AR-15 – Stand in Solidarity (2016, 2008)


Album credits: All songs written and executively produced by Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential. All beats made by King Karnov. Distributed by AR-15 Entertainment.

1. Stop Trickin’ – A powerful sound clip found in the Freedom Archives in San Francisco, CA, “Stop Trickin”, emerges from a speech by an anonymous activist in the 1960s. These words sum up the driving force behind the group, AR-15, and why white folks have a stake in challenging racism in ourselves, our communities and the world.

2. Soldiers Anthem – An album single, “Soldiers Anthem”, is written for freedom fighters and street soldiers in the struggle for racial justice. Utilizing metaphors of armed struggle, Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential, paint a picture of a war raged on poor and working-class whites and people of color by the U.S. elite and make it known that the people will not sit idly by. 

3. John Brown – A historical tribute, “John Brown”, invokes the white anti-racist revolutionary John Brown and his brothers who, in coalition with African slaves in the U.S., raided the federal arsenal in 1859 in the interest of mobilizing a mass armed revolt by slaves and their allies on the U.S. government. Many say this multiracial action shifted the Civil War from a conflict about states’ rights to a conflict about slavery.

4. Do It For Me – AR-15 battles the system and political apathy with this track. “Do It For Me” delivers the message that we are all connected whether we participate in social movements or not. “If you’re gonna do it, than do it, do it do it!” rhymes the chorus, presenting the challenge to say what you mean and do what you believe. Real recognize revolution. 

5. Ohhh – The album’s signature love track and another single, “Ohhh”, is a love letter to the movement. Employing metaphors of romantic relationships, heterosexual and gay, “Ohhh” explores the intimacy and vulnerability required for trust and movement-building in struggles for racial justice. Check out the sound byte from political revolutionary and refugee, Assata Shakur, at the end of the track.

6. Call to Action 1 – Utilizing the classic style of radio-documentary the skit, “Call to Action 1”, paints a picture of a community rally in Any City, USA where Jus Rhyme makes a call to white people to decide if we are “for racism, or against it.”

7. Funky – One-half wake up call, one-half party anthem “Funky” is the soundtrack for AntiRacist 15’s political parties (pun intended). A vehicle for call and response, “Funky” asks listeners to rethink house parties as sites of political mobilization, and to reconsider what’s possible and what’s not within a two-party electoral system.

8. Army of One – Redefining the popular slogan of the U.S. military, “Army of One”, this song riffs off Dead Prez’s claim of “people’s army” and argues that the “we” is more powerful than the “I” in social justice struggles. The song is also a comparison of military armies organized for death, and people’s armies organized for life.

9. Million Allies – One of the first songs every written by AR-15, “Million Allies”, has been performed for thousands of people across the U.S. to rousing applause. Now remastered here, the song claims a positive identity for white folks willing to challenge racism, that of an ally, and lays bare the realities and responsibilities of being white in hip-hop.

10. Extra Money – Another album single, “Extra Money”, begins with a radio drama of a real life exchange between Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential at Raw’s current employer and ebbs into a worker’s anthem for all shifts. The song juxtaposes worker’s struggles and the entertainment industry, showing the complexity of poverty and wealth from the stage to the audience, from the workplace to the street corner.

11. Call to Action 2 – This skit picks up where “Call to Action 1” left off, and listens in to Jus Rhyme addressing a community rally in Any City, USA. Jus discusses the anti-racist lifestyle and who and what AR-15 represents.

12. The Life – An homage to street hustlers and entrepreneurs, “The Life”, intertwines political and economic lifestyles as modes of survival. Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential detail the anti-racist lifestyle here in colorful and bold imagery. The title “The Life” connects to the intro track “Stop Trickin” and reflects the ways that gender, sexuality, class, and race are intimately connected realities. Check out the sound bytes by Boots Riley, of the funk/rap group The Coup, at the beginning and end of the track.

13. I Get Movin’ – Introducing a trio of singles to finish the album, “I Get Movin”, leads with a driving bass line and stridently political lyrics. Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential detail the connections between self motivation and social movements, between political consciousness and political action, in this club manifesto. The song is made for dance parties but dedicated to street protests.

14. On The Road – A solid single, designed for meditation, gives the back story of AR-15 including Jus and Raw’s upbringings in Austin, MN and Prosser, WA respectively, to working community service projects in AmeriCorps, to the formation of the AntiRacist 15 in Oakland, CA and its growth in Los Angeles. A traveller’s anthem.

15. Call – The cap on the album and the trio of closing singles, “Call” is literally that – a call to white people and people of color to join in a movement for racial justice told through stories of personal phone calls and each one-teach ones between Jus Rhyme and Raw Potential. Listen for the drop from album beat-maker, King Karnov, at the beginning of the track, and a voicemail from Jus to Raw to close the song and album.