| Toki Wright is a hip-hop artist and an implement for social justice from Minneapolis. Coutesy photo by Alyssa Macy 2010
Toki Wright often serves as an opening act and “hype man” for hip-hop’s Brother Ali, and there are similarities in their pacifist avenues, but Wright definitely casts his own shadow.
An avid historian of black history, raised in a Buddhist household, Wright, a hip-hop artist in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, devotes equal if not more time to his work with war-affected children in northern Uganda as well as helping Brother Ali on the Occupy Homes Minneapolis project, which saves people from foreclosure.
The poet, emcee and community organizer is the newest artist on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label. He has been featured on recordings by Atmosphere, C-Rayz Walz and P.OS. and has performed at SXSW, Coachella, Scribble Jam, Bumbershoot, Sons d’Hiver and Prairie Home Companion.
And on Friday, March 29, a performance at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum will be added to his résumé. The artist will be part of the Short Circuit Tour with Carnage and Kristoff Krane starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7.
To hear Wright’s music is to step into his community service as his music, message and mission are all entwined.
He is the department head of the nation’s first fully accredited hip-hop studies program at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minn.
Wright also has led the nationally recognized youth organization Yo the Movement, and taught hop-hop history and performance to former child soldiers in the city of Gulu in northern Uganda with the organization H.E.A.L.S.
Two of his songs are featured in the film “Justice,” nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
He is known for his intelligent rhymes and original productions as well as an energetic stage show.
Carnage is a beat box artist and Krane is a freestyle, improv-type performer.
To sample artists on the Short Circuit Tour visit: