Liberate Your Mind with the Empowering Wisdom of Hip-Hop – Part 1

Music can be an empowering and educational art of communication, which can both be spiritually moving and liberating for the mind. One such music genre that fits into the aforementioned, and that I’m a big listener of, is none other than Hip-Hop.

For those of you who have been up until now misconceived by the media’s portrayal of Hip-Hop, let me now make you become aware that its true purpose was not for black men to: disrespect women and call them “My Bitches!”; speak with all profanities all of the time; accumulate as much money as possible illegitimately; kill as many other black men as possible for reputation only.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Hip-Hop, which actually derived from African tribal music and dance (as promoted by hip-hop originator Afrika Bambaataa), was a tool for the black community (who were, and perhaps still are disillusioned about life in an America that discriminates against them – although, conditions have improved somewhat since the 1960’s; but perhaps not enough) to educate and empower themselves against the oppressive and difficult atmosphere they found themselves in.  Black people had at last found a vehicle for them to express themselves and their culture vocally (MC’ing, or Rapping) and physically (Break-Dancing, or B-boying).

The poetic message purported by many hip-hop artists such as KRS-One, was for one to gain self-understanding, wisdom and knowledge of one’s roots which helped to: raise black consciousness; spiritually motivate one to achieve success; encourage unity amongst an uneducated people who have been mostly misguided by an ignorant and divisive society.

For the many poor black people who lived in a decadent ghetto, Hip-Hop was an instrument for them to speak the real truth, in rhyme-form, about their struggles in life and to encourage the black youth not to go down the path of self-destructive activities, such as crime and drugs; but to instead get an education so that they can escape their apparently chosen fate of either being killed in a gang-related shooting, or going to prison.

Hip-Hop has been mostly given a bad rap (excuse the pun) in recent times by ignorant political party members, religious leaders, or anyone else looking for a scapegoat for society’s destructive problems.  This is perhaps due to what you may call Gangsta Rap, which is a new phenomenon that is seemingly more readily promoted by record labels and music video channels in today’s culture of sex, violence and money.

The ‘Gangsta Rap’ mentality no doubt represents a negative and false portrayal of black people in general, and can go on to influence and affect the psyche of young, stereotyped black men (especially those without any positive role models or an active father figure in their lives) trying to find their way in a society that seemingly expects them to become nothing but criminals or hoodlums – and as such, they would sometimes oblige and play the role of “Public Enemy #1”.  It is no accident why “Black-on-Black” crime is so rife both here in England and America.

There are plenty of conspiracies as to why ‘Gangsta Rap’ is so popular, here’s one for example: ‘CIA Invented Rap Too Destroy The Black Community!’, but I do not wish to entertain any such theories here, as it doesn’t actually find a solution for this apparent epidemic that infects the black community.

Let me now reiterate, ‘Gangsta Rap’ is not True Hip-Hop!

In conclusion: The lesson here is that it’s easy to blame something that we don’t understand for social problems, but we need to remove our prejudices before we can actually see the positiveness and wisdom of this misunderstood and stigmatised art form of black culture.

Let me start this series of posts with a video and lyrics of Inspectah Deck’s ‘Show ‘N Prove’:

Inspectah Deck – Show ‘N Prove Lyrics

Chorus: Sample (Inspectah Deck)]
The power of God’s in you (show and prove)
The power of God’s in you (show and prove)
The power of God’s in you (show and prove)
True The time has come through
Chose the few must show and prove

[Intro: Inspectah Deck *in the the background of the chorus*]
Yea this is the power true power
Showin and provin

[Inspectah Deck]
I once asked God to forgive for my sins
Bent on my knees pleadin to be heavenly cleansed
Said the Holy Ghost changed the ways and actions of men
When I stood, I felt the same as if I just walked in
I was twelve at the time, held nines, held mines
A frail mind, criminal thoughts well-designed
Then the Older Gods put me on, on how to rock this
Maintain, 360, lord and live prosperous
His jewel was priceless, keep the cypher righteous
Bare in mind, God, some of your own won’t like this
I’m mentally scarred, recooperatin from abrasure
Fooled by interpretations made from a traitor
It’s in my nature, I was taught, that’s the first law
Obtain the food, clothin and the shelter that I search for
The fire in my eyes is hot as Earth’s core
What hurts more, the fact that we still dirt poor
In hard times force crimes out of honest man
And most fiend to see the so-called promised land
Sun of Man, knowledge, wisdom and understand
that it’s time to take matters in our own hands

[Chorus]

[Inspectah Deck]
The wicked ways of the world can’t escape sin
I’m facin masses gun on the plantation
Seen source from home yet I’m still caved in
Cuz 9000 miles is such a long way to swim
and many die tryin to survive the next mile
Famillies was raised as slaves and exiled
I learned it as a child, knowledge be the key
to unlock your brain and set your mindstate free
It’s true, the times come through, chose the few
Show and prove, the power of God’s in you
or remain a savage in pursuit of happiness
Who lacks jewels, love and peace completes the package
The fact is five out a hundred know the truth
The wisdom might blow the roof when shown and proved

[Chorus]

[Inspectah Deck]
Through the course of time, we was dumb, deaf and blind
Now we on the incline, build with one mind
Came a long way, but, yo, we still far behind
So, uplift the mind, God, rise and shine
I speak to the black-bellied yellow seeds
My fellow breed all races, colors and creeds
Search for the knowledge, use science and math
and be queens and kings like the centuries past
The devil tried to fool my people, said we was equal
But I believe him when my culture sees freedom
You beat ’em with the positive thoughts, you don’t need em
Leave him in the dirt, let the blood suckers see him

[Chorus to fade]

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