Monday, May 28, 2012


The Real Pusha T Diss
 TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"Drug dealer buys Jordans/crackhead buys crack/and a white man gets paid off of all of that "
  All Falls Down- Kanye West
It started off as a couple of disses being traded back and forth across the 'net between rival Hip Hop labels but the conflict quickly escalated as rappers on both sides tried to prove who were the real killas and who were the fake gangstas . The contest  ended in a draw as the beef left dead bodies on both sides. The only real winners were the billionaire label owners who made a fortune selling  greatest hits cds and the kids on the block hawkin' bootleg t-shirts with pictures of dead rappers on the front and "EXODUS 1:10" on the back...
Last week, while the rest of the country was dealing with issues like the upcoming election, student loan interest rates and the economy, the biggest news in Hip Hop was, yet,  another rap beef.
A few days ago,  Pusha T, former member of the Clipse, the group that took Crack music to a whole 'nother level with songs like "Grindin'," a decade ago,  released a diss track presumed to be aimed at Drake called "EXODUS 23:1." The track is seen by many as a prelude to a war between Pusha's label, G.O.O.D. Music and Drake and the homies'  of Young Money/Cash Money Billionaires.
However, what was interesting was when the diss hit the 'net, it wound up being the tweet heard 'round the world as EXODUS 23:1 suddenly became a trending topic , sending millions of wanna-be gangstas scrambling to grab Grandma's Good Book to peep what the Creator of the Universe said about the G.O.O.D. Music/YMCMB beef. The tweets also caught the attention of mainstream media websites, as CNN and Time Magazine rushed to put out stories about a rapper who few of their readers new existed . Now Pusha was not the first artist to use scripture passages to go in on rival rappers, ( Remember Pac's Hail Mary?) but that was before Twitter. So, he was the first to make a Biblically based rap attack go viral. I guess this is a moment in Hip Hop history of which we can all be proud.
But we have to ask ourselves, are the decision makers who revere CNN like the Bible and who control the  flow of education dollars to "inner city schools" or pass legislation regarding criminal sentencing laws, really looking at this beef as "a couple of creative geniuses just expressing their remarkable talents?" Or are they looking at it more like a bunch of trained circus monkeys that somebody taught to beat box? My money is on the latter. 
When I first saw the title of the song, I admit, I thought  the industry was finally going to be exposed on some deep metaphysical, esoteric level by one of its insiders who was going to use Biblical references to validate A Tribe Called Quest's Industry Rule 4080 that the "record company people are shady."  Or maybe even prove that the Hip Hop conspiracy theorists were right and  there was really only one major record label controlling Hip Hop and the Anti-Christ was the CEO.
No such luck. Just some more 'hood drama.
The beef is just the the continuation of rap  fratricide that has plagued the culture since the mid 90's. No matter how many deaths and prison sentences happen in Hip Hop,  the glorification of beefs remains constant. Sure, there is always the brief period when the Hip Hop community signs a peace treaty and rappers come together at some meeting and  promise that they will be more civilized with their lyrics but a few months later, it's back to the ol' standard "ooooh, did you hear how so -and- so dissed...?"
The cycle of insanity continues.
Besides being a way for record labels to make money off the self hatred that is destroying the Black community, it also serves as a necessary distraction from the real issues that should be of utmost importance to this generation. The beef is just another exercise in displaced aggression, where the proverbial "Menace to Society"  becomes the next young Black man instead of the corporate blood suckers who are draining the life force from Hip Hop.
Even Pusha T hints at the fact that rappers are being played like puppets when he talks about  on EXODUS 23:1 , how it's bad luck when an artist is signed to multiple record deals and the man at the top of the totem pole is always going to be the head of one of the three major record labels. (Sometimes you gotta read between the lines)
Also, we have to call the propagation of Black on Black violence, what it is; corporate sponsored population control. This has been the standard of operation in dealing with Black people since the enslavement and colonization of Africa when the European exploiters used to give both sides of a conflict weapons and wait for them to kill each other off.
During the Hip Hop Era, the late author Gary Webb suggested in Dark Alliance that the high powered assault weapons and the crack in the 'hood may have been government sponsored.  So, it is not far fetched to believe that some rich dudes are not only funding both sides of Hip Hop beefs but maybe even supplying guns to both sides of the gang wars.
History teaches that's how the ruling elite have always gotten down. Remember in None Dare Call it Conspiracy, Garry Allen claims that  some "international bankers" funded both sides of the Civil War. If they would do that to thousands of "good ol' patriotic soldiers dying for their political beliefs" what do you think they would do to a bunch of disposable, street thugs killing over bandannas and street corners?
Now, I know some of ya'll are going to say it's just entertainment, and "it ain't all that deep." But some of us refuse to swim in the shallow end of the pool of life.
Like Hip Hop artist , Dee 1 said  on "Jay, 50 and Weezy," "entertainment is what it seems/ but Black on Black hatred is the underlyin' theme."
And that's word -to- tha JOHN 8:32
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 website  Twitter @truthminista


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Make Mitt Admit Mormon Racism Memorial Day

Concerned that Americans are ignoring a major racial issue  this election season, a NC minister is calling for citizens to demand that "Mitt  Admit  Mormon Racism," this Memorial Day.

Minister Paul Scott, of the Messianic Afrikan Nation ministry in Durham NC, says that there is a double standard at play in this election's media coverage.

"For four years President Obama has been attacked for his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a strong proponent of Black Liberation Theology," says Scott. "But you have not heard a word about Mitt Romney's Mormon religion's history of racism against "dark skinned people."

According to the Mormon ideology, dark skin is a sign of a divine curse. Also, Mormon leader Brigham Young was once quoted as saying that race mixing is cause for death on the spot. Also, until 1978, African Americans were not allowed into the Mormon priesthood.

Scott says that the various "black curse" myths are harmful to the Black community, especially the children who are led to believe that Black misery is divinely ordained. Even Hip Hop artists like the late Tupac Shakur have parrotted the "black male cursed from birth" in their lyrics."

"This is an insult to African Americans and must not be swept under the rug," says Scott. "This Memorial Day, we must remember."

Paul Scott is a minister of Black Liberation Theology, activist and writer . Scott is a frequent guest on talk shows across the country discussing the issues of Rap, Race and Religion.  He can be reached at (919) 308-4233 or email  Website:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cursed Since Birth?

Cursed Since Birth:
Romney, Race and the Politics of Religion
                      TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"Some people sayin' that we're cursed/the lack of Knowledge of ourselves makes it worst."
                                                                    Soul Controller- Grand Puba
The church was filled with the sound of hand claps and amens as the conservative presidential candidate, Joseph Young stood before the all Black congregation. They nodded in agreement as he admonished the young men in the congregation to "pull their pants up" and the young women to "stop having so many babies." But when Pastor Jones patted him on the back and said "we're all brothers and sisters who will meet at the pearly white gates," Young said, "Sorry, Rev. Heaven ain't got no ghetto" and walked out the door....
Last week, the New York Times exposed a secret plot by "a group of high-profile Republican strategists"  commissioned by billionaire, Joe Ricketts (whose family owns the Chicago Cubs) to once again demonize President Barack Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright in attack ads against the President. The 54 page plan, which was accessible through the NY Times website, called, The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good, not only called for the creation of vicious commercials but ,in order to avoid accusations of racism, the use  of "an extremely literate African American" such as talk show host Larry Elder as the face of the operation. Also, according to the plan they were going to get a "group of African American business leaders" to push the agenda.
You can't say they didn't have all their bases covered. (Well, I guess accept for some snitch leaking it to the press)
If you can remember, four years ago, the Right Wing ace in the hole was supposed to be Obama's religion. They believed he was either a Muslim posing as a Christian or the ring leader of some militant Black Theology Liberation movement. According to the NY Times even though he denounced the ad plan, Mitt Romney once "suggested that Obama wanted to make America into a less Christian Nation."
What is most disturbing about these accusations is not the politics, but the hypocrisy. Although the Prez's faith has been highly scrutinized, Romney's Mormon beliefs are hardly mentioned.
Although, most people are only familiar with Mormonism (Church of the Latter Day Saints) from the ol' school "Donny and Marie Osmond" show or the missionaries who ride through the 'hood on 10 speed bicycles in the freshly pressed white shirts, the religion has a largely unknown racist history.
According to Richard Abanes in his book, One Nation Under Gods, the belief in black inferiority by the Mormon Church is based on a "cosmic war"  between the armies of "Christ and Satan" eons ago and those who were "indecisive and or less valiant" in the war were born black. Hence, the origins of the curse.
Also, Richard and Joan Ostling in their book, Mormon America, claimed that noted Mormon leader, Brigham Young (after whom the university is named) once said that it was the law of God that if a white person had sex with a "seed of Cain" (dark skinned person) the penalty was, as they say on the streets, KOS (Kill On Sight).
Now that's gangsta.
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism states that "prior to 1978, black members could not hold the priesthood or participate in Temple ordinances." It also states that when African Americans were fighting and dying for their civil rights in the 60's, there were "athletic boycotts of Brigham Young University, threatened lawsuits and condemnations of the church."
To be fair, Mormonism is not the only faith that has used religion to justify bigotry. Christians used the "curse of Ham" myth to justify slavery. According to the story, Noah cursed his grandson Canaan, therefore all of his descendants were destined to slaves. Although this is often attributed to the Bible, it is actually based , mostly, on the Babylonian Talmud, as Dr. Cain Hope Felder points out in "Stony the Road We Trod."
Although, demonized by the Right Wing, it must be noted that Black Liberation Theology is, merely, a reaction to these black inferiority myths. For, if it was not for religious racism ,there would have been no need for the creation of the theology in the first place. Also, even though the talking heads on Fox News seem to believe that the belief started with Rev. Wright, its roots actually go back to Bishop Henry Mc Neal Turner in the late 19th century. The theology was later propagated during the Civil Rights/Black Power Era by ministers such as Rev. Albert Cleage (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) and Dr. James Cone.
The ideology, has even been a part of rap music as Hip Hop artists such as  Sunz of Man and Brand Nubian have challenged Eurocentric religious thought in their lyrics.
Unfortunately, the idea of black skin being a curse is also embedded in Hip Hop. In such songs  as "Only God Can Judge Me" and "Game's Been Good to Me" by Tupac Shakur, the running theme is  "I' m just a young Black male/cursed since my birth. Also, his late rival the Notorious BIG rapped that he was "black and ugly as ever." So the ideology that Black people are divinely ordained to live in poverty and despair must be challenged.
One must ask why Black leaders seem to be avoiding this issue like the plague and others are content to ignore the two ton Republican elephant in the room?
Maybe they are saving the issue for the grand finale pre-election show stopper or perhaps they are afraid that they might get run over by the boys on the bikes.
Who knows?
Bottom line is people in glass churches shouldn't throw stones.
Regardless, once again it falls on Hip Hop to raise the issues that others are afraid to touch. It is up to our journalists and artists to make sure that the issue of religious racism is raised loud and often.
Like Killah Priest said on "BIBLE," (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) , some people in this country
"need to chill and get their minds revived/for years religion did nothing but divide."
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  Website: or Twitter @truthminista

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rev Jeremiah Wright: Fear of a Black Jesus

Rev. Jeremiah Wright: Fear of a Black Jesus

Min. Paul Scott

President Barack Obama is once again taking heat for his previous ties with  the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Seems like some folks are a little miffed that Rev. Wright's church is a little too "Afro-centric."

The nerve of that man!

Imagine that. A black pastor of a predominately black church preaching the Gospel from a black perspective. This man should be defrocked immediately!

But what is afro-centric theology and why does it attract so many black Americans and disturb so many white Americans? What is this fascination with or fear of a "black Jesus?"

The issue of the color of Yeshua (misnamed Jesus) has always been a controversial topic in this country, evoking strong passions both pro and con. With the demographic makeup of America becoming more culturally diverse, many people are questioning the Euro-centric religious icons that America has cherished since she was founded.

The Euro-centric icons are especially problematic for the millions of descendants of slaves, whose "owners" saw no contradiction between being "good" Christians on Sunday morning and gathering for a hanging on Sunday afternoon. The legacy of this contradiction is so strong that even today many in the white community refuse to even contemplate the idea that the "Jesus" whom they serve was the same color of the people that their forefathers put in chains.
This has produced what is referred to as the "Fear of a Black Jesus" syndrome.
The evidence of Yeshua (Jesus) being Black is overwhelming. Many in the Black community believe that the Messiah was black because of the area of the world in which he lived. The so-called Middle East is actually part of Africa divided from the rest of the continent by the man made Suez Canal. Many believe that the Hebrews living in this area two thousand years ago were people of color as it would have been virtually impossible for anyone to live in Northern Africa and have a pale complexion.
The image of Yeshua that is in many homes and churches is not historically correct but came out of the minds of European artists such as Michelangelo, who was commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II to paint certain biblical pictures. Many believe that these pictures were used to justify the African Holocaust (the Trans-Atlantic slave trade) and to create an inferiority complex in African people that would be passed down from generation to generation.
The effect of this image being so devastating that even after the physical chains of slavery were removed, the mental chains would still be in place, causing some black Americans, even in the 21st century to reverence the white man as God. African Americans have been taught since birth that nothing good could come out of Africa and that African people have not contributed anything to humanity, worthwhile. Therefore, it is impossible for some to conceptualize the Messiah being anything but white.
However, nowadays, many younger African Americans are challenging the traditional religion that was forced upon their ancestors. They are posing questions that can no longer be ignored.
How can the theology that was used to enslave and persecute you on Friday, be the same one to free and resurrect you on Sunday? Was it not the Euro-centric version of Christianity that endorsed the murder and enslavement of over 100 million African people? Was it not the Euro-centric version of Christianity that put its stamp of approval on the hanging of Black men from trees? How can this possibly be that same form of Christianity that will make African Americans free ?
Many have asked why we are preaching this Afro-Centric Theology and why now? I ask if not now when and if not me who? Someone has to pick up the torch that has been handed down by Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, Rev. Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessy and Marcus Garvey. Somebody has to stand up and declare the right of African American religious expression.
Although, some refuse to admit this truth and others seek to hide it, as the old saying goes, "Truth crushed to the ground will rise again!"
"TRUTH Minista"  Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 308-4233

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beats Ballots and Booty Calls

Beats, Ballots and Booty Calls:
Why Should We Vote?
                       TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"A 40 and a blunt/that's all she really wants"
                        Slow Down- Brand Nubian
From the moment Mitchell O. Barry scoped Jameka Jumpoff strollin' down the baby food aisle of Wal-Mart, she didn't stand a chance. Over a value meal at Micky Dee's he seduced her with his sweet talk about how he was gonna make life better for her and her kids. After taking her home on the city bus, he charmed his way into her bedroom, telling her everything that she had ever wanted to hear, as "We Shall Overcome" played softly on his iPad. When she woke up the next morning, Mitch and his promises were gone. The only reminder of  the wonderful night that they spent together was the "I Just Voted" sticker stuck to her headboard....
As we head full steam into a heated political season, most ethic and special interest groups are getting their lists of demands ready to put in front of candidates who are, aggressively, courting their votes. However for the Black community, there is no courtship. Just a sip of a cheap malt liquor , a one night stand and a promise that "I'll call you tomorrow."
For politicians, less affluent African Americans are a cheap date or the political equivalent of a late night booty call. We ,enthusiastically, give up the goods with no strings attached.
Although, you are allowed to diss the Democratic and the Republican candidates, unmercifully, there is an unwritten law in this country that says that under no circumstances are you ever, ever allowed to pose the simple question...
"Why should I vote for either one of you losers?"
I don't know about you, but nothing ticks me off more than some old civil rights-type person lecturing me about how "my ancestors died for my right to vote."
I'm  like, "Back up off me homie, you don't know me like that and I haven't seen you at one family reunion!" My kin folks didn't die for the right to vote, they died trying to get free by any means necessary.
This year, some Black leaders have a new slogan,  "Vote.. because Trayvon Martin, would have wanted it that way..." How many of these opportunists who are using Trayvon Martin as a political pawn when he's dead would have even given him (or his peers) the time of day when he when he was alive? How many black commentators who have sampled the infamous 911 call for a "get out to vote" remix use their air time to politically educate the boys in the hoodies?
What most political crusaders will never admit is there is a disconnect between them and the Hip Hop Nation.
Hip Hop has long addressed the contradictions surrounding America's politics. Back in the 90's  Chuck D said "neither party is mine/ not the jackass nor the elephant on "By the Time I Get to California." Also, on "Ah Yeah," KRS scolded "remember the chains/remember the whips remember the rope man/ You Black people still talkin' 'bout votin'..." More recently, Lupe Fiasco gave a strong critique of the current administration when on  "Words I Never Said," he rapped "that's why I ain't vote for him/next one neither..."
That's not to say that some in Hip Hop (mostly the filthy rich) have not been political pimps over the years. During recent elections, there have been various campaigns where politicians have used millionaire rappers to convince Lil Tyrone that if he didn't go to the polls, a gang of gold toothed goons was gonna show up at his front door and give him a beat-down for neglecting his civic responsibility.
However, it ain't gonna be that simple this year as the suckers who bought into the whole "Vote or Die" hype back in 2004 are the same people who in 2012, believe the Mayan Calender prediction that the world is going to end before the next inauguration, anyway.  So why bother?
Although, the alternative sexual lifestyle has been a hot topic in Hip Hop for years, any discussion of alternative political lifestyles has been taboo.
With all of the resources that Hip Hoppers posses, why has there never been a serious effort to form a  Hip Hop Third Party or at least consider the strategy of being independent of a particular party affiliation?
Although, there have been various people referred to as "Hip Hop candidates," over the years, they have been mostly politicians with a little store-bought swagger who knew how to kick a Run DMC lyric. A rare exception being long time Hip Hop activist, Rosa Clemente, who was the Green Party vice presidential candidate in 2008.
Even the current Prez has to realize that listening to Lil Weezy on his iPod or givin'  the Snowman (Young Jeezy) a shout out, doesn't make you down with the streets.
Contrary to popular belief, some of us actually read. We have studied the works of economic thinkers such as Dr. Claude Anderson, (Powernomics ) and Dr. Amos Wilson, (Blue Print for Black Power.) A few of us have read Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power and know that America is not really a Democracy but what John Perkins in "Confessions of an Economic Hit man" called a "Corporatocracy." And while we brace for Armageddon every four years, the corporations that run the planet have already factored the upcoming elections into their 25 year agendas for global domination.
The Hip Hop Nation must also realize that "civic responsibility" does not begin and end at the ballot box. It's pretty easy for your favorite celebrity to motivate your crew to go out and vote once ever four years but can you get your peeps to go to city council and school board meetings on a regular basis?  As they say, " all politics is local" and the 'hood needs fewer drives for voter registration and more classes for political education.
In 1964 Malcolm X predicted it was gonna be "the ballot or the bullet." This year we have to decide whether it's gonna be the "the ballot or the booty call?"
Are we going to have real change or are we still going to be neglected and disrespected by the major political parties?
As Ice Cube said in the classic flick "Boys in the Hood," how long are we gonna rep' for people who "either don't know, don't show or don't care what's goin' on in the 'hood."
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  Twitter @truthminista

TRUTH Minista on "The Point" Show

I was on a recent episode of the Young Turk's show "The Point" discussing my article "Ghetto Scholarship : Has Hip Hop Dumbed Us Down?"
Watch the show here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Rap Avengers

The Rap Avengers:
Does Hip Hop Need a Hero?
                             TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"One day I got struck by Knowledge of Self/it gave me super- scientifical powers"
                                                    Can't Stop the Prophet- Jeru Tha Damaja
It's 2012 and Hip Hop is on the eve of destruction. Fortunately, Earth's mightiest mc's have banded together to save us from the evil corporate villains who are bent on destroying the culture. The group, known as the Rap Avengers has sworn to never again let fear, egos or personal differences prevent them from fighting for the Hip Hop principles of Peace, Unity, Love and having fun....
Well, I guess some things only happen in the movies...
Without a doubt The Avengers will go down in history as one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters ever. For those who aren't down with comics, it's a movie based on the long running comic book series about how a bunch of Earth's strongest heroes unite from time to time to kick butt when some galactic gangstas try to take over the planet. 
However, historically, most comic book heroes have bypassed the 'hood.
Old School comedians used to joke that Superman would fly over a burning apartment building full of kids in the ghetto to save a cat stuck in a tree in the 'burbs.
Relatively speaking, there has always been a lack of Black super heroes. Back in the day, there were only a couple of sidekicks with "Black" in their names like Captain America's trusty homie, "The Black Falcon" or the token Black guy from the old Super Friends cartoon, "Black Vulcan." The only major heroes were "The Black Panther," who held down his African kingdom, "Storm," the fine sista from the X-Men and Power Man (Luke Cage, hero for hire), who wouldn't even open the door for your grandma unless she tipped him five bucks. The only ones who really repped' the Black community were Fat Albert's, "The Brown Hornet" and "Verb Man" from School House Rock.
Unfortunately , many of the real heroes who were really down for the people never made it into the comic books, nor the history books.
In the early 20th century Marcus Garvey formed the African Legion and during the 1950's Robert Williams formed the Deacons for Defense to protect the Black community. There were also groups in the 60's such as the Black Liberation Army and the Republic of New Africa who fought for the people.
Other than Black organizations, there were groups like the Young Lords (Puerto Rican Nationalists) and AIM (American Indian Movement). According to legendary Hip Hop photographer and author of several books including, They Call it Graffiti , Ernie Paniccioli , "Red Pride and Red Power were reawakened by AIM and their demands for land rights, Freedom of Religion and the right to determine their own destiny still resonate in the hearts of native people throughout this stolen land."
Despite the numerous 'hood flicks glorifying Black on Black violence and Tyler Perry-like movies, Hollywood has largely ignored the real heroes of oppressed communities. Until this day, there has only been one major movie made about Malcolm X (Spike Lee's X) and only one about the Black Panther Party (Mario Van Peeble's Panther ).
There have been a few good fictitious movies like , The Spook Who Sat by the Door, based on the novel by Sam Greenlee about a CIA agent who used his skills to politicize gang members. And DROP Squad,  executive produced by Spike Lee, about a squad who went around "reprogramming" sell outs, much like Ice Cube's 1991 video for 'True to the Game." Interestingly enough , according to Brian Ward in his book , Just My Soul Responding, there was a real DROP Squad in the late 60's known as the FPC (Fair Play Committee) that put heat on industry cats who they felt were exploiting the community.
Over the years Hip Hop has had its own heroes such as Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation and Rev. Conrad Tillard's (formerly Minister Conrad Muhammad) Movement For Change, which sought to bring peace and unity to the culture. And more recently, you have groups like the Uhuru Hip Hop Movement and the Militant Mind Militia who are trying to use Hip Hop for Black Liberation.
However, the question becomes, why hasn't a strong gang of conscious, super-lyrical, mc's banded together to battle the corporate owned rappers who spit ignorance and rescue the art form from the industry evil doers? After all, crews such as MMG (Maybach Music Group) and YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires) have no problem coming together to lock down the industry, with no apologies.
There could be several reasons. Maybe fear of being forever blackballed by an unforgiving industry. Or perhaps it's a matter of over-sized egos. Who knows?
Could be that  the same class-ism that has prevented other organizations from uniting for the common good of the 'hood have also effected Hip Hop.
Maybe we all aren't fighting for the same thing.
According to Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. of the POCC/BPPC (Prisoners of Conscience Committee/Black Panther Party Cubs) "We do not have the same interests. Some people benefit from our people's detriment."
Bottom line is , no dude with a Viking hat and a sledge hammer is going to come down from the clouds and help us. And we all know that Captain America ain't gonna save us.
And since we have been waiting for a super troop of Hip Hop heroes to save rap music for ,at least, the last decade and the closest thing we have gotten is a Tupac hologram, maybe they ain't comin' either.
No one is gonna save us but us. And this goes for the 'hood and Hip Hop.
It just takes one person to start a movement and the rest will follow. So, maybe the hero lies within you.
Like Nas said on "Hero,"  the game needs him/plus the people need someone to believe in."
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 or on Twitter @truthminista 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Graduating from Ghetto Scholarship

Graduating from Ghetto Scholarship:
Has Hip Hop Dumbed Us Down?
                                     TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"Let Freedom ring with a buckshot/but not just yet
First we have to understand the nature of the threat"
                                                         Nature of the Threat-Ras Kass
After 10 long years, the day had finally come. Juaquin Davis was finally graduating. As he swaggered across the commencement stage with his pants saggin' just below his graduation robe he took a moment to give a shout out to his homies in the audience. They returned the love by holding up a giant cardboard sign that said "Kongrachulashunz!"
We have officially entered graduation season, the time of year when college seniors are taking their final exams and preparing to go out into the real world to make a difference, not only for themselves, but for their communities.
Well, that's how it's supposed to be. Unfortunately, in recent times there has been a decrease in the respect for knowledge, even among the college educated.
There was a time in our history when knowledge was celebrated and those who were fortunate enough to obtain a higher level of education saw it as their responsibility to uplift others. According to Lerone Bennett in his work, Before the Mayflower, the first Black college graduate, John B. Russwurm used this intellect, not to open a strip club/rim shop, but  to establish the first Black newspaper, Freedom's Journal, March 16, 1827.
So what happened to our sense of communal responsibility?
In his 1903 essay  The Talented Tenth, Dr. WEB DuBois blamed the failure of "the educated and intelligent" to raise the level of consciousness of the masses  on "slavery and race prejudice"
However, Dr. E. Franklin Frazier in his 1957, book "Black Bourgeoisie" suggested that they merely, got their degrees, got hooked up with a nice j-o-b-, bought a fat Caddy and left the 'hood and never looked back.
Perhaps this over emphasis on material wealth is why today's college educated rappers make music for kindergartners.
It must be remembered that 2Chainz, Gucci Mane, Plies and many others are said to have either graduated from or at least chilled for a semester at institutions of higher learning.  Also, although Lil Wayne is said to have taken classes at the University of Houston, a 2009 Wall Street Journal article mentioned a study that alleged that peeps who listened to Weezy had lower SAT scores than those who listened to other types of music.
Unfortunatley, these are the people who many high school kids look up to as models of success which carries over into college life.
You may remember the controversy that erupted back in 2009, when according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, prestigious Morehouse College, initiated a "get back to the legacy " dress code that cracked down on such official Hip Hop gear as saggin' pants, caps and hoodies.
The glorification of anti-intellectualism has not always been the case in Hip Hop. Even during the pre-conscious era, old school pioneers like the Disco 4 were rapping about the value of education on "School Beats" and Kool Moe Dee was droppin' mad multi-syllabric words in his rhymes.  Although not usually mentioned in the same breath with conscious rappers such as Mos Def or Talib Kweli, in  '96 Ras Kass released what remains possibly the hardest hitting, most in depth "conscious" song ever , "Nature of the Threat" on which he quoted Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango among others.
But in recent history, this has been the exception, not the rule.
Even today's more politically conscious Hip Hop artists rarely rise above the level of what can be called "ghetto scholarship."
The term "ghetto scholarship," was popularized a few years back by Dr. Wesley Muhammad, author of several books including, "The Book of God."  According to Dr. Muhammad, "Ghetto scholarship refers to a type of particularly poor scholarship; poor because the methodologies upon which this scholarship is based are poor" He goes on to say "‘Ghetto scholarship has nothing to do with degrees or formal education, or the lack thereof..."
Of course , he was not really referring to Hip Hop, but if the Jordans fit....
Even though, Nas gets an A for effort for rappin' that Alexander the so-called Great blasted the nose off the Sphinx on his hit "I Can," (even though scholars argue that it was Napoleon) I can only imagine how many kids failed their history exams for listening to a Hip Hop cd instead of doing their own research.
Maybe rappers spent too much time "diggin' in the crates" instead of diggin' in the books ?
With all the "Hip Hop" courses being offered at universities, you would think that somebody would have started some remedial classes for rappers. Unfortunately, Professor Carlton "C-Money" Banks is more interested in teaching Skippy and Heather in his Waka Flocka English 101 class  the deeper esoteric meaning of "Round of Applause" than he is enlightening the aspiring young rappers who live in the 'hood surrounding his campus.
This can not  be separated from the overall emphasis of Hip Hop to teach middle aged white people how to be hip. The low point being when Busta Rhymes taught Martha Stewart the proper way to pronounce "What-tha-deely-yo?" at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.
There may be other reasons for the dumbing down of Hip Hop. Miami's Tony Muhammad ,aka the Hip Hop educator, believes that Hip Hop has been dumbed down by corporations to create "an unintelligent consumer base." He said that the same companies that control the music industry also run the liquor companies and the prison industrial complex."
As they say, " a fool and his money are soon parted."
Back in the day, Public Enemy said it was their overall purpose to raise up 5,000 Black leaders. This should be our responsibility now more than ever. Even today, Hip Hop still can play a major role in educating the masses.
So, as you get ready to grab your degrees, please remember your responsibilty to use your education to raise the consciousness of the Hip Hop Nation.  To remix a line from Dr. Dubois, your task is not to make men better Hip Hop artists but to make Hip Hop artists better men.
In a time when popular opinion says that in order to reach this generation, you have to communicate on  fifth grade level, you must stand your ground and yell, nonsense !
Lupe Fiasco said on "Dumb em Down:"
"They tell me I should come down cousin/ But I flatly refused I ain't dumb down nuthin'"
Neither should you.
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  website or Twitter @truthminista