HOT TOPICS ▶ North Korea     Target: Iran     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  September 15, 2015

Music for Revolution

Firebrand Records' Son of Nun and Ryan Harvey discuss the new label's Baltimore roots and say they aim to take revolutionary music to the mainstream
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

I support The real News network because they provide news that others do not.Unfortunatley because of my own financial situation I am unable to help financialy.All I can offer is 100 percent moral su - Edward
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


Jaisal Noor is a producer for The Real News Network. His stories have appeared on Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News and other independent news outlets. Jaisal was raised in the Baltimore-area, and has a degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Musicians inspired by the Arab Spring, #BlackLivesMatter and other struggles have joined forces to form a new record label, Firebrand Records

We spoke with Baltimore artist Ryan Harvey. He launched Firebrand with famed guitarist Tom Morello

RYAN HARVEY, ARTIST, CO-FOUNDER & MANAGER OF FIREBRAND RECORDS: We're trying to fight on the cultural front. Because I've seen in, like, my long years of organizing and activism, I've seen the way that culture affects our ability to organize. I've seen the way that musicians affect our ideas.

2011, really since the Egyptian revolution, since the Tunisian revolution and since the protest in Wisconsin, I just made a decision to like, hit the road a lot more, put my music back out in a more serious way. Because I was seeing the role that artists were playing, that musicians were playing in, like, fostering the--I don't know, the dynamic that we're in globally right now.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Capturing the events of the Baltimore Uprising, "It's Like That" is the lead track on the album A New World in Our Songs released by Firebrand Records in 2015

SON OF NUN, , ARTIST, FIREBRAND RECORDS: And the media's perception and the way that they talk about what actually happened, is what I try to capture in the beginning with that clip from Kwame Rose, I'm getting on Geraldo like that.

KWAME ROSE, ACTIVIST: I want you and Fox News to get out of Baltimore City. Because you're not here reporting about the boarded up homes, and the homeless people under MLK. You're not reporting about the poverty levels up and down North Avenue.

SON OF NUN: They're only coming to cover all the violence and whatnot without actually addressing what's at the root of it, right. So I wanted to make sure I did that with the song, too. Like, Chuck D called it the black CNN, that's what hip-hop is. I wanted to bring that back to the mix.

I did operate as a street medic during the uprising. I've been an activist for a long time. It's the kind of thing that you see in city after city, country after country, place after place, right. It's that same dynamic where oppressed people have had enough, and they're saying no more.

And it's usually young people that are at the head of it. They're not saying, you know, these older people are telling us to bide our time and to go through all the proper channels and all of that shit. They're like, no, we've had enough. Fuck these cops. We're going to do what we need to do, because this is bullshit.

HARVEY: And I love the underground music scene. I love the DIY scene. I love playing basement shows. I hope I keep playing basement shows for the rest of my life. However, if it's our duty to win, and I'm talking about some real political stuff and Son's talking about some real political stuff, we want to hit the mainstream with it, you know. Not the mainstream in the watered down way, but like, hit the people with it. I don't want to do my political activism in a corner with just my friends. We're trying to change the world. I don't want to just built a cool music scene. I want to affect cultural change with all the people around me.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting