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'Everything Is Us': Tulsa Hip-Hop Collective Educates, Tells Own Story With Fire In Little Africa

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We are the new Black Wall Street. We are descendants and non-descendants, but we all represent Black Wall Street.
Dr. Stevie Johnson (Dr. View)

This is Songwriters & Tour Riders, a music podcast from KOSU and Oklahoma State University and hosted by Matthew Viriyapah.

Combining the talents of more than 40 different artists, rappers, poets, and singers, Fire in Little Africa hopes to shine on not just the Tulsa hip hop scene, but also a part of history that for many of the artists was never really taught to them in school.

Listen above to hear more about how the album was recorded, the growing Tulsa and Oklahoma hip-hop community that it represents, and what it means to them.

Steph Simon On Embracing His Hometown

"I used to look at North Tulsa like a place that didn't have anything, and there wasn't anything for me. Then I started looking at it like a blank canvas, and I'm an artist. So, when an artist has a blank canvas, you create." — Steph Simon

Why Telling The Story Of The Massacre Is Important

"We want to acknowledge the history, acknowledge the importance of teaching it and try to do some real healing. I think the intention of the project is definitely to inform, to educate, and to heal. We can't heal from racial trauma, we can't learn what can happen when racism is unchecked without going through the story, without going through history." — 1st Verse

"When history is not talked about, you're either bound to repeat it, or for those that were victims of it, you lose your pride. It's really important to have pride in who you are and your culture, and understand the achievements of your culture." — Ayilla

"This album will hopefully spark the idea for people to learn more about it and this year in general, with it being the centennial, hopefully with spark more people to be more interested in the story and get the truth out. We can't heal and be past it if we don't really face it for what really happened, for what it was. I'm glad this album can do that." — St. Domonick

On Drawing Lines From Historical Stories To Current Day

"This album is going to warp time, and you're going to be like, 'Okay, I know this happened in 1921, but man this feels like 2021. This feels like George Floyd, but I know we're talking about Peg Leg Taylor in 1921 or Dr. Jackson.' It's the same thing, it just modernizes itself in different ways." — Dr. View

Music featured in this episode:

  1. Fire In Little Africa - North Tulsa Got Something to Say
  2. Steph Simon - Visions
  3. Steph Simon - Beneath the Ashes
  4. The Game - 300 Bars N' Runnin'
  5. Fire In Little Africa - Creme of the Crop
  6. Fire In Little Africa - Our World
  7. Fire In Little Africa - Brunch at the Brady
  8. Fire In Little Africa - City of Dreams
  9. Fire In Little Africa - Shining
  10. Steph Simon - Be No Hall
  11. Fire In Little Africa - Party Plane

Subscribe to the Songwriters & Tour Riders podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts.

Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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