Tag Archives: black lives matter

A Protest Music Interview: Tak Havoc

Hailing originally from Alaska, young rapper Tak Havoc is now based a bit further south in the state of Oregon. After discovering his latest album and collaboration with DJ Allegiance I chatted with him online and asked him a bit about his new album, titled Kill The Klan.

Scrolling through song titles such as Uncle Sam Is A Dikkk, Qualified Immunity and the title song Kill The Klan it is clear that although it is the year 2020 artists such as Tak find the need to play their part in tearing down old, ignorant and hateful structures.

Even if Tak told me that his music has not always been made in protest it seems to me that some activist creativity was dwelling inside him when you look at some of his musical inspirations – Pink Floyd, Dead Kennedys, Nina Simone, George Carlin – this young man has a voice and he was perhaps always meant to use it.

Halldór Kristínarson: You recently released your latest effort, a full length album called Kill The Klan. Can you tell me a bit about the process behind creating and recording this album and how it makes you feel to have to talk about the Klan in 2020?

Tak Havoc: The fact that it’s 2020 and we’re still trying to figure out how to completely eliminate hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan is disheartening, but not surprising. Passiveness is a HUGE problem here in America. Lots of people on both sides seem to have an issue with this, but when it comes to conservatives…it almost feels like they have a personal vendetta against decency.

So, when Ian (DJ Allegiance) and I were talking in July, I asked what kind of record he wanted to do.

He told me we needed to get political.

He sent me a good handful of gorgeous beats to choose from and we ended up crafting “Kill The Klan” over the last month and a half.

HK: What do you feel about the intersection between music and activism? Do the two go hand in hand or should they be separated?

TH: The revolution is always gonna need a soundtrack. I don’t think you could ever separate the two. I think they go hand in hand. The dopest protests I’ve seen have been in Portland where they have the drumline and the homie playing the trumpet and people chanting. That energy is infectious and it continues even after the gas and “nonlethal” rounds are being fired on these peaceful protestors. The music is like the pulse of the movement.

HK: Has your music always been political or driven by social justice and activism?

TH: Not even close, honestly. I like to make happier, more abstract music most of the time cuz that’s usually where my head’s at. But when Breonna Taylor (a respected EMT) was murdered by police officers in her own home while she was sleeping, I was disgusted and enraged.

They created a law in this woman’s name (Breonna’s Law) and yet they have yet to charge a single officer for her murder. That, to me, is one of the THOUSANDS of confident displays of racism being enforced by law enforcement today.

I couldn’t keep silent. I make music 24/7 and it reflects wherever I’m at in life, at that moment. And this is where I’m at now, caught in a war for justice and basic human dignity.

HK: Who are some of your inspiriations, musicially or otherwise?

TH: Pink Floyd, MF Doom, Aesop Rock, Del The Funky Homosapien, King Gizzard, Dead Kennedys, Dead Prez, Slum Village, Freddie Gibbs, Nina Simone, Crystal Method, The Pharcyde, George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks

HK: How is the protest music scene in your home area? Do you feel musicians are generally using their voices for good today or do you feel they can do better?

TH: Alaska has a lot of dope emcees shedding light on important issues. I think overall, Alaskan music artists have come a LONG way.

I think there’s still a lot more work to do in terms of originality with a good chunk of Alaskan emcees, but there’s a lot of standout acts like DJ Allegiance, Darius Dossman, Starbuks, Sean Van Camp, Shamazz James, Trinity Beats, Madd Angler, Keanepok, Johnny Kohler and Lee Jones who blow my mind. They’re the ones to pay attention to in my book. They know what time it is.

HK: How is the music scene in Oregon compared to your native Alaska? What made you move places?

TH: It’s weird comparing the two. Alaska’s music scene as of right now is pretty involved. Lots of cliques, lots of competition, but it stays friendly for the most part. Everybody just wants to have fun, get on stage and make the crowd move. Not NEARLY enough venues though.

Oregon has impressed me with its music scene. It’s one of the reasons my fiancee and I moved out here. I’m a bit of a hermit by nature and yet the scene has been very welcoming. You get a real sense of community nearly instantly.

HK: What is on the horizon for you?

TH: Three new projects in the works! So needless to say, I have my hands full!

HK: Thank you very much for participating. Is there anything else you’d like to shout from the rooftops?

TH: Arrest Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove for the murder of Breonna Taylor!

End qualified immunity for law enforcement, nationwide!

God is love!

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Racetraitor, War On Women, Sunn 0))) And More On Special BLM Compilation Album

Today is Bandcamp Friday and once again musicians around the world will have the aid of one of the greatest music services this world has to offer. Since the COVID-19 hit the world, so far Bandcamp has helped artists sell $75 million worth of music during previous Bandcamp Fridays. All that money goes directly to the artists since Bandcamp waves their revenue share during these special days.

For hardcore and punk fans there is a fantastic compilation album being released this Friday featuring some heavy canons in the scene such as Minority Threat, Racetraitor, War On Women, SECT, Modern Life Is War, Sunn 0))), Jesus Piece and many more. All proceeds of the 46-song compilation will go to Movement for Black Lives (m4bl.org).

Check out the massive compilation album via this link: https://shutitdowncomp.bandcamp.com/releases

On their webpage Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond writes: “It’s a good reminder that Bandcamp Fridays are really an extension of what Bandcamp is about every day. Thank you to all the artists and labels who shared their music with us, and the fans who spent their hard-earned coins to support the artists they love.

Because the pandemic is far from over, we’ll continue to hold Bandcamp Fridays on the first Friday of every month until the end of the year. A more detailed calendar is below.”

Bandcamp Fridays 2020 Calendar:

September 4, 2020
October 2, 2020
November 6, 2020
December 4, 2020

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5 New Protest Music Albums For The Summer (That You Might Not Have Heard Of)

Whether you want some rap, punk, whether you want your summer music low key or theatrical, we hope you find something to your liking below.

Father Fury by Father Fury

This anarchist, priest-fronted punk band just released their first full length album and it is just the stuff to play under the scorching sun with some refreshments at hand and friends around.

Mi Volto e Mi Rivolto by Léon les Cailloux

“Themes of summer, protest, friendship and sisterhood string the album together. Moving from women workers’ demonstrations in the north of Italy a hundred years ago, to a group of friends taking shelter from the summer rain in Aveyron, to intersectional demonstrations in the streets of France in December 2019, and ending with Woody Guthrie’s Hobo’s Lullaby, Léon reworks songs from far away and long ago, and writes new ones too, in order to address our current times, mixing anger with solidarity, gratefulness, tenderness and courage.” – taken from the album’s Bandcamp page.

Sweet Talk by Wes Watkins

Wes Watkins makes subtle music with tons of important messages. He does not “claim to have all the answers” but he marches on presenting his thoughts, experiences and ideas for how we can all get along better. The song ‘Mason’ is a recommended listen that features dramatic melodies, beautiful lyrics and, like some of the other songs, audio clips of James Baldwin speaking.

Big Black: Stand At Attica by Stand At Attica

“Big Black: Stand At Attica is the sound of uprising and revolution! It is the story of an extraordinary man facing off against inhumane conditions and a callous Governor. It is a call for prison reform that is as relevant today as it was half a century ago.” – taken from the album’s Bandcamp album.

Product of the Outrage by Build and Destroy

Build and Destroy claim that their newly released rap album is a mandatory listen for oppressed people of the world. We don’t disagree.

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