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



Extra: Podcasters & Propagandists


Back in October, we at the Rebel Beat had the honour of participating in an amazing panel discussion put on by the Interference Archive in Brooklyn, New York.

In case you missed it, you can have a listen to the whole panel here! Full description of the panel below. And be sure to subscribe to the Interference Archive’s podcast, “Audio Interference”, here:

Panel description: 

To mark the occasion of the launch of Season 2 of Audio Interference, we hosted a panel discussion on the use of podcasts as propaganda and community building tools. The event was held at Interference Archive on October 4, 2016. Panelists included:

-Julie Golia, Director of Public History at Brooklyn Historical Society and co-host and producer of Flatbush + Main
-Zaheer Ali, Oral Historian at Brooklyn Historical Society and co-host and producer of Flatbush + Main
-Aaron Lakoff, curator and host of Rebel Beat
-Kaitlin Prest, creative director and host of The Heart, a podcast and art project exploring love, bodies, gender and sexuality distributed by Radiotopia by PRX
-Tennessee Jane Watson, a reporter, artist and educator, who produces audio documentaries, oral histories, sound installations and youth media projects
-Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director at Brooklyn Movement Center and co-host and co-producer of The Third Rail.

The panel was moderated by Louise Barry, one of the creators of Audio Interference.

Music: “Picture Book” by Dave Depper, courtesy of the Free Music Archive. Produced by Interference Archive.

Click here to download the audio