Category Archives: “Great” Britain

Antonio on Lowkey’s ‘Obama Nation’

[Last week, we posted the video, Obama Nation, the new single from UK hip-hop artist, Lowkey. The video itself generated some discussion which can be viewed below. Here is a comment by a RAIMer, Antonio, analyzing the content of the song:]

Lowkey is a British rapper, his mother being of Iraqi Arab descent. The title of the song is Obama Nation, pointing out that Obama is a war criminal like every other US president.

Lowkey correctly links the current imperialism of the United Snakes with its brutal colonial history and the national oppression and genocide inflicted upon the people here.

“Since 1945 the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments,
In the process the US has caused the end of life for several million people,
And condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.”

“Natives kept in casinos and reservations,
Displaced slaves never given reparations,
Take everything from Native Americans,
And wonder why i call it the racist experiment,”

“I see imperialism under your skin tone,
You could call it Christopher Columbus syndrome.”

He points out the brutal reality behind the ideals of Amerika and the illusions it propagates:

“The strength of your dreaming prevents you from reason,
The American dream only makes sense if you’re sleeping,
It’s just a cruel fantasy; their politics took my voice away,
But their music gave it back to me,
The land where the lumpen are consumed by consumption,
Killing themselves to shovel down food in abundance,
I guess a rapper from Britain is a rare voice,
America is capitalism on steroids,..”

“The world’s entertainer, the world’s devastator,
From Venezuela, to Mesopotamia,
Your cameras lie, cause they have to hide the savage crimes,
Committed on leaders that happen to try and nationalize,
Eating competitions? while the worlds been starving,
Beat up communism with the help of Bin Laden,”

“Every day you create more Nidal Hassan’s,
Kill a man from the military, you’re a weirdo,
But kill a wog from the Middle East you’re a hero,
Your country is causing screams that never reach your ear holes,
America inflicted a million Ground Zero’s,
Follow the dollar and swallow your humanity,
Soldier’s committing savagery you never even have to see,”

He correctly sees that there is no difference in policy with Obama.

I don’t care if him and Cheney are long lost relations,
What matters more is the policies, I lost my patience,
Stop debating bringing race into the conversation,
Occupation and cooperation equals profit making,
It’s over; people wake up from the dream now,
Nobel peace prize, Jay Z on speed-dial,
It’s the substance within, not the colour of your skin,
Are you the puppeteer or the puppet on the string?,
So many believed it was instantly gonna’ change,
There was still Dennis Ross, Brzezinski and Robert Gates,
What happened to Chas freeman? (AIPAC),
What happened to Tristan Anderson?,
It’s a machine that keeps that man breathing,
I have the heart to say what all the other rappers aren’t,
Words like Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan,
The wars on, and you morons were all wrong,
I call Obama a bomber cause those are your bombs.”

One thing wrong with the lyrics is its wavering on being anti-Amerikan.

He begans the song [thus]

“This track is not an attack upon the American people,
It’s an attack upon the system within which they live.”

The system itself is the enemy but the Amerikan people as a whole benefit from that system. He also states “I’m not anti-America, America is anti-me!.” It is correct that the policies of Amerika turn the masses of the world against it, but the logical conclusion is to go against Amerika and all it stands for. Lowkey likely has an audience in the social movements of the First World who attempt to pander to their exploiter nation’s majority, and try to show their patriotism. Revolutionary anti-imperialists must give the real message out, that exploiter nations and their people who support are the enemy.

In one of the verses he has a version of the Star Spangled banner sung in a hip hop manner. Whether it is to expose Amerikan hypocrisy, or to reclaim Amerikan ideals for the good, is unclear. Either way, the attempt does not come off successfully.

Like other politically minded hip hop artists in the First World, such as Dead Prez, the Coup, Immortal Technique, etc., Lowkey espouses leftist and often revolutionary politics in his music but errs in the direction of First Worldism, or pandering to a majority First World population. At the same time he espouses anti-imperialism he attempts not to offend the Amerikan majority. RAIM takes issue with him on this point. To oppose imperialism is to oppose its main exponent, Amerika. It is no mistake when those rallying around the flag rally for the atrocities committed under that flag. The Peace is Patriotic crowd fails. Those standing with the oppressed and exploited of the world should not play these games by identifying with this symbol of opression. Lowkey should take the logical conclusion that the history of American oppression continues today, and to end it means ending the idea and material reality of Amerika. It did not stray from its ideals in it imperialist interventions, it is what it is about. Amerika from its beginning has been like every other empire, based on conquest. Revolutionary artists need to transcend the meaning of Amerika and the First World and see it for the enemy that it is.

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