Props to rock critic par excellence Kandia Crazy Horse, who holds court in this week’s Village Voice on the one and only Game Rebellion. They’re a band that was all over this blog’s Best of 2007 lists, and for good reason.
Like Kandia, I first experienced them at last summer’s Restoration Rocks festival in Bed-Stuy. They impressed me with their musicality and their undeniable stage presence. I mean, really, name me another band that rips each show like it’s their last. I’m listening. . .
More importantly, I’m having a hard time thinking of another band that so effectively creates a bridge between hip hop and rock. What you get from listening to their mixtape, Searching for Rick Rubin, is complexity. I don’t mean that their lives are complicated, since there’s no news here. Rather, they humanize the plight of young people of color by holding up a mirror in which those who’ve only been fed a steady diet of hip hop can see themselves. Then they take it a step further, by connecting it to the global state of affairs. Quite frankly, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that think folks in the ‘hood don’t care about politics or anything beyond booty, bling and getting paid. Game Rebellion upends this whole notion Like I said, they present complexity. Glad to see that there are people out there who are steeped in hip hop who can do more than rep their blocks. Not only, as Kandia indicates, are they ready for the Garden, but they’re a great example of a band that can rep 21st century Black music in a world gone global.
They’re not just the spawn of the icons and lowlifes who comprise New York hip-hop’s canon, but also of the Diaspora’s supermen, from Nat Turner to Obama. Game Rebellion’s "gangsta-militancy" is not mere shuck-and-jive: Their fiery innervisions are firmly grounded in 400 years of African struggle upon these shores, plus five decades’ worth of Afro-futurist cultural revolt.
They’re the real deal. Check them out at this year’s Afropunk Festival on Wednesday, July 9.
Props to Ed Marshall for the photo.