MANY PEOPLE will already know The Unpeople from their outstanding track on the Peace Not War compilation album. That song mixed samples of a John Pilger speech with a beautiful violin loop and rapping that raged against every aspect of the current system. It is now included on a new self titled mini-album. The political message stays strong.
It ranges from the scathing criticism of US imperialism in the track 'Not in My Name' or the eloquent account of life for young working class people in 'Poverty not People'. MC Paracat raps that this is an album 'for the unpeoples around the world', whether they're on a council estate in London or living in Palestine. The music matches up to the message. Funky beats and hypnotic piano riffs draw you in.
At various points bells, sirens and even opera are thrown in. The track 'Free Palestine' is one of the best instances of the music and the message complementing each other. The rapping is slick, multi-layered and full of anger. This is rap as it was originally meant to be, coming from the streets rather than from the mansions of millionaire artists.
This album will keep you motivated in the months ahead. As Paracat says: 'It's now imperative that the anti-war movement does not disappear, but pulls out all the stops, and steps up a gear.'
The Unpeople costs £6 and is available at Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE, phone 020 7637 1848, from The Unpeople's website at www.subversive-elements.co.uk, or by phoning 07742 321 579. Catch The Unpeople at Kent Love Music Hate Racism festival on 31 August; ISM/Palestine benefit gig at the Mad Hatters, Brighton, on 6 September; Love Music Hate Racism carnival, Stoke, on 7 September.