In the United States Every 36 hours the police, or someone claiming similar national service, kills a Black woman or man. It is crazy and yet just that simple. Mind you, this says nothing of killings of various (and often falsely) segregated “others” like Latinos or First Nations people. This is just Africans in America, Black folks, the formerly enslaved and permanently internally hostile now-turned-loyal through symbolic ascendancy to “power” but yet-still-murdered-with-impunity-by-“law officials”-Black people. So true to form all manner of Black visibility mean nothing in terms of telling what is really going on. No television story, no radio report, barely any internet presence of the problem explain just how it can still be that this even still happens, never mind discussion of a solution. Even the vaunted White Left and all of its “media reform” can say little of this human rights crisis, an epidemic of State-sponsored random killings. So what is left at the end of the day but the tradition of unsanctioned communication embodied in the mixtape.
These days, even in its diminished capacity as mere digital content, even when forcibly bent to serve as corporate promotion, the mixtape – even as just a concept – still conjures sovereignty. Mixtapes remain (un)consciously part of a violent reclamation of communicative possibility and part of the battleground that is cultural exchange or the dissemination of ideas. The mixtape is hip-hop’s original mass medium, one born of “national” dissent and a recognition of there being no help coming, no superhero on the horizon. No superhero as Marvel or DC might have given us that is. Zayd Malik and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement do indeed represent a superhero tradition, just no tights, capes and red, white and blue. These superheroes come with turntables, mics and Red, Black and Green.
So as listeners will hear on this Every 36 Hours mixtape there is a war going on against Black people that no wo/man is safe from and these are, as Onyx says, “words soldiers can fight to.” The mixtape might not be linguistically “radio-ready” but neither are its politics so as Nayo Smash explains, you will have to “excuse the profanity but they are killing our family.” This isn’t a mixtape you can sell drugs, cars or shoes too. This isn’t a mixtape that you can floss or front to. This is a mixtape that you can organize around, or use to politically educate. Most of all it is a mixtape around which you can get really angry. That good kind of motivating angry. That wake up in the morning and bench press 435 pounds kind of angry. That study harder and longer type of angry. It is a mixtape that harkens to the moment, to the current presidential campaign season where candidates openly say “all options are on the table” for dealing with their enemies while the rest of us are only allowed to consider the vote as a means of dealing with ours; it is a mixtape that says we too have options beyond those prescribed by non-profit hustlers, sycophants to Black presidents, White money and false prophets (profits) dressed up as “political leaders.”
So just who is this Strange Fruit that commiserates with Outlawz raising the question of whether or not We Need to Start a Riot? Who dares says fuck a roll but let’s Let it Rock because Every 36 Hours we have another reason to scream “I’m Mad”? Where else can you hear what truly is My (Our) Purpose, or be reminded that Tupac was down with NAPO or that Troy and Trayvon must not be forgotten and neither should the political context of their assassinations? You better pick up this mixtape because Our Streets are increasingly likely to have at least one Tent City where the police take Formation and we will need to know the 10 Frisk Commandments. Because ever since they claimed to solve things with their Civil War we’ve had to have folks like Bobby Hutton say I Gotta Glock and join this War With Authority where we’ve had to come back and look more closely at what really Made You Die.
Most importantly, however, is that this Every 36 Hours Mixtape reminds that it is indeed a Rich [White] Man’s World, one that is hostile to Black [all] humanity and in desperate need of radical redress. And by the way, this mixtape is also a reminder that hip-hop is far from dead or apolitical. In fact, hip-hop is so strong, vibrant and threatening it must be relegated to its original – if differently technological – form, the mixtape. To get your copy and to learn more about the politics involved and ways to organize, thus giving deeper meaning to the mixtape itself, visit The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
“Every 36 Hours” is a hip hop/spoken word project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and Nu Afrika Entertainment to support and promote the “No More Trayvon Martins Campaign: Demanding a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination”. This project brings home the fact that in 2012, “Every 36 Hours” a New Afrikan woman, man or child is executed at the hands of the police that occupy our nation and communities. This project memorializes our dead, calls for resistance to the occupation of our communities, and promotes concrete solutions to end our oppression. The artists in support of this project and campaign have donated all of the songs. All proceeds from this project will be used to support the ongoing work of the “No More Trayvons Martins” Campaign to end the extrajudicial killing of our people, stop the occupation of our communities, and build a mass movement for a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination.”
1. We All Know (feat. B.I.G. Nel & Ife Jie) Zayd Malik
2. Do We Need to Start a Riot Jasiri X
3. My Purpose (feat. Onyx) The Outlawz
4. Troy and Trayvon NAYO SMASH
5. Poverty (feat. K.Gates) Melaphyre
6. Bobby Hutton Zayd Malik
7. War with Authority YC the Cynic
8. Strange Fruit Tongo
9. Inner Outer(Intro) Malik Kiliam
10. Formation (feat. Durty Redd & Ife Jie) Zayd Malik
11. 10 Frisk Commandments Jasiri X
12. Civil War (feat. Killa Mike, Chuck D & Brother Ali) Immortal Technique
13. Let It Rock B.I.G. NEL
14. Made You Die (feat. Mike Flo & Mos Def) Dead Prez
15. Our Streets (feat. Malik Killiam & Infinite Wiz) Zayd Malik
16. Tent City(Intro) MALIK KILLIAM
17. I’m Mad Marcel P. Black
18. Rich Man’s World 1% Immortal Technique
19. Every 36 Hours Truth Universal
20. I Gotta Glock (feat. Shakir Akinyela) Zayd Malik
21. Dragon’s Blood Dr. Makungu Akinyela
22. Officer Down B.I.G. NEL