AP2P (All Power to the People) is the collaboration between M1-Dead Prez and Italian producer Bonnot. Like Dead Prez, AP2P specialize in socially conscious hip-hop with an anti-imperialist edge underpinned by contemporary hip-hop beats.
The remix brings in the help of legendary jungle emcee General Levy who also featured on AP2P's biggest hit so far 'Real Revolutionaries'. Alongside Dead Prez associates Busta Rhymes, The Roots's Black Thought, and Bun B — General Levy's rapid fire flow amps the track to new levels, bringing the energy that Dead Prez and AP2P are known for.
Listen and download here:
M1 was kind enough to grant us some of his time for some words on the current scene and his political endeavours:
This week marks the third anniversary of protesters pitching their tents up outside Wall Street and the start of the worldwide leftist movement Occupy. You were very much a part of that movement, three years on do you feel it's had an impact?
"Occupy was a necessary step in the globalization of our revolution. And to be clear, the revolution is not an event, it's a process. There were many new revolutionaries ignited by the contradictions of imperialism. But the issues we are attempting to eradicate are not new ones, it's just that the people have internalized them differently.
"The growing crises is more glaring everyday and soon no class strata will be immune to the obstacle of finding justice and equality. Even though I visited many Occupy encampments, I was involved in the day-to-day organizing. Although I am very familiar with organizing in anti-colonial, anti-imperial struggle, I saw my role as one who could connect people or voice what many seasoned comrades had been doing on the frontlines for years. We need new energy and new perspectives on solutions. Now it's time for the next qualitative leap."
It seems that at the moment there is a lack of real talented socially conscious youth coming through in hip-hop (with the exception of Pro Era and The Underachievers), is this your experience, and if so, why do you think this is?
"I disagree. There are so many... Lah Tere, Keny Arkana, Shadia Mansour, Mumu Fresh... and that's just the women I know!! There are countless artists who have chosen the role of social justice over 'the mainstream'. The perspective is that they are not present, but to the contrary there is a media 'white out' when it comes to revolutionary culture. I'm grateful for artists who are in the periphery of the 'painstream' who people can identify as progressive but they are the sons and daughters of Gil Scott Heron, Nina Simone, and The Last Poets out here... and we are making GOOD music. We have decided our music is a weapon and now it's up to us to fashion together the mightiest tool for these times. Look ahead, times are changing and our voice will soon drown out the nonsense.
"One last thing, it takes political education to develop an analysis, nonethless one with a beat to it. So without political education and leaders/elders in our community showing us the way, we will lose the true emcee."
Do you feel the new generation of emcees have a responsibility to speak out against social injustice?
"I feel like artists have to represent what the masses of people are going through, even if they haven't had the same experience personally. Meaning, police terror and brutality is wrong even if you never got beat up by a cop. OR an artist can do whatever he/she chooses and leave it up to the people to deem it relevant or not. #ClassicsOverPlastics
Do you think the rise of the bedroom producer/emcee and websites such as SoundCloud have had a positive impact on the industry?
"Far overdue has been the power-shift that has led artists to have the means of production, promotion and distribution in our own hands. The best music began in the bedrooms of would-be musicians whose hearts were filled with inspiration and their minds were fuelled by desperation. I am glad to see the long overdue dismantling of this 'paper tiger' of an industry. Down with the days where grey-haired European hyper-capitalists ruled over black people with defiant expression. Technology can be the 'great equalizer' if used in a revolutionary way."
What emcees are you feeling at the moment? Do you manage to keep up with the current scene?
"I think a lot of cats could use a clinic from some of the legendary emcees who laid the path. From Rakim to Kool Keith, we can't really compare the lyricism of let's say a Maseo and Pos (De La Soul) to anyone from this next wave. It's interesting, but there seems to be a different criteria now. Not saying that lyricism doesn't matter at all these days... just not that much. The music dominates more than the words and it's more about the flow, which can be truly dope if executed with the right formula too! I like Chance the Rapper, Freddie Gibbs, Skipp Coon, K.R.I.T., John Connor, Dee-1, Jay Elect, and I just met these young cats called NASA 8 in Baltimore. So yeah, I keep my ear to the streets but I'm more in tune with the global vibration than to the media-washed scene in the USA."
AP2P did a European tour last year and Dead Prez are about to embark on a UK tour — what is it like to play to a UK audience compared to elsewhere – and what made you want to do an extended tour with Dead Prez here in Britain?
"Well, we didn't get a chance to thoroughly hit the UK on our last run, so Dead Prez is back! The shows were sold out and it felt really good to exchange with the people. As far as AP2P goes, we shot out the gate with several tours in Europe in a short period of time and we made video in many countries as we went along.
"DJ Bonnot and I have embarked on a powerful journey using sound to manipulate the beat of the revolution. He has also worked with Dead Prez on several occasions including our latest release, the 'Time Travel Remix', which features Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Bun B, Fre I, Dee-1, Tr!x and we can't forget General Levy. We look forward to more explosive shows and we hope people are ready to expand past borders. There is a lot of music on the horizon, from stic.man's 'The Workout 2' to my new solo album 'Contradiction' and more AP2P albums and videos. Make sure you check out www.ap2p.info for updated tour information."