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Various Artists

Free the P

(Raptivism; US: 18 Jul 2006; UK: Available as import)

Have you ever complained that rap music is obsessed with bling and hoes? Do you wish that it was more political and less about gangstas making laundry lists of their bullet holes? Do you believe that the state of affairs between Israel and Palestine is “A foul situation / Based on hate and degradation”, and are your sympathies on the Palestinian side?  Madam, sir, we have a disc for you. Free the P is “the first Hip-Hop CD dedicated to a Free Palestine”, a compilation of different performers offering empathy and anti-Israeli defiance. Palestine is compared to a persecuted ghetto; the inhabitants to dispossessed Native Americans. The album is so committed to liberation that it even has male rappers tutting at the patriarchy. There’s a great variety of styles on display here—I get the feeling that they were willing to consider any competent performer who could carry the right message with conviction. One minute you might be listening to a woman asking you, seriously and politely, to consider the plight of the alienated indigenes whose land you occupy, and the next a man will be shouting, “Shut the fuck up you mindless drone!” Expect a Palestine rap documentary later this year.

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