Juice Rap News

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Juice Rap News
Juice Rap News main title image (2014).jpg
Genre Comedy
Current Events Rap
Created by Giordano Nanni
Hugo Farrant
Starring Hugo Farrant
Giordano Nanni
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 36
Production
Producer(s) The Juice Media
Location(s) Melbourne
Running time 4-8 minutes
Production company(s) The Juice Media
Distributor Independent
Release
Original network YouTube
Original release 9 October 2009 (2009-10-09) – 31 October 2015 (2015-10-31)[1]
External links
Website

Juice Rap News is an internet based satirical news show, created in Melbourne, Australia by The Juice Media. The show was the creation of a duo, Hugo Farrant and Giordano Nanni, based in Australia and consists of a rapped "news report" with social commentary using comical rap lyrics.[2] The show is known for using satire and rap rhyming to analyse important topics of the day[3] in a humorous, yet philosophical fashion. Juice Rap News is distributed via YouTube. Some episodes were licensed to the international television news channel RT for rebroadcast.[4] The audience of Juice Rap News is international and episodes have been translated into more than 20 languages. 35 episodes were produced in total, plus a video announcing that the 35th episode was the final they would produce. However in September 2016, due to audience demand, Giordano Nanni produced a special episode for that year's United States presidential election, and announced that the series would continue to produce content from time to time, with a new crew.[5]

Nanni and Farrant co-wrote and produced the series together in their home studio in Melbourne, Australia. Nanni focused on content (crafting the arguments, narrative and perspectives depicted and explored in the show); while Farrant focused on form (giving the dialogue the "rhyme and flow" of rap and performing the vocals of most of the characters).[6] Farrant portrayed the anchor Robert Foster and a host of other characters, including the regulars General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed. Nanni also appeared in the show, portraying many characters, such as Aussie correspondent Ken Oathcarn, "MSMBS" host Brian Washington, PR host Ivan Sakamunev, Bill de Berg and George Torwell, all using vox by Hugo Farrant. The goal was to provide an alternative view on world events, one that they felt was lacking in popular media outlets.[7][8]

Recurring Fictional Characters[edit]

Robert Foster[edit]

Robert Foster, performed by Hugo Farrant, is the anchor and central character of Rap News.

General Baxter[edit]

Darth H. Baxter, also performed by Hugo Farrant, is a caricature representing the Military Industrial Complex. When war is in the news, General Baxter is called upon to give the point of view of war-mongering, colonialist governance. Baxter often changes his uniform to represent the topic.

Terrence Moonseed[edit]

Terrence Moonseed, again performed by Hugo Farrant, is the caricature of the resident mad pseudo-scientist / hippy that often counterpoints General Baxter with new age spirituality and conspiracy theories.

Ken Oathcarn[edit]

Ken Oathcarn, portrayed by Giordano Nanni (with vox by Hugo Farrant), is an Australian bogan stereotype and correspondent for Rap News who appears when Rap News handles Australian-centric topics. In July 2013, Ken Oathcarn visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to give Assange a "makeover" for his campaign for senate in Australia.

Brian Washington (Brain Washing)[edit]

Fictional news reporter for "MSMBS" (which is an acronym for Mainstream Media Bullshit and also similar to MSNBC), portraying mainstream American news reporters in a satirical manner.

William De Berg[edit]

William De Berg (Bill De Berg - Bilderberg) is a shady businessman who takes advantage of the situation to capitalise. He represents the international business elite colluding to control government policies and legal systems. He also represents the Illuminati and the New World Order. Bill de Berg filled in for Robert Foster and hosted Episode 36, about the 2016 US Presidential Election.[9]

Cameo Appearances[edit]

Julian Assange[edit]

Julian Assange appeared[10] in Rap News Number 5 only a few weeks before the "Cablegate" story broke in December 2010. Later, in Episode 20, Assange gets a "makeover" by Ken Oathcarn, donning a mullet wig, singing John Farnham's "You're the Voice" recorded in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is currently receiving political asylum.

Noam Chomsky[edit]

Linguist and political writer Noam Chomsky appeared in Rap News 10.[a][11] Chomsky's segment was recorded whilst he was visiting Australia to collect the 2011 City of Sydney Peace Prize.[12][13]

Kristinn Hrafnsson[edit]

Investigative journalist and WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson appeared in Rap News 13 (A News Hope) to defend WikiLeaks in the context of Newscorp's phone hacking scandal.

Sage Francis[edit]

Hip-hop artist Sage Francis appeared in Rap News 21.[14]

Abby Martin[edit]

RT America presenter and journalist Abby Martin appeared in Rap News 23, criticizing military intervention in Crimea.[15]

Norman Finkelstein[edit]

American and Jewish political scientist, activist, professor, and author Norman Finkelstein appeared and rapped in Rap News 24, "Israel vs Palestine", as part of a segment hosted by MSMBS anchorman Brian Washington. Finkelstein calls in to the MSMBS programme and interrupts the conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brian Washington in order to criticise Israel's actions towards Palestine. He refers to Israel as a "lunatic state" and tells Bibi to "shut up" after the Israeli statesman accuses Finkelstein of being a "self-hating Jew".

DAM[edit]

Palestinian rap group DAM appeared and rapped in Rap News 24, "Israel vs Palestine". The Palestinian trio filmed their scene in Ramallah next to the separation wall that divides Israel from the West Bank. In the episode, they conduct a conversation across the wall with Ken Oathcarn who is on an assignment to Israel to learn about its similarities with Australia as a settler colony. The DAM trio inform Ken Oathcarn about the day of the "Nakba" and voice their support for a one state solution to the conflict.

Scott Ludlam[edit]

Senator of the Australian Greens party, Scott Ludlam appeared and rapped in Rap News 29, criticizing the actions of Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the lead-up to the 2014 G-20 Brisbane summit, labelling Mr Abbott's laws as "a fascist fuckfest of Orwellian proportions" and claiming to "go full Gandalf on this government's arse, smack down their laws with a dose of you shall not pass" before appearing dressed as Gandalf in the episode's credits.[16]

Controversies[edit]

Rap News 20 caused controversy when it was released during the 2013 Australian Federal Election. Most of the controversy surrounded Julian Assange's appearance in the episode. The character Ken Oathcarn (played by Nanni) convinces Assange that if he is to be successful in his election bid for a Senate seat, he is in need of a make-over. Assange dons a flannel shirt, a blonde mullet wig and a fake Australian flag tattoo, and proceeds to sing a parody of John Farnham’s "You’re The Voice." The video went viral soon after being posted online. It also featured on The Chaser's 2013 Federal Election coverage[17] and Ten's The Project.[18]

The offending scene was filmed in London's Ecuadorian Embassy where Assange has remained since seeking political asylum on 19 June 2012, which he was granted in August 2012.[19] After Rap News went viral, Assange was publicly chastised for his appearance in the video by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who said,

"We have sent him a letter: he can campaign politically, but without making fun of Australian politicians. We are not going to allow that. The rules of asylum in principle forbid meddling in the politics of the country that grants asylum. But as a matter of courtesy we are not going to bar Julian Assange from exercising his right to be a candidate. Just so long as he doesn't make fun of Australian politicians or people."[20]

This was the first public indication of any friction between Assange and his Ecuadorian hosts.

Furthermore, many major media outlets failed to recognise Rap News 20 as satire, calling it a "campaign video," in what Farrant and Nanni described as "true to form."[21]

In an interview with ABC Radio, the duo addressed the controversy and confusion, saying,

"In the world of the internet parody culture, what we’re doing is accepted and most people and most of the comments on the video and on Twitter and Facebook are overwhelmingly positive. It’s no surprise that once things are taken out of context and brought into the world, of, you know, the considerably more sober world of the mainstream media, these out of context quotes can be portrayed as offensive…We don’t really engage with that audience. Our audience is on the internet. We really pride ourselves on making an internet show and we’re trying to get people away from the more conventional, centralised, one-way media model, such as, basically, the traditional media. We love the fact that people can watch the video, post comments, we reply to comments, it’s a two way dialogue, it’s a totally different culture".[21]

On 14 September 2013, Farrant and Nanni notified viewers that a copyright claim had been filled against the video for the parodic use of Farnham's "You're the Voice", despite protection for parody and satire under Part III: 41A and Part IV: 103AA of the Australian Copyright Act.[22] On 26 October 2013, the duo uploaded a version without the parody, as an agreement with copyright holders had not been reached.[23]

Relationship with RT network[edit]

Five episodes from the first season of Rap News were licensed to be distributed by RT via their website[24] and YouTube channel.

In January 2014 the producers of Rap News confirmed ten episodes from Season 2 would be licensed to RT for broadcast on both RT's television and YouTube channels.[4]

A brief excerpt about Bitcoin from Rap News 21 (The News) featured in episode 555 of The Keiser Report,[25] a financial program presented by Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert which is broadcast on RT America.

Reception[edit]

As of November 2017, the YouTube channel hosting Rap News has received more than 17 million total video views; additionally the channel has over 118,000 subscribers.[26]

Rap News has been warmly received by organisations that advocate whistle-blowing including WikiLeaks and The Kindle Project.[27]

The Rap News videos—either individually, or as a whole series—have been featured on a large number of esoteric and fringe-view websites. (Examples:[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35])

Rap News 5 (The War on Journalism)[edit]

Rap News 5 was 'video of the week' on an edition of Al-Jazeera's The Listening Post, which aired on 27 November 2010. A heavily edited version of RN5 (lasting just over 60 seconds) played out the episode.[36]

Rap News 15 (Big Brother is WWWatching You)[edit]

In a very brief article, Michael Kelly of Business Insider wrote about Rap News, saying "This Australian website calls out the immense rise in US domestic surveillance" and went on to describe the Rap News 15 segment as "informative and entertaining".[37]

Rap News 15 also came to the attention of American cryptographer and security expert Bruce Schneier, who posted a link to the video on his website, accompanied with text simply stating: "wow".[38]

Rap News 19 (Whistleblower)[edit]

Australian Senator Scott Ludlam quoted verbatim a small excerpt from Rap News 19 to conclude a speech he was making in the Australian Senate regarding whistle-blowers. The exact portion he quoted was "Whistleblowers; they leak in the public interest. Now what remains to be known is - is the public interested? If so, this might be a good day to exhibit it! Ignorance is a choice, in the age of the internet."[39]

Rap News 20 (A Game of Polls)[edit]

See controversies.

Rap News 22 (The Energy Crisis)[edit]

Zachary Shahan of TreeHugger and CleanTechnica wrote two brief reviews of Rap News 22 in which he claimed to have "really enjoyed it and thought it was quite well done" but went on to say "while they are satirizing conspiracy theorists and global warming deniers, they probably reinforce the myths more than dispel them."[40][41]

Rap News 23 (Crimea Media Wars)[edit]

Rap News once again made The Listening Post's 'video of the week', with RN23. A two-minute extract from the Crimea Media Wars video was aired on 5 April edition of the program.[42]

Episodes – Season 1 (2009–2011)[edit]

# Title Length Release date Link
1"Earth bombs the Moon"5:034 October 2009 (2009-10-04)[43]
Robert Foster presents the news that on 9 October 2009 Earth carried out its first bombing attack on a neighbouring astronomical body – the moon. This episode covers NASA's LCROSS satellite collision with the moon. Anchor Robert Foster interviews caricatures General Darth H. Baxter (also played by Farrant) and Conspiracy Theorist Terrance Moonseed all played by Hugo Farrant.
2"Barack Obama wins the Nobel War-is-Peace Prize"5:1211 October 2009 (2009-10-11)[44]
Recurring guests General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed return to the studio with Robert Foster to discuss the fall-out from the LCROSS Moon Bombing, and learn that Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
3"Climate Change – Lord Monckton Rap Battles Al Gore"6:4017 November 2009 (2009-11-17)[45]
The first episode to feature impersonations of real figures, in this case Lord Christopher Monckton and Al Gore, going head to head over Climate Change.
4"The WWWar on the Internet – feat. Wikileaks vs The Pentagon"6:003 July 2010 (2010-07-03)[46]
Featuring General Baxter and an impersonated Julian Assange, discussing the merits of leaking information. Coincided with Wikileaks release of the Collateral Murder video.
5"The War on Journalism (feat. Julian Assange)"5:5927 October 2010 (2010-10-27)[47]
In this episode Robert Foster interviews an impersonation of former 'Secretary of the Offense' Donald Rumsfeld, but Rumsfeld becomes enraged at Robert's pointed questions and has him black-bagged by General Baxter. Then the show is hijacked by the News World Order – led by an impersonation of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. This episode features a cameo by Julian Assange.
6"Cable-gate 'The Truth Is Out There'"6:2317 December 2010 (2010-12-17)[48]
Wikileaks releases a gigantic cache of diplomatic cables, which comes to be known as Cablegate, much to the ire of impersonated Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and also Prison Planet's Alex Jones. Featuring a parody of The Gregory Brothers Bed Intruder.
7"#Revolution comes to America"8:1724 March 2011 (2011-03-24)[49]
In the wake of the Arab Spring, and the protests against Governor Scott Walker in Milwaukee, Juice Rap News went into fantasy mode, imagining what it would be like to have widespread political protests in the USA. Features impersonations of John Pilger and Glenn Beck.
8"Osamacide"5:4718 May 2011 (2011-05-18)[50]
Robert Foster invites back recurring guests General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed for an analysis of the recent assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
9"The Economy (Ron Paul vs The Zeitgeist Movement)"7:0928 September 2011 (2011-09-28)[51]
During one of a number of debt ceiling crises in the USA, Robert Foster invites (impersonations) independent candidate Ron Paul to debate The Zeitgeist Movement's Peter Joseph.
10"2012"7:3721 December 2011 (2011-12-21)[52]
As the momentous date of 21 December 2012 approaches, and Occupy Wall Street is in full swing, Robert Foster invites Terence Moonseed and General Baxter back to discuss the future. Featuring Occupy Wall Street and Noam Chomsky.

Episodes – Season 2 (2012–2013)[edit]

# Title Length Release date Link
11"Australia Day"3:5623 January 2012 (2012-01-23)[54]
Robert Foster conducts a live interview with Australian Correspondent Ken Oathcarn (played by Giordano Nanni) and tries to find out the meaning behind the yearly national celebration of Australia Day. This episode was also performed live at the Woodford Folk festival to be later broadcast on ABC Radio National[53]
12"Yes We KONY"3:3712 March 2012 (2012-03-12)[55]
As the internet collectively decides to hunt a man called Joseph Kony, Robert Foster invites General Baxter to the studio to discuss what it all means.
13"A News Hope (Julian Assange vs News Corp)"6:2530 May 2012 (2012-05-30)[56]
Julian Assange (played by Giordano Nanni) faces deportation from the UK, and leaker Chelsea Manning is languishing in a US military prison being tortured by General Baxter. It seems like the empire has struck back. But who is the Emperor? Rupert Murdoch. A Star Wars parody, featuring Kristinn Hrafnsson.
14"Higgs Boson Unbound (feat. Prof. Scott Ridley)"3:349 July 2012 (2012-07-09)[57]
As the scientific community celebrates the discovery of the Higgs Boson, Robert Foster meets new character Professor Scott Ridley to discuss the event.
15"Big Brother is WWWatching You (feat. George Orwell)"6:005 September 2012 (2012-09-05)[58]
Regular guests Terence Moonseed and General Baxter return to discuss the Orwellian implications of the recent revelations regarding the Surveillance State. George Orwell advocates the use of Tor network.
16"I have a Drone – Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney"4:3415 October 2012 (2012-10-15)[59]
The 2012 election – the final debate between Mitt Romney (played by Giordano Nanni) and Barack Obama (played by Ben Bizuneh) – hosted by Robert Foster.
17"The War on Terra"5:1530 January 2013 (2013-01-30)[60]
Canada and Australia go head to head to see which of them can claim the title of most environmentally destructive former colonial country. Featuring Australian correspondent Ken Oathcarn, and Canadian correspondent Fagin Heighbard – both played by Giordano Nanni using vox by Hugo Farrant.
18"The Gun Debate"4:517 February 2013 (2013-02-07)[61]
General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed meet in the studio to discuss the seemingly irresolvable issue of gun rights in the USA.
19"Whistleblower feat. Edward Snowden"5:3215 June 2013 (2013-06-15)[62]
This episode is primarily about Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks in mid-2013. Robert Foster invites General Baxter to the studio to discuss the state of the Empire, but Baxter's good mood is shattered by Glenn Greenwald's revelations of leaks.
20"A Game Of Polls – The Australian Election"5:4925 August 2013 (2013-08-25)[66]
This episode featured Julian Assange in costume singing You're the Voice.[63][64] This episode featured Sean Bedlam as Kevin Rudd, Hugo Farrant as Tony Abbott and Ellen Burbidge as Julia Gillard and Julian Assange as Julian Assange. News website Crikey, in their 2013 Federal Election coverage noted that Julian Assange in a mullet wig singing along to Farnsy is one of the best moments of the campaign so far.[65]

Episodes – Season 3 (2014)[edit]

# Title Length Release date Link
21"The News"6:4225 January 2014 (2014-01-25)[67]
Robert Foster welcomes viewers back to the new season of Rap News with a tour of the News itself. Re-introducing characters such as General Baxter, Terrence Moonseed and Ken Oathcarn. New character Ivan Sakamunev appears – an anchor for PR, the Russian International news station in the Rap News universe. Also includes parodies of Max Keiser and Russell Brand. Features cameo by Sage Francis.
22"The Energy Crisis"6:2527 February 2014 (2014-02-27)[68]
Robert Foster investigates the Energy Crisis, inviting a number of guests to propose solutions, or dismiss it. General Baxter extols the virtues of the Keystone XL Pipeline; new Chinese character Wai So Dim reports from a smog-filled Beijing on the 'One Coal Policy' and the colonisation of Tibet; Terrence Moonseed and Australian Premier Tony Abbott both deny climate change; while Richard Branson and Elon Musk report on their billionaire eco-activities. The episode concludes with a Juice Channeling Portal interview with Copernicus, who encourages humanity to embrace the 'Second Heliocentric Revolution' of Solar Energy.
23"Crimea: Media War Games"5:5417 March 2014 (2014-03-17)[69]
Features cameo by Abby Martin.
24"Israel vs Palestine"8:1824 April 2014 (2014-04-24)[70]
Features cameo appearances by Norman Finkelstein and Palestinian Rap trio DAM (band)
25"Net Neutrality"6:2123 May 2014 (2014-05-23)[71]
On the topic of open Internet policies, Robert Foster interviews the creator of the modern World Wide Web, a Willy Wonka-like Tim Berners-Lee. Advocates of open policies include Terrence Moonseed and even Mark Zuckerberg. However, shady businessman William de Berg has other ideas for the future of the Internet.
26"The World Coup: THIEFA vs Brazil"7:4921 June 2014 (2014-06-21)[72]
27"MSMBS News Headlies: ISIS, Gaza, Ukraine and more..."6:5830 August 2014 (2014-08-30)[73]
28"The Singularity – feat. Ray Kurzweil & Alex Jones"6:5820 September 2014 (2014-09-20)[74]
Ray Kurzweil gives a zealous TED talk about "the Singularity", much to General Baxter's delight, while Alex Jones tries to stop the creation of a superhuman A.I. (artificial intelligence).
29"G20 Rap with Tony Abbott – feat. Scott Ludlam"6:3623 October 2014 (2014-10-23)[75]
Features Australian Senator Scott Ludlam, portraying both himself and Gandalf.
30"The New World Order – with Russel Brand & Bill de Berg"7:0529 November 2014 (2014-11-29)[76]
Explains the concept of the New World Order from various perspectives, portraying activist Russell Brand, along with the series' resident conspiracy theorist and business elite.

Episodes – Season 4 (2015–)[edit]

# Title Length Release date Link
31"The EuroZone Austerity Crisis – feat. Greece, Angela Merkel, Slavoj Žižek & IMF"6:4711 April 2015 (2015-04-11)[77]
Parodies the European debt crisis in the context of the Eurovision Song Contest, including portrayals of anti-austerity activists, Angela Merkel, Slavoj Žižek, and Christine Lagarde.
32"MSMBS News: Black Lives Matter?"6:3723 May 2015 (2015-05-23)[78]
Satirises news media in the United States and its coverage of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
[b]"The Great Barrier Reef"2:3514 June 2015 (2015-06-14)[79]
Draws attention to the potential effects of coal exports on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, criticising the impacts of Abbot Point and the Adani Group.
33"Dope Francis Raps the 10 Climate Commandments"5:4026 June 2015 (2015-06-26)[80]
Summarizes Pope Francis's Laudato si' in the style of the Ten Commandments, commenting on global warming and criticism of the Catholic Church.
34"IMMIGRANTS! Feat. Donald Trump and Tony Abbott"7:0825 July 2015 (2015-07-25)[81]
Portrays Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins, Tony Abbott, and New World Order member, William de Berg supporting opposition to immigration, and participating in the free trade debate.
35"THE INTERNET – Feat. Dan Bull"7:5427 September 2015 (2015-09-27)[82]
Discusses the Internet, its sociology, and its future, featuring Dan Bull as the personification of the Internet.
36"HILLARY vs TRUMP (Special Edition)"6:5119 September 2016 (2016-09-19)[83]
Bill de Berg hosts a debate between Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and several third-party candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election. This episode features Melbourne rappers MANTRA, Class-A and Grey Ghost.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Despite playful suggestion to the contrary at the end of the RN10 video; Farrant & Nanni have confirmed in email correspondence with a Wikipedia editor (Dvmedis) that it was indeed an authentic interview with Noam Chomsky and not an impersonator.
  2. ^ This episode was released as "an express Rap News Call Out about an urgent matter", and was not given an episode number.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Juice Rap News Wrap-up". YouTube. 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2016-05-29. 
  2. ^ Hickman, Leo (2009-11-26). "Al Gore and Lord Monckton go head-to-head over climate in spoof video rap battle | Environment". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  3. ^ Ludlam, Scott. "Senator Ludlam on whistleblowers, democracy, Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, PRISM and Edward Snowden". 
  4. ^ a b "The big news for Rap News in 2014 | Juice Rap News". Thejuicemedia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump - JUICE RAP NEWS (Special Edition) - The Juice Media". The Juice Media. 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
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  44. ^ "Barack Obama wins the Nobel War-is-Peace Prize [RAP NEWS 2". YouTube. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
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  48. ^ "WikiLeaks: the truth is out there – feat. Hillary Clinton vs Alex Jones RAP NEWS 6". YouTube. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  49. ^ "#Revolution spreads to America [RAP NEWS 7". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  50. ^ "Osamacide! [RAP NEWS 8". YouTube. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  51. ^ "The Economy: Ron Paul vs Zeitgeist [RAP NEWS 9". YouTube. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
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See also[edit]

External links[edit]