The Video is the Culmination of Challenge Invited Artists to Connect Their Life Experiences to the Challenges that Wildlife Face
LOS ANGELES — The National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars campaign today announced the premier and release of the #IfIWasWild video featuring Warren “Dzign” Dickson, from 3rd Rock Hip Hop, a thought and community partner of the campaign and the winner of the challenge Kidd Da Great. Directed by Ben Gilbarg from Big Picture Anthems, the video explores displacement and systematic oppression for a powerful message on how both wildlife and people are engaged in a struggle to overcome. The music video is part of the National Wildlife Federation’s #SaveLACougars continued dedication to engaging with communities across Los Angeles, the country and beyond.
The video is the result of a challenge launched earlier this year when the #SaveLACougars campaign partnered with 3rd Rock Hip-Hop and Big Picture Anthems to launch the #IfIwasWildChallenge — a creative contest that moved artists from all over the country to submit a musical piece about their individual life experiences and how these connect to the challenges that wildlife face as human development reduces their habitats and threatens their survival. There were also a series of meetups in Los Angeles, Chicago, New Bedford, and Richmond, numerous live broadcasts and virtual events, building a community of artists who shared their stories. As the selected winning artist, Kidd Da Great received a $1,000 cash prize and given access to paid studio time to record the video.
“Empowering voices from marginalized people and communities about systematic oppression needs to be part of the conservation movement, and is an important part of the #SaveLACougars campaign,” said Beth Pratt, California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. “As we are building a bridge for wildlife with our work, we also want to build a bridge to connect people so that we can unite in finding solutions. The #IFIWasWasWild challenge uses art as that bridge — and this music and video is a powerful statement on the common struggles both wildlife and people face to survive.”
“Wildlife and human life are both affected by systematic oppression, forced displacement and environmental conditions. But if things are going to change — we must come to the realization that we need have to have empathy and care about both equally,” said Warren Dickson, co-owner of 3rd Rock Hip Hop. “You can't expect people to care about saving a planet if they are not treated fairly on it. The reason I was first drawn to the struggle of our mountain lion population and P-22’s story was because I identified with it. I hope to continue collaborating with the #SaveLACougars campaign to generate awareness for the injustices that impact wildlife and people alike.”
“Music and film have this unique ability to touch people and catalyze a change in thinking. This music video has the ability to do just that. Through relating oppressed peoples’ struggles to those of wildlife, we’re able to see a unique juxtaposition and perspective that we hope, will provoke ongoing conversations and mental shifts,” said Ben Gilbarg, director of the “If I Was Wild” music video.
“Understanding the similarities amongst humans and animals is a lesson one must be taught. This alone is one of the main factors that lured me into the contest. Before winning this opportunity, it provided me with the ability to view the topic from an open heart and mind perspective. The struggle will end once we comprehend each other,” shared Kidd Da Great, winner of the #IfIWasWildChallenge.
3rd Rock Hip Hop is a Los Angeles-based organization that uses music to teach children about the importance of taking care of the environment and has been a partner of the #SaveLACougars campaign on a number of efforts. Big Picture Anthems produces engaging media outreach campaigns that compel people to take action. Working with multiple organizations over the last six years, the group has helped reach millions, authentically engaging with youth and young adults.
To learn more about 3rd Rock Hip-Hop visit http://3rdrockhiphop.com/ or follow them on Instagram. Learn more about Big Picture Anthems by visiting http://bigpictureanthems.com/ and on Instagram.
To learn more about the #SaveLACougars campaign to build the wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon visit https://savelacougars.org/.
Five ways to participate in the 50th anniversary celebration!Read More
Take the Clean Earth Challenge and help make the planet a happier, healthier place.Learn More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead More
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.