop as a kid, during a period of time when he was living in Jordan. He decided on his rap name because “Safi” means “pure” in Arabic. The “G” can be interpreted any way the listener chooses—Genesis, Great, Gold, “anything positive.”

Safi G started writing poetry at a young age and was introduced to the underground hip hop scene overseas. His life changed when his brother Hasan gave him the late rapper Tupac’s “All Eyez on Me” album. After listening to Tupac’s “Ambitionz az a Ridah”, his fate was sealed.

“Music-wise, I idolize [Tupac], like I know every single one of his songs,” Safi G said.

Old-school hip-hop inspired him to work on changing the Chicago rap game by bringing back music with a message.

“I just don’t like Chicago music.” he said, referring to his “Last Day Freestyle.”

“It’s all shootings and sh*t….I saw sh*t go down. Music condones that. Let’s say the next generation is coming, our brothers, my brother, your brother, anyone’s brother, they listen to drill music. They’ll say it’s cool to shoot sh*t up, it’s cool to go out and gangbang, it’s cool to sell drugs, it’s cool to call women, you know out of their names. That’s not cool at all,”  he elaborated.

Safi G wants his music to tell a story. “If there’s not a message in your music, then I don’t think you should be making music,” he said.

Just listen to a few of his tracks and you’ll hear that his message is about freedom, revolution, and peace. He cites artists like Common, Nas, Chance the Rapper, and “Old” Kanye as artists he looks up to.

Safi G’s parents have always supported his work, but have encouraged him to go back to school. Safi G completed his General Educational Development (GED) and wants to study to become a mechanic, saying that it is important to get an education so he can “keep it behind [his] back and focus on [his] music.”

Safi G returned overseas  last June to reunite with family and find inspiration for his upcoming projects. He’s currently working on several tracks this summer, which he plans to release in 2017 with fellow B.A.N.D.I.T. artists. He is also working on a new EP with Iraqi artist and friend, Relic, They plan to call their collaboration “Arabian Knights.”

He hopes to break into the music industry one day—following in the footsteps of artists like Kendrick Lamar—by dropping thought provoking songs. Safi G wants to release his own version of “To Pimp a Butterfly,” which would reflect on the refugee crises in Palestine, Iraq and Syria.

Safi G and  B.A.N.D.I.T. be performed at Palestine in America’s Palipalooza concert in August, 2016, as part of a lineup of Palestinian talent in Chicago.

Photos taken at Palipalooza by Hoda Katebi (Twitter/iG: @HodaKatebi)

Photos taken at Palipalooza by Hoda Katebi (Twitter/iG: @HodaKatebi)

Frank Ocean mentions Palestine in new album

Frank Ocean mentions Palestine in new album

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America votes for investment screening, ending aid to Israel

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America votes for investment screening, ending aid to Israel