HomeMetaWriting The Songs To Right The Wrongs: Kareem Dennis aka ‘Lowkey’
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Thanks for this activist music post LD. I did not know about this artist. I heard an interesting music show on an NPR station in CA. It was about music and marijuana or cannabis in the USA.
This was due to the legalization of recreational weed here on Jan. 1 2018. It hadn’t really sunk in for me what a BFD this is till I heard that program. They went through a large amount of music about marijuana starting in the early 1900’s through current releases. Speaking of activist musicians they also played a public service announcement from NORML recorded by my old boss Peter Tosh about how many people are incarcerated in the US for weed. Then later in the show they played “Henry” by the New Riders of the Purple Sage. They were the first “big time” band that I worked for. Both Peter Tosh and John “Marmaduke” Dawson passed away before weed was legalized in any US state. The fight for “Equal Rights and Justice” continues RESIST the fascists any way you can!


Thanks, LD!!!!! Lowkey is remarkable!!!
Brilliant, clear, understands what “the hell” is going’ on….

I, too, had not heard of him but really enjoyed listening to his interview. And his activist music.
My mind is too slow to follow/keep up with very fast rap. But his words are excellent and express a comprehensive view of how we got where we are.


Since I’m from the Neil Young era, the hip hop doesn’t resonate with me much BUT if the hip hop messaging is reaching the Millennials which my three kids are age wise that’s fantastic. Any way to get the message out to this generation that’s now larger than the boomers. Most of us ole boomers here get it but need to get more millennials on board and if hip hop reaches out to them fantastic. Use any “media” at our disposal to get the message out.


:O) Thanks for sharing these. Makes me move.


These videos are really interesting–thank you LD for turning us on to Lowkey. There’s so much information and there are so many ideas packed into this music and these videos that I want to comment but can’t possibly go into things in much depth. I’ll try to key into Lowkey’s interview answer to the question of what would he like to see Jeremy Corbin do if Corbin becomes Prime Minister. One of Lowkey’s answers was that he wants to see “the curriculumization of the British Empire.” Yes. Teach real history in the schools. (As the reaction video guy said, we need to (start) teaching American history in the schools here, too, not continue erasing the “unflattering” parts.) As Lowkey implies, the British largely invented and spread modern industrial capitalism and its relationship with finance capitalism. They were aided and rivalled by the Dutch. What I would note is the role played by religion here–both countries took up Protestantism wholeheartedly. Now–and I’m really going fast here–Protestantism grasped hold of and institutionalized the modern notion of “freedom,” namely free will, to the horror and fascination of the rest of Europe. So after Martin Luther people were seriously, deeply, thinking about the question of what is freedom and what is its meaning for human existence. (Just a note now that the first Lowkey video you posted above centers around the question of freedom.) The question of freedom led to the rise of the religious sects espousing Anabaptism–the doctrine that humans, being free by birthright, had to consciously choose whether or not to accept Christian salvation–who were immediately persecuted by both the Catholic Church and the nascent Lutheran / Protestant sects. One of these Anabaptist sects fled Europe and settled in Canada; I’m thinking of the Hutterites. They do not believe in private property or ownership. Hutterite settlements have since spread into the US (Montana, the Dakotas). Whether or not you agree with it on religious grounds, this degree of human freedom implies that human freedom means human self-determination. The European enlightenment took up this notion that freedom means essentially self-determination. It means, to paraphrase the philosopher Immanuel Kant, that the human being “gives himself the law,” that because s/he possesses reason, s/he can and should throw off the despotic yoke of having blindly to obey laws / customs / mores / habits that are imposed on the human from without. Now I have gone on too long and will have to end this treatise —-:)! The thought I wanted to broach is that, traditionally speaking, the most universal “despotic yoke” is culture itself. Think of how “freedom” got fused to the capitalist notion of “free enterprise” (and eventually became the watchword of the Republican Party). Changing culture, making it amenable to real freedom, is a yet-to-be-accomplished task. Lowkey sings of the “culture of freedom,” which is interesting and hopeful–he’s clearly pretty knowledgeable–and also, for me at least, still problematic. But maybe not as problematic as I would initially think. The internet is, possibly, putting a new order of “culture” on line. How will this play out? Thank you again, LD!

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