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,
"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.
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
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
Supernatural performed a rousing original song that animated the service
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.
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
"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
Unlike Blow, many
of the speakers did express a level of anger and frustration at the state of
the Black community.
the illness, the sickness is taking too many of our Black men," said one
speaker who pleaded for the community to change.
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.
did his work. It is complete. What we must do is follow the directions he has
left," one speaker concluded.
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