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Capital Rap 

From revolutionary rapper to stockbroker to rapper again -- the long, strange trip of Paris, aka Oscar Jackson Jr.

Wednesday, Dec 3 2003

Page 5 of 5

"To a certain degree it is necessary to participate in the capitalist system," Paris remarks during an interview at the Starbucks in downtown Orinda. "You just have to minimize your involvement with treachery, be aware of what companies are producing, like Nike."

We are outside, leisurely sipping lattes, watching SUVs come and go. Paris is casually dressed, at ease with the world. "Here at this Starbucks, life is good," he says. "If you are a consumer, you have suburbia, movies, lattes – as long as you are spending, life is good.

"The average clueless American buys into talk radio and hate speech. It's easy to pull the wool over their eyes when they don't read. But when people are informed about reality, it is human nature to become more left leaning and progressive, because it makes more sense.

"I believe we should socialize medicine and education. There should be no wanting for basic needs. We need a free-market capitalism that does not exploit people."

On the cusp of middle age, with a family and living in suburban bliss, the creator of Sonic Jihad, a revolutionary anthem, is beginning to sound like a cross between Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson.

Paris believes that his archenemy, Bush, will be brought down by a bad economy in 2004. "Americans are so dumb and selfish, they only are about themselves. All is forgiven here when the economy is good. It's like music. R. Kelly can pee on little girls. Michael Jackson can feel up little boys. But all is forgiven with a hit. Same thing with Bush. If the economy is bad, everyone will start saying, 'Fuck Bush.'"

Paris still encourages people to fight their individual oppressors, such as cops. "Revenge is a dish best served with steel," he sings on Sonic Jihad, putting a more explicitly violent edge on an old adage. But Oscar Jackson Jr. is a successful entrepreneur who genuinely likes capitalism. What he doesn't like is the people in charge of it. Not surprisingly, this self-made man, in accord with his own interests, opposes megacorporations, including those that own record labels, because such organizations eat small businessmen like him for lunch.

But both Paris and Oscar Jackson Jr. want Americans to reject and even to rise up against a government run on behalf of the "small elite group of people, family, friends, [and] businesses who control the world's strings.

"The average person believes that wars happen by chance and that people who can analyze facts are 'conspiracy theorists.' But is it really a stretch to say that an incestuous group of people, like the Bushes and the Gores, control global politics in such a way as to predetermine the outcome of events in order to ensure war-based profits for themselves?"

So why bother to vote?

"Like it or not, we have a two-party system," he says. "In the lesser-of-two-evils scenario, it's the worst-case scenario we are living in right now. I was never a Republican. I've been a Democrat because they are not so blatantly repressive as the Republicans.

"But if you believe in an eye for an eye, like I do" – Paris has the stage again now – "the best-case scenario would be to take the elite in Washington, D.C., and shoot them."

About The Author

Peter Byrne


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