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5 Reasons Why You Should Pick Up Propaganda’s “Terraform” Book

Jason Petty AKA Propaganda released his book Terraform back in June. He’s been prepping his fans for the release of this book for at least a year. With an EP of the same name, Prop’s book takes the reader/listener across the full spectrum of what it means to build a better world.

I've been a fan of Propaganda’s work since the 2011 released ‘Art Ambixtrous’ project that Propaganda and Odd Thomas collaborated together on. I’ve been trucking with Prop for ten years and confidently declare that Terraform is his best work and you need this in your personal library. Like, yesterday. I have five reasons why I believe you have to purchase this book.

The writing. This book provided the world at large the opportunity to experience what his followers already knew: Propaganda is an amazing communicator. While a lot of us knew that from the music, podcasts, and interviews, Terraform gives folks the opportunity to literally hold his words in their hands. Propaganda has always communicated in a way that those in academia knew he knew what he was talking about, but he always broke things down so that those who weren’t as learned could understand what he was talking about. He has a podcast, “Hood Politics with Prop,” where he breaks down the geopolitical landscape of today by utilizing common sayings and phrases to where those who have been in or around “hood” environments could understand.

Prop doesn’t talk over the heads of his audience, nor does he talk down to them, rather he talks directly to the reader. I read a portion of “The Soil” chapter to my wife and she said, “Wow, this is beautiful. He needs an awesome for this.” The writing is powerful and the points come across clearly. One of my favorite portions of the book was when he captured Daniel in the Bible and his working for in Babylon to someone saying, “Aye, homie, I just work here, I ain’t from here!” Those of us who have been in a similar position can resonate with those lines down to the depths of our souls. There is not a wasted word or sentence in this entire work.

The poetry. Terraform isn’t just Propaganda musing on how to build a better world, it’s also littered with poems that help creatively convey the message. Some are lengthy while others are short but both contain just as much bite. Those who are familiar with his music may find some familiar pieces, but there are many that make their debut in this book. Each poem needs to be sipped and savored like your favorite drink and then revisited. The decision to include poetry in this book was a wise one and makes the book a practical yet creative roadmap to bettering the world around us.

The projects. When Propaganda says he wants folks to get involved in the terraforming process, he means it. At the end of each chapter he had a project for the the reader to do that build upon the themes of the chapters. If the chapters are are the studying materials, these projects are the tests. One of the pitfalls within the American Education System is there is litLe room for application. The same goes for books. if we aren’t careful, we’ll end up learning things for the sole purpose of sounding smart. This leads to the appearance of intelligence as opposed to putting your acquired knowledge into practice.

Prop puts the reader’s feet to the fire as early as the end of the first chapter. He asks them to list all of the things that make them say, “It doesn’t have to be this way!” It didn’t take me too long to write my list. Propaganda tells the reader to hold onto that list as they will return to it in a later chapter. These projects go from fun brainstorming to wildly and willingly inconveniencing yourself to get a fraction of an idea of how marginalized people groups live. Prop asked the reader to not use their personal internet but instead go to places that offer public access. He also asked the reader to compile lack of use of personal internet with public transportation the laundromat. As big of an inconvenience it is to do all three for just a day, there are some with no choice but to wake up and that be their daily lives experience. These projects will push you and pull you, and dare I say, that may be Propaganda’s plan all along.

The message. The message is simple but because of its simplicity, it’s also profound at the same time. Prop asserts that the world and systems we find ourselves living in were created. If we built this one, then we can build a better one. He asked the question, “What if our words created worlds?” That is why he says we have to “Tell Better Origin Stories.” Everything wrong with our world can be traced back to false stories. Supremacy in all of its forms exists because groups told false stories about themselves and others. Propaganda asks questions, offers answers, but it’s ultimately up to the reader to do their part in the terraforming project. This is a message the whole world needs to hear, and that includes you.

Propaganda is a nerd. Prop has called himself a nerd out loud and in print, so I’m not saying anything he hasn‘t said about himself. When you read this book, you’ll see that Prop’s interest vary and can go from common knowledge to painfully obscure. Prop address his use of the word “terraform” by placing himself in the shoes of the reader and asking, “What is this FOO talkin‘ about?!!” Throughout this book Prop drips gems and nuggets that you may not have known.

I was shook when he pointed out that the terms “Left” and “Right” had less to do with political views and came from the French Revolution and were based on the sides of the room the parties sat on!! Propaganda even gets into the multiverse without the help of Disney or Marvel. Prop can get lost in the weeds over the the things he needs out about, but he also knows when he has gone on a tangent and needs to reel himself back in. He does this on the page in front of the reader. There is no academic pretense or polish here, Prop treats the reader like a homie who came to sit on his red couch , have some coffee, and pontificate about the world around us.

Propaganda has given the world a much needed resource. Sho Baraka said the we need more artists to write books. The same ingenuity and creativity it takes to craft a well written sixteen bar verse can be applied towards writing a full length manuscript. You can tell from this book that Propaganda has a lot more to say and he has plenty of books left in him. If you’ve wondered how you can make a difference in the world, then you need this book in your life. In his words, “Terraform, homie terraform.”

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