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This was me over a decade ago repping Guåhan in the Hidmo - the community center on 20th and Jackson disguised as an Eritrean Restaraunt. The sacred space stewarded by @rahwita and Asmeret that gave birth to Hip Hop Period- that era’s only all ages show in the Town. #rahwaforever Photo of Hip Hop Period featuring Ronnie Rain wearing a Blac
I was a teenager and recognized that my peers and I had almost no opportunity to perform our music, to be in community and have our truths be witnessed, to experience hip hop shows- because there were no regular all-ages hip hop shows in #Duwamish Territory at that time.
I said to Rahwa, can we do shows here? And she emphatically said yes. We featured many of the artists that came out of the Katalyst Project, a drug abuse prevention project of WAPIFASA, all of us mentored by @GabrielTeodros, @khingz206, @djbgirl, @micflont, and many others
In Tigrinya, Hidmo means home. And it was home to the most vibrant and beautiful community - the most incredible all ages programming, an all women’s hip hop open mic, weekly African Drum night, international and national performers, film screenings, writing circles.
The police were targeting the Hidmo, trying to shut it down because the gentrifiers moving into the CD projected their racist fears onto the community. Rahwa organized the community to resist by centering the love we have for the space. She always invited those who did not
understand, and/or particularly like, what was happening there to come inside, check out the vibe, get to know her, and her people.
One night, because the Hidmo had a bar on one side, the police threatened to shut down Hip Hop Period, so Rahwa just said I’m shutting down the bar. Even though she would lose money that night and every night we had an all ages show - she prioritized a safe space for youth.
This is one of the places where I learned first hand about the connections between colonization and gentrification. Where I learned about how honoring ancestors and those before in a place before and as you walk is important everywhere you go. This is where I learned my work
is rooted in community. Community gives me meaning, value, and purpose. This is where I learned to hold on to all parts of my self. To rep Guåhan, especially because o has never been there (yet). And that is because Rahwa said “yes”. Every time we did this show, she always made
sure we ate, and ate well. Somehow this little CHamoru kid found a Guma’ to nurture me, teach me about integrity, love, respect, community, and connect me to the ancestors through you Rahwa.

RIP Rahwa Habte. I will always carry the Hidmo in my heart.
“They colonize the front row, of every fun show,
with their mean faces on all night and they won’t go,
Then they come to the hood for cheap houses,
Pissed when nobody of color here bounces,
Then they call the cops saying “theirs drugs and prostitution!”
When really it’s just the chant fuck the institution,
If you really that scared of crowds of Black men, why the fuck you move to 20th and Jackson?
Don’t even know em but you gonna attack them?
Pissed off cause we been seen outside rapping
‘oH mY GoD ThErE’s A cRoWd OuTsIdE!’
That’s how we cypher in the CD and the Southside
From my islands all the way to the ghetto,
From Hagå’ña to Manila to Othello
Go ahead let’s keep on with our walk, makibaka chants on point like isang baksak....
I’m saying this rap, cause I’m taking it back
Tryna steal our land but we taking it back,
So I be saying these raps, cuz they making up “facts”
They may have stole our land but we taking it back
They may have stole our land but we taking it back” - Taking it Back circa 2008
#RahwaForever #HidmoForever#HidmoMeansHome #GumaMatao
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