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Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C. based recording artist and DJ collective consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists Rob Myers, Loulou Ghelichkhani, Frank ‘Booty Lock’ Mitchell, Jeff Franca and Ashish Vyas. Their music style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian (such as bossa nova).
Thievery Corporation was formed in the summer of 1995 at Washington D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge. Rob Garza and Lounge co-owner Eric Hilton were drawn together over their mutual love of club life, as well as dub, bossa nova and jazz records. They decided to see what would come of mixing all these in a recording studio, and from this, the duo started their Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label.
Thievery Corporation has taken progressive political stances on various issues, opposing war and exploitative trade agreements, while supporting human rights and food programs. Tracks such as “Amerimacka” and “Revolution Solution” from their albums The Cosmic Game and Richest Man in Babylon, along with the title tracks from those albums, reveal the group’s opposition to the positions and initiatives of former president George W. Bush’s administration.
In September 2005, the group participated in the Operation Ceasefire concert, with the objective of ending the Iraq War.
From their press release regarding their album Radio Retaliation, Garza said:
“Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement […] There’s no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It’s hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up.”
Thievery Corporation are vocal advocates for the World Food Programme, seeing hunger as “…something basic, really elemental, that transcends boundaries around the world.”
At Lollapalooza 2009 the group spoke out against the IMF after playing the politically charged song “Vampires”. – Wikipedia