Cham Kerem have always described themselves as 'low-budget revolutionary peoples hip-hop' since emerging on scene.The group, comprised of members from Anaheim and SanTana, released Visions of the Sun last year. The rough-edged rebel raps weren't always the most studio polished, but remained unapologetic and militant so just the same.
The revolutionary sentiment remains on their debut music video “Canto Para Cherán” a salute to indigenous people in the Mexican state of Michoacán. With an assist from documentary filmmaker Simón Sedillo, whose previous music video credits includes “Medios” by Krudas Cubensi, Cham Kerem takes their message to a higher level.
The story of Cherán, as the song and video shows, centers on the uprising of the Purépecha indigenous people in April 2011. Ravaged by illegal logging and deforestation in a toxic nexus between corrupt government and organized crime, the breaking point had come. Women in the community stood up to the loggers and their accomplices establishing indigenous forms of self-defense and self-determination.
Sedillo chronicles the upheaval in his new documentary “Guarda Bosques” which translates to “Forest Keepers.”
Cham Kerem sends its musical salute from SanTana with choice location shots in the city, scenes from last year's police clashes in Anaheim and the struggle of Cherán interwoven throughout. Pavis rhymes and sings from Calle Cuatro, the center of gentrification battles over the years. Also featured in the video are murals, in particular the community commissioned one off the corner of Ross Street and Washington Avenue.
The group Siempre Aprendiendo Pintar Obedeciendo (S.A.P.O.) which 'paints by obeying' helped the beautiful artwork come together illustrating, in a small example, the fruits of people power, a lesson Cham Kerem draws inspiration from Cherán to OC.
Cham Kerem performs with Aztlan Underground, Quinto Sol and more at the annual Música en Movimiento festival at El Centro Cultural de México, 313 N. Birch St., Santa Ana. Sat., July 20, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Free. All Ages.