Citizen Action Monitor

Canada’s hip hop Sweatshop Union point the finger at — “Us”

No 210 Posted by fw, July 2, 2011

Before viewing a video of their song Us, take a minute to read this Wikipedia intro to the “politically-minded” Canadian hip hop group, Sweatshop Union. The lyrics follow the video.

Sweatshop Union is a Canadian hip hop collective formed in 2000 when four politically-minded rap acts—Dirty CircusPigeon HoleKyprios and Innocent Bystander —came together “to create a powerful, distinctive voice”, and to produce their first album, which was published in 2001.

Known for an inventive and socially-conscious sound, Sweatshop Union’s music focuses on being “honest”—commenting on issues ranging from the war in Iraq, the plight of the poor and working-class, to the negativity and misogyny of mainstream hip-hop. Speaking for the group, Mos Eisley put it as:

[T]o me, politics aren’t a choice you make; they’re just a way of life. […] In that sense, I am trying to be more positive than political, because I’m already political to begin with… I think that, at the same time as there’s a lot of money being put into hip hop that could be deemed negative or misogynistic or self-destructive, by the same token there’s a lot of guys who are coming up trying to be positive and rebel against that, [and] putting their careers on the line.

Sweatshop Union’s Us — the video

Sweatshop Union’s Us — the lyrics

The whole world’s a sweatshop, a fascist regime/
With billions of parts working as a massive machine/
The goal, keep the masses passive between/
Self, cash, limousines and other fabulous things/
But, we gotta wake up and notice it’s a load of shit/
It’s all about ownership of your soul and who’s controllin’ it/
It’s not about the gold you get, not about the clothes you’re in/
It’s not about oil, but we’re killing each other over it/
Like a Doberman, chomping on a cat/
It’s a new world order, and they’re bombin on Iraq/
And it’s so fucking heartless, the whole country’s starved/
And yet they’ve been targeted as a threat regardless/
This all started in days prior to ours/
They arrived from the stars, and survived in the dark/
Now it’s time for the hearts of men/
To march against it/
And realize that the cycle starts and ends with…

Us, we’re the ones that paid for the bombs/
Us, we built the planes that they’re on/
Us, it’s insane all of the ways they conned us/
But we can change it today, it’s just all on/
Us, we’re the ones that paid for the bombs/
Us, we built the planes that they’re on/
Us, it’s insane all the ways we’ve been conned/
Into killing millions of innocent people, but it’s all on…

Trust me friends, it could never just be us, or just be them/
Sometimes I think it just depends, it’s just pretend/
You can never trust the trends/
Don’t rub your eyes, I’d rather you’d adjust the lens/
Look up to them? Tell me, who the fuck are they?
When did they ever give a damn about what you say?
For what you stand? That’s why you gotta trust me man/
Trust a Bush? That’s like saying trust Sadam,/
But for real, I mean you gotta love the fam/
Ask his dad the ex-prez how many drugs he ran/
So trust us, the shit’s about to flood the land/
Cause government hands can no longer plug the dam/
So fuck the news, fuck the critics, fuck their views/
And if you sit and let it happen then fuck you too/
It’s up to you, I can’t tell you what to do/
But touch the truth, and don’t just judge the few/
But judge…


But it’s all on Us/Us/Us


Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing

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This entry was posted on July 2, 2011 by in creative protest, political action and tagged .
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