Archive for the 'politics' Category

iTunes, DRM and Artist Royalties

Earlier this week, alarm bells were ringing when a quote from Apple in 2007 found its way back to the top of the news heap. That quote? That if royalties were to change to a point of being unprofitable to Apple, it would shut its iTunes store down. Now even the thought of this, among Apple and its competitors, has been brewing frightening thoughts for the consumers for a while due to the fact that virtually all the music these stores sell is DRM protected. Of course, the DRM is built into the song, so what exactly happens if the company selling the songs ends their existence? Well, it looks like the DRM for the material would expire, leaving consumers with hundreds if not thousands of “purchased” songs that will no longer play anywhere. As a music lover (and legal buyer of mp3s), this kind of news, even if it is an undeveloped thought, causes a good deal of frustration. Here the studios want consumers to pay for music, foregoing the option of downloading all the music they want illegally for free, but the copyright protection within the music means that if the retailer goes down, the files go down with it? That’s like buying a CD at Tower which is then erased when Tower goes out of business (you all do still remember Tower, don’t you?)

So what can we do about it when the very mechanism that has allowed music labels to go digital, and therefore the infrastructure that controls all of our legal downloads, is compromised by companies willing to close their DRMs? Unfortunately, not much. Short of burning all of your DRM tracks to a CD and then re-ripping them to mp3s to strip of them of their DRM (and some sound quality in the process), if a store goes down and discontinues its DRM licensing, all the tracks you’ve bought could die on your iPod. This to me seems like the ultimate Trojan horse of the music industry…we don’t want you to have mp3s, but if you do, we’ll create a way so that once they’re in your music library, should the stores you bought them from close, we’ll demolish your entire music collection from the inside.

I understand the purpose of DRM, but unfortunately its just not a viable business model if there are ways to stop the music playback at any point after the purchase. The point of buying music is that you have it forever. All the CDs I bought are still mine and will be mine for as long as I manage not to lose or damage them. The idea that you could buy a song which at some point in the future becomes unusable is, to me at least, outrageous.

The reason that all of this has come about this week is because the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) was weighing a decision to raise the artist royalties on digital downloads from 9.1 cents per song to 15 cents a song. From what I can ascertain from the article announcing the steady royalty fees, a .99 cent iTunes song is sold like this…

1) Apple sells the song for .99. 2) Apple keeps .29. 3) Apple gives .70 to the record label. 4) Record label gives the artist 9.1 cents, keeping 60.9 cents. I don’t know about you, but even at 9 cents a song, it seems like the labels and iTunes are getting over on the artist. Are we really supposed to believe that the iTunes store deserves to keep almost three times as much money for a song it sells than the artist receives?

What this scare does do is make it painfully obvious that the record labels and online music stores need to create a way and find a method to allow consumers to legally retain their music, no matter what happens to the store you buy it from. Should royalty rights eventually be raised in favor of the artist, it would be a travesty for Apple to claim it can no longer operate iTunes profitably (with the number of sales they have per year and the fact that they’re getting money just to be a middle man, it would be very hard for me to accept the idea that they aren’t profitable), disable the DRMs and leave music consumers with a bunch of dead and unusable files. Apple needs to show a little more foresight and decency when it comes to wolf cries of lost profits with a change from 9.1 to 15 cents of royalty. This could have been Apple simply playing politics in order to protect its profit margin, but even then the greed factor, given what the artists out there are making, comes into play.

For now (the CRB’s decision lasts 5 years), it appears we can rest easy. But it makes it clear that more thorough examinations of the digital music sales industry, DRM technology and what the rules and technology mean to consumers are necessary and should not be ignored.

Thievery Corporation’s New Album: Early Release on Facebook, iLike

Given the current chaos in the music industry, bands must find new ways to promote their music. From musicians using Twitter to connect with fans or partnering with brands to cross promote, we are seeing more and more examples of non-traditional music promotion and distribution. The artists who are willing to take risks and think outside the box, with their art and with their careers, are the ones we here at Evolving Music are most interested in.

One such band is Thievery Corporation. In addition to being a refreshingly unique group that fuses together a plethora of genres and cultural sounds, they are not afraid to speak their minds. Sure, everyone likes a good mindless “bump ‘n’ grind” tune from time to time, but you gotta respect the artists who choose to use their music not just as entertainment, but as a way to communicate what they believe and are passionate about (as we’ve covered in previous posts about artists such as Immortal Technique and Bataka Squad.)

The DJ duo, comprised of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, hails from Washington DC, which “has long been the home of a music subculture legendary for fierce independence, a staunch do-it-yourself work ethic, and conscientious social activism.” They definitely practice what they preach. The organic multi-cultural sounds of dub, reggae, lounge, afrobeat and Indian music, to name a few, may catch your attention at first if you hear Thievery’s music at a neighborhood cafe or in a European nightclub. But, their uninhibited socio-political messages and passionate desire to open hearts and minds will keep you riveted.

Additionally, their diverse team of collaborators – singing in numerous languages, playing funky instruments, and each adding their own cultural thread to the musical quilt – give the band a truly unique sound. Not to mention their live shows, which can be pretty freakin amazing.

Photo by openeye

Their upcoming album, Radio Retaliation, purportedly takes their politicizing to a new level. According to Rob, “There’s no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It’s hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up.”

If you are on Facebook or iLike you’ll be able to stream Thievery Corporation’s new album on September 19th, before its official release on September 23rd. This is the first time the two social networking giants have ever worked together to promote an album.

Given that this album is particularly focused on the band’s disgust with the current state of American media, their decision to skip the middle man and go straight to their fans via the internet is appropriate, both for them personally and for the industry as a whole. According to Hilton, “We chose iLike as the platform to debut this record because it offers us a direct vehicle to share our music and communicate with fans worldwide, free from editorializing or whitewashing of our messages.”

For the fans among you, or those interested in gaining further insight into the artists and their message, keep your eyes out for a series of videos in which they introduce and discuss the album, which will be available exclusively on iLike. In the meantime, check out the title track on their MySpace.

To quote Rob Garza once more, “… if you can get people to question the things around them, just a little, then that’s not such a bad thing.”

On that note, here’s the title track from their 2002 “Richest Man in Babylon” album:

Doomtree Interview



For anyone who hasn’t heard of Doomtree, they bring a variety of MCs and DJs to the table in what has become a comfortable and exciting collaboration of individuals exploring how to produce and expand new hip-hop while pulling from other musical genres and multiple rapping styles. Doomtree demonstrates the potential that is created when numerous artists, most from seemingly disparate backgrounds, get together to create something new and different. Last week I had the opportunity to chat with P.O.S. and Mike Mictlan of Doomtree about their style, the idea behind the group, and of course politics. Enjoy.

AC: Hey, this is POS and Mike on the line?
POS: Yea.
MM: This is Mike.
AC: How you guys doing? Where you at today?
POS: Minneapolis, 32nd right off of Hennepin
MM: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Park and Franklin.

AC: What’s the general hip-hop scene like in Minnesota? People are starting to hear the name Doomtree and before that Atmosphere was real big. What are some other artists?
POS: For the most part, as far as hip-hop, it’s very diverse and large scene aside from Atmosphere and Doomtree, we’ve got Brother Ali, Self Divine, Kill the Vultures on some avant hip-hop, it can go on and on. It’s one of those cities that no matter where you’re at, any night of the week you can find a hip-hop show, and chances are three out of four will be decent. What do you think Mike?
MM: I could go on and on with that list. I’ve got a lot of favorite rappers out here, the scene is very thick in terms of hip-hop and music in general. Not only can you find hip-hop three nights a week, but you can find a lot of genres.
POS: Any number of punk rock, metal, hardcore, indie rock, pop, anything you’re looking for.

AC: You guys are obviously MCs, but there’s a lot of other musical genres and tastes that you bring into it. Talk a bit about your influences and what kind of musical backgrounds you both have.
MM: I’ve chosen rap my designated favorite style of music since I was 4 years old. Aside from rapping on an independent rap label, I’m a connoisseur of gangsta rap and various other hip-hop genres. In terms of doing actual music, right now I just rap my ass off.
POS: As far as me, I came up more interested in punk and hardcore from a very young age, as soon as I heard it, that’s what grabbed my attention because of the energy of it. And then as I grew up I got more into the experimental areas of that stuff, like the Fugazis, as well as underground hip-hop, all the old Rhymesayers stuff. I currently make hip-hop and play guitar and sing in a hardcore band, not really hardcore anymore, but it’s something off the wall called Building Better Bombs, it’s like a dancey, hardcore screamy mess.
AC: What kind of things do you do in order to get ready for these very different shows? Between your more punk and hardcore shows, and then coming in to do a hip-hop show with Doomtree, do you use different methods of preparation?
POS: Not at all. It’s all the same to me. It’s different songs and setting, and hip-hop shows tend to have more people at them, but I’ve been making music since I was real young, and it’s always been about getting a chance to go out and perform it and have a good time, it’s one of my favorite things to do. Preparation is about the same for both, it’s just wait until you get to go do it, and then go do it.

AC: In terms of the group Doomtree, where did the name come from and how did you guys form up?
MM: I don’t think any of us really know where it came from.
POS: It was some non-sensical banter. Sometimes you get something stuck in your head and say it, and then when we were tossing around names for an early stage of it, it was just a production crew called Doomtree. Then that blossomed as we started playing more rap shows. How it came together was me, MK Larada, Bobby Gorgeous and Cecil Otter started doing some shows that I had booked, solo shows. Cecil would come out and do my back ups. He had songs, but he was nervous, but then as he got less nervous we started splitting the sets in half. Sam was somebody we went to high school with, Mike we met in high school, and from there it snowballed into a nice solid crew that we all felt good around.
MM: I met Stef (P.O.S.) when I was in high school, we’ve been wanting to rap together ever since…Doomtree’s a monster.

AC: Obviously we have you two on the line, but you’ve just dropped a lot of names for a lot of people in Doomtree, so for the people who don’t know the crew out there, why don’t you talk a little bit about what the other members bring to the table in terms of their styles and musical input, and how do they form the rest of the group?
MM: Well we’re talking about 9 people altogether.
POS: I don’t want to step on you Mike, but I just thought of a solid answer. It’s essentially 5 solo MCs, myself, Mike, Sims, Dessa, Cecil Otter and Turbo Nemesis is a DJ, Paper Tiger is a DJ and producer, MK Larada is a producer, Lazerbeak is a mega super producer. We essentially make solo songs, each bring our own style, I don’t want to go into everyone’s style, but everyone brings their own favorite elements of music into it and then we pile it on. Mike’s from LA, we all have our own sound, our own individual styles, and when we write songs together we try to balance everything out to make sure everyone gets the proper shine, everyone gets the proper words in to round out the song as well as flex their own personal style, from solid pattern rapping to as poetic as people want to write.

AC: It sounds like you have a great collaboration and you just released your first album. Talk about the tracks on this album and what the listeners can expect to hear.
MM: This album is a long time coming. There isn’t really any filler. We just had a lot of straightforward rap. When I listen to it, I may be biased, it doesn’t sound like everything else, but it fits right in. It doesn’t sound like the new, it doesn’t sound like the old, but it fits somewhere in there, at least to me when I step outside it as a listenter. We all have a solo track on there, and the other 18 songs are all of us together with different styles. I think a lot of it is straightforward.
POS: I think straightforward to us is a little different. I definitely agree with Mike that we don’t sound like new, we don’t sound like old, but we mix right in. We all bring elements of what you expect to hear from hip-hop, but we all also bring out own little flair. I think that’s an accident, being in the Midwest, and kinda being outsiders in the Minneapolis hip-hop scene for a really long time, we ended up playing a lot of shows with a lot of bands, a lot of rock bands, catering to different crowds than rap crowds until we could actually get outselves put on, so I think over the years our style just kinda developed in that way. It’s not like excessively rock music by any means, but the rules are cast aside in terms of how it’s supposed to go, the roots are in raw pattern hip-hop, and trying to be the best possible rappers we can be without having to talk about rap all the time. If people haven’t heard any of us before and they pick up the Doomtree record, they could and they should expect to hear quality hip-hop production, quality raps varied over 5 entirely different sounding MCs with 5 entirely different styles, but it’s all stuff that you’re used to if you’re a fan of rap. If you’re not a fan of rap, the beats can get aggressive or melodic enough to where you’re in, just one of those things where we don’t put on any kind of face for anybody, we just go do it.
MM: And that’s exactly what I meant by straight up.

AC: How would you view the traditional music industry with major labels and CD distribution, and where it’s intersecting now and clashing in some cases with the mp3 and download industry.
POS: That’s something we kept in mind when we went into this record coming out. A lot of these songs were done and started being written 2 years ago, and then the others are brand new, mega fresh. But a lot of that came from trying to find the right people to help us with the right deal and right situation. We ended up talking to some smaller majors, some moderately bigger majors and some indies and we ultimately wanted it by ourselves and looked into who we could talk to to help us do that. We ended up going alone because we didn’t want to give up our digital rights, and people are offering these ancient deals that just don’t make sense anymore. It’s the kind of thing where the artist has more control over the product than ever in the history of music. That’s a double-edged sword because there’s tried and true ways of getting it done out there and getting paid for it, and then there’s this whole experimental new world that we’re kinda just launching ourselves into. So I don’t really know how the music business is supposed to go, but when people say that they can’t do it the way that we want to, we just say sorry we’re going to go do it this way now.

AC: In terms of not giving up your digital rights, you look at Radiohead and NIN who recently had very well publicized free releases and downloads of albums. Do you think it’s beneficial to give parts of your songs to fans in remix contest format? Do you agree with putting your music out there to let the fans interact with your music?
MM: I’m totally into that. Two people I know, their next project is acapellas and instrumentals for free downloads on their Myspace. What it’s really all about is getting your music out there. Especially with CD sales, all that we have left is touring, playing shows and selling merchandise if we’re ever going to make money. So in my eyes, I see using your CDs and music as a tool to get people to your shows and stay current to what you’re making. With the digital insurgence, if you will, we’re definitely at a point where we need to put as much music out as possible, so if that makes people remix it and get it out even more, that’s where it’s at.
AC: That’s demonstrated by the fact that before I heard about you through your PR company, I checked the “Dots and Dashes” track off Indiefeed Hip-Hop. What kind of touring are you doing and where can people look out for you coming up?
MM: After we put the crew record out on July 29th, one of the big reasons we didn’t go with any of the labels is that we wanted a very rigorous release schedule. With the finishing of our crew record, we had almost everybody finishing solo projects. On the 26th of August we had Cecil Otter drop his solo record. Me and Lazerbeak are putting out a collaboration out at the end of this month, September 23rd, and then we hope to have something coming from our camp at least every month until the summer. We just got off a tour with the Flobots, and I believe we’ll probably be going out with POS for his solo record coming out.

AC: You’re up in Minnesota right now and the Republican National Convention is taking place. What’s the atmosphere up there like, and where does Doomtree stand, if anywhere, politically?
MM: We’re all pretty incredibly liberal people.
POS: We’re on the left, like in the corner, talking to ourselves. The atmosphere out here is crazy. We’re in Minneapolis the conventions in St. Paul, but you can still see like 6 police helicopters flying over Minneapolis two days before.
: I’ve seen unmarked vans with the doors open with guys in SWAT gear just waiting to pull up, I thought it was a drive by.
POS: Today was the first day of the convention and there was a cop car that got destroyed and a bunch of people got maced. There’s 72 hour holding cells for people if you don’t have a permit to demonstrate. Seems like a total headache nightmare…I’ll probably head down there tomorrow.
MM: There was a raid the night before last. Like 150 people got arrested.
POS: They weren’t arrested…they just busted into peoples’ houses got information and left. It’s bad news bears, but it’s to be expected, it’s the Republican National Convention. They definitely took down anything that isn’t bolted down. They were knocking down stuff 6 miles out from where the convention is, taking down lightposts just in case.

AC: That’s all the questions I’ve got for you guys today. Do you two want to plug anything, talk about any albums coming out, go for it.
POS: I just want to pump and People can go there and figure out whatever’s going on without having to think, they can just go there and look.
AC: I certainly appreciate you taking the time to talking to us at Evolving Music today.
MM: I appreciate you having us.
POS: Thanks man.

Immortal Technique Interview, Part 3

Immortal Technique Cover Art for The 3rd WorldThis week we have posted two parts of our exclusive interview with Immortal Technique. In these interviews Tech has discussed his method for writing music, the effort it takes to self-produce an album, his views on global politics and current events, and insight into the creation of his upcoming album, The 3rd World. In this final segment, Tech talks about music revenue, the remix culture and the upcoming Presidential election.

For Part 1, click here.

For Part 2, click here.

AC: Going off of that in terms of revenue and economy, there has been a lot of talk of internet piracy hurting the income of musicians. In “Obnoxious,” you advocate people to “burn it off the fucking internet and bump it outside,” so you obviously don’t feel that piracy is hurting you. What do you think the difference is between the reality of what musicians make from song and album sales on iTunes, and what the record industry wants consumers to believe they make in order to discourage music piracy?

IT: I definitely would like people to purchase The 3rd World in stores and purchase it online, but I think it was more of a way for me to express my frustration with the music industry. I can’t believe they have the audacity to call anybody else a thief. As much money as they steal from artists, as much as they don’t have a health care program for any of their artists, and I look at stuff like that and I’m disgusted. They go to these conferences and tell kids, “How can you steal a record?” I’m like really?

AC: They’re stealing from their own artists.

IT: How come you steal from your own artists? How come you’re selling the masters of your own stuff to be bootlegged in order to generate a buzz in the hood. You’re doing it to yourself and then you want to blame other people? You Godless piece of shit. How dare you try to take the moral high ground with the rest of the society by claiming that someone else is a thief? Really? What about all the Black artists who R&B and Soul were based on, whose masters were bought up in a fucking fixed contract? How about all the people who never got the money that they deserved because someone else slapped their name on a fucking recording, who didn’t have anything to actually do with the process of making this music, or didn’t participate in any of the song writing? How about all the publishing that you owe people? That’s tantamount to reparations that you owe the Latino and African-American communities. So before they talk about stealing money, they should realize that when you point the finger at somebody, there’s three fingers pointing right back at you.

Besides all that, I think that even though it‘s a great thing to be able to download music, there’s bad things to it too. Like when you don’t want a record to leak yet and then it does. So it’s not like I think downloading is great all the time. I definitely don’t want my record to be leaked before it’s ready to be leaked, cause it might not be the correct version of the song, or I might have wanted to change something to complete my artistic vision. But I think also that what needs to be said is that it’s not downloading that’s killing the music. It’s the fact that a whole bunch of people who don’t know shit about music are in charge of a music department. Like I’m glad that you went to the Wharton Business School, I’m glad that you know how to market a record, but that doesn’t mean you know shit about music. Unfortunately, that’s the problem with Hip-Hop, that’s the problem with our culture. We have a whole bunch of people who have no connection to our culture dictating everything for us. We’ve given a valid opinion to people who are not connected to us, over us.

AC: In the musical aspects of your recordings, how much control do you feel it’s necessary to have? Would you be in support of remix work as long as it didn’t distort your artistic message?

IT: I don’t know, remix work is touchy. I understand people sampling a track or something, but being able to take all of your work and re-do it and release the project and not give you a cut off anything, that’s different. You want to take a song and burn it off the internet, that’s fine. But if you’re burning my music off the internet and then selling it, that’s a whole different type of fraud. That’s not just regular fraud, that’s a violation. That’s some shit that’s going to get your IP address tracked down and beat the fuck up. If you follow my tour with a fucking camera and then try to release a DVD of all my shows, and you’re trying to charge people for it, you know what, I’m not even going to let the law handle you, I’m going to handle you motherfucker.

And I think that this is the point that I’m trying to make…it’s acceptable for people who can’t afford your music or can’t find it in the record stores, which was the issue with Revolutionary Vol. 2 to do that, but I always felt like it didn’t affect me as much because the people that really believed in my work and really believed in my music, they were the same people that were willing to go to the record store after they heard it and try to find the album, or they downloaded it and said, “You know what, I really like this so I’m going to support it.”

AC: Politically and philosophically, you’re the most in depth rapper when it comes to discussing important issues. But a lot of them, racism, poverty, crime, terrorism, religion, breakdown in the educational system, corruption within the political system, these are all tied together, so it becomes like a ball of string. Where do you start unraveling?

IT: I think sometimes I try to take a historical approach more than anything else. Try to talk about how racism came about, talk about the history of terrorism and the history of our involvement in a country, talk about the history of a war and our dealings with specific countries. Then we create a chronological order to follow wherein we take note of specific time periods and the progression of the way in which we became enslaved or became free, or the way we advanced ourselves so we can break them down into subsections. That way we can say, “Ok, this is the origination of this, these are the contributing factors of what made this happen, this is how this plays to this.” Then you start with the origin in history of all of these things because they all do have an origin in history.

Slavery has been around since the Hammurabi period in Mesopotamia, so I think we can look into the origin of lots of things. In terms of whether it’s Communism or Socialism, I mean, it doesn’t start with Karl Marx. I’m sorry to disappoint the adamant White left that sees him as a god. He’s not the father of Communism, he just decided to write down some ideas that were prevalent in all societies going back thousands of years. African and indigenous peoples had a sense of collectivism before Europe even had a structured civilization. That’s not to talk down to Europeans or anything, but just to make the point that this has been going on and the history of our people is older than we can imagine it being. Even the kingdom of Egypt is 4, 5,000 years old, and that doesn’t even begin to describe the kingdoms that came from the Nubians that gave rise to the Egyptians, even though Egyptians are touchy about that subject. But it’s true. These are things that we need to acknowledge, we need to embrace so we can understand our civilization better rather than just falling into the category we always do of being hateful of every civilization besides our own. We need to learn the lessons from history or we’re going to be doomed to repeat them again.

AC: On that note Tech, I have one more question for you if you have time.

IT: Sure.

AC: Basically, our current Administration in this country is a joke. They’ve infringed on our civil rights, deleted emails, judicial firings, and they’ve gotten us into wars we shouldn’t be in. On “Freedom of Speech,” you say, “I love the place that I live, but I hate the people in charge.” We have an election coming up. Do you see any real potential for change in either of these candidates or does it look like more of the same to you?

IT: I think it will be more of the different. It’ll be different things. Obviously we’ve made trillions of dollars of investments in Iraq, and as much as I’d like to believe Barack Obama, who by the way I did vote for, because I vote in every election. Not because I necessarily believe Democracy can’t be circumvented, but more so because when presumptuous motherfuckers come up to me and be like, “Did you vote dude?” and I’ll be like, “well actually I did and it didn’t make a motherfucking difference so get the fuck out of my face and organize something different. Stop thinking that the only way that we can appreciate the democratic rights that we fought for are by voting 25 times every century.” I think that democracy is the institution we set up, not just for voting, and I think that Barack Obama, if he’s elected, will be able to implement more social programs for the benefit of the average American than John McCain. The war will not end. Barack Obama talks about change. You know what’s going to happen? The war’s not going to end, the war’s just going to change. It’s going to be a different war. America tried having a war that was justified by nonsense, a war that was narrated by an idiot. Now they’re going to have a war that is justified and narrated by an incredibly articulate and incredibly intelligent man, if Barack Obama is the one that’s elected. But he’ll have an excuse for it, and for everything, and just from his speech at AIPAC, I don’t think that America’s position on the Israeli-Palestine conflict is going to change. I really don’t think that we’re just going to up and leave Iraq, like I said, the war is just going to change.

AC: And again, that’s assuming we’re intelligent enough to put Obama in when this is a country that for 8 years went with Bush.

IT: Right. He might not even win. We have to realize that the places he beat Hillary Clinton were because people didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win because of the Rush Limbaugh factor, where people were saying, “you know what? We need to smear Obama, we need to make sure he doesn’t come out of this looking rosy, so I want Hillary Clinton to be voted for.”

AC: Right. Well Tech, I won’t take up anymore of your time. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk today.

IT: No doubt. And remember, June 24th, you’ve got The 3rd World, Immortal Technique and DJ Green Lantern, will be on sale in every store, be on, and of course you can preview the record on

So there you have it folks, Immortal Technique’s exclusive interview for Evolving Music. Start getting excited for The 3rd World to drop as the tracks I’ve heard off it are phenomenal. They continue the trend of excellent music supported and punctuated by vicious and powerful lyrics and masterful delivery. Evolving Music and MixMatchMusic would like to thank Immortal Technique for his time in doing this interview, as well as Dennis Paredes, Sam Donado, Public Wizard and Viper Records for helping to make it possible.

Music is Our Weapon

“The music is our weapon. We don’t have any pistols any canons or any bazookas. But we have our voice and it is a powerful weapon.”
Democracy in Dakar

After writing about Ugandan Hip Hop, we received an email from someone over at Sol Productions who is good friends with the Diamonds in the Rough crew. He let us know about another project related to hip hop and politics, which I thought I’d pass on to you all. Here are the trailers for their two new documentaries.

African Underground: Democracy in Dakar

learn more…

African Underground: Democracy in Paris

learn more…

I think what the people over at Sol Productions and Nomadic Wax are doing to educate and inspire people is pretty badass. If any of you know of similar projects related to music, politics and activism, do let us know.

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