Posts Tagged ‘rebel diaz’

Commercial hip-hop bears strange fruit: on Kanye West, Rebel Diaz, Billie Holliday and Troy Davis.

Commercial hip-hop bears strange fruit: on Kanye West, Rebel Diaz, Billie Holliday and Troy Davis.

‘Strange Fruit’, originally recorded by the legendary jazz singer Billie Holliday, is about the lynching of black Americans by racist paramilitaries. You could argue that, to sample this song in a track about, well, nothing in particular, is a bit disrespectful. Here’s ‘Blood on the Leaves’, from Kanye’s new album ‘Yeezus’:

You can read the lyrics here.

A year and a half ago, Rebel Diaz also recorded over a beat that sampled ‘Strange Fruit’. Their track addresses the modern lynching of Troy Davis.

Lyrics here.

Which song does the sample justice?

Rebel Diaz – Work Like Chávez

Check out the latest track from Rebel Diaz, a tribute to the recently-deceased Venezuelan President, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, perhaps the most important political leader of our generation.

In a very difficult period of history, where US domination was near-universal, and where the IMF and World Bank were holding much of the so-called Third World to ransom, Chávez and his comrades were able to forge a different path: the path of socialism. As a result, the poor of Venezuela have seen a dramatic improvement in their living standards over the last 14 years: poverty has been massively reduced, education levels are much higher, healthcare is much more widely spread, and young people have greater access to cultural facilities than ever before. Furthermore, a solid start has been made on attacking the deep-rooted racism and sexism that have formed part of the dominant narrative in Venezuela for so long.

On the international level, Chávez was a true internationalist and anti-imperialist, inspiring a wave of positive change across Latin America, and giving loud, practical support to other countries under attack from the west.

The man is dead, but his legacy is the living, breathing, Venezuelan Revolution. We honour him by continuing his work with ever-greater dedication. Work Like Chávez!

[The intro sample is from legendary Venezuelan musician and activist, Alí Primera. The words translate as “Those who die for life can not be called dead. From this moment on, mourning is prohibited”. The sample in the main beat is from Simón Díaz, one of the most important figures in Venezuelan folk music.]

Stand up against the violent eviction of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective

“If the enemy is not doing anything against you, you are not doing anything” – Ahmed Sékou Touré.

Full solidarity with everyone involved with the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, an amazing community space in the South Bronx which is currently facing eviction. Apparently the state doesn’t look favourably on a self-organising progressive community group providing free cultural workshops, recording facilities, sports facilities, computer access and education sessions to a working class black/brown community. Big love and respect to Rebel Diaz – we stand with you!

Here’s a speech given by Rebel Diaz’ MC RodStarz at a protest outside the arts collective last night:

And this is a press release documenting exactly what happened.

Tribute to Victor Jara: Broken Hands Play Guitars

Rebel Diaz and Agent of Change celebrate what would have been Victor Jara’s 80th birthday with a firing new tribute track.

Victor Jara was one of the leaders of the Nueva Canción (spanish for ‘New Song’) movement – a movement based around “socially committed” music; music that takes a clear stand for freedom, against poverty, against imperialism and against human rights abuses. Nueva Canción gave voice to the millions of peasants, workers and indigenous peoples of Latin America who were being crushed under the weight of US economic and political dominance.

The date 11 September causes most westerners nowadays to think of the World Trade Centre attacks. However, for many, it will forever be remembered as the date on which, in 1973, the Chilean military overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende in a bloody coup. That coup, which brought the fascist Augusto Pinochet to power, was in large part planned and 100% supported by the United States (Henry Kissinger is on record as saying: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”)

On 12 September 1973, Jara, along with several thousands of Allende supporters, was taken hostage by the military and taken to Chile Stadium (now known as Estadio Víctor Jara). Along with many others, he was beaten and tortured; his hands were broken, but his resolve was not. When soldiers taunted him and told him to play something on his guitar (in spite of his broken hands), he played Venceremos (We Will Win). On 15 September, he was murdered.

Across the world, Victor Jara is remembered as a hero and a martyr; an exemplary musician who put his skill and his passion entirely at the service of the struggle for a better life for humanity. In commemorating his death and celebrating his life, we should remember the principal lesson he teaches us: that culture is a weapon, one which must be wielded effectively in these times where oppression and repression are so prevalent. As Paul Robeson said, “The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery”.

Rebel Diaz drop some dopeness in support of the Chicago teachers

Check the new banger from Rebel Diaz, including beautiful production from Illanoiz.

You can also read about the situation and do your best to spread the word.

‘Soy Rebelde’ – great track and video from Rebel Diaz

Single taken from the forthcoming album, Radical Dilemma.

The song samples a late 60s Spanish pop ballad, “Soy Rebelde, porque el mundo me hecho asi..” (I’m a Rebel, because the world has made me this way…”).

Produced by G1 of Rebel Diaz. Shot and edited by Pocho1.

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Follow @rdacbx

RodStarz and Luss rep for the political prisoners – FREE ‘EM ALL

Check out this dope remix of J Cole’s “Can’t Get Enough”. RodStarz (one half of Rebel Diaz) and Luss represent for Mutulu Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Oscar López, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners.

Also check Rebel Diaz’s track Never A Prisoner – Free Mumia

Follow Rebel Diaz on Twitter Follow Luss on Twitter

Marcel Cartier ft G1 (Rebel Diaz) – Start The Revolution

Here’s the final free download from the album ‘History Will Absolve Us’ – a collaboration project between Marcel Cartier and myself.

The album will be dropping in June and will contain 8 new tracks, on top of the 6 tracks that we’ve dropped on Soundcloud and Youtube over the last few months.

‘Start the Revolution’ features the considerable turntable skills of Terry Hooligan. No prizes for spotting the scratch sample 🙂

Militant raps, funky golden-era sound, heavy cuts… do you want more?

Marcel Cartier on Twitter
Agent of Change on Twitter
Rebel Diaz on Twitter
Terry Hooligan on Twitter

Spread the word and support radical culture!

Celebrate Rebel Diaz’ sixth birthday by getting their full discography for very cheap!

Leading hip-hop activists Rebel Diaz have been a group for six years today. They’re marking the occasion by selling their entire discography for a knock-down price of $15 – just under £10.

Get it here.

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Follow @Illanoiz
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Rebel Diaz – The American Spring

A dope concept and track from Rebel Diaz! Check it out.

Here’s what they say about it:

New Joint! “AMERICAN SPRING” Rebel Diaz (produced by DJ Charlie Hustle)

As the NATO summit converges on Chicago, and protestors gear up for the inevitable confrontations to come, many are dubbing this moment the American Spring – a response to last year’s uprisings in the Middle East, known as the Arab Spring.

Everywhere in the world, people are demanding human dignity and an end to the neoliberal model that puts profit before people. Yet, in the Arab Spring, we have seen the corporate media co-opt the mass discontent in the Middle East, and use the chaos as an excuse to engineer regime changes favorable to the global elite.

So if the US empire used the Arab Spring as a smokescreen for a power grab of land and oil resources from Afghanistan to Africa, what will be of the American Spring?

The last few months, people have been organizing, planning for the Spring- May Day actions, protests against NATO/G8, etc. Yet the last few months also saw the passage of NDAA, and other instruments to ‘legally’ declare a police state. Could the American Spring, and the discontent of protestors across the US, be utilized as an excuse for mass incarceration and martial law? Or will we channel this energy to create an organic movement for real change and true democracy? stay tuned but for now… the “American Spring.” by Rebel Diaz

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