Throughout history, people who have risen to the occasion to speak about justice, equality, love, liberty, and peace have been targeted by the tyrannical governments that serve captains of industry.
Nowhere is this more true than of British independent hip-hop artist and revolutionary political thinker, Lowkey.
After a four year hiatus, Lowkey returned last week with a new single called “Ahmed,” with a video produced by the independent British media collective GlobalFaction, and announced an upcoming tour of England.
Born of to an Iraqi mother and English father, he is a product of colonialism, the ancestors of Lowkey (real name Kareem Dennis) escaped Iraq in the 1970’s, according to his song “Cradle of Civilization,” a tribute to the land of Mesopotamia.
He rose to prominence in the British hip-hop scene entirely as an independent. He never signed with a record label as a matter of integrity and creative freedom. Lowkey has consistently warned the public against the illusion of “gangsterism,” which is pushed by rappers owned by corporate record labels who bank on gangster rap being used as a form of social engineering to dumb down the public into engaging in destructive behaviors, killing each other over drugs, all the while private prisons in Britain and America laugh all the way to the bank as they incarcerate the masses.
Lowkey’s music was filled with messages against egoism and especially against the objectification of women.
However, what caught the eye of the powers that be was his outspokenness about the ruling class in government, banking, media, and industry.
In 2010 he released a song called “Obama Nation,” which blew the lid off of American imperialism and presidents serving as puppets of elite handlers, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger. Beginning with an introduction letting the listener know it’s not an attack on American people, but the system that they live under, he exposed the war machine and the two-party system, as well as people who grew infatuated with President Obama, no matter how many corpses of innocent people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, and Somalia piled up underneath the throne of the imperial presidency currently inhabited by Barack Obama.
According to the official YouTube listing of the music video for Obama Nation, it was banned from TV. The mainstream media industry does not want someone using the medium of music and art to raise the consciousness of people and wake them up to the rigged system of oppression they live under.
Lowkey continued to drop knowledge with songs that dismantled Israel’s 60+ year long bloody occupation of historic Palestine, how the NATO corporate empire is the largest terrorist organization on the planet, and the value of revolutions and movements being bigger than one person.
“I have the heart to say what all these other rappers aren’t: words like Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan,” he stated in one of his songs.
He is one of the few rappers with the guts to discuss issues such as the role Western intelligence organizations played in creating terrorist organizations like al-Qaida, the theory that September 11th is a case of pre-planned controlled demolition by the U.S./U.K./Israeli/Saudi governments, the influence of the Rothschild banking family, and the media’s role in protecting war criminals.
In a sequel to the song Obama Nation, Lowkey predicted that President Obama would engage in a regime change war in Syria before the US began its covert operations: “Bombs over Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya — is Obama the bomber getting ready for Syria?”
Since Lowkey’s hiatus began, the U.S. has engaged in a covert war to topple the Syran government. This was pre-planned as far back as 2001, according to General Wesley Clark’s “7 Countries in 5 Years” revelation, with further evidence provided Wikileaks revelations of American and Israeli collusion in 2006 to overthrow Syria.
Both Obama and Romney agreed with each other on the issue of war with Syria during the 2012 presidential debates: Syria must be taken out in order to protect Israel from Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group which Syria helped to supply weapons to during the 2006 war where Israel suffered a terrible defeat after trying to illegally invade Lebanon.
Of course, no one doubts that Assad is guilty of many crimes against his own people, just as no one who opposed the Iraq War was under the pretense that Saddam Hussein was a good person. As one of the lyrics in Lowkey’s new song “Ahmed” states, Ahmed never knew the politicians he was murdered by. Syrians are trapped between many rocks and many hard places.
Opposing the war is having the wisdom to see that the war machine doesn’t care about human rights in Iraq or Syria, nor do they care about the people living there. The Bush administration cried wolf over WMDs, but was happy to use depleted uranium and white phosphorous in Iraq, causing worse after-effects than Hiroshima’s atomic bombing. All the problems and abuses that exist under Assad will still exist if ISIS or Al-Nusra takes control over Syria, or if a U.S./Saudi/Israeli-backed puppet controls Syria. Not once in history has U.S. regime change ever made a situation better for any country which the empire brought “democracy” to.
The results of U.S. intervention in Syria have proven to be a redux of the CIA’s support for the rebels in Afghanistan in the 80s: Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) was birthed out of the support for rebels in Syria, which the DIA admitted they knew was a consequence but proceeded with the covert war policy regardless. If only the Syrian people could have full self-determination to deal with their future without NATO co-opting it for their own perverted ends.
Lowkey has not been around to give the world his perspective through the medium of art on the pressing issues we currently face. As it states on his Wikipedia page, on 17 April 2012, he officially put his musical career on hiatus, announcing the news on Facebook. He said that after months of contemplation, he has decided to “step away from music and concentrate on my studies.” With this, he announced that he would deactivate his Facebook page, which had over 180,000 followers.
Despite lots of gossip and rumors by entertainment reporters, Lowkey retired to spend time in Palestine attending a university, according to a statement made by hip-hop artist Akala.
Gossipers came up with many theories, one of them being that he got intimidated by the British government into retiring. However, just because political targeting by the British government was not the reason he retired, does not mean that we should downplay the difficulties it placed on his life and how political persecution of dissent is a serious issue that must be done away with, especially for people who go deep in the rabbit hole and discover how the ruling power structure works.
Lowkey is not only outspoken as a hip-hop artist, but also as an activist. He spoke on the same stage as Julian Assange during a protest by Stop the War Coalition, a U.K.-based antiwar/pro-peace group led by iconic British politicians Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn, where he also was one of the few brave voices to speak out against Obama early into his presidency in 2009. He’s had appearances on many international news outlets as giving a series of lectures on Palestine with disabled British journalist Jody McIntyre and Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein. Lowkey even turned down an appearance on the show of Tim Westwood, Britain’s most popular hip-hop radio/TV host, after Westwood was used as a propaganda tool by the BBC to promote the British occupation of Afghanistan.
Due to his outspokenness, as well as the respect he garnered from the eloquence and lack of profanity in his lyrics, he was targeted by the British government. According to a speech given in this video, in December 2010, Lowkey’s home was raided by the British government. They confiscated lyrics, clothes, merchandise, and anything with Arabic writing on it. On Lowkey’s last full-length album before his retirement, the song “Terrorist Part 2” delves into the situation surrounding his political arrest. No charges were ever brought against him, but he faced jail time for his activism for a better planet.
While he was able to tour America and Australia, he was not able to perform or even step foot in Westminster or London due to restraining orders placed upon him by the British government following his arrest. He was restricted from London because of the royal wedding happening under the guise of him being a threat to the Royal Family.
Due to his activism, the British government targeted him and many other activists. In that same speech, he referred to one of his friends who was beaten so badly by a police officer during a protest event, he needed brain surgery to survive. After facing a near death brutalization from British police, Lowkey’s friend stood trial and jail time. Additionally, Lowkey’s friend Jody McIntyre was pulled out from his wheelchair and beaten by police for non-violently protesting education cuts, which the police claimed was for McIntyre’s safety.
Lowkey referred to his targeting as being part of a systemic effort by the powers that be to control the way people look at the world by preventing individuals or groups from awakening members of the public to the actual reality we face in our world.
He alluded to his friend and fellow hip-hop colleague Mic Righteous having the words “Free Palestine” censored from his freestyle rap on BBC 1Xtra Radio, yet leaving the part about burning a British federal officer uncensored. Lowkey contends that the Israeli government receives more favoritism from the British government than Britain’s own government officials and agencies. Lowkey mentioned the decision to censor “Free Palestine” from the radio went all the way up to BBC director Mark Thompson, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the mid 2000s.
Lowkey asserted that no two people of power meet with each other just to talk about the tea & crumpets they are enjoying for lunch, but to discuss how the BBC can serve as a PR organ of the Israeli regime. Therefore, Lowkey isn’t the first British conscious hip-hop artist to be silenced by the powers that be. While they didn’t arrest and intimidate Mic Righteous in the same way they did Lowkey, the end goal was the same: to stop the public from hearing messages of truth in the transcendent medium of art.
Lowkey stated that while he appreciates the public support during his ordeals, he noted that the movement shouldn’t be based around one person. Just because he goes to jail, doesn’t mean that the peace train stops moving. He stated that the best way to remember and honor him is to help carry on his message without the messenger and work towards turning the world of justice he envisions into reality. While we should never let the British or any government get away with this type of political persecution, we must never let the message that these messengers deliver be extinguished.
When Lowkey retired from hip-hop in 2012, the world lost a powerful yet humble force for change. The mainstream media pushes out artists that seek to keep people away from caring about what goes on in the world and only focus on selfish, arrogant lifestyles based on glamorizing famous people. Of course, there are still many great artists out there, such as Logic, Immortal Technique, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and many more artists in multiple genres of music.
A lot has happened since 2012 under the watch of NATO member governments, including as America and Britain. Edward Snowden revealed we are all being spied on, 28 pages of declassified 9/11 report documents indicate Saudi government involvement, and a FOIA request declassified the FBI report relating to the Israeli Mossad agents arrested on 9/11 after being seen high-fiving and filming the burning trade towers. The U.S. continues to support Syrian rebels in a proxy war to establish full hegemony in the Middle East, leading to the rise of Daesh. Multiple transnational trade treaties are in the process of being ratified to establish even greater corporate favoritism in the global marketplace, the nuclear arms race is continuing, and of course America’s two party dictatorship is ripping at the seams with the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a race to see who can offer a more destructive vision for the future of America and the planet.
While hip-hop artists like Immortal Technique have endorsed presidential candidates like Jill Stein and remain outspoken about the rigged electoral system and many other issues, the world could use the insight that Lowkey has to offer, as he views all people on earth as being part of one human family.
As he once said, “forget division based on ethnicity or religion, whether you’re Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, or Christian, pain is still pain if you’re a person that’s missing, we all deserve a life on this earth that we live in. Peace is the question, the only answer is unity.”
Sometimes it takes a period of solitude, stepping away from the craziness of the world and observing it from a distance to become more mentally mature and develop a greater understanding of the how the world works. Getting his hands dirty in the gardens of knowledge in Palestine, both in academia and experiencing what life is like under the tyranny of Israeli occupation, certainly can contribute towards gaining a certain degree of wisdom that may have not been previously unlocked.
The world has yet to see how the return Lowkey’s powerful music can contribute to society from 2016 on forward to educate, inspire, and change the masses towards building a movement that permanently creates a world of peace, harmony, justice, and sustainability.
Watch “Lowkey: Terrorist? (Official Video)” from GlobalFaction:
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.