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Untitled (Contribution to the Hip Hop Discussion)

February 10, 2008


I would like to address the issue of how the Hip-hop Generation (HHG), my generation, can continue the struggle. However, before I do I would like to address two things: the so-called rift between the HHG and the Civil Rights Generation (CRG) and the divide between the HHG itself, so that those who do not know can have a better understanding of what’s really going on.

First, every generation is usually divided within itself and is usually at odds with the generations before and after it. For example, the revolutionaries of the 60s and 70s who joined the Revolutionary Movement (RM) have/had different agendas than the Civil Rights Movement (CRM). Are they both not part of the same generation? These two movements (RM and CRM) are never confused for each other although they were active simultaneously.

With that said, there is no rift between the HHG and the CRG. The rift is between ideologies, not generations. There are four main issues: first, most of the HHG identifies with the RM, not the CRM. Secondly, those from the CRM keep talking about passing the torch as if participation in the struggle has an age limit. Thirdly, the HHG has grown up hearing the CRM pat themselves on the back acting like they won something… [illegible]. Finally, the CRM constantly criticizes the HHG saying that we have no direction and that we are not involved in anything positive. How wrong they are.

For those who say that the HHG has no direction ask yourself, who left us directionless? Then ask who never informed us about the revolutionaries who really fought for us? Who insists they made progress while racism, classism, oppression and corruption are more rampant than ever? The HHG is not stupid; we know that the CRM chose to monkey down when things got thick because those who chose to guerrilla up were promptly tortured, assassinated, and/or forced to live in hiding. It is very obvious that the CRM does not want to admit that they were appeased and lost their marching-protest-nonviolent complaint.

As for the next issue, most people have no clue that the HHG is divided and has been so for quite some time. There are those into lyrics, spoken-word, and other aspects of Hip-hop Culture. They are Hip-hop Heads (Heads). Then there are those who basically like rap music, mainly gangsta-rap and club bangas. They are Rap Cats; they’re into the Rap Industry (RI). There is a big difference between the two philosophies.

Heads are into education and entertainment (edutainment). They seek to enlighten, perpetuate the culture, and balance rap music. While Rap Cats blow with the wind. Whatever is in fashion at the moment, they will push. They do not care about the message being pushed. So long as they make money. Rap Cats will perpetuate any stereotype. Rap Cats push pimp-drug-and-gangsta songs, while Heads are kept out of the media so that mainstream society has no clue that there is a real difference between Hip-Hop Culture and the RI. For example, rapper G Murder said in a song that he is “into hardcore gangsta-rap fuck Hip-Hop.” Yet, non-Heads do not notice statements like these.

Rap Cats have all of the connections with the media. They are heavily backed by corporations. When Hip-hop is blamed for something that the RI did, no Head is ever presented by the media to talk; it is always someone from the RI. The oppressors use capitalist rogues to blind youngsters, i.e. Russell Simmons is universally accepted as the godfather of Hip-hop when in reality he is the godfather of the RI. He and others teach youngsters how to dress, talk, and get rich in the RI. They have no real substance outside of making money and any revolutionary will tell you that’s the basis of all oppression.

We must realize that unlike jazz, rock, blues and old timey country, the oppressors cannot claim Hip-hop in any fashion so they did the next best thing. They used rogues to commercialize Hip-hop and keep its true message hidden. The RI is Hip-hop cancer; it ignores the fact that Hip-hop rose out of the ashes after the oppressors decided to expedite the inner city’s demise by assassinating all revolutionary-minded people. Hip-hop is/was the alternative to self-destruction that is kept ever-present in the cities, drugs, gangs and guns (learn about the meetings, held by Hip-hop legends, to end their gang wars and how Hip-hop legends Charlie Chase and Afrika Bambataa made peace at a party during Hip-hop’s infancy).

Now, to address Akili’s question. First we must make sure that as many people as possible know the game. Like Public Enemy says in “Fight the Power,” “People we are not the same because we didn’t know the game.” We have to challenge all of those who have grown up during the RI dynasty (1990-present) to take a stance and stop participating in their own oppression.

Explain to youngsters that S.E.C. and A.C.C. universities along with Notre Dame should not be supported in any fashion. Ole Miss uses Confederate Rebels as its mascots. Who does not know what Confederacy stands for? Kentucky basketball is played in Adolf Rupp Arena. Adolf Rupp hated Blacks. Alabama glorifies Paul Bryant, who only let Blacks play football after USCs running back (Anthony Davis) ran all over his team and he said that he had to get him one of those (a Black player). Like these S.E.C. schools, A.C.C. schools treat non-white athletes as commodities and use them to fill their trophy cases, while they continue to praise the Confederacy. Notre Dame is a Catholic school. Although America is blamed it was several popes who dehumanized Africans and erased Africans from history.

We have to simplify things; for example, ask if a Jew attend a university whose mascot is the Nazis and their stadium/arena is named after Adolf Hitler? The answer is no. So why should non-racists be any different? We should not.

Youngsters have to understand and we have to force the issue: so long as institutions praising racists and racist ideologies exist, said institutions are to be seen as the enemy. There can be no compromises. Stop buying their apparel, attending their games and accepting scholarship to schools like those in the S.E.C, A.C.C., and Notre Dame because they support racist entities throughout this country. We have to teach youngsters how to listen to what is being said. Baseball’s racist era is called its golden era. What’s being said there? How can so many people be offended by steroids but not racism? They continue to talk about how great Babe Ruth was, yet only steroids deserve an asterisk? It’s time to make it clear that this is not all right. Stop buying baseball apparel. The HHG has to end its fashion ties with America’s racist sports entities because all of these entities send one message… “there is nothing wrong with being racist.” The HHG can start by spreading the word and taking the actions mentioned above.

-Pelican Bay State Prison

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