29 September 2011

#PEPR | Italian Hip-Hop

Last week on our Planet Earth Planet Rap (#PEPR) episode we were talking about Italian Hip-Hop and that gave us a great platform to play some Assalti Frontali. This Roman crew is proper old school in the context of Italian Hip-Hop scene and very political at that. Italian Hip-Hop has a fascinating history and you can listen to some of it from our PEPR, but also check the video for Roma Meticcia song which was also the one played in radio.

Listen to Planet Earth Planet Rap: Inside Italy from the Rapstation.com.  

Next up some Palestinian music on the episode that will air between 8-10 pm New York time on WBAI radio and online it will be on Saturday.

African musical influence in Asia

I wanted to post this audio documentary by Afropop Worldwide as I found it very interesting and well produced. Here is the pitch and have a listen. 

 "In the 20th century, music and culture from the African Diaspora traveled all over the world.... and East Asia is no exception. In this Hip Deep episode, Afropop explores the different ways that Black music has influenced culture and society in places like China, Japan, Korea and Thailand. China scholar Andrew Jones takes us into the decadent underworld of 1930s Shanghai, where a hybrid form of jazz that mixed African-American sounds with traditional Chinese melodies challenged notions of tradition and modernity as political forces grappled to define the direction of modern China. Then we visit Japan, where homegrown reggae groups such as the Mighty Crown Soundsystem have fostered a massive Jamaican dancehall scene with an attention to detail. Plus, we speak with cultural critic Oliver Wang on the surprising connections between Asia and the development of hip-hop. (prod. Marlon Bishop)" From Afropop Worldwide. 

27 September 2011

Troy Davis: a few days later

A few days after the murder of Troy Davis where the murderer was the State of Georgia, in the United States of America we must remind ourselves in the midst of this information tsunami that the social and political framework that killed this man remains untouched and while the man himself is no longer, his cause lives on and is as relevant as ever. Actually, its relevance can only increase for as long as we deal with such matters. 

Listen to another most likely innocent (I personally strongly believe based on the information I have that he was framed and that he has spent decades locked in as a political prisoner) Mumia Abu-Jamal commenting the lessons learned from Troy Davis case. The recording is part of his audio commentary essays which I recommend to subscribe to. 

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays  
Commentaries by the award-winning journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal  
Troy Davis: Movement Lessons

Also a song – a free download at that – by Rebel Diaz and production by Agent of Change aka DJ Mutiny sampling classic Billie Holiday song Strange Fruit as a reference to the true nature of the situation; a modern day lynching.

23 September 2011

New Kid in Town

Noah Kin is my fellow Helsinki dweller. Even though he is only half of my age, he raps a lot better than me. It’s an unfair comparison in that I don’t rap at all, but the point is that young man has got skills; nice flows and nice voice. This is just an introduction in many ways. I think he’s been hyping Gracias up on gigs, but he clearly also has his own thing going on – and that’s great. Have a look at the Nigerian Finnish youth giving us a solid taster of things that are definitely coming. 

22 September 2011

Rest in Power

Today I woke up feeling nervous. It wasn’t because of anything that was physically or otherwise happening to me or anyone I personally know. It was because I knew that far from me in the state of Georgia in the United States of America a man called Troy Davis had been scheduled to be executed. I knew I was about to soon learn whether the authorities had gone ahead with their deadly mission despite of all the evidence that was indicating the innocence of Mr. Davis. Whether he was innocent or not is speculation from me, I am not that much of an expert on his case – I know quite a little about it, but the problem was, as the widely used Twitter hashtag suggested there was #TooMuchDoubt. The case simply was not clear and quite obviously needed more inspection not by me, but by the legal system in question. 

So I was nervous to start reading my Twitter timeline. All of my trusted sources are pretty much there and I find it to be the best place for trustworthy links. The up and down narrative of hope and despair went on for some time – hundreds of short messages were commenting, protesting and siding with the rights of the accused. There was little else actually on my time line and on and on it went. I am sure that on the other side of the Internet many were posting different – more hostile messages – but none of those were in front of my eyes. At some point the spirit of resistance and resilience of this online activism that was only a part of efforts to save a life of a man was so contagious that I became temporarily hopeful only to arrive to the messages of very early morning. Rest in Power Troy Davis. 

Troy Davis was just one man, but at the same time he was us all. He might have been in a country that you or at least I am not in, but his rights – or lack of them – are something that concerns us all. Because rights are rights. 

There’s not a lot that Europe can boast with as far as any kind of morality goes. You don’t even have to look at our past coloured with a broad spectrum of atrocities; the present is far from unproblematic, but perhaps the one thing that I am the most proud of with regards to the European Union is its absolute stance of death penalty. In order for you to become a member state in the EU, you cannot have a death penalty as part of your legislation. That means that putting aside the geographical truisms and probable unwillingness, the United States, even hypothetically could not be a member of the EU. And neither could many many other countries on many other continents. 

Of course death penalty is only one grain of sand in Sahara worth of unjust and inhumane circumstances, but it is nonetheless a very serious problem. In its finality, it allows the prejudiced systems to legally lynch people – like they did to Troy Davis last night – and like they do to many other undesirable characters who represent something that the power deems wrong. Police have shot many people full of holes to their brutal and immediate death for no reason in United States even in the recent years, but the ones facing execution are many times Black activists seemingly often, allegedly, for having killed a cop and in many of these cases, like for instance with Mumia Abu Jamal’s, the trial and the events that lead to it are heavily contested. Yet we allow this to happen. 

It is the time now for the European leaders to start pressurising their colleagues on the other coast of the Atlantic and beyond. These often racist systems where the package of the past continues to be the reality; the prison industrial complex that financially benefits from inmates and uses them as a damn-near slave labour needs to be revisited urgently. There is no moral high ground for any of our societies to say anything about any other country until we have our own yard in order, and now, disorder is the order of the day. This is inexcusable; a truly shameful display of disregard for human rights and freedom of communication when the authorities start to block the emails coming from, and via the Amnesty International as yesterday happened. 

It’s too late now for Troy Davis. He is dead and an increasing amount of evidence suggests that he was killed as an innocent man. The state of Georgia was again, like too numerous times before in the past, a venue for lynching another Black man. Having visited the place once I remember that the confederate flag was waving liberally in the sky; liberally in all of its conservativeness. There is nothing post-racial about this. It is the zeitgeist that never should have been, but still pests us – and them – that enabled this yet another state sponsored murder. Regardless of the global public outrage, the go ahead was given. There was no strike by the executioners as had been rumoured, there was just one more dead body. Even when the accused is undeniably guilty, which wasn’t the case with Troy Davis, the death penalty only achieves one more death. There are no militant pro-life people in sight to preach about the sanctity of human life. People are not the greatest assets; only some people and their assets.

These events may have taken place in the United States, but this is about more than one incident. It’s a question of us citizens of world being seen as customers or worthless. It is a question of arrogance of certain power structures and just like with the UK uprisings, who polices the people who police the people. This is about the past, the present and the future. Because inaction is a weapon of mass destruction, we, as a global community need to find ways forward and put pressure on our leaders. The other side is very good at it, so we have a task ahead of us.

20 September 2011

#PEPR on SA pt II

The other week I forgot to post our second part of Planet Earth Planet Rap South African instalment. I put it up in so many places, but I forgot my own homebase. Ah well, here it is now. Have a listen and you can also shear it from Rapstation.com

The playlist for this episode is: 

1. Prophets of da City – Neva Again '95 Remix (from the album Universal Souljaz) Ghetto Ruff 1995

2. Tumi featuring Brickz and Tracey-Lee – Bambezela (from the album Whole Worlds) SME Africa 2009

3. Ben Sharpa – Hegemony (from the album B.Sharpa) Pioneer Unit 2008

#PEPR | Hip-Hop from Spain

#PEPR - Planet Earth Planet Rap | Spanish Hip Hop by PlanetEarthPlanetRap

Last week #PEPR looked into Spanish Rap. Not just Rap in Spanish in general, but from Spain in specific.  

Nach – Amanece from the album Un Dia En Suburbia 
Toteking – Empezamos from the album Un Tipo Cualquiera
Nach - Rap Mental from the album El Mejor, Nach
Nach - El Juego del Rap featuring Zpu from album Un Dia En Suburbia

You can also listen to the show from Rapstation.com.

In Twitter follow: @GianaGarel @amkelwa @mikmikko and search for #PEPR

#PEPR - Planet Earth Planet Rap is a segment in Chuck D's And You Don't Stop! radio show on New York's WBAI on FM and online at Rapstation.com. The programme is first aired on Friday nights from 8-10 pm EST. #PEPR looks at Hip-Hop as a global movement stopping over at various countries to get a taste of how the truly worldwide art form  is used as a means of expression in various social and political context. You can listen to all of the episodes from Rapstation.com or from the PEPR page on this blog

Sweep Me Away / Blow Me Away | New Looptroop Rockers music video

Here's a brand new video from a special team; Looptroop Rockers.This is actually a video for two songs - at least that's how the tracks appear on the brilliant album Professional Dreamers which we, completely unrelated to the release of this video, were again listening to yesterday at home. My wife likes it probably even more than I do. And I like it a lot. Have a look at Sweep Me Away / Blow Me Away by these brilliant beardy fellows from Sweden.

Other videos from Professional Dreamers album as they have been posted here on WSOM blog (expect the second link which is straight to YouTube).

6 September 2011

More music: Kommanda Obbs - Ts'epe

I am posting another quick music video for today. My Lesotho connection Core Wreckah sent me this link to a video by his fellow countryman Kommanda Obbs for a song called Ts'epe (the word means iron). I really like the sound of this song and the nearly haunting chorus. This is the kind of stuff I have on my headphones when I am on my most productive. Have a listen and I’ll post more links about this guy if I come across them.

It's a Cold World

The Black Brap Chap Klashnekoff, also known as the Black Russian has a new video out for a song which is not brand new, but very cool nonetheless. The track Cold World is from Back to the Sagas album which I thoroughly enjoyed. But then again, I have enjoyed all of his releases from the Sagas, Focus Mode and Lionheart to the Terra Firma release the Foundation. Something new should be coming out anytime now. Initially it was said to be July/August release, but you know how these release dates go. Hopefully at some point soon there will be a new album or a mixtape called FTLT which stands for F*** The Long Talk or Ting, I am not sure now. But that's not here yet so enjoy the video from the last album.

5 September 2011

Politics and Music: Lowkey at it again

A few days late, but better than never, here’s the new Lowkey video Obama Nation pt II. The song and video (directed by the usual suspect GlobalFaction) also features Black the Ripper and one half of the Dead Prez, M1. Album will be out on 16th of October later this year and believe it or not, after numerous videos and great tracks from it, there are still several never before heard songs so I’ve taken a liberty to have high expectations, even though I really don’t believe in expectations. Have a look at the video which is a sequel to the Obama Nation released some time ago already.

Planet Earth Planet Rap | African Renaissance in South Africa

Chuck D PEPR Tweet

Last week PEPR explored South African Hip-Hop.

South Africa is very close to our hearts; its even PEPR's Amkelwa's homeland, so in order to do justice to it, we decided to do not one, but two episodes on it back to back. The first one deals with the African identity and celebrating it with one's own home language. The episode is titled 'the African Renaissance'.

Playlist for this episode:

1. Driemanskap - Camagu (from the album Igqabhukil' Inyongo)  Pioneer Unit 2009
2. Zuluboy - Iqiniso (from the album Inqolobane) The CCP Record Company 2008
3. Jaak - 63 000 (Exclusive first time play) (from the forthcoming album Galant) Pioneer Unit 2011

   Planet Earth Planet Rap | South Africa part 1 - African Renaissance by mikmikko

This week on PEPR South African rappers using English to communicate to the whole land and beyond. That one will be up at the end of the week.

Copyright disclaimer: We do not own the rights to the songs played here. All of the songs are being played because they are great songs and we wish to recommend them to the people around the world. If you are an owner of any intellectual property here and you find this an unfair deal then let us know and we take the audio down and reupload as if you never existed.