Arrested Development Rapper Speech: "I'm Disillusioned With Obama and I Would Vote Ron Paul for President"

ArrestedDevelopmentSpeech.jpg
There was a time, circa 1991, when hip-hop wasn't all about bling and bitches.

Back in the day, the beat dropped and so did some Gil-Scott Heron-inspired wordplay, a call for justice in the inner city, and a shout-out to Malcolm X.

Founded by rapper Speech (born Todd Thomas), Atlanta collective Arrested Development belonged to that generation of the Golden Era. "Hip-hop had so many groups -- Public Enemy, X-Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian, Arrested Development -- with a political aspect to them," he recalls. "They were on mainstream charts and not just underground."

Twenty years later and Arrested Development is still fighting for social change, political action, and black culture, even bringing the revolution to the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival tonight.

We spoke with Speech about millennial rap's lack of substance, his disillusionment with President Barack Obama, and why he'd vote for Ron Paul in the 2012 election.



Crossfade: You've been putting out a daily news digest. What is The Hoopla? Is there a definite activist bent to it?
Speech: I think it's a mixture. It's guilty-pleasure stories mixed with stories we think everybody needs to know something about.

The goal is to introduce people to certain stuff. There are activists who're already very hip to anything we're likely to put in The Hoopla. But then there are all different types of activists ... There are black activists, animal activists, environmental activists.

Our band is a combination of it all. Not all of us have the same interests. So this newsletter is basically a mish-mash of all these diverging thoughts.

One of The Hoopla's recent featured items was financial analyst Frederick Ravid's petition to "Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto." What's so bad about Obama getting in bed with an agricultural corporation like Monsanto?
It's horrible because Monsanto is one of the worst companies as far as buying up seeds, copyrighting them, genetic modification, and all of this stuff. Our government being in cahoots with anybody who has any ties with Monsanto can only be horrible for our nation's food protection.



Are food issues and agricultural policies something you're deeply interested in?
Without a question. To me, it's obvious that all of us have to be interested. Because no matter what your political views are in life, we all have to eat. So when people start owning things that our god created and are totally meant for us to survive and live off, that's scary.

Monsantos is sort of the big example. I know there are other scenarios out there that are just as bad. But I think that's when it made me realize at least that every one got to be an activist on this issue, it doesn't matter what your political stances are.

How do you think Obama did in his first term?
Honestly, I'm disillusioned with, generally, politics. And I feel disillusioned with some things that Obama has done, especially with the wars. At the same time, I like him. I've met him and I like him as a person.

Most presidents that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime have not had any type of perfect record. And I feel for any president, because the way our government works and especially with the partisan rifts that happen, it's very tough to get anything accomplished.

I've really been refreshed by Ron Paul. That's probably been my favorite candidate lately.



Where you an Obama supporter in 2008?
Definitely.

So is your disillusionment a matter of Obama not taking a firm enough stand when it comes to big business and other corporate influences on government?
Exactly. And don't get me wrong, to some extent I feel like any president is not really in control of what they want to do. No matter who they are and you gotta work through congress. But also this country has so many huge rich entities that are so involved and got their hands in so many areas of our government that no matter who you are it's tough to overcome these fundamental problems.

I don't totally blame him. I don't think he's been what's been said, "The Worst President," and all this stuff. I don't think that's close. I don't agree with that slightly.

But at the same time I've been disillusioned just with how much he's aligned himself with various corporate entities. And he failed on certain promises, especially with the whole war in Afghanistan. There's been a lot of death, a lot of killing, and I just wish we would have done something more radical to get out of it.

My hope for Obama when I voted for him and when I helped to promote his campaign was that he would be a much bigger-ideal person than what he ended up being so far.

It's interesting that you've been following Ron Paul's candidacy closely. Would you would vote for him if he were to win the Republican nomination? Without a question, I would.



What exactly about his take on policy to you agree with?
What I've noticed about myself is that I'm an idealist. And so, when I voted for Obama in 2008, I loved his ideas compared to Bush. But in 2012, compared to all the other candidates, Ron Paul has some incredible concepts.

Like, the legalization of drugs. I feel that the War on Drugs has been a huge failure. And I think that's a great thing, whether Paul would ever get that passed or not.

And also releasing prisoners, which means a lot for me. There are a lot of black people who have been imprisoned because of non-violent drug crimes. It's always bothered me. I've always sort of seen the hypocrisy of these huge drug people, like the people who wear suits and ties that pretty much go free. Meanwhile, these really poor people from the projects who get thrown right in jail and then get caught up by these three-strike laws where they can't vote.

Those are just two things that I'm really in favor of. And, I guess, lastly, he's really big on the U.S. Constitution and that just makes total sense as an American.

How do you feel about the level of political engagement in hip-hop today? Is it still strong? Or is it waning?
I think there's definitely a waning. There are obviously some artists that are still politically active, like K9, Talib Kweli, and The Roots to some extent. But yeah, there's huge waning.

For people who were born in a certain year, they would find it hard to believe that there was ever a time in hip-hop when groups like Public Enemy were one of the biggest groups in their genre. They'd be amazed to know that.



Are you optimistic for the future? Do you think a group as overtly political as Arrested Development or Public Enemy could be the biggest rap group in the world again?
Yeah, I do believe it. I do see a much tighter grip from corporate control in our music industry. But at the same time, I never underestimate the power of people.

Sometimes, you look at the odds and you think, Ah, I don't think that will ever happen again. But then I look at the power of people when they get together and they fight for things and amazing things happen.

Virginia Key Grassroots Festival. Thursday, February 9, to Sunday, February 12. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Key Biscayne. Gates open at 4 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Four-day festival passes cost $50 for youth and $90 to $100 for adults via grassrootsstore.org. Call 786-332-4630 or visit virginiakeygrassroots.com.

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Rick Saffery
Rick Saffery

Somebody else has already been identified as the author. Look at Ron Paul's record. He's never voted for a tax increase. He's voted against the wars. He's voted against NDAA. When he was a doctor he didn't accept Medicare nor Medicaid. He let the truly poor have free medical services. He worked out payments with those who able to pay. He's reknown for having accepted a chicken as payment. He turned down a full athletic scholarship to university after he injured his knee. There's tons more positive accolades he's earned. I encourage those interested to look them up. Watch the hundreds of youtube videos about him. Then draw your own conclusion. 

Bottom line: Ron Paul is the real deal. 

Barry Pierce
Barry Pierce

Those of you thinking of voting libertarian (Ron Paul) have not really reflected on what that means. Libertarians, such as Rand and Ron believe that there should be no agencies that protect rights, enviornment, education, health, etc.. They will defund all agencies that deal with health, education, civil rights, etc. They will also repeal all regulations and laws that have been put into place over the last 50 years that provide some sort of parity and/or protection. If you don't believe me, Google their stances on these issues over the last 10-20 years. The only thing I agree with Ron Paul on is his stance on global wars and the Federal Bank. I disagree with his idea of using gold as the as the currency standard as it will have devastating effects on our economy due to the fact that we have way fewer gold reserves than many other countries. The negative affect of this will affect black and brown people first and the most devastating.

Rick Saffery
Rick Saffery

Gold and silver are the only constitutionally prescribed commodities for money or the backing thereof. The use of paper for currency without gold and silver backing it is unlawful. Printing paper 'money' benefits those who get it first, e.g. the connected and the central bankers. Who gets paper money last? The poor. They always have and always will. 

Paper money is illegal and immoral. The use of paper money is what compelled the government to levy an unconstitutional income tax. The government uses the income tax to compel people to accept unconstitutional pieces of paper by making the tax payment due in the paper money. How convenient, for the government and its central banker allies. Dr.Paul is far wiser than Mr. Pierce. What he advocates is a parallel marketplace for competing currencies. The federal reserve would be audited. During this audit process gold and silver would rise up as a parallel currency to the paper tokens from the private central bankers of the federal reserve. People would use federal reserve notes and gold and silver as they see fit. Over time, real money will win out. Should Mr.Pierce by correct, then FRNs would persist. Otherwise, they will fade away in to irrelevance as they should. It should be noted that government forced the people go give up their gold under threat of fine and prison. That was wrong. We must correct this government overreach. 

Jcjoynerjr
Jcjoynerjr

Actually he doesnt want federal protection agencies. He believes the majority of regulatory authority belongs to the states per the constitution. To folks saying hes like everyone else... look at his record hes voted against his personal beliefs in favor of upholding the constitution. As dar as himrunning indy. The president isnt elected by popular vote.

Barry Pierce
Barry Pierce

Those of you thinking of voting libertarian (Ron Paul) have not really reflected on what that means. Libertarians, such as Rand and Ron believe that there should be no agencies that protect rights, enviornment, education, health, etc.. They will defund all agencies that deal with health, education, civil rights, etc. They will also repeal all regulations and laws that have been put into place over the last 50 years that provide some sort of parity and/or protection. If you don't believe me, Google their stances on these issues over the last 10-20 years. The only thing I agree with Ron Paul on is his stance on global wars and the Federal Bank. I disagree with his idea of using gold as the as the currency standard as it will have devastating effects on our economy due to the fact that we have way fewer gold reserves than many other countries. The negative affect of this will affect black and brown people first and the most devastating.

f b
f b

wow, vote for a guy that not only voted against MLK being a national holiday but a guy who would have voted against the civil rights act...incredibly the stupidity of this country. Go ahead dude... vote for ron paul, i mean considering he is a republican true and true and would never run as an indy, go ahead man.

Johnk
Johnk

i used to smoke weed with ron paul in nam

Dora
Dora

I believed OBAMA when he was a candidate and PROMISED he would have GMO labeled,but when he appointed Mike Taylor former vice president of MONSANTO to head of the FDA I knew we were in TROUBLE.OBAMA has taking us to war without DECLARING it & that was a violation of the CONSTITUTION.The global ELITE are making all the decisions and OBAMA is a puppet and has no balls, to do the right thing and tell them to go to HELL!!!! The bush's where crooked as well...

Dora
Dora

Ron Paul is the ONLY HONEST candidate and could restore our country.

Mitt
Mitt

ron paul used to perform abortions

kmc
kmc

Ron Paul has NEVER performed an abortion.  He is strictly pro-life and has delivered over 4000 babies.  So not sure what you are smokin'.

Celestial Bacon
Celestial Bacon

Well if nothing else, I think any former Obama supporter would agree that if Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination, Obama (in spite of his many flaws) is still a better option than Romney/Gingrich/Santorum.

Rick Saffery
Rick Saffery

Obama = Bush 2.0 = Romney = Santorum = Newt = all the other neocons and RINOs that dropped out already. The choices are Liberty(Ron Paul) and Tyranny(Anybody else). Seriously, it's as clear as this. 

Choose wisely my friends, while you still can. 

Newt
Newt

ron paul has an ugly wife

Ben H
Ben H

Another celebrity endorsement for Ron Paul!

pdubya1
pdubya1

For a man that has voted for the Constitution for 30 years, stated that the war on drugs  disproportionately arrests, tries, convicts, and incarcerates minorities - and that this needs to be CORRECTED is one testament to the untruth in your claim that Paul is a racist.  He also recognized and has stated that our undeclared wars do the same to minorities, unjustly, and add to the break-up of the family unit, increase divorce rate, and increase in suicides by soldiers.  His liberty-minded tenets, born in the constitution, and his do-no-harm attitude when it comes to civil-liberties are the antithetical to any claims that Paul is a racist.

Kudos, and thanks for the article.

twoggle
twoggle

I just watched the full-length documentary, "The World Accordingto Monsanto" available on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...I find it unacceptable that Obama appointed Monsantolobbyist, Michael Taylor, to the FDA as well as otherMonsanto executives. But Obama's funneling of mytaxpayer dollars to Uzbekistan (a country that hasbeen known to boil dissidents alive) so he can keepthe wars going, well that was the last straw for me.

Natalie
Natalie

TRAITOR. If you weren't black you'd be yellow. 

Donttalk83
Donttalk83

C'mon People. GITMO Closing - As if President Obama didn't need the approval or the cooperation from a Republican Dominated Congress that is hell bent on removing him to get the job done. They are the true villains. They Continue to shut him down. Michelle Obama Healthy Food Choices -  Forcing and Suggesting are not the same thing, and what she did was suggest.. and fat people got emo about it and argued that its their right to get fat and sick and the taxpayesrs should pay for their care. The list goes on. 

If you vote in Ron Paul you may as well just vote for Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and the Pope while youre at it. You will get the same results. Guaranteed. More tax breaks for the rich. Social Security? Medicare? Peace out. He would be as much of a "puppet" as Obama. If Ron Paul was serious he would have run as an independent from the get-go. This election is the election of the independent voter... Hell, this is the year of the independent voter. But you want to vote in another Republican? Please. Look at what happened the last time we had a Republican President. Hell, look at our last 2 Republican Presidents. War and Recession. See a pattern? Also, take a good look at what his backwards thinking son (Rand Paul, KY) is up to. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Lets just face it. America is just not ready for a lot of cool revolutionary s#it to happen yet. It takes a long time. It wasnt that long ago that Black people were slaves and that we (the only country in the world to do so) dropped a nuke on Japan. We have a long way to go.

Whoever
Whoever

The house is republican now, but for the first months of his term, he had a democratic house and senate, and didn't close gitmo down.

grizzlybear71
grizzlybear71

You need to understand that he is working within the current system, a system that is heavily biased toward the two major parties. He would not have been in all of the televised debates as an independent. He would be spending much more of his campaign contributions just getting on the ballot in all of the states as an independent.

Kimmie taylor
Kimmie taylor

At this day and age, party affiliation is  meaningless and irrelevant.   There is only one party.   The party of cronies and power be it democratic or republican.  You have to judge and research the candidates' records, character, consistency, and principles and to me Ron Paul passes all these tests for me.   .   

Donttalk83
Donttalk83

If that were true, then he should have had no issue running as an Independent. And if you really have studied your candidates records, you would have probably had a less misinformed response.

Rick Saffery
Rick Saffery

Abe Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party. He later joined the republican party. I'd suggest he was more Whig and like many republicans today, he'd be a RINO. 

Big_bad_dolemite
Big_bad_dolemite

Correction to above; if that were true AND independents got the same support the donkeys and elephants got, then there'd be no issue running as independent.  BTW, Abe Lincoln was a Republican.

Toan Nguyen
Toan Nguyen

Complete nonsense. Do a little better research before you start spouting all of this nonsense. Ron is the only person standing up to the establishment and the status quo. He is nothing like any of the other republicans running.  

Donttalk83
Donttalk83

Get out of that bubble, son.

grizzlybear71
grizzlybear71

If Ron Paul doesn't like black people, why does he have Gary Howard, who is black, as his press secretary?  Further, why would Gary Howard even work for Ron Paul if this were true?  Don't believe the smears.

Donttalk83
Donttalk83

Watch what you channel there, that also goes for people getting trapped in bubbles. Remember the Occupy Movement? This IS the year of the 3rd Party.  When Ron Paul does not make the cut, that's when he will run as an Independent and take votes away from the Republicans. Thats the move he will make.  You actually dislike Obama more than Dubya?  Really? RP doesn't like Black people either.

Big_bad_dolemite
Big_bad_dolemite

"If you think you think outside the box, you're trapped in one."  Donttalk, if RP was serious he'd run as Republican.  In a dream world the 3rd party candidates would get advertising and exposure.  This is not that dream world.  Running as Republican is the only way for him to get some recognition.  I wrote in RP last election and will do it again if I must.  I think there's a lot more RP supporters than the media will admit.  I'm an Iowa resident and caucus'ed.  In my district there were 19 votes for RP and in second place was Romney with 8.  I unfortunately feel that there's simply too much money and wealth to be had in politics for there NOT to be election rigging/manipulation.  I don't agree with every little bit of what RP says, but other than Gary Johnson I think he's the best candidate out there, even better than Obama by a bunch.  If it were between Obama in 2012 and any Republican other than RP or Johnson, I'd take Obama... even though I actually dislike him more than Bush Jr.

Paulron
Paulron

ron paul hates black people

Zeljko Romanovic
Zeljko Romanovic

Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder Defends Ron Paul and says Paul being smeared because he is a threat to the establishment(obviously).(stated personal opinion as a citizen and not president of NAACP)

Basically:

Asked directly if Ron Paul was a racist, Linder responded "No I don't," adding that he had heard Ron Paul speak out about police repression of black communities and mandatory minimum sentences on many occasions.

Dr. Paul has also publicly praised Martin Luther King as his hero on many occasions spanning back 20 years.

"I've read Ron Paul's whole philosophy, I also understand what he's saying from a political standpoint and why people are attacking him," said Linder.

"If you scare the folks that have the money, they're going to attack you and they're going to take it out of context," he added.

"What he's saying is really really threatening the powers that be and that's what they fear," concluded the NAACP President.

pdubya1
pdubya1

old, disavowed, and untrue news.  personal experience on the matter.  v/r

Kimmie taylor
Kimmie taylor

Please watch the compassion ad for Ron Paul.  It features a black farmer whose wife was saved by Ron Paul during childbirth.   Here is the link:https://www.revolutionpac.com/...He sees people as individuals and their character is more important to him than skin color.

VangSooo
VangSooo

Kinda makes you wonder who comes up with all that stuff no?Total-Privacy dot US

Johnny Freedomseed
Johnny Freedomseed

What about all this talk of Ron Paul being a racist? Some articles that were written in his name? Should he be judged by those? Or should we look at his voting record, drug policy, etc.?

Big_bad_dolemite
Big_bad_dolemite

He's addressed the "racist" claims quite a bit.  Basically those claims are a bunch of BS.  You could say everyone is racist to some extent and probably be correct.  And to me that's ok so long as they don't act on those opinions to put others at a disadvantage... adds a little flavor to the world so to speak.  But anyway, RP is probably the least racist candidate around, even compared to Obama and Herman Cain.

Tres Stars
Tres Stars

And to me that's ok so long as they don't act on those opinions to put others at a disadvantage...  =/

And how do you think a racist is going to separate his thoughts and actions when normal thinking people can't do it?  Eventually the two merge.......eventually true colors will shine.

Jm
Jm

 He's addressed those already and his constituents and even NAACP leaders disagree with the charges of racism. He's the LEAST racist candidate by far if his voting record means anything.

People should DEFINITELY register as "Blue Republicans" (i.e. registering as Repubs just to vote for Paul in the primaries - www.bluerepublican.org) and send a powerful message from the people to D.C. that we want HONESTY and INTEGRITY and a commitment to the Constitution in our leaders! It's all about the Primaries this year!

Jeremy Stefan Brooks
Jeremy Stefan Brooks

Obama campaigned on closing Guantanamo Bay.  Not only is GITMO still open, the President has authorized the assassination of American citizens and signed the NDAA into law along with the section that authorizes the detention of any American citizen without charges or trial.  He's just a corporatist puppet doing the bidding of the elitist oligarchy.

sablearms
sablearms

l am truly pleased to hear Groups like Arrested Development are now supporters of Ron Paul. We as Americans, all benefit from Dr. Paul becoming the GOP Nominee. The National GOP/RNC is aggressively working their volunteers nationwide in an attempt to highjack Ron Paul's Delegates. Good luck! We Ron Paul supporters have been working toward our goals of collecting as many delegates as possible the last four years and not one person within the GOP apparatus nationally is going to ruin what we have worked so.so hard for. They will definitely try to cheat, steal, lie and obviously engage in election fraud-- that is a given. We must and will do everything within our power and then some to prevent their planned tactics which will undoubtedly unfold and thus occur.

Joe Upthegrove
Joe Upthegrove

Obama is a failed worthless liar,  the only people who support him do so simply because of the "D" next to his name or the color of his skin.  They have no idea what he has actually done, or what what his policies really are.  However I do not see a better option unless there is a 3rd party, because the Repubs. won't let Paul win and the rest even are worse than Obama.  which is scary because it looks likes Obamas will be lesser of the 2 evil again.  3rd party time

Loren Phillips
Loren Phillips

Register Republican and vote for RON PAUL IN 2012. that is all we can do. and hope to god there is no serious voter fraud to keep him out. I am seriously beginning to think that Paul is getting closer and closer to having a majority of U.S. citizens supporting him. it would be an absolute outrage if there were discovered voter fraud that kept him out of office and heads have to roll if that's the case.

licketysplit
licketysplit

I think the polls have been fixed at these caucuses and I've seen articles that support that...nonetheless for the first time in my life I'm registered as a republican and ready to do my part and pray for the best.

Zak Cruise Carter
Zak Cruise Carter

You are all very invited! 

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Veterans Rise Up For Ron Paul!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Yours truly:)  We March On February20th  - Please thank mefor my service by watching the video and sharing it – I hope to see you there!

 

Victor Taylor
Victor Taylor

I'm not hatin' on Michelle Obama or her travel arrangements.  Members of congress often jet-set on private corporate-owned aircraft.  I never heard beef about when Laura, ill-Hill and Babs went on walk-about.

What I DO have a problem with is the fact that Obama has in his cabinet, a former executive of Monsanto.  I already feel as though Obama sold us all a bag of wet rocks.  The more time he's in office, the more disillusioned  I become.  

"Look Forward, Not Backward" my ass!

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