Professor X Laid To Rest

Hundreds of mourners

convened over the weekend to celebrate the life of Professor X of the conscious

Hip-Hop collective X-Clan.

The rap artist,

born Robert

"Lumumba" Carson, was funeralized at Antioch Church in Brooklyn,

New York, in a Friday service that included a bevy of community and religious

leaders, local politicians and luminaries, including Rev. Al Sharpton, rapper

Kurtis Blow and Afrika

Bambaataa of the Zulu Nation.

"He made

a difference. There is no doubt in my mind that the angels in Heaven are saying

‘Welcome home. You fought a good fight," said Rev. Gaddy of Friendship

Baptist Church.

Carson died in

a Brooklyn hospital March 17 after a bout with meningitis. He was 49. As a founding

member of X-Clan, Carson evoked Black Nationalism, pride in African Americans

and sought to unify the community.

The funeral was

a somber, yet commemorative event that yielded Hip-Hop performances with traditional

African drums and a band, in addition to a plethora of motivational speeches

that paid homage to Carson. Original paintings and photographs were on display

in the cathedral.

Backed by the live

band, MC

Supernatural performed a rousing original song that animated the service

attendees.

"Listen close/

you know what I mean/ Lumumba’s still protected by the Red, Black and Green,"

rapped Supernatural, who is revered for his ability to freestyle unwritten rhymes.

Hip-Hop

pioneer Kurtis Blow spoke fondly of Carson, who he considered "an extension

of greatness," because he father was the renowned Brooklyn community leader

and activist Sonny "Abubadika" Carson.

He urged the crowd

to rejoice in Carson’s exemplary life, which extended beyond his work as a rap

artist.

"I know that

Lumumba would not have wanted people to be sad. He would not want you to be

upset and angry," said Kurtis Blow. "[He] believed in Africa and Africans,

those at home and those abroad. He believed in Black Power." An activist,

Carson also formed the Blackwatch Movement, an activist group that centered

on the arts.

Blow made the crowd

laugh when he referred to Carson’s staple phrases like "Vanglorious"

and "Sissies." "All you sissies stay away from me," Blow

quipped.

Unlike Blow, many

of the speakers did express a level of anger and frustration at the state of

the Black community.

"The plague,

the illness, the sickness is taking too many of our Black men," said one

speaker who pleaded for the community to change.

Other speakers

included Council Members Charles Barron and Evette Clark,

X-Clan lead rapper Brother J and Al

Sharpton, who delivered a poignant eulogy.

A statement was

read on behalf of Afeni Shakur, the mother of Tupac Shakur.

"[Carson]

did his work. It is complete. What we must do is follow the directions he has

left," one speaker concluded.

X-Clan released

a pair of lauded albums, To the East, Blackwards (1990) and Xodus

(1992), but the Brooklyn-based collective broke up shortly thereafter. In December

2005, X-Clan announced a return to rap, but Professor X was not party to the

reunion.

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