On 29 August 2021 at 13:00, the monument to the Rotterdam rapper and word artist Breyten Muskiet (1978 – 2004) will be inaugurated in Feijenoord. The Monument to BRIGHTNESS stands for inspiring young people to have confidence in their own voice.
Who was BRIGHTNESS?
Breyten '' BRIGHTNESS '' Muskiet was born on July 16, 1978 and grew up in IJsselmonde in Rotterdam. His mother named him after the South African writer and poet Breyten Breytenbach. He was known as a leader and role model in his environment who took care of the weak. Even though he wasn't always a sweetheart himself, he stood up to injustice. During his time in prison, he came to realize that he didn't want to throw his life away. He wanted to share this wisdom with other young people and therefore started to encourage young people to make positive choices. He taught them to finish school and to commit themselves to the neighborhood and the residents. His nickname soon became 'Help', due to his helpful nature.
He started his rap career with English lyrics, but soon opted for the Dutch language. He also renamed himself BRIGHTNESS: 'Hear every lesson that has a reason and ignore folly.', but was also called the Biggie of the Netherlands. He founded his own rap group called the “Gear Committee”. Besides the Rig Committee he also had a solo career with which he released three solo songs: BRIGHTNESS, Reality en Progression. The last two songs appeared on the compilation CD 'Alle 13 dope' from the label Top Notch & HomeGrown. His profound songs make people think and are still of great value in the rap scene.
On April 7, 2004, Helderheid died of cardiac arrest in his sleep at the age of 25. The rapper was buried on April 15, 2004.
Video: Roffa Presents | OPEN Rotterdam
The Helderheid Foundation is looking for talents who want to delve more deeply into the art of positivity. “It is our mission to encourage young people to find a way to motivate ourselves and others with our gifts of verbal art, despite the dire situations that arise in this world.”
Since 2008, the annual Brightness Festival organized on the Brightness Square. Prior to the festival, there will be a series of open mics and preliminaries in which budding rappers can participate and win a performance during the Helderheid Festival. The Clarity Cup is awarded annually to the best rap performance. The Clarity Talent Show is the first "positive talent show", where the text and content must be positive and realistic.
Monument for BRIGHTNESS
BRIGHTNESS tried to combat racism in his neighborhood and city with his actions and texts. His lyrics show that he was aware of the barriers and struggles his peers faced and have to deal with themselves and their challenges. With his friends from the Harness Committee he used to quickly spread this message. The number Progression is exemplary chosen from many of his texts. A quote from it, written in his own handwriting, has become an important part of the monument. In the monument, the vision of BRIGHTNESS is represented in a universal message of Love, Happiness, Peace and Self-control – the keys to living together on all fronts in a neighborhood and city.
“It will be a monument to young people who realize that they are not second-class citizens. For young people who can build a hopeful future thanks to talent discovery and talent development. Progress is the reality.”
Visual artist Micha Prinsen and designer Lloyd Muskiet designed a four meter high stainless steel column, with patterns that hark back to Surinamese wood carvings. The patterns culminate in the BRIGHTNESS logo. A stanza from Progression is incorporated in the column. This song can also be heard in the animation film that Ralph Vroeijenstijn made.
Video: animation by Ralph Vroeijenstijn
The Monument to BRIGHTNESS is being realized on behalf of BKOR, a program of CBK Rotterdam. This project was realized with the support of the municipality of Rotterdam and is being carried out by Petit3D Techniek.