Christopher Goodman, the leader of the Comrade Muzic (Revolution?) Movement is more than an emcee, more than a recording artists, far from just a rapper. Comrade exemplifies everything right and positive about Hip-Hop culture; he’s a solution rather than a problem. I had to ask myself at one point if he even uses profanity? He does. The Urban Dilemma is devoted to the future of hip-hop youth culture, most importantly exploring and promoting the 5th element; knowledge of self, politics and culture. Comrade is better described as an activist who crossed over to hip-hop music as one of many outlets to get his message across. He states clearly in the track Huey that “I do this for my black folk, who had to use the back door” and he let’s you know in #SAF that even though the radio wants a dope boy, “he’s a grown ass man though, don’t like it change the channel!”
While reviewing this mixtape, I consider my ideology as kind of a rubric. My number one question is “who does this behavior benefit? who does it hurt? is this influence negative or positive?” It’s okay to expose the ills of society and enlighten it’s victims and critics. It’s not okay to promote or normalize it; this mixtape does an exceptional job at accomplishing that. Sex, money, violence, drugs… It’s all in there, just from a different perspective than mainstream and certainly not the main focus. Here are a few examples.
“Mind body soul, when i’m in it I explode, but are we meant to be? Are we truly meant to be? Connected at the hip, ‘specially mentally. Monogamous, sharing our dreams and accomplishments.” – Nothing Above You
“Ain’t no polishing the wickedness, paper over people, the evils we stay resisting it, trying to stay peaceful when brutal police police you, this democratic equation is the furthest thing from equal, for my people.” – Huey
“She got a couple blunts, already rolled up, she know what i’m dealing with, she knows I had enough” – Too Loud
“Amnesia, forgot it was killing season, running with hyenas and cheetahs we stampeding. Demons be fiening and scheming so watch’em creeping and screaming from all the victims, so many will die this evening.” – Amnesia
More than that though, Comrade makes music about the thrills of love and relationships (#saf, rebela, go getter, nothing above you, blame you) uplifting consciousness (huey, never let’em, household, amnesia, blur, dawn) encouraging activism (88, walk with me, cointelpro) and just overall feel good, party stuff (I do it, too loud, ready, comradery, know dub). Comrade does an excellent job of conflating the “mainstream feel” with the “underground” message. Comradery is good quality music for all to enjoy without being disrespected. The “turn up” track on this mixtape would probably be Comradery with high energy @iamKingLos featured on it. My favorite track is Household simply because of this quote:
“The block like Ciroc, ‘cuz everybody poor-in-it.”
This double entendre has so many implications, it’s genius. Typically, poor black residents of neighborhoods in Maryland and DC live on “blocks” which in turn becomes their “hood” which they claim as “theirs.” On these same blocks, all types of self-destructive behavior take place, for example, imitating the “ghetto celebrity” lifestyle, including consuming large amounts of alcohol in public. The hidden message here is that their pain of being poor and of poverty culture is drowned out by liquor made popular by mainstream hip-hop music which contributes to the cycle of poverty.
Be sure to check out “Behind The Mic: Rebellious By Nature”
Thanks for reading!