Sunday, March 18, 2012

Guante & Big Cats!: TO YOUNG LEADERS (Live at Occupy MN)


This is a video of me performing the new Guante & Big Cats! song "To Young Leaders" live at the Occupy MN site this past Fall.  I also spoke there during the big opening rally.  I've talked and written a lot about Occupy already, so I want to focus on this song for this post.  Our new album, "YOU BETTER WEAPONIZE," is coming this Fall, and though we're not going to release the lead single for a minute still, this is the first peek at an actual song that's going to be on the album.

This track is also the album's mission statement in a lot of ways.  Just about every song on the album is a concept or topic song; this is one of the few more general straight-up rap songs, but it really gets to the core of my artistic and political philosophy; the album's title isn't just there because it's a pun; it really means something to me.  I'll include the lyrics after-the-jump.

And just a note on the beat.  If you've been following Big Cats!'s work with The Tribe & Big Cats!, you already know that this guy is one of the BEST producers in indie hip hop.  This track is bone-crunchingly huge on a good club sound system.  It knocks here too, but wait until you here it in your car, or at a show.  It's just nasty.  And the whole album is like that.  I can't wait to show you more.

Finally, be sure to check out Guante & Big Cats!: WINTER IS COMING as well as Guante: Lightning for more peeks at the new album.  Lots more coming.

TO YOUNG LEADERS:

So here’s what you can expect:
a burlap sack with a dollar sign on it or a check
They’ll throw it at your feet and ask you to dance
They’ll point rocket launchers at your feet and ask you to dance
I never danced, proud to play the wall and leave early
ridin’ shotgun with Circe; watch for the pigs
Watch for the cigarette vendors
Watch for the bread and circuses and remember:
Everything’s for sale and everything will kill you
…so don’t buy it, remember who supplies it:
their teeth are syringes, eyes are blood diamonds
shinin’, the patron saints of gun violence
remember: a poem is worth more than a prayer
a prayer is a quiet conversation
a poem is an incantation, a fireball from your fingertips
it’s something out of nothing and we’re listenin’
so spit it, every mic is a magic wand
and all the stage is a world
so when they ask you to dance, kick ‘em in the teeth
listen to the beat, listen to the beat

IN LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED YEARS, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS WILL BE DEAD. THE IMPACT YOU HAVE ON THIS PLANET, ON YOUR COMMUNITY, CANNOT BE MEASURED IN LIKES, IN PLAYS, IN CDS SOLD. YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE; YOU BETTER WEAPONIZE

So here’s what you can expect:
style over substance, lust and fear over respect
I used to rap really fast
And the kids at the shows would say “damn” but they wouldn’t understand
What you say is more important than how you say it
What you do is more important than what you say
And what you build is more important than what you do
So what you gonna build today?
Young leader, young metahuman
Young spellcaster stay fashionin’ the blueprints
Humility is beautiful, but when worse comes to worse
remember what you’re worth...
Remember: people who have not accomplished half of what you have
are gonna tell you that you work too hard
And they’ll support ya yappin’ but when you propose action
they’ll tell you that it goes too far
But if you really want change, be prepared to make war
Whether physical spiritual cultural or something more
‘cause if we are the ones we’ve been waiting for
What the hell are we waiting for?

THE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR LIFE SHOULD NOT BE BACKGROUND MUSIC. WRAP YOUR POETRY AROUND A WARCLUB. TAKE YOUR MOST POTENT, BATTLE-TESTED FOLK SONGS, TURN THE BASS UP AND ADD SOME DRUMS THAT BANG. YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE. YOU BETTER WEAPONIZE

We are more than the sum of our parts
They are less than the sum of our fears
I think the guard is asleep at the gate
and we got all the weapons we need right here
We are more than the sum of our parts
They are less than the sum of our fears
I see the guards are asleep at the gate
and we got all the weapons we need right here

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