Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Heaven, Hell and Hip Hop

Heaven, Hell and Hip Hop:
Has Rap Lost its Religion?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"What do you believe in Heaven or Hell ?/ You don't believe in Heaven cuz we're livin' in Hell"
Heaven or Hell -Raekwon and Ghostface Killa

While making a surprise visit to WLTI 144FM, last week, platinum selling artist, Emperor Nero D, was asked for the millionth time about the rumors that he was a devil worshiper. Obviously annoyed, the artist vehemently denied the accusation and flashed his $50,000 golden cross necklace to prove his point. However, on his way out he tagged the station's celebrity graffiti wall with "666," winked at the DJ and faded into the New York night...

Although the issue of Hip Hop and Spirituality has been discussed over the last couple of years, Nicki Minaj's "exorcism of Roman" performance at the last Grammy Awards show has once again sparked the discussion.

Has Hip Hop lost its soul?

Since its genesis, Hip Hop has had a strong link with Spirituality. As far back as the early 80's, Melle Mel was preachin' that "God is smilin' on you but he's frownin' too" on "The Message" and RunDMC told Hip Hop kids to "stop playin', start prayin'" on "It's Like That," so the spiritual connection has always been there.

During the mid to late 80's, Hip Hop began to embrace other forms of spirituality outside of the traditional "Western" theologies when Boogie Down Productions put sections of Ella Hughley's book "The Truth About the Black Biblical Hebrew-Israelites " into lyrical form on "You Must Learn." Also various groups like Brand Nubian started teaching the doctrines of the 5% Nation of Islam (NGE) and Jaz-O and others embraced the "Factology" of the Nuwaubian Nation. Even Jay Z was, at least, exposed to Factology as evidenced by his appearance in Jaz-O's video "The Originators."

Hip Hop has also had a darker side. As early as 1991, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony were playing with Ouja Boards and in 1994 The Gravediggers introduced "horror core" into Hip Hop. However, it was not until Snoop Dogg's "Murder Was the Case," that same year, that the notion of rappers selling their souls to the Prince of Darkness become believable. The next year, the group Three-six Mafia was accused of devil worship because of its name and song lyrics. However, when properly understood, people who rep 666 (or according to some scholars 616) are actually paying homage to to the Roman Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) who the early church thought was Nero reincarnated according to James Efird's book "How to Interpret the Bible." Also, Dr. Hugh Schonfield in "Those Incredible Christians" wrote that those who did not wear the Emperor's stamp (the Mark of the Beast) on their right hands or foreheads would not be able to buy or sell." (Kinda like if a rapper doesn't have tattoos and saggin' pants, he won't be able to get a record deal.)

The reason why the dark side has been able to dominate Hip Hop, today, is that we have been trained to accept half truths and lies with questioning them.

According to Alan Watts in his book, "Myth and Ritual in Christianity," "Christian mythology involves problems of interpretation because it is a strange confusion of two types of knowledge metaphysical (beyond nature) and science." Much of the discussion about Hip Hop and religion has dealt with metaphysics which cannot be proven nor disproven, so we must deal with it as a science, which can.

In his book "The Origin and Evolution of Religion," Albert Churchward wrote that all religions derived from either the ancient Stellar, Lunar or Solar cults thousands of years ago. So all religions have a common origin.

Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan in his book "African Origins of the Major Western Religions" argues that the traditional religions of the "indigenous African people" are the forerunners of the "Nile Valley Religions" which produced the mystery systems from which Judaism, Christianity and Islam are derived.

However, the "Euro-Christianity" that was introduced by Portuguese missionaries was not a spiritual practice but a tool to colonize and later enslave Africans. Also, it must be noted that during chattel slavery, it was illegal for Black people to read the Bible so, they had to accept the slave owner's version as the Gospel.

This has caused a confusion regarding religion that has been inherited by the Hip Hop generation.

Although America prides herself as being a "Christian" nation according to Anthony Browder in his book "Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization," the founding fathers of this country were not only slave owners but also deists who believed that man could know God through reason and refinement of intellect," even though they were well aware of the power of African culture. (Just look on the back of that dollar bill in your pocket)

As Erykah Badu sang on "On and On," "most intellects do not believe in God but they fear us just the same."

So this country has a tradition of reppin' a religion that it never truly practiced. (Just like the rapper who wears a Jesus piece but has never set foot in a church.) And the masses have accepted myths as reality.

It must be noted that the Western concept of "Devil" and "Hell" are taken from a combination of Greek myths and Dante's "Inferno," but the real power of the Luciferian doctrine lies in "deception" and since the oppressed have been robbed of the knowledge of their Spirituality they can be easily deceived. So much so that Jay Z, can reportedly say that he believes in God but not the Devil" and people accept this without question., even though it defies all laws of physics. And Nicki Minaj can perform a ritual on stage and people accept it as Hip Hop.

Spirituality is a major part of any civilized culture and without it the culture spirals downward into absolute chaos, the type that is present in Hip Hop in 2012. With all the mayhem going on around the planet it is imperative that Hip Hop gets back in touch with its spiritual side.

As Craig Mack said on "When God Comes," " I hope the subject won't turn you away but the whole Hip Hop generation needs to pray."


TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's weekly column is "This Ain't Hip Hop," a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. He can be reached at or his website Follow on Twitter @truthminista

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Missing Malcolm X

Missing Malcolm X:
Are Rappers Scared of Revolution?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look ?"
Redemption Song- Bob Marley

February 21, 1965 at the Audubon Ballroom in NYC, Malcolm X was gunned down just before he was about to put America on blast for dissin' Black people. On that same date almost 50 years later, aspiring rapper, Murda U was shot in that same spot for dissin' another rapper on a Youtube video. Although, there were several witnesses, because of the "no snitchin' " code of the streets, the shooter remains at large...

One of the best known icons in African American history is Malcolm X. Although he started off hustlin' in the streets as Detroit Red, while in prison he accepted the teachings of the Nation of Islam and devoted the rest of his life to the liberation of Black people.

What is most important about Malcolm X was not the man, himself, but his eternal symbol as the epitome of uncompromising, Black manhood. Part of his popularity was being the antithesis of the nonviolence of Dr. Martin Luther King, giving America the old school Hip Hop duo Black Sheep's option "you can get with this or you can get with that."

Of course, Malcolm was not the first advocate of Black Power. During the 1830's, according to Vincent Harding in "There is a River," Martin Delany was already advocating Black Nationalism. Nor was he the only one during his time rejecting the idea of nonviolence. In his book "Negroes With Guns," Robert F. Williams said that as early as 1957, he was strappin' Black people in Monroe NC, to protect themselves from the Ku Klux Klan. However, Malcolm X still holds a special spot in the Black psyche.

The spirit of Malcolm X has long been present in Hip Hop. In 1983, Keith LeBlanc sampled his speeches on "No Sell Out" and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force shouted him out on "Renegades of Funk." However, it was during the late 80's when Hip Hop became infused with the ideology of Malcolm X courtesy of groups like Public Enemy ,so much so that by the early 90's the X caps had replaced Kangols as the official Hip Hop head gear.

So the question in 2012 becomes, why is Hip Hop producing so many Meek Mills and so few Malcolm Xs ?

Back in the 1970, the forefathers of rap, "The Last Poets," released "Niggers Are Scared of Revolution" a song that proclaimed that some Black folks will do everything under the sun except engage in rebellion against the system. So, in 2012, are rappers scared of revolution, too?

In his 1963, "Message to the Grassroots," Malcolm said that "revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way..."

For many rappers that may sound like a hot lyric but in reality, that ain't happenin'. Although many of them claim to love the 'hood, they ain't givin' up their Maybachs for none of ya'll. Despite all the tough talk and street swagga few are really willing to commit what Huey P Newton would have called career "revolutionary suicide."

And on some level, who could blame them?

In the mythos of Hip Hop culture, if you go out in a blaze of glory like Pac and Biggie you wind up in some Ghetto Heaven and the homies in the 'hood will be forever pourin' out liquor and sportin' T-shirts in your memory. But if you go out fighting the power like Lil Bobby Hutton or Fred Hampton you will be forgotten a week after the funeral.

After all, although, members of the Nation of Islam were convicted for the murder of Malcolm, almost 50 years later we are still no closer to solving the mystery of who really gave the order for the hit than we are solving who killed Pac, Biggie or Lil Pookie from down the block. However, we are left with some clues that have been rarely discussed.

In his book "To Kill a Black Man, " Louis Lomax points out how ,before his death, "Malcolm X was becoming a major threat to American foreign policy. " He alleged that "the American government, particular the CIA was deeply involved in Malcolm's death."

Researcher Steve Cokley has long suggested that we reread the often overlooked page 418 of Alex Haley's "Autobiography of Malcolm X" where Haley revealed that an unnamed "close friend" arranged a meeting with the president of a still unnamed " large private foundation" and the head of the Justice Department's Civil Right's section, Burke Marshall shortly before Malcolm's death. According to Haley, he was grilled over Malcolm's "finances" and how his recent trip to Africa had been funded.

Of course there are some underground Hip Hop artists today who are spittin' truth to power like Immortal Technique, New Orleans' Dee1 and NC's Homebase but they are few and far between.

Some have suggested that the responsibility of Hip Hop artists is to make music, not lead movements. Perhaps they are right.

Maybe the revolution won't come from the rappers but from the writers. What good is a "revolution" if there is no one to explain to the masses who they are revolting against and why they need a "revolution" in the first place. This is especially critical when, since the end of the Civil War, the masses have been continually duped into believing that "we have overcome" and "there is nothing left to fight for. "

After all it was the "militant minded" journalists who were the original Black freedom fighters in this country. Remember early revolutionists such as Martin Delany and David Walker were writers. It has even been rumored that Nat Turner might have been influenced by "David Walker's Appeal." Walker posed such a threat to white supremacy that ,according to Dr. James Turner, around 1830 there was a $10,000 bounty placed on his head by a group of wealthy white planters.

Whether it be a rapper or a writer, the world needs another Malcolm.

Someone who is not afraid to grab the mic or the pen and tell the world, that we demand Freedom, Justice and Equality and we intend to bring it into existence.

"By any means necessary."

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's weekly column is "This Ain't Hip Hop" a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. He can be reached at His website is Follow on Twitter @truthminista

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sex and Hip Hop

Sex and Hip Hop:
The Unreal Reality Show

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"It's too many Black women who can say they are mothers but can't say that they're wives"
Retrospect for Life- Common Lauryn Hill

The hottest new show on cable is "Sex and Hip Hop." If you haven't peeped it yet, it's about the daily drama of Brooklyn rapper, "Charlie Manson," his two baby mamas, Latoya and Patrona and his label mate, the first openly gay rapper, "Flamboyance." Originally, the cast included the stable, loving, hardworking Black family next door, the Moores, but they were dropped after the first episode because of low ratings....

Without a doubt, the most watched programs on television are the reality shows. With the popularity of shows such as "Love and Hip Hop" and "Housewives of... wherever," it is apparent that Americans can't get enough of seeing dysfunctional Black folks and dysfunctional Black families doing funky, dysfunctional things. But the question that should be asked is, are these shows really, reality or just the Hip Hop version of "The Big Lie Theory," tell a lie long enough and people will eventually accept it as truth?

It's a little bit of both. However, we cannot confuse the effect with the cause.

The depiction of African people as sex starved savages goes back hundreds of years. According to James Jones in "Bad Blood," it was once believed by physicians that Black people were more sexually promiscuous than whites because " Blacks had originated in a warm, tropical climate and were ,therefore, closer on the evolutionary scale to man's bestial ancestors."

These myths have constantly been dis-proven by scholars.

Michael Bradley in his book "The Ice Man Inheritance" wrote that "love" was such a natural process for ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians that they did not even need a word for it. However it was the Western Man's (European) "sexual reproduction aggression and frustration" that made their use of the word necessary as it served as a temporary "truce" between men and women just long enough to make a babies.

Even with evidence to the contrary, the stereotype of Black sexual deviancy has remained.

During the early 20th century, according to Dr. Harriett Washington in her book "Medical Apartheid, the early eugenics theorists believed that Black women were "sexually indiscriminate and, as bad mothers, were constrained by biology to give birth to defective children." She also wrote that scientists once believed that Black men were more likely than White men to spread vd because of "the Negro's well-known sexual impetuosity."

This stereotype of Black hyper-sexuality was reflected in the music industry, as white teens both embraced Black sexuality and rejected it, simultaneously. Even as far back as the jazz era, Brain Ward wrote in "Just My Soul Responding" the white audience "romanticized its alleged primitivism... sensual rather than mental properties ...and it's supposed lack of sexual inhibition," parroting the wide spread belief that Black people think with their sex organs instead of their brains.

This idea has dominated Hip Hop since its origins. Twenty years before Big Sean was telling women to "bounce it and make it boomerang," Luke "Skywalker " Campbell and the 2 Live Crew were yellin' "Me So Horny." And decades before Niki Minaj dropped that "Super Bass," Salt and Pepa were demanding that dudes "push it real good."

Perhaps the most destructive idea pushed in Hip Hop is that Black men really don't even need women, as many are still following the Snoop Dog mantra "we don't love them hoes" This can be attributed to an entertainment industry that consciously or unconsciously supports the prison industrial complex by propagating the "jail house mentality." Because many young Black men spend 5-10 years in prison without the pleasure of women, the "thug luv," "money over hoes" and other ideologies serve as coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, as Dr. Frances Cress Welsing wrote in "The Isis Papers, "young males only become more alienated from their manhood and feminized in such settings."

One of the most spirited discussions in Hip Hop over the last few years is over the issue of homosexuality/homophobia. The word "homophobia" can be deceiving, in itself, as "phobia" means "fear", which you rarely hear expressed in rap music. Outside of a handful of songs such as Brand Nubian's "Punks Jump up to Get Beat Down" you can hardly find any evidence of "gay bashing." However you can find plenty of examples of "black on black blastin'" So, what you have is not fear or hate but a culture clash between an art form based on an African cultural heritage where homosexuality was never the norm and a "Western" culture where it was practiced freely. (Noted historian J.A. Rogers wrote in "Sex and Race" Vol III that the practice was "rampant in ancient Greece and Rome." )

The over emphasis on homophobia is problematic because it overshadows real pathologies facing the Black community.

Although Black celebrities such as Magic Johnson should be commended for trying to rally rappers against "homophobia" and AIDS, this should not take the place of the more specific problems facing Black folks such as the physical abuse of Black women and the disproportionate rate of heterosexual HIV infection among them.

Also, while rappers such as Waka Flocka Flame have co-signed the "anti-bullying" call for tolerance of those who are "different" this must not overshadow Hip Hop's responsibility to address the much more prevalant violence between Black males who are basically the same. Also, we cannot ask young Black men to accept men wearing dresses before we even teach them about Black men wearing shirts and ties.

Our main challenge today must be to address the dysfunction of the Black family and the conflict between Black men and women. whether real or imagined and repair the damage that has been done. And just buying a box of over priced chocolate covered cherries or rushing out to grab some last minute Valentine bling, won't solve the problem.

As Dr. Cress Welsing wrote " if we are successful in finding the true cause of the alienation and neutralizing that cause, then Black male /Black female alienation will yield to true harmony."

And we must begin begin by teaching Black children to accept and respect themselves.

If not ,we will forever be trying to correct the behavior of people who, as Lil Wayne would say never learned "how to love."

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's weekly column is "This Ain't Hip Hop," a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. His website is He can be reached at or on Twitter @truthminista

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Who Speaks for the 'hood ?

Who Speaks for the 'hood ?
How Black Leaders Failed Us

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"Follow the leader is the title, theme, task. Now ya know/you don't have to ask."
Follow the Leader Eric B and Rakim

An election was held in Harlem, yesterday, to elect a new national Black leader. For months, top contenders, Rev. Jesse Sharpton and Dr. Cornel Smiley, had been trying to out shine each other in an attempt to grab the coveted title. However, when the final vote was cast, the late rapper "The Vanglorious Makaveli Smalls" won a decisive write-in victory. Sharpton and Smiley took the first flight out of town, ashamed that the biggest civil rights leaders in the world had been beaten by a rapper from the 'hood who was murdered 15 years ago.

For the last few years there has been an uncivil war going on in the Black community between Rev. Al Sharpton, reppin' the old school Civil Rights crew and the intellectual tag team of Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. For months they have traded disses back and forth like a Freestyle Friday battle over who is the legitimate leader of the masses of Black folk.

Problem is. Neither side really speaks for the streets; especially, the youth. It can even be argued that the late Tupac Shakur is still more politically relevant to this generation than today's black leaders.

Traditionally, Black leadership has been made up of members of the middle class who use the poor as political pawns. In 1957, E. Franklin Frazier wrote in his book "Black Bourgeoisie, " "as the intellectual leaders in the Negro community, they have never dared think beyond a narrow, opportunistic philosophy that provided a rationalization for their own advantages."

How many forums have you watched on C-Span where a bunch of highly educated Black "leaders" in expensive suits talked for three hours about the problems facing America and not a word was relevant to the 'hood ?

As Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote in "The Mis-Education of the Negro," " one of the most striking evidences of the failure of higher education among Negroes is the estrangement from the masses, the very people upon whom they must eventually count for carrying out a program of progress. "

The biggest scam played on the streets by "Black leaders" is the "non-economic liberalism" con which Harold Cruse discusses in his book "Plural but Equal." According to Cruse groups like the NAACP traded Black economic empowerment for the impotent, feel good ideology of civil rights. So people died for the right to sit next to a white person in a restaurant when they should have been fighting to own the joint.

The fight over who should be the leader of Black Americans can be traced back to the 1843 National Convention of Colored Citizens and the debates between Frederick Douglass and Henry Highland Garnet. According to Bradford Chambers in "Chronicles of Black Protest, " Garnet wanted to go hard against slavery with his "Call to Rebellion" speech but his efforts were undermined by Douglass's softer call for "moral suasion." Because Garnet was seen as too radical, Douglass became America's first national Black "leader."

During the early 20th century the fight for Black leadership was between Booker T. Washington and Dr. WEB DuBois. Washington was the reigning champion after the 1895 Atlanta Exposition where he delivered a speech that, according to his book "Up From Slavery , was used to "cement the friendship of the races and bring about hearty cooperation between them." Dubois, however, wanted to intellectually and politically challenge the idea of white supremacy. After the death of Washington, Dubois went against Marcus Garvey, an advocate of Black Pride, self sufficiency and a strong identification with Africa as discussed in detail in Dr. Tony Martin's work "Race First."

The conflict of the 60's was between the civil rights leaders lead by Dr. Martin Luther King and members of the Black Power Movement who followed the ideology of Malcolm X. Because they were less threatening to the staus quo, the followers of King became the "official" Black leaders.

During the late 80's, a second Black Power movement emerged via Hip Hop as young Black kids began to identify with the outcasts. Instead of repeating the "I Have a Dream Speech," Hip Hop artists such as Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy began to sample speeches by Kwame Ture, Dr. Khalid Muhammad and Min. Louis Farrakhan. Also, a new generation of Black youth begin to embrace Afrocentric thought, courtesy of scholars like Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Leonard Jeffries and so called "conspiracy theories" by Del Jones and Steve Cokely, who mainstream Black leadership had deemed political pariahs. These vibrations still flow through underground conscious Hip Hop even in 2012.

This is the real reason that the torch was never passed to the Hip Hop generation. Although the old school Civil Rights leaders always complain about how young people aren't willing to "pick up the mantel of leadership," in truth, they ain't givin' that up without a fight. The only way to get that golden mantle is to pry it from their cold dead hands. Even today, it is the clones of Dr. King who sit on the thrones of Black leadership, as they have the cable news networks, radio stations and magazine covers on lock.

But we have something they never will; Hip Hop and the ears of the streets.

Hip Hop still remains the most volatile weapon that can be used to challenge the status quo. What if rappers used the money that they are spending makin' it rain in the clubs to build more Black businesses. Or instead of rapping about "Rack City" they used their words to make a strong "Black City?" Maybe it's time for the Hip Hop Nation to overthrow traditional Black leadership and replace them with people who truly rep' the poor and oppressed in 'hoods across America.

The choice is yours.

Like Nas asked on "My Generation, "What's up with tomorrow? Will you lead? Will you follow?"

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's weekly column is "This Ain't Hip Hop," a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. His website is He can be reached at Follow on Twitter @truthminista

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Iz Blak Peeple Stoopid ?

Iz Blak Peeple Stoopid?:
Rap and the Racial Inferiority Myth

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"I dumb down for my audience/double my dollars"

Moment of Clarity- Jay Z

Recently, students at Garvey University sponsored a debate between noted historian, Dr. T. Asante Shakur and Professor Darwin J. Watson, author of the best selling book "Blacks Are Dumb...Get Over It!" While Dr. Shakur, feverishly, went through an hour long, high powered PowerPoint presentation, highlighting indisputable evidence of Black contributions to civilization over the last 5,000 years, Watson just listened quietly with a confident grin on his face. When it was his turn to speak, he just walked over to the podium, told the sound man to pump up the local Hip Hop station and yelled "Booyah!!!" before leaving the stage, confident that he had proven his point....

Since this country was founded, the myth of Black intellectual inferiority has been a controversial topic. However, in 2012 it is imperative that we ask the question, "does the commercial Hip Hop that is constantly pumped on the radio refute the myth or help to perpetuate it?"

According to John S. Haller, in his book "Outcasts from Evolution," the "scientific" basis for the Black intellectual inferiority myth was started around 1735 by Carl Von Linnaeus, who used skin color to describe , "racial character, personality traits, behavior, intelligence" etc. Linnaeus's work set the stage for the theories of scientists such as Charles Darwin, William Shockley, Nobel Prize winner James Watson and many others.

What is most disturbing about the myth is that it does not match up with historical facts.

As an example, George GM James wrote in his classic book, "Stolen Legacy," that "the true authors of Greek philosophy were not the Greeks but the people of North Africa, commonly known as the Egyptians." Also, although many people are familiar with Dr. WEB Du Bois's book, "Souls of Black Folk," relatively few are hip to his essay "Souls of White Folk," where he wrote "Europe has never produced and never will in our day, bring forth a single human soul who cannot be matched and over matched in every human endeavor by Asia and Africa."

Unfortunately, these facts have been rarely taught in history classes. Historically, the American educational system (as well as religious and political institutions) has been used to advance the idea that African Americans are less intelligent than whites. Hip Hop is not exempt.

Back in the day, groups like Poor Righteous Teachers and Boogie Down Productions used "edutainment" to inspire a whole generation to read books like "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley and "They Came Before Columbus" by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima." However, this was skillfully replaced by the mythological "street knowledge" popularized by NWA on their song "Straight Outta Compton" in 1988.

In his essay "The Black Child," Dr. Bobby Wright defined the "street mentality" as the myth that "Whites do not control the streets in the Black community nor the behavior of Blacks on those streets." He argued that "Whites have more control, or at least as much control over brothers and sisters in the streets than over those in universities."

Gradually, dumb became the new smart and reading became something for suckers.

Also, during this period Hollywood became Holly 'hood as the intellectual Spike Lee movies were replaced by gangsta flicks. Perhaps the biggest turning point is a result of what Enisoto Adika Ekunsirinde coined the "O Dog Theory." He argues that before the 1993 'hood classic, Menace II Society, the audience would identify with the "positive brother" in a movie but after "Menace" they began to celebrate the thugged-out, "O Dog" characters rather than the "smart brothers" like "Sharif."

Things have not changed much in almost 20 years.

Unfortunately there are still Black men trying to live up to the stereotype of being "real N****" by perpetuating ignorance through Hip Hop. No matter how you feel about the use of the N word, it's origin is rooted in racial inferiority. Strangely the concept of taking "ownership of the word" and changing the perception did not originate in Hip Hop. According to Dr. Randall Kennedy in his book "nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word," it was a white comedian, Lenny Bruce, who in 1963, popularized the erroneous concept that overusing the word would take the sting out of it.

As we get ready for another Black History Month, I suggest that instead of discussing the "plantation work songs" and "Negro spirituals" like we usually do, we focus on an issue that this generation is facing today.

How do we take our music and our minds back?

While it may be true that the proverbial "they" control the air waves, that doesn't mean that "they" should control our brain waves. So much so that we don't even question the "menticide" that is being waged against the youth. When the radio DJ says that he is just "playing what the people want to hear," we just accept it as fact and keep it movin'. We have bought into the stereotype that the only music we want to hear is about Maybachs, murder and misogyny.

Where is it written in the Hip Hop rule book that we can't hear a classic Rakim or Intelligent Hoodlum joint on the radio? Not to mention the work of underground artists in 'hoods across the country who are hungry to speak Truth to power.

We need a Black History Month Radio Rebellion to demand change and there is no better time than right now! We need to use our cells, Twitter, email etc to tell radio station programmers that we want to hear something other than what they are currently force feeding us.

Sadly, like the Jim Brown character told Ving Rhames in the underground movie "Animal," "being stupid is a choice, too." Some people actually like sitting in the back of the short school bus and will entirely, miss the point.

But as A Tribe Called Quest said on "Jazz."

"I don't really mind if it's over your head cuz the job of resurrectors is to wake up the dead."

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's weekly column is "This Ain't Hip Hop," a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. He can be reached at or (919) 451-8283 His website is Twitter @truthminista

Black History Month Message to Radio Stations

Dear Radio Personality,

As you know, we have entered into another Black History Month, a month set aside to honor the contributions of African Americans. One thing that I would like to point out is that Hip Hop is part of Black History, too. Therefore, we are asking that you add music to your playlist that reflects the richness of Black culture. Our children need to know that there is more to Black music than Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Niki Minaj. What about Public Enemy, Rakim and the X-Clan? Not to mention local underground acts with a socially relevant message.

Our children are in desperate need of knowledge about their history and culture. Also, with the current political climate in this country, they must become more politically aware. It is difficult to try to convince our children to strive for educational excellence when they are being "dumbed down" everyday by the music that they hear on the radio. This month, your station can help change the mind state of thousands of young people by just adding some Hip Hop with substance to your rotation.

Please choose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Thank you,

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
No Warning Shots
Durham NC
(919) 451-8283

Key and Peele: Coonin' Ain't Comedy

Coonin' Aint Comedy

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

Once again it's Black History Month and there are a few things that you can count on. Martin Luther speeches. Stories about how "far" Black folks have come almost 150 odd years up from slavery. And a new Comedy Central Show to pimp slap us back 150 years...

When I first saw the obligatory slavery commercial for the new "Key and Peele Sketch Series," weeks back, I said to myself "we've been here before." Then there was the preview of the "Obama as Angry Black Man" clip on the Comedy Central website. (Yeah, that's original)

So, I wasn't really surprised when the show that had been hyped like the Second Coming of Stepin' Fetchin' for months lived down to be everything that I thought it would be.

The standard "talkin' black jokes," the Black men calling Black women the "B" word, " the "gangsta Hip Hop artist in jail skit" peppered with random muggin' and stabbin' jokes. Yep, they pulled out all the stops to once again use a comedy show to make white America more sensitive to the plight of Black men (or in this case half-Black men.)

But the question I kept asking myself was "why is 'that's how Black folk act' comedy even funny anymore?"

It's just so...70-ish.

I admit our parents thought the "shuckin' and jivin' of " JJ " on Good Times or "George Jefferson" was hilarious and I do watch a Sanford and Son rerun every now and then but those shows were from 30 years ago.

Newsflash! We have a Black man in the White House and little white kids in Iowa have the whole neighborhood shakin' , blastin' Drake and Niki Minaj. So the idea that white people are oblivious to Black culture on at least a shallow, superficial level is ludicrous.

Now, some folks may call Key and Peele comedy but where I come from we have another name.

"Coonin'" (making white folks laugh at the expense of disgracing their children, parents, great grandparents and 30 million other African Americans.)

In all fairness, I must point out that "coonin'" did not start with Key and Peele as the practice goes back to the 19th century.

The popularity of black folks actin' the fool has its roots in the mid 1800's with the black face minstrel performances. In the book, "Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media," (Janet Davis and William Barlow) historian William Van Deburg is quoted as saying that in a time when many whites feared slave insurrections "the early slave image offered white audiences a comforting , psychological reassurance." He writes that "such intellectually inferior clowns posed little threat to white hegemony."

So, it reassures a white America that may still be a little shook up over the first Black president thing, that they don't have a thing to worry about.

It must, also, be remembered that barely a hundred years ago, African people were being locked up in monkey cages at zoos and forced to perform for white folks. According to Dr. Harriet Washington in her book, "Medical Apartheid," around 1903, a missionary explorer, Samuel Phillips Lerner, captured Ota Benga, an African "pygmy" and gave him to William Hornaday to put on exhibit in the Bronx Zoo. However, today they have stopped putting black men in cages but place them on stages.

As we enter into an era where some people are trying to "turn back the clock" on African American progress, the Key and Peele Show cannot be viewed in a political vacuum. In a time when some people want to put us back on the plantation we don't need black comedians to supply the whips to beat us into submission.

Really, in 2012 , who would think that something like Key and Peele is even the least bit funny...(OK. Maybe Newt Gingrich but that's about it.)

I wouldn't be surprised if old Newt brought Key and Peele out to do a tap dance routine during his weekly "diss a minority moment" at the next presidential debate as exhibit A.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott's website is No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or Twitter @truthminista