Written by Dave Cox
Follow Dave at goodgoodthings.net and on Twitter @FairlaneDaveCox
I had the pleasure of sitting down with singer, MC, political commentator, lecturer, activist and all around Ancap badass, Eric July, in our home neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas.
Here’s a summary of the things we discussed; from his politics, to the falling out with his old band, to his upcoming record release with his new band, Backwordz, and a LOT more. You’re going to want to watch this video!
Dave: Both major political parties are making a rift in America that continues to grow.
Eric: “Non-Aggression, Voluntarism… We shouldn’t agress upon others just to be doing it – and being positive and being able to change people’s lives. That’s why I’m here”
Dave: Eric July is trying to right the ship in US politics with music and media.
Eric: “That to me is what it’s about – being able to set that scene and telling you where I came from.”
Eric: “What’s good everybody, I’m Eric July – frontman for Backwordz… Backwordz is really just everything coming together. Me as a political commentator, me as an MC… loving hardcore growing up, loving punk rock and metal. We’ve also got some hardcore MC-ing going down.”
Dave: Running track in college and running in gangs – those are just a few things July drew inspiration from. You can see it in their new music video for the song, “Be Great.” You also see him fire back at his last group, Fire From the Gods.
Eric: “The idea of what was actually asked of me was that they wanted me to be a ghostwriter.” He couldn’t take a back seat, so he left the band. “I really just wasn’t comfortable with that considering the type of material that I wrote with Fire. Those are things that come straight from the heart.”
Dave: But what inspired his tribute to his old band was what they did to the last song he recorded with them, “Eat.”
Eric: “They just, literally, re-recorded the song and plugged cuss words in there, because I don’t cuss in my rhymes, to try to make it a slight lyric change. Top to bottom I wrote that song and they just re-did it without my consent and just put it out there.”
Dave: July’s style isn’t your typical rap metal. He changed the culture of hardcore with his political rhymes. There’s no way his style could be mimicked.
Eric: “Just from a musician’s standpoint, it is the whackest thing that I’ve ever seen – the corniest thing I’ve ever seen – of a musician. Not even up for debate – the corniest thing that I’ve ever seen.”
Dave: Doing band business independently is very important to July.
Eric: “We started getting offers. We straight up got offers and we declined them because Backwordz is a brand and a message that we stand behind.”
Dave: They’re self-releasing their new record in partnership with Stay Sick Recordings 2017.
Eric: “You see the shirt [the shirt says ‘Non-Aggression – Voluntaryism’] – we have an actual message and things that we believe in and music is more so just the driving force.”
Dave: The message in their music will reach a younger audience that may have never before been interested in politics.
Eric: “You’re impressing me when you go do a Fox News interview. You go write an article that got shared around by a lot of people. You go do some public speaking – a lecture or something – and you got your message out there and plant some seeds. That’s what’s impressive to me”
Dave: Cable TV, blogs, magazines – he’s done them all as a political commentator. Speaking his mind is second nature for July, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Eric: “I was both confused and, I ain’t going to lie, a little intimidated to be honest with you, because you have to understand the culture of blacks. Leftists have a political monopoly in these communities. A political monopoly is really what it is. I didn’t know about Libertarianism until I hit college. I had never heard the word – never ever heard the word. I was confused because this stuff is making sense, but how do I tell my family this? How do I tell my family that I came to this realization that government sucks?”
Dave: A punk rock theme many of us grew up with turned into political awareness when July went to college.
Eric: “Policies like minimum wage and a welfare state have… helped destroy black communities and black families.”
Dave: His key message is to NOT rely on the government.
Eric: “You know, it’s confusing because I’ve been led for… 19, 20 years of my life to believe one way.”
Dave: He also gets haters as a black Libertarian.
Eric: “It comes with the territory and you’ve got a target on your back. I get stripped down every day. I’ll go to my messages right now and someone’s calling me the N word. Black folks too, saying… ‘He’s an Uncle Tom. He’s a coon – a house nigga,’ is what they say. They’re calling us all of these different terms not because I’m a Libertarian because I’m not a leftist. You can be a conservative – which I’m not. You can be a Libertarian, but as long as you’re not a leftist, you’re going to get called those names.”
Dave: His unique perspective growing up gangbanging, performing as MC YG Rippa and setting athletic records gives him a gift to open minds.
Eric: “I want somebody to come at me and call me one of those names and I’ll be like, ‘Well, you’re the one worshiping the same entity that you claim is suppressing you. Who’s really the Uncle Tome here?’”
Dave: Now, his words are more powerful than any diss track.
Eric: “If I’m going to claim to be real then I’m going to put it out there. Once I put it out there I got more comfortable and I didn’t get phased by all them folks talking down.”
Dave: One word describes Eric’s music and politics…
Eric: “One word – REAL. You might not agree with it but you know that it’s us. You know that we’re getting out there – we’re putting this music out. You hear me write a lyric, you hear me lay it down, you know it’s real. You know I’m coming to you and I’m being honest with you. You know what I mean? I’m being for real with you. And THAT’S what it’s about!”