Hip-Hop Fridays: Exclusive Q & A With Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers
There is no legitimate or reasonably justifiable argument to leave The Poor Righteous Teachers out of any thorough discussion of Hip-Hip's 'golden era' and the evolution of conscious Hip-Hop. With over four albums (Holy Intellect, 1990; Pure Poverty, 1991; Black Business, 1992; New World Order, 1996) worth of an unwavering contribution of knowledge, wisdom and understanding laid over wax, the group from Trenton, New Jersey has uniquely made tracks that rock the party and park, and form the basis for intelligent discussion in street ciphers and college lecture halls. Throughout, the group has consistently been a standard bearer for the Nation Of Gods and Earths, also referred to by many as the Five Percent Nation Of Islam.
To know Poor Righteous Teachers is to know its lead MC Wise Intelligent, the rare artist who can match a variety of lyrical flows, with substantive lyrics and an eclectic style and personality. As much as he is acknowledged for his creative musical works, Wise Intelligent may be even more deeply respected for his character, integrity and deep understanding of himself, others, the world and universe.
This week and last, Wise Intelligent built with BlackElectorate.com Publisher Cedric Muhammad for a wide-randing, in-depth interview. What follows is an only very slightly edited version of their entire conversation.
Cedric Muhammad: Peace Wise. First I wanted to say thank you Brother for granting us this opportunity and I would be remiss if I did not bear witness to the impact that you have had, through your lyrics, on me personally, as a young Brother coming up. So the work of PRT and yourself has had an impact that is felt, even in the work that I am doing today, so I want to say thank you and bear witness to that.
Wise Intelligent: Thank you. Thank you.
Cedric Muhammad: Well my first question is how are you, and in a general sense, how have you been?
Wise Intelligent: I’m good. I am really good right now and have been doing well. You know, my family is growing (laughter). And I am just taking it easy doing the knowledge and building.
Cedric Muhammad: So what is the latest? And please tell us about your new project, Wise Intelligent Is The Talented Timothy Taylor (Click here to listen to Wise Intelligent's "Still Black").
Wise Intelligent: That’s what I am working on now, trying to get a late summer release on that. It is a record that kind of goes back to the era of Hip-Hop when the best MC was determined by his talent level. The skill level was what determined who was the best and not the amount of records sold. Today we have a lot of heavily marketed MCs who are light on talent and I am trying to go back to that era, where the MCs were heavily talented without the marketing dollars. That is the basic foundation of this record.
Cedric Muhammad: That is a perfect segue into my next question which is really from the time you came out – as far as the masses of us were aware, through the first Poor Righteous Teachers album, “Holy Intellect”, until now - what has been the evolution of Hip-Hop and what have been some of the factors that you think have determined the course of the culture and the industry from the time you first came out to where it is today?
Wise Intelligent: Hip Hop hasn’t really evolved. It has kind of digressed or regressed, so to speak. And at the same time, it is kind of stagnant in that when we look at this generation of Hip-Hop, the youth – everything that they do, from the sneakers they wear, the earrings in the girls’ ear – they all come from that 80s era. It is almost as if they haven’t created anything of their own yet. That is what gave birth to the throwbacks – the lack of creativity in this generation. They have to ‘throw back’ to that era when things were created and we were dealing with a more creative mindset. As far as the content that we are dealing with in the music today, that came about, in my opinion, as a way of redirecting or putting leads on the people’s impulse to pursue revolution. They put leads in the form of gangster rap, pimpism, and hustlin’ culture on the people’s impulse for revolution to direct them into a self-destructive mindset and that’s where we are at right now. We are in that self-destructive mindset that the people went into based on leads that were put on that original impulse and desire to seek revolution. And it was planned. It was definitely planned. I was there when the transition was coming forth. The Poor Righteous Teachers were signed to Profile Records and Profile Records had a couple of conscious groups and then they had Run D.M.C. and so on and so forth, but in the era of gangster rap we saw DJ Quik come in, we saw N 2 Deep come in, we saw Smooth Da Hustler come in at Profile Records, we saw these things happening right before our eyes. We saw the marketing dollars being redirected from the positive or socially conscious groups to the gangster rapper. We saw these things happening. One thing that the 10% know is that whatever a person thinks, that will become their reality. Whatever a person thinks and believes to be true that will become their surroundings. And the 10% knew that Hip-Hop was very, very powerful in that era. We had youth braiding their hair up, wearing Afros putting on their medallions, seeking out the Qur’an, and even the Bible. We were just seeking knowledge in all forms everywhere. And they saw this and they knew that they had to stop this, so Counter Intelligence Programs came into effect and we got what we got and we have what we have today. That pretty much is the process in what happened in Hip-Hop. We have to understand today, you know a lot of people like to say that ‘the artist is responsible, the artist shouldn’t say this’. I am not taking blame off of individuals that contribute to the self-destructive content in their music. But it is almost like blaming Jezebel for being born poor, but beautiful. It is almost like that (beauty) is the only thing she has to reach out and get the necessities that she needs. You know, the bare necessities. So she is using what she got to get what she wants, pretty much. And that is the science with poor people. Poor people can be controlled by the rich. There is a scripture in Proverbs that says, “It is the rich that cause the poor to sin”. Because the rich can make a poor man do anything for the bare necessities. And that is what the youth are. The youth are poor, living in poverty and want of all things. And when you are in such a condition it is easy for you to be led in the wrong direction. When poor youth thought that they could rhyme positive, socially and politically conscious lyrics, and get record deals and sell records like Public Enemy, like KRS-One, like Poor Righteous Teachers, like X-Clan, they were doing it. The large majority of rappers were writing in a conscious format. Yet when they saw the shift, the youth made the shift also. Because they felt, ‘oh I can’t get paid no more doing that, so I have to do this.’ It is just like how at one point in my neighborhood, everybody was selling marijuana, everybody was selling weed. Everybody. When crack came in 1982 and ’83 to my neighborhood, and they saw that crack was making more money, and there were more crack smokers, than weed smokers – weed wasn’t making enough money and they started selling crack. That’s what the poor kids do. They are going to do those things that they feel will get them what they desire.
Cedric Muhammad: You are right Wise, and even in some of the things that I have written on pertaining to the Congo, when the price of gold and silver went down, they started moving into mining col-tan and tantalum.
Wise Intelligent: Exactly!
Cedric Muhammad: So how much of this do you attribute to radio? For example, I was just listening to the song, "Freedom or Death" on the Pure Poverty album and Wise, I thought to myself, ‘this could never come out today (and be played on the radio)’. And today, we have seen, the lack of airplay for a song like Styles P.’s "I’m Black" and the phrase, ‘white man’ was edited out of the Kanye West song, "All Falls Down". We have written about that at BlackElectorate.com. So I wanted to know from you, what is your view on the role that you feel radio has played in the scenario you just described?
Wise Intelligent: Radio is the beast. You know, they definitely contribute to the dilemma in a very profound way. Their part cannot go unnoticed or ignored. They call themselves the home of ‘Hip-Hop and R & B’ and you know that they are targeting youth from the different shows that they have and I listen to the radio and there is absolutely no balance. There was a time where you could just take your record to the station and if the D J felt it, he just played it. Now, every radio station is playing the same ten songs, over and over and over again. Radio to me in large part is responsible, more so than anybody for the dissemination of the destructive influence into the Black community. They will throw their little token ad on saying, ‘stop the violence’ or whatever they have for Mother’s day, ‘yeah my baby got shot and killed at a party, everybody stop the violence’. And as soon as that goes off (they are playing), ‘my metal go clap, your head will go back’. They are playing Beanie Sigel, and ‘kill a nigga’ music (laughter). You know what I mean? But that is the radio. And you listen to the Black radio you do not hear anything based on entrepreneurialism. There is no business network (promoted through) Black radio, unless you go to an adult contemporary radio station that is 40-years old and up. There is nothing for the youth to listen to, to teach them how to invest money in the stock market or anything. Hardly anything other than, ‘clap somebody.’ That is all you get. Now, it is either ads for liposuction, plastic surgery, all types of this stuff on Hip-Hop radio stations. It is pathetic. Since Black radio sold its soul it has become a gossip column that contributes to the violence. – ‘a moment of silence for the dead Black race/ that measures life by the inches/ on the chrome set of spinners’. That’s where we are at.
Cedric Muhammad: I just wanted to know your view of - as you look at the evolutionary role of radio - the reemergence of the Star and Buc Wild show, which I find to be very important and interesting. One aspect of course is Star, who at his age of 41, operating in today’s Hip-Hop format, is one of the few good sources of historical information regarding the evolution of the culture and the industry. And then of course, I always find him to be very respectful of the Nation of Gods and Earths, and the 5% Nation Of Islam. So I wanted to just ask your opinion of Star, his show and what it represents.
Wise Intelligent: Man, I really enjoy Star’s show. I listen to it when I commute from Trenton, New Jersey to Philadelphia in the mornings. So I am checking it out. The thing is, a lot of people say they are just on that show acting ignorant. I have heard a lot of people say that in comments in reference to the show. Yet they make you think. If you are paying attention if you are doing the knowledge to the show, there is subject matter that is being discussed on there that is not being discussed on a lot of radio. I heard the term, ‘eugenics’ being discussed on his show. I am riding down the highway and I am like ‘oh’. I just heard the term eugenics come across the air, and they are discussing that, and they are breaking that down to a degree. And you don’t get that from a lot of radio disc jockeys. Some of them are afraid to be real and to be honest. And Star calls himself the original hater (laughter). But it is objective, man. It is objective criticism. And the thing is you can’t say you dislike something without first analyzing it, understanding it. Star has a serious understanding man. And I say this to any individual that takes him lightly, you know - don’t be mistaken, that is a very intelligent Black man on that radio. That is a very intelligent Black man. And if you (laugher) come sideways (at Star) you better make sure that you did the knowledge, that you did your homework before you come at that Black man, because he is very knowledgeable, very well-read, a very thoroughly educated Black man. And it shows. Some people they just don’t get the understanding. I like to say, ‘get knowledge, get wisdom, but in all of your getting get understanding.’ And that is what I get when I am listening to his show. You know even the personalities, the different characters he has on there, ‘Crossover Negro Reese’ (laughter), ‘White Trash Helene’ and so on and so forth. All of the characters contribute to a dialogue that is conducive to expanding your consciousness, point blank. That’s what I get out of their show. It expands your consciousness regardless to what your political view is, religious view or ethnic background. I really enjoy the Star and Buc Wild show, man, it is a good show and I think they touch a lot of good topics. Whether it is in passing or on the fly-by, things get addressed on there. That is the first radio show that I heard somebody even dare to mention eugenics, or dare to touch racial issues that they touch. They keep it clean. Star keeps it real clean and he don’t bite his tongue. He gets right to the point and lets the knowledge be brought forth. I respect that. You got to respect a man that stands on his square.
Cedric Muhammad: Now, about three years ago I wrote something on BlackElectorate.com called, "The consciousness of Suge, Jay-Z and Wu-Tang". And I directed it at many of the fans of many of the conscious artists that we all know and love. And the point that I was trying to make was that I feel that there has been a blind spot in the knowledge that we have had and the understanding of it because we have totally equated business and doing trade among ourselves and others as capitalism and exploitative behavior. So I wanted to know from you, in terms of the fall of the prominence of conscious Hip-Hop, do you attribute that to a lack of understanding in our consciousness as it relates to the science of business and doing trade among ourselves and others?
Wise Intelligent: It is tough to say. It is tough to say. But I think a lot of it has to do with our desire to become the oppressor. A lot of us envy the oppressor so much that when we get into a position of power we become him. I know a lot of rappers who have did their thing, sold millions of records and then, in turn got their own record companies and record deals and so on and so forth and end up oppressing the artist the same way. You had Puffy and the Lox, and the Lox are like, ‘yo we need to get off of here (Bad Boy Records), he is enslaving us.’ I mean, how is that even possible? That shouldn’t happen. But we envy our oppressor. But that’s what happens when the oppressed wants to replace their oppressor and become him. They don’t want to co-exist with him. They want to become him. And that is what the problem is. A lot of Black artists are living on a line, whereas our culture is a circle. European culture I define it as a line. Wherever you put your peg on that line, somebody is in the front, back or on top or the bottom, depending on whether that line is horizontal or vertical. That is their culture. Our culture is a circle. You put your peg on the circle, I put my peg on the circle and neither one of us is in front, neither one of us is in back, neither one of us is on the top and neither one of us is on the bottom. It is a community. It is a circle. And that is what a lot of rappers don’t see. They don’t have that knowledge to see that. They are trying to adjust to, adapt, and live in a culture that is not conducive to their spirit. So a lot of them have become the oppressor. They have become sub-human as I always like to say. Because any time a Black man has abandoned his culture, his language, his people, and all of the things that make him, him; whenever he puts off from being Black to adopt a culture, religion, language of someone else – then he is no longer what he was and he is not quite a European, so he is somewhere in between. He is a subhuman. He has demoted himself to the lower animals that he should not be respected, at all. There is no way he should be respected. He should not be respected. He deserves what happens to him in the world, when he refuses and rejects his own culture, his own people to be more like the European. And that is the problem right now with a lot of the Black leaders. They don’t want to turn us into a Black nation, they want to turn us into a sub-European nation. If they become the power and authority, they would set things up the same way. And we would have the same capitalist, imperialist structure, just ran by Black men. It is not going to be any change until this system is done away with. It is the system that is the problem. And until your leader is talking about changing the system and separating us ideologically from this system, then he is not the one to follow.
Cedric Muhammad: Tell us about your journey into the knowledge of self. I don’t know that many people know how you came into the knowledge of yourself - were you raised in it, was it introduced to you at a young age?
Wise Intelligent: Yeah, I was about 12, or 13 years old. My Brother’s name is Power. And he came in one day and he told me his name was Power. He told me not to call him by his government name anymore. And I didn’t understand. He was like “I’m the Asiatic Black Man, Maker and The Owner, Cream Of The Planet Earth, Father Of Civilization And God Of The Universe”. And I’m like, ‘yo, what are you talking about man? The Asiatic Black Man?’ I kind of laughed at him at first, because I didn’t understand. I thought he was on something. He was smoking a lot of weed then. I was like I didn’t know what he put in the weed this time. But after a while, he got locked up, as a youth, he was about sixteen years old and his Lessons are home (with me). One hundred and twenty degrees sitting on the dresser. So you know me, I am an inquisitive Black youth, trying to find out what is going on, so I get to reading and it started making sense. Because I just didn’t read what was there, I researched it and I studied. I verified and documented it. And it made me see a lot of things that I hadn’t been seeing and it answered a lot of questions. That one hundred and twenty degrees was like a launching pad. And that is one thing that I say about the Nations of Gods and Earths all the time. The Nation of Gods and Earths made it cool to read books. It made it cool to study, to want to be a master, to learn. So, with that said, that’s what started it and that is what put me on this journey. And then from then on it was a lot of open confrontations with teachers in the school system, when I was testing the knowledge that I acquired. It was at about age 13 years old that I really started looking into the science of self.
Cedric Muhammad: Now what is your overall assessment on the impact of the 5% Nation of Islam, the Nation of Gods and Earths on Hip-Hop? Positive and Negative. Because I think in one of your songs, “Gods, Earths and 85ers” you say (of some), “quoting some lessons but seeing no parts of understanding.” So there has been a wide experience there, but just in general if you could give me your take on the whole influence of the Nation Of Gods and Earths and then perhaps, on some things that went astray.
Wise Intelligent: The influence that the Nation had on Hip-Hop is overwhelming. Some of the top MCs, the first MCs were of the Nation Of Gods and Earths or they were heavily flirting with the science, or flirting with 120 degrees, in some way, form or fashion. And you can hear it when they speak. Right now the culture is all in Hip-Hop with phrases like, ‘word is life’. That is a statement that comes from the culture. Hip-Hop pretty much has used a lot of 5% wisdom or self-styled wisdom as they say. And it is a manifestation of itself. It was very influential, from Rakim, the Classical Two, and all the way back to the Supreme Team. Remember (the lyrics to "Hey DJ") ‘…the supreme team, supreme team show, show, show, show’ That was the Nation Of Gods and Earths right there, putting it down. And a lot of people don’t know that. When you look back at the original song, one of the guys called up and was like, ‘yo, this is Rakim, Bashar, Allah, I’m checking out the Supreme Team.’ So that influence has been there. The Nation of Gods and Earths was there when Hip-Hop was started. So it was impossible for it to have been started in the Bronx without the Nation of Gods and Earths being around. You had Just Ice, and heads that were there seeing it all materialize. That’s how it all came into perspective and that whole conscious era of rap was something that was lead by the Nation Of Gods and Earths and the Nation Of Islam. It was a lot of Brothers out there who were really putting it down on a serious level.
Cedric Muhammad: One of the things that I respected about you Wise, around 1988, ‘89, ’90, ’91, and ’92 was that you made it abundantly clear that the individual should master himself - and as you know, at the time, there were many people, and this is really the case in all belief systems and all of those who profess something and fall short for one reason or another, willfully or otherwise – and you put it out there that smoking, the abuse of alcohol, the destruction of the body and the mind was something that was not part and parcel of the Nation of Gods and Earths’ teaching what was in the Lessons. But yet there were many rappers at that time, as you know, who kind of walked hand in hand with both of those lifestyles. So I just wanted to know what was your take on that whole phenomenon and debate, about living lifestyles other than your self, mastering self, morality and the Lessons, and what do you think its effect was on (the overall) consciousness, even inside of the Nation of Gods and Earths and Hip-Hop?
Wise Intelligent: I think that the whole science of self mastery is taken out of context a lot. A lot of people don’t get the gist of what the purpose of it is. They say, ‘He’s crazy. How’s he going to tell somebody not to pleasure themselves?’ What people are not getting is that mastery is about bringing your flesh under complete and absolute submission to your mind. That’s what is wrong with the world today. The flesh is winning. That’s what the struggle is everyday. If you get up in the morning and then you go to rest at night and you look back, the next day, at everything you did the previous day, and if everything you did was based upon providing for your physical, you fell short of the glory of God, simply because all day you sowed to your flesh. All day. You get up in the morning, you eat. You go out you make money and pay your rent, make sure your bills are paid. You go have sex with a female. Then you smoke a cigarette, and drink brew. You hang out with your friends. All for the flesh. Everything you do, if that is your life, you basically are demoted to the lower animals. If that is what your life consists of. Going to the basketball game, watching a basketball game, those are all things for physical enjoyment, physical pleasure. What did you do for your spirit? What have you done for your mind today? Have you read a book? Have you meditated? What did you do today for your soul? Have done any charity? Have you went and helped somebody that couldn’t help themselves? Did you do any community service today? What did you do? We are gluttons, if we don’t understand that self-mastery is for our own benefit. Man’s mind is powerful. When the Nation says that the Black Man is God that is a valid statement. I find it not robbery to consider myself equal with God. That’s what Jesus was trying to explain to the heads. He was like, ‘Yo, the Kingdom of Heaven is in you.’ ‘Know ye not that the Spirit of God dwelleth within you?’ He said that the Spirit of God dwelleth not in temples made of hands. He said that the Spirit dwells in you. ‘So would you defile the temple, when your body is the temple of the Living God? He said, ‘We are all gods, for it is written in your law and the law cannot be broke.’ He said the scripture cannot be broken. ‘It is written in the law that we are all gods.’ That is the science right there. You are a god. But when you don’t sow to that you demote yourself to the animals and to the sons of mere men. There was a time when the Europeans held us in our proper light they worshipped us as Gods. Apollos, Zeus, Hercules, Thor – all Ethiopian Gods. All of them, and they were actual men that walked the planet. Venus, The Sable Goddess, Aphrodite, all actual women that walked the planet. Giants. I am not saying that you can’t go to a party and you can’t have fun. I am not saying that you can’t sip some wine every now and then. I am not saying that. Nor am I saying that you can’t smoke weed every now and then. What I am saying is sow to the Spirit. That’s all I am saying. I am not trying to stop or incarcerate anybody. I am not saying that. All I am saying is, self-mastery is the greatest thing. Even in the Bible in the Book of Timothy it says, ‘study to show thyself master’. If you don’t study you can’t show your self worthy. You have to know how to properly divide the truth, precept upon precept, line upon line in order to understand the mysteries of the Book. Many are called but few are chosen. Only the few are going to understand what the books represent. You have people right now wrestling with all of the books to their own destruction. You might have been called but you might not be chosen. The whole thing is about bringing your body under the submission of your third eye. That’s what it has always been about. That’s where the power lies. See, creation is thought plus conviction. Thought plus conviction equals creation. And you are creating everyday, whether you know it or not. Whatever thoughts you believe, with conviction, will be created in your physical existence. And that’s what we don’t get. That’s why self-mastery is so necessary. It is about mastering your thoughts. Mastering what you think. Controlling your mind. Controlling what you think and what you say. Thinking twice and speaking once. Like I said, even if you don’t know it every thing you think when you are walking around here, casually, is becoming your reality. If a poor person gets up in the morning and comes outside and all he sees is death and destruction, that’s what he’s going to believe and that is what he is going to respect. If all he sees is violence, that’s all he is going to perceive that is all he is going to respect. That’s what is becoming reality. He is going to think that this is what’s real, giving birth to the statement, ‘keepin’ it real’. And that is where we are at because we don’t understand that what we think will become our reality. That is the power of your mind. Everything in existence is a thought. When broken down to its lowest compound it is energy. Everything from man to a soda can. That’s why you have some men on the planet that can move a can, and they say he is moving it with his thought. But what he is doing is moving it with the energy that is in him because that same energy that is in him is in the can therefore it’s more like a partnership, an inner connectedness, with everything that exists within the world. That’s why they say that self mastery is the ability to see yourself within everything. When you can see God in everything that is when you are reaching that state of self-mastery, because now you see the inner connectedness of the universe and how we all share the same universal subconscious space.
Cedric Muhammad: Now, Wise, even the name, if you could just speak briefly on the power of the name. I was with Wu-Tang Clan from 95 to ’98 so unfortunately I had the experience in November of going to say peace to Ason Unique, you know, O.D.B.
Wise Intelligent: Indeed.
Cedric Muhammad: And I don’t know if you heard what RZA said, but when RZA spoke he spoke really, in a sense, in an act of repentance for giving that name Ol’ Dirty Bastard to the Brother who was Ason Unique. And he spoke at some length about how sex, drugs, and alcohol are the things that many of us turn to, when dealing with this world and ourselves. And he felt that once he gave him that name, it contributed to the Brother gravitating toward those things…
Wise Intelligent: Indeed. That is exactly what I was just manifesting – how the thought becomes a physical existence. That’s why in the Bible there is also a proverb which says, ‘a great name is more precious than all of the precious diamonds and stones in the world.’ Choose a great name because you are going to become that name. That is why in Hebrew culture, African culture, they didn’t name the baby until the eighth day. Build (‘build’ the meaning of the number 8 among the Nation Of Gods and Earths) is to add on. Build to add on. They knew that the name they gave that child was going to add on to his existence, whatever that name was. That is why you have to be careful about what you are naming your child. You have to be very careful because that’s a thought. And words make a way in the world. And a name is making a statement, like saying ‘So Be it’; its like saying ‘Amen’. It is like saying that’s it, ‘It is done’, as Christ said. That’s the word. The word makes a way in the world in an instant that’s why He said in the beginning, ‘…was the Word and the Word became flesh’. The word, the name, the idea, the thought became flesh. Because whatever we think, or shout in existence will become a physical thing. Everything that you think and believe will become your reality, whether it be positive or negative. That’s what happens when you take on those names. You become what that name is. You become it. So think long and hard what you name your babies. (laughter) That’s why back in the ancient world we used to let the baby marinate for eight days. We used to watch that baby for eight days, before we gave him a name, to see the kind of characteristics we were going to see in the child. You wait to see how the baby smiles, see how he laughs, wait to see if he is going to be sad and cry all of the time. If the baby was going to make the mother sad, they would name the baby based on that. They never, ever, ever, named the baby something that did not have some meaning or relevance to that baby’s existence. And then the name would change later on in life. When you go in the Bible you see that Jacob was born Jacob, but what happened was, when it was time for him to do the work that he was called for they changed his name to Israel. Abraham, his name was Abram but when it was time for him to do the work he had to do he became Abraham. Because they knew the power of a name. Like Jacob’s son Benjamin, when he was born in the Bible his name was, Benoni, ‘son of my sorrow’ and his father changed his name to Benjamin, ‘son of my right hand’, the son that I am going to give the blessing to. So the names are very powerful, they mean a lot. A name is what you dwell upon, it is what you believe and what you respond to. If somebody calls you gangster, and you respond to it? It is not what they call you, it is what you respond to. When you respond you are making the thought real. That’s why I say thought plus conviction equals creation.
Cedric Muhammad: Now, Wise, because of where we are going I want to move up a question I was going to get into later. I want to now deal with the view of the female in Hip-Hop and the language that you have used (in reference to her) over the years, as we know through the Shakiyla songs you recorded with Poor Righteous Teachers. So in the context of what you just said what is your assessment of where we are in terms of the female in Hip-Hop – through the lyrics and I guess through their advancement in that field.
Wise Intelligent: Sex sells. Let me tell you. Hip-Hop right now, all of it, the way the woman is viewed, the way the man is viewed, everything in Hip-Hop now is based on the flesh. It is based on something that is corruptible. Everything. Violence, drugs, sex and money, that’s what it is. And the woman, she is responding to these titles. This is what I am saying. The D. J .puts the record on, and when the record comes on, (you hear the Ying Yang Twins hit record, "Wait, The Whisper Song) ‘Wait ‘til you see my dick, (hey bitch), wait till you see my dick’. And who is on the floor? It is not a bunch of Brothers on the floor dancing with each other. It is the Sisters running out there responding to that. So it is becoming their reality because it is what they respond to. Chris Rock joked about that. He said, the Brother will say, ‘Beat her with a dick, kill her with a dick, poke her in the eye’; and the woman is (listening to it), dancing, shaking her ass, saying, ‘He ain’t talking about me, girl!’ But she responds to that. As a matter of fact, I was down in North Carolina with an associate of mine, a while ago, five years ago, we are in a gas station and the sisters come up in the gas station while we are getting gas. The Sisters come up, beautiful Black Sisters, and my associate, he lives down there, he said, ‘Come here hooker.’ Just like that. He knows me, now. He knows what I am about (laughter) and he looks at me and says, ‘They don’t respond to nothing nice’. That’s what he said and they responded to him and before we left the parking lot, he had her phone number. They responded to that. And I don’t see any guns to any of the Sisters heads in the videos. The Sisters follow the male lead, they are going to respond to whatever he says. Whatever he says, that’s what they want and that is what he is gonna do. Their desire is to be drawn to the man and have him dominate her. That’s her whole nature, to submit to their man. Whether they are lesbians or whatever they cannot deny it. Their natural self knows it, that all they want is to be dominated by their man, and their man is leading them down that road, because of his confusion and his lack of understanding, and his lack of knowledge and self-mastery.
Cedric Muhammad: Now Wise, back then you were rapping and speaking of women as Queens and in your Shakiyla songs you referred to the women you closely related to, more specifically, with the term ‘wives’ or the term ‘wife’. And I know from my experience with the Clan, that is how we referred to the main focus, in terms of the women in our lives - she was referred to among us all, as the ‘wife’. Now, out here, in the music we hear and otherwise, it is ‘bitch’, ‘ho’ or whatever. So speak a little bit on that as to how men relate to women in terms of them being objects of pleasure (without a title) that indicates responsibility (and commitment).
Wise Intelligent: It is heavy. It is really heavy. I told a Sister the other day, I said, ‘Your problem is all you all want to do is have sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, and never have any babies and be responsible women. You just want to have sex.’ And that is the same thing with men. This, what we are dealing with, is a society without God. That is what we are dealing with. Let’s look at it from a Biblical perspective for a minute. Let’s cross over there for a minute and go into that culture and mindset. Sodom and Gomorrah was a city of lesbians and homosexuals. Sodom and Gomorrah was burned off of the face of the planet earth. I always say that if America and the Western world is not burned off of the face of the Planet Earth then the God that burned Sodom and Gomorrah is going to have to dig Sodom and Gomorrah up and apologize. This is absolute wickedness we are in right here. You can watch the commercials on television tonight after this interview, when you are kicking back tonight watching the game, just watch the commercials, everything they sell they sell it based on sex. Everything they are selling is based on sex. Now BET even got it, ‘BET Uncut’. On Power 99 FM (in Philadelphia), at 12 midnight, all the words are left in the songs. It speaks for itself. Check this out. I am in the car with my man, driving down through all of the neighborhoods in Trenton and it is like three or four young girls on the bus stop, and they are like 11, 12, 13 years old. They are standing on the edge of the curb dropping down and getting their eagle on. And you know how the girls are wearing the thongs coming up out of their low riders?
Cedric Muhammad: Yeah.
Wise Intelligent: This is what they had on. At least two of them. So my man said, ‘Hold up.’ He said ‘Stop. Hey, come here!’ to them. And he really scared these young girls because he put them in a position where they felt that there security was going to be threatened. He made them feel like this could happen to you out here running around dressed like that. I said, ‘Rap songs and America’s Top Model/got babies wearing thongs and they are barely off the bottle.’ That’s what it is. America’s Top Model, they got these girls getting naked painting their bodies, telling ‘em this is what you have to do to get down with Tyra Banks. And you’ve got the rap videos. Remember when we used to call them video hoochies?
Cedric Muhammad: Yeah. ‘Video- Hos’.
Wise Intelligent: Yeah, we used to say, ‘that’s a video ho’. Now the Video- Ho has gotten some esteem now! (laughter)
Cedric Muhammad: (laughter)
Wise Intelligent: She is even up in movies. She is moving up now, in this era that we are in. She is on the front of King magazine, Smooth magazine, all of those magazines. So it pays now.
Cedric Muhammad: Yes. Now this is a real serious issue of concern with me, at BlackElectorate.com and in my travels. The division amongst those who claim the Lessons – and that is many people out there. But I am seeing more and more groups, sects, divisions, and I see increasing disunity. But yet I also see the basis for unity and reconciliation. So I wanted to know what was your opinion of the state of those of us out here who claim the Lessons and what would you like to see in the way to finding a path to unity.
Wise Intelligent: I say, he who gathers with us, is not against us. But he who gathers not with us, scatters. I am not going to point fingers and say this guy right here is not with us or this guy over here with this whole sect is not with us. If you are gathering with us, then you are with us. If you gather not with us then you scattereth. You divide the people. And when the smoke is clear the A-alike are going to stand forever. The A-alike are going to be together whether they are here or in the Congo. Whether they are in the Congo or the middle of Mecca, or India. The A-alike is going to stand up, regardless and that is how I build with that. I can tell who is gathering with us. You can say whatever you want but what you do, especially when you are in that position of power is what I value.
Now think of Jesus, and I like to use him because he was a revolutionary in its purest form. He had a crew of men. The one thing that he understood was that revolutions take finance. Joseph of Arimethea was a wealthy man that was running with Jesus. And anything that was needed Joseph of Arimethea provided it. Any man who is blessed with this world’s good and shuttest up his bowels from his brothers is a liar and a devil. (Read 1 John 3:17) Straight up. He’s a murderer and a devil. How can you be blessed with this world’s goods and not open up your bowels to your brothers? That’s what gets me. There is enough finance in Hip-Hop right now to really do something revolutionary in Black communities throughout this country. It don’t take a lot. But nobody is thinking like that. They are all thinking like Caiphas, the High Priest - if Jesus rises up we are all going to lose our position. It is expedient that he die so we live. That is how a lot of them are thinking. And it is sad. So that is how I really look at the different divisions. I am not with all of that. All of the different denominations and all of that, I am cutting right through that down to the natural law. I am cutting right through all of your titles, all of your different nationalities you think you are, Black, African, Muslim, Christian, Jew, whatever you think you are I am cutting through that and going straight to the natural law that is in the heart of every man, since creation. Since the thought became flesh, the natural law is in your heart, man sometimes goes astray from it and therefore it is necessary, sometimes, to put it in stone, so that he could see what is supposed to be in his heart. That’s all the law is for. A law is for a lawless people. Moses brought the law because the people went so far astray. They went so far astray, that’s why prophets come. Prophets come to people who are lost. Prophets come to people who have went so far away from the natural law that they need to be brought back. They need righteous leads put on their impulses to do negative, to bring them back to the positive. That’s why prophets are necessary. But the natural law is in your heart. That’s why Jeremiah in the same book, said that the time was coming when we would do away with this old law. There is not going to be a law written on no stone or tablet. It is going to be written on your heart the way it was in the beginning. All these superficial things we got that we think give us power? That is why Paul was saying you have to give up everything that you are. That is why Christ said you have to die to live. That is why he said you must be born again. You have to die. You have to put your self to death. That’s what self-mastery is. Putting the self to death. Can you kill yourself? Can you pick up your cross? Can you murder your ego? That is what it is. Your self is the ego. Can you kill your ego and check it at the door when you come in the temple? When you come in the cipher can you check your ego and come in the cipher as God? Skip everything else and come into the cipher as God. Nothing else matters – your long name, fancy outfit, how many Lessons you can quote, it don’t matter. It is about what’s in your heart. And they don’t get it. That is what’s wrong right now. Nobody gets it. The law is already in your heart. It is there in every living thing. It is just that the poor people are more receptive to doing negative because they lack the resources and the means to support the heart’s desire to do what is naturally right. Therefore the rich cause the poor to sin because they know this. The devil is very wicked and wily. He knows these things, he studies and he knows the law. He knows what is right. That is why he knows what to do to keep you away from it. That’s the whole science. Man needs all of these books of law now, Qur’ans, Torahs, Bibles and he needs these 120 degrees, and all of these Lessons, and he needs the Theology Of Time, because he has went so far away from what is in him.
Cedric Muhammad: His nature.
Wise Intelligent: Exactly. It is in you. That is what all of the books are trying to tell you. The Kingdom of God is within. Christ said don’t seek great wealth and riches in this world. He said ‘seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of these things shall be multiplied unto you.’ Don’t get it twisted. He is not talking about going to Mars. He is not talking about heaven up in the sky. Then later on, in the same book, he says, ‘the Kingdom of God is within you.’ And it has been there since before creation, and the earth was formed. It is in the natural order of things. In the energy, you see it in the protons. You see it in the neutrons. You see it in the electrons. You see the order of balance. You see the scale – the positive and negative charges being allowed to exist together based on a neutron. That is a scale, a balance.
Cedric Muhammad: Now for the record, and I think this deals with some of what we are talking about, how did the whole situation evolve where I believe you confronted Brother KRS-One at a lecture. And then how did your relationship evolve and grow to the point where you were on tracks together, the Poor Righteous Teachers’ “New World Order” album in particular?
Wise Intelligent: What happened was I never had any beef or problem with KRS-One. That’s not my nature. That’s not how I operate. I go to the lecture. I was with my Queen. We are sitting in the audience and she is with seed, she is with child, so you know I wasn’t coming for no confrontation. I am coming in peace because I feel this is a good environment for me to bring my pregnant wife. So, what happens is when I came to the lecture, I just happened to be with 30 other heads from the projects. And you know what kind of current they come in. They usually come in a cold current – these particular individuals. So, we are listening to the Teacher (KRS-One) speak and one of the Brothers with me, asked him a question, he said, ‘Why does your speech change when you get in front of White people? Why does the overall message change to a more euphoric, utopia kind of unity in a melting pot, and everybody getting along, and then when you speak to us, you are more revolutionary, speaking to our emotions?’ That’s what the Brother asked him and he (KRS-One) said, ‘No, even Jesus taught come in peace, he was against violence.’ And that’s when I said, ‘No. Jesus wasn’t against violence. He said if anyone of you that’s following me had any valuables and any money he said take it and buy yourself a sword.’ ‘When the Romans came to get Jesus,’ I said, ‘they sent a cohort of men, that’s some 600 men, you don’t send 600 armed men with swords and bucklers to come and get a man that is talking about peace and throwing flowers around.’ Jesus was running up in the temple turning over tables. It wasn’t really me doing the speaking, it was somebody who was waiting, that was doing the large majority of the speaking but the people over here in the crowd – I was who they noticed. I am the familiar face. So they were like, ‘Word. Wise Intelligent. Word!’ And then the Sisters from the other side of the crowd were like, ‘KRS-One, you are a sell out!’ And then he (KRS-One) was like, ‘No, the only thing that is selling out is my records in your neighborhood.’ So it just went on, and on, and on. It was a big brouhaha he said a bunch of things about us in The Source magazine before the lecture. So Culture (Culture Freedom of Poor Righteous Teachers) was with me and hey, he is a cold current – an official project baby. (laughter). And he is like, ‘Yo, what’s with all of that? If you feel that way about us I think you should say it, man up, and say it right in my face.’ And (KRS-One) was like, ‘I didn’t mean it like that. See, we come from the same place.’ But it was childish to me, the whole conversation and what led to it. But that is pretty much what started the whole thing. And a lot of people were like, ‘get at him on a record’. And I was like, ‘No, that is not me. I’m not going to say anything about him on a record, I would rather get him on a record with me. And we just put something down and do it like that.’ And my thing is I paid him to do the record (‘Conscious Style’). It isn’t like I didn’t pay him. I paid him some $15,000. And I am not ashamed to say it. I am not ashamed to put out there what he was paid. He was paid $7,500 for the track and $7,500 for a vocal. I paid him for that. It ain’t like he came and did it for free.
Cedric Muhammad: I didn’t know that.
Wise Intelligent: Yeah exactly. I didn’t have no problem paying him for the track. I paid him $15,000 for that. And that’s what I mean when I say when you get into a position of power how you delegate that power is what determines whether you are with me or not. And that’s why I do that man. I deal with people on that level. I’m like ‘yo I wanna see what kind of person he really is so I know how to write him off or not.’ My thing is I would rather not deal with you ever again than to keep going back and forth, and back and forth with you on a record – dissin this guy and that one. I would rather do a record, showing Black men moving in accord. Give the people something as opposed to keeping the beef escalating. Keeping the beef escalating would have been the monetary thing to do, the capitalist thing to do, but that is not me. And I could have easily made 100 records. I could have easily made a 20 album catalog just about the situation but that is not me man. That’s what happened with that whole thing. I thought it would be a good idea to get with KRS-One to do a record to say it ain’t even like that and I am not holding a lifelong grudge with this Black man. That is not how I operate, let’s move forward.
Cedric Muhammad: Now I am going to get your take on some figures in Hip-Hop. Ok, four rappers today, and you can do this for as long or as short as you want Brother, but I just want to get your opinion on four individuals that are prominent today. Would you like them one at a time or altogether?
Wise Intelligent: One at a time.
Cedric Muhammad: First, 50 Cent.
Wise Intelligent: 50 Cent. Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Wow. 50 Cent is a great talent man. And he comes from that demographic, peasantry. That is where we all come from, peasantry. We come from where if our immediate necessities are not met, we are going to do whatever we have to do to get those necessities met. I like the business acumen that I see with G-Unit and the way he has snowballed that thing into a little corporation. G-Unit is now an official corporation. And like I said, 50 is a talent. He is good at what he does. And I believe that he can take a rhyme wherever he wants to take a rhyme. I believe that he is doing what he has to do right now to make some money. It is like what I was saying earlier about switching from selling weed to crack. That’s what it is. 50 is selling crack now, but 50 can also sell weed (laughter). He knows how to sell weed also. When weed comes back in he will sell weed.
Cedric Muhammad: Next one, Eminem.
Wise Intelligent: Eminem. When I first heard the White boy spit, I said, ‘Elvis has entered the building.’
Cedric Muhammad: (laughter)
Wise Intelligent: And Eminem is to the average Black MC what Elvis Presley was to Jackie Wilson – a god damn rip off. That’s how I feel about Eminem point blank. Culture bandits. He can’t speak to me. He can’t speak to my struggle. He can’t give me nothing.
Cedric Muhammad: Alright, Jay-Z.
Wise Intelligent: I really want to say that Jay-Z is the best MC, lyrically, skill level, I have probably heard in the last ten years. Jay-Z is a phenomenon, lyrically, to me. He can take a rhyme where he wants. Jay-Z can tell a rhyme sit, and it sits. He says, ‘get up and go’, and the rhyme will get up and go. Jay-Z is definitely a talent. He can rhyme about anything he wants to rhyme about. He’s rhyming about what works for him right now. That’s it. He is more than just a rapper too, I see more than just a business man in him as well. There is something else there. I don’t know what, I ain’t trying to figure it out, but, hey, that’s Jay-Z to me.
Cedric Muhammad: Ok, the god Nas.
Wise Intelligent: Shew. If Nas had it within his power to emancipate the people in a day, it would already be done. Nas got some love for his people in him. And I rank that very highly, higher than anything that a rapper could ever say. Like I said, when you cut through all the stuff that is on the surface – ‘Oochie Wali’, the lyrical skills, the Jay-Z battle, Illmatic and right down to the core of a person, Nas got some love in him. I see some serious love in him for the people.
Cedric Muhammad: Ok, I am going to now give you some of your contemporaries and some that came a little before you. Big Daddy Kane.
Wise Intelligent: Shewww. Man. Big Daddy Kane. King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal. Big Daddy Kane set it off. That’s my thing. I like rappers who come to the table and bring us something different. Hip-Hop from their perspective. Their way of saying it, delivering it, walking and talking it. I don’t care what you are talking about and what you say, as long as it is you. Big Daddy Kane was one of those. He was one of those rare commodities in Hip-Hop. There are only a few of them. It is only every so often that you get rappers that come out that are just so themselves and bring something new to the table. If you are an upcoming MC and you are listening to your walkman writing your rhymes, listening to Big Daddy Kane, when you take those headphones off you will be a better MC than you were when you put them on. That’s what Big Daddy Kane was and what I look for in an MC.
Cedric Muhammad: Kool G. Rap
Wise Intelligent: Another one. Word connection? Kool G. Rap was the first to connect words. He would rhyme with one vowel sound through the whole verse. ‘Marley give the slice I get nice, and my voice is twice as horrifying as Vincent Price.’ (laughter) Man, he did word connection. He gets top of the class with the word connection, the wittiness, and honestly – the gangsterism. Kool G. Rap was the gangster rapper! He proved that gangster rappers don’t have to be corny (laughter). You could have some skill with your gangster. G. Rap was the original gangster.
Cedric Muhammad: Here’s one that I feel people have a problem being honest about and I’m going to throw it at you – Treach.
Wise Intelligent: Treach. Wow. ‘Ghetto Bastard’ is like one of my favorite songs of all-time. I love Treach, man. Skill level off the meter. I think Treach is kind of overlooked sometimes.
Cedric Muhammad: I totally agree.
Wise Intelligent: But that is with a lot of Jersey MCs. I don’t know why, but it seems that a lot of rappers from Jersey just get overlooked in the whole grand scheme of things. But Treach would chew a million rappers today and he was doing it back then. And he is doing it now. I heard him recently at a Zulu reunion. I’m saying, he hasn’t lost a beat. He hasn’t lost a step. I didn’t expect him to lose anything. Anybody with that kind of skill level – it is like the NBA , when you watch Reggie Miller, the experience is starting to set in. He’s just got it. Treach is another one who can take a rhyme where he wants to, do whatever he wants to with a rhyme.
Cedric Muhammad: The last one, Rakim Allah.
Wise Intelligent: Shewww. Rakim is the envy of all rappers. To me, Rakim was the first Ghetto kid rhyming, to me. Rakim brought math to the game. Rakim was saying things like, ‘My name is Rakim Allah.’ He was saying things like, ‘Knowledge won’t begin until I finish this song.’ I’m saying. He was God on a mic. He was a ghetto scientist man, on the mic. With knowledge and skill level- ridiculous. Flow – sickening. Production – crazy. Rakim is real close to me. I was raised by Rakim as far as Hip-Hop in theory goes. Rakim was what every god was in my projects, in my neighborhood. I knew a million Rakims they just didn’t rap. That’s why he was so relative to me. That’s who he was. You know the Louie Vuitton with the flag on the back? The gods around the way was wearing the same thing. Rakim, it was like he was from my projects, I just didn’t know him.
Cedric Muhammad: What do you make of the recent efforts to get the Hip-Hop community involved with politics? You saw ‘Vote or Die!’ with P. Diddy, you saw what Russell did with the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and now Rev. Sharpton, to a degree, is addressing that. What do you think of all of those things?
Wise Intelligent: Vote and Die. That is what is going to happen. When will they realize, man that ‘When will you realize that Body needs head and its more than what’s said when a leader lies dead’ – Brother J, one of my favorite rappers of all-time, X-Clan. We can sit around here, and you can vote and vote until the vote machine collapses, and the chads from the paper floods the earth, it’s not going to change anything for the poor, oppressed, conquered, enslaved and captive peoples all over the planet. It is not going to change anything. What we have got to understand is that Mayer Amschel Rothschild the famous Jewish banker from Germany said, ‘Give me control of a country’s economy, and I care not for who makes its laws’. Why do we think that voting, and voting and voting means anything? Where do we get off believing this? It doesn’t work for you. Some people come back, and say, ‘The Constitution, and the right to vote and the Declaration of Independence.’ Blah, blah, blah. All of those documents were signed by wealthy White slave holders. All of them. All males. There was not one middle class or poor or indentured servant or slave there to sign their names on that paper. Those documents were signed and brought into existence for the elite that are ruling the planet today. The whole vote thing is a scam and what Black and oppressed people all over the world have to understand is that America did not get anything that it has from voting. America did not become this great from Democracy and voting. It didn’t get here that way. The Civil War was violence. That’s what America respects, that’s what America knows, that’s what America was built on. That’s what all Western world powers know – that violence is power. Violence is their power, that is what they use and have always used. Violence, conflict, war, that’s what they do. The Civil War. What was that about? That was about the shifting of the balance of power from the South to Boston, New York and Philadelphia. That’s all that was. The Revolutionary War. What was that about. That was about shifting the balance of power from London to Boston, New York and Philadelphia. That’s all that was. But when America felt that Britain was being a tyrant and imposed a heavy tax on their tea and all of that, they didn’t say, ‘let’s have a vote’. They said ‘let’s bang’. In order to shift the balance of power from the South to the North, what did they do? They banged. Whoever got the strongest bang, wins. That is how it is with them. That is their mentality. Voting is not going to do anything, seriously. It is a ridiculous posture for an apathetic people. It is a pacifier, luring you to sleep. (They sell it with) ‘Come on to the polls, vote. Vote for this guy, vote for that guy.’ You are voting for the same guy especially if George W. Bush and John Kerry both graduated Skull and Bones. You are voting for the same guy. You are voting for the same bottle of bullshit with a different label on it. It is a waste of Black people’s time. Think about it. Black people themselves should know – how did you get the right to vote? Open confrontation. Through conflict, that’s how you got it. Voting doesn’t change anything. Conflict does. Confrontation does. Change comes from revolution. Revolution is change. The wars are what brings about change. Alright, let’s take the revolutionary war in Cuba. Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, all of those guys, 1959, took over, ran Batista out of power. They didn’t sit around and vote for it. Revolution is what makes change in the world. Che Guevara said, ‘One well aimed shot at the right person is far more effective than a billion peaceful demonstrations.’ That’s real. Stop bitching and start a revolution. That’s my quote there (laughter). Stop bitching and start a revolution, man. That’s the problem I have with today’s leaders. Don’t have me out there talking about going and voting. Think about it the same people, who went out here and got all of these voters – Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Citizen Change with ‘Vote or Die!’, and Al Sharpton and these other cats mobilizing Black people to go and vote, these are the same people right now who have got a whole rally going to save the chickens from Kentucky Fried Chicken. They got a website, kfccruelty.com. It is Russell Simmons, Al Sharpton. These Brothers are hustlers man. I ain’t knocking their hustle but don’t hustle the people. Don’t hustle us or hustle me. Hustle White man. Ain’t nothing coming about from voting. They control this thing.
Now there were White slaves in America also. They came over as indentured servants. Some of them were even in a chattel form of slavery. They started to unite with the Black slaves. So then you had the White slave and the Black slave uniting to solve their common problem. Everything was broken down to the common denominator – we are being oppressed by this guy. So they got together and insurrections started popping up. A unified front started popping up. And the rich real White man said, ‘Hold up. White man, what are you doing uniting with this Black man? You are one of us. This is what we are going to do. We are going to give you forty acres, a mule, some corn to grow and a rifle to protect your land from the niggers.’ And that is the middle class. That is what gave birth to middle class America. Middle Class America is a bunch of indentured servants who think they have power but don’t have any power. They were given that middle class status by that same elite, White, wealthy slave owner who enslaved them all – the White and the Black. Dick Gregory said, ‘when I talk about White people being devils and evil, I ain’t talking about all of you all. Because some of you all are impersonating real White people. I am talking about real White people,’ Dick Gregory said. There is a big difference, you are running around here like a racist, you are a peon White man. He is about to get rid of you too. And that is where your open confrontation is going to come. When Middle class White America notices that all of the jobs are gone. When they notice that they can’t get in their pick up truck anymore and go to the factory to go to work, because all of the jobs have gone to China, the new manufacturer of the international community. When all of your jobs have gone to Taiwan and India and unemployment escalates to unbearable levels, and oil prices get so high, and bread costs you a day’s pay, when things get that bad that is when you are going to see that the vote don’t mean anything and middle class White man is going to regress to that violent demonstration of power that goes way back. He’s going to say look, ‘its time to bang’. We are going to get another civil war in America, White on White crime which leads to bloodshed. When middle class White people realize the vote is a hoax and you have been shammed and America is really an egg shell that had the yolk sucked out through the size of a sewing pin, and the egg shell is touched and crushed, they will realize and grab their guns and you will see Civil War, part II. American verse American. America lost more people in the civil war than in any other war. The whole thing is a scam. Think about it, all of the laws they have in America are designed to stop the poor people from doing the same thing that the elite did to get the power. None of them follow the law. How about the Saudi prince? They just stopped his plane in France with two tons of cocaine on it. The Saudi prince. I got the article from ABC News. I got the transcript. He’s scheming like a demon on the couch with his feet up, his Brother was just visiting the president.
Voting is only about making you think you are part of a system that you were never part of. You think the same person who enslaved you is going to give you the right to change the system? No way. The person who oppressed you, hung you, lynched you, raped your women, castrated you, burnt you at the stake, sent his kids to school with necklaces made out of your ears. You think this man who hates you that much is going to give you a chance to change his system? Martin Luther King was good until he said we need to redistribute the wealth. And then, ‘pow’. Good day.
Cedric Muhammad: And I just wanted to say that you were well ahead of your time with the Poor Righteous Teachers album, New World Order. Let’s be clear, all you need to do is listen to the outro, and that was 1996 I believe.
Wise Intelligent: Right.
Cedric Muhammad: I just wanted to know, in light of your foresight, what do you make of the surveillance of Hip-Hop artists, that they (law enforcement )have even acknowledged in 2001 and 2002 in New York and certainly in Miami last year? Do you make any analogies between that and COINTELPRO?
Wise Intelligent: Oh no doubt. That is exactly what it is. It is COINTELPRO. And right now COINTELPRO has made the 5% a gang. Well they are attempting to do so. That is their move. Right now in Trenton, there is Bloods and Crips now all over the community. They stay in the front of the newspapers, shooting each other, young kids, 14, 15, 17 years old. Shooting each other over red and blue. Now, I get the newspaper the other day and they got the faces, and a chart up. It has all of the mug shots of Bloods on one side and Crips on the other. And in the middle they got, “5%”, with one guy. Now, what kind of gang is this with one guy? The 5% are a gang. When? And that is COINTELPRO. It is not even about stopping the Bloods and Crips it is about eradicating the 5%. The thing with Hip-Hop is that there has never been a revolution or effective demonstration that took place in the history of the world that wasn’t youth-driven. The youth are always on the front lines. And Hip-Hop speaks to the youth. What’s gonna’ happen when the rappers say something of value? Something that could change something. And the artist is already selling 10 million records? That’s power. Lloyd Banks said it. He said, ‘Man you know how much power we got?’ He said ‘If I went out there saying something all political man, please they are gonna’ take me out. I got too much power.’ He said, ‘But they don’t care if ‘Afroman’ go out there and say it, because they no Afroman is Afroman. And the people have already been taught not to respect Afroman. But if I do it’, - Lloyd Banks was making the point – ‘with this fitted (cap) on and this forty inch cable, bling blinging and the world dropping down getting their eagle on, talking about G,G,G,G,G-Unit!’ songs, I am in trouble if I say something positive. If I start trying to mobilize these people.’ Think about it, Hip-Hop has mobilized the entire Black community to gang culture. Joe Buddens said, ‘If all of these niggas are gangsters, where did all of the punks go?’ Cause everybody’s a thug now. You even got Beyonce and them – girls from Church – saying I want a soldier with his camouflage, tattoos and smoking his weed, with his car and all this is the kind of guy I want. And he can knock me off with his timberlands and boxer draws off. And kick me out his house or my own house. 'That’s the kind of nigger that I want. When I see him I am going to salute. I need a soldier.'
That’s what they are saying and that is what they are promoting – gangsterism. The entire Black community is mobilized around this. When it was conscious rap on the radio, the White man saw that. He saw the entire community being galvanized and catapulted into something positive. He saw them locking up their head, twisting their head, joining the Nation of Islam, he saw this. He said, ‘Wow, this is power.’ Did you see the movie Malcolm X? In the movie when Malcolm X went to the county jail and he gets the two Brothers that were locked up.
Cedric Muhammad: Yeah, they said he had too much power.
Wise Intelligent: They said, ‘That’s too much power...
Cedric Muhammad:: for one man to have.
Wise Intelligent: Exactly. Hip Hop has that power multiplied by one hundred. And that’s why Hip-Hop must be surveillanced. It must be shut down, because it is not going to be long before these so-called ignorant Black man from the ghetto getting all of this money develop some kind of political orientation. It is not going to be long before they put some politics behind that money. And that’s what the problem is. It is a serious issue. They can’t let that happen. When they get some political orientation it is going to be over with. It is going to be over when one of these athletes wake up, one of these Basketball players, one of these rappers, it is going to be an ugly situation man. And the White man is smart, so what he has to do is, he has to kill all possible seeds. He has to sterilize every seed that is capable of giving birth to a revolution. He has to spray all the soil with some kind of herbicide to kill off the seed. That’s what he is doing. Hip-Hop is fertile soil for the propping up of revolution. So they are spraying the soil right now. And hey, are we going to stand around and let it go down? What are we going to do? I don’t know, I don’t know what the people want to do yet. But one thing that I know for sure is that revolution is something that is not planned, there is no way to stop a revolution it is like a tsunami. It comes when nobody expected it, like with the Rodney King riots. It just comes. And the reason that it just comes, is that when you have got an oppressed people, within that oppressed people, they have internalized that oppression and they have internalized that impulse to murder and lash out at their oppression. But not being able to confront their oppressor outright publicly, that impulse to murder spills out in their own community in the form of Black on Black, Blood vs. Crip, so on and so forth. But that impulse to murder isn’t going anywhere so that is what is driving the music. Hip-Hop has always been the music of oppressed people. That’s why it is so aggressive. The music is so aggressive listen to the drum that is a war drum. I don’t care if it is the ‘Candy Shop’. When you listen to the music, the ‘Candy Shop’ and a White boy made that beat, and he is influenced by Hip-Hop culture and Hip-Hop culture is oppressed people’s culture, regardless. You can’t make R&B and say it is Hip-Hop. Because it has a certain thing theme that drives it, a certain aggression. Even the love songs. Even the slow songs. There is a violent undertone in Hip-Hop. There is a violent undertone in the Black community. I don’t care, you could be the most peaceful Black man in the world but when justice is served, even if it is violently, that person will say, ‘Well, hey, the chickens come home to roost. What comes around goes around. That’s what you put out, that’s what you get back.’ Like when O.J. got off. We didn’t give a damn about O.J. Realistically, we just wanted to see a Black man finally beat an unjust system. That’s all we really wanted to see. When the police got off for beating Rodney King right before our eyes like that? That impulse to murder that is dormant in the Black man, that is being pacified by ‘drop down and get your eagle on’ and ‘give me some ass girl’ and ‘drop it like its hot’ and ‘give me your bling nigga’ and the White man putting leads to distract and misdirect it, eventually it is going to come out. There is no way to get away from it. And hey, it is going to be a bloodbath, once the right lead is put on that impulse. And that is why Malcolm X had to be killed. He was putting the right lead on that impulse to murder. And that is what Che Guevara did in South America. He put the right lead on the poor people’s impulse to murder. He was showing them, ‘hey it is the imperial West that is coming down here taking all of our resources and exploiting them.’ Patrice Lumumba, he was putting the right leads on the people’s impulse to murder in the Congo. He was showing them who was the enemy and they had to kill him. Laurent Kabila, they had to kill him. Kwame Nkrumah. It goes on and on. And that is why the radio is playing what it is playing, it is redirecting the impulse. When the conscious era was here, the impulse was given political orientation and it was starting to go in the right direction. It was saying, ‘Fight The Power!’ Point blank. I just finished a song right now where I am talking about that. It is an aggressive record and I am on some Franz Fanon (mentality). And in the intro I am saying ‘this song is dedicated to that 50% of the Black youth that is living below the poverty line. That pitch rock, flick cops, wrist glock, while the Black leaders sit, watch, and blame that shit on Hip-Hop.’ The song pretty much sums up how you are blaming the youth when they are turning into Bloods and Crips when you neglected them all of these years. You can’t blame the youth for being neglected. One line in the song I say, ‘Black leaders, teachers, preachers, blaming the youth for self destruction/Look let me break down something/You niggas know little to nothing/they cutting the social programs, they stopping the aid to the youth/ they moving the jobs to Taiwan, they build more jails than schools.’ It is simple but Black leaders act like they don’t see it because they are eating off it. They are getting paid to sit up on these panels to go and talk to White man. All of these Black caucuses to talk to White man about what is going on in the community. They hold these big meetings in White man hotels, big conferences on what to do about the Black youth problem. Stop neglecting the youth. That’s what the problem is. What ever happened to the CIA Crack issue and Gary Webb? How did that get swept under the rug Maxine Waters?
Cedric Muhamamd: And now he’s dead.
Maxine Waters: Yeah he’s dead with two shotgun holes in his face. And they say he commited suicide.
Cedric Muhammad: Now to add some righteous humor. Wise, have you updated, or revised, or have you tampered with or diluted, in any form, the Wise Intelligent dance?
Wise Intelligent: (laughter) The what?
Cedric Muhammad The Wise Intelligent Dance. You may not have known it but that is how it is being referred to on the street, Brother.
Wise Intelligent: Oh Word?!?
Cedric Muhammad: Any of your videos – in ‘90, ‘91, ’92 you can see the dance. The Wise Intelligent Dance, Brother, has it been changed?
Wise Intelligent: Wow. I never even did the knowledge to that. I was just doing what felt good at the time. That was a moment. I probably could not repeat that if I tried to. It is like an ad lib. You are in the studio laying down vocals on a track and an ad lib comes out. You know you felt it. It might not be rhythmically correct but it was emotionally correct so you keep it (laughter) that’s all. I don’t think it can be repeated or something. I am not sure.
Cedric Muhammad:: Well when we meet and build next time I might bring some people with me who have perfected it.
Wise Intelligent: Alright.
Cedric Muhammad: Well, Wise I appreciate this very much. Is there anything else you would like to add on?
Wise Intelligent: Yeah. I want to say that Wise Intelligent, Poor Righteous Teachers, Intelligentmuzik.com. Our whole little movement that we have going on right here – we are down with whoever is down with fighting against poverty and ignorance. That’s where our fight is. We wrestle not with flesh, or blood. We wrestle not with that. Poverty and ignorance is what we are at war against. And our whole movement is on the front line in that movement against poverty and ignorance. So don’t think that we are on some racist hate the world thing. We don’t have power to be racists and if we did have the power that the racist have, we wouldn’t delegate our power in that way. We are righteous men. Intelligentmuzik.com, log on. Get knowledge, get wisdom but in all of your getting, get the understanding. The 5% is not a gang. A lot of newspapers and police precincts around here are going around saying Wise Intelligent is proliferating gang violence throughout the world, from out of Trenton. So, as a Poor Righteous Teacher they are trying to put me under that microscope, to find a way to eradicate me before I even get the next thing going. They are trying to include me with the whole gang bang - with the Bloods and the Crips and so forth. So understand that I have never been part of the nonsense. With me it has always been Freedom, Justice and Equality for oppressed Black people all over the world. We are about what gets you killed in the Western world. We are about freeing oppressed people. That’s a no-no. Ask Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Che Guevara, Nat Turner. Just ask them. Freedom costs. So we are against poverty and ignorance because that is the first enslaver of the people right now. It is an all-out war. We are bringing knowledge, trying to shed some light on some things and put some proper leads on that impulse to murder that the youth have right now. We are trying to show them what put them in this situation. Why they are in it and how to get out of it. And if you are about that, for oppressed people all over the world, then get down and gather with us, and we’ll see you at the table. Peace.
Cedric Muhammad: Thank You Wise.
Wise Intelligent: You are welcome Brother. Peace and Love.
Friday, May 13, 2005