Taking the Pulse of ‘Gangsta Revolutionaries’

In a conversation with The Root, the hip-hop duo Dead Prez sounds off on their new mixtape, the good news about the economic slump and their thoughts about Obama’s presidency.

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“The real fight for people, as much as we project it out, is in our own consciousness,” says Stic-Man, one half of the hip-hop duo Dead Prez. A decade after the release of their wildly successful street anthem “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop,” Stic and his partner, M-1, are still chopping it up about revolutionary activism. On June 23, Dead Prez will release Pulse of the People; a new mixtape produced by DJ Green Lantern, followed by their third proper album, Information Age, this fall.

The Root connected with the two “gangsta revolutionaries” to chat about everything from Obama to addiction. Here is a taste of our 71-minute conversation that stings beautifully and rocks hard.

The Root: I think many agree that DP’s work has had a major impact on the collective consciousness. What impact has your work made?

Stic: One of the things DP has grown into, and we’re still trying to grow into, is being a bridge for the streets and the struggle. We coined the phrase ‘revolutionary, but gangsta.’ We’re trying to take the most proactive elements of the hood, our culture, the everyday life of surviving and make a bridge with the revolutionary aspirations of our movement.

M-1: I believe that we have made a collective cultural dent in the imaginary wall that white power imperialism has put up [….] Say somewhere like the 2008 Democratic National Convention. We’re not Democrats, yet our voice can be used in the same way that Fred Hampton Sr. did it during 1968 at that Democratic National Convention.  

The Root: At the height of the recent presidential race, you all released a song called “Politrikkks.” Why was it important for you to release that song at that particular time?