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dead prez

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by dumb hot, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. dumb hot

    dumb hot Banned

    Joined: Oct 7, 2000 Messages: 859 Likes Received: 0
    M1 of dead prez / interview

    Posted by Seditious News () on May 04, 2000 at 18:20:28:

    M1 of dead prez
    The debut album by dead prez, Let¹s Get Free (Loud), has received an amount
    of press attention wildly inconsistent with the impact it¹s making on the
    national hiphop scene. As far as I can tell, everyone is feeling dead prez.
    This interview reveals, in part, why few are writing about them.

    Dead prez is different from all the other acts doing political hiphop in
    for two reasons: First, their music is heavier. Let¹s Get Free alters your
    mental state before a single lyric is uttered, much like the early N.W.A.
    Public Enemy albums did. M1, who is from Jamaica and Brooklyn, and his
    partner stic.man, from Tallahassee­both rappers who identity as African, not
    African-American­manage to express complex issues in rhymes that don¹t come
    across corny or forced in the least. It¹s probably the rarest talent in pop.

    Secondly, these two young men are ready and willing to do the dirty work the
    conscious hiphoppers of the 80s left behind. Those emcees galvanized the
    hiphop movement by connecting the music with black power, black nationalism,
    African-American historical revisionism and the global buying power of
    non-white consumers. It was a fairly joyous process for all involved. Which
    is probably why so many political rappers are still stuck on that moment.

    But to actually go forward with a leftist hiphop cultural revolution, a few
    more things have to change. The soldiers have to become far more disciplined
    and unified than they currently are. They have to weed out the radical chic
    element­all those kids chanting "Fuck you I won¹t do what you tell me" at
    the Rage Against the Machine concert, directing the sentiment only at their
    parents and a few hockey-arena security guards. Unlike Rage, dead prez isn¹t
    letting their white suburban fans think of themselves as victims of
    oppression. They¹re hardly easier on black upper-middle-class heads, who I
    imagine enjoyed the almost-10-year respite since someone last excoriated
    "Uncle Toms" on a hiphop album. Nouveau-riche rap celebrities,
    get a free ride (though they do get scolded en masse in the scathing second
    verse of "Hip Hop"), prompting my first question for M1.

    When most rappers talk about seizing power, they¹re talking about making a
    lot of money, getting executive jobs at record labels, or in Hollywood or in
    the fashion industry. How do you feel about hiphop seizing that kind of

    Well, we got to. We got to use all mediums. We got to be multimedia. We have
    to get on the screen where we attack the display of images of us as an
    inferior people, and the whole mental and psychological attack that comes
    through radio, tv and press. We have to combat it every way that we can. But
    that¹s not power to me. I don¹t want to get that twisted­that is not power.
    I think power, for us, is gonna be the ability to control our lives, whether
    they regard tv or not. Tv does not, ultimately, bring food, clothing and
    shelter to our communities­although it can be a conduit to express the need,
    even the paramount struggle, that if we don¹t get it there will be no peace
    in our communities or anybody else¹s communities. That¹s what we can use
    those tools for. They¹re not needed if we have power in our own hands. We
    would really not need to go to tv and try to kowtow to their standards, do
    things that amount to "stoop to stand" because a lot of times when you¹re
    able to stand you are not who you were when you were stooping... By the time
    we do certain things, try to become actors or whatever, [to the point] where
    we can express a serious point of view without it being blocked, then we¹re
    not the same person anymore. We have transformed. That¹s built into the

    How do you feel about seizing power through electoral politics? Any hope

    Unless we can put a point of view on the ballot that begins to make a
    cry for food, clothing and shelter for the African community, economic
    development and social justice for our communities, there¹s no need to vote.
    There¹s no need for African people or Latino people­I think that more than
    anything the vote gets used against us because there¹s no accountability.
    people who are elected into office­[activists] say, Elect these people into
    office and make them responsible. The problem is, that¹s backwards. That¹s
    the tail wagging the dog. You can¹t make them responsible when they already
    got the vote! What you have to do is run someone who is accountable to us
    first. Usually, people are accountable to the government first and then to
    the people. That¹s backwards. That way, we will always get our laws twisted,
    anything we¹re going for will come back to us defeated.

    And how do feel about seizing power through armed revolution?

    Well, I think it¹s gonna have to come through armed­the police are armed.
    This country was founded on armed revolution.

    That¹s true. It¹d be messier now than it was then, though.

    That depends on what side you live on. Forty-one shots is pretty messy. It¹s
    already messy on our side of the field. If self-defense means that we have
    get guns to stop them from shooting us, I¹m not at all opposed to that. I do
    think that in order to feel safe here, you gotta own a gun. I know I do.

    But if you¹re going to openly support the armed overthrow of the U.S.
    government, you¹re not gonna have much of a music career. You realize that,
    don¹t you? They¹ll shut you down.

    Yeah, well, you have a point. You do have a point. We have been shut down in
    the past, but that does not mean we were incorrect.

    I¹m not saying you were incorrect. Just that if you get shut down there¹s no
    more dead prez. I¹m not so sure about your revolution, but I know I want to
    hear another dead prez album.

    I feel you, and I understand you too, but then what position am I left to

    I guess you can hedge it and say you don¹t rule out armed revolt but you¹re
    not necessarily for it. I guess that¹s a little wishy-washy.

    Yeah, it¹s a little wishy-washy! It¹s kinda playing both sides, which is
    cool, but I have a position which was my position before I came into the
    music business. I really believe that we can¹t even be called violent in the
    face of the violence that¹s been inflicted on us.

    But once you get a mob of people in a revolution, there¹s going to be a lot
    of innocent blood spilled, not just on the power side, but on the powerless
    side, too. Are you really ready to be responsible for that?

    No. My theory is, "More Sweat and Peace, Less Blood and War." That¹s why I¹m
    on the front lines of issues now­that¹s why I do what I do. What I know is:
    Power changing hands doesn¹t happen easily and it won¹t happen without a
    fight. We have to have power. I can¹t go on living my life this way. I can¹t
    keep going to jail, I can¹t keep having my people afflicted by crack,
    undereducated, miseducated. I can¹t continue to live under the welfare
    system, with no community control over many aspects of our lives. That may
    an option for a lot of other people, but I¹ve come to the point­the point
    that¹s driven through my music­that we can¹t take it anymore. I can¹t go
    that route anymore. I¹ve done as much as I can do. I¹ve gone at it
    backwards, sold as much crack as I can sell, seen as much crack being
    sold­that doesn¹t bring power. I seen people get elected to office and then
    turn their backs on us­that doesn¹t bring power. I know how to get real
    power. We have to get organized. And I think that when we do become
    organized, whether we are armed or unarmed, that this U.S. government will
    come after us in an armed fashion to retaliate. So I just have to be

    I¹m very moved by your album and I¹m very moved to hear you say what you
    just said. But I¹m not black, and my perception as I follow politics is that
    as moving as I find your message and messages like it that I hear in the
    hiphop music I love, the black community is still this very reliable voting
    bloc for the Democratic Party that Al Gore is counting on. If things are
    really as bad as you say­am I to believe that most black people are just
    completely deluded?

    That¹s a misconception­that all African people are voting for Al Gore.

    He can count on a majority of black voters¹ support in every single state.

    Yeah, you¹re right, that¹s through misrepresentation, and we have been
    duped. A lot of times, when powerless, people turn to whatever "can work."
    Right now, voting is an option so I don¹t rule it out. I say, Let¹s run the
    next Malcolm X. And white people have a place in that. You, yourself, have a
    place in that. You have a similar relationship to history that I have.

    How do you mean?

    Your relationship and mine are congruent. The reason why you live the way
    live has determined the way I live. We are directly related. Your legacy has
    been that of the slavemaster, mine has been the legacy of the slave. I¹m not
    saying that you¹re proud of that, I¹m saying that everybody has to recognize

    Just by being a light-skinned American, I carry the legacy of the
    slavemaster? I can see that if you¹re talking about my everyday white
    privilege, but that¹s not the only legacy of mine. I also have the legacy of
    the slave, and of the liberator in my blood as well.

    Okay, well, and I¹m not being racist by saying this­I believe that white
    people are human beings and deserve to live, believe me, I don¹t know how to
    express it any other way­but I do know that your legacy has enabled you to
    live with the benefits that the slavemaster has had over my life. You have
    understand, my inability to educate myself, the economic oppression that we
    endure, has been over 500 years. It didn¹t happen to me last year. I
    understand if you want to end it. I think that that¹s a humble and
    progressive statement to make if you say that. But I also know the way you
    can do it is different than the way I can do it. Because you have ownership
    of the resources. Your family, and your people who are related in that way
    have ownership of all my resources that we worked hard to build. The
    exploitation, this capitalist government, has made sure that it kept that
    power, through wielding guns, through state laws, state apparatuses, the
    courts­that¹s the statement that we¹re putting out.

    It¹s a serious question that both you and I are confronted with. You have
    responsibility to solve it just as much as I do. Just because I¹m standing
    making this statement, don¹t think that white people can¹t unite with it.
    You can, and so can black people are now getting a chance to hear this
    because those who haven¹t are voting for Al Gore. Once you have the ability
    to make a decision, well, then it¹s on you. You make a class decision. I
    to be in the whirlwind. I want to be part of the deciding factor. We don¹t
    claim to know everything, and I don¹t. But I do know that I want to be part
    of this change.

    vol 13 no 18

    i'm currious to konw what u guys think
  2. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    are these the guys that did that bass heavy track about 'fake records'
    ("i don' t player hate, i just stay awake...")???????
  3. dumb hot

    dumb hot Banned

    Joined: Oct 7, 2000 Messages: 859 Likes Received: 0
    eah i don't think so
  4. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    "if you check 1,2 my word of advice too you is just relax..."???????
    who is this?????
    "its real hiphop and it won't stop till we get the po-po off the block..."?????
  5. BoB Hope ONER

    BoB Hope ONER Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 23, 2000 Messages: 3,162 Likes Received: 0
    thats dead prez.

    some love.. some hate.

    think theyre a fucking.. great group.. hip hop .. and i dont mean.. fucking.. cliche term.. hip hop.. i mean.

    people.. who live the reality.. of .."hip hop" take that.. how you want..

    ...theres been a gap since.. public enemy.. and.. early.. Ice T.. there really needs to be this kind of .. music..


    good stuff.. solid.gold.
  6. fr8lover

    fr8lover Guest

    saw em live on the okayplayer tour...

    very smart, very politically aware...sort of racist, but i dont hate...
  7. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    bhoobpe...............thanks... . ......
    ...i've only heard that track,
    i always wondered if it was them....
    i'll have to reconnoiter........

    SIELOETTE Senior Member

    Joined: Nov 13, 2000 Messages: 1,107 Likes Received: 0
    Believe me when I say im very into hip hop..Its in my face constantly due to roomate musicians with common tastes..but dead prez has always been too angry for me.I just get pissed...I can speak on politics any time any day..But I dont know..Maybe thats the point..Its just not my cup of tea..

    they were horrible live..

    [This message has been edited by SIELOETTE (edited 07-07-2001).]