Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

ENTERTAINMENT/ ARTS/ LITERATURE => Arts & Music => Topic started by: gman on February 05, 2004, 10:47:16 AM

Title: dead prez
Post by: gman on February 05, 2004, 10:47:16 AM
Everybody should get all their albums, nuff said.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: iyah360 on February 06, 2004, 08:31:48 AM
Dead Prez "Propaganda"

Verse 1:
You can't fool all the people all of the time
But if you fool the right ones, then the rest will fall behind
Tell me who's got control of your mind? your world view?
Is it the news or the movie you're taking your girl to? (uh)
Know what i'm sayin cause uncle sam got a plan
If you examine what they tellin us then you will understand
What they plantin in the seeds of the next generation
Feeding our children miseducation
No one knows if there's ufo's or any life on mars
Or what they do when they up in the stars
Because i don't believe a word of what the president said
He filling our head with lies got us hypnotised
When he be speaking in cold words about crime and poverty
Drugs, welfare, prisons, guns and robbery
It really means us, there's no excuse for the slander
But what's good for the goose, is still good for the gander

I don't believe bob marley died from cancer
31 years ago i woulda been a panther
They killed huey cause they knew he had the answer
The views that you see in the news is propaganda

Telling lies, to our vision
Telling lies, to our children
Telling lies, to our babies
Only truth, can take us...

Verse 2:
I don't want no computer chip in my arm
I don't wanna die by a nuclear bomb
I say we all rush the pentagon, pull out guns
And grab the intercom, my first word's will be i believe
Man made god, outta ignorance and fear
If god made man, then why the hell would he put us here?
I thought he's supposed to be the all loving
The same god who let hitler put the jews in the oven
We don't fall for the regular sh*t, they try to feed us

All this half-ass leadership, flippin position
They turn politcian and shut the hell up and follow tradition
For your tv screen, is telling lies to your vision
Every channel got some brainwashed cop sh*t to watch
Running up in niggas cribs claiming that they heard shots
It's a plot, but busta can you tell me who's greedier?
Big corporations, the pigs or the media?
Sign of the times, terrorism on the rise
Commercial airplanes, falling out the sky like flies
Make me wonder what secrets went down with ron brown
Who burnt churches to the ground with no evidence found?
It's not coincidence, it's been too many steady incidents
It coulda been the klan who put that bomb at the olympics
But it probably was the fbi, deep at the call
Cuz if they make us all panic then they can start martial law

I don't believe bob marley died from cancer
31 years ago i woulda been a panther
They killed huey cause they knew he had the answer
The views that you see in the news is propaganda

I don't believe bob marley died from cancer
31 years ago i woulda been a panther
They killed huey cause they knew he had the answer
The views that you see in the news is muthaf*in propaganda

Police is telling lies fooling millions
What are they teaching our kids in these school buildings?
Televised, enterprised in all the killing
Controlling our lives, this ain't living
No this ain't living

Fbi, cia
Atf, kkk
Irs, tnt
Cbs, nbc

Fbi, cia
Atf, kkk
Irs, tnt
Cbs, nbc

Telling lies, to our vision
Telling lies, to our children
Telling lies, to our babies
Only truth, can take us...

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Joshua Liontree on February 06, 2004, 11:22:51 AM
Dead Prez is an incredible, super-concious group.  Their music resonates really dtrongly with me.  As is evidenced in the lyrics to Propoganda, they don't believe in God, which is about the only thing I disagree with them on.  "Let's Get Free" is their best album, I think.


Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Ras_Legacy on February 06, 2004, 11:38:54 AM
i don't have any Dead Prez albums...what should i start with?

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Africanprince on February 06, 2004, 11:42:56 AM
I like there music but do they have to use the word "nigga"? If they didn't there music would be FLAWLESS to me...

I don't know why, but it bugs me when they rap politically and about black power but use an oppressive word like that.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: iyah360 on February 06, 2004, 12:58:14 PM
they don't believe in God, which is about the only thing I disagree with them on.

Not believing in the white western concept of "god" is NO MEASUREMENT WHATSOEVER of belief in the TRUE GOD.
"madswan: Why do you not believe in God?
M1: I believe in freedom first, then freedom to choose any unoppressed god
MassDosage: so do you believe in *a* god? a supreme power?
stic: yes but i spell "god" like this gOOd
Pneuma: In African culture we worship and respect our ancestors more, perhaps you'd like to get into that?
M1: Afican people have always been in touch with our spirituality
M1: without them we wouldn't be here
fullclip: Sort of like how can you worry about god (or a god) when your self is not free?
Heidi: isnt respect for people like malcolm x 'worship' of ancestors?
stic: yes heidi.
stic: we are in our ancestors hands long live the afrikan warrrior spirit
fullclip: Aren't the ideas the ancestors passed on/stood for more important than the ancestor?
stic: yes fullclip and only the ideas that work for us today
Funcrusha: does your gOOd have a gender?
stic: no but it does have an a-genda
M1: lol
Funcrusha: and what is that a-genda?
M1: love, respect, equality, understanding, freedom, peace and all that good shit'

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Oshun_Auset on February 06, 2004, 02:30:18 PM
Dead Prez is one of only a few politically/socially educated hip-hop groups out. The Coup and Paris are other suggested listennings. The best edutainment around....The ONLY hip-hop I listen to outside of a few old-school artists like KRS-1 and

If roots reggae and the few hip-hop artists mentioned didn't exist....I would go crazy!

They are street's hard to stop saying 'nigga' man, especially when you are organizing your people. You have to talk like they talk, and Dead Prez are community activists.

But I see your point.

Title: Re: dead prez/More PanAfrikan HipHop
Post by: IyahminHotep on February 07, 2004, 03:39:50 AM
Fari Ises!!

Check out dis link,

For some serious PanAfrikan conscious HipHop music made by Rastafari brethren.

Please take look, and drop a message to say what you think of it!

Hail the King and Queen of Iration,

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: gman on April 02, 2004, 10:48:22 AM
The new dead prez album "RBG" is out now.
RBG means Red Black and Green, Revolutionary but Gangsta, Read 'Bout Garvey, Real Black Girl, Righteous Black Guerrilla, Rollin' Big Ganja, Real Big Guns...etc etc...
I haven't heard it yet as I'm in Brazil and can't find it, but the clips I've heard on dead prez's site sound really good.
If you can't afford the CD there's places you can download it from (not sure where but they're there) and actually the bootleg version apparently contains two more tracks than the official one. dead prez won't mind if you download it, after all they say on their song "F*** the Law" , "F*** with deepeez, steal the CD's"...
dead prez's site is if I remember correctly.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: iyah360 on April 06, 2004, 11:36:07 AM
RBG is a decent release. I suggest going to their message board at . . . some relevent reasonings take place on it. That board deals well with the white privilege issue.

Glad to hear some lyrics which correspond with some conclusions I have been drawing such as the benefits of proper organization and self-knowledge.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Oshun_Auset on April 06, 2004, 12:23:39 PM
 They also have "Get free or die trying" (an obvious pun on 50 cents album title)
and "Turn off the Radio"....

Here's some good info also  

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: gman on May 08, 2004, 09:07:19 AM
Yunno dead prez my favorite rappers have really disappointed me. They are advertising for Ecko clothes a sportswear company owned by a typical rich cracker tycoon (Mark Ecko) who contracts out his production to sweatshops in the "3rd world" just like pretty much every other clothing manufacturer. To me this contradicts dpz's message completely. I don't care how badly they needed the money, dpz should have never done that, they suppose to be representing something. Anyway they still my favorite rappers, at least in the semi-mainstream, but personally I ain't gonna support them financially any more until they get out of their contract with Ecko. I'll save my few dollars and burn or dub their cd's. And I won't be rocking they t-shirts either.
Any other dpz fans wanna hold them accountable for this?

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: iyah360 on May 10, 2004, 07:08:48 AM
dead prez claims to be all about pimpin' tha' system. i could see the rationale of such a seemingly unrevolutionary move to pose for a clothing company to be basically gettin' $ by any means necessary to forward the struggle. we don't know that they will be doing with the cash they get from this . . . I think it comes down to this - lead by example and don't do anything to piss off the ones who have turned you into idols OR do what you need to do to forward your vision even if what you do seems contradictory on the surface. until i learn differently. .. i will be giving dead prez the benefit of the doubt.

i think in this day and time you gotta know how to use things to your advantage, play the powers off one another to forward your plan.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Kingston on May 10, 2004, 08:33:10 AM

Pimpin' the system is one thing but this (advertising for Ecko) is pimpin the third world in my opinion.  I'd like to find out where Ecko produces their clothes and if they use "Freezones" to get ou of paying taxes and benifets.  

To me, if they wanted to pimp the system with clothing they could have produced thier own clothing line to advertise and not let the system reap any money in the process.  Keep it black owned and operated.

I have to say that Deap Prez has taken a step back in my eyes but who am I to judge as I am not them and do not have their decisions to make.  Maybe they do have a bigger plan in the future.



Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: gman on May 12, 2004, 10:09:34 AM
I just heard that dpz performed a show in London which was sponsored by Ecko and they lashed out at Ecko right then and there. If that's true and they doing that consistently, that pretty much changes the opinion I expressed in the last post. Take they money, but abuse them same time, I like that. But they need to make a more public condemnation of Ecko and explanantion of their strategy in accepting the sponsorship, than only doing it at shows. But all in all that restores my confidence in dpz.
Download the pre-release version of "RBG", it has two extra songs which are excellent which for some reason didn't get put on the official release.
Check out they video "Hell Yeah" which is temporarily available on the Sony dpz website ( It's been quite controversial but I think a lot of folks dissing it lack a sense of humor, anyway I like the video... check it out y'all

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Oshun_Auset on May 12, 2004, 10:27:56 AM
I like the video for Hell Yeah. The only people that wouldn't like it are those that lack a sense of humor, and are in fantasy land when it comes to the economic and social reality of the masses of African youth in the U.S.....and you gotta LOVE the ending!

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: gman on May 12, 2004, 09:41:50 PM
Yeah the video is hilarious but serious in my eyes.
Here is a good recent interview with dead prez:

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: erzulie on June 25, 2004, 02:04:06 PM
i too have been a fan of dead prez since meeting M1 in Havana at the hip hop festival several years back. both he and stic-man have been consistently supportive and instrumental in grassroots Black empowerment projects throughout the states and with directions pointing to global Black populations. however i have grown increasingly disappointed and more importantly critical of them as i realize their commitment to Black women's liberation is shaky at best.

from their first album, the "mind sex" tune inspired a long discussion amongst the sistren of my community. the subtle sexist possesive attitude toward the black woman body as expressed in the tune could not be ignored as each brother's desire for a conversation before "f***ing" is proposed a some kind of gender progress and sensitivity or more aptly according to these verses a little chatting makes for better boning while the possibilities and complexities necessary to build a real foundation between Black partners is ignored. who needs partnership and family when apparently a bit of poetry and sex will suffice?

later on their "turn off the radio" album, women's voices appear only to reinforce dead prez's revolutionary virility. sounding intoxicated by weed and delirious with the prowess of the very male entered "RBG" crew, in an interlude between tracks a sister moans her loyalty to the posse. very unlike the hailed and elevated Assata and Nehanda, these "everyday/round the way" sisters have nothing to verbally contribute to the musical movement beyond very erotic sighs and grasps. and yet here in the streets of brooklyn which remains the central location of the dead prez family (as far as i know,) women represent a large population of the grassroots activism taking place in the community from organizations such as the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to Sista 2 Sista, Black women are the foundation of activism happening within the hip hop community. the side kick/sex object grasping girl on the album is an insult to the hard working, committed and highly articulate women who continue to work for Black self determination in the community often along side dead prez.

and yet the misogny and sexism presented in "hell yeah" video is the most problematic vision of dead prez i've seen thus far. just as we must remain critical of their Ecko advertisement and by extention their support of the capitalist machine that exploits Black people globally, we must demand what is going on with these so called conscious rappers who feel that in order to remain credible to the so called street/thug culture, Black women's dignity must be sacrificed. the Black woman prostitute shown in the video is gaining no power by subverting the economics of the system, she is simply there as an object to be exploited sexually by a Black man (M1) who can prove his temporary agency by using/buying her flesh with the currency of his oppressors. and how is this revolutionary? we must move  beyond the Eldridge Cleaver type sexist contradictions if we are to create cultures of transformation. and at the close of the video the fantasy of polygamy shown is exactly that a fantasy. though there is some humour here, images such as this further propagate muddled Western notions of African social relationships. we can not trust that the average purveyor of such videos has basic knowledge of any African culture outside of white supremacist imaginings. thus this image reinforces African women's objectification as well as African primitivism in the minds of the mainstream.

it seems to me that dead prez (and they are obvisiously not the only hip hop artists doing so ) have made a conscious decision to uphold misogyny as a means of establishing themselves as powerful and credible inside a Black male sexist paradigm of Black power. choosing to ignore the voices of Black women who have and continue to protest our exclusion and exploitation inside Black political movements, dp has decided to keep the old sick boat moving down the Mississipppi towards our collective demise. by "pimpin'" Black women they are allowing themselves and all of us to be pimped once again by white supremacy.

we can not allow our so called conscious artists to misrepresent us. as few and far between as artists such as dead prez may be, we have a responsibility to call them out when they are committed to hurtful and counterprogressive elements. being down for the Black cause without being down for Black women is a paradox we must into question every time.

so "tell me who's got control of your mind?" dp, propaganda

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: gman on June 25, 2004, 03:15:34 PM
As a male I'm not really qualified to say what is and is not disrespectful to sistren. And you (Erzulie) are certainly right when you say we should call out people who are supposed to be representing us when they do something questionable. (I would very much like to hear an explanation from dpz about their Ecko ads). However, I wonder if you might not be reading a bit too much into things here? Not saying you are, as I said I'm a man so I'm probably not going to be picking up on these things as much as you are, but here's a few points to consider:
-Is a desire to have sex with a woman (as expressed on "Mind Sex") necessarily a desire to "possess" her? Where are the images of possession/control/patriarchy in this song? OK it's not addressing all the aspects of building an equal relationship with a woman, but is that its purpose? It's only a 4 minute or so song. All the women I know (which admittedly is not all the women in the world) saw that song as a breath of fresh air in the quagmire of "money sex hoes", "shake ya booty" songs clogging up what passes for hip-hop nowadays.
-"Turn off the Radio" was a parody of the format of a radio show, and the sexy female voices were a parody of the sexy female voices on your average radio show. They're not the only female voices on there, there is also the articulate Black woman being interviewed on the "Hood News".
-"Real Black Girl" on the Mixtape vol.2 says they like a "warrior gal" "strong like Winnie Mandela, better yet Assata", a girl who "pops off and ain't afraid to peel, peel" (i.e. kill), hardly the typical patriarchal fantasy of a submissive woman. OK though, just as they bigged up both the "dark skin" and the "red bone", they could've bigged up more body types than the "swole in the rear", "slim in the waist, the legs so long".
-The "Hell Yeah" video is more problematic in my opinion. But #1, you have to know that the video is actually based scene-for-scene on a movie called "The Gang Tapes" (from the car-jacking and stealing of the video camera, to the interlude with the woman in the middle [who apparently is a porn star named 'Mary Jane' who's friends with dpz, which could be seen as another contradiction unless you see any job in this system whether porn star or garbage collector, as basically all forms of 'prostituting' yourself/ your labor], to the police raid at the end). Just to put it in context. Now, #2, its pretty clear to me as I said before (I think) that dpz are not playing themselves in this video, they're playing the role of two not-particularly-conscious-or-'revolutionary' brothers who are just trying to survive the best they know how, and who are not supposed to be role models for people's behavior. They're like dpz before they got exposed to revolutionary ideas, they're supposed to be just the average brothers on the street, and like it or not the average brother on the street does relate to women in a superficial, materialistic way. Also, I didn't see the woman in the video as a prostitute, I saw her as someone they picked up at the department store when they were 'shopping', in fact it seemed like they knew each other already from the way they greeted each other. Course I could be wrong. Anyway that scene did indeed rub me the wrong way when I saw the video and I wondered as to its purpose... but regardless of your opinion on it, to put it in context, it does mirror the scene on "The Gang Tapes."
As for the lack of female MCs in the RBG crew, no doubt, there should be female MCs in it, there needs to be more female MCs period.
Don't take this as saying you're nitpicking, or saying dpz should be above criticism, just cos they're the best thing in semi-mainstream hip hop right now doesn't mean they're the best that they can be, you're right to point these things out. I just wanted to throw in another perspective. I'll shut up on the subject now and let the sistren have their say.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: Prosper on June 26, 2004, 10:48:01 AM
When I saw the "Hell Yeah" video, I was kinda dissapointed at first.  Even though I knew what the song was really about and the intent (Any true Dp fan would understand), I felt as though the general public and the mainsteam would view it differently.  Whether the video mirrors another film or even if it was their own concept. It portrays the Animalistic Idealogy that has been flagarantly forced into the world's view of our people.  My discomfort was eased at the end of the video and I was relieved to the see the whole concept of the production.  My only problem with that is the MEDIA.  I mean, they cut off into's, outro's, hell 106 and park even cuts off half of the video.  It may not be presented to the public as it is intended to.  I figure at the least, maybe some brotha's who may not be open to Dead Prez, make crack their ear's and mind's open just enough for seed to sprout about.  Power to the People!

As far as the Ecko advertisement goes, I can't really speak on it because I don't know to much about it.  Mostly anything that you do in this world these serpents will have some type of ties or connections to it.  Heck, to get major distribution for an album you have to go through these people.  True, they could have picked a different clothing company to advertise.  I can't knock them for that.  Pimp the system or let the system pimp you.  I know that Dead Prez is not getting pimped.  Nuff said, Peace my peopes!

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: erzulie on June 26, 2004, 10:07:28 PM
perhaps it would important for us to define what is the purpose of conscious music or in this case conscious hip hop. does it hit the airwaves to inspire change? does it exist to propell activists forward in their work or does it seek to create new activists to begin to commit their energies to collective transformation? is its meaning to inform us? or offer us new ways of looking at the world? does it function to allow us venting room, a space where our issues can be gleaned and/or deconstructed? it is supposed uplift us from the downward spirals of oppression?

if the answer is yes to any of those questions, then dead prez needs to be critiqued on their recent inconsistencies and inability to qualify on our understanding of conscious art that fuels Black liberation.

another question: can an oppressed and exploited people manipulate the form of parady when their lives and existence and especially their representations have been made into a joke by the status quo? can this parody based on images created by the exploiters be then used to empower the exploited?

i think that is a very difficult task. it should not be our job as viewers of a music video to determine the covert meanings behind the images at length. it should be obvisious--does this liberate or further exploit the people/community, period.

lastly, i think that any commitment to a hyper masculine sexist paradigm needs to adjusted immediately. this is not helping anybody. we must learn from past mistakes as it was the culture of hypermasculinty that created huge fractures in the 1960's revolutionary movement in the US, not to mention independance movements in Zimbabwe and South Africa to name a few historical moments. Black women continue to bare the painful brunt of Black male egomania. and while this structure of patriarchy is not entirely ours, it has been definately imposed upon us. and if brothers can not move towards a vision of Black liberation that includes black women's liberation and a struggle challenges and destroys gender stratification, we as a people may never taste freedom.

and p.s. i do get/feel the video and music but ultimately its just another tired love/hate imbalance in hip hop culture.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: preach on July 01, 2004, 03:10:28 AM
Erzulie. Can the parody empower the exploited? pardon my paraphrase.Yes. It is almost like the reflection from a mirror. We can't positively critique our actions without first reflecting on them. An example would be when tommy davidson's( i hope that's his name) character in bamboozled became appalled at how he looked in blackface. Can you please go in further detail about the love/hate imbalance in hip hop culture? thanks.

Title: Re: dead prez
Post by: erzulie on July 02, 2004, 06:43:12 PM
as a Black woman living in the US and coming of age in several various urban centers in the States, hip-hop was a source of cultural identification for me as it was and is for countless Black people of the post Civil Rights generation. like other hip-hop heads, i felt for a time that the music/culture spoke for and to me. and i felt a need and an excitement to participate and converse amongst that movement.  

but i was (and am) always concerned and often disheartened by my representation as a Black woman in that culture. this experience is not anything new or singular. hip-hop's continuous patriarchal leanings are now old news. and even still, Black women voices in that cultural sphere continue to regulated into the margins were our butts and breasts are exposed yet our mouths (of intelligence or protest) are shut. in videos and in song after song, Black women are objectified and often the victims of hip-hop's "metaphorical" violence.  

and yet i have grown weary of critiquing the obvious sexism expressed by the most obvious sexist rappers. that is by far too easy at this point and has sadly been accepted as the evil in hip-hop we can't deter. and though i will continue to express my outrage at the cash and hoes paradigms, it is important to note that the so-called conscious artists, the male rappers in particular, are not innocent of sexism and misogyny in their images and their lyrics. while they may be better than the rest, they are often times still problematic in their contradictory stances on Black women. yes i'm talking about Common, Mos Def, dead prez, De La Soul etc. so while i "love" these artists for their contributions to Black culture which serve to uplift or at least excite us with a positive vibration, i also "hate" them for their tired, sorry, queen/ho binary that lines most of their conceptualizations of Black women. not to mention the subtle colorism and love of European features on Black women these artists/their videos often revel in. (and though dead prez is not quite guilty of these issues, their "RBG: revolutionary but gangsta" -isms points to a hypermasculinity that subverts Black women's power and voice.) and further, we need to keep it real and recognize that good song doesn't negate bad song; these artists need to represent a conscious and consistent effort towards the destruction of systems that kill Black people as patriarchy kills, maims and abuses our bodies, minds and spirits.

unfortunately, because there is always an a hip-hop act engaging in far more obscene sexisms, these artists become a "breath of fresh air." but as any urban dweller will tell you, what smells sweet ain't always so. and while, issues of power and responsibility must also be questioned in a white owned music industry that is not concerned with the Black communities' collective welfare, the individual agency of these artists cannot be completely over looked. (and perhaps that is/was the wonderful aspect of dead prez that has rallied many disillusioned hip-hop activists back to head nodding enjoyment has been their independence and anti-sell out/grassroots commitments that may unfortunately disqualified with the advent of their Ecko ads.)

so like many sisters, hip-hop is a love/hate imbalance for me. i love its energy, its power, its Blackness but i despise it as a language that is most often shaped around a hatred, disrespect and/or ownership of Black women's bodies/sexuality/labor/hearts. we have been damaged by this gender discord in our communities for far too long. and if our agenda is to "let's get free" then we need to truthfully do the work to make that happen which must include a scathingly careful examination of male privilege inside our community. if a nation can not rise above the position of its women, "miss fat booty" is by far, i hope, not the mountain top.