Alpha_Rap

Somehow This Rap Thing Reminds Me Of The Frat Thing…


I’m the best hypocrite I know. Perhaps this is so because I intimately know the intentions of my heart and the stances my mind better than anyone else. As such, when I have a change of heart about a particular subject matter, this knowledge jumps to the forefront of my mind once I’ve countered a position I once held.

Cases in point:  I had a thing against Rap and Black fraternities going into college.  Yet coming out of college, I’d become an advocate of both. Coming out of college, I’d become an adamant spokesperson for rap as an aspiring poet  or, in some respects and as stated by the CEO of www.allhiphop.com, a closet rapper and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc.:

An Adamant Advocate

Advocating for

Both, I was Rap’s and frat’s
Adamant spokesperson.

One of my line names, in fact, would’ve served as a dope rap name had I chosen to go that route: Adamantium. Not that I ever toyed with the idea of being a rapper; but it is obvious by the poetry that I write, chocked with internally disciplined rhyme schemes, that I have been influenced by the culture of Hip-Hop; a culture that I decried in my adolescent years for some of its darkening messages and images:

Hip-Hop’s Coming and Going of Ages

As its messaged image

darkened, Hip-Hop’s age changed
from Golden to Dark.

In like manner, during my teenage years, I can recall scoffing at my peers chanting and doing steps during Spirit Week. ‘Why are they stepping when they’re not even members of any of the black fraternities or sororities? Why would anyone subject themselves to such a crazy initiation process? Why should a person all of a sudden be best friends/brothers/sisters with someone just because of three Greek letters? It was literally Greek to me in my comprehension, understanding and translation of its importance at that time in my life.

But much like Hip-Hop, as I came of age, things changed. As I entered into college and began writing poetry, I began to “listen” and look past the message of rap to focus on its construction – one that I began to covet as I attempted to master this craft myself. In college, I continued a weight lifting regiment I’d began in the ninth grade to rebuild a poor self-image I had. This self-image stemmed from and fueled low self-confidence as well which barred me from participating in sports. In short, I’d never physically challenged myself. So when an associate of mine came to me asking to join him in becoming an Alpha, I actually began to weigh it differently than I’d done before. “This could be my physical test that I’ve failed and avoided in my childhood,” I thought. “This could be a validation of my weight training – a make-up test, of sorts, for my youth.”

I would later research the organization on my own and discover that manly deeds and scholastic aptitude were principled tenets of Alpha Phi Alpha which aligned with my own goals and overshadowed the perceived images I had in my mind. Images of fraternities posing as clubs chocked full of social experimentation riddled with boys obsessed with false projections of man/brotherhood, drinking and partying. I would later come to respect its members such as Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesse Owens who were pillars of Black society.  Thus, my mind become rife with hypocrisy as I went on to become the HYPEST Alpha you’d ever want to meet!

Later in life, I would move to a church that had a drill team: young men who performed steps inspired by Black Greek step shows as a form of praise and worship to God. And despite my previous scoffs at my high school friends and a lack of proficiency when it came to stepping, my experience with Greek Life would be called upon and used by God to minister to these young men as I taught them steps superimposed with Christian themes and Biblical scripture.

In like manner, despite my previous position against the craft and makeup of late 90’s rap, I could be called upon and used by God to minister to young people as I began writing rhymes superimposed with Christian themes and Biblical scripture. What an awesome God I serve for He has made me into a forsaken hypocrite for the sake of His glory!:

For the Sake of Forsaken Hypocrisy

For the sake of

Christian wit, God’s made me a
forsaken hypocrite!

So, indeed, my call to hypocrisy has become “Somehow this rap thing reminds me of this frat thing” – inspired, ironically and fittingly, by Nas’ line made more famous by Jay-Z’s sample: “Somehow the rap game/ Reminds me of the crack game.”

  • Mongo Slade

    @ Reggie this a thought provoking, honest and well written article that I really enjoyed reading. We are all a rflection of each other in some way or another and while it sounds like I was probaly more athletic than u were in your adolescence years, I totally relate to many of the sentiments you expressed which is proly why I liked the article enuf to write this comment. Good stuff man and keep banging, IMO those of us that have our 3rd eye open are on a neverending journey searching for more meaning and more truth in this thing we call Life, Love & Hip Hop

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  • cocolove2000

    Good writing but Greek life is superficial. I’ve seen a lot of students pledge and ended up failing out of school just for some non-black letters. Of course, some went on and got their degree. But sorry bruh fraternity life is nothing like hip hop life. You don’t pledge to hip hop by getting your ass beat and hazed. You pledge to hip hop by living it.

    Not down with a frat, no i ain’t no greek
    a message from a black man is what you seek!
    – Lord Jamar from Brand Nubian

  • Marcus Campbell

    “line made more famous by Jay-Z’s sample”..WRONG..It was Nas sample that Jay-Z used..Plus that wasn’t even a famous song off of Volume 1..But nice editorial nonetheless

  • Decent article, although the Frat life isn’t like Hip Hop , after reading this article, I must agree that Frat life is similar to RAP life.
    Hip Hop & RAP are different!

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  • rep87

    they are simular good rap educate the youth is forgotton while the flashy full of ignorance gets all the attention