[Track 9, ‘Love and Revolution’ from the ‘Century for a Moment’ CD]
Greek anti-fascist rapper Penthimos Clown (of Vavel A.D. and part of In.Flammen) discusses hip hop, political engagement and his 2016 album ‘Century for a Moment’.
What we could perceive and define as freedom of expression is changed by the experience of a tiring everyday life that operates through mechanisms of oppression and exploitation. Depending on the season and what is considered successful and profitable, capitalism recycles creators, reproduces rotten idols and lifestyles and influences alternative audiences, always based on the predetermined form of the manufactured product.
Following this specific route, hip hop culture began as the music of oppressed social groups and ended up being another commodified form of standardized expression. Ignoring its early anti-racist element, it followed a somewhat apolitical, harmless and opportunistic (in some cases also sexist) attitude which separated the MC from the listener via a didacticism and a constant self-promotion. The militancy it held in the past became a form of entertainment and pure exploitation by bosses who made money by showcasing a ‘safe’ way of life on the streets and drawing surplus value from the personal experiences of others.
On the other hand, the representative of this culture who was holding the microphone assumed a more mainstream style in order to reach, influence and direct the audience. At this point I would like to point out that after the murder of Killa P (Pavlos Fyssas) by fascist hands, many kept a neutral attitude on the fact and suggested that we should “Educate the Nazi” and that they need light and love. But hip hop has deep political roots and actively takes part in war, maintaining its class position. So having made my own self-criticism as a member of the hip hop community, I decided to express myself as much as possible in an antagonistic way to the existing social reality through self-organization and its interaction with squares, self-managed spaces and squats.
Capitalism has taken deep root and absorbs as much energy as it can from our daily work, our labour, our personal relationships and our choices regarding our personal expression. What we certainly have left is to resist until the end and do everything in our power not to allow it. We do not need mediators, organizers, corporations, donors, government agencies, bosses and managers in order to self-organize, nor careerist musicians seeking to usurp our personal values.
As the result of the above and as far as my own personal fight is concerned, I decided to create an album entitled “Century for a moment”. The album consists of personal experiences with intense reflections, informed from my experiences of the last two years it was getting prepared. This particular work is a double CD and consists of 30 tracks along with a 24-page booklet of poems.
As a whole it contains my personal history and progression since the lyrics, poems, music, samples, setup and programming, recordings and the final mixes were made by me. As always, friends and fellow members provided their support with the covers, the mixing, the music and the live instruments which were recorded.
“Century for a Moment” is distributed for free with a voluntary donation and is an effective form of political discourse which aims to strengthen movement ventures, foregrounding the concepts of solidarity and self-organization and spreading our ideas.
SELF-ORGANIZATION, SOLIDARITY, COLLECTIVE ACTION!
About the Author:
Penthimos Clown tries to strengthen the squares, the movements and the free social spaces through music and other actions of solidarity. His music is part of the people who are fighting, part of the squatted buildings, part of the slogans on the walls and part of the voices in protests. His music is part of collective actions, of self-organized expression, of comradeship and solidarity. It is the defense of our ideas against all forms of fascist and authoritarian behavior. It is a description of the effort of the working class against the existing capitalist regime. It is the resistance against a period that does not care about people but just want to recycle them and wants to stop creative and alternative thinking , in their place reproducing pointless idols. His music is anger, fear, love, depression and other mixed emotions that affect our frame of mind. It is political rap and introverted poetry. It is the memory of the past, the experiences of the present and the dreams for the future.