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brothers keepers


Brothers Keepers is a German-based transnational anti-racism project, bringing together hip hop, reggae and soul musicians, headed primarily by Afro-Germans.

The idea for the project took root in the 1990s, and when a German of Mozambiquan origin, named Alberto Adriano, was brutally killed by neo-Nazis in Dessau, Germany in 2000, a group of musicians decided to organize and fight back. Brothers Keepers has local groups active in information campaigns, presenting teach-ins at schools etc. However the project primarily gained prominence in Germany through the collaborative album, Lightkultur. The title is a pun on conservative politician Günther Beckstein’s term "deutsche Leitkultur" ("German leading culture"), demanding that foreigners subject themselves to the Democratic state-organization of Germany. The album features German musicians such as Torch, Samy Deluxe, Afrob, Denyo from the Beginner and D-Flame. The proceeds of this album went to charity.

The lyrics on the album are influenced by Black Power rhetoric and are militantly anti-Nazi, proposing solutions to racism ranging from education to armed resistance. The militancy is especially well illustrated in the German TOP 10 hit "Adriano", a seven minute tour de force produced by DJ Desue, featuring the crème of German rap. Its video shows a procession of rappers, marching as a united front and the chorus, sung by Indian-descended R&B star Xavier Naidoo, goes thus:


The project is not limited to Germany. It focuses on manifestations of the African diaspora throughout the world and is supported by international artists such as Jamaican reggae musician Ziggy Marley and Senegalese mbalax musician Youssou N'Dour. There is also a UK Brothers Keepers, which, while lacking the organizational superstructure of its German counterpart, contributed a track to Lightkultur.

There is also a female version of this Movement/Band called the Sisters Keepers. Both projects have recently been heavily criticised for accused black-power hipocrisy (criticising White Power individuals, while proudly calling themselves "Niggers" and screaming "Black Power").