Word to Your Mother (Earth)

California hip-hop crew says “No on Prop 23”

This page was published 13 years ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

The CounterParts Crew does not rap about “popping caps” or “getting hyphy,” and they would likely question the eco-friendliness of anyone “rolling on dubs.” Instead, the hip-hop group is dropping rhymes in the name of today’s election and California’s Proposition 23.

The Crew’s new tune, “No on Prop 23,” takes aim at the Texas oil companies and allied politicians that are attempting to block implementation of California’s pioneering global warming legislation, commonly referred to as AB 32. Discussing everything from power plants spewing toxic chemicals to respiratory illness resulting from air pollution, the song is pretty sophisticated in its perspective on the proposition. A sample of the Crew’s lyrical deftness:

The California Jobs Initiative is what they title it / Assuming that we’re stupid and we cannot decipher it … Three quarters of the funding from two Texas oil businesses / $5 million spent, y’all can guess just what their interest is … 23 is a false dichotomy between jobs and health / So vote for big oil or vote for yourself.

The CounterParts Crew consists of three MCs that met at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus: T-Know, Braelan B and Otayo Dubb. They are joined by two producers (the guys who make the beats) Fatgums and Gamma Ray of San Francisco, Calif. They aren’t the first hip-hop act to record a track specifically related to the election as famed rapper Eminem released a tune in 2004 telling his fans to avoid voting for George W. Bush. While Eminem’s song was a bit simplistic and the video a little bizarre, The CounterParts Crew hits the right notes with their tune that actually covers the Prop 23 debate in all its nuanced political glory.

You can download “No on Prop 23” for free from the group’s website.

David Lawlor was a writer in the Development department. His environmental activism stems from an affinity for nature and the deep ecology philosophy espoused by the Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess.