As the Voice describes in this week’s cover story, George Martinez is running for congress in New York’s 7th District, and he’s doing so as an Occupy Wall Street-affiliated candidate.
But before he was running for office, and before he first set foot in Zuccotti Park, Martinez was a rapper.
As a high-schooler obsessively recording tracks in his bedroom, as a college kid whose crew was mentioned as an “Unsigned Hype” by The Source, as the founder of two hip-hop-related non-profits and as a “Hip-Hop Ambassador” engaged in cultural diplomacy with the State Department, Martinez has been in some version of the rap game from way back.
After the jump, check out his latest video:
Martinez cut his first Occupy-themed video last fall. One of his wife’s lines on the track anticipates the debate over electoral engagement Martinez’s campaign would provoke within the movement: “Occupy government, ain’t no either or/ We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for.”
Of course, Martinez is hardly the only rapper to find inspiration in Occupy Wall Street. Talib Kweli performed an a cappella version of “Distractions” in a late-night surprise visit to Zuccotti Park last fall, before releasing this more official video:
Somewhat less relatedly, there’s the all-out riot-porn of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild:”
Plenty of ink has been spilled on all the ways Romain Gavras’s all-male orgy of decontextualized street violence on behalf of a pair of 1-percenter Margiela fetishists is problematic. Without adding to that, here’s a somewhat sunnier note of mainstream Occupy appropriation, from Sucommandante Miley Cyrus: