Archive for June, 2011

Unbelievable police brutality at New York hip-hop event

Check this footage from Jay Diamond at an event last night in New York featuring Pete Rock and Smif-n-Wessun, launching their new album Monumental.

Police stormed into the event, shut it down, told people to leave and started beating people up. As Pete Rock commented on Twitter: “Black is not da favorable color in dat area i guess!!”

General Steele of Smif-n-Wessun gives a great breakdown of what happened in the interview he gives at the end of the video:

“You can witness it was jam packed, there was no fights, no confrontations. There was all kinds of people in there, from all over the place. There was music in there, it was going off, it was poppin’. Then the police came and stormed the place, telling us we had to get out. And then they started beating on people, telling us to move away. This is what goes on in New York City. New Yorkers get frustrated when the police come in and, instead of bringing order, they create more chaos. This is what NYPD does. They create more chaos, because they don’t identify with the people… These motherfuckers is the overseers of this land right here. We witnessing it right now. I guess they bored. They can’t find no rapists, killers and criminals, so they wanna fuck up the common folk, the party-goers, the hip-hoppers, the current revolutionaries of this time. Long live hip-hop, long live free speech, long live you guys out there.”

Again we see the true nature of the police: their main function is to intimidate people, to keep them in their place, to preserve the status quo of capitalism and imperialism. They are playing the same role in Greece (where they’re attacking protestors with tear gas right now) and in England (where we have seen several deaths in police custody in recent weeks).

Let’s give the last word to the late, great J Dilla…

Catching up on Rebel Diaz ‘Warrior Wednesdays’

Can’t believe Rebel Diaz ‘Warrior Wednesdays’ has been going on for four weeks and I’m only just blogging about it now!

Check out these four great conscious hip-hop tracks, all available for free download! Let us know in the comments which your favourite is (I’m going for ‘Guilty’).

All tracks can be downloaded from

Week 1: Guilty

Week 2: I Need You More

Week 3: Craazy

Week 4: Chubaca

If you’re in London, you can catch Rebel Diaz at the following events:

LATIN AMERICA RISING – film, panel discussion and performance
Thursday 16 June, 2011, 5.30-9pm
Bolivar Hall, near Warren Street tube
Facebook event page

Friday 17 June, 2011, 9pm-5am
Brixton Jamm
Facebook event page

Kyza Smirnoff – Black Maybe

Kyza drops some thought-provoking bars over this classic Common (Kanye-produced) beat. Kyza is a talented and underrated MC – this vid is definitely worth checking.

Follow Kyza on Twitter

Verbal Terrorists ‘No Ifs No Buts’

Uncompromising anti-war anti-cuts UK hip-hop anthem!

No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts
No more buying lies from these evil fucks
No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts
No surrender no retreat not me, not us
No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts
No rotten politician can speak for us
No ifs, no buts, no fees, no cuts
No surrender, no retreat, not me, not us

Verse 1
Clegg claims we haven’t read up he thinks that we’re fools
You patronising fuck you’re the one whose ignorant dude
You think 50 grand of debt wouldn’t influence you?
And it’s not just the money it’s the principle too
Why should the next generation pay for your crisis
While big business dodge tax and evade the law like this
They talk of fairness everyone’s feeling the squeeze
A cabinet of millionaires who got free degrees
They say the recession was made by irresponsible debt
So what’s the government done in response to this threat?
Charge the students more leave the poor wanting instead
Solving debt with more debt’s an incompetent bet
And that’s not the only reason I despise the policy
Cos it’s not right to treat knowledge like commodity
Anger in streets the press can’t describe it properly
Calling petty vandalism violence, honestly?
Regarding police as the divine authority
I saw them charge with horses but they deny atrocities
It’s no surprise and yet it rightly bothers me
That we value human life less than private property
It’s 1984 spreading like a virus
Having de ja vu cos we got striking minors
From the schools not the pits a frightening likeness
Students and workers unite and fight beside us!


Verse 2
Once more, rich bailed out by the poor
Lopsided cuts bringing us through class war
Queen’s subjects with nuff debts are taxed more
Than the rich fat cats who dodge through the back door
Look at Tesco, registered in Britain alone
But with Seven Sister companies out in Monaco
The cost of the cuts to the DSS
Could be covered by the unpaid debts of Vodafone
That knob from Topshop knows what’s what
Got the whole lot boxed off
It’s got me mad distressed cos he cashed a cheque
For over a billion quid and wasn’t taxed a cent
It’s like they’ve got the game theory on lock
So the strategy is spanners in imperial cogs
Boycott big chains burn the big 3 and rise up
It’s high time we wise up


Verse 3
I’m sick of living off crumbs of a table we have made
From the bread that we have baked using wheat we have raised
Now they’re putting up funds and taking EMA
We want to save jobs but don’t forget that we are slaves
See we put in the hard work they just pocket the funds
So I’m in the streets shouting at the top of me lungs
We’re claiming them back from these opulent scum
I’m plotting not stopping till we topple these cunts
This one’s for the mums, the students and the migrants as well
It’s rich two toffs telling us to tighten our belts
Say goodbye to our jobs goodbye to our health
Might as well tighten the noose on kids bright with no wealth
Does smashing windows constitute actual violence?
I’ll tell you what the real fucking staggering crime is
We pay a thousand pound a week for Cameron’s stylist
Is your tax misspent? Cos I’m adamant mine is
No money for our schools but we can pay for our troops
Disgracing our youth with lies displayed on the news
It’s blatant abuse they’re manipulating the truth
About police brutality won’t engage with the proof
My lyrics laced with fury but I’m staying astute
Gracing the booth with the pain of kids facing the boot
From the dirty pigs they’re the real thugs on the streets


Ridiculously hard freestyle from Skeme

Non-step militant rhymes from UK hip-hop legend Skeme, filmed as part of the recent SBTV 1K Cypher. Trust me, this is deep.

Follow Skeme on Twitter

Pharoahe Monch, Styles P, Phonte – Black Hand Side Official Video

Just a few days ago I was raving about this track. Here’s the perfect video to go with it.

Geronimo ji-Jaga – the essence of a revolutionary

Geronimo ji-Jaga

Geronimo ji-Jaga

Geronimo ji-Jaga (né Elmer Pratt), former Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party, died on the 2nd of June, 2011. He will be remembered as an upstanding revolutionary who never stopped fighting for justice and freedom.

Ji-Jaga was born on 13 September 1947, in a close-knit black community in Louisiana. He said of his early surroundings: “The situation was pretty racist, on the one hand; on the other, it was full of integrity and dignity and the pride of being a part of this community … the values, the work ethic, very respectful to everyone.”

Having graduated from high school, he was sent by the elders in his community to join the army, in order to learn military skills that could be used to protect the black community.

“There was a policy that some of us, when we got of age, would be sent to come back and help protect the Black community from racist attacks from the Ku Klux Klan. It had nothing – and listen to me carefully – nothing to do with being patriotic to America. It had everything to do with getting training and returning to protect the community from the Ku Klux Klan. Little did I know, I was going to end up in Vietnam, blown up, all this stuff, but that’s just the way things happen.”

Upon his return from Vietnam, ji-Jaga began to see how the police treated the black community in much the same way as the army treated the rebel Vietnamese forces. He proceeded to put his significant military experience at the service of the black liberation movement. By 1968, he was acting Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party, and a leader of its Los Angeles chapter. After leading the LA chapter’s defence against a six-hour onslaught by LAPD’s SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, Geronimo was described in the Black Panther newspaper as “the very essence of a revolutionary”. In 1969, ji-Jaga was sent by Huey P Newton to go underground and develop a revolutionary infrastructure in the deep south.

The FBI targeted Geronimo ji-Jaga in their notorious Cointelpro operation, aiming to “neutralize Pratt as an effective BPP functionary.” In 1972, he was falsely accused and convicted of the murder of a woman. He spent a quarter of a century in prison, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. He was freed in 1997 when his legal team, backed by a number of civil rights groups, were able to prove that the main witness against Geronimo was an FBI informant.

Upon his release from prison, Geronimo worked hard in support of other political prisoners.

Geronimo always maintained a strong Afrocentric focus, and considered it very important that the African diaspora in the US and elsewhere reclaim the African roots that slavery and white supremacy had tried to cut off. He changed his surname from Pratt to ji-Jaga in 1968, reasoning:

Names are very important to our historical personality. By having these alienating names, we develop a certain kind of schizophrenia that we can regain by reclaiming our historical personality.

He spent many months a year in Tanzania. In one of his last interviews, he said: “I want to remind all Africans, please come to Africa. It’s right across the water. Come look at yourselves. Momma is waiting.”

Geronimo ji-Jaga is a particularly important name in the hip-hop community due to his being Tupac Shakur’s godfather. Ji-Jaga had a great insight on the attempts of the state and the corporations to subvert hip-hop:

“Hip-hop is indigenous and it’s powerful and it scares the hell out of these people, right? So, they have to get control and employ Cointelpro-like tactics. They work easily. I saw it with Pac. Before he was murdered I mentioned that to him. I believe to this day that they were involved in his death and they were involved in other deaths.”

On the legacy of Cointelpro and the rise of gangsterism since the decline of the black power movement, Geronimo said:

“After the leadership of the BPP was attacked at the end of the 60s and the early 70s, throughout the Black and other oppressed communities, the role models for up-coming generations became the pimps, the drug dealers, etc. This is what the government wanted to happen. The result was that the gangs were coming together with a gangster mentality, as opposed to the revolutionary progressive mentality we would have given them.”

Geronimo ji-Jaga died of a heart attack in his adopted country, Tanzania, on June 2. Rest in power always.

Great track from Pharoahe Monch, Styles P and Phonte – Black Hand Side

Pharoahe Monch, Styles P and Phonte explore the position of black people in the US, exposing the many problems and bringing a message of unity.

(Styles P)
Give me five on the black hand side,
I’ll tell you what I see through the black men’s eyes
Fly chick, in the Cadillac a black man rides,
But every different day a different black man dies
Shwaty momma tripping off of crack, mad high
Now you’re watching TV, loving the bad guys
Piss poor with the welfare check
You know we’re African,
Cause we ain’t get healthcare yet,
Now he puts down his knapsack, got a crack pack
You don’t overstand if your vision ain’t abstract
Me and the projects, a lot of us is lab rats,
Voted for Obama, hoping he wouldn’t have that
Now I can tell you that I felt that
I still remember how a cell smells
I still remember how the pigs at
Family crying up on the ?, I couldn’t have that
Open the door and teach your soul,
Passing the blunt around, and hoping to reach his soul
Now give me five on the black hand side,
Goes to Pharoahe Monch watch the black man ride!

Chorus (Phonte)
I say open the door, let me in,
Teach your soul, preach your sins
Turn the cheek, let it slide
Give me five on the black hand side

(Pharoahe Monch)

Pharoahe’s a Navajo chief, the way I’m making it rain
Enough for a stipper with emotional pain
You would spiks shit that’s meant for the brain
Cause rain plus soil equal fruits and grains
My hood told a ni**a keep it simple and plain
Let me explain the game, break it down a couple levels like tetris
These youngins kill they own blood for a necklace
Leave slumped over the wheel of your lexus
Smoke kush, wake up and eat breakfast,
What the fuck he expect?
A generation overly obsessed with mobsters
Our revlutionaries won grammys and oscars
Imposters, fake orators, weak shockers
Making a mockery of the music to be pop stars,
And they say I’m a saint, because I see the remains of the whips and chains
In my hood where it ain’t all good
Peep the main of a single mother struggling
Young child sayin give me five on the black hand side!
Let’s maintain like it’s Soul Train keep and move it together,
I’m saying

Chorus (Phonte)
I say open the door, let me in,
Teach your soul, preach your sins
Turn the cheek, let it slide
Give me five on the black hand side

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