Not all Propaganda is bad Propaganda

Josh Stanton

“The State Standards.’ Why do you insist this is still the industrial age? My child is not a widget. And a school should not be an assembly line.” “Dear Bored of Education, there’s not a Scantron on the planet that can measure inspiration.”

Bold lyrics from the song “Bored of Education” are just a glimpse of the issues that the Los Angeles based rapper Jason Petty confronts.

Petty is a poet, political activist and a Christian hip hop and spoken word artist who goes by the stage name “Propaganda.” He will perform and speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 25 in the University Center’s Great Lakes room.

“Slam poetry meets hip hop meets reggae,” is how senior elementary education major Jake Bass described his music. “It’s like they got together and had a child,” Bass said.

Propaganda’s life experiences are showcased in his music with a large resume of classroom teaching and community service. He is a loud voice on relevant social issues. He has confronted topics from the #blacklivesmatter movement to inaccuracies in American history and is always pushing listeners to stretch their hearts and minds.

“When I first heard Propaganda, I was really blown away by his messages,” said Abby Cook, a sophomore public relations major and one of the coordinators of the event. “Music is such a good way to reach people, and he does a good job because he’s so articulate. He’s bold but is backed by knowledge and intellect. He makes a lot of sense.”

Though rap and hip hop are popular art forms, spoken word, which is similar, doesn’t have as big of a stage, and is more of an underground genre. Cook thinks it will be a great way for NMU students to experience Propaganda’s style.

“Spoken word is a really neat craft, I think it’ll be a neat opportunity for students to expand their tastes in music,” Cook said.

Students will be challenged to reconsider their stance on some issues because of Propaganda’s raw style, Marissa Wall, a sophomore art education major said.

“I love his passion for creating change. He knows a lot about the inner-city culture, and he really pours that into his music,” Wall said. “I just hope it causes people to stop and think.”

Jake Bass, who also assisted in coordinating the event, said he’s most excited to listen to Propaganda rap about big issues.

“Propaganda’s song ‘Bored of Education’ says what every education major is thinking but isn’t bold enough to say. He makes it public, but in an artistic way,” Bass said.

Bass thinks the event will benefit the student population by opening their perspective and by showing people how Christian music can be out of the box and fun.

“He doesn’t just rap about the gospel, he raps about relevant and important social issues as well. He brings in his creative aspect of spoken word,” Bass said. “I hope it broadens students’ horizons and presents to them new music and a new idea.”

Propaganda is a part of Humble Beast records, which is a collective of musicians, pastors, speakers and writers.

The event is being hosted by Northern Michigan University Cru and the Black Student Union. It is paid for by the Student Activity Fee.

The event is free to students with ID and $3 at the door for general admission tickets. Doors will open at
6:30 p.m.