The Rebel Beat 082: Burn Down Babylon with Maddie Ruthless and The Far East


We’re back with another monthly edition of The Rebel Beat, a Firebrand Records podcast, and your purveyors of class war on the dance floor, each and every moon cycle.

Our special guest on the podcast this time around is Maddie Ruthless, the front woman of the band The Far East. The Far East hail from Brooklyn, NY, and play a blend of unapologetic reggae that is as sultry as it is hard-edged.

We spoke with Maddie about the radical, anti-imperialist and anti-racist message of reggae, being a woman in the music scene, anti-fascist music in the age of Trump, AND touring with 2-tone ska legends The Specials.

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photo by Miki Marcinkiewicz


In our Turn It Up segment, we big up the Black activists, scholars, and musicians such as Talib Kweli, Tom Morello, and Vic Mensa who signed an open letter from the Dream Defenders calling for the freedom of Palestinian youth activist Ahed Tamimi. Here is their letter.


Hortense Ellis – People make the world go round
Mos Dub – Johnny too beef
Maddie Ruthless and the Forthrights – They didn’t build this world for you
The Far East – Youthman
Lady Ann – Doctor doctor
The Far East – Can we make it up
The Specials – Racist friend
The Far East – Betrayer
Vic Mensa – We could be free



The Rebel Beat 081: A People’s History Through Song


Welcome back to The Rebel Beat’s monthly podcast for January, 2018. And happy new year!

We have an amazing show to get to today, we’re gonna bring you a people’s history of music à la Howard Zinn with Dror. Dror is a grassroots music journalist, a blogger, and a community organizer with the BDS movement in solidarity with Palestine. Check out his blog, Entre Les Oreilles (“Between the Ears”) here.

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Also on the show, we reflect on the one-year anniversary of the mosque shooting in Quebec City, when a white supremacist killed six Muslim men as they were praying. It was just one week after Trump was inaugurated as President of the USA. If you’re on Facebook, check out this beautiful collection of tributes here.

We also reflect on a year of inspiring resistance against the white supremacist, sexist, ecocidal, and transphobic policies of the Trump regime. There are many frontlines of the struggle, but one in particular you can support are the J20 Defendants.

Finally, in our Turn it Up segment, we honour not one, but TWO groundbreaking musicians:

* Jackie Shane, a pioneering transgendered soul singer. Check out her recently re-released album here.


Jackie Shane


* Hugh Masekela, the god-father of South African jazz, and anti-apartheid icon, who died this month at the age of 78. Rest in Power!

** Playlist **

The Narcicyst feat. Shadia Mansour – Hamdulillah
Oshun – Not my President
Entrance – Not gonna say your name
James Brown – Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m proud)
Rachid Taha – Ya rayah
Rim Banna – Fares Odeh
Prince – Baltimore
Victor Jara – Venceremos
Miriam Makeba – Beware Verwoerd
Fela Kuti – Colonial mentality
N.W.A. – Fuck tha police
Zone d’Expression Populaire – Nique la France
Pussy Riot – Mother of god, drive Putin away
Roger Waters – Is this the life we really want?
Jackie Shane – Sticks and stones
Hugh Masekela – Stimela

The Rebel Beat is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.


The Rebel Beat 080: Lido Pimienta on motherhood, music & fending off the trolls


Welcome to the latest episode of The Rebel Beat, a Firebrand Records podcast!

This is our year end episode, and it is a HUGE one. Every year, the Polaris Music Prize is awarded for the best album in Canada, as selected by a jury of music journalists. The winner of that award in 2017 was Lido Pimienta for her album “La Papessa”. Lido is a queer Indigenous afro-Colombian musician who lives in Toronto, she is rad as fuck, she is never shy to speak her mind, and she is our guest today on The Rebel Beat. Check out Lido’s music and buy her stuff here.


Lido Pimienta


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Want to see our round-up of best radical music in 2017? Check out our blog post here!


In our Turn It Up segment, we drop a brand new tune from the Palestinian band 47 Soul, and honor the hundreds of thousands of people who are taking to the streets around the world to say #HandsOffJerusalem!

The Rebel Beat is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.

See ya in 2018!

The Rebel Beat 079: Hitting the Ice With Propagandhi


Welcome to the latest episode of The Rebel Beat! Class war on the dancefloor, delivered to you once a month, in a podcast.


Our special guest on the show this month is Jord Samolesky, drummer and founding member of Propagandhi! We spoke with Jord while he was in Montreal touring the band’s new album “Victory Lap”. We spoke about the history of the band, the state of the world, and most importantly, hockey!

Plus we hear some new stuff from Ryan Harvey, Shireen Lillith, Kareem Samara, Talib Kweli, and the Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

Finally, in our Turn it Up segment, we give another shout out to Lido Pimienta for carving out positive spaces for women of colour in the music scene. Read more about that here.

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Snotty Nose Rez Kids – KKKanada

Talib Kweli – All of us

Propagandhi – And we thought nation-states were a bad idea

Propagandhi – Fuck the border

Propagandhi – Victory Lap

Propagandhi – Dear Coach’s Corner

Propagandhi – Resist/comply

Ryan Harvey, Shireen Lillith, Kareem Samara – Omar

A Tribe Called Red w/ Lido Pimienta – For you (The Light pt. 2) 


Check out the video for “Omar” by Ryan Harvey, Kareem, and Shireen!

The Rebel Beat 078: Gentrification Kills Music (and everything else you love)


Welcome back to another episode of The Rebel Beat, a Firebrand Records podcast! This is your monthly installment of class war on the dance floor.

We have a stacked show lined up for you, as usual. The name of the game this month is capitalism, gentrification, and its impacts on underground music scenes. We know already that gentrification fucks over poor communities, the homeless, and immigrant neighborhoods, but how much have we looked at how gentrification can actually hurt the music we love? From venues being shut down to make way for condos, to artists being priced out of their homes, that’s what we’re gonna explore on this episode of The Rebel Beat.

Our feature interview this month is with long-time anarchist MC Lee Reed, and Alex from the Hamilton Tenant Solidarity Network.

** If likeThe Rebel Beat, support us on Patreon! Even $1/month helps:

In our Turn It Up segment, we pay some respect to Princess Nokia, the hero who threw hot soup on a racist on the NYC subway. Read more about that here.

Lee Reed was one of the first guests we ever had on The Rebel Beat! Check out our older interview with him here.

The Rebel Beat is a proud member of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts. Check them out here:

The Slackers – Eviction
The Evaporators – Gassy Jack
The Weakerthans – My favourite chords
Lee Reed – Members of the board
YG feat. Nipsey Hussle – Fuck Donald Trump
Lee Reed – No Kanada
Lee Reed – Bad Gas
Immortal Technique – Harlem streets
Lee Reed – The new steal
Princess Nokia – Tomboy

The Rebel Beat 077: Nazim & Rap Battles for Social Justice



Welcome to the Rebel Beat, a Firebrand Records podcast! This is your monthly dose of Class War on the Dance floor, hosted by Aaron Maiden.

It’s September, class is back in session, and to help us fuse the old school with the new school, educate, agitate, and organize, we’re gonna be introducing you to a Rap Battle like you’ve never heard of before – the Rap Battles for Social Justice based outta Montreal. Our special guest on the show is one of their coordinators, Nazim. Nazim is also an amazing MC in his own right. Check out his stuff here.

***If you like The Rebel Beat, support us!
Donate for as little as $1/month, and get some awesome swag in return:

In our Turn It Up segment, we honor Lido Pimienta an Indigenous Colombian artist based in Toronto, who just won the Polaris Music prize for Best Canadian Album of 2017! Check out “La Papessa” by Pimienta here.

Billy Bragg and Wilco – all you fascists
Downtown Boys – A wall
Propagandhi – Victory lap
Lycka Till – Gaza
Nazim – Ta3ban
Nazim – Back to Egypt
Nazim – Diaspora blues
Rap Battle for Eco-Justice track
Lido Pimienta – Agua

The Rebel Beat 076: Lillian Allen Fights Back with Dub Poetry


Welcome back to another edition of The Rebel Beat, a Firebrand Records podcast!

Our special guest on the program this month is a Jamaican dub poet who is considered by some to be the god-mother of rap, hip-hop, and spoken word. She is a writer, educator, and grassroots activist, and we’ll meet her in just a little bit – Lillian Allen.

We’re part of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts, and the website just went live this week! Check it out for some good listening at

On our Turn It Up segment, we give a shout out to a dope trans hip-hop artist and Black Lives Matter organizer in Montreal, Lucas Charlie Rose.

**If you dig our podcast and want to support us, tell a friend about The Rebel Beat, make sure you subscribe on any of your fave podcast platforms, and leave us a rating!
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* Playlist *

Morgan Heritage – Politician
D’bi Young w/ Assata Shakur – R/evolution
Linton Kwesi Johnson – Di great insohreckshan
Mutabaruka – Dis poem
Lillian Allen – Riddim an’ hardtimes
Lillian Allen – Fight back
Lillian Allen – Black voice
Lillian Allen – The subversives
Lucas Charlie Rose – This is what trans looks like


Rebel Beat Special: Suena A Revolucion


On this special edition of The Rebel Beat, we bring you an interview with our sister podcast, Suena A Revolucion! Check them out at

We had a chance to present on a panel at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit earlier this summer with two of the hosts of Suena, Paola Quiros and Krusheska Quiros. This is a little interview we did with them on the grass outside the conference, just before a big rain storm!

If you’ve never heard of Suena A Revolucion, it’s an amazing Spanish-language podcast that profiles revolutionary, and especially feminist music from across Latin America. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, you’ll love the music, so check it out!

**If you like The Rebel Beat, support us! Our Patreon support page is:

**Check out our Rebel Beat Spotify Playlist here!

**Check out the Channel Zero Network here!

Cumbia Cosmonauts – Jungle chichaton
Lucecita – Creceremos



The Rebel Beat Se2 Ep13: Brother Ali


Welcome to the latest episode of The Rebel Beat podcast! Our special guest on the show this month is the veteran Minneapolis underground rapper Brother Ali! Brother Ali is a mainstay of the venerated RhymeSayers label, and a true legend in the game. His music encapsulates so many parts of his identity: activist, father, lover, Muslim, body-positive albino, deep thinker. He has a brand new album out called “All the beauty in this whole life”, and we caught up with him while he was touring his album through Montreal last month. What follows is a conversation on the new album, racism in America, how to lead a virtuous life, and why he can’t watch horror movies.

**3 easy ways to support The Rebel Beat podcast**

-Tell a friend about the show, or share it on social media!

Subscribe to the podcast!

-Support us on Patreon! Even $1/month helps.

Our special co-host on the show this month is Jesse Freeston. Jesse is a documentary filmmaker, and his most recent work, Resistencia, is an inspiring story about the battle of peasants in the Aguan Valley of Honduras. Check it!

Channel Zero Network

Yup! We’re proud to say that we’re officially part of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts. The network website will be launching any minute now. Stay up to date on their Facebook or Twitter pages.

We gave a quick shout-out to those organizing the legal defense for the J20 defendants. Click this link to find out more, or make a donation!

Turn It Up segment

We honour the Black Lives Matter chapters of Toronto and Montreal, who briefly shut down the Montreal Jazz Festival during a demonstration for justice for Pierre Coriolan, murdered by Montreal police on June 27th. Here’s a report for more info.

Thanks for listening!




Enter-Tribal – Sisterz

Sa-Roc – Lilith’s psalm

Sa-Roc – Heaven on Earth

Brother Ali – Uncle Sam goddam

Brother Ali – Dear Black son

Brother Ali – Before they called you white

Brother Ali – Hearts

Built for the Sea – Sound Your Bell

Tyrone Washington – Universal spiritual revolt


The Rebel Beat Se2 Ep12: Kiwi Illafonte


On this latest edition of The Rebel Beat for June, 2017, we meet Kiwi Illafonte. Kiwi is a California-born, Montreal-based radical Filipino hip-hop MC, graphic designer, and community organizer. He’s a former member of the seminal Bay-area Filipino-American groups Native Guns and Mass Bass. Our conversation touches on hip-hop as a powerful vehicle for self-expression, and anti-imperialist struggles world-wide. Check out Kiwi’s stuff here:

**If you enjoy The Rebel Beat, please support us! Click here to sign up on our Patreon support page:
We’re extending a special offer until June 30th – for everyone who signs up at only $2/month, you’ll get a custom-made Rebel Beat enamel pin sent to you in the mail!

For our Turn it Up segment, we look at the beautiful compilation “Hugs for Chelsea” to support Chelsea Manning, put together by Evan Greer. You can check that out here:

And, as an added bonus, we also have a “Turn it Down” segment, where we talk about Radiohead, and their stubborn insistence to entertain apartheid in Israel. More info on that…03101841006.html



KRS-One – Same shit
Brother Ali – Dear Black son
Meryem Saci (feat. Tali Taliwah) – This too shall pass
Kiwi Illafonte – Free
Native Guns – Hammer
Mass Bass – Ooh mama
Kiwi Illafonte – Seeds
Kiwi Illafonte – Highway robbery
Ike Reilly – Bolt cutter


To check out “Sounds of a New Hope”, a documentary film featuring Kiwi Illafonte, click here: