In a day and time when self-destructive ignorance is blasted through music over airwaves, communities are fractured by self-serving leadership, and Black history is downgraded to a footnote during the shortest month of the year. Toc the Thug Scholar releases the song and video “Still We Rise,” an artistic tribute to the profound and untold historic legacy of Haiti; the country and its people.
“Haitian people in South Florida and around the world are being threatened with deportation with the Trump administration revoking TPS (Temporary Protective Status), so it’s important to keep this issue surrounding Haiti in people’s face, because, “If you are not in people’s face, people forget about you,” said Toc aka The Thug Scholar. “Haiti is still recovering from the earthquake. Being an American and a member of the Circle of Brotherhood who happens to be a Hip-Hop artist, this is an important cause I knew I had to get in the front of,” said Toc.
The “Still We Rise” video is a history lesson taking the viewer on a sight-seeing tour all over Miami starting with the city’s famous Little Haiti neighborhood at the Toussaint Louverture statue. “Still We Rise” goes in and out of that historic district highlighting the soul-stirring murals of Haitian sensation, Serge the Artist.
The visual journey makes a stop through the MLK Liberty City station with visuals of Miami’s MLK parade as Toc narrates prolific verses tying the struggle of Dr. King for justice to the Haitian cause. You can hear the influence of the late great Tupac Shakur through the voice of Toc the Thug Scholar who is born from the same vein of resistance to injustice as Tupac.
This important release is like a re-entry into the music scene for Toc who first started making music in 2001 when he dropped “New Era” a Gospel Hip-Hop album produced by NFC Productions and featured Marvin Fequiere and an 11-year-old Jason Derulo long before he became the worldwide Pop Superstar. “I’ve always been about showcasing our young people. So, when I put Lil Jay (Derulo) on two of my songs back then, like today, I’ve always been striving to inspire young people through my music.”
The video is filmed, directed, and edited by founder of Eye Urban TV Andre Williams and features spoken words by Haitian community activist Schiller Jerome. The song is produced by Daniel Musgrove. In addition to Toc the Thug Scholar being a minister and community activist, he is also Chairman of the Circle of Brotherhood’s Entertainment committee. Toc, Andre Williams, and Jerome Schiller are all active members of the Circle of Brotherhood, arguably Miami’s most powerful and influential grassroots organization whose motto is “Black Men Solving Their Own Communities Problems.” Toc has spearheaded the give-away of over $8,000.00 in cash and scholarships to students from Little Haiti, Liberty City, and Overtown.
Very few hear “Still We Rise” then witness the video and are not moved to re-evaluate their entire outlook. As the motto on the Haitian flag reads, “L’union fait la Force (Unity equals Strength)”, “Still We Rise” is the embodiment of that motto coming through an artist dedicated to fighting the good fight and winning! Download “Still We Rise” now on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Tidal. Watch the video on YouTube channel Toc The Thug Scholar and subscribe for more information regarding the movement.
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