My favourite Biggie song ever!
R.I.P. Christopher Wallace: May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997
“My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists.”
A few weeks ago I heard some background chatter in the media about a rapper named Lupe Fiasco, who apparently made the above statement. I didn’t think too much about it at the time. The brother was just stating the obvious as far as I was concerned… plus Black people in America, no matter how enlightened they are or are becoming about the “Obama Bamboozle”… most will still vote for him in 2012. The decades of conditioning is too deep and set. He’s got black skin and he’s a Democrat, ergo…
Then I heard more background chatter that FOXNews commentator and host Bill O’Reilly invited Lupe on his show and challenged him on his above remarks. I read some commentaries afterwards from those who were surprised that a conservative Republican like O’Reilly would come to the defense of Obama. It didn’t surprise me at all… Obama is their “nigga”, both literally and figuratively. He represents the third term of George Bush. I find it ironic that during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, he referred to Hilary Clinton as “Bush-light”, while he in fact has become Bush III.
Still I paid little attention to the supposed con-troversy until I read this commentary at Black Agenda Report: “Hip-Hop and The Weakness of Liberalism”.
“Lupe’s remarks only seem controversial or rare because liberals and the Obamatons have made radical critique seem irresponsible or nonexistent.”
I must admit that Hip-Hop has held no real interest for me in years, but according to this article, Lupe is one of a new breed of “conscious” rappers, so he peaked my interest. I went to Youtube and watched a few of his videos, as well as read a number of his interviews and articles about him.
“I don’t vote. I don’t get involved in the political process… Cause it’s meaningless to be honest”
“Even if you agree with it, you should criticize power.”
I downloaded his lastest CD, LASERS and it has made its way into my latest regular listening rotation (along with Jill Scott’s The Light of the Sun and Ziggy Marley’s Wild and Free). I love the raw energy and edge of his music. His lyrical style is clever and deep.
“I’ma part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful… And I believe in the people.”
The more I read about him and listen to his music, the more I understand why his record company postponed the release of his latest CD for a couple years. He doesn’t promote the glorifying of murder… especially of other Black men, the disrespecting and demonizing of Black women, the juvenile bragging about stereotypical Black male sexual prowess nor the worshipping of materialism. And of-course, he sees Obama the media creation, for who he really is and speaks to that truth.
In my recent post on rapper Chubb Rock, my blog brother Qwami Ade introduced me to a collaboration video between the Chubster himself and Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan. Of course I was impressed! I decided that I would find out more about this young man’s music. So the time came for me to seek and search Brother K’Naan out and I found out that this young man is much deeper than his mad rapping skills would suggest. He’s a champion for his homeland of Somalia and for his people. He has become a spokesman and a statesman–a self appointed ambassador to Somalia’s struggles and desires for freedom, by virtue of his popularity. He’s a rapper’s rapper–can I say that? So many hip hop heads love him and he’s done innumerable collaboratings with everybody who’s anybody in the hip hop world. He’s very well versed in the politics of his country and his rapping artistry is a vehicle for him to get his point across to the world about the struggles of the Somali people.
He’s the answer to what hip hop should always be about– and not only he, but also so many other unheralded spoken word artists. Hip Hop should teach, it should inform, it should elevate, it should inspire and empower, and thank God hip hop continues to do just that in spite of those who prophesy of its impending demise. Hip hop continues just because of the negativity that tries to surround it on all sides and drown out its voice. Truth, though, cannot be silenced for long, and we should always be about the business of seeking truth. Too many of our young people, even our young intellectuals have allowed their ears to be clogged by the madness. It’s up to you, young ones, to clean out your ears to receive the truth, and bypass the lie.
But I digress.
When I found these video clips of Brother K’Naan, my heart sang! He’s articulate, passionate, dedicated, intelligent, focused and he’s using his gift to educate us about Somalia and the struggle of the Somali people in this time. K’Naan is learning about the malevalent power of the western media. He juxtaposes what he hears from his people back in Somalia about the issue of the Somali “pirates” and what he reads and hears about it here in the west. His home of Canada to be exact. Of course the two versions don’t mesh.
Now watch this Canadian interviewer as she twitches in anticipation to find out about the “bad” stuff that K’naan has done in his life. Her basic reasoning turned off, she’s deaf, dumb and blind to the man’s basic humanity. Her entire attention is turned to what exactly K’Naan is talking about when he admits that he had difficulties in his youth. When he explains that he’s been bad “in a textbook sense, but not inside”, the dumb lady can’t grasp what he’s saying. Interesting. White Canadians…so similar to their USAian siblings. (not all of them)
Anyway, I respect what K’Naan then says, quoting an unknown philosopher who said, “it’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark” K’Naan then says he’s not positive because he’s had positive experiences in life, but because he chose to be positive and to turn negative experiences into positive ones. It’s amazing how having a little bit of faith in yourself, and developing your gifts can be the catalyst to actualizing those very gifts!
Much respect to K’Naan for keeping it real!
Thanks to Sis. Anna Renee for turning me on to this! Check out her new spot here too!