To recognize the power of protest music, acknowledge its role in creating a culture of dissent and how musicians translate social issues and systemic problems into song, The Dissenter has launched a daily feature that highlights a protest song every weekday.
Hip hop duo, Rebel Diaz, has recorded and produced a song for the 2012 Election. Posted on YouTube just days before Election Day, it is off of their upcoming album Radical Dilemma and aims to communicate that voting should not be the main focus of action ever four years. Americans should “vote every day” with their actions and serve their community.
It conveys the message that “Revolution is Love” because “love for humanity” cannot be taken away from communities. “In the face of structural violence like racism, underfunded schools, and inadequate housing,” Rebel Diaz describes, “our weapons of defense are education, sustainability, and community building.”
The song shows no love for either of the most prominent political parties, “The Democrats and Republicans both up to no good/They both got in bed with the multi-nacionales/They sendin’ us to prison instead of sending us to college.” Rodstarz raps, “Swear to God on my mama, never supported Obama” because he is a “Chicago Riot Starter like a Haymarket Martyr.” He would “rather focus on the streets organizing the tribes.”
Organize the community to confront the police, who terrorize communities. “Identify the problems and move on to the solutions/You should be involved.” Build and show love, “instead of shootin’ them guns.” When the police see the people are united and not engaged in internal fighting, then they might go to the local precinct and confront them and tell the police to stop the War on Drugs. Stop criminalizing the youth.
It is a militant anthem for power to the people. And, in the tradition of Howard Zinn, it promotes the belief that it does not matter who is sitting in the White House. What matters more is who is sitting in across communities throughout the country.
If you have requests for songs that should be featured or if you have a protest song you recorded, which you would like to see featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And all previous Protest Song of the Day selections can be found here.