Dr. (h.c.) DJ Kuttin Kandi, who was born and raised in Queens, NY is internationally known and widely respected as a legendary "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar." Kandi is a disabled queer gender-fluid femme Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer for over 25 years. DJ Kuttin Kandi is a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level's Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs where Kandi serves as a Site Manager for Next Level. Kandi is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Asian Solidarity Collective (formerly Asians for Black Lives San Diego) as well as the Director of Campaigns & Organizing for the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans. Likewise, Kandi has co-founded several other local grassroots organizations such as Families for Justice in San Diego and more. Kandi is also a Co-Founder of the People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation and the University for Justice and Liberation (UJL). Newly appointed by the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors Nora Vargas, Kandi serves on the Committee for Persons with Disabilities. Additionally, Kandi is recently appointed by Mayor Mary Salas as a Human Relations Commissioner of Chula Vista. Kandi is a member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the Hip Hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the famed NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community through Hip Hop), Co-Founder and Board Member of the DJ Coalition - Freedom Sound DJ's, and Founder, Editor and Host of the podcast Hip Hop Bruha. In 2020, DJ Kuttin Kandi received an Honorary Doctorate in Pinayism for their endless dedication to radical sisterhood, critical praxis, and transformative solidarity.
Kandi first gained global reverence by competing in over 30 DJ competitions such as the ITF Championships and Vibe Magazine DJ Championships which eventually led them to being the first femme DJ to compete in the 1998 DMC USA Finals and winning the 1998 Source Magazine DJ Championships. Kuttin Kandi has been interviewed and featured in numerous magazines and newspapers such as Source, Vibe, Vogue, YM, Rolling Stones, XXL, The New York Times, The Daily News, and the Vibe Hip-Hop Diva’s book. Kandi has performed all around the world with artists such as Bob James, Kool Herc, Jay-Z, Gangstar, LL Cool J, Mya, MC Lyte, the Roots, Young Gunz, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Black Eyed Peas, Common, Jean Grae, BlackStar, and punk Riot Grrrl group LeTigre, just to name a few.
Kandi has performed at venues such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden for WNBA’s NY Liberty. Kandi is a known Pop-Culture Political Essayist, written for several anthologies and blogs and has been a Guest Contributing Writer for Colorlines, Racialicious and etc. Kandi and co-Founder of Krip-Hop Nation Leroy Moore, co-developed the Hip Hop for Disability Justice Campaign and co-wrote "Hip Hop & Disability Liberation: Finding Resistance, Hope & Wholeness" for Disability Visibility Project's anthology. Kandi is also the Co-Editor of the book "Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipino/a America" and is currently working on new writing projects such as co-editing a new anthology on Pin[a/x]y activism to be released Spring 2022. Kandi is a Midwest Academy Alumni, a 2018 Rockwood Fellow, a 2018 San Diego International Airport Artist-in-Residence with Kristina Wong and Samuel Valdez and has served as an artist-in-residence for U.C. San Diego’s SPACES. When Kandi is not performing they are community organizing, speaking, writing or lecturing. Kandi worked at UC San Diego’s Women’s Center for seven years specializing in social justice & diversity programming and within Student Life at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area. Kandi is a well-known public speaker and lecturer and has spoken at over 150 colleges/universities across the United States. Kandi is also involved with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - San Diego, the Intersectional Feminist Collective, the F.I.E.R.C.E. Coalition, Filipino American Educators Association of California and organizes with various organizations throughout San Diego and the United States. In addition, Kandi is a strong Disability Justice and Special Education advocate with a Dis/Crit practice as they also serve on the Chula Vista School District's Special Education Parent Committee. Today, DJ Kuttin Kandi continues to do community organizing work, organizational development trainings, coaching for liberation and provides various lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, disability justice, Hip Hop Feminism and etc.
Kandi is proudly conscious-parenting her 2 children with disabilities with her partner. Kandi loves the series "The Walking Dead" and other classic zombie films, spends her leisure time reading political books, and prides herself being a techy nerd.
Kandi's pronouns are they/she and "Kandi.”