Tuesday June 28, 2016
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[Backstage] BRBRCK is B(A)CK.

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Editorial: The Lesson the U.S. Should Learn from Brexit

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[European map courtesy Wikimedia Commons]It was said to be a virtual impossibility. The leading polls of the voting electorate in the United Kingdom seemed to indicate that "Remain" held a majority albeit a slim one over the "Leave" campaign in last week's Brexit. Wait - what's a "Brexit" you say? It sounds more like something you'd eat for breakfast than a political issue, let alone an issue that would pertain to our hip-hop readers. Why even discuss it?

What - you mean you haven't been reading our annual UK Hip-Hop Month feature? You didn't know that several of our writers were from the United Kingdom? This is an issue that matters to us a great deal, and as the "yank" in this discussion, I also have a uniquely American perspective on the implications of UK voters choosing to Brexit the European Union by a 52% to 48% margin. Before I tell you more about that let me give you a little background on the whole Brexit situation.

The modern EU as we know it came into effect in November of 1993, but the idea behind it took root in the aftermath of World War II, when European nations and their citizens began to recognize the need for greater cooperation and partnership to prevent the outbreak of another such war with its accompanying loss of life and liberty, combined with what they viewed as the rising threat of the Soviet Union as a military and economic superpower. This wasn't really that altruistic - it was just a recognition that historical differences could be put aside in favor of the more lucrative benefits of cooperation and partnership. The military industrial complex may profit in wartime, but the economy as a whole thrives in peacetime. The Treaty of Rome got the ball rolling in 1957, and the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a reunified Germany joining and a rapid expansion to new member nations following the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. A unified monetary device (the euro) soon followed which in many (but not all) cases replaced their own individual currencies, making the euro legal tender across a wide swath of Europe. All to the good - right??

The UK and let's be specific here ENGLAND have always eyed this partnership warily. They never signed the Treaty of Rome, and when they tried to join the precursor to the modern EU in the 1960's, France twice rejected their application. The seeds of mistrust were already sewn, to the point that there were calls for a referendum in the 1970's as soon as the UK formally joined. The benefits have generally outweighed the disadvantages - free trade, free travel between member states, cooperation on economic and humanitarian issues, and so on. That hasn't stopped the UK from flexing its economic muscle multiple times to carve out a "special status" and terms favorite to them and substantially less favorable to the EU as a whole -- and even that wasn't enough the "BRITAIN FIRST" critics back home who felt that home rule was being usurped by a foreign power with a foreign currency.

Make no mistake about it that the recent campaign on a referendum to either "Remain" or "Leave" the European Union has been marked by dire warnings and scare tactics on both sides of the issue, though for me the "Leave" group were always the scarier bunch and the stabbing AND shooting death of Jo Cox punctuated this point (and NEITHER generally happens to politicians in the UK - this is a very rare and horrifying occurrence) as did the advocacy of Nigel Farage, who often strikes me as the UK's version of Donald Trump. He's certainly not a chap who is gung ho about immigration in general or Muslims in particular, and strikes me as a guy who would try to build a wall in the ocean around the whole of England if he could. The entire leave campaign seems about as scarily xenophobic and nationalistic as you can get -- all too willing to blame any perceived problems in England on the apparently porous borders of the EU letting people flood their shores thanks to that "free travel between member states." Just listen to the claim that Leave fought for "real people" against "multi-nationals."

The problem for Farage is that "real people" have been hurt by the Brexit. The UK and the world economy both tanked on the ramifications of the EU's third most powerful member deciding it was better off going it alone on its own. Furthermore the vote to leave was hardly unanimous among the constituent countries in the UK. Scotland's voters chose "Remain" and are now threatening to hold a second referendum on leaving the UK so they can REJOIN the European Union on their own. The decision not only severed the EU but severed the UK, and those "real people" the voters hurt are millions of working class citizens who struggle to make an honest living for themselves and their families in the face of racism and the economic disenfranchisement that comes with it. A weakened and divided United Kingdom helps no one, and sewing the seeds of hatred and racism toward the immigrants that have made the UK a multicultural mecca don't either. It's having a domino effect throughout Europe as every country wants to blame "the other" in their midst for whatever problems they have.

I'm hopeful that U.S. voters will keep in mind the ugly and disastrous example set by the Brexit vote when they go to the polls in November to choose between Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or whoever else might make the ballot. I can tell you which one of them sounds the most like Brexit without hesitation though - the man who (like the Leave campaign) blames immigrants for all of our problems, who wants to put up a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, who thinks Muslims should be eyed with suspicion solely on the basis of their religious beliefs. I'm not saying that if you vote for this man you want to see the U.S. unravel like the U.K., but you should sit and think long and hard about the social and economic consequences of electing an anti-immigrant hate monger to be the next President of the United States. Brexit has already shown us that the triumph of xenophobic racist nationalism over common sense has dire consequences.
The Hip-Hop Shop #381 - Love the Rhapsody

It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #381 is called Love the Rhapsody! Today you'll hear new material from Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey, Funky DL, Illien Rosewell and CJ Pure among others. Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show - like The Drunk Train from Adam Bernard!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey f/ 7evenThirty, Iman Omari - Black Love
* T'Swan - These Days
* Funky DL - The Rhapsody
* Illien Rosewell - Floating Brass
* Solo For Dolo - Don't Rap
* Streetz & Young Deuces - Underdogs
* Shaz Illyork - HeatStroke
* CJ Pure f/k/a Yung Rep - Pure

Video: Young Mike "All I Want Is You" (@YMKBG @QTheQuestion)

Video: Young Mike - "All I Want Is You"

Q: Young Mike representing Patterson, NJ is on his grind heavy as he is about to release "Moya City" in July 2016.

Audio: @ProjectPatHCP @RickyRozay @TheRealBigTrill @YK808Mafia "Rubberband My Check"

Audio: Project Pat, Rick Ross & 808 Mafia - "Rubberband My Check"

Ryan: Project Pat just released the 3rd single off of his forthcoming album "Street God 3". "Rubberband My Check" features Rick Ross and Pat's protege Big Trill, with production handled by YK of 808 Mafia. Look for "Street God 3" to be releasing soon with production solely handled by Zaytoven and YK.

Audio: @SeanKingston @DJTwinChi @YoGottiKOM - "Rubba Bands" (@mzlimari2u)

Audio: DJ Twin f/ Sean Kingston, Yo Gotti - "Rubba Bands"

LG: Island/Pop Star and fan favorite Sean Kingston is back at it with a feature on his very own DJ; DJ Twin’s hot new single “Rubba Bands” also featuring The King of Memphis, Yo Gotti. With hit-makers Metro Boomin and Southside on the beat, "Rubba Bands" is already set up to be summer splash.​

Video: Muhammad Ali Tribute by @ImperialBeats @IAmKINETIK (@Illect)

Video: Muhammad Ali Tribute by Imperial & K.I.N.E.T.I.K.

Illect: The triumphant horn stabs, seductive saxophone riffs and punchy verses sound like something that Muhammad Ali may have listened to before stepping in the ring with George Foreman or Joe Frazier. The spirit of 'Ali Bomaye' is undeniably tangible and the duo definitely deliver a knockout punch.

Video: @Salma_Slims - "Diary" (@JoeBayer)

Video: Salma Slims - "Diary"

Joe: Private Club Records has garnered a significant amount attention of attention over the last year thanks to the inescapable success of MadeinTYO's viral smash "Uber Everywhere" and Royce Rizzy's recently released mixtape, Pre Rolled 2.

Video: Pennjamin Bannekar - "Bodies" (@PennBannekar @DhnieraBlu @IstillloveHER)

Video: Pennjamin Bannekar - "Bodies"

Wanja: Penn has released his latest visual "Bodies" featuring Dhniera Blu from his Paper Plane Pilots album! The video was shot and directed by Alexander King.

Audio: Philthy Rich ft. Kevin Gates, Young Dolph & Icewear Vezzo - "Piss Codeine"

Audio: Philthy Rich ft. Kevin Gates, Young Dolph & Icewear Vezzo - "Piss Codeine"

A.T.: The Bay Area's Gucci Mane Revisits the Real N*ggaz Back In $tyle Opening Track with an All-Star Remix.

Audio: JU$TIN - "Working" (@JUSTHUSTLE_Bx)

Audio: JU$TIN - "Working"

MS: JU$TIN returns with a new self-produced heater to start the Summer off right. "Working" is a dope anthem for those of us out there working hard everyday toward our goals and dreams. The BX native serves up a dose of hard-thumping drums and bass, with equally impressive bars.

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Welcome to RapReviews.com for the week of June 28th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got EIGHT ITEMS for you so let's get down to business: BRBRCK's "Backstage" (our featured review), Chazmere's "Chazmere," an editorial on Brexit, The Hip-Hop Shop #381, an interview with Satoshi Ishii, Promise's "TellAVision," Vic Mensa's "There's Alot Going On" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for June 21, 2016!

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