Fezo "Alter Ego" (2008)
Keith Jones, the artist known as Fezo, and I first met in person at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, MA back in 2004. The Missouri born, Sacramento based Krip-Hop artist and I instantly bonded. That was probably because we have so much in common. We are both Black men with cerebral palsy, and are both of the same age. At that time eleven years ago we were both in our mid thirties. Furthermore we are both poets, both activists, and we each share a passionate love of music. After taking over the Disability Caucus at the DNC by organizing Black disabled advocates to bum rush the Caucus to make sure diverse voices were being heard, Fezo and I made our way to a music studio to drop some songs and to talk more about Krip-Hop Nation. As we got our headphones on Fezo shared some news with me, made all the more dramatic by the fact that, due to his mic being turned on, was amplified throughout the studio. "Leroy, Hip-Hop is not ready to face its ableism so I have two albums left before I retire from Hip-Hop," he announced to my disappointment. Upon hearing this my mind screamed "NO!" because for once I had met a Black disabled activist/artist whose raps spoke to me, and whom I fully understood because of my own experience as a poet, activist and founder of Krip-Hop Nation. I could relate firsthand to all the shut doors he had faced.