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I Mix What I Like!: A Mixtape Manifesto Paperback – June 21, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Jared Ball’s carefully constructed narrative draws upon an extraordinary range of analytical and evidentiary sources to provide a concise explanation of the mixtape movement. Simultaneously, he uses this history to illuminate how the media promotes ideological interests, and how those interests serve not simply the corporate bottom line, but the much larger political objective of assigning each of us our “place” in society. I Mix What I Like! serves as both an example of emancipatory journalism and a model for emancipated thinking, without which we will be consigned to struggling for a kinder, gentler subjugation rather than true human liberation.—Natsu Taylor Saito / Author of Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law

Jared Ball is one of the most important activist intellectuals in the United States. His book is powerful and provocative?? Unlike President Obama, Professor Jared Ball is committed to revolutionary change in America. His book provides an insightful analysis and critique of culture, media, and African American politics.—Ollie Johnson / Department of Africana Studies / Wayne State University

Dr. Ball has created a twenty-first century Black radical manifesto that samples and remixes the best of the radical and anti-imperialist tradition. I Mix What I Like! recognizes the colonized nature of contemporary Hip Hop and the colonized context of the people from which Hip Hop emerged. In the tradition of Noam Chomsky and Public Enemy, Jared Ball brings the noise to the status quo and lays out his vision of Mixtape emancipatory journalism as the liberatory mass medium for today and the future. I strongly recommend this work for all those interested in reflecting upon the theory and practice of struggling for social justice in today’s America.—Dedrick Muhammad / NAACP / Author of Understanding Racial Inequality in the Obama Era

One way to prevent the appropriation of a revolutionary culture—one that expresses the desires and visions of the oppressed to fight for liberation and self-determination—is to smuggle the word as if it is a liberatory tool, replicating the clandestine, anti-colonial and resistant drum of the maroon. Jared Ball’s concept of “mixtape radio” follows that tradition with an irreverence that we so sorely need.—Claude Marks / Freedom Archives

Jared Ball’s work conveys the ultimate reality about hip hop: that there is no nation space in hip hop but that which exists for revolutionary music for the Africans and African and Indigenous oriented colonial Spanish speaking peoples (misnomered latinos). The strength of the colonial argument presented places whites as settlers in hip hop. Load the audio clip and bust a shot for freedom!—Mark A. Bolden / The Fanon Project

Dr. Jared Ball’s impressive book is a bold undertaking in which he critiques and ultimately distances himself from the prevailing assumptive logic found within pop academic circles. To be sure, Mixtape Radio does not offer itself as a panacea for the oppressive structures he addresses. The revolutionary power of this book lies in its capacity to interrogate staid constructs of thought and re-pose vital questions pertaining to “emancipatory journalism.” For the power to pose the question is the greatest power of all.—Frank B. Wilderson, III / Author of Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid

I Mix What I Like! is a brave and necessary book that focuses the conversation about hip hop (and politics) beyond the limitations of 90% of published materials on the subject. Once again, walking the walk, Jared Ball offers a provocative, though not surprising, piece of work that shifts the debate into a much-needed direction.—Shaheen Ariefdien / Former member of the pioneering South African hip-hop group Prophets of da City

Like a classic—cassette recorded—Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show, circa early 90’s New York City, Jared Ball’s manifesto is a raw, uncut, ground breaking contribution to a new frontier of critical thinking and critique within Hip Hop discourse. Too many, are stuck on ‘repeat’ and ‘ain’t sayin nothin’! Love it or hate it, Jared Ball’s work is necessary and vital for the cultivation of tradition and responsibility. Strong arm the system, grind mode heavy, “Let’s Get Free!”—Carlos REC McBride M. Ed. / TRGGR MEDIA Group

Here, Jared Ball takes us back to the value of polemic and the revolutionary new knowledge-base of worldwide anti-colonialism before it was driven underground by counter-revolutionary repression. I Mix What I Like! is terribly thoughtful, terribly original—a joy for the “wonder-ground,” and a political-intellectual terror for the overlords.—Greg Thomas / Author of The Sexual Demon of Colonial Power and Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh

Jared Ball is determined to rescue hip hop and left activism from increasingly subversive corporate control. This book is a manifesto that needs to be read, argued about, and yelled from the rooftops. Let the bricks fly!—Todd Steven Burroughs / co-author of Civil Rights Chronicle

The Funkinest Journalist breaks it all down for all servants of Soul/Funk music and Art in the 21st Century. His Mixtape Manifesto explains what we are up against battling corporate empires that control the coveted consumer-merchant access points, and offers us an option to distribute, connect, and popularize our culture.—Head Roc / “The Mayor of D.C. Hip-Hop”

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849350574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849350570
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
If Frantz Fanon and Malcolm X had written a book about the Hip-Hop nation, this would be it. Combining elements from internal colonialism theory, cultural studies, and political science, "I Mix What I Like!" is a provocative, thought-provoking work of emancipatory journalism which analyzes the colonization and corporate control of popular music and posits the liberatory potential of the low-tech D.I.Y. hip-hop mixtape as a tool for community empowerment. Reclaiming hip-hop as a musical expression of working-class African-American dissent, this is an excellent book which should be read by everyone concerned about media democracy and black liberation. An exciting new voice in cultural studies, Jared Ball is an activist intellectual to definitely check out. Fans of bell hooks take note.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Todd S. Burroughs on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
My friend Jared Ball has decided to make himself publicly unpopular. How? By telling uncomfortable truths---about the ideology behind American market culture, about how (white) progressive movements (and their mass and, now, de-massified mediums) fail to serve African-American movements, about how even our language works against us.

Ball wants to tell the truth, so he does. He does what admirers of revolutionaries do: he calls for a revolution that may not come in his lifetime. At the time of this writing (late October 2011), it seems, on a surface level, as if the "emancipatory journalism" concept he has adopted could come true. After all, "Democracy Now!" is as powerful as ever, and Facebook and Twitter have helped several North African/"Middle East" revolutions, as well as the "Occupy" Movement in hundreds of cities here. But this book argues that such media "victories" are really extensions of (white and off-white) political, social and economic hegemony. The system will always stretch itself to fit any reform it has to swallow, and since those protesting literally won't stretch their necks and join revolutionary martyrs in jail or in the grave.......

The book pretends to be about hiphop and mixtapes. What is really is about is the power of decolonized thought and the never-ending battle against it. With apologies to Langston Hughes, that power will either explode into our current world or "crust and sugar over--like a syrupy sweet." So this book exists and argues for the difficult. Read it. Ignore it. Fear it. But it exists, like a match waiting to be lighted. And that's a good thing, since fire illuminates the darkness before burning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mari-Djata on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What does our colonial oppressors fear the most? Unsanctioned thought and behavior. This is the main point that Jared Ball's new book, I Mix What I Like: A Mixtape Manifesto, pounds into the reader's skulls. The book documents how the fourth arm of the military, mass media, is truly the tool for the power elite and how all that is popular is fraudulent. Mass media, internet included, with its goal of limiting the range of acceptable thought in order to limit and destroy the idea of revolution is both meticulously scripted and forced down the throats of every watcher and listener into a submission that the vast majority simply does not recognize and indeed scoff at when opined by those who do.

And that is one of the major points of the book for me. The fact of the matter that colonialism strives to be so encompassing in its theft of both culture and material (through mass media) that the language to even explain African predicaments is threatened. The perception of humanity to our threatened existence and lack of sovereignty in any land or even our own lives is what needs to be limited or destroyed by the colonial elite who wants the access to culture/material and the ability to reap and define the wealth accumulated from their thievery. The mass media is a bomb that kills more consciousness than any nuclear explosive can kill bodies.

On constructive criticism: the book is highly repetitive. While that may very well be the point, after a while the concept of limiting ideas/actions should be a given. Likewise, chapter 13, which was the actual chapter Ball used to defend is concept that the mixtape was the tool to use against the powerful was sorely disappointing. Who uses a failed attempt as an example of a successful theory? Dr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard D. Smith on September 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Prior to reading this fascinating manifesto by Professor Ball, I was completely oblivious to the concepts of Internal Colonialism Theory (ICT) and Emancipatory Journalism (EJ), the work of Robert Allen, and the music of such hip hoppers as the Cornel West Theory, Kemetstree, Godsilla, and other underground, ostensibly D.C.-based MC's. I had never read of Mass Communication Studies/Theory being applied in such a manner of anti-colonial, Afrikan-centered thought. It was totally refreshing and I would recommend this work to any warrior-scholar pining for revolutionary ideology specific to our "hip hop nation."
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