Hip Hop Fridays: The Elimination of Hip-Hop by Robert of Thug Life Army
In October of 2003 Min. Louis Farrakhan said in an interview with Ja Rule " Hip-Hop is being threatened today—the future of it," Min. Farrakhan told Ja, "And I don’t want to see you lose your life or 50 Cent lose his life, or any of the rappers lose their life. I think we’ve paid a price now to go to a higher level."
Min. Farrakhan continued to explain that those who govern and control see hip hop as a threat to their rule, because its culture is captivating the minds of all youth, regardless of class or color, and is causing them to reject the system of White supremacy, as it is portrayed in hip hop lyrics. The recent ‘Vote’ campaigns showed hip-hop’s potential in political affairs.
"Hip hop has taken White children away from those who would shape them into oppressors," he said, adding that hip hop is a force the government can’t control and so the government seeks to eliminate it.
If we look at some of the news since these statements were made by Min. Farrakhan we can only wonder if he foretold the future with his words.
There have been rap artist who seem to foretell the future in their rap. Tupac Shakur being one of the most talked about and adored.
Since Min. Farrakhan spoke these words we have seen many things that seem to point to the 'government' seeking out hip hop artist for persecution.
The recent cases of Beanie Sigel, Rakim, Lil Kim, Irv Gotti, T.I. and many others only point to an assault on the 'head' of the beast known as rap and hip hop. Then there are the law suits that threaten to put a 'damper' on the lives of some rappers. Nelly, Ludacris, Kayne West more recently Snoop Dogg are all being sued. And conservative radio and TV host take shots at rappers all the time. Trying to make them look like gangstas and bad role models, ( O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh being some of the top haters).
Then there is the 'Hip Hop Binder'; the ' surveillance ' material collected by police on rap and hip hop artist. This is a six-inch thick black binder. It includes the arrest records and photos of dozens of rap artists and their companions. Also, the Village Voice newspaper recently revealed the existence of a Hip-Hop Intelligence Unit within the New York Police Department.
Why is all this happening now? I am not saying any of the artist that are mentioned above were framed nor am I saying anything about guilt or innocence. But it is amazing how many of these cases start to fall apart when they finally get to trial. Of course there are some who are doing time. And there are some that we hear about; that the police want to question a certain rapper and give them 5 days to turn themselves in and then we hear no more of it. I guess there are two groups of rappers and hip hop artist; one to watch out for and one to look the other way for.
Separate the force and you have a better chance for overcoming them. This is a famous war strategy. Or pit us against each other is another. These tactics have been used by the government against the Black Panthers, the NOI and even farther back - The American Indian.
The Vibe Awards incident happened and everyone pointed at Suge Knight, Death Row Records CEO; just because he was there. Many news agencies fueled that story for weeks and then the one who started the ‘fight’ said Suge Knight paid him – and the news agencies were off again. But that has been weeks and we have heard nothing official about it. So there is a case of pitting us against one another.
The Eminem racist factor has been thrown into the mix now too. Imagine race playing a factor in hip hop? A culture based on being real and one love.
So we have the ones who side with Eminem and those who side with the Source. We have those who flip flop on this subject and we have those who really don't care. The diss tracks are still being dropped. Maybe not by Ja or 50, but it seems there are plenty of rappers who want to make a diss track just for the 'buzz' it will create.
Maybe Min. Farrakhan did foretell the future. It seems the government is taking a stance against the 'head' of the beast: rap and hip hop, basically because rap and hip hop really does scare the majority. No matter how widely accepted you believe hip hop is there are still many who wish we all would just go away.
They are finding ways to lock up some of the artist. They are causing others hardship. And they are watching and keeping records on most of them. It is time for all of the culture of hip hop to realize that we are being sought after to. Not just the artist, but look across the country. Shows are having problems, fans are having problems, and still the record labels and the police seem to maintain their standard of living as we struggle just to enjoy our culture of hip hop.
Min. Farrakhan was right and we should examine what else he had to say in Oct. 2003 - "We’re tired of allowing people to use our pain to get rich and then watch us die and then hold our masters and keep making money for themselves and their families at our expense," he said. (Min. Farrakhan was talking about the record companies, but this can also apply to the government)
Be aware that all this is happening and don't let the main stream press make your mind up on a lot of the issues that affect the hip hop community. Whether it be if Eminem is a racist or if this rapper is guilty or not - make up your own mind. By looking into the allegations for yourself and forming your own opinion based on the evidence, you can assure yourself that you will not fall victim to the governments 'witch hunt' on rap and hip hop. Nor will they be able to separate us or pit us against each other.
And of course there are those in the hip-hop culture who really do the culture more harm than good. Look at Hot 97 and the recent ignorant practices at that station. It is true things like this hurt the culture of hip-hop and the perspective the mainstream puts on it, but there are also many good things going on that are not reported on or if they are they are twisted to fit the mainstream agenda.
But it is also true that there is a time to listen and learn from our mistakes. Min Farrakhan may not be a hip-hop mogul or a rapper with a story to tell; but his spoken word does bare truth and he is not afraid to tell it like he sees it. Isn’t that one of the mainstays of hip-hop:’ keeping it real’?
Min. Farrakhan told us this was going to happen, he pointed it out years ago and now we can see it all happening. Listen and learn and preserve the culture while we still have it to appreciate. Music videos and some of the lyrics we hear today do not reflect the ‘real world’ or what is going on in it. We must become aware and be aware to survive.
Robert, or RB, is the Site Founder/Chief Editor of www.ThugLifeArmy.com. This article appears on Thug Life Army.com
Friday, February 4, 2005