Activist and Reclaim Philadelphia’s progressive candidate Rick Krajewski

Focus on the West Philly activist – one alive and thriving, one passed (and punk rock/rap), but never forgotten

It’s a sad and beautiful time in West Philadelphia where matters of social and communal good and activism are afoot.

On the very positive side of the socially conscious ledger, activist and Reclaim Philadelphia’s progressive candidate Rick Krajewski is finally basking in his victory during the recent Democratic primary, beating out the incumbent to become the presumptive state Representative-elect for the 188th District. Without an opponent for the November election, his plans for decreasing state prison funding, defunding the police and fighting poverty have a clear runway in which to land. 

Rick Krajewski.

On the very sorry side of the ledger is this week’s passing of Curan Cottman, the West Philly MC, rocker, artist, and activist better known as Ronnie Vega. Cottman/Vega embodied punk rock communal spirit, along with conscious rap positivity and pragmatism: his ruminative rhymes spoke of the Black man’s survival, all of its struggles and all of its joys. Along with speaking of spiritual and communal uplift, Cottman/Vega rapped about the deadly cycle of incarceration and drug abuse rampant in his community. Black, white and beyond, his music and art was incendiary, smart and filled with a real and knowing sense of outreach. When he wasn’t busy dropping records with his band such as “The Lost Vega, Vol. 1” and playing house shows in West Philly, Cottman/Vega was all about the Lava Space and Collective, Lancaster Avenue’s primary activist warehouse, library and community center. 

Curan Cottman AKA Ronnie Vega.

I bet Rich Krajewski would have loved Curan Cottman. I bet Cottman would have loved Krajewski’s own spoken word brand of punk-hip hop politicism.

There is a GoFundMe page in which to help pay for his funeral expenses HERE.

Funerals aside, I’m not here to bury Caesar. If you don’t know Krajewski’s issues and future goals, check out Beatrice Foreman’s fresh, informative chat with him at Philly Mag.

If you don’t know Cottman/Vega’s raps, rocks and rhymes, start below… 


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