One thing we should do in this coming year is shed the industry frame-work that has been attached to our music. By that I mean we need to see Hip Hop offerings as timeless and something to be embraced when our spirits move us and not something that needs to be consumed to further a record label’s bottom line.. Far too many of us have been caught up in measuring the success of an artists or the importance of a particular song by artificial criteria like first week’s album sales or heavy rotation on the radio station claiming to be home to Hip Hop and R&B..
Even amongst folks who say they shun commercialism there is still a short-sighted criteria where the name of the game seems to be who got an album first or who got an exclusive..It’s a self-serving criteria that allows one to appear ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ but unfortunately what gets lost is the important messages and concepts put forth by an artist who finds him or herself quickly discarded and deemed irrelevant by the hipster type with the same reckless abandon as their commercial counterpart.
Music at its best is communal..It’s to be shared and upheld. It’s a sound track to our lives. Its healing to our wounded souls. It’s inspiring, in a world that seems hell-bent on keeping us down..Hopefully artists don’t get discouraged and start changing up their process by abandoning expressions that reflects what’s on their hearts to create throwaway product that fulfils the needs of fast food consumers and not those who need true mental and audio nourishment.
So for folks who are tired of the same ole same ole, please keep in mind there’s a treasure chest of good solid music waiting to be discovered.. Lets go back to browsing and digging for music that moves us vs waiting for it to be served by the tentacles of an industry that doesn’t have our well-being in mind..
Today we wanna celebrate a tireless champion and prolific artist.. Blastmasta KRS-One tha Teacha ... Here’s 3 songs you should take in..The lyrics and video are on point, uplifting and stand the test of time.. Shout out to his producer who is also a dope artists Mad-Lion.
The first song is Aztechnical.. It came out late last year and addresses the issue of the Mayan calendar and prophecy and the Earth supposedly ending. Well as you know that day Dec 21 2012 has come and gone.. But as KRS explains, what was supposed to take place was us reaching a higher consciousness in our thinking.. He takes you there in this song..
The second song ‘Just Like That‘ deals with a topic that KRS has addressed on at least 3 or 4 different occasions.. His upbringing. For those of us who know KRS, we might be tempted to say ‘I heard this story’ before.. But for folks who are just getting acquainted to KRS, its inspiring as and gives us insight on how we might overcome rough times.. In short the message is timeless
The third song was released a few days after Hurricane Sandy… It’s probably his most important song and shows KRS at his best.. Here he gives sound advice as to what we should be doing in preparation for a natural disaster..The song is called ‘Disaster Kit‘
The marked end of The Mayan Calendar on December 21st, 2012 as noted in the KRS-One song Aztechnical does not mean that life on planet Earth itself is going to end any time soon due to cataclysmic events. But rather, just as many Biblical Prophecies, Qur’anic Prophecies, the pyramid prophecies of Ancient Egypt (Kemet), the end of The Age of Pisces/beginning of the Age of Aquarius and other prophetic histories that are “written in advanced,” the end of The Mayan Calendar points to, above all else, the end of an old state of being and the steady movement towards a new age of spiritual and intellectual Awakening; into the very nature and reality of Self.
This is the consciousness and manifestation of God in the person of human being, which is also known as “The Hereafter.” This is not talking about a state of consciousness that we experience after we physically die, but an actual physical condition experienced here on Earth while we are still living. Furthermore, “The Hereafter” is a state of being in which we are actively working to manifest The Divine in any way imaginable, while continuously removing obstructions that impede our progress from achieving this Ultimate Goal. As Edgar Cayce, a legend within the New Thought Movement, said “For you grow to heaven, you don’t go to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there …”
Hip Hop, as a culture and as a community, must move in this direction of Divine Order if it stands a chance to survive. Movement towards The Divine, in this sense, is not a partial occurrence, as it has been experienced in the Movement in the past (particularly in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s). Rather, The Time we are living in warrants a holistic change, incorporating all aspects of living – from the way that we think, perform, eat and even rest.
In essence, the root of making all things new in our way of life derives from what The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has referred to as The Most Powerful Creative Force which is Love, The Building Blocks that gave shape and form to the very Universe itself. We along with everything in Creation itself exist because of Unconditional Love, which is Biblically synonymous with The Creator of The Heavens and The Earth Himself.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
It is because of Unconditional Love for the people, that one of the most influential Founding Fathers of Hip Hop culture, Afrika Bambaataa, was able to end gang violence in The South Bronx in the early 1970s. It was gang violence that was leading to heightened levels of death among the youth. In a gradual process, after entering into Divine Knowledge that he had learned from different communities at the time, including The Nation of Islam, The Nation of Gods and Earth and The Moorish Science Temple. He utilized that knowledge to separate the darkness (or condition of gross ignorance) that lurked in his own mind and discovered the Divine Light that was buried within him the whole time of his own existence. From there, he summoned the Divine Forces within himself and all of the Forces outside of himself. They manifested themselves in the form of the gang members in the community, which he considered to be his family. He called for peace, and established it under the banner of the first Hip Hop activist organization called Universal Zulu Nation.
But just in the very nature of Love being a creative force he also summoned all of the Divine Expressions or Elements in the environment that also lurked in the dark (DJing, Emceeing, Breaking, Graffiti) and gave them aim, purpose, shape and form into the Universal Cultural Expression known as Hip Hop. Afrika Bambaataa himself says in an interview with East-3.com, which was featured on Daveyd.com:
“It is Afrika Bambaataa to whom named and called each entity of BBoys/BGirls/DJaying/MCs/Aerosol Writing and adding The Most important Knowledge as the main Element of Hip Hop Culture and Brother KRS One helped to add more, with a few other as Plus Elements to the main Key elements of Hip Hop Culture. No one else never used or thought of naming each entity of the Culture an Element or to say that this Movement that we all are doing is called Hip Hop Culture or to recognize it as a World Movement. The Birth of this movement is The Bronx, New York City, New York Republic, but Rap is as Ancient as The creation of Humans itself.”
As noted by Afrika Bambaataa himself, this Divine Process falls in line with the great tradition of Motion of The Ancients themselves. It goes as far back as The Great River Valley Civilizations of Kemet, Arabia, Sumeria and China in which the richness of the environment was extracted from (cultivated), given form, given aim and given purpose. And even long before that, it is in line with the actual Self-Creation of The Creator Himself, separating Triple Darkness from Light, and giving Himself and the Universe form using the very rich aquatic material found in the Triple Darkness itself. This Divine process mentioned in a coded way in both Bible and Holy Qur’an:
“He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness.” (Job 26:10)
“Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made darkness and light. Yet those who disbelieve set up equals to their Lord. He it is Who created you from clay, then He decreed a term. And there is a term named with Him; still you doubt.” (Holy Qur’an 6:1 – 2)
Just as it was in these Noble Divine Beginnings, so it can be with Hip Hop once again. The culture overall has fallen in a state of spiritual darkness and has stayed there for well over a decade. It’s most illuminating voices have been kept buried, hence “Underground.” But now, it just takes one with unconditional love within an organization, a town or a city to have the courage to unbury these luminaries, bring them together and put their gifts and talents to use for what they are Divinely intended to fulfill – UPLIFT HUMAN BEINGS, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES TO THEIR GREATEST POTENTIAL! ARE YOU THE ONE THAT CAN FULFILL THIS?
Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for over 10 years and is currently involved in The MIA (Music Is Alive) Campaign for the development of the National Hip Hop Day of Service. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Rasul Hakim Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.
So 150 years ago today President Abraham Lincoln ‘freed the slaves‘ or so the narrative goes.. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed, but how many of us really knows what that all meant? In addition how is 150 years later we have more folks in prison than we did on those plantations?
Even if we aren’t in jails, many of us are dealing head on with economic enslavement..I’m with the late Gil Scott Heron who famously said ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’.. He went on to explain, it won’t be televised because the revolution we need has to take place in our minds..Have we freed ourselves in the question on the first day of 2013?
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.
From the first days of the Civil War, slaves had acted to secure their own liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery’s final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.
If this man freed us why are so many of us still locked up?
The original of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, is in the National Archives in Washington, DC. With the text covering five pages the document was originally tied with narrow red and blue ribbons, which were attached to the signature page by a wafered impression of the seal of the United States. Most of the ribbon remains; parts of the seal are still decipherable, but other parts have worn off.
The document was bound with other proclamations in a large volume preserved for many years by the Department of State. When it was prepared for binding, it was reinforced with strips along the center folds and then mounted on a still larger sheet of heavy paper. Written in red ink on the upper right-hand corner of this large sheet is the number of the Proclamation, 95, given to it by the Department of State long after it was signed. With other records, the volume containing the Emancipation Proclamation was transferred in 1936 from the Department of State to the National Archives of the United States.