Lil Wayne

The Return of Rebel Music: Can The Likes Of Lil Wayne Fight The Power?


“There’s a chain of command/I’m the missing link”
God Bless Amerika- Lil Wayne

Back in 1969, Jimi Hendrix outraged some folks when he pulled out his guitar and rocked out on The Star Spangled Banner, during Woodstock. Forty -some years later, the drama continues as Lil Wayne is in the center of a storm of controversy for wipin’ his Spectre sneakers on the American flag at a video shot. From Woodstock to Hood -stock, the game remains the same…

When Lil Weezy shot the video for his new song , “God Bless Amerika , recently and stepped on Old Glory, immediately, there were calls for the rapper’s dread-locked head to be served on a platter. Even though he came back less than 24 hours later and claimed that he didn’t mean to diss the flag, the damage had already been done. Also the fact that the event happened while the artist was gettin’ his Rev. Jeremiah Wright on, did not escape millions of outraged ultra-patriots. But just like when Jimi Hendrix pulled out his six string in the 60’s, the question remains, what was Weezy, exactly trying to say? And more importantly what song best represents the true mentality of the real Boyz in the Hood in 2013, Karate Chop or God Bless Amerika.

For most of his career, Dwayne Carter has been the poster boy for political apathy. Besides brief moments of social sobriety , such as his guest verse on Nas and Damian Marley ‘s song ,My Generation, his motto seems to have been “when life throws you a lemon throw some codeine in a cup and make Sizzurp.” But times are changing fast and like Bob Dylan said “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

For the last few years, commercial Hip Hop artists have been fightin’ a losing battle to prove that they can stay, artistically, relevant ,yet, totally detached from what is going on politically across the planet. Even though rap music was being used as a soundtrack for rebellions in other countries, in the USA, the art form was still trapped in a netherworld of bottle poppin’ and booty shakin’.

ALSO READ: Lil Wayne: “[The hood was] The Only America I Knew”, Addresses Stomping American Flag

But since Occupy Wall Street captured the imaginations of millions of suffering Americans about to lose their unemployment checks and scared the hell outta the fat cat exploiters of the poor who began to believe that the world wide revolution against global gluttony was gonna come knockin’ at the their front doors, Hip Hop has found it difficult to ignore the two ton ragin’ elephant in the room.
And Lil Wayne is not the only one feelin’ the heat.

While Jay Z’s “Open Letter” response to his trip to Cuba was definitely not the most politically charged song ever recorded, it is ,undoubtedly, his most politically charged recording.

Also, Jay’s homie, Kanye West ‘s, admission in a recent New York Times article that he was influenced by the political rap group ,Dead Prez, has to be seen as a sign of the times. Because if DP influenced Kanye West, the question is , who influenced Dead Prez? That is when names like Fred Hampton Jr. and Omali Yeshitela come into the picture. So, by inference, Kanye West admitted to the world that he is being influenced by the teachings of “ Black militants” whom they fear more than the most gangsta-est gangsta rappers.

“We need a cultural awakening,” says Hip Hop artist and Militant Minded Mess-Age Music affiliate, Extra Midwest. “We need something that hits us and makes us recognize… like a “Rodney King moment.”

Hollywood is also reading the writing on the wall as the commercial breaks during the customary, weekly TV airings of Juice and Menace II Society are now featuring clips from the upcoming film, Fruitvale Station, about the murder of Oscar Grant at the hands of a Bay Area Rapid Transit cop back in 2009.

Is it a coincidence that all of this is happening while America is bracing itself for the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin ?
Of course not.
The entertainment industry execs ain’t stupid. They know that race and violence are going to be “the” hot topics of the summer. And since they pledge allegiance to nuthin’ but the almighty dollar, they are not beyond making a little bit of change from some rapper steppin’ on a flag or even civil unrest
They have done it before.

In his book, “There’s a Riot Going On,” Peter Doggett wrote of a meeting of advertising agencies and entertainment conglomerates that was held in October of 1968 called “Selling the American Youth Market,” which was followed two months later by a Columbia Records marketing campaign called, “The Revolutionaries are on Columbia.” Thus, the revolutionary energy of the time was quickly co-opted and transformed into a capitalist marketing scheme.

Perhaps, Hip Hop artists are just overcoming their fears that if they speak truth to power they are gonna wind up floatin’ face down in a river. While this may be true of Civil Rights leaders and members of the Black Power Movement, this really has never applied to rappers with large fan bases. Too many people are watching.
When was the last time that you heard of a political rapper being assassinated? However, there are frequent stories of non-political gangsta rappers being shot dead in the streets over some hood stuff.
Even though numerous conspiracy theories surround the death of Tupac Shakur, it wasn’t the revolutionary “Holla If Ya Hear Me” 2 Pac that was shot on the Las Vegas strip but the “ Hit em Up “ Tupac. Thus, turning a potential legendary act of musical martyrdom into just another case of perceived justifiable homicide.
I predict that if George Zimmerman walks, “God Bless Amerika” will become the official hood anthem of the summer.

Now, whether all this furor will result in a permanent change in the consciousness of Hip Hop remains to be seen.

But as of right now, one thing is certain.

Like Lil Wayne would say “the block is hot…”

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com . Follow on Twitter @truthminista. Be sure to check out Militant Minded Radio every Tuesday Night at 9PM EST

  • dexter

    Ok Than:)

  • Ike’s Mood

    can the likes of lil wayne fight the power??? are you kidding?!? those muthafuckas would give a kid a blunt instead of a book. fight the power? the likes of lil wayne dont know how!

    • DJ7

      say word

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  • nomikal

    Really what’s with all these crazy speculative and horrible comparisons, first it was lil wayne and malcolm x and now him making rebel music, please.

  • moonfromsoufcack

    interesting article to say the least, but to suggest that the neo-conscious awakening of hip-hop will be led by none other than lil wayne is laughable, and a slight slap in the face to the work of the likes of mos def, talib kweli, dead prez, immortal technique.., i mean you get my drift. these artists have constantly and consistently put out product to awaken the minds of the hiphop populace and the world abroad, cause of course you know, hip-hop music is eternal(and universal). also to say that a political rapper has never received any persecution that concluded in his demise, i think you wrong by that very assertion. Pac said himself that he did not start getting in trouble with the law until he started breakin down game in his raps. do research, his first offense was for JAYWALKING! and he got beat up for it. he was planning to leave death row and start his own imprint with the outlawz where he could put out his message, death row was only interested in his commercial bs, which is why there is sooo much pac material recorded but unheard. he dies. and nobody was bothering pimp c (other than the DEA) when he was all bitches, bottles, and chedda knots–but check his last few shows where he talkin bout brothas reading and educating themselves, reading books like the art of war and 48 laws of power, and conspiracy and anti-violence in the rap game and then BAM! he’s dead! we may not be able to connect ALL the dots but the writing is still on the wall, and if…IF (big friggin IF) lil wayne even FATHOMS the idea being even remotely conscious with his music, he will have to take notes from a handful “emcees” who are already doing the dirty work.

  • Dammit Truth Minista…this proves exactly what I was sayin on the Streets Is Watchin piece, about how the premise is good but you ALWAYS seem to throw some ol extra shit in there to weaken your cause and make readers call bullshit. Wayne ain’t interested in fightin a DAMN thing alright, let’s just make that crystal clear. He’s bein well compensated to perpetuate his specific brand of shuck and jive, and if the jail time and seizures ain’t opened his eyes then it’s safe to say nothin will. Corporate-sponsored rappers such as Wayne and Jay only make “political” statements for the shock value and attention, they ain’t tryin to go up against the same system that’s linin their pockets, and to think otherwise is both naive and just plain foolish. I expect that line of thinkin from these average ass cats out here who only think on the surface, but you’re a so-called righteous brotha who’s supposed to be in tune with what’s really goin on…so for someone in your position to even REMOTELY suggest a coon like Lil Wayne will lead the charge in the return of righteous Hip-Hop, it’s very confusin to say the least…don’t tell me they done got to you too…BROTHA?!

    • Nah, but dig…ok, we can’t dig Weezy, but in reality, don’t think Weezy hasn’t gotten his N Word wake up call.

      • BehaveUrSelf

        I knew where to find you!

      • >>In Chris Tucker’s Voice : “AND YOU KNOW THIS!!!!! mAYAYAaaannnNNNNEEeeeeee!

      • Oh he definitely got the call, no doubt about that…question is, did he pick up the phone and actually hear what was bein said on the other end of the line, or did he just let the message get lost in voicemail purgatory and never even check it?? I really hate to just automatically assume the worst about another Black man, but his track record STRONGLY suggests the latter. Maybe one day he’ll prove us all wrong and have us lookin silly as hell, maybe…it’s highly doubtful though, regardless of how the “Truth” Minista wants to spin it. I know that’s your mans n’em and all that and if I’m not mistaken you played a big part in him gettin this shine on AHH, but when I read shit like this I can’t help but wonder what his true motives REALLY are, feel me?

      • Dayum, you got a memory like an elephant.

        Truth Minista thanked me the other day for that, & I had forgot. He definitely shines on his own, and holds his own. His true motives are to spark conversations, debate, and initiate action. He’s a good dude, no doubt about that, and deserved our support, even if we don’t agree with his views.

        On to Weezy :

        Yeah, that ‘chet went str8 to voicemail, but they will keep calling back, as they have been.

        Weezy has been called before, his whole life, we all have, but eventually, and honestly, looks like he is about to answer.

        Weezy the new PE? Dead Prez? Immortal Tech?

        Hell 2 Tha Nah, but think about it, if Weezy stops the cooning (STC) he will be a significant influence on people getting their ‘chet together.

        Like siz zurup…..I doubt he even uses drugs, probably just promotes drug use as part of his image / company orders.

      • Yeah I didn’t mean to insinuate that the brotha’s a bad person or nothin like that, I don’t know enough about him to make that call. Like I said before I can see his intentions are good overall, and perhaps I came down a lil too hard on him. Just seems to me like a lotta times fam reaches a lil TOO hard in the name of sparkin debate, that’s all.

        You got a point about Wayne though, if by the grace of Jeebus he ever did get it together and realize the negative impact he’s had and decided to try and right those wrongs, he would have the potential to have a lotta his fans supportin and tryin to do better themselves. BUT…will they actually take it seriously, or will it just be the next bandwagon for em to ride til the next new thing comes along? Cuz we gotta remember, majority of dude’s fanbase is the flavor-of-the-month crowd who only rock with him cuz they play his shit on the radio and MTV, the moment that ceases they’ll cease to care about him. Granted, even if only one person takes that step it’s still a step in the right direction, really I’m just lookin at it from the angle of peepin how society is now with its fixation on ridin with whatever’s hot at the moment then abandonin it once the momentum slows down. It can be argued that the same happened with a lotta the people that jumped on the righteous ship back in the Golden Age, and it wouldn’t be a complete lie either…difference is, a lotta cats like myself who came of age during that era DID take it to heart and actually soaked up all the knowledge that was bein dropped on us at the time. I just don’t see much of that these days, it’s like very few have the desire or attention span to let it sink in like it needs to. I do still see glimmers of hope here and there, it’s just few and far between and not nearly as often as I remember seein it once upon a time.

      • See, you caught yourself at the end, we came up in the Golden Age, like the Truth Minista, and it stuck with us. You already know, knowledge is like a drug, and once the thirst for it gets sparked, it’s like a fire consuming you. I can tell there was a time that you used to read daily, and probably still do, albeit not as much as during your apex.

        Off AHH, the Truth Minista stays on his grind for the community, link up on facebook & you’ll see. When he’s not in the trenches, he’s on Faux news, making mash potato out of Sean Hannity.

        “Pretty soon Hip Hop won’t be so nice, no Ice Cube, just Vanilla Ice!” (Us – Ice Cube)

        I know you heard it & that’s probably ya’ Chiz nit, but if you haven’t, check it, because it will be. )

        >>In TheRealest1’s voice : “Golden Age ‘chet!”

        Think about, this article, on the humbug / humble / Ho Hum, got “Meritorious Manumission” dropped, so in our eyes, definitely a good look.

        For a moment, we were like Batman & Robin, the jab & the right cross off AHH, when it was #1, and even got world….uh..”The OTHER Hip Hop site” to start dropping educational material just to compete.

        Kinda like STC (Stop The Cooning) but since they didn’t stop, only slowed down, it was more like “Slow The Cooning”. (*Still repping STC)

        Ninjaz are gonna look back at those times like “The good old days / Golden Era” of “E” Hop, chet, some of us already do.

        The negative influence is overwhelming, and don’t think Weezy hasn’t gotten his wake up call. He may have not grown up struggling, but think about it, with all his money, he still got “THAT” call, several times, that were highly publicized, let alone the LL Cool Jay “Accidental Racist” mudda Chuckaz!Gonna take $E$ to Facebook @EDOGZ818:disqus , also might have some pups coming from my Avi’s off spring, $350 + shipping & Handling for your peepz, just shipping & handling for you, or your more than welcome to swing by & pick one up & make it a little vacation as my guest.

        >>VIP treatment all the way

        (*Cold Cheap Beer, Chilling with *Reggie Miller , etc.)

        I would be honored to have the opportunity to look out for you!

        PEACE

        >>”E” Fist Bump Explosion N2 High Five

      • +10 Man that right there put a lotta things in perspective E, no bullshit. I just wish I had more time to properly respond right now…but y’know how them fatherly duties go…lil lady’s bday in a couple days plus she starts school this year so I gotta make sure her skills are surgical knife sharp. Got her in the other room writin her name, address and phone number as we speak. But yeah fam I’ma hit your email and bless you with some shit I KNOW a cat like you will be able to rock with…shoulda BEEN done it but better late than never right? Salute big homie.

      • >>DAPZ!

  • John Blaze

    Look at the divide….so caught up in the name, what a damn shame. If that brotha Dwayne Carter woke up tomorrow and dropped “Fight The Power 2013” or something like that full of game, ya’ll would spit on him and turn him away……So vile and arrogant, awake yet blind……Why be Malcolm X when they still gonna treat you like Malcolm Little?

    • IF it was a legitimate and genuine awakening, and not just to stay in headlines, I’d be more than open to it. Til then, I’ll continue see him for the fraud he is.

      • John Blaze

        I hear what your saying. I was only referring to a genuine step forward. And I know Wayne is Wayne by CHOICE which is why I said “if he woke up tomorrow and,,,,” re-enforcing him choosing his path. Now the Malcolm Little/Malcolm X thing was more of general thought of how some “enlightened” people treat our Malcolm Littles running around our neighborhoods right now. They look up to a guy like Wayne and if we are willing to be open putting an arm around someone with his background(granted he shows the proper signs) maybe it would be easier to reach the minds needed. Do I personally think Wayne gonna take that step? Not really, but I don’t know that man or his true thoughts or intentions. And if he ever does it for headlines his card will be pulled just like all the rest……

      • Well said, I can definitely dig it. Like I said, if he were to ever actually take that step and be serious about it, I’d be all for it. I support any young brotha interested in seekin knowledge of self, especially in these times we now live in, cuz so few seem to lack the desire to even search for that knowledge anymore. One can only hope that someday Wayne DOES realize what it’s really all about and spreads that enlightenment to the same ones he’s misled all these years with the foolishness. Ain’t about to hold my breath or nothin, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the cat. LOL

    • It ain’t about the name either fam, but the track record that’s attached to that name. The Malcolm comparison don’t even work here in all reality, cuz Malcolm Little would’ve never been allowed the platorm Malcolm X had. Malcolm Little didn’t have masses of people worshippin him and followin his lead, and if he would’ve then Malcolm X most likely woulda never existed. The “Malcolm Little” Wayne has no motivation to even consider bein a “Malcolm X” Wayne, not when massa’s payin him so well to be the former. Malcolm Little was Malcolm Little due to his circumstances, while Lil Wayne is “Malcolm Little” by CHOICE…big difference there.

      • RMfag

        Isn’t it weird taking in third person like that?

      • The difference is even bigger than that.

    • If wayne made a relavant album that spoke real issues of today, I’d be quick to listen. People are unemployed, under employed, un educated, homeless, America is on the brink of war, America is broke, and all wayne talks about is how much he enjoyed the party last night, how many hoes he screwed, and how much money he happens to have access to. Dont nobody wanna hear that!

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  • J-SMOOTH

    Lil’ Wayne fighting the power huh. Yeah right the only thing he fighting is sobriety

    • Matt Swan

      and seizures

  • jsj23

    I am interested in removing Obama from office! I don’t want another 3 years of this bozo! A key provision of The Voting Rights Act was shut down, while a bunch of fags get to use the covenant of marriage in this country! My country! Hells NO! If Obama thinks this is Saddam and Gomorrah where he and his fag buddies can stroll around and tell us how to live our lives in this country he’s sadly mistaken. What an insulting and pathetic individual. All you Blacks that voting for him, aren’t tired of being slapped in the face?

    • Brainiac1ne

      I didn’t vote for him ,but I see where you coming from

  • Mega Don

    after he said that disrespectful rap line about that black kid i dont think he could win me at all with trying to be “political” you been cooning and now you decide to hold the fort down? Sit down

  • dexter

    BIG UP 2 AHH FOR TAKING THE CRACK PIC OFF THE FRONT PAGE!!!!! WELL DONE SOLDIERS…

  • Schooly B

    Honestly Truth Minista Paul Scott,

    No. You have written things in the past that lead me to believe that you saw past the smoke and mirrors and spoke the truth. But then you write this piece of drivel and effectively pop your own balloon that was holding you aloft.

    Can the likes of Lil Wayne fight the power? No, there is absolutely no way in hell at this moment that anyone could take this man seriously (or anyone who would suggest that we should for that matter) as a revolutionary. The same man who espouses the joys of Codeine? The same man whose catalogue of rape and murder of “Niggas” and “Bitches” would prompt swift calls of racism and boycotts if he were a white artist? Thats the guy you really just tried to sell to me?

    Now, I want you to understand that I am writing you this as a fan of music and education, but even more than that a sometime fan of Lil Waynes’ music since he has considerably fallen off since his earlier works. That said I would never attempt to make the argument that him stepping on a flag while he spouts pseudo-political bullshit is proof that he is the next great hope for the people, not saying that you did but it is implied. And what exactly do you base this position on? A half sober struggle bar from this guy that says when life gets hard get high. Really? You may say that he has had glimmers of awareness before this but guess what… The majority of his catalogue is filled with great amounts of stupidity and ignorance that has been sold to the masses as if it were the in thing to do (it saddens me to see some of the people I know drinking the Kool-Aid and falling into addiction behind the glamorization of certain substances in pop culture). Thats like saying McDonalds is leading the charge for a healthy America because their burgers have vitamins in them… They’re still going to kill you homie.

    So, to answer your question, no Lil Wayne and the artists like him will not lead the fight against the power. Next time read what you wrote before you decide to post it because this is that pure b.s. here man.

    • Dead on the money my dude…

      • Schooly B

        Thanks man.

  • music like this is made today….just isnt on the mainstream! Killer Mike made an album and Public Enemy made 2 albums last year with the likes of these “ideas”…fuck lil wayne!

  • entertainers are the last people i would take serious,there are way more important people to focus on..yall trippin with this lol

  • drac215

    Jesus is the way 2 GOD!!!!!

  • drac215

    Nothing else matters. When u know Jesus U know God!!!!

    • Opposite Of Everyone

      the concept of Jesus keeps your mind enslaved.

  • drac215

    Hiphop doesnt exsist anymore on radio ,t.v.,jay z….197???-!994

  • drac215

    lil wayne,drake,jz,nicki,1 chain,the list goes on they are grown people imitating art

  • drac215

    ever since obama was elected theres been a game changing paranoia going on

  • drac215

    shame on u guys dumbing down music because u see the power in the message. got a 40yrold man sayin “birtday” and “im different” when he “ignant”

  • drac215

    College degree having making a mockery of the hood where mom spoke like “dat” CAUSE SHE COULDNT REALLY GET AN EDUCATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY CITY GOT 28 SCHOOLS CLOSING ALONG WITH 3800 PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED BUT A 125 MILLION DOLLAR JUVE(10-18YROLD) PRISON OPENING THE SAME TIME(COINCIDENCE OR PLANNED?????) DO UR RESEARCH

  • drac215

    PHILLY PA, WHERE AMERICA FOLLOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bee leave me

  • drac215

    DRAC, (C Da EYE) ON U TUBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(SUNWUNFILMS) Innermission215records

  • drac215

    JESUS JESUS JESUS, HOLYSPIRIT HOLYSPIRIT HOLYSPIRIT,MY GOD GOD GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Opposite Of Everyone

      religion poisons everything it touches.

      • drac215

        Faith is not religion bro

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        You can’t have one without the other tho.

        You weren’t born believing in god. It was through religion that you came to be brainwashed, sorry enslaved, sorry enlightened to the magic man in the sky (who is all powerful but needs your money)

  • drac215

    ANY QUESTIONS??????????????HOLLA AT ME, PEACE AND LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in the name of jesus

    • Opposite Of Everyone

      the lord is your shepherd but you ever thought about why shepherds herd sheep ?
      is it cause the shepherds like sheep? or is it cause they got plans to fleece then eat em?

      • drac215

        Ok, seems u need spiritual enlightenment. If its something u wanna know about the Lords word holler at me cause you got man and the Son man confused bro!!!

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        there is no ‘Lord’ bruv; just like there’s no tooth fairy, santa claus, boogeyman, jack frost etc etc…

  • Truth Powell

    This article makes no sense. Lil Wayne is the antithesis of social awareness. Jay z only cares about signing another million dollar endoresement.
    Don’t try forcing a foot into the wrong size shoe just cuz you want the kicks.

  • WillVetterGoodin

    WTF. Who is writing this shit?? Who is telling the person to write this shit?? Wow. GTFOH.

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  • Opposite Of Everyone

    the F you mean who influenced Dead Prez?? we had a whole generation of conscious artists before DP! P.E, X Clan, PRT, Melle Mel, Lakim Shabazz, Lord Shafiyq etc. etc…

  • Wavpin

    Never …