Archive for July, 2011

Immortal Technique drops some gems in this Boikott Israel track

How the fuck you gonna have a peace settlement
When people want a piece of your land to build settlements?

I guess some Americans just don’t remember
There’s a slave graveyard under the World Trade Centre

Stop the criticism of Iranian nuclear fission
Until mutual nuclear disarmament’s the mission

Kendrick Lamar lets you know where he stands – HiiiPoWeR

Yup, I’m late. Again. Some bangers on Kendrick Lamar’s album, but the final track, HiiiPoWeR, really stands out. The video and lyrics are full of freedom struggle imagery, and Kendrick does a great job bringing the history of the Black Power struggle to a young audience (Fred Hampton, Huey P Newton, Marcus Garvey, Bobby Seale, Malcolm X, Martin Luthur King all get a shout).

The hook makes it all simple:

Every day we fight the system
Just to make our way
We been down for too long
But that’s alright
We was built to be strong
Cause it’s our life
Every day we fight the system
We fight the system
We fight the system
Never like the system
We been down for too long

Viva Cuba! Lowkey ft Shadia Mansour – Too Much

The latest leak from Lowkey’s long-anticipated album, Soundtrack to the Struggle, has a clear message about the dangers of our society’s obsession with money, asking “Do you possess money or by money are you possessed?”

In contrast to the crass materialism of modern capitalist society, the video shows vibrant images of life in Cuba, a society where money is less important than physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being. The beautiful video ends with an important message from independent film-maker Pablo Navarrete about Cuba and the US blockade against it:

The US government’s blockade against Cuba was first imposed in October 1960.

It was introduced after the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro (which came to power in January 1959 after overthrowing the brutal US-backed dictator Fulencio Batista) nationalised property belonging to US citizens and corporations.

Since 1962 the blockade has been tightened further and today represents the longest blockade in history.

The cost to the Cuban economy has been catastrophic, estimated at more than 750 billion US dollars, in current prices.

The UN General Assembly has voted every year for 19 years on a resolution condemning the blockade. Every year the condemnation is virtually unanimous.

In the most recent vote in October 2010, 187 countries voted for ending the blockade. Only the US and Israel voted to continue with it.

The criminal US blockade of Cuba has for over 50 years tried to suffocate the island; to teach its people and revolution a brutal lesson for standing up to US imperialism and daring to be free.

With heroic sacrifices, Cuba continues to not only resist but to shine a light on the path to a fairer, more humane world.

Cuba resists; Cuba lives; Viva Cuba!

Another deep and important track from Lowkey. Very much looking forward to the album!

Follow Lowkey on Twitter.
Follow Pablo Navarrete on Twitter.

Lowkey – My Soul – “I’d rather die than smile with my oppressor”

Another big track and video from Lowkey. Video shot on location in Cuba by the always-excellent Global Faction.

They can’t use my music to advertise for Coca-Cola
They can’t use my music to advertise for Motorola
They can’t use my music to advertise for anything
I guess that’s reason the industry won’t let me in
Refuse to be a product or a brand; I’m a human
Refuse to contribute to the gangster illusion

You might take my life
But you can’t take my soul
You can’t take my soul
You might take my freedom
But you can’t take my soul
You can’t take my soul

Tell ‘em!

Follow Lowkey on Twitter.
Follow Global Faction on Twitter

Another one for Mandela’s birthday: Tracy Chapman – Freedom Now

Beautiful song dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

They throwed him in jail
And they kept him there
Hoping soon he’d die
That his body and spirit would waste away
And soon after that his mind

But every day is born a fool
One who thinks that he can rule
One who says tomorrow’s mine
One who wakes one day to find
The prison doors open the shackles broken
And chaos in the streets

Everybody sing we’re free free free free
Everybody sing we’re free free free free
Everybody sing we’re free free free free

The throwed him in jail
And they kept him there
Hoping his memory’d die
That the people forget how he once led
And fought for justice in their lives

But every day is born a man
Who hates what he can’t understand
Who thinks the answer is to kill
Who thinks his actions are god’s will

And he thinks he’s free free free free
Yes he thinks he’s free free free free
He thinks he’s free free free free

Soon must come the day
When the righteous have their way
Unjustly tried are free
And people live in peace I say
Give the man release
Go on and set your conscience free
Right the wrongs you made
Even a fool can have his day

Let us all be free free free free
Let us all be free free free free
Let us all be free free free free

Free our bodies free our mind
Free our hearts
Freedom for everyone
And freedom now

Freedom now
Freedom now
Freedom now

Let us all be free free free free
Let us all be free free free free
Let us all be free free free free

Massive respect to Sway for this deep tribute to Nelson Mandela

Happy Birthday brother Mandela! So happy to hear this tribute track from UK hip-hop legend Sway on a day when so many people seem to be focusing on the compromises Mandela made with white South Africa and with the international financial institutions.

Revolution is a multi-generational process. Nelson Mandela moved it forward; our job is to pick up where he left off. Do you really think that his compromises (made to keep the country together) were more significant than his positive contribution?! Sometimes I think the only way for a revolutionary from the Third World to be ‘pure’ enough for Western liberals is to die a glorious death. Yes, Mandela made compromises; in the light of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the aggressive push of the IMF in the 1990s, it’s hardly suprising. But the destruction of legal and political apartheid is a huge step forward, the significance of which should not be downplayed, especially by people who have never experienced being second class citizens in their own countries.

Anyway, once again, big up Sway. Great track.

New-wave roots: The Drop – Takeover

Check out this heavy conscious roots track from The Drop, a 9-piece new-wave reggae band from London. “Let we take over Babylon, yout-man! Let we take over Babylon, conscious man!”

Where do I sign up?!

Follow The Drop on Twitter
Check out their tracks on Bandcamp
Check out their videos on Youtube

Birthday greetings to Assata Shakur

Best wishes to legendary freedom fighter Assata Shakur! Here is Common’s beautiful tribute (easily one of his best ever tracks – his support for a black power exile earned him the hatred of the tea party lunatics). I hope Assata is enjoying the hospitality of her revolutionary brothers and sisters in Cuba.

In the spirit of god.
In the spirit of the ancestors.
In the spirit of the black panthers.
In the spirit of assata shakur.
We make this movement towards freedom
For all those who have been oppressed, and all those in the struggle.
Yeah. yo, check it-

There were lights and sirens, gunshots firin
Cover your eyes as I describe a scene so violent
Seemed like a bad dream, she laid in a blood puddle
Blood bubbled in her chest, cold air brushed against open flesh
No room to rest, pain consumed each breath
Shot twice wit her hands up
Police questioned but shot before she answered
One Panther lost his life, the other ran for his
Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
Comprehension she was beyond, tryna hold on
To life. she thought she’d live with no arm
That’s what it felt like, got to the hospital, eyes held tight
They moved her room to room-she could tell by the light
Handcuffed tight to the bed, through her skin it bit
Put guns to her head, every word she got hit
‘who shot the trooper? ‘ they asked her
Put mace in her eyes, threatened to blast her
Her mind raced till things got still
Opened her eyes, realized she’s next to her best friend who got killed
She got chills, they told her: that’s where she would be next
Hurt mixed wit anger-survival was a reflex
They lied and denied visits from her lawyer
But she was buildin as they tried to destroy her
If it wasn’t for this german nurse they woulda served her worse
I read this sister’s story, knew that it deserved a verse
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y’all.

I’m thinkin’ of assata, yes.
Listen to my love, assata, yes.
Your power and pride is beautiful.
May God bless your soul.

It seemed like the middle of the night when the law awakened her
Walkie-talkies cracklin, I see ‘em when they takin her
Though she kinda knew,
What made the ride peaceful was the trees and the sky was blue
Arrived to middlesex prison about six inna morning
Uneasy as they pushed her to the second floor in
A cell, one cot, no window, facing hell.
Put in the basement of a prison wit all males
And the smell of misery, seatless toilets and centipedes
She’d exercise, (paint? ,) and begin to read
Two years inna hole. her soul grew weak
Away from people so long she forgot how to speak
She discovered freedom is a unspoken sound
And a wall is a wall and can be broken down
Found peace in the panthers she went on trial with
One of the brothers she had a child with
The foulness they would feed her, hopin she’s lose her seed
Held tight, knowing the fight would live through this seed
In need of a doctor, from her stomach she’s bleed
Out of this situation a girl was conceived
Separated from her, left to mother the revolution
And lactated to attack hate
Cause federal and state was built for a black fate
Her emptiness was filled with beatings and court dates
They fabricated cases, hoping one would stick
And said she robbed places that didn’t exist
In the midst of threats on her life and being caged with aryan whites
Through dark halls of hate she carried the light
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this shit so we could be free.
Yeah, I often wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this shit so we could be free, so dig it, people-

Yo
From north carolina her grandmother would bring
News that she had had a dream
Her dreams always meant what they needed them to mean
What made them real was the action in between
She dreamt that Assata was free in they old house in queens
The fact that they always came true was the thing
Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done
Medical evidence shown she couldna shot the gun
It’s time for her to see the sun from the other side
Time for her daughter to be by her mother’s side
Time for this beautiful woman to become soft again
Time for her to breathe, and not be told how or when
She untangled the chains and escaped the pain
How she broke out of prison I could never explain
And even to this day they try to get to her
But she’s free with political asylum in cuba.

I’m thinkin’ of Assata, yeah.
Listen to my love, Assata, yeah.
We’re moulded from the same mud, Assata.
We share the same blood, Assata, yeah.
Your power and pride, so beautiful…
May God bless your soul.
Your power and pride, so beautiful…
May God bless your soul.

(Assata)
Freedom! you askin me about freedom. askin me about freedom?
I’ll be honest with you. I know a whole more about what freedom isn’t
Than about what it is, cause I’ve never been free.
I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is.
Uhh, the way I see it, freedom is — is the right to grow, is the right to
Blossom.
Freedom is -is the right to be yourself, to be who you are,
To be who you wanna be, to do what you wanna do.

Banger from M1, Bonnot, General Levy and Paolo Fresu – ‘Real Revolutionaries’

Check out the official video to this absolute banger of a track from M1, Bonnot, General Levy and Paolo Fresu. Blazing Afrocentric lyrics built around the Bob Marley classic ‘Zimbabwe’.

M1 goes in! Check his lyrics:

Bob hit the nail
when he fell on his deathbed
the streets ran red
with blood, sweat and tears
It was too many years for liberation
colonization enslaved a whole nation
Cecil stole that called it Rhodesia
too many white folks catchin’ amnesia
How convenient! History is not an agreement
I guess it’s based on how you see it
Nas was wrong, Mugabe was right!
We gotta fight! Izwe Lethu i Afrika!
Afrika’s our Land
The future is in our hands
So here’s a list of demands
Reparations for what they stole
The People, the Land, the Diamonds, the Gold
Stop the bombing us
Neo-coons Uncle Tom-ing us
Sellin us your empty promises
Your Economist
Propagandizing what time it is
Fuck that digital shit
Back up off our nuts a lil’ bit
And let’s take it back to the futuristic
I’ll testify as a material witness
These muthafuckas is too sadistic
If you got some melanin
you can get with this
X – that, if you, hear this
That’s the bizness!!

Kwame Nkruma, Sekou Toure
Thomas Sankara
The leaders of tomorrow
The future Garveys
The future Lumumba
The future Bikos
The future heroes
Let’s celebrate a free Zimbabwe
We doin it our way
A national holiday
No more Imperialism, not today
Fuck the I.M.F., Fuck the World Bank
United States of Afrika
Not AFRICOM
Do you think I’m dumb
I know where I’m from
the Continent
I ain’t claimin’ no block
you got me bent
I meant what I said
and said what I meant
Obama ain’t my president
That’s just white power
in a black face
This is about Liberation… not race!

New mixtape: Nate – Make It Happen

Must listen! Check the brand new FREE mixtape from rising UK hip-hop star Nate. Thought-provoking conscious lyrics, ghetto reportage, Afrocentric vibes, soulful beats and some great features from the likes of Lowkey, Logic, Cycolonius, Mohammed Yahya and Raggo Zulu Rebel.

DOWNLOAD HERE (MEDIAFIRE)

Tracklist:

  1. Intro Feat. Dark Matter
  2. Can’t Defeat We Feat. Tony As, Ethneezy & Raggo Zulu Rebel
  3. You’re Amazing Feat. Dark Matter & Reena
  4. Not For Sale
  5. Could Be You Feat. Logic, Mohammad Yahya Jay-Jay
  6. Africa Feat. Cyclonious, Dark Matter Jalex
  7. Skit Feat. Dark Matter
  8. One Wish Feat. Cyclonious, Lowkey Amy True
  9. Cold Feat. Cyclonious
  10. Spark My Soul Feat. Manic, Tony As & Jay-Jay
  11. Inner Peace
  12. Time To Shine Feat. Tony As, Non-Applicable, Raggo Zulu Rebel & Jay-Jay
  13. Outro Feat. Dark Matter

Follow Nate on Twitter

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