This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

dead prez
Lets Get Free
Loud Records

This album could easily be the most revolutionary album of the year. With references to Mao Zedong and quotes from the Black Panther Party, they take their experiences and apply lessons learned from history to produce a truly revolutionary message.

When you buy this album it will have a black sticker on it saying "this artwork has been censored by the powers that be, due to its political content." The image on the sleeve is a photograph of African youth raising rifles in the air. The label felt it was inappropriate due to the recent Columbine High School shooting. What Africans rising up against an oppressive government have to do with high school kids shooting their classmates is a mystery. Inside there are cool drawings depicting each of the songs on the album. There is also blurb inside discussing the victimization of the Black nation by the drug war and the criminal injustice system in general.

The first track, "I'm a African," says "I'm an African, never was an African-American." This, MIM wholly agrees with, as we draw a strong line between the oppressor nation of white Amerikans and the oppressed nations within the united $tates. (1) The Black Panther Party's leadership correctly supported struggles around the world by communicating with those struggles and reporting back to their people, while focusing their work on serving the needs of the Black nation in the united $tates.

Track 2, 'They' Schools, is a song that addresses the issue of community control of the education system. "They ain't teaching us nothin' related to our problems, they ain't teachin' us how to get crack out the ghetto, they ain't teaching us how to stop the police from mudering us and brutalizing us, they aren't teaching us how to get our rent paid That's why niggers be droppin' out that shit, cuz it don't relate. You go to school, the fucking police searching you like it's a military compound." The fact that "the same people that control the school system control the prison system" is an important point. A nation cannot have self-determination until it controls it own education and is able to address the people's needs.

"Hip Hop" is a catchy single that addresses the repetitive crap that comes out of corporate owned hip hop. The song asks, "You'd rather have a Lexus or justice? a dream or some substance? a beamer, a necklace or freedom?" dead prez deals with the real issues that face Blacks in the united $tates such as the prison system and cops. In "Police State" they point out that not only are the pigs oppressing people but they are using up resources for that oppression that could be used to serve those people's needs. The chorus goes, "You have the Black male live a third of his life in a jail cell, cuz the world is controlled by the white male, and the people don't never get justice, and the women don't never get respected."

While a lot of bands and artists out there can make a good criticism of the current system, dead prez is more advanced in their offering of real solutions to the problems. An indication of where they're coming from is in the chorus of one of the bonus tracks, Propaganda, when they say, "31 years ago I would have been a Panther. They killed Huey cuz they knew he had the answer." In other songs they indicate their true likeness to the ideals and approach of the Black Panther party. In "Police State" they say, " organize the wealth into a socialist economy, a way of life based off the common need." This of course is one of MIM's basic goals, to create an economic system that serves the people. That song also opens with a quote by Omali Yeshitela which paraphrases Lenin's State and Revolution, in which he wrote that the police, prisons and courts aren't necessary until the economic system creates groups of haves and have-nots. In the song We Want Freedom they say, "We gonna organize a People's Army, and we're gonna get control over our own lives." Without a People's Army an oppressed nation has no way of defending themselves from the great military strength of the imperialists. Dead prez understands that liberation cannot occur without revolution. Inside the album jacket they write about the need for Black people to come together and organize. With plans like creating their own education system that deals with the people's need, dead prez also seems to recognize the need to build independent people's institutions as part of the struggle as well.

"We Want Freedom," and dead prez is serious about it as indicated by the line in the song, "Could you take the life of somebody you know or have feelings for, if necessary? I have cousins in the military, but as far as I'm concerned they died when they registered." Here they recognize the sacrifice that comes along with revolution and pronounce their willingness to do what it takes to free their people. This revolutionary spirit combined with true scientific understanding are what make up a strong movement that can achieve the goal of ending all oppression.

MIM Theory 7: Revolutionary Nationalism. p. 40.
For MIM's opinion of Omali Yeshitela's line, see,
MIM Theory magazine #8, p. 102.

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This is a Take-Over not a Make- Over

Dead Prez
Turn Off the Radio--The Mix Tape Vol. 1
Holla Black Records

The long awaited follow up to Dead Prezs (DP) freshman hit Lets Get Free is not quite ready yet. So this most recent release is something to tide fans over. Since 2000 they have appeared in collaborations with the Coup, Tahir of Hedrush and the Unbound Allstars with the Mumia 911 project and this release compiles some of that work. This album is not a full-length artist album , rather it is a mix tape. It is a blend of previously recorded material, remixes, skits and some new tracks presented in the format of a radio broadcast. The songs have mainstream appeal and the revolutionary spirit remains.

One theme of this project is taking over culture and the media that disseminates it. The fact that hip hop has been appropriated by corporations is a common complaint. In the title track DP says, When you bringin it real/ you dont get rotation/ less you take over the station. In No Love, one of many hit songs off of Tahirs Homecoming album, we see participants in real hip hop culture being turned down, harassed, arrested and charged way too much money to take part in so-called hip hop events run by greedy corporations. The solution? Well, just like the revolution will take back the wealth stolen from the people by force, we need to take back our culture by force so that it serves the interests of the oppressed. In rap music, sampling is common and not usually used to improve the message of popular songs, but to benefit financially from the popularity of those songs. But sampling is a legitimate form of artistic expression in hip hop as well as all culture. Taking a popular beat that has been used to promote individualist romance culture, for example, and infusing it with a revolutionary message(as done on this work with the beats of Black Rob,Notorious B.I.G.,Busta Rhymes and other major label lackies) is a political statement in and of itself. While the producers of the original work used it as a means to make money while promoting backwards ideas, were saying were gonna take that popularity that you have spent so much money on to promote and use it to encourage the overthrow of the same system you support with little financial cost to ourselves. Or in the case of DPs remake of KRS-Ones Black Cop, you can take an already popular progressive song and turn it up a notch (see the Cop Shot single out on Raptivism Records).

While the well-developed ideas of Lets Get Free arent as common on this mix tape, DPs revolutionary message is still there. Perhaps the clearest example is the song title We Need a Revolution. This song is powerful in taking responsibility for what we can achieve in our society if we just take control of our own lives and of our communities. For example, I can stop these cops from killing/ I can feed these hungry children/ I can stop racism/ a product of capitalism/ I can unpack the prisons and turn religion back to we livin. The demands put forth in Food, Clothes + Shelter pt. 2 are also clearly revolutionary, putting basic needs above all else. The current system puts rights such as freedom of religion, private property and the freedom to exploit other people above survival needs.

Track 10 is entitled Know Your Enemy, and DP does. You want to stop terrorists/ start with the u$ imperialists. And be sure that, George Bush is way worse than Bin Laden is. By recognizing the number one enemy of the people and then spelling out the only way to deal with that enemy, Dead Prez continues to provide ideological leadership towards a better world through their music.

The one thing on this album that is not one bit progressive is the use of misogynist language. If I had a dollar for every dick sucking reference on this CD Id have at least enough money to buy another copy. Language that treats the female gendered role in sexual activities as demeaning promotes power differences between genders and serves to silence wimmin. Examples of this on this album are frequent implications of I dont care about you or I hate you so you can suck my dick. Similarly, our pornographic culture promotes the idea that men fuck and wimmin get fucked. And as we all know getting fucked is bad. We also must oppose all language that insinuates homosexuality as being bad, like in the intro to No Love that dedicates the song to faggot-ass bouncers.

On Lets Get Free, DP complained that the wimmin dont never get respected. Yet in Soulja Life Mentality, we see a misogynist attitude towards white girls that cant never be no friend to me/ I just get my dick sucked/ nut in they mouth instantly/ they aint nothin but freak shows. In his book Black Skin, White Mask, Franz Fanon explores the role of power in sexual desires and attitudes between Blacks and whites. Just as the white man covets the Black womyn as a forbidden treat and a show of dominance, the ability to be with a white womyn is a show of power for the Black man. With or without this national character, such displays of power over wimmin are flat out wrong. Despite the fact that white wimmin still have power over Black men in our society, misogynist attitudes against the oppressor nation are not progressive.

One other small complaint about the content of this album is the religious references in It Was Written. Did you know that destruction of the flesh is not the ending to life? is not based in reality. And worse it is these ideas that lead people to try to prepare for some after-life rather than changing the real conditions around us.

In summary, Turn Off the Radio is highly recommended for all interested in some revolutionary hip hop. We hope A Single Spark will be able to revisit some of these issues with DP in the future and with the release of their upcoming album.

dead prez/RBG/People Army
Get Free or Die Tryin (Turn Off the Radio Mixtape Vol. 2)
Boss Up/Landspeed Records

This album starts out and ends strong with a mellow feel throughout musically and a more personal touch lyrically then previous DPz stuff. This is the second mixtape they've put out and this one is actually put out as a dead prez/RBG/People Army release, indicating more contributions from other artists than the last mixtape.

The intro to this album gets it started out with an revolutionary internationalist perspective. In response to his comrade talking about leaving the struggle one character in the skit replies, "You done been around the world and seen it's the same struggle, where ya gonna go?... What you gonna tell your kids? you punked out? You ain't amerikan dreamin is ya?" This brings up the important idea of strategic confidence. There are people from South Africa to Washington DC supporting this struggle, in fact the majority of the people in the world are on our side because overthrowing imperialism for them means their only chance for freedom. Living in the u$ however we have the danger of selling out, because that is actually a possibility living in the belly of the beast that is fat on the wealth stolen from the Third World. Even oppressed nationals within u$ borders have this temptation in their face every day.

The first track, "Fuck the Law," is the most bouncing track on this album with some revolutionary but gangsta lyrics like, "bomb the precinct, burn the prisons, stick the banks up, smash the cameras." Another militant and powerful track is a collaboration between DPz and ONYX called, "Last Days Reloaded." Lyrics include, "see how they send troops to war fo their country/niggers worldwide need an army of one/It's revolution to the fullest/put the bullets in the gun."

"When Mamma Cries" and "Window to My Soul" take a personal perspective and tie it back into the revolutionary struggle. The latter song is by Stic (DPz) about his brother who had struggles with rock cocaine. As he addresses the bigger picture he recognizes the source of the problem, "tell me who profits/it's obvious/ and it's going too good for them to stop it" and the song ends with, "we don't own no boats/we don't own no planes/ we don't make no cellophane." Meanwhile he asserts that it's up to the victims to change things, "i blame it on the system/but the problem is ours/it's not a question of religion/ it's a question of power."

Stic appears alone on this album a few times, including the song O.G. (Original Garvey). This song hits on the powerful potential of uniting lumpen organizations against the real enemy tying in the Pan Africanism of Garvey in the title and applying it to the struggle of the BLOODs, CRIPs and others.

The insert of this album and the CD itself lets us know that the delayed RBG full album by DPz is on its way. The insert also has a note reading, "All Yall wannabe down white people must support and demand reparations from your government for the stolen wealth, power, resources, and freedom of the Black, Brown, and Red people!" MIM wholeheartedly agrees, and it's good to see DPz including reparations for all oppressed people in this statement. In a pamphlet entitled "The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League (RAIL) Demands Reparations For the Oppressed!" a RAIL comrade warned, "A lot of organizations base their calculations on the white/non-white wage differential, which leads to the incorrect position that reparations should include the difference between wages. The problem with this is that it does not take into account the super-exploitation of the third world and in practice seeks to raise the internal semi-colonies to the same material conditions as the white nation, which would effectively strengthen the exploitation of the third world." (1)

That pamphlet also states, "The luxurious lifestyles led by the bourgeois-ified working classes in the imperialist nations (also called the labor aristocracy) is a definite result of the super- exploitations of the third world proletariat and peasantry. Thus, the only true road to peace is a road that includes reparations for the oppressed nations of the world. Therefore the struggle is intimately connected with the struggle for national liberation and self- determinations for all oppressed nations."

As usual we can strongly represent this latest release from DPz. When "RBG" officially hits the stores you can bet it'll be getting the MIM stamp of approval as well.


Revolutionary But Gangsta

dead prez

Sony Music
30 March 2004

Revolutionary But Gangsta, Red, Black and Green, Real Black Girls, Ready to Bust Gats, Read 'Bout Garvey, Rolling Big Ganja and Reaching Bigger Goals are some of the alternative interpretations to this album title given by dead prez(DPz) in their liner notes. The stress here is on the Gangsta in contrast to the Revolutionary on their first album "Let's Get Free." While some fans are disappointed in the lack of politics on RBG, the question is more of a change in politics, as everything is political.

RBG is much lighter on the political theory, focusing instead on organization, training and building the revolutionary spirit as an individual. The first song is "Walk Like a Warrior," which focuses on being hard and dedicated to the cause. The next track only gets more militant with talk of going to battle with cops. It ends with a long list of shout outs to various Black Liberation figures and organizations including the Black Liberation Army (BLA), the Mau Mau, the Tupac Amaru "Freedom Fighters" (MRTA) and the Zapatistas (EZLN). This list of organizations backs up the apparent shift in DPz politics since "Lets Get Free" when they were talking about Mao Tse Tung and Huey P. Newton and sampling Fred Hampton and Omali Yeshitela. (1)

The BLA, EZLN and MRTA have all received support from anarchists and other self-proclaimed revolutionaries in the belly of the beast in conscious opposition to Maoism. The BLA, while embodying the righteous revolutionary nationalism of the Black struggle, was in fact a political degeneration of Huey and Fred's Black Panther Party (BPP). What was a strong mass based party working in the interests of Black people was reduced to a handful of focoists shooting it out with cops. DPz agrees with the BPP about the importance of self-defense against occupying forces as part of a program for liberation. But one key to serving the people is to make a sustainable lasting movement. In other words, if our most militant revolutionaries go shoot it out with cops, ending up in prison or dead than how is that serving the people? We must not reduce revolution to acts of desperation.

The choice to support the MRTA is curious in that they are (or were) a bit of an obscure group and that DPz gives respect to them over the Communist Party of Peru (PCP), which is still waging People's War and serving the people of Peru today. The MRTA openly denounced the PCP and People's War in favor of a hodgepodge of petty bourgeois ideology and focoism. (2) The MRTA emerged from a sordid agglomeration of neo-fascists and so-called "socialists," leading to its focoist military strategy and taking anti-people lines such as murdering homosexuals as part of their campaign. (3) While the BLA and EZLN lack in their strategic applications of revolution, the MRTA was never even working for humyn liberation despite some anti-capitalist rhetoric.

While the focoist tendencies are stronger on this album, DPz isn't all about busting gats. The concept of organizing street soldiers into a People's Army has been an evolving idea for DPz, and was strongly foreshadowed on the last mixtape in "O.G. (Original Garvey)" by sticman. On this album, "D.O.W.N." focuses on serious dedication to the cause, "can't tell by no tattoo, can't tell by no handshake." Stressing serving the people before revolution, "you wanna get high with me?/ nigga organize with me / start a clothes drive / then maybe we can start a fire."

Most of RBG is fairly inspirational in encouraging discipline and commitment. The back-to-back tracks "50 in the Clip" and "Way of Life" are especially strong songs about physical training. The first is a song about playing dice for push-ups, and if the beat and refrain don't get your palms on the floor they'll at least get you dancing. "Way of Life" is a bit smoother, but just as good at getting you inspired, complete with lyrics like "whatcha know about the running, the stretchin, the cadres, the weapons, the path, the journey, the jewels, the learning, the fear, the focus, the aches, the pains..."

"Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)," a song about scamming and doing dirt, is the first single off the album and appears three times on RBG. The original version has been familiar to fans for some time, and the two alternate mixes don't really measure up to it. One version, however, has a verse by Jay-Z where he makes connections with the struggle and his inability to be a true amerikan despite his multi-platinum success as an artist. This connection is an integral part of DPz's efforts to reach out to the mainstream, to the kids and to the gangsters.

In another effort to reach the people where they're at, DPz has the song "Fucked Up" about alcohol and a bonus track called "Twenty" about smoking weed. "Fucked Up" is mostly reminiscing about the role of alcohol in their lives, while making subtle comments about it being a means of control. Similarly, the bonus track has the whole bong hit background music and the reggae voice of your stereotypical getting high song, but it goes on to talk about how the stuff gets into the country in the first place. On "Way of Life," they are self-critical in questioning "should I smoke weed?" and recognizing their periods of bad nutrition and training. In all of these songs they are identifying with the masses who are caught up in the cycle of substance abuse, rather than trying to preach something that they themselves cannot practice. The whole album challenges and pushes you to be a serious revolutionary without putting unrealistic demands on people by ignoring the typical breaks in discipline along the way.

DPz certainly continues to take some interesting approaches through their art. While no one can claim that they're fake, they are still very careful not to alienate their potential audience by jumping too far ahead of them politically. Good leadership involves guiding and teaching while simultaneously learning and joining. And while political leadership involves more than putting out good music, it is yet to be seen the extent to which mass culture can help establish such leadership as it becomes more homogeneous and ever-present in our lives.

While we caution dead prez and our readers against the anarcho-focoist leanings on RBG, we can still highly recommend this album as an inspirationally revolutionary work from one of the best hip hop acts prevalent today.

(1) For MIM's opinion of Omali Yeshitela's line, see, MIM Theory magazine #8, p. 102.
(2) see What is MIM? for more on the failures of Focoism
(3) For documentation of the MRTA's gay bashing see: and more on the MRTA in the article "Peruvian exiles criticize MRTA embassy stunt" Maoist Sojourner, April 1997. found online at:

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