Standout Track: “Change in America (CIA)” unleashes the talents of three go-go all-stars—guitarist Dwayne Lee, bassist Keith Snowden, and drummer Dwayne Wellman—while rapper Head-Roc battles the stablishment: “Support politicians with suspicion/Hold them accountable for their contradictions/And when they lie/Relieve them of commission.”
Musical Motivation: Head-Roc says the track was originally written for SlimCat78, a member of his old hip-hop outfit, Infinite Loop. But it took on a new life in this year’s election: The Organic Consumers Association and the Grassroots Netroots Alliance commissioned the version by Godisheus (“gotta see us”), with a video featured on both nonprofits’ Web sites. Head-Roc says the track’s lyrics about the Iraq war, the 2004 elections, and Katrina were inspired by an annual survey the organizations give to local, state, and federal officials to identify progressive politicians.
Spoiler Alert: Head-Roc supported Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney’s presidential bid, and the change he calls for on the track is to “stop voting on tradition” and move away from a two-party political system. Still, he was careful to speak to radicals without alienating Democrats or the odd Republican. “I caution myself against writing things that are destructive to those who don’t know, because I was one of the cats who didn’t know,” Head-Roc says. “My parents weren’t Black Panthers. I supported the first Gulf War. I used to be like, ‘We’re America, we’re the best, pass the McDonald’s and leave me alone.’ Then I started to get into debates with my friends in music. That’s what brought me to this path.”
Godisheus performs Thursday, Nov. 13, at DC9.