Tag: music

Post Malone- Unlikely Libertarian Figure?​

By Ian Brzeski | United States

Post Malone is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who recently blew up in the past few years. His song “Rockstar,” released in 2017, marked his first number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. The song is considered his most successful song, but he also has numerous other songs that have been just as successful, such as “Congratulations” or “Psycho.” The album which “Rockstar” featured in, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” broke several records on its way to the Billboard 200 and went platinum in just four days after the album’s release which is a massive achievement in the world of music.

Despite Post Malone being on record that he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, the gun-loving government skeptic makes it reasonably safe to say that he is a libertarian. During his time in Canada, he sat down for an interview. The interview was light-hearted in the sense that the questions were about his favorite video games or his plans for the future. However, when asked about what the biggest lie in the world was he said, “The biggest lie in the world the U.S. government.” He does not believe that the government is the same as it used to be in the sense that it is not about freedom anymore and that it has become some massive reality show. The questioning of the government in the way portrayed by Post Malone here really encapsulates the libertarian view on the role of government.

He also believes that the United States government killed president John F. Kennedy for telling the truth. He reasons that just days before Kennedy died, Kennedy had a grand speech explaining how our government focuses solely on being corrupt instead of going around trying to find the truth in all things. Post, who has a JFK tattoo on his arm, is a big fan of his and states that he was “the only President to speak out against the crazy corruption stuff that’s going on in our government nowadays.”

Although he says how the United States government is practically a giant screw-up, he has not once said where he exactly falls on the political spectrum. He did go on to say that he did support Bernie Sanders for president as he was “the realest one.” It is interesting that a man with such a distrust of the United States government would be an advocate for Bernie, as his policies suggest a stronger and more powerful government. One could infer that the reason as to why he would support Bernie is not because of his policies but because he believed that he cared about the country and wanted the best for the people of the United States, unlike Trump and Clinton.

In another interview after the election, he stated that he would not mind performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration for a fixed amount of money despite not supporting Trump and not voting in the election at all. Because he said this, he got much hate from the fans and later said that he was kidding. However, he still didn’t understand why he got so much stick for saying that. He feels that at the end of the day he would just be doing the same job he has always been doing regardless of he was to perform at Trump’s inauguration or any other venue or concert.

“If I do his show, does that mean I’m a supporter of him?” -Post Malone

To answer the question as to why he did not vote in the presidential election is that he feels our votes do not count and are just suggestions to the electoral college. According to Malone, the Electoral College could practically vote for whomever they want, and there is nothing that we [the people] can do about it. It is unclear to say if Post would have voted for Bernie if Bernie did win the primary, but it is safe to say that he would have supported and backed him throughout the entirety of the election process.

On the issue of guns, Post Malone is entirely pro 2nd amendment. He believes that it is an American’s right to own a gun and he is indeed taking advantage of that right. He owns:

  • an M14 – used by the Navy SEALs
  • “James Bond’s gun.”
  • a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon
  • an M1911 pistol
  • two gold-plated Glocks -used for decoration, not for shooting
  • a Cobalt AR-15 -modified to pass California regulations, his most prized possession
  • a pump-action Mossberg shotgun -“great for home defense.”
  • an FN Five-Seven pistol with a laser sight -to disorient home invaders
  • a Glock 19

He has these because “They’re fun, they’re practical, and bad sh*t happens. If you hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you back.” He has a lot of valuable items, and he wants to protect those along with his friends and family. He acknowledges that it is dreadful that people have to be fearful of going to a concert, but he maintains that there will always be sick people, and if they want to go shoot-up a concert, then they will get the weapons necessary to shoot-up that concert no matter what. He also admits that he does not have all the solutions went it comes to these horrible mass shootings, but that he just believes in what he thinks is right.

“The world is going to shit. They’re taking away a lot of our rights.” -Post Malone

This quote suggests that Post believes we are continuously falling deeper into a tyrannical state, which is another reason as to why he maintains the right to bear arms is just as a necessity now as it ever was. He does not believe that Trump is solely the reason as to why we are going deeper into a tyrannical state, but that there is a much bigger problem going on behind the scenes of our government. Post thinks that the worst of the United States government is yet to come and that it is going to arise after Trump.

From his extensive gun collection to his complete and intrinsic distrust of the government, Post Malone could be a man easily converted to the libertarian movement.

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Grandson Is Calling Out Politicians and Corruption Through Music

By James Sweet III | United States

The United States has faced an interesting political climate since the 2016 Presidential Election. We have witnessed Donald J. Trump, the former host of The Apprentice, become the first President without any previous political experience. Celebrities have taken a larger role in American politics than ever before, with Hollywood often calling out the President. Now, a new artist is rising in the music industry, bringing a unique sound and message to the American people and it’s a message that many agree with.

Born Jordan Benjamin, Grandson is a politically charged artist that delivers guitars and beat drops accompanied by a message. He doesn’t hint at his meaning through indirect references, but rather states what he is thinking. Born in New Jersey, Benjamin was raised in Toronto where he taught himself how to play guitar and piano. Now based in Los Angeles, he is signed to the Fueled by Ramen record label.

Grandson’s music can range from talking about being unfaithful to a partner to discussing gun violence, particularly school shooting incidents. Arguably the most politically charged song that he has made, Thoughts & Prayers is Grandson’s way of expressing his anger over the government’s ineffectiveness when it comes to dealing with gun violence on school campus’. The song starts off with a chorus of children singing, and the message is quite menacing for the political opponents of the artist.

No thoughts, no prayers
Can bring back what’s no longer there
The silent are damned
The body count is on your hands

These lines are repeated in the chorus, with anger clearly being a motive for Grandson’s thoughts on the issue. The phrase “thoughts and prayers” is often used by those on social media and in public after a horrible event happens, whether it’s a terrorist attack, school shooting, earthquake, etc.. Grandson appears to be calling out those that use the phrase and do nothing about the problem. He takes his message a step further by accusing some of being, whether partially or fully, responsible for those that are dead. Grandson enters the song during the first verse.

Smile for the camera
Another politician bought
I swear I heard another shot
Cash another payment
Red all on the canvas
It’s murder on the campus

Another press conference
Nothing gets accomplished
The suit is an accomplice
Money is the motive
The war is in the street
Watch history repeat

It is safe to say that the first verse sums up the song’s message: politicians are scared of losing money from organizations like the National Rifle Association, and that those politicians are accomplices in the crimes that are being committed.

Grandson is rising in the music industry and is being recognized by major figures, like Mike Shinoda, co-founder of Linkin Park and solo-rapper. Grandson was featured on Shinoda’s song “Running From My Shadow“. Sooner or later, Grandson will be recognized by his enemies as a true contender, and his allies will rally behind his music as a battle cry. The following list provides an introduction to his songs and the meaning behind them.

  1. Bills – The older adults in society burden the next generations with bills and taxes, but the younger generation is also full of greed in the pursuit of money.
  2. Bury Me Face Down – A story of the strength needed to claw your way up through the music industry, and to achieve the goals you have set.
  3. Kiss Bang – A story of a man cheating on his main significant other with a “side chick”.
  4. Best Friends – A story of finding fulfillment, alongside friends who spill their feelings and how they are trapped.
  5. thoughts & prayers – An anger filled message accusing politicians of corruption and valuing money over the lives of children.
  6. War – A message that is directed at the President of the United States, believing he will lead us to war. The song also speaks out against inequality and other issues.
  7. Overdose – The effects that drugs can have on an individual, particularly hardcore drugs.
  8. Blood // Water –  Arguably Grandson’s biggest hit, the song talks about corruption and greed in politics, and how those involved in these practices will be caught.
  9. Stick Up – A story of a veteran who feels betrayed by the American government, and chooses violence to send a message.
  10. Despicable – A story of a failed relationship, broken off by an individual who may be suffering from depression.
  11. 6:00 – A message about equality and police brutality that many innocent people have suffered.

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Disclaimer: The views conveyed in this article do not represent the opinions of the author or 71 Republic.

Libertarianism and Heavy Metal: Two Peas in a Pod?

By Mason Mohon | USA

Anybody who knows me, even just a little bit, knows that I am a big fan of metal. Whenever a band I like swings through Texas, you know I’ll be in that mosh pit. The genre is seen as uncomfortable, concerning, and scary to most people, and the seemingly inhuman screams of vocalists tend to drive people away, but the people who stay seem to stay for a long time because Spotify discovered that metal fans are the most loyal listeners to any genre worldwide. Heavy metal does not have to fear losing its base anytime soon.

The genre itself seems to appeal in a few ways to the anti-government crowd. Lyrics of many major bands in the metal scene reflect very anti-government anti-authoritarian themes. The most notable of these will probably be familiar to those in libertarian circles: Backwordz. Their songs reflect various aspects of anarcho-capitalist philosophy, from the economic foundations made clear in Praxeology to the basic idea of control over one’s life in Self Ownership. Their merch often sports “taxation is theft” and other libertarian friendly slogans, and on stage lead singer Eric July is always ready to speak of freedom to the crowd. Backwordz is very libertarian, but the genre as a whole also seems to be very reflecting of the ideas, although not explicitly.

Revolt Against the Status Quo

Libertarianism and heavy metal have a parallel in their stance against the established way of things and refusal to conform to the norm. Libertarians are opposed to the state in most, if not all instances. They are characterized by their opposition to coercive power, and will not settle for the way things are. The current order is wrong, and that includes the government structure, the elected officials, and the dominating parties. To the libertarian, all of it is unacceptable, even though there is the occasional exception. The libertarian is the outcast because his or her opinions are so radical and they do not fit into what the mainstream media and elites have said is allowable for an opinion. Even with the entire world pushing back, the libertarian still stands.

Similarly, metal tends to stand against the conventional order of music and genre. What seems like an excess of guitar playing and the nearly inaudible screaming causes discomfort to many who are not familiar with the genre. It is loud and seen by many as scary, but the metalheads do not care. They couldn’t care less because they’ve acquired the taste and they stick with it, even though it goes against what the pop artists and records want them to listen to. An article from the Scientific American outlines that people of other genres tend to be conformists, while metalheads stick to their guns, as Spotify’s loyalty research above showed.

Conforming seems to be motivated not by the positive utility of behaving like your peers, but instead out of anxiety and pain at the prospect of being a “contrarian.” Again, this points to the function of peer influence during adolescence. During adolescence, peers wield considerable coercive power — that is, friends are quick to dispense disapproval, teasing and rejection when social norms are not followed. The pain  of being rejected by one’s peer group can be a matter of life or death, as recent cyber-bullying cases in the news demonstrate.

The Antidote for the Non-Aggression Principle

Many would assume that metalheads tend to be angry aggressive scalawags that wander the streets late at night, hoping to mug an unsuspecting soul, or just engaging in other crime or disruptive activity. If they throw down and hit each other with all the force they can in the moshpit, why would the act any different in regular life. Metalheads are generalized as people who would cause harm. If this were true, this would set heavy metal in an opposing position to libertarianism, which has the core tenets of non-aggression and voluntary action. The fact of the matter is, though, that this stereotype of metalheads is wrong.

A Humboldt State University study reveals that those who listen to metal and entrench themselves into the genre’s subculture receive an array of benefits (mostly psychological)  throughout life. When metalheads were labeled the same way I did in the previous paragraph, this study, which was done over 30 years on nearly 400 people, revealed that metal listeners “were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups.” This was true, even though they did tend to engage in risky behavior. Metal seems to be creating people who transition into the rest of their lives better and generally just live better, with the metal community acting as a great support group keeping people away from an aggressive lifestyle.

The metal community and libertarian community seem to parallel in many ways. The groups often share a common anti-authoritarian message, and they both have an anti-status quo theme. They are always working against what is popular and refuse to give in to the masses. They also both promote a lifestyle of non-aggression and voluntary action. The two seem to mesh well together, which is why we only hope to see more heavy metal with a libertarian theme.

Featured image by Matt Bender Photo,