No Rest for the Weary

Blue Scholars, 2004

The name Blue Scholars plays on the term "blue collar." What are examples of jobs that are typically described as "blue collar" jobs?

What is a "colonizer" (as in the line "when the colonizer came with the cross and sword")?

What is "diamonds" a metaphor for in verse one and what is meant by "international capital gain" in verse two?

What connections does the song draw between colonization in the past and labor in 2006? According to the song, in 2006 what or who controls "those who remain shackled in the chains of international capital gain"? Do people still make similar claims today?

MC Geologic raps that hip-hop is "a legitimate weapon." What does he mean by this? Who or what is he fighting with his music? Do you think hip-hop is an effective "weapon"?

"No Rest for the Weary" performed by Blue Scholars on Blue Scholars, © 2005. Available on Spotify and YouTube.

For more information about Blue Scholars, visit their official website.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult the following online resource for lyrics:

http://genius.com/Blue-scholars-no-rest-for-the-weary-lyrics

Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi, known as DJ Sabzi, and George Quibuyen, known as MC Geologic or Prometheus Brown, comprise the hip-hop duo Blue Scholars. The two met in 2002 when they were undergraduate students at the University of Washington. The duo grounds their music in social activism and politically charged topics, such as youth empowerment, immigration, corporate practices, and socioeconomic class. The name of their group is a play on the term "blue collar." "Blue scholars" highlights the working class's intelligence and resourcefulness, characteristics not typically portrayed as belonging to blue-collar workers.

DJ Sabzi is an Iranian-American, jazz-trained pianist whose influences include ska, punk, and Jamaican dancehall music. He produces Blue Scholars' beats and rhythms. MC Geologic, who creates the lyrics, is also a spoken word poet who often writes about his Filipino background. In 2006 they created their own label, Mass Line Media, with the mission of "using hip-hop as a means of organizing grass roots community and youth outreach." Their songs include "Joe Metro," about those who ride the bus; "Back Home," which calls for an end to the war in Iraq; and "Joe Arpaio," which comments on the passage of the Arizona Immigration Law.

Blue Scholars

The song "No Rest for the Weary" is from their 2005 album, Blue Scholars. The song addresses the hard work required of the Black community to overcome their mistreatment and marginalization and likens that work to fighting a war. In the first verse MC Geologic addresses lynching through a reference to the Billie Holiday song "Strange Fruit," slavery, denial of health care, police brutality, and colonization, and claims that he is a descendant of those who suffered from these practices, "a battle-scar wearing heir apparent." In the second verse he raps about how becoming a father is causing him to become more politically active in the face of a new form of economic slavery designed for the benefit international corporations. In verse three he raps that hip-hop is "a legitimate weapon" and encourages others to join the struggle.