BIO The children of Chilean activists, RodStarz and G1 grew up in Chicago's North Side, and boricua Lah Tere was raised in the Puerto Rican, Humboldt Park, neighborhood in Chicago. Rebel Diaz identify with and position themselves within a history of political resistance through music, specifically citing the Nueva canción movement. Because of their organizing work, Rebel Diaz was invited to perform during the immigrant rights march in New York City in 2006.
Although Rebel Diaz formed in Chicago, Illinois, the trio moved to the Bronx - the birthplace of hip hop - to continue their political activism through hip hop. Rebel Diaz see themselves as reclaiming hip hop as a tool in the larger struggle against oppression. RodStarz and G1 work with youth in the South Bronx, teaching them to use music to express themselves. In March 2009, Rebel Diaz opened the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, a community arts center in the South Bronx that includes a performance space, a multimedia studio, and a computer lab art gallery.
Problems with the NYPD
On June 18, 2008, two days after returning from a conference in Berlin, Germany, G1 and RodStarz were arrested by the NYPD when they were showing a friend around the South Bronx for defending a street food vendor from police harassment. In response to the arrest, more than 150 supporters gathered outside the 41st Precinct stationhouse, demanding the release of RodStarz and G1, and they were represented by civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel. A week later, on June 24, 2008, at 2 AM, officers from the NYPD entered G1's apartment, which doubles as Rebel Diaz's recording studio, with guns drawn, shouted at G1, and left with no explanation. A year after their arrests, the charges were dropped by judge Darcel Clark, who cited the positive impact they have in their community and told them to "keep up the good work."
As of March 2011, Lah Tere officially resigned from the group to pursue personal wellness and health.