Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Funky Guerrilla War Being Fought By Paris' Army of Hard Truth Soldiers

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I've never been much into hiphop. Oh, it's not that I dislike it - maturity has brought me a long way from my teenage hatred of anything that wasn't played on electric guitars - it's just that I never really got into it. White boys listening to hiphop always struck me as kind of silly, especially when they got right into it and started dressing up like gangstas and tryin' to front like they was from the hood, know wha' I'm sayin'? Metal, punk, trance, drum 'n' bass ... things like that have always been more to my taste. The closest I ever got to rap was Rage Against the Machine.

I could respect hiphop though, at least the older stuff, Public Enemy and Tupac and Biggy; the world play is right up there with Tennyson and Walt Whitman, and you could tell, when you listened to it, that it was real, music that came straight from the heart. The more modern stuff, the kind that came to dominate over the past ten years or so, is an emaciated shadow of what was being made in the 90s, real artists replaced by interchangeable pod people rapping hollowly about getting high, getting rich and fucking ... soulless muzak, corrupted by money and subverted to serve corporate interests. I could see that even without being much of a fan of the form; the same thing happened to every genre since the first vinyl record was printed, in a cycle that's grown as familiar and predictable as the passage of the seasons: raw and fresh from the streets and the clubs, a bloom in popularity, maturity, and a dwindling into artistic irrelevance as the profit motive sucks out the soul of the movement and leaves nothing but the empty shell of appearance and recycled melodies.

Well, that could be changing that's changed. A few days ago I was listening to the Alex Jones show and he played What Would You Do by Paris, of Guerilla Funk. Now this guy is hardly a newcomer - he's been making records since '91 - but if guessing you've probably never heard of him. It's not because he's untalented; it's because he refused to sell his soul to a label, trading truth for money. As you might guess from his presence on the Alex Jones show, this guy understands the New World Order, and for well over a decade now he's been using his talent to fight it the only way it can be fought, by bringing truth to the people.

9/11 reinvigorated him and has him, in his own words, "Spittin' cyanide from each and every verse." And not just him; he's got a whole crew now, on his Guerilla Funk label, mostly new faces (well, so far as I can tell), but counting in their ranks Public Enemy. More soldiers in the information insurgency, a movement that's burgeoning now, beginning to take on the look of something truly historical, truly momentous. Musicians, artists, writers, bloggers, academics, political activists, youtubers ... the rVOLution is boiling up from every node of the world's wide Web, and it cannot be stopped any more than a volcano can be plugged or an earthquake stilled.

So do yourself a favor. Go to the Pirate Bay and download yourself the Guerilla Funk collection. If you like it, buy the CD. Even if you don't, give it a listen. It's some inspiring shit.

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3 comments:

emily said...

Hey Matt. It's been awhile.

I wrote my senior thesis on the history of gangsta rap. Interested?

Keitousama said...

Yeah, the blogging urge comes and goes.

And yes, yes I am!

emily said...

Cool, I will email it to you tonight or tomorrow.