Hip Hop, White Supremacy & Capitalism: Why Corporations Infiltrated RAP Music Solomon Comissiong Released November 2013 www.solomoncomissiong.com The politics in early hip-hop music inspired Solomon Comissiong to become an activist, author, lecturer and film-maker. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to him about his work, which uses rap music as a tool to educate and organise. ***
Radical Dilemma Rebel Diaz Released December 4, 2013 www.rebeldiaz.bandcamp.com Rebel Diaz's much-anticipated debut album tackles a quandary faced by many activists - the "radical dilemma" of trying to change the system while being trapped in it. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to the Bronx-based activist rap duo, made up of brothers RodStarz and G1. ***
Condemned To The System Nausea Willowtip Records Released January 7, 2014 www.facebook.com/nauseala
Kill the Power Skindred Released January 24, 2013 Touring Australia from Feb 22 to March 3 www.skindred.net Welsh ragga-punk-electronica festival favourites Skindred have hit back at all oppressors on their latest album, Kill The Power - and they're bringing their hard-hitting message to Australia with the touring Soundwave festival from February 22. Big-bearded guitarist Mikey Demus spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward. ***
Corrupt Fucking System Doom Black Cloud Records Released December 23, 2013 www.doomcrustpunk.com Outspoken British crust-punk pioneers Doom have a stonking new album out and are heading to Australia. Guitarist and founding member Brian Talbot, aka Bri Doom, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward. ***
Invasion Day 2014 Mixtape Brisbane Blacks Released January 26, 2014 www.1stnationsmobb.bandcamp.com As countless Australians donned their Cronulla capes and sank slabs of piss this Australia Day, non-profit publication Brisbane Blacks marked the occasion by releasing a free album full of protest songs.
High Hopes Bruce Springsteen Columbia Released January 17, 2014 www.brucespringsteen.net A recent documentary on veteran US rocker Bruce Springsteen asked fans to describe their hero in three words. The responses, compiled in the film Springsteen & I, were fairly predictable: "Badass, sensitive, perfect"; "Hope, energy, power”; “Earnest, inspiring, intense” and so on. The non-Springsteen fans reading this could probably think of a few far less kind words. But if I were to choose three, they would be: "Open to interpretation."
Phoenix Jimblah Elefant Traks 2013 www.elefanttraks.com Most people fear fire, but Jimblah embraces it. The element flares up again and again in the rapper's searingly original work - from his first album, Face The Fire, to the one that just rose from its ashes, Phoenix.
Green Left Weekly is taking a break for the summer from December 11 to January 22. To fill the void, it asked staff, contributors and others to recommend their favourite books of the year. Rachel Evans Green Left Weekly writer, activist, organiser How to Make Trouble and Influence People By Iain McIntyre http://goo.gl/l7GOfx