DJ Spooky and Chuck D remix "By the Time I Get to Arizona" in honor of anti-immigrant law


DJ Spooky sez, "I just finished a studio session with Chuck D from Public Enemy. In the wake of Republican Governor Jan Brewer's appalling anti-immigrant law, me and Chuck D were rappin' and we decided to put together an update of his classic track 'By The Time I get To Arizona.'

" Anyone who knows about hip hop from the early 90's remembers John McCain's unwillingness to endorse creating a local version of Martin Luther King's birthday. The update here is a 21st century look in the rear view mirror. The cliché that 'those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it' still holds sway in our hyper amnesiac culture. I remixed D.W. Griffith's infamous film Birth of a Nation with a bit of Public Enemy in mind, and later on, they named an e.p. with the same name as my project."

By the Time I Get to Arizona (Thanks, Spooky!)

(Image: TIFF Wrap Party #35, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from tsarkasim's photostream)

29

  1. It was Evan Mecham who rescinded the Martin Luther King holiday, not John McCain. Get your history straight, rappers!

  2. I have been waiting for this remix since I heard the news. I knew someone would do it, little did I know it would actually be Chuck D.

  3. Mecham may have recinded it, but in ’83 McCain voted against an MLK Day bill, as did all three Arizona House Republicans. He may have changed his mind over the years (and, in fact ways that vote was a mistake), but saying that in the early ’90s McCain had “unwillingness to endorse creating a local version of Martin Luther King’s birthday” is entirely accurate.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1872501,00.html

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/04/john-mccain-apo.html

    These particular rappers do indeed have their facts straight.

  4. Wow, the original version of this has been bouncing around in my head ever since this stupid law became news. Thanks for the link!

    1. That’s Lie #1 about the law. That it’s anti-immigrant.

      Lie #2 is Police can lawfully stop anyone that looks illegal.

    2. Legal or not, Mexican-looking people will now face extra harassment from law enforcement and be required to prove their immigration status at a moment’s notice. I call that an “anti-immigrant” law.

      The real irony here is that a 160 years or so ago an “illegal immigrant” in Arizona would have been most anyone who wasn’t Mexican.

      1. “The real irony here is that a 160 years or so ago an “illegal immigrant” in Arizona would have been most anyone who wasn’t Mexican.”

        That would be before the USA conquered/purchased all that land from Mexico? Wars have consequences. At bottom all land titles are “By Right of Conquest”. MEChA and La Raza make no bones about this being an invasion and an attempt to re-conquer lands lost long ago.

        Darn that Arizona, trying to enforce a 70 year old federal law!

  5. I appreciate seeing this classic song get attention (since I’ve been thinking of it since all the news hit), but why not re-release the original? The remix feels so light and neutered compared to the heavy, thumping original track.

  6. It’s an ILLEGAL Immigrant law. And I’m willing to bet some serious scratch that AZ police don’t start harassing random Hispanics.

    The law provides a needed remedy to the previous policy where police were barred from inquiring about immigration status when making “stops of suspects.” I seriously doubt that AZ police will start a policy of pulling over citizens for “Driving While Hispanic.”

    Illegal aliens don’t need some sort of special dispensation from state government. They’re ILLEGAL. That’s a deportable offense.

    1. It’s an ILLEGAL Immigrant law. And I’m willing to bet some serious scratch that AZ police don’t start harassing random Hispanics.

      You already lost that bet. I accept cash, check or PayPal.

    2. @Allison,

      Because you’re commenting on BoingBoing.net — a notorious gathering place for copyright scofflaws — I believe there is a reasonable suspicion that on your computer you possess content that is in violation of U.S. copyright law. Please show your papers confirming the licensing of the intellectual property and the legality of the creative content on your computer’s hard drive.

      Copyright violations are ILLEGAL, so I’m sure you will happily show your documentation and won’t be calling for “some sort of special dispensation.”

      After all, as you so clearly said, “They’re ILLEGAL.” And you’ve made me suspicious.

    3. I admire your chutzpah in saying something so blatantly closed-minded in such a public forum. In case you’re still confused: forcing legal U.S. citizens to walk around with ID’s simply because their skin color is slightly darker than the average whitey is not a law targeting illegal immigrants alone. What part of the criticism are you confused about?

      1. Immigrants are already required, by federal law, to carry proof of status. This merely extends the statute to a level at which the state authorities can act.

      2. An officer is not allowed to stop people and request anything simply on suspicion they’re illegal. The law – and I don’t expect it to stand for Fed/State reasons – states specifically when an officer is allowed to request ID like a driver’s license, etc. An officer can only request ID in the course of lawful contact – a traffic violation, investigating a crime. Just like now in our lives, whitey or not. Not on a whim or a hunch. If an officer does that – he or she violates the law. Read the damn thing. I will admit, back in the day, I got pulled over plenty of times for an “improper license plate illuminator” and then had the car searched for my dope – so I get the potential for worminess. But it misstates the law to declare the police can just walk around pointing like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion.

  7. I agree with the above poster, the remix seems pretty lame compared to the original.

    And way to self-promote DJ Spooky over an issue. Have to give an email address for the link? pfft..

  8. Because I am an important artist and suffer from grad-school damage, I’m going to sample this review of a DJ Spooky album from the immortal Aquarius Records dot Org:

    “(darn we’re out of this new Spooky remixing Shadow label stuff thingambob, and I had so many nice things to say about Mr. Miller.) (actually now supposedly we have one) (oh, crap. do i really have to?) (yes, now go do as you’re told, and listen to dj spooky) (of all of the horrors that could be thrust upon me, did it have to be spooky?) (quit whining) (hey, i’m just saying… why don’t you go fuck yourself, and while you’re at it go fuck spooky) (you can’t talk to me that way) (oh yeah?) (yeah!) (bif) (bang) (pow) (thwap) (slam) (thud) (ouch, no biting allan!) (thup) (crak) (bam) pant, pant, pant, pant (so will you review that spooky record?) (never! i quit) (no you can’t quit, you’re fired!) (go screw, jerkface) (right back atcha!)(who said that?!)”

    Now I will pontificate about the “gestural” nature of this review…oops, we’re out of time.

  9. Just like the new Freddy Krueger movie, some things shouldn’t be remade. Why try to lay down hard-hitting lyrics over a sample that doesn’t fit?

  10. Dj spooky is one of the smartest guys I’ve had the pleasure to meet, he was here in medellin just the other day for fractal’10 :)

  11. “‘It’s an ILLEGAL Immigrant law. And I’m willing to bet some serious scratch that AZ police don’t start harassing random Hispanics.’
    You already lost that bet. I accept cash, check or PayPal.”

    Snip snap.

  12. Love Chuck D. and PE forever.
    The original is way better. Kind of blasphemy what DJ Spooky did here ;(

Comments are closed.