T“ he entirety of my creative career has been bent towards disrupting the dumb-down of the listener. As a kid, growing up in NY in the 80's & 90's, I was a dedicated rapper and a dancer. It was on the dancefloor that I learned that music with a political bent made me dance harder. When I felt like the music spoke to me and to the times, and if the beat was right, I could pull off the moves and acrobatics that i found impossible without. So given the opportunity to record my goal was always to make hardcore dance music using the formula that inspired me: punk energy, mind-fucked beats, & political courage. Even in poetry, I've been driven by the desire to disrupt and engage the reader or listener on the same grounds. "List of Demands (Reparations)" was written with these direct intentions. Fuck up the dancefloor & open a mind.
I've always been a huge fan of covers & re-interpretations. I always felt envious of the way the 60's generation shared songs and ideologies. Jimi singing Dylan. Rotary Connection singing Otis Redding. The Stones singing the blues. This is all part of the beauty & power of music and it reverberates deeply in me. All this to say, I'm honored.
The times are divisive, particularly under poor leadership, yet the voices of the politically disenfranchised are louder than ever. The amplification of these voices gives rise to new insights and a chance to break away from the normative thinking and behavior that has held women, people of color, and the poor, in a holding pattern for centuries. The role of the artist in these times is crystal clear: be present, be courageous, put your heart on the line.There's a passage in a Maya Angelou book which says, "Anything an artist writes should be written with the urgency of what they would write if someone were holding a gun in their mouth." That gun is every divisive tool that politicians, lobbyists, nationalists, and their short-sighted followers use to silence us and thwart human, female, & ecological progress. Progressive music, on the other hand, disarms, uplifts, & harmonizes. That Bob Marley refrain, "Hit me with music" is straight from the trenches and exemplifies the kind of energy and sound we need to disrupt the dumb-down.
I liked The Kills before they chose to cover LOD. If they can feel themselves in that song it's because they are as much a part of it as I am.