Ten musicians who have taken a political stand

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It's one thing to be a political musician, to point out the inherent wrongs of our social and political constructs from afar. Admirable as that is, it takes a truly special person to take a personal stake in perceived injustice and do something that goes beyond music.

A couple days ago, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) put his body, mind and dignity on the line when he volunteered with the human rights group Reprieve to be force-fed, as many Guantanamo Bay detainees are, on camera, to raise awareness.

Visibly shaken, Bey couldn't go all the way through with it, but even in failing, he succeeded in making his point. Here are ten other musicians who went above and beyond the music to make a statement.

See also:
- Top five failed attempts by musicians to run for political office
- Peaches on taking action on behalf of Pussy Riot
- Review: Brother Ali at Cervantes', 2/2/13


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An open letter to Politico's Donovan Slack about your misinterpretation of Jay-Z's "Open Letter"

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Hey, Ms. Slack, I couldn't help but notice the mini shit storm you caused yesterday at the White House press briefing when you misunderstood and misrepresented the lyrics of Jay-Z's "Open Letter." Real talk, that shit ain't cool. Have we learned nothing from the Nicki Minaj Romney-gate last summer?

See also:
- Politicians, pundits and pop stars quiz: See if you can tell who said what
- Why do musicians endorse candidates?
- Photos: The Romney/Ryan Victory Rally with Kid Rock at Red Rocks


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Politicians, pundits and pop stars quiz: See if you can tell the difference based on these quotes

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It's a common saying around the Beltway: Politics is just show-business for ugly people. The parallels between politician and pop star are too numerous to list here, yet by simply looking at the quotes dolled out by rockers and legislators over the years -- and trying to figure out which belongs to whom -- proves there's little polarity between the two personalities. Think you can correctly identify whether Beck or Glenn Beck gave us this quote about stage fright? Or if it was Hillary Clinton or George Clinton that dropped the line about changing hairstyles? Without Googling, see if you can figure out who said what. Submit your answers below for a chance to win tickets to Artopia. We'll pick a pair of winners at random this Friday from the correct answers.

See also:
- Why do musicians endorse candidates?
- The music fan's guide to voting
- Why the Obama campaign might want to rethink using U2's "City of Blinding Lights"


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Getting stoned with Mr. Midas

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Justin Rodriguez

Our state recently made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, and get their thoughts on the whole issue. Today we spark up with Mr. Midas, whom we caught up with while he was recording material for his next project, Red Cards, Green Bottles.

See also:
- Getting stoned with Kruza Kid
- Getting stoned with Two Fresh
- Getting stoned with Wheelchair Sports Camp
- Marijuana legalized in Colorado: Big Gigantic posts dope new tune to mark the occasion
- Marijuana legalized: Lady Gaga and other Twitter reactions
- In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane
- A 4/20 playlist from marijuana critic William Breathes
- Stoner MacGyver: Music and marijuana make great bongfellows
- Did Freddie Gibbs make it to DIA without having his weed confiscated?


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Getting stoned with Kruza Kid

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Britt Chester

For some, smoking marijuana is as much of a lifestyle as it is a necessity. For others, it's all about just rolling up a fatty, sitting back with some music and just chillin' on the herb. Last week, of course, our state made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, and get their thoughts on the whole issue. We sparked up last night with Kruza Kid (aka Zack Karuzas) before his show with Asher Roth at Cervantes' Other Side and got his thoughts on the impending legislation.

See also:
- Getting stoned with Two Fresh
- Getting stoned with Wheelchair Sports Camp
- Marijuana legalized in Colorado: Big Gigantic posts dope new tune to mark the occasion
- Marijuana legalized: Lady Gaga and other Twitter reactions
- In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane
- A 4/20 playlist from marijuana critic William Breathes
- Music and marijuana make great bongfellows
- Did Freddie Gibbs make it to DIA without having his weed confiscated?

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Getting stoned with Two Fresh

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Cinesthetics

Our first memories of getting stoned are exactly like that little piece of resin behind the stem in your bong: No matter how hard you try, it will never go away. The first time getting high opens a world of wonders. Whether you were cruising around in a homie's ride or sitting in a basement rippin' a joint and listening to Cypress Hill -- your first time always resonates. Last week, of course, our state made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, and get their thoughts on the whole issue. Today, the brothers in Two Fresh talk to us about their first time smoking and give us their thoughts on the impending legislation.

See also:
- Getting stoned with Kruza Kid
- Getting stoned with Wheelchair Sports Camp
- Marijuana legalized in Colorado: Big Gigantic posts dope new tune to mark the occasion
- Marijuana legalized: Lady Gaga and other Twitter reactions
- In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane
- A 4/20 playlist from marijuana critic William Breathes
- Music and marijuana make great bongfellows
- Did Freddie Gibbs make it to DIA without having his weed confiscated?

More »

Getting stoned with Wheelchair Sports Camp

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Photo Roadies

A week ago today, our homeland, the fine state of Colorado, made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, and get their thoughts on the whole issue. Shortly after one of their recent gigs, we retired to the alley with members of Wheelchair Sports Camp to smoke a joint and talk about their first time getting high, getting busted in Texas and why Colorado's potheads are more zealous than Washington's. Predictably, our conversation was full of passion and forgetfulness.

See also:
- Getting stoned with Kruza Kid
- Getting stoned with Two Fresh
- Tip sheet: Q&A with Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp
- Marijuana legalized in Colorado: Big Gigantic posts dope new tune to mark the occasion
- Marijuana legalized: Lady Gaga and other Twitter reactions
- In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane
- A 4/20 playlist from marijuana critic William Breathes
- Music and marijuana make great bongfellows
- Did Freddie Gibbs make it to DIA without having his weed confiscated?


More »

In honor of Amendment 64: Ten stoner anthems, overt hip-hop odes to Mary Jane

Why do musicians endorse candidates?

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Dave Matthews stumping for Obama at the President's grassroots rally in Aurora this past weekend

There's probably a certain amount of sincerity involved when a famous musician endorses a political candidate. But even the most un-cynical, democracy-loving patriot will have to admit that there's a hell of a lot more to the rock star/candidate public union than just fiscal policy. Endorsing a politician can either be used as an attempt to revive a stagnant career (Meat Loaf/Romney) or to inflate the cultural relevance of a mid-level artist (will.i.am/Obama). But ask the Dixie Chicks or Vincent Gallo: Politics and music can sometimes make bitter bedfellows. So unless they've got nothing to lose (Meat Loaf), entertainers would do themselves a favor to look at the history of this dangerous game and tread lightly when climbing onto the campaign stage.

See also:
- Photos: Dave Matthews at Obama rally, Community College of Aurora, 11/4/12
- The Head and the Heart at Obama rally, CU Boulder, 11/1/12
- Review: Ryan Adams at Boulder Theater, 10/29/12
- Review: Raekwon Rocks the Vote at Auraria
- The music fan's guide to voting
- Photos: The Romney/Ryan Victory Rally with Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins
- Andy Guerrero on hugging the First Lady
- Why the Obama campaign might want to rethink using "City of Blinding Lights"

More »

Photos: Dave Matthews at Community College of Aurora stumping for President Obama, 11/4/12

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Brandon Marshall
Dave Matthews at the Obama rally last night at Community College of Aurora. Slide show: Obama and Dave Matthews in Aurora

You've got to hand it to whoever is in charge of coordinating talent for Obama's Colorado appearances, particularly the grassroots event last night at Community College of Aurora featuring Dave Matthews. It was a shrewd move tapping Mr. Matthews to stump for the Prez. That's one way of wooing the Centennial State. Somebody's clearly plugged in enough to know that folks around here love, love, love the acoustic-based maestro. To be fair, judging by a few of our commenters last week, just as many seem to loathe him. None of those dissenters, however, appeared to be on hand last night in Aurora, as evidenced by the photos Brandon Marshall brought us back. Continue on to see Dave getting down.

See also:
- Slide show: Obama and Supporters in Boulder
- The Head and the Heart at Obama rally, CU Boulder, 11/1/12
- Review: Ryan Adams at Boulder Theater, 10/29/12
- Review: Raekwon Rocks the Vote at Auraria
- The music fan's guide to voting
- Photos: The Romney/Ryan Victory Rally with Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins
- Andy Guerrero on hugging the First Lady
- Why the Obama campaign might want to rethink using "City of Blinding Lights"

More »
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