Hip-hop duo raps support for Chicago teachers

Hip-Hop Duo Rebel Diaz supports Chicago teachers strike

Rodrigo Venegas "Rodstarz" and Gonzalo Venegas "G1" make up the political hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. (Source: YouTube, rebeldiaztv)

Among the storm of praise and criticism surrounding Chicago’s teachers strike, the city’s educators seem to have picked up some new supporters – hip-hop emcees Rodrigo “Rodstarz” Venegas and his brother Gonzalo “G1.” The two make up the political hip-hop team Rebel Diaz and they’ve just released a new track called, “Chicago Teacher,” detailing why they’re backing the Chicago Teachers Union during this strike.

The brothers, currently based in South Bronx, NY, grew up on Chicago’s north side and were a part of the city’s public school system.

Rodstarz starts off the first verse criticizing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the influence of corporations in the school system.

Rahm’s a fake pretender with a corporate agenda
Neo Liberal Offender, of course you offend us!
This aint about money! That’s far from the truth,
they want better work conditions to teach the youth.
Politicians, I don’t trust em, its all in the name
the president, the mayor all want political gain.
Theyd rather put the kids in jail, shackle em wit chains,
then provide an education that challenges the brain.

G1 chimes in with similar disapproval on the second verse

So if Rahm was the chief of staff
and Arne Duncan got his start
in Chicago sellin off
the education system
then Obama gotta respond
the teachers or the corporations?
Which side is he on?
The streets is getting hot
They blame the heat on Chief Keef
But it’s a million others like him being created every week
If we don’t teach we don’t learn
And the streets is gon burn
Before it gets worse
I put on my red shirt

The chorus echoes the song’s theme: “So I’m inspired by the fight from our Chicago teachers!”

To date, the Obama administration has yet to make an official statement on the strike.

“I know he’s aware of it, but I haven’t spoken with him about it, so I can’t speak for his reaction … his principal concern is for the students and families who are affected by the situation,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has said in a press briefing. “And we hope that both sides are able to come together to settle this quickly and in the best interest of Chicago’s students.”

The standoff between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union entered its second week today, and is expected to continue through Wednesday. Mayor Emanuel has filed an injunction to end the strike.