As the year draws to a close, we wanted to look back at some of our favourite revolutionary videos of 2015. And in case you missed it, check out our year-end edition of the podcast here.
Probably one of the dopest and most exciting tracks/videos of 2015 for us was the remixed version of Which Side Are You On? by Rebel Diaz, featuring Dead Prez and Rakaa Iriscience.
We’ve been talking A LOT about Narcy’s AMAZING album released this year, World War Free Now. He’s been doing some amazing stuff with his global collective We Are the Medium, which included mounting performance art at Montreal’s Place des Arts, and releasing several videos, including this short film called “Rise”. This film is described as:
Set in 2025, business man Jamal El-Nargisee finds himself battling a personal coup. With his imagination wrecking havoc on his reality, Jamal wonders whether his forgotten creativity was crushed by his business acumen or if he has lost his mind in the grind. RISE is an ego trip, a short music film based on The Narcicysts’ upcoming solo LP and an ode to the saying; what goes up, must come down.
One video that might need no introduction is M.I.A.’s “Borders”, which was just launched a few weeks ago and has already garnered hundreds of thousands of views. The video depicts scenes from this year’s harrowing refugee crisis, and was dedicated to the singer’s uncle, who fled Sri Lanka as a refugee (M.I.A. herself is also a refugee based in London, England).
2015 also saw some amazingly dope Indigenous music videos flood the internet. Saskatoon-based hip-hop artist Drezus brought home the award for Best Music Video at the Indigenous Music Awards in September for this video for “Warpath”.
And then Ant Loc of Savage Fam came out with this AMAZING video for “Strychnine”, which looks at the militant Indigenous struggle against pipelines and the oil industry. The best thing about this video? A scene where a group of youth lynch an oil executive. And in case you missed our interview with Ant Loc, check it out here.
Definitely one of my favourite albums in the punk category for 2015 had to be “Destroying” from Blackbird Raum. They also came out with a hauntingly beautiful and weird video for the song Last Legs.
Oh, and hey! We just discovered that the song was covered by our favourite ska-crust-punks Leftover Crack on their brand new album “Constructs of the State”. Check it!
On a completely different beat, Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux released this incredible feminist video for her tune “Antipatriarca”. In a year when women had to struggle so hard to have their voices heard in the wake of of so much sexism and sexual assault, this video is all the more powerful and timely.
One of the most inspiring struggles of 2015 had to have been the Baltimore Uprising that began last April following the police murder of Freddie Gray. Several Baltimore-based artists added their voices to the masses of people taking to the streets for justice, but one that stands out is Comrade, who laid down the track “Right Back”. While this isn’t the official video, this is a great compilation of some of the best footage from the Baltimore protests, and brings a new feel to the track.
The gifted spoken-word artist and rapper Saul Williams released this video from his latest album “Martyr. Loser. King.”
And finally, our favourite live (unofficial) video was this cell-phone video taken of Janelle Monae and Wondaland Records artists performing their #BlackLivesMatter anthem “Hell you talmbout” in Philly this past summer. The sound quality might not be the best, but it is loud and ferocious. #SayHerName. #ACAB
And hey, just because it’s the holiday season, why not enjoy a little riot porn?