Hard Knock Radio: M1 of dead prez Speaks / Obamacare Intvs from Wash DC (02-20-14)

M1-dead prez side viewHard Knock Radio (Feb 20 2014) We sit down w/ M1 of the legendary group dead prez who has just returned from overseas. We talk to him about artist responsibility and commitment to social justice movements. He talked about the group’s evolution and what its like for the group as they approach the 14th anniversary of their debut album ‘Lets Get Free‘.

We also talk to him about the legacy of mass surveillance and how its always been present in Black and Brown communities and was ignored and dismissed by the mainstream. M1 notes now that mass surveillance is everywhere what was once a ‘they’ problem is now a ‘we’ problem..

We round up our show with more interviews from the floor of the Families USA convention in Washington DC regarding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

right click the link below to download or  stream the HKR Intv

right click the link below to download or
stream the HKR Intv

hardknockradio_02-20-2014 M1 and Healthcare

3 New Hip Hop Videos from the Bay Area that Hit & We Should All See

Mistah Fab hits us across the dome with one of the better videos that speak to our conditions in 2010

Mistah Fab

Definitely digging the new video from Oakland’s own Mistah Fab This is Cool / Is a great song w/ a powerful message that challenges is and is coming from someone who has been through a lot.. Gotta applaud more songs like this.. Keep it coming such messages are needed..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb1RZJkYmz0

Another dope song that’s coming from the Bay Area and shot in San Francisco is Razor Sharp Thoughts featuring Shamako Noble and Pasha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zp2otvscEE&amp

We gonna repost this joint from Oakland rapper AshEL who teams up with Sticman from dead prez to do battle with Monsanto and the food industry.. The song has a great concept and nice wordplay.. Food is a drug.. It can help you or hurt you.. I like the way these cats break it down..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH3YDzSWcPo

New Hip Hop Song feat AshEl & Sticman of dead prez Smashes the Food Industry

Junk Food Food FightI love when Hip Hop artists do songs like this.. The beat is hitting. The lyrics are on point.. The concept is scorching.. What a great way to talk about the evils of the Food Industry.. This song called ‘Food Fight‘ comes courtesy of Oakland artist AshEl “Seasunz” Eldridge of Earth Amplified and Sticman of dead prez/RBG..I like how these cats flip the script and make u wanna put down any and all junk food with this song.. There hasn’t been a food justice song this good since ‘Beef’ by KRS-One.. and dead prez‘s Be healthy

Maybe our good friends at the NAACP who went out and supported Monsanto when Prop 37 came up on the Cali ballot which would require food companies to label all GMO foods, should see this video.. Mad Props

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu8QthlZ6hY&feature=youtu.be

KRS-One Beef

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86E9cX28jsQ

Dead prez Be healthy

http://vimeo.com/17489151

M1 of dead prez Teams up w/ Nas to Pay Tribute to Denmark Vessey

Loving this new jam called ‘Genocide Highway’ from M1 of dead prez and Nas that pays tribute to Denmark Vesey, who led a slave revolt and became free on November 9th, 1799. This is a dope cut and I get the sense that we have more of these types of songs coming down the pipe.. Props to M1 and Nas as well as Beatnick & K-Salaam on the beat, the hook and the scratch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOCECLrBRNE

Nas

A Few Thoughts on Nas, dream hampton, Ghost Writing & Hip Hop Losing its Integrity

The controversy around writer dream hampton (she spells her name in lower case) sending out a tweet where she asserted rappers Stic.man of dead prez and Jay Electronica were ‘ghost writers‘ for Nas is interesting on several levels. First, a lot of folks saw the tweet or heard about it and immediately jumped up to defend the Queensbridge emcee claiming that him having a ghostwriter is an assault to the ‘integrity of Hip Hop’ and that dream is somehow a bad journalist who should be tossed under a bus. I’ll let folks marinate on that for moment..

For those who aren’t up on what happened, here’s the tweet that dream sent out a few days ago…People went ape shyt over this..

“I think Jay writes what he believes. Nas’ “Nigger” album was largely written by Stic of dead prez and Jay Electronica @JusAire…”@dreamhampton

I found the angry reaction curious because what Dream tweeted wasn’t uncommon knowledge. Back when Nas was working on the Untitled album, there was lots of banter, speculation and hope that because he was working with dead prez, they might pen some tracks for him..Many felt such a move would give Nas sharper and harder hitting political content in his songs.

Ain’t nothing wrong with that when you consider over the years we’ve seen percussionist Duke Bootee do this for Grandmaster Flash & Mele-Mel with the landmark song The Message. We recently saw  Bay Area rapper Paris do this for Chuck D of Public Enemy on the album  ‘Rebirth of a Nation‘. No one would ever deny Chuck or Mel’s writing abilities or political prowess…In the case of Nas and Sticman, whether what resulted was co-writing, producing where hooks, ideas and a few bars were provided, scoring of tracks to model for Nas or ghostwriting in the technical sense where full songs were penned minus public credit, none of that seemed shocking, out of the ordinary or a bad thing. There’s a long tradition from  Billy Holiday’s Strange Fruit penned by Abel Meeropol to Stevie Wonder penning songs for Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & even Michael Jackson to Ice Cube and DOC penning songs for Eazy E and NWA to Prince penning songs for everyone from Chaka Khan to Sheila E to Rhymefest penning Jesus Walks for Kanye West.. Hip Hop and music in general has not lost its integrity because of it.

Over the years, I been in enough recording sessions with artists big and small to see first hand how the process plays out..People share ideas, verses get traded, shifted around, reassigned, some are written and then rewritten, some are imposed etc.. How things get publicly credited and monies divided up in the end is one aspect..but for the most part, the end game has been to put out the absolute best product. The bottom line is no matter what folks like to believe, not everything recorded is written by the one spitting verses. That applies to folks who some might consider the very best and it applies to some who are relatively unknown.

We see similar process in beat production. Not everyone who is deemed ‘the producer‘ works the drum machine and craft the melodies. By now its common knowledge that revered producer Dr Dre is not in the studio coming up with every single drum track, it doesn’t mean he’s not capable nor would anyone deny is skill as a producer?

On a side note, we also know that over the years everyone from Eminem to Jay-Z have penned raps for Dre.. Have we stopped liking him because it or do we give him dap for doing great records and using the best talent around him..

When you’re making records and you have money invested, in particular major label money, it becomes a team effort. It’s very collaborative where lots of folks have a hand in it. I don’t think the recording process as I’ve seen/ experienced takes away from the writing prowess of an artist, especially someone of the stature of Nas. If anything, one getting co-writers etc is a smart move especially if you’re trying to bring fresh perspectives or push boundaries musically or subject wise.

With all that being said, at the end of the day both Jay Electronica and Stic.man have denied ghostwriting for Nas and unless we were there in the studio with them, we’ll have to take their word for it… Sticman has been particularly humble in terms of expressing his long time admiration for Nas and further explains their recording process in a recent Vibe Magazine interview.

From where I sit, I think folks instead of getting upset at the possibility that they ghostwrote for Nas, they should’ve seen such a move as monumental.  Stic and Jay working with Nas, that’s a powerful team. People are acting like these guys are some Johnny-come-lately slouches or some no-name rookies to scoff at..They are not.. They are top shelf artists. If someone like Stic is penning songs, whether it’s for Nas or the guy down the street, its worth a listen especially if it’s on the political tip. Very few do it better.

dream hampton

With respect to dream hampton sending out a tweet which was directed to someone whether right or wrong is not an indictment on journalism-its a tweet. Yes it came from popular person who is a journalist, but a quick look at Dream’s twitter time line, will quickly reveal everything she tweets is not a news story. Far from it.. She shares many opinions, debates folks,  shares speculations and gets snarky at times.. Who hasn’t on twitter? It’s barbershop/ beauty shop talk..Media types should not be mining twitter for news stories unless they tend to do due diligence, put things in context and journalistically follow-up.

dream’s penning of Jay-Z‘s Decoded, her brilliant columns and insightful articles over the past 15 years covering everything from rape to Too Short and sexism to her film on Black August all go out the window over a tweet?? Really?

If folks are really concerned about the Hip Hop journalism and faulty information being passed along to the masses, before going at dream hampton how about we go after those multi-million dollar corporate radio giants that run commercial sponsored gossip/ entertainment reports on the daily. Seems like I’ve heard more foul stuff said about Nas and his failed marriage to singer Kelis and his child support payments on those outlets then I ever seen Dream tweet or write. How many of those stories were accurate?  Was Nas really a dead beat dad? How many ran to the bank on those stories without checking to see if it was true or not?  Was Hip Hop’s integrity destroyed over those claims or only when it was asserted that Nas may have had some stellar artists pen songs for him?

The harsh and sometimes threatening response to dream was over the top and to be quite honest, cowardly. Was this really because she suggested Nas had ghost writers or because she was a woman? I didn’t see a whole lot of folks getting froggy a few years back when Suge Knight made unsavory remarks about Nas appearing on the song Thug Mansion on 2Pac’s album.. Where was all the ‘you’re a bitch’ and ‘you’re groupie’ rhetoric then?  Are we silent when it folks making remarks who are not afraid to talk greasy and mix it up physically with those who are opposed?

Seems like it was just a few short weeks ago when many were coming down on Nas for defending actress Gwyneth Paltrow and giving her a pass tweeting the N word.. Quite a few folks went in on Nas after he claimed Paltrow was a ‘real nigger’, some accused him of falling off and selling out. Some said they’d never listen to a Nas album again..Where was all the tough talk in response to those critiques? This is not to say that folks can’t get at dream hampton and express disappointment or disagreement over her remarks..She is not above criticism. I’m simply suggesting that all of us can come at things a different way.. We can be passionate without threatening, vicious and over-the-top demeaning on the misogynist tip.

For those who feel passionate about Nas and feel he needs to get more shine, here’s something to consider..I checked the recent issues of Billboard, their August 25th Rap Charts and their August 25th Top 50 R&B/ Hip Hop Charts, and you know what was missing?  A song from Nas. The man just put out a brilliant album and thus far it seems to be shunned for a whole lot of mediocre stuff..

We should be upset more radio stations aren’t rocking cuts off Nas’ new album Good Life

Outside of Hot 97 in New York and a handful of station here there, most stations according to their playlist ain’t rocking Nas at all..Many feel Nas is a stellar lyricist who helps raise consciousness, so how is that Nas is news worthy enough to be gossiped about when his marriage fails and he’s deemed a dead beat dad, but now worthy enough to be played on some of those same outlets? That’s where people’s anger should be directed..

Let’s not make excuses for these public airwaves to not have songs like Nas’ Daughters being heard 8-10 times a day. We should be angry that young impressionable minds that tune in, are not being exposed to a song that gives encouragement for men to step up and be present for their kids. Why can’t these outlets show any love for the incredible joint he recently did with Knaan called ‘Nothing to Lose? Was there no songs off the dope album ‘Good Life’ to expose to the masses?

If folks are gonna ride for Nas, ride for him on some real impactful stuff..Like I said earlier, sure folks can call out dream for being wrong, but how about calling those folks out who really influence and shape minds? If we concerned about the integrity of Hip Hop, get mad and shut those outlets down.. Call those owners and program directors who talk to millions of people at every given moment to do right by Hip Hop if that’s really the issue..Lets’ push to make sure Nas is performing at the next Grammy or BET Award vs someone who has a fraction of his talent.. There’s simply no comparison between dream hampton’s tweet and the powerful forces at work day in and day out systematically undermine Nas and Hip Hop. Let’s get mad at that..

Something to Ponder..

Davey D

Gov Scott Walker You’re Fired! New Song Calling for Him to be Ousted Hits the Streets!

Props to Jasiri X who is back on the grind, bringing serious truth and hard-hitting music to key issues of the day..Last year around this time, Jasiri weighed in on the big debate around public union bargaining rights in Wisconsin when tens of thousands came out to oppose newly elected Governor, Koch brother puppet, Scott Walker.. The song ‘American Workers vs Multi-Billionaires‘ went over well and became an anthem of sorts for many who were vigorously opposing Walker’s attempts to end collective bargaining.

This time around Jasiri X weighed in with the recall efforts which are on full tilt.. His new song is called Scott Walker You’re Fired. Ya gotta love artists like Jasiri X, Rebel Diaz, Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Invincible and dead prez for constantly providing a soundtracks to struggles the people are undertaking..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4P6v3pGGmI&feature=g-all-u

Dead prez, Mikeflo & Mos Def (Yasin Bey) Remake Nas classic in honor of Trayvon Martin

This is a nice re-make of Nas‘ song ‘Made You Look’ by Mos Def aka Yasin Bey, dead prez and Mike Flo. Its called ‘Made You Die’ and it’s a tribute to Trayvon Martin. Its a dope song we all needed to hear as it definitely hits the mark in a big way..

I recently got a chance to talk to M1 of dead prez earlier this month about the song and he noted that all of them happened to be in New Orleans at the same time for some events surrounding Katrina survivors when they got together and decided to do something special for Trayvon..He noted its important for artists to step up and give the people something to be inspired or be healed by.. He noted the streets are his office and he and his crew will always be there for the people. In other words it was a no brainer for them to do such a song..

During our convo, M1 also gave some insight about the climate in and around Sanford, Florida.. M1 used to live in that area and still has family down there.. While its overtly racist, he noted that the Uhuru Movement is headquartered not to far from Sanford and hence there is a strong spirit of resistance in that area..

You can peep our interview with M1 at the link below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcmUAG210oM

Below is a video of the group working on the song ‘Made You Die‘.. here they give some insight as to why they decided to step up and represent..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54heaNynlfs

Trayvon Martin Tribute: Mos Def, Dead Prez & MikeFlo “Made You Die”

M-1 of dead prez always represents for the people

Mos Def and dead prez come together to do a song that pays tribute to Trayvon.. We had a great convo with M1 the other day about this.. He reminded us that Florida is also home to the Uhuru Movement an oragnization that helped shape and mold him.He said the spirit of resistance in the Sunshine State is strong and should not be overlooked or underplayed.. Here’s what they did..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz8-lEof–I

Beats for the Revolution-Everybody’s Free (Dedicated to Egypt)

With every movement or revolution there’s a soundtrack and what took place over the past 3 weeks in Tunisia and Egypt is no different. We got word that scores of recording artists on the ground in Egypt captured the historic moment by recording songs. Their goal to inspire those alongside them in the struggle to keep on keeping on…

We decided to do this mixtape to pay tribute not only to the folks in Egypt who inspired and made us proud but also to pay tribute to those who struggled before them and continue to do so as we speak. Among the highlighted tracks are ‘Beautiful Resistance’ by Bay Area artist Mystic. It’s a song dedicated to those who stand strong in turbulent times…

We also have dope cuts from Killer Mike ‘Burn”, Invincible ‘Sledgehammer’, Jasiri X and M1 ‘We Shall Be Free’  and Kev Choice ‘The Struggle’ who stepped up and addressed the ongoing battles many communities have with police brutality..

We wanted to remind folks of the horrors many experienced in past struggles hence we rocked some deep songs from Brother Ali and Baltimore‘s Labtekwon which touch on the issue of slavery

Other artists like Salome from Iran, Clotaire K from Lebanan, Narcy from Arab Summit/ Euphrates from Iraq and Lowkey from UK/ Iraq, Fredwreck from Palestine, Arabian Knightz from Egypt reminded us that Hip Hop is alive and well in the Arab World and front and center in these struggles.

In this mix we captures the sounds of rallies both in Cairo and right here in San Francisco. They along with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and Kathleen Clever of the Black Panther Party provided timeless narratives to this mixtape

Lastly we kicked things off with an anthem of sorts from almost 20 years ago.. Rozalla‘s Everybody Free. It was a house music favorite back in the days and her timeless words calling for freedom resonate with many today.. We remixed it up  and heightened the urgency of her message.

Enjoy the mix it comes from the heart… I also dedicate this to my father who found freedom from his own struggles here on earth. May you Rest in Power Dad.

-Davey D-

 

Click HERE to Listen to Breakdown FM Egypt Mix

http://www.mixcrate.com/mix/33574/Beats-for-the-RevolutionDedicated-to-Egypt

you can also access the mix at All day Play FM

http://www.alldayplay.fm/episodes/egypt-free

1.Everybody’s Free (Davey D Freedom Remix)by Rozalla

2.Freedom by Paris, Dead Prez & Public Enemy

3.Freedom by Jurassic 5

4.#jan 25 by Freeway, Narcyst, Omar Offendum, Amir Suilaman & Aiya

5.Not Your Prisoner by Arabian Knightz & Fredwreck

6.The System by Mobb Deep & Sizzla

7.We Shall Be Free by Jasiri X & M1 Of Dead Prez

8.Back Down Mubarak by Master Mimz

9.The Travelers  by Brother Ali

10.Triangular Trade by Labtekwon

11.Beautiful Resistance by Mystic

12.Stereotype Incorporated by Euphrates

13.Ya Saryan by Clotaire K

14.Scream To Let Your Voice Be Heard by Salome

15.Cradle Of Civilization by Lowkey W/ Mai Khalil

16.Bin Laden by Immortal Technique w/ Mos Def and Eminem

17.Burn  by Killer Mike

18.One Eleven (Davey D Egyptian Remix) by J-Dilla

19-The Struggle by Kev Choice

20-Sledgehammer  by Invincible

Jasiri X and M1 of Dead Prez do a song on Egypt

Jasiri X returns to the mic with M1 of dead prez to do a song that focuses on the conflict in Egypt.. here’s their new song and video..let us know what you think

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu7eQyasgw0

Jasiri X Featuring M-1 of Dead Prez “We All Shall Be Free” Produced by Drum Gang Productions.

LYRICS
Jasiri X
Revolution’s not an act it’s an actual fact
an idea that burns until it turns blacker than black
the truth bearer new era like the back of ya hat
the true terror who’ll scare ya without packing a gat
through the barrier one carrier then it spreads like malaria
bury us with no fear of oppression every tear is a weapon
When God hears it a blessin
Every tyrant is destined to die that’s connected to violent aggression
if arrested remain silent when questioned the wisest lesson
Freedom’s the highest expression of life in the present
that’s why worldwide the riots are spreading
A righteous message like God set the fires from heaven
Uprising we done crying the young riding
when people get the power dictators go run hiding
we just trying to live like human beings
when we protest in peace police shoot up the scene
look at your computer screen you can see it right through the stream
Let our forming be a warning to every brutal regime

M-1
It’s a simple math equation it’s scientific OK
you put the power in the hands of the people its liberation
and even if you take it away its multiplication
repression breeds resistance and this is our situation
I’m an expert on exploitation mater of ghetto misery
a miracle of modern enslavement given our history
the fire through the wire bullets bombs and the liars
the snitches he counterinsurgency mad vicious
they kill us the freedom fighters but can’t kill the revolution
they put crack in our community laughing like it’s amusing
but I don’t see nothing funny the crackers that’s on the money
they only wanna keep us mis-educated like Sonny
They see how we never give up and wonder just how we do it
f#ck a roach we’re the scarabs the beetle up out the ruins
you can hear it in our music is resilience part of our experience
you can call it the freedom experiment
you hear it but do you feel it
either join with it or fear it
but I want it in my lifetime period.