- Dead prez
Infobox musical artist 2
Name = dead prez
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Political hip hop Underground hip hop Alternative hip hop
Years_active = 1996 - present
David Banner, Immortal Technique, Saigon
URL = [http://www.bossupbu.com/ www.bossupbu.com]
Dead prez is an underground
political hip hopduo comprised of stic.manand M-1. They are known for their confrontational style combined with socialistand pan-Africanistlyrics. These lyrics tend to focus on revolution, institutional racism, critical pedagogy, police, capitalism, education, prison systems, religion, activismagainst governmental repression, and corporate control over the media, especially hip-hop record labels. Dead prez made their stance clear on their first album, declaring on the lead song, "I'm a African" that the group is "somewhere between N.W.A.and P.E."
In 1990, M-1 headed to
Tallahasseeto attend FAMU ( Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) where he and stic.man met and connected due to their mutual love of music and similar political ideology. "I was soaking up the Black Panther Partyas a whole," M-1 remembers. "I learned about their lives and it helped mold me."Fact|date=December 2007
"I realized there's a struggle already going on, and I have to try to help ride it out," interjects stic.man. M-1's quest for insight led him to join the
International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement(InPDUM) in Chicagofor three years while stic.man remained behind in Florida and started getting into trouble. Burned out by the arduous labor of Uhuru, M-1 decided it was time to focus on music and stic.man agreed.
Dead prez transcribed the political education they acquired into lyrical
poetry. Brand Nubian's Lord Jamardiscovered them in New Yorkand helped them sign a deal with Loud Records. But being new on a famous label like Loud (home to the Wu-Tang Clanand Mobb Deep) was not easy. Although dead prez was not always Loud's top priority, they built a fan base around their over-the-top performances (they've been known to ignite dollar billsand toss applesinto the audiences, declaring that they must eat healthy).
The duo's debut album was 2000's "
Let's Get Free", which featured a major hit with the song "Hip Hop" from the year before. The song persists today as an anthem among HipHoppers around the world. The album was critically well-received, and included intense political diatribes featuring prominent black activist Omali Yeshitela, as well as "Animal in Man" - a retelling of George Orwell's " Animal Farm". The instrumental version of their song "Hip Hop" was used as Dave Chappelle's entrance music for his show on Comedy Central, and can be heard on every episode. The popular video game SKATE also features the song "Hip Hop" in their sound track. In 2001 they collaborated with The Coup, another politically active hip-hop outfit, to release "Get Up". In 2002, dead prez released the independent mix tape', followed by the release of "Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape Vol. 2: Get Free or Die Tryin in 2003. Also in 2003, their song "Hell Yeah" was featured in the 2 Fast 2 Furioussoundtrack. In 2004, Columbia Recordsfinally released " Revolutionary But Gangsta". They were featured performers on the film Dave Chappelle's Block Party, recorded in 2004 and released in 2006. In 2006, they and former 2Paccollaborators, the Outlawz, jointly released an album titled " Can't Sell Dope Forever". In 2006, M1 also recorded a solo album titled "Confidential". From the album, the song "'Til We Get There" was on the EA Sportsvideo game NBA Live 2007. In 2007, stic.man released his own solo album titled "Manhood" with Boss Up Inc. / Traffic records. M-1 appears with ProfessorD.us, of the politically charged Hip Hop group The Dope Poet Society, on the track "Everything's Political" off the 2008 album THIRD WORLD WARriors Vol. 1. On the track, M-1 and ProfessorD.us trade verses in response to the question "why is your music always so political?".
In June 2006, the cable movie network Starz InBlack began airing an original documentary called dead prez: It's Bigger Than Hip Hop directed by
John Threat. The hour-long documentary featured live footage and interviews with dead prez. It also featured interviews from Kamel Bell, owner of Ankh Marketing and son of incarcerated Black Panther Herman Bell; Fred Hampton Jr., son of Black Panther Chief of Staff and Spokesman Fred Hampton; Bay-area rapper and poet Ise Lyfe, and hip hop activist and radio personality Davey D.Among the topics discussed in the documentary are the inadequacies of the public education system, minority entrepreneurship, and social revolution.
M1 stated, "we've never had the opportunity to express ourselves on this level of magnitude. Starz InBlack taking a chance on us lets us know that the work we are doing is not in vain. That our message is penetrating, it's getting through." [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20060525141459/http://www.frostillustrated.com/news/2006/0522/Arts_And_Entertainment/027.html The 'revolution will be televised' as Starz InBlack presents 'Dead Prez: It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop.] "Frost Illustrated." Retrieved through web archive on
December 6, 2007.]
Valentine's Day Riot
Immediately following a dead prez performance at
The Evergreen State Collegeon Valentine's Day 2008, a fight broke out and a campus police officer arrested a suspect for a misdemeanor assault. When the suspect was taken into custody, audience members had warned the band of the arrest. Still on stage, they reportedly encouraged the audience to "find out the officers badge number and pursue the arrest and do something about it". A crowd of roughly 200 people then surrounded the officer's car, demanding the police to let the suspect go. Eye witnesses claim that a majority of the estimated 200 people were bystanders watching the riot. An hour prior to the actual riot starting the campus officer had attempted to leave the scene and was verbally harassed by various individuals that were standing outside the venue. The officer that made the arrest felt threatened by the small crowd of angry fans and then called for back up. The officers that responded to the scene attempted to disperse the crowd and used pepper spray. Several bystanders were caught in the dispersed pepper spray. The Olympia deputies responded and removed the campus officer and her car and released the suspect after taking down his information.
When a Thurston County deputy's car wouldn't start, the crowd overturned it, broke out the windows and sprayed graffiti on it. The deputy's laptop computer and a radar gun were stolen. No weapons were removed from the vehicle. Three other patrol cars had graffiti on them, and suffered minimal damage. The riot was estimated to have caused up to $50,000 worth of damage. Multiple officers were assaulted with rocks, glass bottles and trash cans in response to the attack on the crowd. There were no serious injuries reported. [cite news |author=Pawloski, Jeremy |coauthors=Hill, Christian |title=Crowd destroys deputy's cruiser |url=http://www.theolympian.com/570/story/360206.html |work=The Olympian |date=2008-02-15 |accessdate=2008-02-16 ]
Let's Get Free"
Revolutionary But Gangsta"
*2008: "Information Age"
* [http://www.bossupbu.com Official Website]
* [http://www.sonymusic.com/labels/loud/deadprez Official Website (Sony / Loud Records)]
* [http://www.myspace.com/m1rbg M-1's MySpace.com page]
* [http://www.myspace.com/sticman_deadprez stic.man's MySpace.com page]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=1-L1Xe__mp4 YouTube video of "Valentines Day Riot" (Part 1)]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=ofdhGSH-XH0 YouTube video of "Valentines Day Riot" (Part 2)]
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