I’ve been asked on many occasions: “Brotha O, what do you mean you refer to yourself as a ‘Turntable Liberationist’?” The answer to this question is both easy and difficult. The easy answer is that i am a turntablist (one who uses turntables as an instrument) with a liberation-oriented agenda. This is where the answer become a lil more difficult. It requires that We break down the word liberation.
“Liberation,” according to several dictionaries, has something to do with doing away with oppression. I attempt to make this somewhat vague idea tangible in several ways. The first is through my music selection. As a self-styled turntable liberationist, i am careful to play music that i believe affirms people’s humanity and does not assault or insult them on the dance floor. Therefore, you’re likely to hear me play music that celebrates life and living in ways that do not cause harm to others. In other words, it’s veeeery rare that you’ll hear tracks that refer to people in disrespectful ways because of their race, class, gender(s), sexual preference(s), etc. I would like to claim that i never play tracks that are oppressive, but sometimes i miss or misunderstand lyrics (esp. when some songs are in languages that i don’t understand). I do try my best to avoid such songs.
Part of being a turntable liberationist also include education. I am an educator and attempt to expose myself and others to a variety of ideas and cultures. That requires me to play music you probably don’t hear 50 times each day against your will. Here are two fantastic songs that you may hear in my mixes and feel deep in your soul at a party:
Exhibit A [click here for an explanation of the song’s meaning]
– Much Love