Outlaw Fleetwood, the "Tent City" Video by Dennis Gilman

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What's going on with Tent City? Outlaw Fleetwood aims to tell ya...

MC Outlaw Fleetwood may not be getting any awards for lipsyncing prowess in this particular video. Keep in mind, however, that all of this footage of Fleetwood mouthing the words to his anti-Arpaio song "Tent City" was shot in a few hours down in Tucson by activist/videographer Dennis Gilman. The filming was pretty much seat-of-pants. How do I know? Hell, who do you think was driving the car? 

Still, I think Fleetwood looks pretty cool in his cowboy duds, and the song itself is solid. I love the refrain, with that young girl's voice singing,

One false move

Be careful what you do

He's coming for you...

Inhumane circumstance

It needs to come to an end

Racial profiling again

What's going on with Tent City?

I also appreciate Fleetwood's references to the political realities of Ari-bama:

In a right-to-work state

Labor laws are fake

Illegal Mexicans cutting grass for the state

Justice is just a mirage

Just like immigration was blind

The economy's not the only thing left behind

So are the hit-and-run victims that they find

They're as common as drive-bys in Compton...

Why aren't there additional anti-Arpaio raps, rock songs and and art inspired by Sand Land's backwardness and oppression? Sure, there's some more out there, but not by much. The problem, I know, is that many in the local arts community are scared stiff of retaliation by Arpaio. I've long floated the idea of an anti-Arpaio art show for First Friday. Privately, some gallery owners have looked spooked when I mentioned the idea to them as if I'd just flashed a bloody knife. They don't want any trouble, they tell me. Personally, I think they're missing their chance to make a statement. But cowardice has gotten the best of them.

I suspect that many radio stations would be similarly petrified to play this song, produced by a cousin of Fleetwood's, a guy who's worked with Prince and George Clinton. At least Fleetwood's been willing to persist in putting his song out there. Which is a helluva lot more than I can say for other so-called artists here in Roadrunner-Coyote Country. So my hat's off to him.

I should also mention that there is one act in Phoenix not afraid of kicking keister, the punk band, Automatic Self Destruct. They do a killer version of the Dead Kennedy's California Uber Alles, renamed (of course) Arizona Uber Alles, and starring Sheriff Joe as an Orwellian demigod. You can check out the MP3 on ASD's MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/asdarmy. Maybe Fleetwood and ASD and whoever else has an anti-Arpaio song could rock the house at local venue one of these days.

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