“Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” — Rachel Jackson (wife of Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States)
MOUNT VERNON — Emerging Hip-Hop artist, producer and activist Niko Brim, spoke at Mount Vernon City Hall during its “We Can’t Breathe” rally alongside the city’s government and youth organized by MVPD on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
Cynthia Turnquest-Jones, founder of the Tha B.U.M.P. “Brown Urban Mother Partnership” (seen in the video above) informs we have to embrace our young leaders like Niko Brim and make sure we listen and hear them.
“Niko Brim was a breath of fresh air,” Cynthia shared with Black Westchester. “We as seasoned activists must embrace our youth who have a desire to be heard. I want Niko to know that I am listening and welcome the opportunity to support him. I agree with being the narrator, being the conductor, and being the captain. Niko. You are changing the narrative which takes courage. You are doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable which is what youth are doing to America right now with their voice, demonstrations, and truths. I look forward to seeing you in the textbooks.”
Brim’s words have recently garnered massive industry support with reposts from top influencers, including singer Kehlani, acclaimed rapper Rapsody, who included Brim on her 2020 A Black Women Created This tour, and his mother, style icon, Misa Hylton.
“The content of our lives has been misrepresented because they manipulate the context. So, be the narrator!” Niko half-brother of Justin Combs told the crowd, using a reflective tone from his recent social media post, Why We Riot, regarding the nation’s turmoil. “The looting and rioting are only reactionary to the destructive force racism and systematic oppression have been using to terrorize generations of African-Americans. I am not condoning the behavior, but I understand. In a perfect world, there would be no need, but we all know it isn’t so.”
His messages – mainly for the youth – was encouraging as he impressed upon them the importance of not just changing the narrative of how their generation is portrayed in the media but the importance of being the narrators and to be purposeful in their image-making.
“Be the narrator,” said Niko Brim who collaborated with Now Rule’s Stunna Gang on the single, Woke. “We must vote to change the local policies and to influence how your community will continue to be united. I know my generation up until this point has been fed up and looking for a solution. One of the most significant solutions we have is our power to vote locally and beyond. Don’t wait for anyone outside of yourself to be the change you want to see! It’s up to my generation, it’s up to my people to be loud, aware, and to share information!”
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and Police Commissioner Glenn Scott invited Brim, a Mount Vernon native, to address the peaceful crowd on ways to bridge the gap in communication between the community and law enforcement, as well as the importance of voter participation.
“I was exceedingly proud and moved by Niko and all of our young people who participated Tuesday in the We Can’t Breathe Rally,” Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard tells Black Westchester. “As Niko stated, we have to use our platform as young people to lift our voices and share our message. The media manipulates the content so we have to tell our own truth. While he expressed his pain, his anger, and his frustration, he reminded attendees that change will only come through our actions so they need to vote, become involved, and hold leaders accountable.”
His older sister, Madison Star Brim, a fashion designer – who looks to follow in her mother’s footsteps as she grows within the industry and recently graduated from Howard University, stood by his side and also sparked an uplifting dialogue with the crowd of nearly one thousand.
The siblings recently teased Niko’s, “Power Hour,” a virtual audiovisual experience and conversations series surrounding current events influencing black power, featuring celebrities, artists, and experts, kicking-off on Juneteenth, at 6:19 p.m. EST.
“I also want to thank the police officers around the world holding each other accountable and taking a stand with us,” added Brim, as he thanked local police, who organized the landmark event.
“I was born and raised in Mount Vernon,” Brim shares with Black Westchester, “I have lived all throughout Westchester. I did most of my schooling in New Rochelle though.”
Brim is the son of two certified life coach parents and influential music industry veterans, Misa Hylton and music executive and V Records CEO, Jojo Brim, who has worked with the likes of Kevin Liles, Trey Songz, and Big Sean. He understands the importance of using his mic consciously.
He has set his sights on staying the course purposefully — not just a mainstream presence — and his journey is mapped by the “Create Your Now” mantra. Its acronym serves as the moniker for the inspiring hip-hop collective of artists, activists, and gamers CYN™. Members include co-founder Kai Ca$h, Christian Combs, K. Wales, ShaqNLivin, DJ TizzTheInfluence, and Great Dame.
His next album, The King Has No Crown, releases summer 2020. Follow @NikoBrim for more information.