Around this time last year, in the Spring of 2020, our world was in a different place, but it is painfully obvious that some things have remained the same. On May 25th, George Floyd was murdered by the Minnesota Police Department and cities nationwide erupted in protest and resistance. The rest of the world watched as Black Americans continued in a centuries-old struggle against racism and brutality in this country and there were global expressions of outrage and solidarity. This spring, the world watched as Palestinians in Gaza were bombed by Israel, and once again the outrage is palpable.

All of this reminds me of The Tibetan Freedom Festival, whose 25th anniversary is this year. In a way, the concert series can be looked to as a model for solidarity as a practice. By aligning the music that we love with a message of solidarity with the people of Tibet, the concert not only raised awareness, it helped many of us understand the interconnectedness of our struggle against oppression. Music has that power, the power to activate our sense of shared responsibility and inspire us to lift up our voices in opposition to injustice at home and abroad. 

It was with this feeling in mind that the music for this month’s Culture Cypher Radio was selected. Much of the music is not overtly political, but much of it is. From Erykah Badu’s Soldier” to Femi Kuti’s “As We Struggle Everyday”, to Jamee Cornelia’s “Don’t Give Up”, a theme of resistance and resilience runs through this episode. As always, my hope is that the music here will activate something deeper in all of us, something that makes injustice intolerable and revolution inevitable.

Culture Cypher Radio – 2021.05.21

1. Tony Allen – “Mau Mau (feat. Nah Eeto)”

2. The Alchemist – “The Nobles (feat. Navy Blue & Earl Sweatshirt)”

3. Jeff Parker – “Soul Love (feat. Ruby Parker)”

4. Sessa – “Panic In Detroit”

5. 4Hero – “Naima (4Hero remix)”

6. massai – “Next Chapter”

7. Erykah Badu – “Soldier”

8. Femi Kuti – “As We Struggle Everyday”

9. Made Kuti – “Your Enemy”

10. Jamee Cornelia – “Don’t Give Up”

Andres – Soul Brother Never Be Another
Tony Allen feat. Nah Eeto – Mau Mau
Tony Allen feat. Jeremiah Jae – Gang On Holiday
Tony Allen feat. Sampa The Great – Stumbling Down
Tony Allen feat. Lava La Rue – One Inna Million
Suzi Analogue – Ex Machina
Statik Selektah feat. Thirstin Howl III & Sean Price – Ralph Lauren’s Closet
The Alchemist feat. Earl Sweatshirt & Navy Blue – The Nobles
Fantastic Freaks – Fantastic Freaks Live at the Dixie
Bart Buurtman – u
St Germain – Rose Rogue
Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle
Sylk 130 – New Love
Giles Peterson feat. Danay and Obsesion – Think Twice
4Hero – Naima (4Hero Remix)
Jeff Parker feat. Ruby Parker – Soul Love
Sessa – Panic In Detroit
Raphael Saddiq feat. D’Angelo – Be Here
CARRTOONS feat. Julia Zivic – Taurus
Earthgang – Cocktail
Breeze Brewin – The Application
Khan Jamal – The Known Unkown
Digable Planets – 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
The Pharcyde – Passing Me By
massai – Next Chapter
Madlib – Hopprock
Femi Kuti – As We Struggle Everyday
Made Kuti – Your Enemy
Uncle Crimson – SLOTH
Uncle Crimson – WRATH!
Jamee Cornelia – Don’t Give up
Jamee Cornelia – Don’t Give up Big Homie
Erykah Badu – Soldier
Yotaro – Camp
Lushlife feat. Dalek – Depayssment
James Brown – Intro
James Brown – I’ll Go Crazy
James Brown – Night Train
lojii – patience
lojii – longwayhome
Gabe Nandez – 223
selfsays feat. T. Calmese & Niles – Conan III
Figmore – Rosie
GZA feat. RZA, Killah Priest & Ghostface Killah – 4th Chamber
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – The Main Ingredient
Cool Calm Pete – Wishes And Luck