From Gangster To Gardener: Rapper Teaches Youth How To Grow Food


gangs2gardenerWhen most think about today’s rap or hip hop music, you wouldn’t be wrong if you say the majority of the popular hip-hop is about money, violence, and sex. But one hip-hop artist is taking a different path and fighting the ills of our community one garden at a time.

Organic gardener and vegan chef Ietef Vita is an award winning international recording artist and activist who uses music and hip hop culture, with the goal of motivating and educating young people on the importance of healthy eating, and growing your own food to ensure food security. Through his lyrics and gardens, Ietef is planting the seeds of the food movement extending from his hometown of Denver Colorado to across the globe.

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“I am more than what you see,” shares Vita. “I am an educator, a B-Boy, an OG, an organic gangster, an organic gardener. I represent for my community and I represent for my friends. I am because you are.”

Vita said he started the garden project to heal his neighborhood. “In order for us to see environmental improvement we must begin with the health of ourselves and individuals.”

The emcee has worked with some of the best in the field, from KRS-One and the Roots to members of Digable Planets, Dead Prez and Hieroglyphics, and has been recognized for his work in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine and Fortune. Vita also travels the country with his TEDx talk on “eco-hip-hop,” and runs a successful nonprofit summer camp for kids.

His acronym for hip-hop is Higher Inner Peace Helping Other People.


But more than that, he has unshakable belief in the life-changing power of clean living, meditation and spiritualism.

“People take for granted that in the black community there’s hypertension and diabetes and drug addiction,” he said. “My students…