Hip-Hop has many detractors, but the Honorable Louis Minister Farrakhan
is not one of them.
The Minister witnessed the birth and the rise of the music across the
world, and after traveling the globe, believes that Hip-Hop music will
be the force to usher in change.
While rap music is under an unprecedented attack in America by an older
generation that popularized a number of questionable words, including the dreaded "N
word," the Minister Louis
Farrakhan is standing by Hip-Hop music while challenging rappers across
While many point fingers at the our rappers, the Minister has recognized
the power that rappers hold all over, even when the microphones are off.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think of the current state of the rap industry?
Minister Farrakhan: The record executives don't give a doggone about right and wrong. They will make you a multimillionaire calling your women the B names and the whore name. And using MF and using the N Word. Because they want to promote our degradation and make it so lucrative to do it that you have a reluctance to change, even though the people are hungering and thirsting for something better. And so when Kanye West said "Jesus Walks," it became a hit and it's because there's a thirst and a hunger and most of the rappers don't know that there's a vacuum of leadership in the Black community. The Black people are not listening to their preachers. Theyre not listening to their politicians, theyre listening to their rappers.
AllHipHop.com: I was present during a 2005 meeting of executives in the entertainment industry at the Sheraton Hotel. You challenged us then to try and clean up the music. You have been very central in the rap community in terms of mediating disputes before they become all out crisis and I know you've been saying that rappers don't recognize their power for many years. What's it going to take for them to recognize it?
Minister Farrakhan: Well, the thing that bothers me the most, is if you remember on my speech on Saviors Day, I said, "My time is up." Not meaning I am going to die, or give up the position of leadership of The Nation of Islam, although I am preparing young people to take over in the natural eventuality of my passing from the scene. But my dear brother, when I said my time is up, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, my teacher, was a bearer of good news and a warrantor from God. He warned America that she was going to face the wrath of God for the evils that America has done and continues to do to Black people and the evils that she practices throughout the world. The payday is now. And that's why I spent so much time on the scripture. "Be not deceived for God is not mocked whatsoever a man seweth, the same shall he also reap. So, among our young people. You are the most beautiful generation we've ever had, the most power, the most fearless, but unfortunately, we have gone backward in time in our behavior, one to the other, that we are worse in our behavior, even during the darkest days of slavery.
So your question: I know that teaching will not change us except the best of us. The best of us will hear the word and say, "Yes, I am going to try and do that." But when you go to your record executive with a clean rap that uplifts your people, the record executive might say to you, "No, so and so, this will not work, you gotta and use the N word. You gotta go and use MF. You gotta use the same thing that made you hot. And because you love money, and The Bible says: You can't serve God and mammon too, for no man can serve two masters. We are serving one master, but recognizing the greatness of God and Jesus the Christ. We have to make a decision as to how we are going to help our community, or are we going to keep our community in a degraded state. Look at Palestine now and in the West Bank and Gaza. Those young Palestinians are upset over the loss of their territory, over their degraded condition. They have AK-47's, Klashnikovs (assault rifles), they make little bombs and little this and that. But theyre no match for the Israeli helicopter gun ships, tanks, bulldozers and even jet planes. And now drones, that are computer led to a leader, come right out of sky and kill a leader.
The same thing you see going on over there, the house to house searches that you see going on in Baghdad, and maybe in some parts of Afghanistan. You are going to see in a short time, those things happening in the inner-cities, because of the way we are slaughtering each other. The cry is for the National Guard to come out. The cry is for the violence to stop. The cry is that we must put an end to our slaughter of each other. And so the enemy will come in and deal with us in the same way you see the Israeli's dealing with the Palestinians. And that chastisement that is coming, will make you wake up and see, yes we gotta change, after you bury a lot more of your dead, from those that you're trying to prove as your friend and your brother.
AllHipHop.com: I was reading a little Frederick Douglass not too long ago. One thing that always amazes me is how articulate he was in documenting and writing about his struggles, post slavery in the Reconstruction era and some of the well written accurate accounts of serious racial injustice. Racism against Black people isn't new. And you can blame the rappers to a certain degree, but there are multinational corporation's and entire foreign government raking in huge profits from these records.
Minister Farrakhan: I wouldn't blame the rappers. It's bigger than our rappers. There are powers that want to keep us killing each other and there are powers that feel that we are an unnecessary population. And whenever you become unnecessary, then there's a move, scientifically today, to remove us. And that's why Black people are leading in every area of disease that is destructive to the human being. We lead in all the cancers that are killing. We lead in hypertension, diabetes and all these things we are leading in. And now we are leading in AIDS. Our women are the biggest carriers of the HIV virus. So yes, there's an aim to get rid of us. And if we are not doing it fast enough, they will help us.
Nobody can help us get our foot out of our own way, better than our Hip-Hop generation of rappers, male and female, who are leading young people all over the world. You didn't ask to become a leader. You didn't ask for this responsibility. But time and circumstances has thrust upon your very broad shoulders and brother Farrakhan is pleading with you...we can force the record executives to do better by us, if we were united. You don't have to use the N word anymore. Don't say it's an endearing term, because if it were, you wouldn't have all these posses that are killing each other using that "endearing" term. No in the 60s, we were brothers and sisters, even if we didn't know how to truly act as a brother. When you knew you were Black and your brother and sister was Black, you knew you were flesh of each others flesh, blood of each others blood and bone of each others bone.
If you came into unity and stopped using the N word and saw what that N word does to you psyche. God said he made us in his own image and likeness. And in The Bible, it says "Ye are all gods children of the Most High God." It didn't say "Ye are all dogs, Children of the Most High, dog. So instead of seeing yourself as offspring of God himself, you are now calling yourself the offspring of a dog. "Yo dog, what's up dog, that's my dog." If you are a dog, then your mother is a B and you are the son of a B. Stop it. That language has to stop. The thinking that follows that language has to stop. And then the violence between us as a family will also stop.
AllHipHop.com: I think there's a backlash coming against the Hip-Hop community. How do we deal with it? They put out these negative images that the majority of people in Hip-Hop music have been complaining about for sometime now. Now theyre blaming us. But theyre already feeling the financial impact of it: no one buying CDs. What would you like to see rappers do?
Minister Farrakhan: The backlash that is coming is created. And it's created by the same forces of our image in the first place. Those forces see that we are taking their children from them. The majority of those who buy Hip-Hop records are White, not Black. So if the White youth that are buying Hip-hop and are in love with Hip-Hop, then become a part of Hip-Hop culture, then White people feel they are losing their future generations to the Hip-Hop culture. Theyre afraid that if the Hip-Hop genre begins to recognize its power and begins to educate and motivate, young people all over the planet, you can take people away from being brutalized in war. Look at those who are dying in Iraq today on the basis of a lie: 18-19, 20, 21, that's the Hip-Hop generation. So if the Hip-Hoppers decided to tell them, "why fight? On the basis of a lie? You're not fighting to protect America, you are fighting for the greedy to gain access to the second largest oil reserve in the world. What they see is your power. And now they want to reclaim their children, so they want to make the enemy now Hip-Hop. The enemy is not Hip-Hop. They asked on TV if Hip-Hop was art of poison. Hip-Hop is art that has been poisoned. You cannot say that Public Enemy was poison, except to those who love White supremacy. You can't say that KRS One and Big Daddy Kane were poison; that was art.
They took the spoken word and started educating the people. And those who are wicked saw what they were doing and did not want our young people educated in that. And they were making millions, sometimes out of the trunks of their cars. They had their own system of distribution. So the big boys said, "Wait a minute, we have to cash in on this." But they didn't want conscious rap. They wanted gangsta rap. So the more you promote gangster rap, the more you promote guns, the more they can sell prisons on the stock market. Cause they know they are going to fill it with the brothers and sisters from the inner-cities. If they want to know what poison is, let's go back to Hollywood. It is Hollywood that is undressing women. Hollywood in the early days would never show a sex scene but today, you can't find a movie where there's not some torrid love scene. That's poison in the movies, magazines, poison on the radio.
And so Hip-Hop is a reflection of the poison, not the architect of the poison. There's an antidote for poison. All we have to do is apply the antidote and gradually clean up our lyrics. And Hip-Hop will lead the new generation out of the hellish condition into a condition that promotes the good and brother hood, not only of us, but the brotherhood of the human family.