Thursday, August 30, 2012

Political Hip Hop | Brother Ali - Mourning in America

We will let the video speak for itself.


Here is what Brother Ali has to say about the song on his YouTube page:
This is the title track to my new album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. The first half of the album highlights and critiques the dire situation in which we live. The second half outlines the tremendous opportunity we have to re-imagine and reform our society. This song is an observation and a critique of our culture of death and murder. From actual war zones around the world to our own inner cities where this summer's death rates rival war zones. I also address our national hypocrisy regarding violence. We have a zero tolerance policy of violence committed against us, but we're a lot more lenient and patient when it comes to the violence we commit. "A life is a life and a killer is a killer". -Brother Ali
Blogging in America,
WhatUpWally? 

Download Now | Skyzoo - Theo VS. J.J. (Dreams VS. Reality) Mixtape

Skyzoo is definitely at the top of WUW?'s favorite hip hop artists list. The Brooklyn native has an uncanny ability to paint lyrical pictures of life, telling stories that are lively and thought provoking.





Here is what Skyzoo has said about the album:
"With this project, I wanted it to be a bridge between “The Great Debater” and “A Dream Deferred”. This mixtape literally picks up where “The Great Debater” left off and leads you directly into “A Dream Deferred.” The tape is split into 2 parts, Theo Huxtable and JJ Evans. The first half of the tape has me rhyming as if I were Theo, with the world from his point of view. Being well off, having to live up to a family’s expectations due to their success, etc. The second half is from JJ’s view, with the sound being slightly more aggressive and the stories built with an “in need of something” attitude. The tape is the idea of the vast contrasts of a life that my people and I dreamed of and aspired to as kids (Theo) versus a life that was more of our reality (J.J). This one is for US. Enjoy"
Spotter @ Okayplayer
The Wally vs. WUW? Mixblog,
WhatUpWally? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rhetoric, the Founding Fathers, and the Republican National Convention

The Republican party continues to invoke the "Founding Fathers" and the Constitution to create hysteria in the upper middle class. Fear of giving their money to those poor people, who don't work, and suck on the nipple of the government, has rallied the white, protestant, wealthy Republican base with chants of smaller government. Most of us understand that politics is not about reality and truth (yes, I am talking about Paul Ryan), rather it is about posturing for citizens that have no ability to discern what is reality and truth mean. Charles Lemert, writing about Baudrillard's theory of hyperreality says it well:
“Then, one hardly need mention what political life has become – a fury of posturings by people who know almost nothing and care of it even less. It is not that the elected do not, in some instances, wish to be honest brokers but that they know the people who vote do not, on average, know any longer what honesty means. In a world where things are so unreal, what is honesty?” (Lemert - Postmodernism is not What You Think, 29)
Let's look at how the speakers at the RNC used the Founding Fathers to posture for Republicans that could know almost nothing and/ or could care less about what the founders actually said: 
Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey

"Our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country's principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times."
Ted Cruz, Texas

“This national movement is fueled by what unites us: a love of liberty, a belief in the unlimited potential of free men and women.

I want to tell you a love story. It’s the story of all of us, a love story of freedom.

It’s the story of our Founding Fathers, who fought and bled for freedom and then crafted the most miraculous political document ever conceived, our Constitution. The Framers understood that our rights come, not from monarchs, but from God-and that those rights are secure only when government power is restrained.
...
Or we can return to the founding principles of our nation-free markets, fiscal responsibility, and individual liberty.
...
How do we turn things around? How do we get America back to work? President Obama thinks the answer is more and more government.

Government is not the answer. You are not doing anyone a favor by creating dependency, destroying individual responsibility.

“Each of you comprises the fabric of our nation. Together, we must revive our many-century love story with liberty and restore that shining City on a Hill that is America."
Sharon Day, RNC Co-Chair
In 1775 our Founding Fathers rose up to establish our liberty. Today, we need to defeat a President whose actions threaten our liberty!

In this way, we are in a similar position as our Founding Fathers. Just as they were called upon, we are being called upon. What they started, what they believed in, we must defend!
...
It is our duty, as citizen activists, of this great Republican Party, to fight to restore the values of our Founding Fathers.
Rick Santorum
"Under President Obama, the dream of freedom and opportunity has become a nightmare of dependency with almost half of America receiving some government benefit."
Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin
"In a few weeks, we will celebrate the 225th anniversary of our federal Constitution. 
Moments like that remind us that what makes America so great, what makes us exceptional, is that throughout our history, in moments of crisis, be they economic or fiscal, military or spiritual. 
What makes America amazing is that there have always been men and women of courage who were willing to think more about the future of their children and grandchildren than they did about their own political careers. 
Let this be one of those moments. Let this be our time in history so that someday we can tell our children and grandchildren that we were there, that we changed the course of history for the better."
I wonder what constitution and which Founding Fathers the leaders of the Republican party are referring to. The cry of states rights and the invocation of the Constitution only operates as mind numbing rhetoric, that forgets that the Constitution created a federal government and replaced the Articles of Confederation. Carolyn Berkin comments about how the world of the Founders would be completely alien to Americans today, even those who suggest that they are Constitutional purists:
“It takes a conscious act of imagination to see America through the eyes of its founding fathers and to share their perspective may be disturbing. These men inhabited a world alien to modern Americans, a world in which the United States was a fragile, uncertain experiment, a newcomer, and to some degree a beggar at the gates of power and prestige among nations.” (Berkin, A Brilliant Solution, 5)
Berkin goes on to illustrate the dire circumstances that led to the Constitutional Convention that led to the replacement of a nation of states to a strong, unified, central government.
“In 1787 our treasury was empty. Debts to foreign governments and debts to our own citizens could not be paid, and this was a blow to the nation's honor as well as to its future credit. Everywhere these men looked, anarchy seemed to threaten, for the Revolution had unleashed new expectations and a new rhetoric of equality and political participation.

These new ideas threatened a social revolution that would destroy not only their own fortunes but also the rule of law. All around them civil strife seemed to be erupting unchecked, and news of uprisings in western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts during the previous year shook the confidence not only of these wealthy men but also of Americans of all social classes.

With no police force of any sort, military or civil, the restoration of law and order was in doubt. Even worse, a political disorder on the highest levels had reached critical proportions. The cooperation among the states, forged in the 1770s and sustained during the war, had vanished with independence. Competition and exploitation reigned, and the revival of a fierce localism pitted Virginian against Marylander, New Yorker against New Jerseyite, Georgian against South Carolinian. And while state governments vied with one another, the "league of friendship" called the Confederation that Americans had established as their first national government grew more impotent, more lethargic, and more incompetent with every passing day The nation was on the verge of self destruction- or, worse, of simply fading away. Not a few French and English officials in America predicted that soon enough this upstart experiment in republicanism would come to an end.” (Berkin, A Brilliant Solution, 5, 6)
The Constitution formed a national government and supplanted the government of the states. It did so, because the confederacy did not have the tools or unity to protect the nation, establish law and order, establish credit, pay its debts, and left the newly established nation of the verge of Anarchy.

The RNC platform that incites irrational fear about the "big" government that is hell bent on stealing all the money from the marginalized rich people, is a platform that caters exclusively to the rich. Ann Romney, Ted, Cruz, and Rick Santorum can attempt to identify with Mexican immigrants with the stories of their family's journey to American and the myth of boot strap capitalism, but their rhetoric does not change the fact that the "small government" they purport they will create will aid the rich, criminalize latinos, destroy schools, negate infrastructure, dismantle emergency response systems, demoralize teachers, and increase the struggle of poverty.

We the People, now reside in a nation with the highest childhood poverty rate of all Western industrialized nations, the largest expenditures on prisons, a ever growing gap between rich and poor, a declining middle class, increasing racism and fear of Mexican immigrants, and failing school systems. This has not occurred because Americans are lazy and because the poor are trained to be dependent on the government. The poor are dependent on the government because the nature of late capitalism is one that values profits over people. Our values of hard work and independence have led to a faceless economy in which large corporations answer to shareholders that live behind the stock market. It isn't that our poor don't want to work, it is that the dismantling of profitable companies in order to provide greater returns to shareholders, whose only worry is their 401k, has destroyed the jobs that helped create a strong middle class as well as profits for the owners. Poor people want to work, but the Republican ideology of uninhibited free markets, deregulation, and tax breaks for the wealthy have created a system that is unsustainable. The Republican ideology continues to blame the poor for a world that the wealthy have created, a world that benefits the rich and fucks the poor. 

So, Mrs. Romney, no Democrat, and definitely not President Obama, has ever advised anyone to strive for mediocrity.
Ann Romney: 
"It's true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success? 
Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, "Try to do... okay?""
That is ludicrous and an unintelligent statement. Democrats understand that even a mom that works three fast food jobs does not make enough money to support her family. They know that in service industry job (some of the only jobs available to the working poor), when a mother become ill, her car breaks down, or she has to care for a sick child, the chances of her keeping her job are slim. 

The message isn't: "Hey poor people, you should sit around all day and collect a welfare check." Rather the message is: "Listen Americans, we are a wealthy nation. We possess the wealth to provide health care and to end childhood poverty." If the wealthy would stop hoarding wealth, then we could create a better world.

This election isn't about small or large government. This election is about the fear of rich, white, Christians that are no longer the only voice in America. This is about homophobia, racism, and superflous wealth. 

You are not carrying on the tradition of the Founding Fathers, none of us are. We live in a different world than they did. We have internet - they had the pony express. We have airplanes - they had buggies. We are the dominant military power in the world - they were a brand new nation at risk of dissolution. We recognize your rhetorical devices and we refuse to accept them.

If you want to appeal to the spirit of the Founding Fathers, then appeal the spirit that was grounded in Enlightenment principles of justice, equality, and the progress of humanity that would lead to the end of wars and poverty.

The National WUW? Blogging Convention,
WhatUpWally?



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WUW? Recommends Indie Rock | Fierce Creatures - Catacomb Party

Here is another indie gem from Paper Garden Records (quickly becoming one of our favorite labels). Not a lot of frills on this album, just good ole guitar and key driven indie rock out of Fresno, Ca.


Fierce Bloggers,
WhatUpWally?

The Street Hip Hop All Star Group | Slaughterhouse - Welcome to: OUR HOUSE (Full Album Stream)

A few days ago we provided the a new Slaughterhouse mixtape and now you can jam with us on another glorious new music Tuesday and bump the official Slaughterhouse album, Welcome to: OUR HOUSE


If you aren't familiar with Slaughterhouse as a group, you will most likely recognize the names of the four underground hip hop all stars that compose the collective.
1. Joe Budden - Although Budden has been killing the the streets with his mixtapes for over a decade, most people will recognize him from his track on the You Got Served Soundtrack.

2. Royce da 5'9" - One of Eminem's homies from Detroit. The two had a falling out after Em failed to release Royce's album on Shady Records but The great white hope made it up to him collaborating on the Bad Meets Evil album and signing Slaughterhouse.
3. Crooked I - Although the Long Beach native is probably the least  known to the mainstream, Crooked I has been a staple in the West Coast scene and had a short stint on Death Row Records. Check out his latest mixtape:
4. Joell Ortiz - The Brooklyn native has had considerable industry buzz for a while now and has been recognized as what of the best lyricists in the underground. He had short stints with So So Def and Aftermath but his hustle has paid off and his flow is at home with Slaughterhouse.

Download Mixtape
Welcome to our Slaughterblog,
WhatUpWally?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bunbury Band Spotlight | Canadian Electro Indie Pop | LIGHTS

We had the opportunity to witness LIGHTS this summer at the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati. Although the lead singer stood all of 3 feet tall, she had the voice of a giant and the band brought an epic sound that incorporated elements from indie dance pop and dubstep.


Don't forget to check out other Bunbury spotlights as well as our Bunbury Playlist on Spotify!

Indie Dance Blogging,
WhatUpWally?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Music from Team Genius | Loud Songs Ep


Last November we introduced you to the dope indie nerd pop band Team Genius - and you commenced to dance your pants off. Well, we are happy to take a break from our hip hop obsession and present some new sounds from Brooklyn.


Becoming fans of Team Genius also made us fans of Paper Garden Records. Check out our Paper Garden Spotify playlist and discover some new favorite bands.



Team WUW?,
WhatUpWally?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Austin Hip Hop | Kydd - The Righteous Lp

Kydd is one of the Texas hip hop artists that has evolved with the time but still maintains some of the that slow southern drawl that makes the third coast so unique. Along with A.Dd+, the Sore Losers from Dallas, and The Nice Guys out of Houston, Kydd has helped solidify the new Texas hip hop movement.

From the Great State,
WhatUpWally?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Download Now | Dunson - The Investment Mixtape

WhatUpWally? favorite Dunson (formerly known as Kenton Dunson) dropped a new mixtape last week is easily one of our favorite mixtapes of the year. Dunson, a producer, MC, and singer has received some serious blog hype from his first two mixtapes Creative Destruction and Creative Destruction 2, and The Investment solidifies himself as a leader of the new school.

Highlights from the album are track 4 - Used to Know (a flip of Gotye's summer jam), track 7 with the homie John Legend, and track 8 with fellow new schooler Mickey Factz.

Download this album immediately and add it to your top albums of 2012 playlist!



Make sure you also check out Creative Destruction and Creative Destruction 2.

Investing in the blog,
WhatUpWally?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chicago Hip Hop | Sir Michael Rocks - Lap of Lux



Download Mixtape | Free Mixtapes Powered by DatPiff.com

Mikey Rocks, 1/2 of the Cool Kids from Chicago dropped this mixtape today. Neither Chuck Inglish or Rocks have been able to live up to their first album The Bake Sale, which solidified the hipster movement in hip hop music. Although they have not been able to capture the magic of that first album they have steadily released some quality music individually and as a group. Lap of Lux is another solid addition the their catalogue but we are still waiting for something better from these guys. Check it out and let us know what you think.

The Blog of Luxury,
WhatUpWally?