It’s Got a Good Beat, and You Can Think To It

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The Reagan era may have jump-started an entire era of politically-charged punk music, but dissent lies among the ranks of globalized musicians in 2007 as well. And the music of the Bush era is as fun as it is political.

Wunmi, a singer who used to perform with Soul II Soul and Roy Ayers, takes the basic elements of Afrobeat (jazz, funk, 70s African percussion, lots of repeated musical phrases), and adds distinct verses, choruses, and hooks to make it sound like a pop song. On her song “Talk Talk Talk,” She tells politicians to stop flapping their jaws—”Too much talking. Too much yap yap talking”—and to start solving problems.

Brooklyn’s Antibalas, a self-described “giant versatile orchestra,” plays Latin-influenced Afrobeat music inspired by Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti and Latin jazz band leader Eddy Palmieri. Their 2007 album Security powers through political songs like “War Hero” and “Filibuster X,” but band members say that even their instrumentals are filled with enough cultural and political emotion to inspire awareness and change.

Ozomatli, a 10-piece Latin/funk/rock band from Los Angeles, describes its brand of musical activism as “oppositional politics.” Their song “La Temperatura,” off their 2007 album Don’t Mess With the Dragon, was inspired by immigration marches last summer in downtown L.A. Last month, the group was credited as the first western artist to perform in Nepal in recent history and the group’s shows were acknowledged by some as the first peaceful and non-political mass gathering ever organized in modern Kathmandu.

Take that, Reagan Youth!

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate