Filipino producer Moki McFly returns with a stirring new beat tape that centers on the history and faces of revolutionary movements around the globe and its enduring spirit of freedom and equality, where hip hop is founded upon.
The “revolutionary” is the recurring theme in the 20-track Lumiere, released today (October 15) via Filipino independent hip hop label UPRISING, a project whose overt political themes refrain from philosophizing and preaching. Instead, it transports listeners to the 1970s, around the time hip hop was birthed in the Bronx—a movement created by African Americans, Latino Americans, and Caribbean Americans at the height of civil unrest.
Moki McFly splices a 1972 interview of American political activist and scholar Angela Davis from her prison cell in California State Prison in “Paradigm” and “Vonnegut Kush” with Tagalog samples, old newsreel audio, and vintage recordings.
In the Davis sample, we hear her explaining to a reporter asking her if the revolution is caused by violence or confrontation. “When you talk about a revolution, most people think violence, without realizing that the real content of any kind of revolutionary thrust lies in the principles, in the goal that you’re striving for, not in the way you reach them,” Davis says. “On the other hand, because of the way this society is organized, because of the violence that exists on the surface everywhere, you have to expect that there are going to be such explosions. You have to expect things like that as reactions.”
Lumiere allows us to absorb these themes and derive our own opinions and conclusions, not losing sight of their urgency: how it continues to affect us everywhere in the world. Moki McFly’s latest album—whose title is a direct translation of the French word for ‘light’—is proof that hip hop goes beyond rap, that a message is not exclusively relayed through words and letters.
Stream Lumiere below: