One True Act of Patriotism: Our #OWS Interview with Shysti

Nov 22, 2011
12:58 PM

San Diego-based music producer and veterano in the Latino Rap  scene, Jesse Perez (aka Shysti) has always been known to speak his mind. With his latest video ONE TRUE ACT OF PATRIOTISM, he is not shy about speaking about the situation happening on Wall Street.

We had a chance to talk with him about #OWS and his new video.

People and media have described the #occupywallst movement as a bunch of hippies, bored college students, pampered kids protesting about nothing, what is your view on the matter? 
The problem lies in the question itself…the “media” is largely controlled/owned by the same corporations who stand to lose if the demands of the Occupy movement are met. For example, the worst of the “media” outlets, Fox News, is owned by News Corp., a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. It is the world’s second-largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue. Rupert Murdoch owns a controlling share of the stock. Recent news has shown how corrupt and sleazy he and his companies have been for years. NBC is owned by NBCUniversal Media LLC. General Electric and Comcast own that. GE CURRENTLY PAYS $0 IN TAXES AND IS THE MOST POWERFUL CORP IN THE U.S. CBS is owned by National Amusements, who own and control Viacom, Sumner Redstone etc. major corporations who have freely practiced in the financial manipulation of our government decisions will stand to lose power and money if the truth about the Occupy movement ever really gets heard enough to bring change and justice to the people.

So the short answer is…lol…fuck the media’s portrayal of the protestors. The protestors  (at least the ones in the U.S. Occupy demonstrations) are all Americans and they deserve to be heard. The media is part of the problem. People are people and no one life deserves more than any other. Keith Olberman is tight though…he is one true patriot among the bad. I love his show, Countdown.


What does the #occupywallst movement mean to you?

To me, the movement is a sort of affirmation. It feels good to know that people are starting to wake up to the injustices and standing up for themselves. I have been speaking, writing and rapping about some of this stuff for years and now that it is being voiced by the masses…its a great feeling to know I wasn’t crazy. Or maybe I am crazy, but I am not alone.

We saw that you and your mother were handing out food to the people involved in the #occupysd movement. Are you still currently involved? what is currently happening in San Diego?

Yeah, I’m so thankful for my loving family raising me to always do what is right. My mom and my girlfriend and I have been buying food and cooking it up and taking it down to the San Diego protestors/Occupiers. Much love to my sister in law as well for donating all the food one day…and to everyone else who is donating food, supplies, blankets, etc. The movement is strong down here. The occupiers were forced to take down their tents last week. Now they are camping at Balboa Park…a few blocks from the home base of the occupation, the Civic Center downtown. From the new camp, they are still marching daily to downtown and holding down the Civic Center. There is about 300 people camping and the crowd grows to about 1,500 during marches. They march daily. Its a beautiful thing. I am still very involved and so is everyone in my family, whether its cooking or putting in money or going down there to hand out food and supplies. I am getting some local restaurants to donate food as well. You have to feed an army. It takes lots of support and lots of people…handling all aspects…to sustain a revolution.


Tell us about ONE TRUE ACT OF PATRIOTISM, where did the inspiration for this song come from?

The inspiration for the song came from the Occupy Wall Street images and videos. Before the San Diego movement sprung into action and Occupy became an international movement, I felt like I needed to do something…to do my part and contribute in some way. I think music is a great way to spread a message and people who may not listen to a speech or read a book or an article, may be moved enough by a 3 minute song to really do more and get involved. The courage and spirit of the Occupy Wall Street protestors was very moving to me. They stopped complaining and started doing something about it. The arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge were a game-changer and I think that sparked the world to get involved.

You talk about many topics in this song,  from police brutality, to corporate greed and immigration what do you plan to accomplish by making this video?

I put images and video to the song to make it a bit more clear to the listener. If the words don’t get you, maybe the images will…or maybe a mix of the two. Some people are more visual and others stimulated by what they hear, so I wanted to reach everyone with this song. It almost has 2k views now and its been a little over a week. Since I put it up on youtube. If I reached a handful of people, I am happy and I did my job. Hopefully it reaches and moves more, but I am happy already. All I wanted to accomplish was to help the movement spread the word.

Is there anything you are currently working on?

Besides changing the world one YouTube view at a time? Just kidding. I wish. Well I am working on music (as always) as that is my career. I am a producer and a songwriter and I make a living placing music. I was inspired to write some more politically charged songs. I will be sharing them soon.

How can people get a hold of you and hear more of your work?

Well, there are a few other videos (just images to music) of mine on the same YouTube channel. The channel is ShystiNation. Subscribe to it so you can stay up on my new music and videos. I will keep promoting FREE access to my music because I want the messages to spread more than anything. That’s more important than money to me.

For more information about Shysti please follow him on twitter @shystimusic and dont forget to take a listen to his powerful music on his youtube channel

Now watch his video ONE TRUE ACT OF PATRIOTISM below. We Rebeldes salute you for your great work!