Happy 143rd birthday, Gandhi! With all of that yoga meditation and vegetarian diet, I’m actually surprised the man himself won’t be around to blow out his own birthday candles this year. While he may be gone, Gandhi’s legacy lives on. Thanks to MC Yogi (my new current musical and spiritual obsession), our favorite legendary peace activist is being celebrated in style with a new mix and music video “Be the Change.” The animated video tells the story of Gandhi’s incredible life to the tune of MC Yogi’s mythical melodies. The video hopes to inspire people today to seek justice without violence. Gandhi may be 145 years old, but his message is still just as pertinent today, especially as violence is more and more prevalent everywhere from vicious wars and even among young children in schools. If you don’t know MC Yogi already, I really recommend you check out his albums Elephant Power and Pilgrimage, a mix of Indian raga and old school hip hop. (Think: Biggy Smalls meets… your yoga teacher.) The video for “Be The Change” is a collaboration between MC Yogi, musical co-producers Robin Livingston and Niraj Chag and animator Michael Rosen of Simplistic Media. The original “Be the Change” was released in time for the 2008 presidential elections and now, four years later, the lyrics are still just as fitting. MC Yogi is also an ambassador to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative and an ambassador to YogaVotes. “We wanted to make a rich, cinematic pop-up book,” MC Yogi said of the new video, adding: “Our vision is to make it easy for people to connect with Gandhi’s teachings and show how leaders from the Dalai Lama to Bob Marley have continued his path. We all have the opportunity to become peaceful warriors – if you follow your heart and act bold maybe one day it’ll be your story that’s told.”
Forget Jay-Z, Flo Rida and Diddy – the stars of this video are Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi and some more familiar faces like Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and Nelson Mandela, Harvey Milk, Yoko Ono and John Lennon and Bob Marley. And instead of Cristal and Hennessy being passed around the table, these rap stars are passing around positive vibes and the Bhagavad Gita. Instead of “true dat,” this rap song’s message is “Be True.”
So voilà, my peaceful warriors, here is the inspiring video ! (I dare you not to dance in your downward dog.) Spread the love.