It's been 13 years since Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions gave your parents a freakout.

Since then, and now more than ever, underground hiphop's been going in a more intensely political direction. Crazy socialist activist hiphop with ethics like punk rock, combatting mainstream lies and spreading the truth so you can hear it loud if you listen hard. Lyrics like the ones in the song "Kill My Landlord" by The Coup: "Here's a twist cause we'll overthrow like Kwame Nkrumah/ Spread around the wealth as if it were a vicious rumor/ Pam cuts a record like a surgeon cuts a tumor from a brain/ (E-Roc: We're all cooped up so feel the pain)/ From four hundred years of exploitation/ Anesthesia provided by your local TV station/ Patience is not a virtue (I ain't waitin')/ Turn this shit over like Bush did a boatload of Haitians." (Read an interview with The Coup's Boots Riley on pg 19.)

For this issue, we took the four elements of hiphop (DJs, MCs, Graffiti, and B-Boys/B-Girls), added beatboxing (the element not yet canonized as the fifth), and tucked them all in together like a little family. There are interviews, essays about the old school and the underground, and some dude named Bradley Steinbacher who "claims" to have been a "breakdancing champion" back in the '80s. Also, learn some fresh moves from our handy b-boy/girl diagram. (And don't forget--if you bust your neck like Alfonso Ribeiro while trying to do an old-school headspin, the Mercury and Bradley Steinbacher hereby relinquish all responsibility/liability!) JULIANNE SHEPHERD