"Sophisticated Slavery:" Andile Mngxitama & The Legacy Of Steve Biko

This week marks the 36th anniversary of the assassination of Steve Biko (September 12, 1977). Journalist and Black Consciousness advocate Andile Mngxitama joined us from “Occupied Azania” to discuss his work on the legacy and continued relevance of the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) Steve Biko. Mngxitama discussed the history of Biko and the BCM, as well as, Biko’s relationship to the Black Power Movement here in the U.S. and the continued attempt by liberal academics, politicians and popular culture to co-opt this and other revolutionary movements.


I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto


“Jared Ball is determined to rescue hip hop and left activism from increasingly subversive corporate control. This book is a manifesto that needs to be read, argued about, and yelled from the rooftops. Let the bricks fly!”—Todd Steven Burroughs, co-author of Civil Rights Chronicle

“The Funkinest Journalist breaks it all down for all servants of Soul/Funk music and Art in the 21st Century. His Mixtape Manifesto explains what we are up against battling corporate empires that control the coveted consumer-merchant access points, and offers us an option to distribute, connect, and popularize our culture.”—Head Roc, political hip-hop artist

“The revolutionary power of this book lies in its capacity to interrogate staid constructs of thought and re-pose vital questions pertaining to ’emancipatory journalism.’ For the power to pose the question is the greatest power of all.”—Frank B. Wilderson, III, author of Incognegro

In a moment of increasing corporate control in the music industry, Jared A. Ball analyzes the colonization and control of popular music and posits the homemade hip-hop mixtape as an emancipatory tool for community resistance. Equally at home in a post-colonial studies class and on the shelves of an indie record store, I Mix What I Like!* is a revolutionary investigation of the cultural dimension of anti-racist organizing in African America.

*Notes on corrections made for a small reprinting

Order your copy now! 

The I Mix What I Like! Companion Mixtape


In Defense and Appreciation of the Rap Music Mixtape as “National” and “Dissident” Communication

I Mix What I Like! In Defense and Appreciation of the Rap Music Mixtape as “National” and “Dissident” Communication in the International Journal of Communication.

Jared A. Ball
The rap music mixtape is hip hop’s original mass medium. Yet, despite its importance historically and its current relevance within hip hop, the mixtape remains one of the more overlooked aspects of the world’s most popular cultural expression. Similarly, the interdisciplinary approach applied here—seeking to place the mixtape within a broader international anticolonial struggle and also to examine the mixtape as a “national” mass medium developing within a colonized “hip-hop nation,”—is also an underappreciated and potentially fruitful approach to the mixtape and communication as examples that help to expose those colonial relationships. By taking popular, but rarely explored concepts of hip hop as a “nation” and applying theories of internal colonialism, the mixtape’s history and current position assume different meanings.
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FreeMix Radio: Mixtape Radio Archives

Being interviewed for Cassette: The Documentary got me to find what I could of our remaining mixtape radio projects, FreeMix Radio.  Even as we migrate further online i still think the mixtape tradition, cassette and CDs primarily, and our concept of mixtape radio is valuable.  Many more editions of FreeMix Radio are just out there somewhere but these represent the idea well enough; the mixtape as a source of “emancipatory journalism.”  And see also our A Bronx Mix: Mixtapes Then and Now for interviews about the history of mixtapes and their continued importance.


A Bronx Mix: Mixtapes Then and Now

On Saturday August 15, 2009 we spent the day in the Bronx asking those who would know about mixtapes.  As part of a larger and on-going study of the history, impact on hip-hop and continued use and function of mixtapes we share this mini-documix on the subject.  Those featured include DJ Dust and North Star from Division X, Divine and Dedan Kasimu.  Special thanks to our comrade Rosa Clemente for helping to arrange these interviews and to Rebel Diaz for their work and provision of space for hip-hop and thought to exist.  And see our FreeMix Radio archives for more on how this mix relates to that mixtape radio project.

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