Project Question

DOWNLOAD rEMIX vOLUME 01 (free!!!)

DOWNLOAD rEMIX vOLUME 02 (free!!!)

[click here for contributing artists]

Introduction to Project

Calling all Producers, MCs, Beatboxers, and Remix Artists. Within a generation, hip hop has attracted the masses and given birth to a new worldwide culture. Having become a voice for the people, hip hop has the potential to be a voice for revolution.

With that in mind, I’m asking you to be a part of something truly revolutionary – the first hip hop album, for that matter the first album of any kind, to spell out a truly alternative vision to our current economic system, a system that provides luxury to a few, comfort to a few more, and misery to many many more.

We believe that we can do better than this. But in order to achieve such, it will take more than just tweaking and reforming the current system. It will take replacing it with something different, something better. We believe that something better is a vision called Participatory Economics, or ParEcon for short.

To help spread the word about this alternative economic vision, I’ve put together a 14-song hip hop album offering a basic introduction to the ins and outs of Participatory Economics. There’s only one problem. While the lyrics in this album are solid, I am neither a gifted producer nor MC. I’ve put a lot into this, and I plan to put in a lot more. But with my limited skills, I can only take it so far. That’s where you come in.

I’m asking you to take the challenge to show off your skills and help spread the word about ParEcon. Take the challenge to package these lyrics in tracks and flows so nice, people will have no choice but to bob their heads and listen.

We know that for vision like this to be realized, it’s gonna take a mass movement of folks devoted to changing the structure of society. In other words, it’s gonna take a revolution. And I say, if it’s gonna take a revolution, then what better vehicle to start a revolution than hip hop.

So here’s how it works. To start the project, I’ve put skeleton tracks of each original song with just basic beats and scratch vocals online for folks to download. That way you have a basic blueprint of the structure of the song. Whatever flavor you want to bring after that is up to you. You can add music to the beats or you can redo the beats altogether. You can lay down your own vocals or you can redo songs altogether (music, vocals, and all). The only thing I ask is that you do not change or add to the lyrics and that you respect the basic structure of the original songs. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to upload your contributions for me to put up on the site. Then if other folks dig your version of a song, they can download it, add their own flavor, and then upload new versions for other folks to remix. And so on and so on. Anyone can remix anyone else’s version, as long as you acknowledge the version you remixed.

All contributions to the DEF with the REVOLUTION rEMIX pROJECT will be considered Creative Commons. Contributions will not be for sale and contributors will not be compensated. As it would be impossible to gauge how many people will end up contributing to this project, the only compensation we can offer is exposure.

Now, obviously, you don’t have to personally endorse Participatory Economics to contribute to this project. Likewise, the site cannot endorse any of your work outside of this project. Having said that, contributing artists will receive proper credit and identification, as we also will welcome word on the street for this project. And at the end of the day, you get to show off your skills, and the site gets as many hot versions of these songs as possible to spread the word about Participatory Economics.

Why an album about ParEcon? Why participate in this project?

The songs on this project offer a general understanding of what ParEcon is and how it works. But some of you may be asking, “Why?” Why did I choose to do an album about Participatory Economics? And even more, why should you participate in helping spread the word?

Well, I look at ParEcon as a movement in line with our great social justice movements of the past. And I say this because of the vision it offers us.

I think a lot of people forget that our past movements for justice were more than just pointing out injustice. I mean you didn’t have to tell workers that they had it hard, they already knew. You didn’t have to tell women that they weren’t getting a fair shake, they already knew. You didn’t have to tell African Americans that they were oppressed, they already knew it. What made these struggles into movements was vision. It was about what they wanted.

The word movement itself implies moving to a better place. It implies moving beyond a system of oppression.

Now, today, so many of those railing against the ills of capitalism are too often convinced that the only choice they have is to try and reform capitalism, to nurture a gentler, more cuddly and adorable capitalism. But ask yourself: Did the civil rights movement merely want to reform the structure of white supremacy? Did the women’s rights movement merely want to reform the structure of patriarchy? No. They wanted to move beyond it. And that’s why I see ParEcon as a real movement. It’s about moving beyond capitalism. It’s about giving people a vision of a better world.

There are billions of people struggling everyday to resist economic oppression, most of them struggling just to stay afloat. You don’t have to tell folks how tough they have it, they already know. What they need is to know that there’s something else out there. A better world. And by giving people a concrete vision of that better world, ParEcon has the potential to attract enough people to become a real movement.

I want to be part of that movement. I want to look back on this project and know I made a contribution toward that better world.

I think a lot about how I could have been anyone. I could have been born during the abolition movement or the early labor rights movement. I often wonder if I would have had the courage to be part of those movements. I like to believe I would, but I don’t know that. All I know is that I’m here right now, and I’ve got an opportunity to be part of this movement. Not just for myself, but for those I could have been born as. Not just for those now, but those in the future. And not just for those in the future, but those in the past.

Because, like I said, I don’t know if I would have had the courage of our past heroes. But I can work now to be part of a movement that makes sure their vision is not abandoned, that we haven’t given up.

Parecon is not just a movement that offers an alternative model for the economy. It’s a step toward breaking down all social hierarchies and realizing that vision of a better world.

We have a chance to be part of that. I’m asking you to be part of that.

Personal Disclaimer

Participatory Economics, or ParEcon for short, is an economic model developed by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel as an alternative to capitalism. As I did not come up with this economic model, much was certainly borrowed from Albert and Hahnel for this project (some points and examples come directly from Michael Albert).  If you want to find out more about ParEcon before listening to the songs, you can click on the introduction below or you can visit the Z PARECON Page, a resource loaded with just about everything you could possibly want to know about Participatory Economics.

It must be noted that the lyrics in these songs are merely my own understanding of Participatory Economics and are meant to serve as a very general introduction. As not all advocates of ParEcon will see everything the same way (nor should they), there may be differences and disagreements with parts of my presentation and/or version of things. For this reason, I would encourage you to dig deeper. Visit the Z PARECON Page below and check out all the books, articles, and presentations concerning Participatory Economics, especially those from Albert and Hahnel. The point of this project is not to be the last word on ParEcon, but a good starting point.

Note: Just letting you know – some of the songs featured on this project contain a few mild cuss words.

Basic Introduction to ParEcon