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interview with the Center for Political Songs 5/21/03
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21535
interview with the Center for Political Songs 5/21/03  Reply with quote  

How effective is hip-hop as a medium for communicating a political agenda? Provide examples.

"It is a medium that has an expansive and diverse audience. Hiphop has successfully permeated all cultures, countries, cities and towns. It gives people an opportunity to speak their beliefs in an effective manner. I am not sure if it is being used so effectively these days. Public Enemy led the pack in the most politically potent days of hiphop, which was some time between 88 and 92. People like Public Enemy, KRS, Paris, X-Clan, and even NWA all gave me reasons to question authority and the unfair manner in which my country operates. I can remember all the static PE received for their By the Time I Get to Arizona video. I loved that shit."

What role can hip-hop play in the political empowerment of the disenfranchised and alienated?

"It can be the theme music for a much needed regime change in the US. Heh. That's a pipe dream though. For now it can plant seeds. Hiphop is a tool of the people. Whether it should be a tool reserved for one kind of person is a whole other debate. What matters is it can be a tool used by people to communicate ideas and instigate action. It provokes and challenges thought when done well."

What impact, if any, have technological developments, particularly the advent of the internet and the MP3 revolution, had on disseminating an alternative political agenda in music, particularly hip hop?

"The internet has given the average person much greater access to information that normally would be very difficult to find or learn about. The internet is yet another great tool for 'We, the People.' When used correctly. When used correctly. When used correctly. We're given the opportunity to freely share any and all ideas with each other. Same with music. This is how Makeshift Patriot (which received no publicity or promotion) was able to be heard across the world before I even released it on CD or vinyl."

Does the commercial success of gangsta rap, with media attention drawn to sexually explicit and violent lyrics and sexist imagery, undermine the efforts of socially conscious rappers?

"No. Because socially conscious artists HAVE to operate under those radars. They will never be given the attention that the negative aspects of art receives."

How did the hip-hop community react to changes in global politics engendered by the events of September 11th?

"In my opinion, very poorly. Very apathetic. In fact, most of what I heard was pro-war sentiment and blind patriotism, but maybe that's because those are the only songs the radio and TV would air. But even the underground stuck its tail between its legs and whimpered in a time of need. Same with everything else...even independent media outlets. It wasn't until about a year later that I saw and heard people making some noise about what is fair to us and others."

How did the hip-hop community contribute to the recent global anti-war movement?

"A few rappers rapped about how the government is sneaky and untrustworthy. A few meaning...2. Maybe 3. heh. I don't know. I truly don't believe hiphop contributed much to the global anti-war movement. Not from what I have seen. Not from what I continue to see. Some of us say "fuck war" under our breath. Scared. So scared. Stay scared."


Last edited by Sage Francis on Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed May 21, 2003 6:17 pm
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caandom



Joined: 10 Apr 2003
Posts: 237
Location: Rotterdam
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straight, and how sad the reply count to this thread shows how interested we are in politics
Post Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:42 am
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pakilicious



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Posts: 1093
Location: Earth
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La Rouche!!!
Post Mon Jun 02, 2003 11:42 am
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Samtron



Joined: 12 Aug 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Ottawa
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hey man im interested in politics and all that bull but im just looking to learn right now. i will communicate more later when i get it all together.
Post Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:32 pm
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Schilluh



Joined: 29 Jul 2003
Posts: 20
Location: Grass Valley, CA
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who is asking the questions?
Post Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:38 am
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dancin2urheartmurmurs



Joined: 30 Jul 2003
Posts: 9
Location: sin city las vegas
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yes, i have to agree. it saddens me a great deal that citizens of this counrty do not apply themselves to the political issues that surround us daily. i do not understand how people think that these problems will not affect us, because they will. not only financially but psychologically for some.
Post Fri Aug 15, 2003 3:25 pm
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Samtron



Joined: 12 Aug 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Ottawa
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yes people should be more active in politics. the problem is people are so poorly educated about what is happening that they iether dont beleave they can make a difference or they just accept it all and sit there chewing their cud like cows being sent to the slaughter. this is the media's fault. they never gave an unbiased view of the recent event. hey thats what im here for to learn about otherparts of society other than what i see in my suburban waant-to-be hood community. its highly influenced by popular hip hop.
Post Fri Aug 15, 2003 6:44 pm
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The Lorax



Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Posts: 4
Location: VA
In Training  Reply with quote  

I have made a mistake in a post 9-11 world by shutting my eyes and ears to the news. By doing so i have avoided an inherint fear that seems to run deep in my community, but have also left myself blind from what is going on. With in about five minutes of hearing news about the black out (13 hours away in NY) on a local radio station i heard five converstations about it form various people in my community who all immediatley pointed their finger at terrorism, since that is who they have been owned by for the past two years now. This made me sick and told the it was probbaly nothing more than a brown out. We were both wrong. However my view was more logical and theirs more acceptable. In short i am trying to say i dont stay up on news so my politics are...well....still in the proccess of finding my views but i will try to contribute. I can go on for days about the media though. they are holding the trial for the DC sniper just a few miles from my house and almost all of my friends parents agree Malvo doesnt need a trial. America the home of the double cheeseburger, double coupon, and double standard.
Post Tue Aug 26, 2003 7:08 pm
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PEZENT



Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Posts: 3
Location: CHICAGO RIGHT NOW
WHAT I FIND HAPPENS TO ME WHEN...  Reply with quote  

I SIT ZONE OUT, CUMMUNICATE FORGET THE PAPER COME BACK TO THE PAPER... INK SPILLS PARAGRAPH COMES... INSECURITY...VOICE THIS STRONG VOICE I HAVE...GOVERNMENT SPEAK ON THE GOVERNMENT SPEAK ON THE WORLD...I QUESTION THIS ITS SO HARD TO USE THE VOICE...ARTICLES, STORIES, DOCUMENTS, THE SUBLIMNALS ALL COME AT ONCE. "OVERWHELMED!"...I CANT SPREAD A QUESTION. FUCK A QUESTION. I GOT A LOT TO SAY.BUT.BUT. ARE YOU LISTENING? ARE THEY LISTENING? HOW DID YOU FIND OUT THEY WERE LISTENING? TELL ME...I FEEL I HAVE EARNED THAT...I AM EARNING THIS. I KNOW I LISTENED TO YOU TO ALL OF YOU...NOW WHEN YOU SEE MY NAME WHEN YOU HEAR MY WORDS LISTEN, THEN AFTER YOU LISTEN SPEAK, SPEAK BACK CUZ IM LISTENING. PEZENT AKA ENTRAKIT-----THIRDOP
Post Thu Aug 28, 2003 11:40 am
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