When most people think of rap artists, they tend to think of mainstream musicians such as Dr Dre or Sean Combs.

The problem with this is that they do not represent the broad spectrum of politically conscious hip hop music that is out there.

Unfortunately, there are many who associate rap with violence, mysogyny and materialism. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the legendary hip-hop pioneers such as Afrika Bambaata, Donald D and Public Enemy have been instrumental in creating the movement and culture that we know as conscious or positive hip-hop.

And one thing that they have always stressed is the importance of supporting those that continue to keep the movement going today.

Hip hop ambassador Dynamax (real name Joe Roberts) is one such artist. As someone who has worked very closely with Afrika Bambaata and Donald D, he is playing a major role in bringing the positive, political message of the genre to a whole new generation of music fans.

His first solo album was Equilibrium, which was then followed by The American. He dedicated his first solo album to the cause of Mumia Abu Jamal, a member of the original black panther group who is currently serving a life sentence for the alleged 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Dynamax album artwork cover

Dynamax album artwork cover

However, many believe that he never got a fair trial in the Supreme Court. Such is the depth of feeling that he even got a street named after him in Paris.

He has also worked alongside legends such as Kris Needs, a producer, critic and journalist known best for his book ‘Before They Make me Run’ on the Rolling Stone legend Keith Richards.

However, his journey into the heart and soul of conscious hip-hop is not just an American story. As a person who was given the task of being the face of American hip-hop in countries all over the world, Dynamax has participated in major projects
alongside punk and rock bands in the UK and great European producers such as Luc Besson on the “Yamakasi” trailer and on scores like “Un Ange”, with Cut Killer – P.Diddy’s Bad Boy French Crew.

One of the people that he is working alongside at the moment is producer Dom Beken, to produce a new album.

Speaking about his role working with Dynamax he said: “Dynamax is probably the most ‘on it’ lyricist and vocalist I’ve ever worked with so let’s say at no point in any of our sessions was he unconscious! We met when I was working on a project with Alex Paterson (The Orb) called High Frequency Bandwidth… we were looking for a vocalist to guest on some of our tracks for the debut album ‘Hell, Fire and Brimstone’ and mutual friend, the music journalist and DJ Kris Needs hooked us up.

“We just worked together so well that when Dynamax suggested we do a whole album together it was a no-brainer.”

He went on to describe how they then got together with artists from other music genres, such as Guy Pratt, from Pink Lloyd.

The result was to create an incredible collective of conscious, talented musicians who are continuing to spreading the message of the original hip-hop pioneers to the younger Generation.

Not only have they been hugely successful in doing so, but they are currently working on a new album and touring Europe, which has already drawn in thousands of fans from all over the region.

You can read the previous interview we did with Dynamax here.

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