Allhiphop.com: Talk about your most current project
and what else may be in the works for the Black Panthers.
JC: "All Of Us" is the first album
from the Black Panther Fugitives, which I am a member of. It’s myself and two
other members (Terrence "Jug" Trotter, and Jeffrey "Bones"
McMullen). Like Dorion talked about earlier, it’s a good mixture of the music,
the medium Hip-Hop that is, and the message. It’s only natural that "All
Of Us" features tracks that speak to some of the things that are going
on, and contains speeches from Huey (Newton), George Jackson, Fred Hampton,
and the list goes on. At the same token that you are listening to these tracks,
you get a little information, not just drinking and smoking. Again, we are trying
to give that alternative, but give an alternative the way we know how to give
it. The way we know how to do it has never been commercial or gimmicky. We all
got on black leather berets, walking around with our fist up.
DH: It took a minute just because that was our
first project. Now, we are working on the next project. We got a video to one
of the singles, which is called "The Party Line." You can check it
out at http://www.blackpanthertours.com.
JC: This first album is really a good synopsis
and mild introduction to what we are about to bring.
Allhiphop.com: How do you go about not getting
pigeonholed and being seen in one aspect? How do you avoid the stigma that has
haunted your organization for 37 years?
JC: The biggest misconception is the importance
of the Black Panther Party from 1966 to 1980. I think that’s what this generation
is missing and tries to sugarcoat. We are put in this one light and one realm
that all we did was raise guns and chase cops down the street. Nah, man! This
is a situation and an organization where change was made. If you want to talk
about revolution in your contemporary times, here it was, in your face 37 years
DH: Let’s talk about right now. This is the Black
Panthers. This is the Dr. Huey P. Newton Black Panther Records, Inc. This is
still the same blood and the same fire that was used 37 years ago. It’s just
another generation putting it in another format for another generation. The
same actions aren’t necessary today as they were 37 years ago. So, we must take
a new approach.
JC: We must take an economic approach.
DH: It’s about economics today. The social programs
have been implemented and the opportunities have been given. What we do today
is continue to be wise black men and learn from them as they have from us. We
have to take our economics and put them back into ourselves. The Panther Party
was not about an organization; it was about an ideology and a philosophy in
which the organization existed upon. That’s how our record company exists today.
This is not about making a whole bunch of money in Hip-Hop. We care more about
the youth than we do about making money because we got kids, and we take care
of our kids.
Allhiphop.com: Do you believe that there is a
consciousness in Hip-Hop anymore? If you take a look at the media, the videos,
and the magazines, all you see is rappers with a mouth full of platinum, hoards
of jewelry around people’s necks, and glorified images of negativity in all
aspects. What does one do to combat those sort of sight unseen things that deserve
DH: That’s the commercial element of Hip-Hop,
the more glorified side. The Panthers have always stood behind the more oppressed
and more suffering individuals. Those are those from the street. So, when we
talk about the conscience element of Hip-Hop, we want to talk about the underground,
the part that’s not getting the mainstream exposure. We are trying to deal with
and compete from the broke side of Hip-Hop. (laughs)
Allhiphop.com: I’ve got news for you. There are
not a lot of people in this business getting paid like that. Hip-Hop is predominantly
broke! Artists are walking around with whip marks on their backs, broke.
DH: That’s why we have to work collectively as
an independent. If you are truly independent and have some constituents and
fan bases, then you are not worried about going platinum and gold and all that
Allhiphop.com: So, what do you think about companies
such as BET that would sell out to the other side for the sole purpose of larger
JC: They are in it to make money, you know what
I mean? It’s good business practice. They have been making money off of black
people for years, so why stop now? We are not willing to stop it, and neither
DH: There’s a lot of ways to look at that, from
the corporate control to Robert Johnson feeling like it’s a great opportunity
for him as a businessman. There’s a whole lot to take into consideration before
we go there.
JC: When Bill Cosby was trying to buy NBC, we
should have been behind him. Instead, we let him go by himself, and he came
Allhiphop.com: That’s because we are too busy
defending fools like OJ Simpson. We put our precious energies into the wrong
JC: You feel me! And it becomes a matter of put
up or shut up.
Allhiphop.com: Bill Cosby was that close to buying
the biggest, most well known network on God’s green earth out of his own pocket.
JC: Do you realize how many people didn’t know
DH: He should have gone and started his own network. He didn’t even have to
be bothered with them. People are always trying to get someone else’s stuff.
Get your own stuff!
Allhiphop.com: At the end of the day, what is
the ultimate vision of the record company? The Black Panthers are based in inner
cities such as Oakland and Los Angeles, so how do you propose you incorporate
the inner city with that vision?
DH: Looking at the legacy as a whole, and taking
a look at how it’s structured as a business, we can truly find success. As a
business model, the various programs that the Panther legacy has had influence
over, such as health clinic programs, the ambulance service, and senior citizen
programs, today we have to take the same approach and say that one of the most
important things to focus on is to not ignore the needs of the community. Therefore,
you have to be a part of the community and find out what programs you can assist
them with. That’s why it’s always important to stay true to the essence of what
this legacy has stood for.