AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Published on February 7th, 2023 | by Charles Myambo0
The phrase “generational talent” is a moniker typically associated with perennial excellence in sports, but it may also be the most fitting description for the phenomenal creative endeavor of “Rahman Jamaal”. Hardly anyone can claim to have positively impacted the Hip Hop music and education realms in the same way that Rahman Jamaal has since his 2003 breakout role as “Flip” in the Sundance Film Festival feature “The Beat”. Jamaal has always had a deep-rooted desire to help mold and empower the future generation of creatives and artists alike, and his astonishing level of talent and proficiency in just about anything he does helps him pave the pathway for others who understand Hip Hop as a transformational force on the planet.
His range of creativity enables him to pursue a successful independent career in several sectors as an accomplished writer, musician, actor, filmmaker, CEO, Emcee/host, educational entrepreneur, martial artist, grassroots organizer/activist, and international culture-bearer who has prompted several important advancements as the Executive Director of Hip Hop Congress, Inc.—from a year-long research project in Alameda & Marin County juvenile jails innovating rap curricula as an Intergenerational Learning Specialist Program graduate in 2017, to spearheading the first statewide Hip Hop education initiative in the United States known as the Hip Hop Education & Equity Initiative (H2E2) in 2019.
Jamaal has completed 5 albums, 3 films, and countless features to-date over his 20-year professional career. He wrote, produced and directed a 26-episode children’s webseries on YouTube while raising his family during the 2020 pandemic, and is currently working on a graphic novel/film series called “Afro Bushido” after earning his 5th Degree Black Belt in 2022 and opening his own dojo in Redwood City, CA. If there’s anything to be said about the potential of possibility when you give someone like Rahman Jamaal your time, it is that his perspective serves to open the epic nature within all of us.
Personal Life Background
Growing up the mixed-race only-child of a single-parent in California shaped Rahman Jamaal’s unique worldview as the only Black-Jewish male in his family. The absence of a collective communal identity was replaced by incredibly rare educational opportunities throughout Jamaal’s formative years, exposing him to international cultures in Japan, Botswana, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, Czech Republic and Cuba before becoming an adult.
Life wasn’t without its struggle. At the age of 17, a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes would force Rahman to adapt to an even more disciplined lifestyle, maintaining his goal-oriented focus with a distinct fighting personality. That spirit not only earned him a full scholarship to graduate magna cum laude in 4 years with 3 degrees in Cinema-Television, Music Industry & Communications in the Entertainment Industry from the University of Southern California, but more importantly it helped him emerge victorious after contracting a rare infection during his time in Bolivia in 2016 while preparing to compete at the Martial Arts World Games in Italy as a member of the Team USA. Occurring in less than 1% of the population with a 100% mortality rate among the untreated, the fact that Jamaal survived the initial misdiagnosis of a splenic abscess as a diabetic is a miracle in itself. What’s more, he proceeded to attend the World Games the following month while receiving antibiotic treatment and actually documented the entire recovery experience in a reality music video for the award-winning song “Once Again” with fellow John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize winner Razteria. His near-death experience did little to deter him from his mission to serve, and if anything only further fueled his drive as a warrior to win against tremendous odds.
In 2017, he joined forces with the legendary West Coast dance icon Lonnie “PopTart” Green and The Strutter’s Room as a student, documentarian and administrator to bring the untold story of the Bay Area’s inner-city Black dance culture to a wider audience. Jamaal’s remarkable mentality is as rare as the circumstances he has learned to master, and to follow his extraordinary story of mental, physical and spiritual strength shall remain an inspiring saga for generations to come.
Other Notable Accolades & Awards;
Leading Star of “The Beat” (dir. B. Sonnier, Sundance Film Festival, 2003)
Current President of Hip Hop Congress, Inc., 2015-present
Founder/CEO of Rap Force Academy
Two-time Grand Prize winner of International John Lennon Songwriting Contest (2014 & 2016), Lennon Award for Hip Hop in JLSC (2014).
Performance/Tours with Freestyle Love Supreme, KRS One, Kool Moe Dee, Lonnie “PopTart” Green, DJ Qbert, Zion I, The Jacka, Jeff Turner, Vans Warped Tour (2009), Bay Area Theater Cypher.
Film appearances with Coolio, Brian McKnight, Chino XL, Steve Connell.
5th Degree Black Belt, Bok Fu Do, 2022
Owner of Afro Bushido Academy, SPC
Member of Team USA (World Martial Arts Games, Italy 2016)
Official host of Adrenaline Worldwide (2014-2023) & The Adrenaline World Games (Las Vegas, 2022-23)
Intergenerational Learning Specialist Program (ILSP) graduate, 2017
Trustee Scholar, University of Southern California (2000-04)
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