Mat Ward

From indie rappers to stadium rockers, here are 10 politically-potent new releases worth a listen. What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.

When Google Met WikiLeaks
By Julian Assange
Published August 22, 2014
200 pages, paperback, $16
OR Books
www.orbooks.com

When Google CEO Eric Schmidt turned up to meet WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, he brought several people with him who were connected to the US government.

"The delegation was one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment," Assange writes in his latest book, When Google Met WikiLeaks. "But I was still none the wiser."

Native Eyez
Intikana
Released August 2014
Stampede Fireflies
www.intikana.net

Bronx-based rapper, producer, film-maker and youth worker Intikana hits out at indigenous injustice, cultural colonisation and international imperialism, among many other topics. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward put 18 questions to him. His absorbing answers are below.

* * *
1. You rap that "When people ask me where I'm from, I say my mama." Want to tell us more about your roots?

The Dealer Is The Devil
Adrian Newstead
Brandl & Schlesinger
Published February 2014
480 pages, $49.95
www.book.cooeeart.com.au

Adrian Newstead was one of the first people to study climate change in Australia.

"I went to a place called the Barren Grounds, which were down the New South Wales south coast down near Kangaroo Valley," the 66-year-old tells Green Left Weekly.

China’s Second Continent: How a million migrants are building a new Empire in Africa
Howard W French
Knopf
Published May 20, 2014
304 pages
www.howardwfrench.com

In his 2009 film Rethink Afghanistan, director Robert Greenwald suggested that the US should not try to control the world through military means, but by building schools and hospitals in the countries it wishes to invade.

Journalist Howard French's book China's Second Continent shows how such a model can work in practice.

1. Public Enemy frontman Chuck D is back with another hard-hitting solo album. The Black In Man blends his baritone tones with heavy metal riffage and super-heavy funk. There's no let-up in his cutting wordplay and pointed barbs at the state of modern rap, such as the line: "I'm no fan of how urban radio has made rap fit for animals, best exhibited in some of today's mixtape culture, which invites black men into USA jails.

The Redfern Tent Embassy is calling for more people to show solidarity with its protest against the commercial development of the iconic Block in Sydney.

"We need more males down here in particular," Embassy founder Jenny Munro told Green Left Weekly at the site on August 13. "There have been a few incidents and people are concerned for their safety at night."

Maori protester Tepora Stephens, a 46-year-old former unionist who quit her job to join the protest, said the number of tents at the site was deceptive.

Revolutionary Minded 4
Marcel Cartier
Released July 26, 2014
http://bit.ly/1qYcIQ7

US rapper Marcel Cartier's lines usually ring out with the clarity of a clarion call - and the messages on his latest album are as loud and clear as ever. As he tells Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward, much of the material comes from first-hand experience with struggles around the world.

The Invisible Hand of Market
Cyclotimia
Released April 2014
www.cyclotimia.com

Russian electronic duo Cycloctimia's fascination for technology and sharemarkets has paid dividends – more than 10 satirical albums so far. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to Max K, who describes his role as “keyboards, music, sampling and market rituals”.

***

Tell us a bit about your childhood in Russia.

Blue Volume
Joelistics
Released June 20, 2014
Elefant Traks
www.joelistics.com

The flawless music on Joelistics' second solo album is more than matched by the depth of his lyrics - an unflinching look at Australian reality. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward went through the words with the rapper, who brings some much-needed grit to Australian hip-hop.

***

On "Say I'm Good" you rap:

I'm an oddball, on the wrong team
All my friends are out of step with the mainstream
And the nightmare is in full swing

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