Posts Tagged ‘political rap’

First published in Islamabad Dateline on 01.02.2011


The ways of world have changed; tune is new, instruments have changed / Free your mind from mental slavery; make the young, masters of the old!

Indeed, instruments changed significantly since Iqbal penned down these inspirational lines. It is the age in which powerful authoritarian governments are overthrown by the youth, using social media and music, tools that seem trivial to elder generations. 

“Half the population is oppressed and living in misery/ President of the Country/ Your people are dead!” – lyrics of Tunisian rap artist Ben Amor commonly known as El General, who was put behind bars and his music taken off-air as it was causing an uprising in the youth of Tunisia few weeks ago. Today El General is setting the microphone on fire once again as thousands gather to celebrate Ben Ali’s exit and welcome the dawn of a new era in the history of Tunisia.

This was not it. The spark that ignited fire through El General’s political rap and social networking sites has taken Egypt and Yemen by storm. The authoritarian governments of the region try to ban “tools” igniting this rebellion but the young ‘are masters of the old’ when it comes to playing with radio frequencies encrypted with data that overthrow governments.
Egyptian activists like their Tunisian counterparts are using internet to effectively plan out their protests. Ahmed Salah one of the main organizers of protests against Husni Mubarak’s regime says “No one is accepting the people being assigned to government – they are oppressed & corrupt. We need support – we are being killed”. Ahmed was taken in custody and beaten, but his bravery knows no bounds and he says he won’t stop, even if they replace rubber bullets with real ones. Husni Mubarak will have to succumb to people’s power. Some already chant “Mubarak! Mubarak! Saudi Arabia awaits you!”

The pattern is identical, tools almost the same, this is the power of new media which if used effectively can cause decade’s old regimes to collapse. Same tools were used by us during the lawyers movement, and emergency relief efforts when floods struck in Pakistan.

Oscar Morales, whose facebook group “One million voices against FARC” transformed into the biggest demonstration against terrorism in the history of the world in 2008 and which eventually caused the debacle of guerilla organization FARC in Colombia expresses solidarity with Egyptians and says: “I am in tears of emotion and pride. My heart is with you in these defining moments of history”

People like Oscar and Ahmed Salah did not make history; they ‘typed’ it with their own hands.

Would this be the end? Certainly not.

Digital activists around the world relay a warning to world leaders which can be best described in the words of Stephanie Rudat, co-founder of Alliance for Youth Movements: “This is for you Ahmadinejad, Mubarak, Chavez, Jong-Il, Castro, Mugabe, al-Qaddafi, Jintao, Abdullah, Shwe, al-Assad, Karimov, Lukashenka, Zenawi, Deby, and Berdimuhamedow, Listen to your citizens – oppression & corruption is unacceptable! It will no longer be tolerated”

These waves of revolution which are already causing a domino effect in many countries will surely make this decade the era of social media.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi is an aeronautical engineer by force, an activist by mind, a lover by heart and a wanderer by soul


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Immortal Technique – The 4th Branch

The new age is upon us
And yet the past refuses to rest in its shallow grave
For those who hide behind the false image of the son of man
shall stand before God!!! It has begun
The beginning of the end
Yeah… yeah, yeah

[Verse 1]
The voice of racism preaching the gospel is devilish
A fake church called the prophet Muhammad a terrorist
Forgetting God is not a religion, but a spiritual bond
And Jesus is the most quoted prophet in the Qu’ran
They bombed innocent people, tryin’ to murder Saddam
When you gave him those chemical weapons to go to war with Iran
This is the information that they hold back from Peter Jennings
Cause Condoleeza Rice is just a new age Sally Hemmings
I break it down with critical language and spiritual anguish
The Judas I hang with, the guilt of betraying Christ
You murdered and stole his religion, and painting him white
Translated in psychologically tainted philosophy
Conservative political right wing, ideology
Glued together sloppily, the blasphemy of a nation
Got my back to the wall, cause I’m facin’ assassination
Guantanamo Bay, federal incarceration
How could this be, the land of the free, home of the brave?
Indigenous holocaust, and the home of the slaves
Corporate America, dancin’ offbeat to the rhythm
You really think this country, never sponsored terrorism?
Human rights violations, we continue the saga
El Savador and the contras in Nicaragua
And on top of that, you still wanna take me to prison
Just cause I won’t trade humanity for patriotism

It’s like MK-ULTRA, controlling your brain
Suggestive thinking, causing your perspective to change
They wanna rearrange the whole point of view of the ghetto
The fourth branch of the government, want us to settle
A bandana full of glittering, generality
Fighting for freedom and fighting terror, but what’s reality?
Read about the history of the place that we live in
And stop letting corporate news tell lies to your children

[Verse 2]
Flow like the blood of Abraham through the Jews and the Arabs
Broken apart like a woman’s heart, abused in a marriage
The brink of holy war, bottled up, like a miscarriage
Embedded correspondents don’t tell the source of the tension
And they refuse to even mention, European intervention
Or the massacres in Jenin, the innocent screams
U.S. manufactured missles, and M-16’s
Weapon contracts and corrupted American dreams
Media censorship, blocking out the video screens
A continent of oil kingdoms, bought for a bargain
Democracy is just a word, when the people are starvin’
The average citizen, made to be, blind to the reason
A desert full of genocide, where the bodies are freezin’
And the world doesn’t believe that you fightin’ for freedom
Cause you fucked the Middle East, and gave birth to a demon
It’s open season with the CIA, bugging my crib
Trapped in a ghetto region like a Palestinian kid
Where nobody gives a fuck whether you die or you live
I’m tryin’ to give the truth, and I know the price is my life
But when I’m gone they’ll sing a song about Immortal Technique
Who beheaded the President, and the princes and sheiks
You don’t give a fuck about us, I can see through your facade
Like a fallen angel standing in the presence of God
Bitch niggaz scared of the truth, when it looks at you hard

It’s like MK-ULTRA, controlling your brain
Suggestive thinking, causing your perspective to change
They wanna rearrange the whole point of view in the ghetto
The fourth branch of the government, want us to settle
A bandana full of glittering, generality
Fighting for freedom and fighting terror, but what’s reality?
Martial law is coming soon to the hood, to kill you
While you hanging your flag out your project window

The fourth branch of the government AKA the media
Seems to now have a retirement plan for ex-military officials
As if their opinion was at all unbiased
A machine shouldn’t speak for men
So shut the fuck up you mindless drone!
And you know it’s serious
When these same media outfits are spending millions of dollars on a PR campaign
To try to convince you they’re fair and balanced
When they’re some of the most ignorant, and racist people
Giving that type of mentality a safe haven
We act like we share in the spoils of war that they do
We die in wars, we don’t get the contracts to make money off ’em afterwards!
We don’t get weapons contracts, nigga!
We don’t get cheap labor for our companies, nigga!
We are cheap labor, nigga!
Turn off the news and read, nigga!
Read… read… read…

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