Public Radio International story on Tem Blessed

Arts, Culture & Media

Hip hop artist Tem Blessed brings a green message to a new generation

‘Green Energy Artist’ Tem Blessed rapping at the annual Connecting for Change conference in New Bedford, MA.

Credit: Connecting for Change, the Marion Institute

Hip hop might not be the sound that music fans associate with environmental action, but “green energy” hip hop artist Tem Blessed is using his music to speak directly to young people about sustainability.

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

“Hip hop is the voice of the youth,” Blessed says. “It’s what really touches them — and we look to bring some of these messages through the music, using hip hop as a tool to educate, to inspire, to have the youth get out there and create some of their own hip-hop in a way that’s constructive, energizing and has a positive focus on the future.”

Blessed says he has always been into “socially conscious hip hop.” “I came up during the time 1992 through 1996 — what I call the ‘golden era’ of hip hop,’ where you had KRS1, Public Enemy, Eric B and Rakim — all these greats, who were always teaching us something, teaching us about the world and other cultures,” he explains.

When he attended a conference called Connecting for Change, his mind “got blown” by all the information he learned about the state of the natural environment and about the need for sustainability. “It was just a natural evolution to go from social justice topics to sustainable topics, which always has equity involved in that,” he says.

One of Blessed’s raps, ”I Am the Bee,” has to do with colony collapse disorder, a topic seldom addressed in modern music of any kind, but which Blessed takes on with a passionate urgency.

I am the bee.
Pollinate the truth, if you choose to see.
Pollinate the youth to truly be free.
Pollinate love, let’s all agree
I am the bee.
Keystone species, we need these bees, honey.
They pollinate most things you eat.
Funny, they do this for free, without a fee.
Billions of produce produced nationally.
Now, millions of bees have abandoned their hives.
If they disappear, in four years the human race will die.
That’s a quote from the famous scientist Einstein.
It’s logical to anyone with half a mind, man.
It’s horrible.
Where you think where you going to run and hide?…

“As Einstein said, ‘If the bees die, we die,’” Blessed says. “We have only four years left [once they die], because they pollinate most of the things we eat. So when I heard about this information I said, ‘My family needs to know about this. My community needs to know about this. The world, the planet needs to know about this.’”

Blessed is originally from Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, but he grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His name combines two aspects of himself.

“My first name is Temistocles,” Blessed explains. “It’s Greek, although I’m Cape Verdean. But I always knew I was blessed to have talents. I could draw, I could write, I could sing … and a great family that led me to where I’m at today.”

He tells a story about his childhood which, he says, illustrates how the people of the world must respond to the planet’s present climate crisis.

“When we used to go out anywhere, my father kind of trained us to get back together when he needed, so there was this whistle he used,” Blessed explains. “If you heard that whistle you had to come running. And if you didn’t come running you were in trouble.”

Humanity definitely needs to hear that whistle, Blessed says. “We have a climate crisis going on right now, and if we don’t do something right now, we will not have a future,” he says. “So now is the time for us to do something. Listen to the whistle. The scientists are ringing it and blowing it loud and clear. Let’s do something, people.”

This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood

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Hip hop artist Tem Blessed brings a green message to a new generation

Performing TODAY 12/11/15 Greenfield Arts Block

Come help us celebrate!

Tem Blessed and Blest Energy feat. DJ EC Rock will be Performing today in honor of the Northeast Biodiesel Plant.

Co-Op Power is nearly done building our biodiesel plant, Northeast Biodiesel!

Friday, December 11th from 6 pm to 11:30 pm.

Arts Block, Greenfield MA

Party $5;  Dinner $15

6 pm Dinner catered by Craig White from Hillside Pizza

Beverages from Artisans Beverage – Check out their Ginger Libation! And learn more about how they’re growing their business.

Music 7-9 pm Co-op Jazz Band with our Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Michael Suter

Music 9-11:30 pm  Hip Hop with Tem Blessed and his Band.  They’ll have us dancing!

Come find out how you can use all this biodiesel that Northeast Biodiesel will be making (it’s easy if you have a diesel vehicle or oil heat system) and get updates on all that Co-op Power, your renewable energy cooperative, is doing – from biodiesel to community solar and energy efficiency.

Move along on your journey to fossil fuel freedom and celebrate with all the wonderful Co-op Power and Northeast Biodiesel members and staff, we’re so excited to see light at the end of this tunnel that we’ve been in for so long!

 

Get tickets Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/co-op-powers-biodiesel-party-tickets-19678688487

DEC. 17, 2015 – SHOW IN CAMBRIDGE, MA

 

 

Come see Tem Blessed, Cita-Light, Nadia and the Blest Energy Band perform live in Cambridge, MA. Bring your friends and come experience this music and movement! Autographed CDs and T-Shirts available. Tickets available Online.

click below for tickets:

https://tickets.aftonshows.com/TemBlessedCitaLightandBlestEnergy

NEW – Tem Blessed – The Money Song Video

Watch the New video – The Money Song by Tem Blessed and Cita–Light off the Surreal album. Produced by Jay Beats.

Available at www.temblessed.com, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon etc.

Download it here. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/temblessed5

Don’t Shoot #BlackLivesMatter

 

Don’t Shoot by Tem Blessed

They taze us, choke us, stomp us with their Boots….Hands Up!

Don’t shoot!
They beat us, they shoot us, stomp us with their Boots …Hands Up!
Don’t Shoot

You afraid of my skin?

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Have You Watched our Latest Release?

Newest video from Blest Energy. Starring Cita-Light feat. Tem Blessed. GORILLA!!!!

http://temblessed.com/videos/

Video release party and live performance

Thanksgiving Eve. Come celebrate with us as we Premier the new GORILLA music video! Wed. Nov. 26 8pm…LIVE show with Blest Energy to follow!!! #gorilla #citalight #temblessed #surreal #blestenergy

New Album “Surreal” ready for download!

The long awaited Tem Blessed album “Surreal” hit the shelves on 9/9/14.  We are happy to say that the response has been tremendous. We are grateful for our die hard fans and a huge bunch of new fans!  We at the Blessed camp want to say thank you. If you have not downloaded the new album you can find it here on itunes and or cd baby

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An Environmental Hip Hop Activist

Some people may be surprised to hear that a hip hop artist would welcome an opportunity to perform at a large land conservation conference.  And some in the audience at that land conservation conference may doubt that such an artist’s work would be relevant to the topic.  But, thanks to a progressive, conservation-minded local artist named Tem Blessed and his recent powerful performance, such presumptions would be wrong.

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