His social issue-centered work focuses on struggles of the low- and moderate-income communities, such as under-funded schools and lack of affordable housing. In “DC Doesn’t Work Without Childcare,” Head-Roc described the challenges parents of young children face when trying to hold down low-paying jobs and care for their kids. His own daughter was his sidekick on “stage” and helped with the hook by repeating words after her dad.
The show, which I stumbled upon while walking through the park, was part of an event honoring Malcolm X’s birthday. I admit that I wasn’t familiar with Vance “Head-Roc” Levy before, but I now know that he is a respected rapper and man about town.
He is arts ambassador for Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, blogger for Washington City Paper and Huffington Post, and vocal opponent of a Walmart being built in DC (His rap on the subject: Keep DC Walmart Free). To verify his man-about-town status, check out his last entry for City Paper’s “Head-Roc’s Mouth,” in which he recounts running into several local artist-friends within a few blocks on his way to a show on U Street.
Although Head-Roc has causes aplenty, he appears to be most devoted to encouraging civic participation and community activism.
The hook from the last song he performed on Saturday: “If you want to change your situation, you better join an organization.”