The Vagabond

Speech. <i>Bluhammock.</i>

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Todd Thomas, a.k.a. Speech, enjoyed brief Top-40 glory in the early ’90s as leader of the Georgia hip-hop collective Arrested Development. He’s continued to make socially conscious yet fun music ever since, blending folksy rap and vintage soul grooves in his campaign for a kinder world. The charming Vagabond feels like a sunny afternoon in the back yard with your best friends. As an MC, Speech’s rhymes are chatty and unforced, and his crooning features a sweet falsetto reminiscent of Prince. Though not above classic rap egotism, he subverts convention in the punchy “What You Give,” dissing a “huffing and puffing” foe, then bragging about his sexual prowess—with his wife! And after all the uplifting messages, including a moving cover of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe,” Speech signs off with “Gone Away,” a poignant ode to his late older brother, revealing the angst behind the positive vibes.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest