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Zearle is a pioneering and visible representative of politicised hip hop music. He is an underground musician, spoken word poet, community activist, and writer. He is most well known for producing, supporting, and distributing political hip hop from 1990 through to the present, promoting a socialist ideology. Hip hop music (also referred to as rap or rap music) is a style of popular music.
Zearle announced himself on the scene with a short mix tape in the early 1990s, as a member of the group known as Red Dagger, which was one of the first Marxist hip hop groups. However, this group was short lived and lasted less then a year. In interviews, Zearle has stated that ideological differences were behind the group's demise. Zearle then became a solo artist.
Zearle continued as a solo artist, and his single "Destiny's Child" was a seven-minute manifesto for a self defined 'revolutionary youth movement'. The single mixed the slang of the period with heavy socialist discourse and rhetoric. Zearle had several other underground hits in the mid 1990s, each formed around a particular concept. "ManChild" tells the tale of black activists George Jackson and Jonathan Jackson (George Jackson (September 23, 1941 to August 21, 1971) was a Black American militant who became a member of the Black Panther Party while in prison, where he spent the last 12 years of his life. ... Jonathan Jackson (1953– August 7, 1970) was George Jackson's brother and an American black activist from California), while "Dust to Dust" debated the existence of God and other religious issues.
The song "Hackers and Crackers" in particular became a cult phenomenon. It was written in the style of a dedication, using popular computer user slang as well as verbally thanking many of the warez groups for "freeing the software" for the poor who could not afford to purchase the software. Radium was one such group. Zearle rapped that the act of sharing a program with poor people could produce better art, music, video, and most importantly better "hacks". The song uses a sampled beat used by both Dr. Dre and Erykah Badu. "Hackers and Crackers" became the theme for many hacker radio programs and websites. The group Digital DawgPound DP used the "Hackers and Crackers" song as a trademark for several years in the 1990s for the radio show Binary Revolution Radio. Several movie ripper groups such as "movienight" would begin movierips with this song. The genre known as nerdcore was influenced by Zearle. This song has received over a hundred thousand downloads over the last decade.
In the late 1990s, Zearle released an album titled "Class War" in response to political issues and events. This album drew from movie quotes, political leaders and poets. Fight Club, Devil's Advocate, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Zack De La Rocha, dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and others were featured. During this period, Zearle was heavily involved with anti-war and anti-draft campaigns, and vegetarianism.
Zearle has produced two further albums, one in 2002 and a second in 2004. He is based in the Bay Area and cites school as the reason for his two year disappearance from a vibrant hip hop scene, which includes many new artists such as Immortal Technique. In late 2005, Zearle was elected to the board on the newly reformed MDS. Currently, Zearle is writing a thesis on political hip-hop in graduate school. In 2008 via Last.fm, Zearle released "Siempre Aqui" and "Ivory Tower Ruminations" both collections of unreleased material.
Zearle is working on new material for an album to be released in 2008.
Warsawpack Zearle, Ft Zach de la Rocha Alexander Cockburn Michael Parenti THE DOPE POET SOCIETY