AllHipHop.com Features  

The Black Panther Party: Returning For Rap Pt. 2

feat_blackpanthers

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

ago.

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

no glory?

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

stuff.

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

capital gain?

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

are they.

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

up empty-handed.

Allhiphop.com: That’s because we are too busy

defending fools like OJ Simpson. We put our precious energies into the wrong

places.

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

about that?

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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

AllHipHop Archives of Culture

Copyright © 1998 to Infinity, AllHipHop.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Powered by WordPress.com VIP

AllHipHop.com Today