We all remember what happened in September two years ago. I don't think we'll ever forget(we damn well better not). It caused a backlash of violence, hatred, fear and ignorance. It led to several questionable military actions and ideas. It also provided a muse to several musical artists around the globe. From Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to Dwight Yoakam, the events and fallout from that one day provided inspiration for their lyrics and their music.
After Operation Anaconda, the US-lead mission to "rid the world of terror" and put Osama Bin Laden's head on a stick, French Revolution style, came Operation Iraqi Freedom. A clusterfuck of a military operation, surrounded in lies, half-truths and, of course, irresponsible and brutal violence. Updates of the war mirrored what would happen if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on your local high school football team, a lopsided no contest. However, Operation We Don't Like Your Pipeline to Syria, like 9/11, sparked musical creativity around the globe.
Showing shades of the Vietnam war, musicians from all different genres, from Jay-Z and Russel Simmons, to Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow, the Beastie Boys and many others devised protest songs and spoke out against what was going on in the world. Knowing their music and beliefs, I patiently waited for Spearhead to come out with their own song conveying these similar feelings.
Spearhead is a funk/jam band, hailing from San Francisco, California. Their lead singer, Michael Franti, is very outspoken in his beliefs. The group's main message is one of "Staying Human." Personally, I think it's different for everyone, but the basic idea is being able to put man-made institutions aside and being able to not necessarily love, but peacefully coexist with your fellow man, woman, animal, whatever, regardless of what they look like, what they believe or who they pray to.
Bomb The World, and the Armegeddon remix, is Spearhead's anti-war song. It is only slightly aimed at Operation Take Your Oil And Give It To Us, but more at war in general. The refrain sums up the main idea of the track, "We can even find a solution // to hunger and diesease // We can bomb the world to pieces // but we can't bomb it into peace." The original version of the song is just Michael Franti with an acoustic guitar, strumming simple chords and singing the lyrics. It questions the actions of war with the lyric, "You say you're sorry, say there's no other choice // How can you feel sorry, when you kill people with no voice?" Franti goes on to call to the people in the second verse "So I call out to the masses // Stand up if your still sane // All of us gone crazy // I sing this one refrain." While this original mix is pretty relaxed, the Armeggeddon remix contains Franti's venomous tongue and more radical lyrics.
Gone is the acoustic and in comes the band. The song starts out with a simple groove, upward strung ska-esque chords combined with another rolling bassline before the crunch of distorted guitars come in for the pre-chorus. However, this mix does not have Franti gently singing, nor calling out to the masses. Here, like in Chocolate Supa Highway and the scathing Rock The Nation, Franti is forcefully rapping his radical point of view, "Rally round the flag and beat the drums of war ... You tellin me it's unpatriotic? But I call it how I see it when I see it's idiotic." Franti continues with "Fight terrorists wherever they be found // But why you not bombin' Tim McVeigh's hometown?" Also on the remix is a verse by Radioactive, a beat boxer/vocalist who joined the group before their third record, Stay Human. While Radio's verse drips with venom similar to Franti's his words are more straight forward, conveying his distrust of large corporations and other such institutions.
While the two mixes of the song differ like night and day, the chorus remains the same, as does the message. We don't really need war anymore, do we? Can we, not the nation of America, but humanity as a whole, afford an all out war? How can we tell our children not to get into fights on the playground when our nation sent forces to invade other contries on a whim? Yeah, I'm biased. I admit it. But, it's as the back of my Spearhead shirt says, "Power to the peaceful."
A copy of this song and of the lyrics can be found at www.spearheadvibrations.com. The remix is also at that site. As are mp3s you can legally download, yay legal music!