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Eric July

Eric July

Eric July is an American rapper and political activist from Dallas, Texas. He is best known as the frontman of the rap metal band BackWordz.

July is an outspoken anarcho-capitalist, and his lyrics have often expressed this libertarian philosophy. [16] [5] [17]

Eric July
Also known asYG Ripple[5]
OriginDallas, Texas
Years active2014-present
Associated actsBackWordz,[15]Fire From the Gods[15]


Early life

Eric July grew up in Oak Cliff, Texas, where he became involved in gang activity and sent to live with his grandmother in Arkansas.

[5] [18] At the age of 15, he was charged for assault and battery. [5] After returning to Texas, he was expelled from high school and shot in the knee, which almost ended his track career. [5] He later resolved to get out of gang life when he and his girlfriend were narrowly killed escaping a drive-by shooting. [5] [18]

Fire From the Gods and shift to libertarianism

July transferred from Memphis to Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, where he majored in communications and began to take an interest in economics, and began rapping under the name YG Ripple, [5] as well as becoming involved in the local metal and hardcore scenes, and formed his first rap metal band, Fire from the Gods. [5]

July was at the time a member of the Democratic Party and had campaigned for Barack Obama, [18] but later said he "wasn't thinking for [himself]." [5] July later criticized Obama, telling *Reason *, "The legacy he left us is [bad] not just from an economic standpoint with precedents like Obamacare. He expanded government, expanded power, he was a warmonger, and he bombed more countries than [George W.] Bush". [18] July claims that African-Americans have not criticized Obama as harshly as Bush because of Obama's African-American ancestry. [18]

July, along with his friend Bab, became interested in viewpoints outside of the left wing political ideology that they believed African-Americans are "pigeonholed" into, and Bab introduced July to the writings of African-American economist Thomas Sowell. [18] July became enamored with the works of Sowell and another African-American economist, Walter Williams. [5] [18]

Describing his political transformation, July said, "I went from being a far lefty to — well, I can't say a far righty because I skipped right over that." [5]

July states that he became a libertarian based on his desire to improve the lives of African Americans, taking the political position that the government itself was detrimental to black lives. [5] July is quoted as saying, "As I learned more about [African-American] history, I could see the connection with our oppression because the government and extensions of our government had facilitated it from day one." [5]

July began to express these views in YouTube videos, which went viral, but sparked negative reactions from left-wing African-Americans on YouTube's comments section, who accused him of being a "Uncle Tom" and called him racial slurs, including "coon" and "nigger" over his libertarian views. [5] July became an adherent of the libertarian philosophy of anarcho-capitalism, saying that he "extended [libertarianism] to [its] logical conclusion". [19]

BackWordz (2014 onward)

Toward the end of his tenure with Fire from the Gods, July began to incorporate his new political philosophy into his lyrics, particularly in the song "The Capitalist", which drew the attention of Kevin Kerestes and Marcello Garcci, who, along with July formed BackWordz in 2014 after July left Fire from the Gods. [16] [5] [18] Soon, BackWordz recorded "Grindstone", which became the band's debut single. [20]

The band began releasing a series of music videos through YouTube, including a cover of Eminem's "Till I Collapse." [5]

July and BackWordz began to increase in prominence, and July made an appearance on *Fox & Friends * in August 2015, where he was invited to discuss economics. [5]

In 2017, after a successful GoFundMe campaign, [21] BackWordz released its debut studio album, Veracity, on March 31. The album spread across multiple *Billboard * charts, debuting at #2 on New Artist (Heatseekers), and #5 on the Hard Rock chart, as well as #1 on Alternative New Artist, #5 spot on the Hard Rock chart, the #11 spot on Rock chart, and the #14 on Top Independent Albums. [22] It also received favorable reviews from KillYourStereo [21] and Rock Rage Radio. [23]

Political activism and views

Eric July is well known for his libertarian anarcho-capitalist views. [5] [19] July told Reason, "I can appreciate what the minarchists have done for libertarianism. I can't deny what Ron Paul has done for libertarianism." [19] July also states that his Christian religious views spurred his anarchist politics, stating, "Who nailed Jesus to the cross? The state!"[19]

The most prominent political position July is known for is his opposition to taxation, with July being famous for wearing a baseball cap reading "Taxation is Theft" while performing with BackWordz. [19]

July criticizes liberals for believing African-Americans need government programs for assistance, and claims that liberals view themselves as "superior to black people". [19] July has also criticized the Civil Rights Act, stating that it forces racist business owners to hide their racism and that he would prefer to know if business owners have racist views so he would not fund businesses who express contempt for African-Americans. [24] July has also expressed support for senator Rand Paul. [24] July has also expressed opposition to minimum wage laws, stating, "Why are you making it illegal to hire somebody whose value is below $7.25? Why are you making it illegal for them to work to gain skills to get a better job?"[19]

July's lyrics for BackWordz' "Utopias Don't Exist" criticize Black Lives Matter and blames black-on-black crime for police brutality. [5] July explained his criticism to Reason, stating, "It's not a movement I would align myself with, mainly because of the collectivist aspect. To be fair, Black Lives Matter is not as centralized as most people like to think. It became more of a slogan. Most of the people that are hashtagging it and shouting it don't have anything to do with any chapter of this organization." [24]

July further stated that while he was not denying racism's impact on police brutality, he felt Black Lives Matter has equated instances of police brutality to racism which had different roots, such as the death of Eric Garner, which July blamed on high cigarette taxation. [24] July has also criticized the assertion that white people are shot more frequently than African-Americans, stating, "when you analyze it, blacks only represent 12 percent of the population. Whites represent 63 percent. It seems that blacks are getting shot more." [24]

July credits BackWordz' other vocalist, Alex James, with helping him "better articulate my arguments and my stances".


According to July, his music has helped increase interest in libertarianism among college students, [24] telling Reason, "If I can perform in front of 4,000 statists and even if one of those people turns around two months from now and says, 'Man, I remember this loud, bearded black dude on stage saying all this stuff and now it's clicking,' I feel like I won."


Since March 2015, July has participated in the activist group Minorities Seeking Solutions.

[5] July's lyrics have earned acclaim from Fox News and Glenn Beck. [5] July is a writer for the website Being Libertarian. [22]


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