If you check one, two, my word of advice to you is just relax/ just do what you got to do if you dont work then kick the facts/ if you a fighter, rider, biter, flame igniter, crowd exciter/ or you wanna just get high/ then just say it/ but then if you a liar-liar, pants on fire/ wolf-crier, agent with a wire/ Im gon know it when I play it. Its bigger than Hip-Hop
These candid lyrics reflects the eroding oral-agreement that the public shares with their lyrical architects.
Poetic license is always going to be a part of the art form but its the blatant poetic perjury, running rampant through todays Hip-Hop is jeopardizing its integrity. Many rappers regurgitate commercial stereotypes of whats hot or who has the most swag. These parrots insist on insulting our intelligence as well as our eardrums every time they play-pretend with their bogus, fabricated façades.
Thankfully, there are still groups like dead prez whose actions coincide with their message. The entertaining yet informative ideals expressed through their music have and always will be appreciated. Turn Off The Radio, Vol. 3: Pulse of The People, produced by DJ Green Lantern will hit the streets on June 23rd. The Evil Genius obvious talent in conjunction with the lyrics of dead prez will shock the streets, spawning a musical street movement. I want to say this about Green Lanterns production, he uses his computer like Prince uses the guitar and the keyboard and the drums. Its like Rock and Roll on the keyboard with his hands. Its like a mix between [DJ] Kool Herc, Prince and Andy Warhol but, its on the computer. His energy comes from a real ill place, declares M1.
Dead prez, along with DJ Green Lantern, voice their opinions on everything from freedom to the long-awaited release of the of their third studio album Information Age. Discover in part one of this exclusive interview why its bigger than Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop.com: Our words help to convey our ideas, with that being said, whats the metaphor behind the group name dead prez?
Stic.Man: Dead prez the name symbolizes our realitydead presidents isyou not to get moneyand capitalism in the world Everything is based on how much money you got [or] how much money you dont got. When we came out with that we definitely recognized that was going to be an on-going struggle and that was a way to connect with everybody; because, everybody got that issue. We also wanted it to mean a name that means more than that because we aint just about getting money. But, Dead President is how we feel about that system itself, like the financial system, the elite capitalist ruling-class-type system. Thats the s**t that make it have to be like that. So, we say, dead the president! The last thing is that were the dead presidents because we sleep on our own genius; we dont realize our own potential. Thats pretty much in a nutshell what that means.
M1: Straight up, dead the president, dead the system, dead that bulls**t!
AllHipHop.com: Some people earn a viable living by actually living their dream. What kind of personal success/gratification do you associate with being part of Hip-Hop?
M1: The personal gratification that I get from being a part of Hip-Hop music is pushing forward our culture to be able to be at least one voice thats able to shape and hold what the future will look like for humanity. Right now, Hip-Hop is the current voice of everybody who wants to say anything. Im happy that I can be included and a fighting voice that shows that this thing goes 360 degrees around. The fact that weve been blessed by [our] ancestors will to be able to make money and feed our children off the craft, that Ive been bobbing my head to, [has been] filling my spirit since I found that there was a heartbeat in the music.
DJ Green Lantern: Its crazy, I was just literally thinking about that I was going to Twitter it but I felt it might come of a little bit corny… I was in my backyard out in Phoenix, my kids were playing in the poolI was looking at it like, wow, Hip-Hop paid for all of this. I wanted to really thank the forefathers and the people that kicked down the doors for me to be able to provide for my family doing music and rebel music at that To provide a lot of good, and sustain a certain lifestyle based off the music; that in itself is just amazing.
Stic.Man: Its a blessing, man, and this is one of the dreams our ultimate dream is to be free Freedom is like Hip-Hop times a million. Every day, everywhere, how we learn how we live without all the negativity that were used to under the system. I give thanks, definitely, just being able to make a living and have some great things and provide things for our plans and all that but theres much far to go. Were enjoying the ride but we still got to ride
AllHipHop.com: As the radio middle-man is being demoted theres a plethora of ways for fans to easily access music. How has this accessibility affected dead prez in terms of sales and in terms of sharing your message?
Stic.Man: Its been a great advantage; its been a revolutionary step. Being able to skip the middle-man, thats what its all about, to be able to go direct [to the people]. I cant even overstate how important that is, the invention of Pro tools and the invention of the internet as it relates to independent artists That gave us what the record stores had a monopoly on and the big record companies who owned all the labels and all the studios; they had a monopoly on it. So, when they hand you that pimp contract, you pretty much in the situation where, like, damn where else am I going to do it? But now, its a little more options to do what you do
DJ Green Lantern: With me being somebody who has a background in FM radio. I see how it works. Now Im devoting a lot of time and energy to the satellite realm where theres way more freedom; because, its a paid service and its not dictated by advertisers Artists are breaking left and right using the internet.
I was talking to a program director the other day, from a huge radio station; he was complaining about the performance rights Big radio conglomerates will have to pay, if the bill goes through, millions of dollars every year. These are the people that are making hundreds of millions of dollars every year. This guy is complaining to me that all of these artists wont have careers if they end up having to pay this performance tax.
I really beg to differ. Right now theres a kid by the name of Drake and the internet footage of songs that they dont play on the radio and hes performing these songs in crowds, the whole crowd is singing the songs word for word. They didnt hear them songs on the radio. The radio doesnt have the pull and the be-all and end-all that it once did Its definitely a brand new day. As Dead prez likes to say, its an information age.
M1: Its a great opportunity because what it represents, as Green put it out so eloquently, right now its a prime opportunity for us to discontinue a relationship with a system that never really cared what the people wanted to hear. That was often a problem coming up.
How do you come up in Tallahassee, FL or Tulsa, OK, and you cant get the local artists to echo the sentiments that are happening on the radio? Its because the radio is being monopolized by a system that only wants to feed you and not be fed. Now theres a great opportunity to break from it Its a great new day.
AllHipHop.com: If Lets Get Free gives a political education and Revolutionary But Gangsta is the implementation of knowledge then what do you envision for the Information Age?
Stic.Man: Lets Get Free was like the introduction, that was the table of contents of the book of dead prez Revolutionary But Gangsta was like chapter one Theres a lot of things that the gangsta movement had in common with the revolutionary movement Instead of alienating the two; we chose to be a bridge with that record to show the unity and the organization Thats what RBG was attempting to deal with in a musical kind of way. Information Age is the next chapter where you come into knowledge itselfwhere you start learning about the contradiction of the system with its people Its almost like Neo in The Matrix. When you start to wake up, thats what the Information Age represents in a musical thing.