Saturday, March 26, 2005

Civil Rights Leaders: Back Up Before You Disrespect
Hip Hop Again!!!
By: Adisa Banjoko

I’m tired of all these s-curl wearing, half baked Civil Rights leaders constantly blasting Hip Hop. They are like Black faced Bill Oreilly’s on Prozac spewing wackness constantly. They spit venom at today’s youth and their reaction to being poor, uneducated and socially outcast. They don’t go after the Bush Administration. That is the COWARDS way out. That has no trace of the courage, compassion or leadership of those before you.

The Black Christian church, for whatever reason has always had it in for Hip Hop. Were it not for Michael Eric Dyson and Cornell West, REDEEMING the notions of the Black church and their approach to Hip Hop,virtually all would be lost. Many left over Civil Rights leaders have had a lukewarm relationship with Hip Hop. This has helped widen the chasm between the Black generations ‘causing yet to be determined cultural damage.

Nevertheless, I see more and more so-called Civil Rights leaders trying to step in outta the blue and try to arrogantly judge the Hip Ho p community. They do this with no compassionate ear, no open eye, no softened heart and no warm embrace.

Every time Reverend Two Piece and Deacon Biscuit show up talking bad about Hip Hop is, I KNOW they are way off track. Every time somebody Black “leader” decides to take steamrollers and drive over some Hip Hop DVD’s and CD’s, I know Black leadership has ONCE AGAIN missed the ball.

Don’t tell me you don’t like 50, Dre, Em, Game, Lil John or whoever. Tell me who you do support?!? Why don’t you champion Common, or Mos Def? I never hear you telling people to go get De La Soul or Zion I!! Don’t tell me the Hip Hop you hate, tell us the Hip Hop you are for!!! You know what? You can’t tell us what Hip Hop you like because you DON’T’ LIKE HIP HOP!!! You’ve never even tried to KNOW Hip Hop!!!

You are not just enemies of “Gangsta rap”- you are an enemy of the entire sub-culture itself. That, or you are ignorant about the sub-culture. But you won’t admit it. So you don’t know what to champion, and just stay on attack mode.

I never hear you talk about the beauty of seeing b-girls set it off. I never hear you tell the kids the difference between vandalism and graffiti!!! I never see you commend the DJ’s for all their technological and creative innovations!!! I never hear about you telling kids to bring back that double dutch nation wide!!! You don’t know Hip Hop and therefore many of you are not fit to judge it or critique it. Yet you try to, for your own benefit.

What you fail to acknowledge is that Kanye West did more for the Black Church with ONE SONG, than has been done in the last 20-30 years. He showed Black children the beauty of Jesus. When was the last time you did that? But many in the Black Church tried to chastise the brother because he’s human- he has flaws. Kanye is able to reach out to the people you are afraid of. Would Jesus walk with the Republican party-liner’s wrapped in the Democratic cloth? Or would he walk with the poor and uneducated?

Kanye’s music is for the poor and uneducated because Hip Hop itself, is music for and about the poor and uneducated. People come to Hip Hop to have fun, to share information and get social, political and spiritual insight. Insight they no longer GET from the church.

Despite any issues one may have with Kanye, his music is more “Christ like” in that it is made for the poor. Unfortunately, much of the so-called Black leadership abuses the poor and uneducated. I think that’s why you hate Hip Hop. Maybe you are afraid of being exposed by 50 Cent. If 50 Cent wakes up and calls you out,you’d have big problems. Maybe that’s why you ignore Common, Kumasi the Roots and Dilated Peoples.

Talib Kweli told the ghetto youth that he was with them in their struggle to “Get By”…Meanwhile you drive by us in big caddy’s and we cant see you unless we putting money into the church.

Paris waged a “Sonic Jihad” on the media and the U.S. government by putting hard truth back into rap music. Where was your support then? I know you tried to get your picture taken with Michael Moore when he was in town….but you stayed away from Paris.

Hip Hop lovers from all races and faiths really got things jumping off politically in 2004. But you were TOO afraid of us to really get to know us and who to stand by….So you pretended to be friends…But you did not wanna get too close to us…Your inability to commit to the youth cost you the election because the youth would not commit to your half baked friendship!!

You better take the time to see Hip Hop for all the beauty it has. You better stop demonizing these young people and embrace them the way Jesus would, the way Prophet Muhammad would, the way Moses would…Because love is much closer to the prophetic tradition and spirit than hate. The root of hate is fear. If you would stop to know us, you’d stop hating us. And if you stopped hating us, I know you’d move to really help us. ‘Cause I’ll be the first to tell you, we need all the help we can get.

Adisa Banjoko is author of the controversial book
“Lyrical Swords Vol. 1: Hip Hop and Politics in the
Mix”, !!!

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