An Interview with Hip-Hop Artist Propaganda

“I take shots at your sacred cows. I dance with skeletons in closets. I point out elephants in the room and make a mockery of heroes.”

So goes the hook in the song “Andrew Mandela” on Propaganda’s new album, Crooked. The lines sums up much of what Jason Petty (aka Propaganda) seeks to do with his music.

Many people first heard of Propaganda in 2012 after he ruffled feathers with “Precious Puritans,” a song pointing out the moral failings of some of the American church’s most beloved theologians. On his 2014 album, Crimson Cord, he called out the failings of the U.S. education system with “Bored of Education.”

Crooked, Petty’s fifth full-length album as a solo artist, once again marries his rap roots with spoken word and social justice. The album addresses racism and systemic oppression, hypocrisy and the complexity of human nature. No sacred cows here.

We talked to Petty about the new album, art as activism, and staying sane and hopeful while fighting for change.

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