Punk Planet, a music, culture and politics magazine, will release The New Hip Hop Activism, a 13-artist compilation of political hip-hop, on Monday (June 26), according to editor Dan Sinker.
Artists contributing to the compilation include Aya de Leon, Black Anger, Pitt and da Pendulum, Underground Railroad, the Coup, Marcell Diallo, Company of Prophets, La Junta and
Sinker says the compilation, which features previously unreleased
material by indie rappers and spoken-word artists from New York,
Oakland, Calif., San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee and Tacoma, Wash.,
will be released exclusively online in MP3 format and will be available
at the magazine's Web site (www.punkplanet.com).
The release of the compilation coincides with the street date of Punk Planet issue #38, which features "Housequake: Can Hip-Hop Shake the System?," an essay by Oakland-based investigative journalist and cultural critic Aaron Shuman. Shuman, who helped compile the CD, is
editor of Berkeley, Calif.'s Bad Subjects.
Sinker said the idea for the compilation was ignited by Shuman's essay.
"The compilation came about as a result of the 'Housequake' article. In
working on the piece and talking to all these people involved in hip-hop activism, Aaron thought, 'Why not get some tracks together?' ... So
Aaron and Joel Schalit [associate editor at Punk Planet] went to
work contacting bands and putting the comp together."
Schalit said the compilation helped Punk Planet to further two of its causes: supporting independent, politically focused artists.
"Punk Planet has always been a forceful advocate of politically
progressive music cultures, irrespective of genre affiliation," Schalit
said. "Our ethos is one of radical [inclusiveness]. If we think that
there are independent artists whom we like that are engaged in struggles for social justice, we've always backed them to the extent that we can do so as a magazine."
Schalit said most of the artists on the compilation are politically
active. "Some of the artists on the album list political youth
associations and cultural organizations as the equivalent of their label affiliation, such as San Francisco spoken-word artist Anita's outfit, Youthforce, and Diallo's organizing/performance space, Oakland's Black Dot Cafe. For a music world so laden with designer-label affiliations, this was a neat metaphor that helped underline the degree to which these artists see their work as political and communal endeavors."
Punk Planet is a 6-year-old bi-monthly magazine based in Chicago.