The LA gig aims to raise funds for National Islamic Community leader H.Rap Brown...

MOS DEF, JURASSIC 5, DILATED PEOPLES, PLANET ASIA and MYSTIC and ZION I are among the artists confirmed to perform at the ‘HIP HOP FOR CONSCIOUSNESS’ benefit concert in LOS ANGELES on May 12.

The concert is to raise funds to help meet legal costs incurred by Imam Jamil al-Amin, aka H. Rap Brown, a well-known former student activist and black radical, who was a member of the Black Panthers in the ’60s and began a new life in Atlanta after discovering Islam and moving to set up a West End Mosque in 1976.

He is facing trial later this year for the alleged shooting of a police officer in March 2000, but there have been consistent protests at his arrest, supporters claiming the 58-year-old former activist-turned-leader of the the National Islamic Community, with 36 mosques across the US, is the victim of conspiracy to keep him silent.

Currently being held under tight security at the Cobb County jail for fears that his followers may try to free him, he is alleged to have ambushed two officers who were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on him on March 16 last year at the grocery store he owns in the city’s West End. Deputy Ricky Kinchen was killed and his partner Aldranon English, who identified Al-Amin as the gunman, was injured. The warrant was issued after Al-Amin failed to turn up for a court apperance in January 2000 on charges relating to alleged theft by receiving stolen property and impersonating a police officer the previous May, when it is claimed he flashed a police badge after being stopped in a stolen car.

The Hip Hop For Consciousness concert, which will take place at the Watts Labor Community Action Center in Los Angeles, will generate revenue for the Justice Fund, which is carrying out Al-Amin’s defence and supporting his family. Other artists are expected to be announced shortly.