Jamel Mims

headshot of Jamel Mims

Jamel Mims is a rapper, multimedia artist and revolutionary. Known in China as the bilingual storyteller MC Tingbudong, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study hip hop in China in 2008 – an experience which almost never occurred, after the scholarship was jeopardized following an arrest and incident of police brutality. This experience led him to take an active stance in the fight against mass incarceration and in 2011 he organized a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop NYC’s stop and frisk policy with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and co-founded the NYC Revolution Club. He frequently returns to China to perform, and In 2018, was part of the Found Sound China artist in residence program, and in 2019, embarked on a independent solo tour in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. His work combines interactive technology, language, music and radical politics to create immersive experiences, such as “Qi Lai (起来),” a rap re-make of Paul Robeson’s 1930’s classic Chinese anthem, Runaway, a glitched-out VR trip through China’s modern day underground hip hop scene, and the Misadventures of MC Tingbudong, an ongoing multimedia archive of the exchange between china and hip hop culture. Recently recognized as a “Protest Leader Taking On The Establishment” by the New York Times, you can read more about his work in music, technology and activism in Variety, VICE, XXL, The Nation, the Economist and more.