Georgia-based rapper, linguist, activist, parent, and politician Mariah Parker (they/them), who performs as Linqua Franqa, returns with their new single + video “The Whole Bank.” The track rallies support for student debt relief amidst Supreme Court deliberation on the legitimacy of recent lawsuits against Biden’s cancellation plan. Over a driving military marching drum beat, Parker delivers dizzying, precise flows with cutting barbs, attacking the American debt policy. With transcending outrage that builds towards action, the track centers a message of community power in the face of abhorrent disenfranchisement.
“I recognize that we cannot afford to leave any form of power or any kind of coalition off the table in order to bring about democracy in society,” Parker says. “We need everybody, all hands on deck — that’s not only labor unions trying to build more power for workers, that also means debtors unions: people who are saddled with personal debt, medical debt, rent burden – coming together to fight back and build a society where debt isn’t a problem, because debt doesn’t exist, because we want all the public goods we need to survive.”
Linqua Franqa’s acclaimed album Bellringer, released last year via Ernest Jenning Record Co, earned praise from several outlets. The standout single “Bellringer” (feat. Jeff Rosenstock) also won Best Original Song at the renowned Los Angeles International Film Festival’s Indie Short Fest. Produced by Parker, Reindeer Games and Joel Hatstat, the new album features guests including Jeff Rosenstock, Of Montreal,Kishi Bashi, Dope KNife, Wesdaruler, and Angela Davis, and touches on issues like police brutality, social media addiction, mental health, anti-capitalism, labor organizing, among other topics ripped from the headlines. Parker also recently shared the empowering single “Coming for Ours,” which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Fight for $15 and the November 19th launch of Union of Southern Service Workers, where Parker organizes. The track stresses the importance of fair wages, collective struggle, and respect for the working class.
“Lingua franca” is a term for a language used to communicate across cultures. Weaving a rich tapestry of hip-hop lyricism and neo-soul hooks, Parker uses music as a tool to communicate – and educate – across cultural boundaries, imbuing every song with a sense of urgency and keen social consciousness. Bellringer is a natural continuation of the work Parker has committed themselves to both as an artist and politician. Boiled down to a word, Bellringer at its heart is about liberation – and the obstacles that prevent us from achieving it. Parker is a “linqua franqa” for the people.