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My latest eco-rap: Occupy Rooftops

2011 December 26
by sustainable john

I’ve written a number of eco-raps over the years and also producing many of them into music videos. I hope to be increasingly prolific in this effort, and really explore where I can take eco-rap as a genre. One idea I’ve been working on is to first test my material on coffeehouse/poetry slam audiences before I go and produce a music video. The idea is that most of my videos to date have only been viewed by my friends and my circles (preaching to the choir), so if I want this to have a real impact, I should see how a more diverse audience reacts to my work.

A couple weeks ago, I tried out my new rap at the Berkeley Poetry Slam at the Starry Plough. It’s called Occupy Rooftops, which is the theme for a new movement called Solar Mosaic. Solar Mosaic is pioneering a Kiva-style lending for community based rooftop solar projects. The slam went over pretty well, and I look forward to producing a film version with the folks at Solar Mosaic on some East Bay rooftops in 2012.


well here’s what thomas edison told henry ford back in 1931,
about the power of solar, the power of the sun
he said:
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
run out before we tackle that…
with the way things are looking i fear it may come to that.
that was 1931, now it’s 80 years later
what are we gonna do, just sit here and wait and
drill and burn every last drop of those fossil remnants
supported by dirty politicians and a bunch of dead presidents
if it’s clean energy we want, we gotta get it ourselves
this isn’t something you just buy off the shelf
its distributed power that we seek to create
I got a plan, let me tell it to you straight
there’s a rooftop just around the block
let’s climb the ladder and make it a workshop
cover it with solar tiles, just like a mosaic
harvest the energy, you know what I’m saying
rooftop solar, the future is bright and
what can I say solar panels get me excited
I just pitched a tent but it wasn’t in the park
camping in the park, well that’s for after dark
in the day in the light
I’m dreaming solar, think I might…occupy a rooftop
Yo wall street I heard that your buck stops
here, well ours starts here
it’s a community investment, a pure reflection
of what we want in our future, our projection
no derivatives, no speculation
this is our own calculation
we’re the 99 percent and we’ll invest in solar power,
change begins with just a kilowatt hour
if we were the 1 percent we’d just flip the switch,
cause maybe we just don’t really give a shit
about where our power comes from
or what it’s built on, a wobbly frame, just like a pair of stilts and
this system is gonna collapse, oh wait it did already
so i been thinking about building something more steady
rooftops, let’s occupy
our power comes down from the sky
these are our rooftops
these are our workshops
stand up with the sun
lets occupy the rooftops

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