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David Murray

"Bottom line, if you want to give your support to a social movement in which you believe, go for it. If you see it as an opportunity to get some cheap publicity, as a wise man once said, "you better check yo self before you wreck yo self.""

Great advice and a great post Clyde. Artists like Talib Kweli & Tom Morello have a long history of activism and so have a legitimate affinity with the protests. Tom Morello for example has toiled away for years supporting the disenfranchised with very little fanfare or media coverage.

Russell Simmons and Kanye West on the other hand are the polar opposite and represent the 1%. They obviously demonstrate this overtly with the gold chains and promotion of crass wealth display (it would be marginally more tolerable if they had some taste!). But also in a more neferious way. The maker in which Russell Simmons promotes his seemingly endless enterprises through association with the worst type of vapid celebrity culture espoused through GlobalGrind.com is a cancer in society that rewards notoriety above actual talent. He has made a career out of exploiting the poor, selling them things that the don't want and certainly don't need. Made all the worse by him paying lip service to whatever cause is trendy that week.

The protestors have to protect themselves from public figures using their movement to wash away the sin of their lives.

"I see you are going for that anti-marketing dollar" Bill Hicks http://youtu.be/gDW_Hj2K0wo

Matthew Bright

I saw a comment on a song I wrote called "Fade Out" that said it should be for the OWS movement. I have been following it wholehearted, even stronger in the last few weeks, but it wasn't my doing, If someone wants to use my song to inspire who am I to judge that. It's a positive song. It proclaims that we won't backdown. And isn't that the message of the movement, We won't back down. I support the efforts by making people I know and in my social circle aware of what is going on.

Ryan Smithee

I fully support the OWS Movement and hope that it continue to grow. While my band is not for the most part a political band, I write the lyrics and I am a political person so It is bound to end up with at least a subtle bit of information. We actually Took our song Northern Lights ( I wrote this during the 2008 RNC Protests, and blended it with imagery of Phillip Pullmans His Dark Materials Trilogy.) I had high Hopes of the 2008 Protests to become more but was disappointed, I am happy to see the OWS Movement growing so large :) :)

Floco Torres

Great advice and I agree. As far as judging "celebrities" and artists getting involved with the movement (Kanye and Russell etc.), I think it's more important to not judge their involvement off of personal taste of their work. How we feel about their career moves of the past has essentially nothing to do with why they may be out amongst protesters. If you follow Talib on twitter and watch some of the senseless banter he gets involved with, thoughts may change on his intentions very quickly. My only personal opinion on the OWS movement is that there needs to be more cohesiveness on a solution


Artists are entertainers and the wise ones stick to that difficult chore . . . the really vocal ones usually make a quick trip to obscurity (think Sinead O'Connor)

Clyde Smith

I know what you mean, Dave. Take Bob Marley, for example, you never his music or hear about him anymore.

There are so many artists who had some hits and then faded from the most visible tiers of the music industry who were just trying to be entertainers that invoking Sinead O'Connor isn't really much of an argument.

That said, if you're just in it for the money, avoiding politics is your best bet.

Clyde Smith

What really bothers me with invoking Sinead O'Connor is that it wasn't just that she was being political but that she was attacking the Pope.

That was a pretty dangerous stance, especially prior to the exposure of institutionally protected pedophilia, that went beyond, for example, attacking financial institutions for their greediness and demanding that rich people and corporations pay their fair share of taxes in the midst of a double dip recession.


Great article. As an occupying musician working from Zuccotti, it isn't difficult to see how this is becoming a reality. We will continue to screen publicity materials, and thanks for your support!

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