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With post-September 11th New York City still the hotbed of anti-Republican furor as George Bush tried (and later succeeded) in holding on to his presidency, Antibalas was fueling the res of controversy with their powerful musical rhetoric. Indeed, the Brooklyn based music collective was simultaneously indicting politicians,igniting a musical tsunami, and exciting a new generation of listeners that were just hearing about afrobeat for the first time.
The New York Times cemented the band's reputation with a headline review that put them on a crash course with destiny... "Owing as much to James Brown and Tito Puente as to Fela Kuti, Antibalas, the multiracial 17-piece Brooklyn collective is far from straight afro beat revivalists. The band lays New York's rich musical heritage of jazz, funk, and latin groove over afro beat's polyrhythms to spectacular effect, rustling in a raw selection of driving funk".
Today, Ropeadope is proud to release this special edition of the Antibalas classic 'Who Is This America?'. The questions and powerful social statements on the record are as relevant today as they were in 2004. 'Big Man' is a powerful musical essay on consumerism and the system of continued oppression that it supports, while the title track is even more poignant as our nation continues the struggle for our collective identity in the face of a changing world.