free download! kenyan-born hip-hop duo ps the rebels latest single is defiantly minimal. #soundcheck

July 22, 2013

There’s a frustrating trend of artists calling themselves “rebels” while doing little more than reinforcing the status quo for their own enrichment. (This is of course nothing new, at least, not since the 60’s. See also: Warhol, Andy) So you have to give it up to PS the Rebels for their new single “BaRua.” The Africa-born duo’s debut is a minute and a half long mission statement.

A marimba and hand-percussion based track with a Swahili name (it means “the letter”), it’s rooted firmly in their native Kenya, but with an East Coast conscious hip-hop flow. (I still think we need a better name than conscious…the same way that “Intelligent Dance Music/IDM” inherently defines everything that’s not it as vapid.) There’s no hook, and the polyrhythmic beat defies the dance floor. It’s merely a call for unity, peace, and economic justice. The list of comparisons between punk and hip-hop is long, but here’s a new take: defiant in it’s simplicity, boldly minimal, and undeniably rebellious. MCs samUiLL and Pihon have something going here. Let’s see what they do next.

– Words by Nathan Leigh