Rag Radio: Acclaimed Progressive Hip-Hop Duo, Riders Against the Storm

Chaka and Qi Dada, a husband-and-wife team, bring performance art, ceremony, and community-building to their unique work.

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Thorne Dreyer’s guests, Riders Against the Storm, are Chaka and Qi Dada, a husband-and-wife hip-hop duo who bring performance art, ceremony, and community-building to their unique work. They perform three songs on the show.

Austin Music Awards’ Band of the Year, Riders Against the Storm are the first hip-hop group ever to win the honor. They also have performed at South by Southwest, were featured at the Austin City Music Festival, and recently took second place in the hip-hop category of the International Songwriting Competition for their track “Holy Water” off their 2013 self-titled EP. (There were over 20,000 entries.)

Chaka’s — aka Jonathon Mahone’s — career includes teaching high school, creating guerrilla art installations, promoting youth entrepreneurship, and community organizing for the underserved in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Qi Dada (Ghislaine Jean-Mahone), who was born in Brooklyn to a Haitian family, is a performance artist, lyricist, and healer. They met in Providence, RI, and moved to Austin where they have grown a cult following for Riders Against the Storm, as well as Body Rock ATX, an underground dance party developed by the duo and DJ Chorizo Funk. And they are heavily involved in the community and in progressive political causes.


This show was originally broadcast on August 15, 2014.


Host and Producer of Rag Radio: Thorne Dreyer; Engineer and Co-Producer: Tracey Schulz; Photographer: Roger Baker. Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and as a featured podcast at VT. Contact: [email protected]. Running time: 55:36.

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