As an avid fan of Bitcoin the rapper accepts the cryptocurrency for his services and tips. Hustle believes it is the future of currency and promotes it widely since first hearing about it from a miner friend. Also helping Lyn Ulbricht raise funds for her son’s federal appeal, Rob has been helping with a video and the fundraiser for her. He believes that Ross had been given a great injustice with his sentencing and aims to tell the world and help the Ulbricht family with this case.
Bitcoin.com got together with Rob Hustle for an in depth chat on what he’s doing to raise awareness. Speaking on topics concerning law enforcement abuse, bitcoin, and many other subjects through his music and lyrics.
Bitcoin.com: How long you been into music and recording?
Rob Hustle: I’ve been free-styling with friends and making beats my whole life. But my music career started last year when I released Call the Cops. Everything I did prior to that was either for fun or therapy.
BC: Can you tell readers about “Call the Cops” and what that songs all about?
RH: Call the Cops exposes the lie that the police are here to protect us. Every time there is a police brutality or corruption case, there are thousands of apologists and enablers who act shocked and surprised. Really, you’re STILL surprised? Wake up.
People need to understand that every encounter with a police officer is potentially fatal. A cop is someone who is given deadly weapons to deal with threats and then taught that everyone they meet is a potential threat. What do you think is going to happen when they show up?
Most people think cops exist to protect them. Wrong. A cop has NO DUTY to protect you or anyone else. Ask the supreme court. Or better yet, ask Jessica Gonzales, whose daughters were killed because the cops ignored her repeated pleas for help. Or ask Joe Lozito, who was almost slashed to death by a serial killer while the cops hid behind a subway door and watched.
Cops have no duty to protect, period. What they do is enforce laws. They are enforcers. They use force. Do you ever wonder why people get nervous when they see a cop behind them, but not when they see a fire truck or an ambulance? It’s because firemen and EMT’s are the protectors, and cops are enforcers.
Because cops enforce laws, people mistakenly assign them some kind of moral authority. But laws have nothing to do with morality. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it is right. Slavery was legal and wrong. Japanese internment was legal and wrong. The holocaust was legal but wrong.
Laws are simply rules made by politicians, and they are as moral as the politicians who made them. Legality has nothing to do with morality. But laws ARE enforced at point of a gun. And the people holding those guns to our heads are the cops.
The funny thing is, a lot of people think that as long as you obey the cops, you have nothing to fear. But even if you are fully compliant, there’s no guarantee these cops won’t abuse you. You can do everything you’re told and still end up beaten or dead. People didn’t want to believe it. So I made Call the Cops to show them.
BC: Can you tell me about “ Tell The World” and what that entails?
RH: Tell the World continues my fight against abuse. It was the result of a message I got from a fan who had heard Call the Cops. I was on Facebook when she sent me this message:
“I saw your video and gotta say it shook me to the core not because it’s a race issue but the abuse of authority. I was raped by an officer in May.I had a rape kit done and over 40 injuries documented. My case will never see a courtroom. Why? Because the “good old boys club” prosecutor told my attorney that they would charge me until I went to prison if I didn’t drop my suit against the city. I was a registered nurse, college educated, married with children christian. Your video validates that things aren’t what we always see.. My attorney told me justice is seldom about the truth. Good Luck with your endeavors.. you have my support.”
I wanted justice for what happened to this woman. But I couldn’t fight back legally. So I fought back with the only weapon I had – music. That’s how Tell the World got started.
BC: How long have you been into Bitcoin, and could it help the music industry?
RH: I’ve known about Bitcoin for a long time. One of my friends – an engineer at Google – started mining at the very beginning. But, I realize its potential until I met Roger Ver at Anarchapulco. Before that, I had only thought of Bitcoin as a currency. But, after talking to Roger, I realized that Bitcoin was a tool – maybe THE TOOL – for freedom, liberty and peace, I bought in.
Bitcoin’s greatest value to the music industry specifically is linked with it’s value to business and freedom in general
BC: Do you think Ross Ulbrichts sentence was severe?
RH: There is a reason that creating a website can carry a harsher penalty in this country than murder or rape: rapists and murderers aren’t a threat to the government. They are a threat to the people of this country. But they don’t affect the country itself. A free market website, on the other hand – especially one the government doesn’t control – could be a problem.
That’s why they made an example of Ross Ulbricht.
What the government really wanted to do was kill Ross. But because they still had to maintain a veneer of fairness, they couldn’t do it outright. So instead of lining him up in front of a firing squad, they decided to lock him away and let time do the killing for them. But, by making an example of Ross, Judge Katherine Forrest also made an example of the US criminal justice system.
The government, like the police, will not protect you. But they will act with deadly force to protect themselves from you.
RH: I was talking with Danny Sessoms from the Crypto Show, and he told me that he was working on a fundraiser for Ross’s appeal. I was working on the pitch video for my Good Cops campaign and asked if they had a campaign video. Danny said that they were in the process of putting one together, and since I believed in the cause, I volunteered to help.
While I was making the video, I got in contact with Lyn and Kirk Ulbricht. They gave me great feedback and we’ve been working on more things that we can do together to help move Ross’s appeal forward. Music is an obvious choice. I already have a bitcoin song in the works, so I am looking at integrating the Free Ross campaign into it. But, we are also looking at other ideas.
I recently received a copy of the court transcript for Ross’s sentencing, and I’m in the process of recording portions of it and publishing them online. The judge in this case really says some crazy stuff, and once people hear it, they might start to question the legitimacy of the sentence.
For instance, one of the arguments presented at trial was that Silk Road made it safer for people to buy drugs. What does the judge say? IT DOESN’T MAKE IT SAFER FOR THE DRUG DEALERS!
21 So, those drug dealers, when they go out, where is the
22 hand-to-hand harm reduction for them? And drug dealers are
23 targets of violence. So, when they get their express mail
24 package in the mail and it is sitting in their apartment, are
25 they not the targets of somebody coming in?
I want to get these soundbites out there so that people can hear for themselves the logic behind this life sentence.
BC: What can Bitcoin do and decentralized apps such as this to ward of tyranny?
RH: Bitcoin Promotes Peace
If you look at many of the bad things in this world, they are made possible because governments and banks can print money at the push of a button. It’s how wars are financed, markets rigged, and currencies manipulated. But what would happen if you took away the magic money machine? All of a sudden, it becomes a lot harder to buy that bomb, manipulate that market, pay that cop.
Bitcoin Promotes Voluntary Exchange
Bitcoin makes it harder for governments to control you. Right now, the government can monitor every banking transaction you make. If they don’t like what they see, they can freeze your assets or even take them money straight out of your bank account, even if you legally earned it. That’s not as easy with Bitcoin.
With Bitcoin, you can’t just take money from my account. You have to ask me for it nicely. And I have to agree to give it to you. Can you imagine if you had to agree to let the government drain your bank account? Or if they had to ask permission to collect taxes? It would change everything.
Bitcoin Promotes Entrepreneurialism
Bitcoin makes it incredibly easy to start a business. If you want to start a business in the US, there are numerous legal hurdles you have to meet involving age, legal status, documentation, licensing and so forth. But with Bitcoin, a person of any age, legal status, nationality, or background can set up a wallet and begin transacting in a matter of minutes.
Bitcoin Promotes Free-er Markets
Bitcoin allows people to start businesses without asking for the government’s permission to do so. As a result, it facilitates the creation of free-er markets like the Silk Road.
To me, markets like Silk Road are not about whether drugs are good or bad. They are about whether your body belongs to you or to the government. If the government owns your body, they can tell you what to do with it. But if they don’t, they can’t. Anonymous markets like Silk Road are just a way to opt out of the government’s control.
Organizations like Cop Block Wake People Up
While Bitcoin provides a starting point for a better, freer system, organizations like Cop Block provide the social impetus to switch over to them. A lot of people believe “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The problem is, most of them are blind to the systemic problems that we are facing. By getting in the trenches and screaming, “IT’S BROKE!”, organizations like Cop Block helps people wake up to the problems that need to be fixed.
But we need to take it farther. Once people realize that the system needs to be fixed, the next question is, “Okay, how do we do it?” We need to give them an easy to follow blueprint so that they can start making impactful changes in their daily lives. That is where a lot of our future activism needs to focus.
RH: Music is my weapon and I’ve only just begun to fight.
I left a career in IT to pursue this work, fight for this cause, and spread this message. In the coming weeks and months, I will be dropping numerous music videos and activist related videos, like the transcripts from Ross’s trial.
The next video I will put out looks to be Good Cops, which is the sequel to Call the Cops. Shortly after that, I will be releasing Tell the World. After that, I’m not sure. I have a lot of material ready to go.
I re-united with Bump, my partner on Call the Cops, on a track called Brain on Drugs, which takes on the Prison Industrial Complex and the War on Drugs. I also have False Flag, taking on the Military Industrial Complex and Shoot Em Up, which deals with overmedication of students, veterans and the elderly. And of course, I am writing a song about Bitcoin. I don’t know the exact order, but I’m pushing hard to get all of those song out ASAP. If anyone wants to help support my activism, contact me via my website or fan page, or donate coin for the cause.