Rise brings revolutionary rap to Tahoe
August 27, 2008
What happens onstage is only the beginning for Rise of the Revolution .
“It’s not as much about the show, it’s about what happens after, what people do and the message we spread,” said Ali Menbari, aka the Prophet, half of the Northern California hip-hop duo that appeared at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon earlier this month along with Andre Nickatina and Lucky Lucianni.
“That’s why we’re picky who we do shows with,” Prophet said. “The people coming to the show have to be the kind of people who are going to accept it and take it with them.”
Rise of the Revolution certainly seems to be ascending, joining forces with the likes of the like-minded Immortal Technique and Dead Prez onstage recently.
“They don’t even really look at us like the opening act,” said Rise of the Revolution’s beatmaker, Nima Fadavi.
Even more important is what’s been happening when the duo leaves the mic behind. A recent crowd in Berkeley’s rapping right back at Rise of the Revolution stands as another milestone for Prophet.
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“For me, being on stage, one of the ultimate complements is feedback from the crowd,” he said. “To see somebody doing that with our music is second to nothing ” it’s an amazing feeling.
Better still was a concertgoer who became more than a fan after another show, telling Prophet, “You recruited a soldier tonight, and when the revolution starts, I’ll be on the front line with you,” the MC recalled.
“Nima has just as much a part of this as I do, but as far as me with the lyrics, the message is very political, very lyrical, very grass-roots hip-hop,” Prophet said.
“Our music is to revolutionize anything and everything about people and their lives, and spread it to other people,” Prophet said. “It’s about time that people start realizing that and realizing the power that each person has.”
That might sound like an odd sentiment for a hip-hop group that hails from the same place as the party-hearty hyphy subculture and a time when other hip-hop luminaries are steeped deeper in bling than politics. But there’s more to Rise of the Revolution than its present place and time.
“We definitely have our own little niches, but we bring it together with the same idea and concept,” said Fadavi, who grew up on punk rock and described the band’s 2007 debut, “Never Stand Down,” as straight hip-hop with a little reggae influence.
But the importance of the content isn’t lost on Rise of the Revolution’s DJ.
“There’s a lot of things that we touch on in every song, but there are definitely songs that have a certain focus on a particular issue, a particular idea,” Fadavi said.
Rise of the Revolution has been telling its message from the mountain, literally. The duo made its Tahoe debut Aug. 1 at Whiskey Dick’s and has two shows at the South Shore saloon coming up within the next month: Sunday, Aug. 31, with Mystic Roots and Planting Seeds, and Tuesday, Sept. 16, with Living Legends and Counter Productive. Rise of the Revolution also will play the B5 (beers, bands, boards, bikes and barbecue) Party from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, at Donner Ski Ranch along with Planting Seeds and the South Shore’s own Lavish Green.
Rise of the Revolution is planting some seeds of its own around California and Nevada, and is hoping that it’s sustainable.
“It’s a constant growth,” Prophet said. “If you stop, and you’re in the music business, the music stops.”