Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What if the Tea Partiers Were...Rappers?

What if the Tea Partiers Were...Rappers

Paul Scott

A few months ago, Tim Wise wrote a widely circulated article called, "Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black " which challenged America to take a close look at the hypocrisy of the Right Wing. Now, a Pittsburgh rapper is accepting his challenge in true Hip Hop form.

Jasiri X has released a video called "What if the Tea Party was Black." The Hip Hop artist says that he got the idea when Paradise,a member of the pro-black rap group X-Clan, forwarded him a copy of Wise's article.

"I saw the article and I liked the concept," says the rapper.

So Jasiri hit the studio with producer Cynik Lethal while Paradise grabbed his video camera and they went on their mission to defeat the Right Wing propaganda machine.

"For them it's all about power, perception and how they control the media," says the rapper. "We need to tell our story in the same way."

While some will consider his new video inflammatory, according to X, what he is doing through Hip Hop is not much different than what the pundits on Fox News do every night.

"Glenn Beck is rapping," says X. "He's just not rapping with a beat."

If you listen to the Tea Party apologists there is, absolutely, nothing (and I mean nothing) even remotely racist about the Tea Party ideology. Why, they're just the modern day version of the Dukes of Hazard, " just some good ole boys, never meaning no harm..."

Not so says the X-Man.

"I'm not an idiot, he says. "We see the signs at the rallies."

Like many black folks , Jasiri X feels that the major reason for the current climate of hate in this country is because there are those who just can't stand the idea of a black man in the White House.

"Why hasn't any other president's patriotism been questioned," he asks.

Also, Jasiri is not too thrilled about Glenn Beck's plan to hold a rally next month on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington.

"Martin Luther King gave his life to produce an environment of peace, tolerance, understanding and unity, says X. " Glenn Beck's hateful rants are the exact opposite, causing hatred and outright racism. He should be ashamed of himself. "

What seems to tic the rapper off the most is the double standard between the way the activism of the Right Wing is perceived as opposed to the activism of African Americans.

"It's about power; I can make these declarations but you can't," says X.

Although Hip Hop was once called "the CNN of Black America," by political rapper, Chuck D, the silence surrounding the Tea Party and Right Wing racism has been deafening. So, why is a Hip Hop community that was so vocal during the last presidential election now afraid to tangle with the Tea Party ?

"You have a community that was so vocal for that he is under attack, where are they, "asks X?

Immediately after the announcement of Barack Obama's election win, radio stations began to immediately adopt Jay Z's , "History" as Hip Hop's official victory song and Young Jeezy's, "My President," was played in heavy rotation. However, unlike the Hip Hop of old, rappers today seem afraid to speak truth to power.

"Who's gonna stand up, Drake, asks X ? " They are marketing him as the most the most uncontroversial rapper of all time!"

Not only have the commercially successful rappers been hesitant to address political issues, most have been silent on issues such as police brutality, including the recent controversy surrounding the "involuntary murder" conviction of Johannes Mehserle, the California police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant. Jasiri X is not one of the silent majority.

"There is nothing 'involuntary' about a trained officer pulling out his gun and shooting an unarmed, defenseless man point blank in the back, "says X.

Although the Right Wing media moguls seem to have unlimited resources at their disposal, the Hip Hop activist says that social media can level the playing field. That is why he created "This Week With Jasiri X" on, where he does a Hip Hop version of the nightly news.

"Less people are getting their news from TV and are getting their news from alternative sources," says X.

"We are the vanguard of a new movement."

To contact Jasiri X call 412-404-2347 or

Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283