By now most people who have followed my posts probably know that I’m a fairly big fan of activism through music, and these days particularly via rap and hip hop. I’ve written about it in regards to the Bernie Sanders campaign and comment on it here fairly often here in regards to Indigenous artist highlighting their modern struggles through the art-form.
So in a continued effort to highlight the new era of musical activism (and to take a break from all the Trump talk), I thought I’d give 5 examples of why Kareen Dennis (aka ‘Lowkey’) is my 2017 activist artist of the year.
Lowkey (born May, 1986) is a British-Iraqi hip hop artist from London who rose to underground fame (and government notoriety) with his politically charged track Obama Nation and the’Soundtrack to the Struggle‘ and later an extremely highly viewed & reviewed ‘Fire in the Booth‘ appearance. Due to his activism and opposition of Zionism plus support of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Lowkey has been arrested or detained multiple times on various travels. This is probably also related to him being a sharp critic of United States and British foreign policy, claiming that the two powers are only interested in supporting leaders who are under their influence or are willing to assist them. He also claims American media overlooks those within the country who do not believe in American military supremacy. Israeli hawks describe the increasing influence of performers such as Lowkey as a “potential nightmare”.
In May 2017, Lowkey endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. He said: “We have a choice between policies which foster empathy and policies which foster greed, resentment, estrangement and alienation.”
Between 2012-2016 Lowkey took a hiatus from music to travel and further his education then mid 2017 he jumped right back into things with a stronger message than ever. Below are 5 of the best examples:
Rumble is a documentary (in theaters now) which explores how American-Indian music and musicians influenced many genres, particularly Rock. As a kid, session musician Stevie Salas would savor the classic concert movie Bangladesh, which chronicled George Harrison’s all-star benefit show from 1971. “How did I watch that movie over and over and never notice that, standing right next to George, was this giant Native American guitar player named Jesse Ed Davis?” Salas asked. “I just thought ‘Wow, he’s a cool-looking guy.’ It’s amazing to me that I never made the connection.” That’s especially amazing considering Salas himself is Native American. Yet …Continue reading →
[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTw_BU0xtqY[/embedyt] This new “Secret Agent DeM” video, by Blue America, musically highlights f the misdeeds and misjudgments of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who faces on August 30 (and early voting Aug 20-27) the first-ever primary challenge to her re-election, by an expert on the TPP, NAFTA and bank regulation, Professor of Law Tim Canova. “Secret Agent DeM” is Blue America’s third music video on this primary election, after one focusing on Debbie’s “Skating From Debating” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAx_OFHUZg8), and one focusing on Debbie’s dancing of the “Numbers Rahm-ba” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2REJjgoj0J8).
A mixtape (also mix-tape or mix tape) is a home-made compilation of music (typically copyrighted songs taken from other sources) recorded in a specific order, traditionally onto an audio cassette, though CD or MP3playlist formats are now more common. The songs can be sequential, or by beatmatching the songs and creating overlaps and fades between the end of one song and the beginning of another the tape may become a seamless whole. Compilations may include a selection of favourite songs, or music linked by theme or mood, perhaps tailored to the tape’s intended recipient.
Essayist Geoffrey O’Brien has called the personal mix tape “the most widely practiced American art form”.
So I present another community-content post: The Progressive Wing’s Monday night mixtape. What are you listening to?