Skip navigation

viva La revolution!

“In 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi called on the Russian government to release members of the all-girl punk group Pussy Riot whose members had been imprisoned for two years for staging an anti-government protest in Moscow’s pre-eminent Orthodox cathedral. Having herself only been released from long-term house arrest in 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi stated at an Amnesty International conference, “I don’t see why people shouldn’t sing whatever it is they want to sing.” “

Grammy-winning punk rock singer Henry Rollins told Al Jazeera, “I think Rebel Riot is using the vehicle of music to put a message across is punk rock in its purest form and optimum application.” Having visited Myanmar in 2008 in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, Rollins said that “it doesn’t surprise me at all that punk music would have an appeal anywhere in the world” including Myanmar, which has existed largely under a military dictatorship since 1962.

He said punks have always faced harassment from authorities, including himself while singer of the punk band, Black Flag. But he said that the harassment experienced by punks in the United Kingdom and United States was “was nothing like what truth-tellers and those questioning established authority systems like in Myanmar and Russia face. Not even close.

“The situation wasn’t so extreme that you risked arrest and worse for merely having an opinion. Rebel Riot or Pussy Riot put far more on the line, at far greater risk than I ever had to,” he said.

Starting off in the rap scene in Britain.

But hey! don’t watch Al Jazzera, watch George’s own podcast here: ‘What does it take to govern effectively?’ is this model for politicians of the future? YOU decide! 😉

This man has a beguiling calm in his tone of voice…

Anne Feeney, folk singer and political activist, dies at 69

Shamed to say I’d not heard of her and she was a powerful voice who’s work pervades the culture and will live on long into the future.

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.