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Hip-Hop On the Frontline: K.R.U Endeavors in Education With DJ Supreme and Shaheed Tawheed



K.R.U. By DJ Supreme and Shaheed Tawheed
DJ Supreme and Shaheed Tawheed. Image source: Alys Stephens Perfroming Arts Center.

A local hip-hop initiative in Birmingham by the name of K.R.U. exemplifies the positive force Hip-hop can be in the world.

DJ Supreme And Shaheed Tawheed

DJ Supreme and Shaheed Tawheed became a force for the ultimate good when they took their skills and knowledge of hip-hop and converted it into an instrument of perpetual change.

Over a decade ago, Tawheed and DJ Supreme hailed as local hip-hop veterans, acted upon a vision, and started the K.R.U. education collective. It was their way of pouring back into the community, exercising their civic duty to serve as they have been served. Tawheed said it best.

“What we tend to do is we take back but never give back. I’ve seen a lot, and I want to share that with another generation and inspire them so they can take this and do something better than what we did.”

And K.R.U. is the result.

The History Of DJ Supreme And Tawheed

DJ Supreme and Tawheed are pillars of hip-hop, representing and promoting all that the art form embodies. However, they do so on their terms, unique style, and presentation. As “practitioners of the boom-bap, a traditional hip-hop style,” they represent a departure from the norm.

As the Birmingham Times notes, opting for substance over blaring beats, these two extol the virtue of non-conformity, never to be defined as sheep but as shepherds. Supreme and Tawheed are a pair driven to carry the legacy of hip-hop on their backs via what the team terms “edutainment.” And one of their most celebrated albums, Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding, stands as a testament.

What Is K.R.U.?

K.R.U. is an education collective started by the two. More specifically, it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aptly named after DJ Supreme’s and Waheed’s album “Knowledge, Rhythm, and Understanding.” According to the organization’s mission statement, it empowers youth by teaching them the four core elements of Hip Hop: peace, love, and having fun. Additionally, it helps the youth positively express themselves by assisting them in developing mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.

K.R.U.’s Objectives

The K.R.U. team takes pride in what they offer the next generation. Through a non-traditional approach to education, they work to expand minds and foster growth in the next generation.

According to Birmingham Watch, the initiative offers classes weekly. And the tenants of hip-hop are teaching life skills. Each workshop finds its center in one of the four pillars of hip-hop. As the source notes,

“Djing teaches rhythm, breaking exercise and movement, emceeing public speaking, and graffiti teaches how to express oneself artistically.”

And the students are reaping the benefits.

A Positive Direction

Tawheed understands the negative rep that hip-hop has in certain circles. But he is flipping the record, scratching the stereotypes, and shifting the focus to positive aspects. It is not a stretch for the rap vet. For him, positivity has always been the message. As the Birmingham Watch notes,

“Tawheed doesn’t curse in his music or rap about any negative topics. It was a decision made early in his career.”

This project extends that ideology.

Keeping The Torch Burning

K.R.U. is an ongoing initiative that continues to anchor the community. And with education being a front-line initiative where the battle for the future holds, Tawheed is doing his part to prepare the next generation. But despite his years of service, Tawheed has his sights set on expansion.

In Closing

The efforts of this dynamic duo are phenomenal. Amazingly, they continue using their platform to spread a message through acts of service, making them accurate representations of pillars.

Respectfully, they uphold the structure so that others might continue to benefit from the purest form of what hip-hop stands for. And that is a necessary move to take hip-hop into the next generation, which is more than worthy of a spotlight.

Written by Renae Richardson 

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