A long-time veteran of the hip-hop scene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lexxus Legal takes his influence on his community very seriously. Speaking in a way that sets his work apart from so much contemporary hip-hop, he says, “that in general rap without being engaged in the community means nothing.” Not only has Legal’s country lost more than 5 million people to the ongoing civil war, he tells us that his hometown of Kinsasha has the highest level of AIDS in the DRC. In an effort to combat the culture of violence infused in his community and to stem the spread of AIDS, Legal co-founded Racines Alternative, an organization that encourages young people to express their frustration through music rather than acts of violence. This short film profiles the rapper’s politically engaged lyricism and his belief in the power of music to stem conflict. As he says, “Through culture and rap we can succeed where the politicians failed. We can show that we’re ready to take the lead despite all that’s happened to us so that we can rebuild this part of the world.”

The film is also available on Vimeo.

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