Friday, August 15, 2008

What's the Role of Hip Hop in the Black Freedom Struggle?

Hey everybody!

It's Dr. Goddess and I'm reporting to you after attending the National Hip Hop Political Convention in Las Vegas. I'm very glad I went and had a great time because I was there to learn, to network, to (re)introduce myself, to contribute, the whole nine. So, shouts to NYOIL, Rosa, Maria, Mona, Marc, Davey, Pam, Roderic, Asheru, Andre, Byron, TJ, Jay, Troy, I had a great time speaking with all of you and hanging with you. I'll write more on my observations in a minute; but Hip Hop journalist, Davey D has a lot of links to the Convention on his site, so you can listen on Breakdown FM. Enjoy those programs and stay tuned to this blogspot for an update.

So much to say, so much to cover but let's check out this most recent radio program on WBAI, Free Speech Radio, 99.5 FM in New York City, with the show, "Night Talk" because many of these persons will be at the State of the Black World Conference this November 19-23, 2008. Will you?


Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World
Clifford Benton, Publicist, Grandmaster Mele-Mel, Kool Moe Dee, etc.
Peter Noel, co-host, "the flamethrower"
Kamau Khalfani, Engineer / Participant

DJ CoolClyde
Grandmaster Mele-Mel

Click Here to Listen to the whole program.

Did you just say you didn't know who Grandmaster Mele-Mel was?
Forgive them, Father, for they have sinned . . . LOL.
Now, for your penance, watch the video below and then give us five daily blasts of "rrraahhh"!

And here are some quotes and paraphrases from the program (this is not complete, just a snippet of stuff I heard and wanted to capture from a two hour conversation, all errors are mine):

Mele-Mel (Mel) speaks on Hip Hop's origins:
First it was just entertainment, it later graduated to the political.

[Mel continues about rappers these days] - You forgot the blueprint. You don't always have to be a messenger but you DO have to entertain. I don't know from the beginning of your first rhyme to the end of your last rhyme because everything you said is based on the same thing, "you're gonna sell dope, you're gonna kill somebody".

Yeah, 'cause Alicia Keys came out and said they brought gangsta rap out to quell the ability of black men to rise . . .

[about many popular rappers these days] - You're a race traitor. You standing on [our ancestors'] shoulders and you defecatin' on 'em.

[Dr. Goddess Editorial: NYOIL has a song out entitled, "Y'all Should All Get Lynched". LOL. Peep it below]

Kamau Khalfani: I don't know if I want to save you by cuttin' your head off but . . .

I'm not gonna go to a gunfight with a knife . . . and certainly not with a pillowcase .

Peter Noel:
Gangsta Rap saved alot of lives in L.A. during that time.

[Dr. Goddess Editorial: Peter Noel was partially playing devil's advocate throughout this entire conversation but he was also making the point that West Coast rappers were just describing their lifestyle and their very real life battles with the police, as a result of COINTELPRO, the creation of a national police squad and the desire to maintain (and contain) civil disobedience and general rebellion. While Peter has a point, we have to recognize that the "fall" of Public Enemy from the mainstream radio and television is in direct proportion to the "rise" of groups like "N.W.A." and it was a purposeful calculation and from the same label, so this is not rocket science. The corporate media created "gangsta rap" and permeated popular culture with its nonsense. All rappers and labels and groups are co-conspirators and accomplices. Hence, the other guests were taking about the gangsta POSTURE that so many of these present-day rappers take from the names of mobsters (Gotti, Junior M.A.F.I.A., etc.) to labels and groups glorifying death (Murder Inc., Death Row, G-UNIT), to individuals who sing about it, propagate it, etc. (too many to name but rappers like C-Murder later being brought up on Murder charges is a classic example). Of course, it becomes real, these so-called gangsters change their tunes real quick. Hence, we now have labels like "The Inc." and "Tha Row" (which was just sold for a paltry sum, anyway). In short, lots of posturing and wayward dreaming. Got it? Let's continue . . .]

So-called gangster rappers always bring up the violence in movies and films and they bring up Arnold Schwarzenegger like the classic example;but they forget that first of all, Schwarzenegger is now the Governor of California. Second, after he wraps his movies, he puts on a goddamned suit or some civilized-looking clothing and does a "press junket", where he goes around talking about the film, examining it and reinforcing the fantasy of it all. When you talk to these other rappers, you never know if you're talking to Curtis Jackson or 50 Cent, you never know if you're talking to the real person because these liars try to pretend that they live this gangster lifestyle and that this is who they are all the time. They are liars and frauds.

Rap, as an art form, it died with Rakim, basically . . .

Nobody has been able to eclipse Biggie or Pac.

There is no generational divide in music. All you have is a guy who will put themselves in this place, someone like Andre Harrell or Russell Simmons, they are the dividers.

And they gonna try to change the game and act like what we did . . . so, that's the point right there. It has to be a point where we as men or even them or we, as intelligent people, have to get to the point where you just face the truth. You have a pimp that would have a voice, a drug pusher that would have a voice, a hoe that would have a voice. Everybody has a platform in Hip Hop except, guess who? . . . The RAPPER! The EMCEE!!!"

This is these hyper-masculine, hard rappers and that appealed to young people.

Prisoners have more value on the street . . . a loser . . . but then somebody can come home after four years for going to college, this kid's a sucka, he don't get no love.

Take the word, "saggin'", write it down on a sheet of paper and read it in reverse.

How come a group like X-Clan, who developed a movement, doesn't even get mentioned?

Well, that's the problem . . . Because in the scope of what hip hop turned out to be, they took in what they wanted to take in . . . it ain't even hip hop, it's gangsta rap but if you put it out there like it's gangsta rap . . . but they hijacked our title, which is hip hop, and put it on their product and then they sold it and it worked like crack . . . all these cats that listen to . . . rhyme after rhyme after rhyme of killin' . . . they stuck . . . I'm sorry, you ain't goin' nowhere. All them women that's naming their kids after anything . . . instead of studying their name that they gotta take into their future . . . they ain't goin' nowhere.

They took alot of spirituality away, man . . . people are not talking about God. And that's the element that's missin', man. Man repeats history, this is all gonna come back. By using our minds and intelligence to find a way to bring it back to its new essence . . .we do have a responsibility. We have minds and we can use it as a powerful tool. When you look at this ...

Big Pun had said "For the right price / I'd do Jesus Christ . . . I smoke weed in bible paper" . . . that's blasphemy.

If you look at the effect of what it does to the average cat on the street, you notice these cats wearing these rock n roll . . . they turned themselves into devil worshipping, white boys, that's the white-ification of Black America.

Hip Hop is supposed to be a culture. We lost it.
Right now, Hip Hop has a black eye. People are using Hip Hop in the wrong way.

Where do we go from here? There's a problem . . .

We need to talk more about the implications of race in the industry . . . and how that evolved.

Because if it's about income and revenue, then you are willing to do alot of different things that you weren't willing to do before, because it's about money . . . For Hip hoppers now, if you want to even call them that . . . They're not in the industry, they're not doing this music because they love rap, because they love syllabic math, because they love the genuis that is involved in it . . . they're doing it because they want to make money.

[they start to take callers and the responses are wonderful, off-the-chain, fantastic, the reverberation is deep. I will never forget the caller who said, "God just breathed a great breath into the black race tonight".]

Mmph. Discuss . . .

If you like that, just know that all these cats will be on panels and in workshops at the State of the Black World Conference, November 19-23, 2008, Ernest Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA. Register now, people.

The first great gathering of the African Diaspora after this Historic Presidential Election.

Where will you be?

What will be our agenda?

What is the State of YOUR Black World?

Bros. Ron, Peter, Mel, Clyde, NYOIL, Kamau, thank you so much for that.

Holla at ya girl.

I'm Dr. Goddess . . . and I approve this Message! <--- hey, it's election time, whatchu want?

Let us know what you think about this program and what you'd like to talk about at the State of the Black World Conference?!

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