Monday, April 28, 2008

Was Rev. Wright, Right ? Discussion 5/1

With the NC Primary less than a week away, many North Carolinians are having heated discussions over the role of religion and politics, especially in regards to African Americans. Later this week, the Know Bookstore in Durham NC is hosting several events to discuss this issue.

On Thursday, May 1st at 7PM, there will be a panel discussion called "Was Rev. Wright, Right?": Christianity, Liberation Theology and the Black Experience. The discussion will center around the controversial statements made by Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. bPanelists wil include, Peter Opa, author of the new book, "Jesus Would Vote for a Black President" and founder of ReThinkAfrica; Bruce Bridges, author of "Recapturing Your African Mind and owner of the Know Bookstore and Min. Paul Scott author of the essay "Hip Hop Children of a Lesser God" and founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation.

On Friday, May 2 at 6PM, Peter Opa will hold a book signing at 6PM.

And on Saturday, May 3 at 3PM, Peter Opa will deliver a lecture entitled "Jesus Would Vote for a Black President."

For more information contact Bruce Bridges at the Know Bookstore 2520 Fayetteville St Durham NC at (919) 682-7223

Peter Opa can be reached at (510) 684-9711

Min. Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blackin' Out the Obama Attack Ads

Looks like the NC Carolina GOP has revealed its latest masterpiece...

An attack ad attacking Rev. Jeremiah Wright for...

No, that's not it...

An attack ad attacking Obama for...

No, it's actually an attack ad attacking gubernatorial candidates Bev Purdue and Richard Moore for not attacking....


Anyway, the Gangsta Ole Party has this clip on youtube beggin' folks to give money to keep a 40 second commercial that says that Obama is "too extreme" for North Carolina on the air ...

(I'm not sure if I'm more upset over the attack on Obama or that they just called me and the rest of my Tarheel homies a bunch of punks...)

But it looks like the GOP is up to their old scare tactics again. The ad, which features the new black boogey man, Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivering one of his firey speeches is supposed to start airing April 28th.

Now, I know that the GOP has deep pockets and could probably have the ads in heavier rotation than those darn Chad Alltell commercials that come on every 5 minutes...

So, what's an average dude who's tired of the dirt to do...

I have a novel idea. I'm gonna start a one man "Black Out" Protest and turn off my TV for 40 seconds every time the "extreme" ad comes on...

Surely, I can think of better ways to use my 40 seconds. (Like maybe pondering real issues facing our children?)

Now, I'm not saying that this little act of defiance will clean up dirty politics forever, nor does it compare with the March on Washington...

But it's just my way of sayin'

"I'm mad as heck and I'm not goin' to take it anymore!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Crisis of the Nigga Intellectual

Crisis of the Nigga Intellectual:

How Conscious Hip Hop Failed Us

Min. Paul Scott

Here comes MC Revolutionary X, dressed down in his military gear with a Malcolm X t shirt, raising his black fist, vowing to strike down capitalist swine and anyone who benefits from this fascist system. (except his lawyer and accountant.) Yeah, Brotha spits a lot of game about fightin' the powers that be. But at the end of the day, he is the first dude in line trying to get a record deal from the same powers that he is supposed to be fightin'...

Back in 1967, Harold Cruse wrote a groundbreaking book called "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual," in which he dissed (critiqued) everyone from the Civil Rights people, the Black Nationalists to the Black Arts Movement. Today, the issues that Cruse raised are still as relevant as they were 40 years ago, only with a Hip Hop soundtrack.

Most serious Hip Hop historians mark 1988 as the official start of the "conscious" Hip Hop movement with the release of Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation to Hold us Back" followed by Boogie Down Production's "By Any Means Necessary." To jack a lyric from KRS, "these two albums started consciousness in rap."

For a four year period, it seemed that the prophesied "revolution" was just around the corner and the dreams of "Huey P" were about to be realized at any moment. However, 20 years later, we see that the promised revolution never came, replaced by a devolution of not only Hip Hop but black culture, in general.

In our never ending quest to get back to rap's "golden era" we have neglected to ask the fundamental question.

"What went wrong?"

Although, many look back at this period as "the good ol' days, as it is said, "the good ol' days weren't always good," as the failures of that period set a precedent for the Hip Hop of today. So, it is important that we study this period because if you don't understand the years 1988-1992, then you don't understand Hip Hop.

One of the flaws of this period was the failure of the conscious Hip Hop community to stick with the political black nationalist principals on which it was founded. It can be argued that, although celebrated, the Native Tongue and other successive movements actually were a well marketed deviation from the more political messages of Public Enemy; creating a movement of hippies rather than freedom fighters. Also with the rising popularity of MTV Raps and its crossover appeal, conscious Hip Hop became more Hip Hop-centric than Afrocentric.

Also, even the most militant political Hip Hop artists refused to take a stand against the West Coast "gangsta invasion" with their visions of joint tours and collaborations under the universal banner of "Hip Hop" clouding their judgement. That is why "gangsta rap" spread like a plague because the conscious Hip Hop physicians refused to provide a cure. So we allowed the African "kings and queens" concept to spiral downward into a culture of niggas and bitches.

As scholars such as Harold Cruse and Kwame Ture have pointed out, the capitalist state has a way of absorbing all opposition by coercion or force, when necessary. So the force of "the system" was too strong for young black artists, many of whom just wanted to make music and move out of "the ghetto."

This is not to say, by any means, that this applies to all of them. There have always been those who have used culture as a means to an end and not an end to a means. Many of them found out the hard way the limits of "Hip Hop Nationalism" as a socio-political force.

Despite what power the conscious movement professed to have, it was unable to organize a defense for its casualties of war such as Professor Griff and, later, Sister Souljah. Also, although the Arsenio Hall show gave national exposure to many in the Hip Hop community, there was no mass movement of these same artists to defend him after his show was cancelled for having Min. Louis Farrakhan on the program. This is despite the fact that many artists were either quoting Min. Farrakhan in their lyrics or using his voice for samples.

As it was during the Harlem Renaissance, according to Cruse, there was still an over dependency on elements that were hostile to anything with Black Nationalist overtones. However, the roles of white leftist and Euro-Jewish influence (and in the early to mid 1900's Communist) influence on black culture is too often a taboo subject where Hip Hop angels fear to tread. Some have even argued that the whole Harlem Renaissance was just a well financed ploy to divert attention from the Black Nationalist Movement of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

While some of the blame for the failure of conscious Hip Hop must be put on the shoulders of the artists, some of, if not most of the blame must be put in the hands of the Afrocentric scholars and lecturers. Many of the scholars did not see the long term value of Hip Hop in the context of the "movement."

Also, as the case is today, many are more concerned with selling overpriced books and DVD's and getting honorariums from college kids instead of organizing "the hood." While it was understandable before the popularity of the internet for them to claim that that was the only way to get their messages out, with the 'net and and the various PDF files, youtube, podcasts, etc, there can only be one reason why these resources are not used to give critical information to the struggling masses of Afrikan people. The scholars and the rappers are both caught up in the tangled web of capitalism.

This brings us to where we are today where the "movement" for some has become just a marketing tool to pimp a record deal from a multi national corporation.

The main and possibly the most destructive difference between the conscious movement of 1988- 1992 and today is the "dumbing down" of black culture in an attempt to capture the "gangsta market." Therefore, the over reliance on gangsta themes and the glorification of the "thug/nigga" concept has made the current direction of Hip Hop more European than African. The fact is often ignored that anyone who chooses to conceptualize himself as a "nigga" can never pose a serious threat to the power structure because embedded in the "nigga" concept is a psychological dog collar that prevents the wearer from ever biting his master, despite how loud he may bark.

It must be noted that most of those who are most impressed with the gangsterism of conscious Hip Hop are the left wing and anarchist white college kids who are a cash cow, often financing their college tours and Hip Hop summits.

Also, the cloud of capitalism prevents the Hip Hop audience from seeing that, for the conscious artist, it is the record company, itself that is "ground zero" for the battle for the minds of African people. But they rap about an external enemy when the internal, major enemy of Black Liberation is sitting in the boardroom two doors down from their recording studio.

In order for conscious Hip Hop and Hip Hop in general to survive, it must become what the system never really allowed it to be; a way to educate, inform and inspire Afrikan people to become involved in the betterment of their global communities.

To borrow from Kwame Ture, at the end of the day white people (even the most liberal) are fighting for power but black people are fighting for survival.

And we "gonna survive America!"

Paul Scott, the TRUTH Minista, writes for No Warning Shots

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Keys Conspiracy (Conspiracy)

Looks like Alicia Keys has issued a "clarification" for the comments that she made on page 53 of the May/June issue of Blender Magazine blaming the Feds for "gangsta rap."

Guess the "powers that be" had a long talk with her.

If you read the actual article, she was pretty clear about the COINTELPRO references, in regards to "gangsta rap." So if she didn't say what they say she said then she has a case for a pretty good lawsuit.

While the Blender article quotes were political the "clarification" was depoliticized, taking the focus away from "the system" and putting the blame on "all of us, even our leaders."

I guess Sister Alicia didn't want to become another Sister Souljah...

Oh, well as Paul Laurence Dunbar once wrote:

"We wear the mask that grins and lies..."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hip Hop Conspiracy

The Hip Hop Conspiracy

By Min. Paul Scott

With her legacy of slavery and oppression, to say that
this country has done some bad things to black folks
is an understatement. We all know about the African
Holocaust (the slave trade) and the Tuskegee
Experiment as well as other examples of the
mistreatment of Afrikan people by the European. But in
a society that has corrupted everything "black" to
serve its own evil purposes, how can we think that
"hip hop" would be exempt from its evil schemes.

We all know the well told story of how when Hip Hop
first started in the early 80’s , it was about
partying and how the Hip Hop nation under the
leadership of president Chuck D and vice president
Flava Flav, young black America was exposed to the
teachings of Malcolm X and Huey P Newton.

We are very familiar with the story of rap’s golden
era as it is known among the cool, hip hop insiders
who remember when breaking meant more than someone's arm
being broken in response to a “diss”
And when graffiti on a wall was an easily overlooked
misdemeanor and not a felony perceived as
a glorified death warrant against someone based on the
color of the bandana wrapped around his head.

So the million dollar question (since it’s all about
the benjamins) becomes. How did the sound of sweet
soul music become sour or better yet as Public Enemy
asked in the early 90’s “Who Stole the Soul?”
Let us begin in 1988 when so called “gangsta” rap
began to emerge out of California (West Side!!!) and spread
across the nation. I remember my first time hearing
“Gangsta Gangsta” by NWA when I was a young intern
/wanna be rapper /college student at a local radio
station. After listening to the promotional copy of
"Gangsta" about 10 times in a row, I remember busting
into the program director’s office yelling “Man,
you gotta hear this record, it’s so dope” (excuse the
outdated hip hop slang). The PD just looked at me and
said “We aint playing that mess, kids are riding
around shooting at each other playing that song.” I
remember thinking to myself how out of touch he was
and if an old man (30 something) could not “get with
the newness” maybe he needed to retire. At the time,
my 21 year old mind could not conceptualize a piece of
wax having so much power over someone's mind that the
person would be inticed to ice someone, but as they
say in the church , “ where I was blind, now I see. “

For a time "Conscious rap" and “Gangsta rap” coexisted
in almost perfect harmony, a musical ying and yang so
to speak. When the elders would criticize the lyrics
of some to the songs, the conscious rappers would
serve as ambassadors of goodwill for the “G’s" and
quickly point out that the rappers were just being
attacked because they were young black men saying
something that white society did not want to hear.
After all, they were just calling it as they saw it
or in the hip vernacular, they were just
“keeping it real” How many times have were heard the
worn out Arnold Schwarzeneger excuse, “Well,
he can kill 100 people in a movie and nobody says a
word, but when we….” To a point they were very right
but to a point they were very wrong. The young rappers
underestimated the depths that this society would go
to to prevent the " rising of a Black messiah." or to
destroy anything that would serve as a catalyst for
social change. As Neely Fuller once said "if you do
not understand white supremacy, everything else will
just confuse you."

In the early 90’s the Anti-gansta rap forces in the
black community formed a dangerous alliance with white
conservatives that had no love for black youth from
the “giddy up” They took the lead on the “gangsta rap
issue” under the guise of “family values.” So the
battle against negative lyrics became an attack on
black youth. Instead of rap that talked about drugs
and violence being attacked, all rappers that rapped
about anything stronger then “Parents Just Don’t
Understand” (Will Fresh Prince Smith) were seen as the

Since the Pan Africanist community ,who could have
“attacked “ the negative rap but not the rapper, or
“love the sinner but hate the sin“, were still banned
from the media , the only people that our youth saw
preaching against negative lyrics were old preachers
and civil rights crusaders. The media loved promoting
the image of the C. Delores Tuckers as the poster
children of morality in music. For over two years the
battle raged between the the Hip Hop Nation and
The Family Values Nation.

The real turning point came with the LA Rebellion
(called by the white media the LA Riots or the Rodney
King Verdict Aftermath). Until then, the effect of
rap music on the minds of black youth was still a
matter of debate. Could the rebellious words of the
rappers, actually be manifested in the actions of
Afrikan youth?
White America wondered “ if we really ticked black
people off would they really Fight the Power, as
rap group Public Enemy urged ?" In May of 1992, white
America’s worst nightmare was realized when thousands
of black people took to the streets with rap music
supplying the background music. White
reporters were shocked when interviewing “gang
members” that they could articulate the oppression of
Afrikan people both nationally and globally. Rap with
a message had to be stopped by any means necessary.

When the dust settled the gangsta rappers emerged
stronger than ever, the Family Values people emerged
with more political clout and the only casualties of
war were the “conscious rappers.” Was it a coincidence
that the majority of rappers that did not make it
through "Rap Armegedon” were the “conscious rappers”
(Sister Souljah, X Clan, Public Enemy, Paris) And the
ones that did make it did a 180 degree turn and got
smart, finding out that the “gangsta” style was the
safer and more lucrative wave of the future.(ie Ice
) So in the end, it was not gangsta rap that
destroyed positive rap it was the anti -gangsta rap
forces that put the nail in the coffin of problack

So what was left was symbol without substance or as
the Temptations sang, “ a ball of confusion.” All of
the energy that was created by Public Enemy and Paris
had no oulet. Our children knew that they were being
attacked but without the guidance of the Pan
Africanist community, had no idea who the enemy was.
They became modern day rebels without a cause.

During this period, most of the black radio stations
were in the process of being brought up by white mega
corporations and most of the black issues talk shows
had been taken off the air. So the minds of our people
were ripe for the picking. What corporate America
said was cool, was cool what corporate America said
was “black” was “black.” So Vanilla Ice and Eminem
could be “black” because they fit the corporate image.
(baggy pants, lots of profanity)

The enemy was no longer “the man” or a racist
,oppressive system, the media promoted the idea that the black man was the
enemy who must be destroyed. We were no longer
“brothers” or "Strong Black men" we were nigga’s ,
real nigga’s doing real things looking to bust a cap
in another nigga. We were not Nubian Kings, protecting
our Nubian Queens, we were their pimps and they were
our ho's. Any remnants of positive rap became easily
currupted so the Revolution that would not be
televised became "basketball" (according to the
Nike commercial by KRS-One). Even the new "conscious"
rappers talked about "blunts" and used profanity so
much that their positive message seemed to get lost in
the clutter.

It seems that the music that we created has become
just another tool for the oppression of the Afrikan
mind. So that is why today all of the music sounds the same.

The music of 1990 sounds the same as the music
of 2001. Our youth seem to be all talking, acting and
dressing the same. Why, because it is easier to
control a monolithic people. As it is said once you
control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry
about how he will act.

Our challenge to day is to regain our power to define.
What it means to be “black” and what it means to be a
"freedom fighter." We must come back home to our
Afrikan selves.

Most people would not place the solving of the Hip Hop
Conspiracy in the same category with where is Jimmy
or who shot Martin Luther King . But does it
matter for those of us Afrikans still in the struggle ?

You bet your Timberland boots it does.

Min. Paul Scott's blog is He can be reached at (919) 451-8283

G 105's Bob Dumas Revisited...

If you have read the newspapers lately, you have heard about the beef between the Lumbee Native Americans and G 105's top dog and cash cow, Bob Dumas.

Seems like Bob was being his insulting self again and made some racist comments about Native Americans.

(Imagine that)

Well, if you read the whole AP story it mentions that Dumas once came under fire for calling American Idol winner "ghetto" back in 2004 by some unnamed Durham minister.

Wonder who that was?????

(Hint, check the picture to the right.)

Anyway, I can't remember that much outcry from those who are now sending out emails asking for folks to help them protest G 105...

As the saying goes....

They came for the Blacks, but I was not Black so I said nothing.

Then they came for me and there was no one around to say anything..

Durham's Self Portrait

I just finished watching the documentary, "Durham, a Self Portrait." The documentary dealt with the history of Durham, dealing mostly with the early 1900's through the 1960s'. The running theme through the documentary was a "secret game" ie relationship between the rich black folks and rich white folks who have ,historically, run the city. This "secret game" was said to be responsible for the growth of Durham's black middle class and the avoidance of the racial violence that plagued other areas of the South.

Like most of the books and documentaries that receive media attention in Durham, what is important is not what is shown but what is left out. This is the power of the media to simply write certain people and events out of history when covenient.

What about those who travel the path laid down by former resident Howard Fuller? Can you really talk about Durham's history without mentioning the Bruce Bridges, owner of the Know Bookstore or activists like Benard Obie ? How can you not mention Rev. Curtis Gatewood or the role of the various members of the local Nation of Islam Mosque over the years including Preston Muhammad, David Muhammad and Fahim Knight. Not to mention the 21st century activists like Cimeron Bandele and Monica Daye.

To be fair, this part of history was also left out of the Welcome to Durham documentary, as well.

Maybe, this part of Durham history is left out because the issues against which Dr. Fuller fought are still present today and can not be buried in the graveyard of revisionist history. However, if we really want to connect the dots between the "Black Wall Street Days" and the "Welcome to Durham Days" we cannot allow this part of history to be ignored.

Or maybe this is part of the "secret game" that is still being played...