I listen to a lot of podcasts, in particular American comedy podcasts. A popular sentiment in light of the current political climate is that questionable times call for exceptional art. An expensive price to pay. Less than one week into the Trump presidential era, it seems that although we may be facing a turbulent time, the exceptional art is already coming dense and swift. Leading the pack is Joey BADA$$ with “Land of the Free” and Oddisee with “Like Really”. Both politically charged, they provide a somber, informative and most importantly (but not at all surprising) banging point of view.
On “Land of the Free” the younger of the two, Joey BADA$$, takes point blank aim at the incoming Trump and the system which has allowed his unprecedented ascension. Co-Produced by fellow Pro Era member Kirk Knight and Adam Pallin of Little Jackie and ASTR, it’s a sonically subdued and chilled out ride, ramped up to eleven by BADA$$’s presence and progressively quickening cadence.
Oddisee is one of the most prolific hip-hop musicians of our time. He’s not just a rapper/producer, the guy is a musical and poetic renaissance man. Armed with a slew of releases under his belt, “Like Really” is from his forthcoming release on Mello Music Group, “The Iceberg” , out February 24th. This will be his 11th “studio album” since 2008, and that doesn’t include his plethora of mixtapes, instrumental albums, 7” singles and guest appearances. The guy has a Stephen King or James Patterson like output in terms of sheer volume. This track calls out the hypocrisies on both ends of the political spectrum, and it only takes three lines to hear his commentary on Trump, with:
“How you gonna make us great, when we were really never that amazing?”
Telling. And damn fine music nonetheless.
We’re in a transitional time right now, for better or for worse. With suspected potential media gag orders on the horizon, and buzz phrases like “fake news”, “post truth” and “alternative facts” currently polluting the collective consciousness, it’s getting harder and harder to discern the facts from marketing strategies. Our artists, both international and home grown, could end up being our only source of reliable information. Especially the ones willing to take chances.