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Buruh Tani (field workers), a popular peasant song from the Indonesian people.

Buy the single!

A song by ye olde socialist singer songwriter Robb Johnson is a tribute to the Beast of Bolsover radical left MP Dennis Skinner.

The video for the song is made by Film maker Daniel Draper who made the above film about Dennis a couple of years ago.

Its great to hear a self-reliant working class artists suddenly getting his head above the parapet. Just look at the work he’s amassed over the years on his own record label.

“Initially Irregular Records was intended as a means to release my own recordings, the first of which appeared & sort of just sat there mouldering in boxes in my dad’s garage in 1985. However, in 1987 the second album “Skewed, Slewed, Stewed & Awkward” did a little better & eventually I seem to have sold or given away all 500 copies. In 1991 Irregular released its first CD, & by the end of the 90s Irregular was releasing albums by people who for one reason or another thought it was a good idea to operate under the Irregular flag of convenience. Currently we have just started the UNLaBELLED label, with the intention of supporting & encouraging artists who are in the process of establishing a wider, national reputation. There is not much of an Irregular business plan: I make CDs & if Irregular can be of help to artists whose work I like then so much the better. I think that Irregular may well be one of the longest surviving independents that has remained truly independent.”

Change is what our hearts require!

“August 15 marks the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of Viktor Tsoi, the Russian-Korean rock star who was killed in a car crash in 1990.”

article on Tsoi written by

Written byFilip Noubel

Update 1st November a nice little BBC video…

In my book SiLENCE! I illustrated how the working class was culturally silenced by the labelling of singing or whistling in the street as vulgar…

Justina, who faced prison for rapping in Iran, now lives in exile.


Rap Concept Albums as viewed from USA

(Updated 20/7/2020) criteria adjusted to include verbal coherence and breakthru’s muscally)

(criteria adjusted to include verbal coherence and cultural breakthru’s)

Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet, 1990

De La Soul – De La Soul is Dead, 1991

Ice Cube – Death Certificate, 1991

Scarface (with crew) – We Can’t be Stopped, 1991

The Goats – Tricks of the Shade, 1992

Dr Dre The Chronic, 1992 

Showbiz w AG – Run Away Slave album, 1992

Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang : The 36 Chambers, 1993

Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders, 1993

Cypress Hill – Black Sunday, 1993

Nas – Illmatic, 1994

The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die, 1994

Scarface – The Diary, 1994

The Pharcyde – Labcabincalifornia, 1995

Kool Keith (as Dr Octagon) – Dr Octagonecologyst, 1996

OutKast – ATliens, 1996

Fugees (with Lauryn Hill) – The Score, 1996

Nas – It Was Written, 1996

2Pac – All Eyes On Me, 1996

Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt, 1996

Busta Rhymes, The Coming, 1996

Redman – Muddy Waters, 1996

The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death, 1997

Public Enemy – He Got Game, 1998

Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 1998

Aceyalone – The Book of Human Language, 1998

Blackalicious – Nie, 1999

Prince Paul – A Prince of Thieves, 1999

Deltron – 3030,  2000 

Eminem – The Marshal Mathers LP, 2000

Jay Z – The Blueprint, 2001

Aesop Rock – Labor Days, 2001

Masta Ace – Disposable Arts, 2001

Sticky Fingaz – Black Trash: The Auto biography of Kirk Jones, 2001

Mr Lif – I Phantom, 2002

Missy Elliott – Under Construction, 2002

King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader, 2003

MF Doom – Mm… Food, by 2004

The Streets –  A Grand Don’t Come for Free, 2004

Little Brother – The Minstrel Show, 2005   

The Reavers – Terror Firma, 2005

MF Doom with Dangermouse – Danger Doom, 2005 

CunninLynguists – A Piece of Strange, 2006

Tanya Stephens – Rebelution, 2006

M1 – Confidential, 2006

Talib Kweli & Madlib – Liberation, 2007

Jay-Z – The American Gangster, 2007

Talib Kweli – Ear Drum, 2007

88-Keys – The Death of Adam, 2008

Immortal Technique, The Third World, 2008

Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: End of the Day, 2009

Brotha Lynch – Hung Dinner and A Movie, 2010

The Roots – Undun, 2011

The Coup – Sorry to Bother You, 2012

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, 2012

Dead Prez (M1 & – Information Age, 2012

Wordsmith – The Blue Collar Recital, 2013

Ghostface Killah & Adrain Younge – Twelve reasons to Die, 2013

Pharoahe Monch – PTSD, 2014

The Roots – And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, 2014

Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth, 2015

Common – Black America Again, 2016

Beyoncé’s – Lemonade, 2016

Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy, 2017

Kendrick Lamar – Damn, 2017

Hermit and the Recluse – Orpheus and The Sirens, 2018

Lupe Fiasco – Drogas Wave, 2018

Tyler, The Creator – IGOR, 2019

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience – 2019

The lack of women above seems unlikely… would welcome suggestions or comment…

A list of key British Rap albums will follow.

This list was an addendum to a review of RED DAYS by John Roberts that stimulated me to expand my knowledges. In short the idea is that concept albums signify a historically new entry  of a class (above black mainly working class men) onto an assertively writerly cultural stage, on their own terms.

Blog review of RED DAYS here


“I did not know how to write lyrics and melodies until I was put behind bars. It is there that I learned,” he said in 2017.

Update: Haacaaluu Hundeessa: The protest singer who became an Oromo icon

He released his first album Sanyii Mootii (Race of the King) in 2009, a year after walking free, and it turned him into a music star, and a political symbol of the Oromo people’s aspirations.

After a long appeal process the twelve members of  La Insurgencia Spanish rap group have been give 6 months prison. (This will not be served apparently in Spain they don’t put people in prison for sentences of less than a  year)

The Supreme Court has ratified the sentence of 6 months and one day in prison for the 12 members of the rap group La Insurgencia for a crime of exalting terrorism for praising GRAPO and its members in their songs on the Internet.Initially, the National Court imposed a sentence of 2 years and 1 day in prison, but by appealing to its Appeals Chamber, it reduced the sentence to 6 months and 1 day because the terrorist organization they praised, the GRAPO, is already inactive, a doctrine that has been applied on several occasions in cases of exaltation of ETA.”

“The death of George Floyd has prompted one of the biggest movements against racism since the civil rights era.”

BBC announces ‘The new wave of protest songs’

Mark Savage goes on “As the Black Lives Matter movement continues, the record industry has been paused to examine its own history of racial exclusion, and the inequity between black artists and the mainly white executives who profit from their work.”

As a follow up to my previous post here is the BBC celebrating the new wave of protest songs!  Any successful uprising will see the progressive, hip establishment move to get in with it and take leadership.  Please say if you think i’m being too cynical!

The article is short and worth a read.


13 Best [US] Protest Songs Of All Time

It is interesting that when the world slips into a radical phase of revolt as with the global ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ protests that the fashion sector has to react quickly OR get labelled out of step and soon dropped. But then again some of these artists can embrace the contradiction of money and protest. Maintaining street cred when you are absolutely RICH. Forgive my cynicism – its good to see the contradictions being stretched. Its a good playlist! I learnt stuff.

The biggest affront to the establishment is to pull down statues. Be interesting to see how that pans out in Bristol UK in the coming months! Please let me know if any songs arise from that… (Soon come!  see comment below!)

Update July: My long review is now on my BloggerRed Days

The publishers blurb…

Challenges the conventional narratives about English popular music and
the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s

“The passion, intensity and complexity of the popular music produced in
England between 1965-75 is the work of an extraordinary generation of
working class and lower middle class men and women (in alliance with a
handful of middle-class men and women) who saw in the new music the
remaking of something bigger than themselves, or more precisely,
something bigger than themselves that they could guide and shape and
call their own. In this the ?use-values? of popular music underwent an
unprecedented expansion and diversity during this period. Red Days
presents how music and action, music and discourse, experienced a
profound re-functioning as definitions of the popular unmoored
themselves from the condescending judgements of post-1950s high culture
and the sentiment of the old popular culture and the musicologically
conformist rock ?n? roll seeking to displace it. The remaking of the
popular between 1965-1975, accordingly, is more than a revision of
popular taste, it is, rather, the demolition of old cultural allegiances
and habits, as forces inside and outside of music shattered the
assumption of popular music as the home for passive adolescent

Bio: John Roberts is Professor of Art & Aesthetics at the University of
Wolverhampton. He is the author of a number of books, including /The
Necessity of Errors/ (2010), /Photography and Its Violations/ (2014),
/Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde/ (2015), /Thoughts on an Index
Not Freely Given/ (2016) and /The Reasoning of Unreason: Universalism,
Capitalism and Disenlightenment/ (2018).

PDF available freely online:

Ordering Information: Available direct from Minor Compositions now for
the special price of £ 10 + £2 P+P.

Minor Compositions is a series of interventions
& provocations drawing from autonomous politics,
avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.