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(en) Anarchist hip hop - The UnAmerican LP, album review

From lynx <circlealpha@yahoo.com>
Date Sat, 15 May 2004 15:55:31 +0200 (CEST)

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Emcee Lynx – The UnAmerican LP: Proud To be UnAmerican By Wolf Tone
>From the City College San Francisco Anarchist Library Website
Since September 11, 2001; it seems like everyone is
fighting to prove how loyal and patriotic they are.
While the democrats and republicans argue about who
can shout the Pledge of Allegiance the loudest,
thousands of people of Arabic descent languor in
"indefinite detention," and movements for social
justice are relentlessly infiltrated and spied on,
courtesy of the fittingly named “Patriot Act.” In
George Bush’s America, might makes right; human rights
are an unnecessary burden, and anyone who disagrees is
“with the terrorists.” Meanwhile, whether out of
blind allegiance or fear of being declared
“un-American,” the vast majority of the population
stays home, and stays silent.
From the streets of San Francisco – the city that
hosted some of the largest protests and direct-actions
against George Bush’s illegal war in Iraq – there is
now a new voice of opposition. With his boldest
release to date, Bay-Area native and rap veteran
Emcee Lynx has taken a clear stand against the climate
of fear and repression. On his website,
www.circlealpha.com, he declares:

“[W]hen the president – any president - gets up on
national television and says that those who oppose him
and his plans for global domination and mass murder
are UnAmerican, then it is time for every person of
conscience - every person who is not ready to see the
blood of innocent people spilled for the profit and
amusement of the powers that be - to stand up and tell
the world: We are proud to be UnAmerican; and we will
use every means available to us to defend ourselves
and our planet!”
- Emcee Lynx, www.circlealpha.com/unamerican.htm

The UnAmerican LP starts out with a beat-driven intro
track featuring speech samples from George W. Bush and
several popular films, ending with the statement “when
the government turns tyrannical, it is your duty to
overthrow it.” From there the album flows through 56
minutes and 18 tracks of some of the smoothest and
most innovative beat production and lyricism to emerge
from the West Coast in years. The content remains
conscious throughout – to the extent that even the
club songs express a strong feminist sentiment. Unlike
much of what passes for “conscious” hip hop; this is
genuinely passionate music from the heart about issues
that affect real-life people of all colors.
Lynx is notably proud of his Scottish and Irish
heritage, and frames that heritage in direct
opposition to white-supremacy and racism by pointing
out that Celtic people underwent a thousand years of
Genocide at the hands of the English, and that in real
terms working-class Celtic people have far more in
common with people of African, Chicano/Latino, and
Native-American ancestry then they do with the largely
Anglo-Saxon american ruling class. In “The Trouble
with Scotland” which samples bagpipes over hip hop
drums, Lynx lays out that history and draws parallels
between William Wallace and Nat Turner. Later in the
same song he declares “my people – all my people – all
colors and shapes / have seen far too many years of
genocide and rape … the politicians get money, and we
get fucked / it’s time to bring the revolution – blow
this motherfucker up! ” The message is clear:
history is power, and for people with such similar
histories to be fighting each other instead of
fighting together is suicidal.
One of the few “conscious” hip hop artists who
actually practices what he preaches, Lynx is a veteran
of the 1999 Seattle protests against globalization,
and an experienced community organizer. He has worked
with a wide range of organizations and coalitions,
from progressive to militantly anti-capitalist, and
spent over a year hitch-hiking across the U$A,
participating in mass protests and community
mobilizations from LA to Washington DC. The oldest
son of a disabled Vietnam Vet, Lynx grew up in the
working-class Irvington district of Fremont,
California; and has no illusions about lifestyle
politics or the possibility to “reform” capitalism.
The politic here is Revolution - by any means
necessary - with no apologies or excuses. At the end
of the funk-inspired “Got a Letter,” which tells the
story of a middle-aged factory worker facing the cold
hard reality of working full-time and still not having
enough money to make ends meet, the artist samples
renowned writer and public speaker Noam Chomsky saying
“Politics is the shadow cast over society by big
Business, in other words reforms are basically
pointless…” The track was inspired by Lynx’s personal
experiences growing up with parents constantly worried
about how to pay the bills and feed their kids, and
Dub Cee, of the London-based “Working Classic”
collective, produced the instrumental.
The album is being independently released by the
artist, and will be distributed on CD and Vinyl by
Paraphan Records of SF. Mp3’s of the album were
released on Mayday, 2004 at
www.circlealpha.com/mp3.htm, and CD’s and Vinyl are
expected to be available in mid-June. Complete track
list and lyrics are also available on the web site.

Get your free copy of
"The Black Dog EP"

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