Rebel Diaz creates hip-hop space for South Bronx community

The Daily News profiled social activist rappers Rebel Diaz, yesterday. The rap group was created by Chilean brothers Rodrigo and Gonzalo Venegas and female Puerto Rican rapper  Teresita Ayala. The trio relocated from Chicago several years ago to become hip-hop community activists in the South Bronx.  The Venegas brothers received some notoriety in the summer of 2008 after a run-in with the NYPD, and a subsequent  write-up in the Village Voice. Their arrest  was caught on a camera phone and video uploaded to the Internet, which helped get their case thrown out of court.

In 2009 the crew started the Mott Haven community center Rebel Diaz Arts Collective with seed money from public and private grants, according to the Daily News article.  The name “Rebel Diaz” is a play on the Spanish word for rebellion, rebeldîa.

Founding member Ayala, who raps as Lah Tere, resigned from the group this week citing health reasons, according to a statement released Monday. Mama’s Hip Hop Kitchen, the AIDS/HIV, reproductive rights event she helped start four years ago returns to Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture tomorrow from 2p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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