Bush. Kerry. Cheney. Edwards. Electoral votes. Florida. Ohio. Red states. Blue states. Hanging chads. Electronic voting. CNN. FOX. ABC. Polls. Absentee ballots. Vote or Die. November. Did anything get missed?
Ah, every fourth November - a time, usually set aside for turkey, football, family, and friends, instead gets replaced by political accusations, debate debacles, and “parties” of a different sort. The huge newspaper headlines and television analysts swallow up huge sums of media time as citizens of the United States of America engage in political decisions and eventually select a presidential candidate to sit for another 4 years – until this year that is.
Everyone from P. Diddy and his “Vote or Die” campaign to other celebrity musicians got involved in the fiasco, leaving in its path a destructive catalog of propaganda-like (mostly Anti-Bush) musical tracks designed to persuade young voters to get out to the polls and exercise their right to vote. The only problem? Despite the huge popularity of mixtapes within the current soundscape of hip-hop music, hardly a soul thought to bring the large collection of songs together to make more of an impact on the effect of hip-hop music on this November. Until now.
Doctor J (in conjunction with his Hear My Voice Entertainment company) launches “This is Our Country: Politicking With Doc!,” a compilation of both mainstream and underground artists striving to bring the youth out to the polls. And even with the election process gone and over with, “This is Our Country” still presents an interesting array of artists that speak for the voice of the youth and let politicians know that they do exist and really do believe that “this is our country!”
The commercial stand-bys are all present on “This is Our Country,” most notably Jadakiss’ “Why (Remix)” (featuring Styles P, Nas, and Common) and “Wake Up Everybody,” the get-out-and-vote track featuring the likes of Wyclef, Beyonce, Fabolous, Jadakiss, Eve, and Kanye West all on one track. The less-heard Fredwreck production “Dear Mr. President” is also here, with Defari, KRS-One, Prodigy, Alchemist, and others rapping alongside Evidence who pinpoints the entire vibe of “This is Our Country” spitting, “When push comes to shove and shove comes to push, We in the same corner saying, ‘F--k Bush.’”
But the realness of “This is Our Country” comes in the form of a batch of underground tracks cultivating into one large message: “Problems exist all throughout America, so hear us out.” Virtual unknown Justice chimes in with “Vote or Die” (over Nas’ “Get Down”) telling, “There’s missiles out there that could knock the planet off of its axis, The president helps the rich and likes to raise the taxes.” Finale glides over Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” literally naming 99 problems with the country right now. And the hard-hitting Immortal comes through with “The 911 Commission,” blending in a variety of news clips to complete the anti-Bush campaign.
As bi-partisan as Doctor J tries to be through his hosting words on “This is Our Country,” it’s not hard to tell that “Politicking With Doc!” will quickly become “talking bad about Bush with Doc.” But with the FOX and CNNs of America broadcasting their outlooks on the recent election, it’s nice to know that enough of hip-hop cares to form a complete mixtape. This is our country – Doc J just makes sure to remind us one more time.