Flobots blend rap, rock, and politics

Mike Geer

With powerful political lyrics and their infusion of rock and hip-hop, Flobots is a breath of fresh air to the music industry. Thanks to their roster which includes a classically trained violinist and a jazz trumpeter, their blend of melodies creates a bold background for two politically-minded lyricists.

Formed in Denver in 2005, Flobots has made a name for themselves across the country with their combination of sound and soul. The two emcees, Johnny 5 and Brer Rabbit, make multiple attacks against the government, specifically targeting 9/11 and racism. They also mention the response to Hurricane Katrina in the song “Stand Up” where Johnny 5 raps, “Didn’t fund the damn levee, no wonder man, now a whole damn city’s torn asunder man.”

In the opening track, “There’s a War Going On For Your Mind,” they talk about how the media is taking over the minds of people through the Internet, television, and the government. Not every track is filled with anger, like the song “Fight With Tools” is more of an inspirational tune, where Brer Rabbit raps, “don’t put your fists up/ fill them/ with our hopes and our hearts and our hands.”

Although this album might appeal to anti-war enthusiasts, it has a broad range of music as well. There are plenty of toe-tapping jams such as the fast paced “Combat,” the melodic “The Rhythm Method,” and the fiddle-based “Same Thing,” which give audiences a better look at the musical aspect of the group.

Unlike many current political music groups, Flobots not only express their anger toward the government’s problems, but also give listeners solutions to these problems. This is expressed mostly in “We Are Winning,” where one line says, “do not remain neutral/ do not rely on this broadcast alone/ we are only as strong as our signal.” These few lines offer one of the best examples that conveys their message, which is that in order to promote change, we must act.

Whether you are a political enthusiast, or just another average listener who enjoys good music, Flobots’ Fight With Tools is the perfect album for you.