Updating an Icon Part 2

Please note this is part of the making an influencer experiment, now in its 7 month. You can read part 1 here. 

‘Testify’ by RATM is one of the most iconic songs of my youth, i can vividly remember jumping around in the local mosh pit to it, It was an age of war and persecution in the ME and RATMs messages were always clear – WAKE UP!!.

When i decided to recreate an updated version of the Testify track, naturally i took inspiration from the original song and music video, in the original the subjects of war, oil and politics featured prominently. In order for me to bring the power attributed to this awesome track in to the current era (2020), i switched a few things around.

I started by replacing the subjects of Iraq the media and the war for oil, (which the original track was about) with the subject of the centralised internet, with special attention on those organisations currently harvesting our data for profit.

Iraq would be replaced by the centralised internet, the media would obviously change to the Internet companies that profit from our data. And of course, Oil would be switched to Data, with a new clear theme established i rewrote the lyrics. 

…….


The network ate through me

The data it tracked me

The fake news convinced me

I’m lonely. please like me

New Leaders, persuade me

Your Platform is social

Your algos can reason

In a world in which you spin

I feed you, my selfies

So you can deep fake me

To sell me and profit with

No thoughts of joining you

Yes, this feed is our nutrient

My data, your product

While memes grow the foolish ones

Now working for nothing

[Pre-Chorus]

Now online sharing (sharing)

Machines surveil us (surveil us)

They know our weakness (weakness)

And it’s time for something more

[Chorus]

Decentralize!

Decentralize!

it’s time for something more, Decentralize!

Decentralize, it’s time for something more!

[Verse 2]

With attention, you feed me

Surveillance, my entry

Your freedom, it grows me, so I can feel within

I am conscious, revealing all the good i have to give

On corrupt devices, I’m sharing each thought that fills my dome

The algorithm is churning

Observing your thinking

The hivemind is flowing

While here alone in rooms

[Pre-Chorus]

Now online sharing (sharing)

Machines surveil us (surveil us)

They know our weakness (weakness)

And it’s time for something more

[Chorus]

Decentralize!

Decentralize!

it’s time for something more, Decentralize!

Decentralize, it’s time for something more!

[Bridge 1]

Big data for the kings when we all sign in, when we all sign in

Big data for the kings when we all sign in, when we all sign in

Big data for the kings when we all sign in, when we all sign in

Big data for the kings when we all sign in, when we all sign in

[Guitar Solo]

[Bridge 2]

Who controls our data now, controls our future

Who controls our thoughts now, controls our past

Who controls our data now, controls our thoughts

Who controls our present now?

[Chorus]

Decentralize!

Decentralize!

it’s time for something more, Decentralize!

Decentralize, it’s time for something more!

…….

Due to taking inspiration from the Testify lyrics, It did not take long to rewrite the lyrics to fit this new narrative, i then went on the hunt for someone to help me record the vocals. I got lucky almost immediately by simply asking a friend if they knew anyone locally with a recording studio, i was introduced to Bengt, who was really enthusiastic about the idea, so much so that he later went on to record his own cover song of my cover song.

With a soft deadline in place for recording the track it was up to me to actually learn how to sing, as the song is a rather powerful one i found the only place i could really practice at full volume was in the car. After a couple of weeks of run throughs we went ahead and recorded it, Bengt mixed it right there on the spot, adding echos and other cool effects to take away from how bad my singing actually was.

IN THE CUT

It was ready, the track was ready! The next step was to recreate the video by Michael Moore for the modern day era within the same subjects outlined in the new lyrics. I stared by deconstructing the original music video in to its main key segments, there was the intro where aliens plot to blow up earth, there was a bunch of b-roll of key politicians saying and doing somewhat foolish things. And then there was the band rocking out in the studio.

I went ahead and started collecting b-roll of our new leaders, replacing those politicians we see in the Testify music video with the leaders of the biggest data harvesting platforms in the western world, this included some key materials placed on the time line in such a way that these leaders could be exposed by their hypocrisy.

After i had collected enough b-roll from news outlets i moved on to the intro where in the original we see aliens blow up earth. I switched out the aliens for business men and had them deploy an AI to turn mankind in to one unified hive mind.

The music video was starting to reveal it’s own story line, a story of shady business men harvesting man-kinds data and then utilising powerful secret algorithms to turn mankind in to a one-track consumer powered engine of profit, within a planet sized echo chamber. Or something like that.

The last pieces of the video required me to collect footage with a live band, and while i met with some friends and we practiced some songs together, it was going to take time for them to learn the song so i decided to use the green screen and add a rock band in the background, which i think actually worked quite well.

The resulting video is a homage to the great Rage Against The Machine and Michael Moore, and most importantly a call to action for the youth of today to get conscious of their online habits, and learn how the business models of online platforms work before passively becoming their product.

Thanks for reading!

Watch Decentralize by BitMan360 HERE. 

If you wanna know more about the making an influencer experiment (now in its 6 month) check out my monthly video diary published here.

Wanna collaborate on something fun? Hit me up!

Rich Tella

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