Khafre Jay of Hip Hop for Change, Part 1

Khafre Jay found his power through hip hop.

In this podcast, the founder and executive director of Hip Hop for Change shares his life story. His parents met in the Bayview when they were kids. They got together around age 11 or so and have been with each other since. Khafre tries to imagine what his parents went through as a young Black couple struggling to survive and raise a family in San Francisco.

Owing to his dad's being a singer and actor, Khafre got started singing in choir at a young age. In his teen years, he was influenced by hip hop artists who were getting bigger and bigger, including some local stars like E-40. He says he saw those artists taking their own power from a broken system.

After getting into trouble while at a public high school, Khafre moved to School of the Arts, then located on the campus at SF State. He met other artists and started to get inspired. He also taught the children of ESL students around this time.

Then, at an Iraq War protest in 2003, along with several other folks, Khafre got beat up by police. This incident sparked the activist in him, something that continues to this day.

Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Khafre's life story.

We recorded this podcast at the Hip Hop for Change offices in Oakland in June 2021.

Photography by Michelle Kilfeather

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