By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
By Steve Weinstein
By Araceli Cruz
I like big butts and I cannot lie, so I must 'fess up that what first caught my attention about Game Rebellion was the beautiful women arrayed around them on the stone plaza at Restoration Rocks. Folk forget that rock 'n' roll was once not about a hip colony so much as true style (not to mention sex), so this was an important deciding factor in sussing the group's relevance. This mental jiggering of equivalents would not be lost on Molotov metalist Yohimbe, whose father survived Altamont to enjoy a career in reggae and impart the mysteries of the six-string to his ebullient sophist son. Some Negroes ain't skurred of guitars, see?
As our conversation in the temple that Jimi built ranged from the sacred Aleem twins who supported the Voodoo Chile hisself to Yohimbe's nonprofit organization to Spike Lee's Malcolm X to a Voice cover story about cops vs. rappers, the breadth and depth of Game Rebellion's science richly demonstrated that they possess the stuff necessary to overcome. Now, these boys ain't saints: They're not above appreciating the myriad pleasures of European groupies, nor any of the other sacraments wholly holy to rockers since time immemorial (or around about 1954 CE). And they definitely want to make it to high times. Still, not for nothing are they the self-proclaimed and self-evident heirs to the polemical torch of Public Enemy and Rage. And there's definitely a lot of space for the badass feminine in their cultural revolt: Jean Grae guests on "No Sleep Til BK," and they just might have the grace and sense to undertake Searching for Betty Davis next. The men of Game Rebellion are keenly aware of the sacrifice and single-mindedness inherent in their project. 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.
July Game Rebellion perform at the GGMC Parking Lot July 9 as part of the Afro-Punk Festival, afropunk.com