Posted by on June 15, 2017

Ietef Vita, a.k.a. DJ Cavem Moetavation, is a 30-year-old hip-hop artist, deejay, educator, organic gardener, and vegan chef. He grew up in Denver, Colorado’s Five Points neighborhood and was a member of the Eastside Gangstas, 29th set before he discovered organic gardening. Vita calls himself an OG. No, not an “original gangster,” an organic gardener. As unlikely as it sounds, gardening saved him from a life he says was going nowhere. Now he’s spreading the word through hip-hop, and a lot of influential people are listening.

Ietef Vita at the 2016 Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California

Former President and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Vita to  participate in the 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll. He was featured in  Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine as well as Fortune and he gave a 2015 TEDx Manhattan talk about “Eco HipHop.”

TEDx Manhattan – Flickr @ Creative Commons

This former gangster has something to say and what he chooses to talk about is how generations of people living in urban communities are passing down illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure. Vita lost his grandmother to Type 2 diabetes. He blames the problem in part on junk food marketing and a lack of healthy food in his community.

Vita’s trying to make things better. He counters images of “Thug Life” with “Kale Life” and his nonprofit summer camp, “Going Green, Living Bling,” teaches kids how to grow organic food and live a healthier life.  His video “Cool to Live” (below) promotes growing green over joining gangs and doing drugs. We had a conversation with him at The National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California.

“Cocaine doesn’t grow in my community but Kale does” – Letef “Dj Cavem” Vita

DJ Cavem’s “Damn Near Raw” Facebook Page
NBC- “This Vegan Raper is the O.G. of EcoHipHop (That’s Original Gardener)” 
The Good Men Project – “Meet DJ Cavem: Denver’s Hip-Hop Gardener”
Rodale’s Organic Life – “This Rapper Promotes Organic Gardening and Healthy Eating Through Hip Hop
Westworld – “DJ Cavem Goes Green at Redline. . . and the White House”
The Denver Post – “Amid spike in Denver gang violence, “From Gangs to Gardens” doc looks at home grown solutions”

Feature Image Nico_Blue – iStock

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Posted in: Diet, Farming, food, Organic, Wellness


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