November 30, 2010

Hip-hop album for Leonard Peltier

Album review
New Hip-Hop Album Says Leonard Peltier Got a Bad Rap

By Gabriel San RomanPeltier has spent more than three decades imprisoned for the killing of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Believing it to be unjust, various hip-hop artists have come together in common cause for a new compilation album.

Released on Thanksgiving, Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop's Contribution to the Freedom Campaign enlists the services of heavyweight conscious rappers Talib Kweli, Dakaa from Dilated Peoples, Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez, and 2Mex. A-Ron, executive producer of the album, says in its notes that the mission of the compilation "is to highlight a case that clearly is an abuse of the legal standards of American justice."

After an introduction by Chairman Fred Hamption Jr., Dakaa and 2Mex get right to business on the Free Leonard Peltier's stand out track "Right the Wrong." The Dilated Peoples MC sums up the spirit of the collective effort when he rhymes "Human rights organizations are trying to right this wrong / The least I could do is write this song" while a following chorus sampling Native American flutes echoes case related samples.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see McLaren's Last Words:  Free Peltier and Art Show About FBI and Indians.


Burt said...

What took hip-hop so long? Kinda makes me wonder if these rap artist are simply jumping on the activists wagon when Rage Against The Machine and Robbie Robertson both, as I sure others, have already done material on Peltiers plight.

One one hand, I appreciate any attention given to our judicial monopoly and keystone court systems that are ran by "Vogons" (from "The Hitchhikers Giude To THe Galaxy") mainly set up to acquit the rich by fees while holding the working poor to the letter of the law(s).

On the other hand, does this do hip hop more good than Peltier, or will it possible end up on Obamas headphones tempting his pardon?

I am not optimistic with this Bush in sheeps clothing president.

D.M. Kasin said...

"What took hip-hop so long?"

Just wanted to comment on this... Real Hip-Hop has been for the Native Americans for a long time. Maybe many of us simply didn't know about this case. But artists like Talib Kweli, dead prez, Immortal Technique, etc, are NOT just jumping on any bandwagons.

Immortal Technique has been speaking extensively on the conditions of indigenous peoples for a while now, while Mos Def and Kweli certainly don't ignore the situation either. I guess that since they live in the inner city, usually come from the slums there, and their people are still being inundated with garbage, perhaps the focus has been more in that direction since that's what those particular artists know.

Personally, I'm REALLY happy to hear about this album.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Artists Unite To Raise Awareness For Activist Leonard Peltier

From Talib Kweli to Immortal Technique, emcees have contributed music to help raise money and awareness on the wrongful imprisonment of Native American activist Leonard Peltier.

Over the years, artists such as Rage Against The Machine, Flobots and Sarah McLachlan have recorded songs to raise awareness on the wrongful conviction of Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Most recently, a group of Hip Hop artists have come together to show their support.