Sunday, December 25, 2011

Killin' for Candy and Concords

Killin' for Candy and Concords:
The Price of Black Life

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"You ever once stop to think and wonder why it's so/We dont' know.
Cuz we're blinded by the fog of 'dro/ So we let it go"

Just Don't Learn- Brand Nubian

In the news today, an up and coming rapper was killed in a crowded Atlanta mall. According to authorities, Joe Blackmon aka "Killa Black" was standing in line for a pair of Air Jordan Concords when he, accidentally, knocked a Jolly Rancher out of the hand of the man in front of him. The man, described only as "an African American in a black hoodie with saggin' pants" pumped five rounds in him before fleeing the scene. Witnesses say that the crowd just stepped over the dying Blackmon like nothing happened ,some even refusing to let paramedics through for fear of losing their places in line...

Recently, people were shocked that Brick Squad affiliate, Slim Dunkin was murdered in an Atlanta studio, allegedly, stemming from a fight over a piece of candy. This tragic event was coupled by media images of mobs of people beating each other senseless over the new Air Jordan XI Concords.

Hip Hop has had its share of deaths; Scott La Rock, Jam Master Jay, Pac, Biggie to name a few. Unfortunately, the 'hood is full of tales of young brothas losing their lives over stepping on someone's sneakers or even staring too long at some cat at a stop light. While some may argue that violence permeates society and it is not a "black issue," until I see Justin Bieber chasing Justin Timberlake with an AK-47, I beg to differ. Most of the blood spilling on the streets of America pours out of black bodies and Hip Hop is, predominately, made up of black males.

It must be noted that his thing is bigger than Hip Hop. The issue here is the value (or lack thereof) that this society places on black life.

Although it is a historical fact that black folks were once the kings and queens of civilization, around the 15th century the value of black life begin to drop like the 50% off after Christmas sale at Wall Mart.

Man has been fighting man since the beginning of time and despite the historical romanticism, African civilization was not exempt as tribal wars have existed on the continent for thousands of years. However, it was not until the coming of the Portuguese that black life was given a discount price tag. During that period, European slave traders began to use the existing beefs between tribes to trade Africans for commodities. As Walter Rodney wrote in "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" "it was so easy to set one against another that Europeans called it 'a slave trader's paradise."

The worst part of the trade was the exchange of Africans for weapons.

According to historian, Joseph Harris in his book , " Africans and Their History," "kings were sometimes given firearms to raid neighboring areas in exchange for prisoners of war."

In America, the technique of making the slaves fight against each other was perfected. Herbert Aptheker wrote in "American Negro Slave Revolts, " the dividing of the victims against themselves, the use of spies and the encouragement of traitors" were powerful tools to keep the slaves from rebelling.

This divide and conquer strategy was also used in the 60's during the Civil Rights /Black Power Movement as the FBI, through is COINTELPRO program, played black activists against each other. This caused the destruction of groups such as the Black Panther Party and led, ultimately, to the formation of "street gangs" in California.

It must be noted that, according to Mike Davis in his book "City of Quartz," the purpose of the original gangs was not to promote black on black violence but to protect the hood from white racist gangs such as the "Spookhunters" but after the destruction of the Black Panther Party, gangs such as the Bloods and Crips were formed and they saw "the enemy" as other black men. This was escalated by the introduction of high powered assault weapons and crack into the 'hood which Gary Webb in "Dark Alliance" alleged was a government conspiracy.

Simultaneously, you had the growing popularity of Hip Hop and it was not uncommon during the 80's for black lives to be lost over gold chains, Troop jackets, Jordans or other articles of clothing worn by their favorite Hip Hop artists.

So this leads us to where we are today with people being beat down for $180 sneakers that cost $12 to make in some sweat shop and young black men being killed over candy.

Psychologist Dr. Bobby Wright suggested that black people have been psychologically programed to kill other black people. In his essay "The Psychopathic Racial Personality," he wrote " historically, the European system has encouraged the killing of Blacks. Because Blacks have been led to believe that they are part of the psychopath's system, they simply follow the practice."

We have been conditioned by these historical events to consider black on black conflict not only a cultural norm but a reason for celebration that is ingrained in the minds of the children, often in very subtle ways. Even something as simple as Freestyle Friday on "106 and Park " conditions the young black mind to accept black on black aggression as normal behavior. Unfortunately, when this "dissin'" is carried into the streets, there are no celebrity judges to hold up score cards, only EMS workers with body bags and toe tags.

Back in 1989, Kool Moe Dee, as part of the Stop the Violence Movement, said "I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan, so I shouldn't have to run from a black man."

Unfortunately, until we deal with the origin of black on black violence we will always be headed for self destruction.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How the Grinch Stole Hip Hop

How the Grinch Stole Hip Hop:

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"Don't you give me I'll that jive/'bout things that happened before I was alive"

Christmas Rappin'-Kurtis Blow

I ain't gonna front. One of my favorite X-Mass shows when I was a kid was, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." I always thought it was so gangsta how an ugly green dude with a stank attitude could roll down to Whoville one night and rob the whole 'hood without waking anybody up. I guess the same way that somebody could steal Hip Hop without anybody noticing...

One of the hardest things to do is to break people out of their beliefs in myths. From childhood, we are taught to believe in a tooth fairy that leaves quarters under pillows and Easter bunnies that leave baskets on doorsteps. While most people grow out of such beliefs, the Hip Hop myth that if you hustle hard, you too can live the life of the rich and shameless that you see on tv seems to last from the cradle to the grave.

'Tis the season to believe in flying reindeer and talking snowmen. However, Hip Hop-wise, we must ask ourselves is the myth about a fat, old white dude sliding down "chimneys" in the middle of the night in the grimiest projects any less believable than the story of an overweight corrections officer becoming a drug dealin' superstar rapper?

Also, while no self-respecting "G" would be caught dead walking through the 'hood in a bright red Santa suit, that same dude would have no problem walking through the mall with his pants saggin' as a symbol of manhood.

Webster's dictionary defines myth as, "an unproved or false collective belief used to justify social institutions." While many Hip Hop fans co-sign this when talking about elves, they will give you the screw face when you are talking about Hip Hop.

Most religious or cultural myths are based on some historical truth or tradition and since Hip Hop has become a "religion" for some people, the same standard applies. While the roots of rap music can be traced back to the oral traditions of Africa, the same can be said about religion, as the three "major" western religions also have their roots in ancient African civilizations. One of the fathers of western theology, St Augustine once said, "What is known as the Christian religion existed even among the ancients and was not lacking from the beginning of the human race until 'Christ came in flesh."

While it is true that Christmas is rooted on the principle of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men, " it is imperative that we study how religions have been used for what the late historian, Dr. John Henrik Clarke called "male chauvinist murder causes." The same goes for Hip Hop, as Afrika Bambaataa's vision of "Peace, Unity, Love and having fun" was jacked and has been used to promote the worst aspects of society.

According to Dean Dudley, in "History of the First Council of Nice" the use of Christianity as an excuse for military aggression can be traced back to around 300 AD when the Roman emperor, Constantine, supposedly, had a vision where a cross appeared with the inscription "IN HOC SIGNO VINCES" (Under this sign thou shalt conquer.) Following this were hundreds of years of the enslavement of conquered people under the guise of religion. But Hip Hop has also been used to enslave the minds of the masses by corporations who believe that rappers are worth more dead than alive. It must be said that we are not dissin' a belief system but how beliefs can be misused to manipulate the masses.

How many people are aware that when they are poppin' bottles in the club on Christmas night thinking that they are celebrating the "birth of Christ," according to Rev. Alexander Hislop in his book "Two Babylons," they are, actually, celebrating the 'Winter Solstice" or "Saturnalia" when the Romans got their drink on ? (among other things.)

While it may be true that "Jingle Bells' being pumped over mall intercoms may subliminally seduce you into spending all your money on some bling for your shawtie, we can't forget that not too long ago songs like "Neva Scared" by Bone Crusher and "Tear da Club Up" by Three Six Mafia were accused of inciting violence.

Mental programing runs deep.

Although, the "Three Wise Men" who created Hip Hop may be Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, it was some other evil, wise men who have destroyed it. These Ebenezer Scrooges are so ruthless that they would take Tiny Tim's crutches and give him a beat-down and pump holes in the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

In his book, "Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide ," Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango wrote about how people will "embrace and put energy into a thing without ever analyzing the impact, for better or for worst, it may have upon them and their posterity for generations to come. " The book goes on to expose the true origins of Santa Claus, Christmas Trees, etc,

Unfortunately, you stand a better chance telling a five year old child that Santa Claus is a phony than convincing a 30 year old Hip Hop head that the music that he has labeled "street certified" is really a product of Ivy League think tanks and Wall Street marketing campaigns.

We must begin to understand that Knowledge is power and the best way to keep a people powerless is to deny them access to it and keep them locked into accepting myths as undisputed Truth. So this year, the best gift we can give our children is Hip Hop's forgotten 5th element; Knowledge.

That's the real gift that keeps on giving.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Free Kanye: Are Rappers Political Prisoners?

Free Kanye:
Are Rappers Political Prisoners?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"I’m locked inside a cell in me, I know that there’s a jail in you"

Words I Never Said - Lupe Fiasco

People from across the country traveled for hours to attend the December rally in Chicago to demand the freedom of their beloved comrade in struggle. For hours, speaker after speaker pounded on the podium demanding that their brother be released so that he could, once again, be free to speak truth to power as the crowd chanted wildly. They weren't chanting "Free Mumia" or "Free Mutulu." Nah, they were chanting "Free Kanye!"

Despite the title of Kanye West's 2004 cd "College Dropout" and the follow up "Late Registration," both were hailed, by many , as the return of politically conscious lyrics to the mainstream. With songs like "All Falls Down" and "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," if Kanye wasn't the second coming of Chuck D, in a rap world dominated by the Ying Yang Twins, he was close enough. Expectations were lifted even higher when he made the infamous post Hurricane Katrina observation that "George Bush don't like black people." But then something strange happened on the Road to Revolution, Kanye's lyrics were suddenly depoliticized and dumb downed. Nowadays, Kanye is more known for corny catch phrases and snatchin' mics from lil country girls at award shows than political wit.

Of course, Kanye isn't the only one. After all, Common's latest song isn't exactly droppin' science, either. But Kanye is killing the game,right now, as he is leading the pack in Grammy nominations, making him the biggest waste of talent at the moment.

While some may argue that West and the others just had creative changes of direction, others say that they are victims of the same political repression that has plagued radical thinkers for centuries. History books are full of examples of people who were imprisoned, exiled or assassinated for their ideas.

Historically, oppressive, ideological societies have hated free thinkers. Even Galileo was locked down in 17th century Italy for teaching Heliocentrism (the sun is the center of the Universe). So, free thinkers have always been a threat to the status quo because of their potential to free the minds others.

In America, the persecution was no different.

According to Dr. Charsee McIntyre, in "Criminalizing the Race," the colonization movement to deport free blacks to Africa was started because free blacks "served as models of Freedom to enslaved blacks and inspired resurrections. "

It must be noted that the threat of radical idealists within the music industry has also been a thorn in the side of the establishment.

In his book "The Covert War Against Rock" Alex Constantine alleges that the deaths of singers such as Peter Tosh, John Lennon and Bob Marley were really well orchestrated, politically motivated assassinations to silence them.

Perhaps the greatest threat to the social order has been Hip Hop. John Potash, in his book, "The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders" gives a rundown of artists who experienced government repression not because of club jams but because of their political activities. The book raises the issue that Tupac Shakur's gangsta turn after being sentenced to life on Death Row Records after his release from prison may not have been a coincidence. Perhaps it was just a plot to render one of the most potentially, powerful voices to ever pick up a mic, politically impotent and socially irrelevant.

We must understand that even while in the slammer, freedom fighters such as Dr. Martin Luther King (Letter From the Birmingham Jail) and George Jackson (Soledad Brothers) still managed to get their words to the masses. Also, Mumia Abu-Jamal has still been able to smuggle information to the people by reporting "Live From Death Row." The difference is, unlike many Hip Hop artists, they would not allow their minds to become incarcerated.

Although, some may consider comparing Hip Hop artists like Kanye West to political prisoners like Mumia and Mutulu Shakur ,blasphemous, when we consider that political incarceration is about locking down the mind more so than the body the connection is clear. While many acts of political repression have been carried out with guns and chains, in Hip Hop, it has been done by a signature on a contract. There is little difference between someone sentenced to a 10 year prison bid and someone being confined to a 10 year recording deal that restricts their freedom of speech in terms of their relevance to oppressed communities.

This idea is not without precedence. Lupe Fiasco has been outspoken about the industry's attempt to "dumb em down." Also, it was once rumored that former G Unit soldier, Young Buck had to remove a song about police brutality from his cd because of pressure from a mysterious "lyric committee."

Unfortunately, it is not just the artists that are in mental prisons but fans as well. As every time a rapper enters into a mental prison, he carries a legion of followers with him.

So, the question is how do we free Hip Hop artists and consequently, free the minds of their fans.

According to Peter Doggett, in his work, "There's a Riot Going On," back in the 60's, activists formed the Dylan Liberation Front (later the Rock Liberation Front) to "liberate" artists, like Bob Dylan, who they felt had turned their backs on the struggle and "sold out to the man."

Maybe, in 2011, we need a Kanye Hip Hop Liberation Front to do the same.

After all, if Jadakiss and his crew could stage a successful "Free the Lox" campaign back in the day to get released from Bad Boy , why can't we politicize it and start a "Free Kanye Campaign" to free him from Roc-a-fella.

Something has to be done to free incarcerated minds and it has to be done now.

As Bob Marley once sang "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Ludacris Crisis: Does Hip Hop Hate Women?

A Ludacris Crisis:
Does Hip Hop Hate Women?

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"Every woman in America, especially black. Bear with me. Can't you see we're under attack"

White Man's World- Makaveli (Pac)

Tyanna Johnson wasn't sure how she got there. Three months ago, she moved from Mississippi to Atlanta for a better way of life. But when the crappy economy forced her company to shut down, she found herself standing at the intersection everyday holding a cardboard sign that read "Please Help Me!" Everyday she just stood there trying to hold on to her last piece of dignity. Then ,one day, a gold toothed rapper rolled up in a new Maybach and asked her to "do sumthin' strange for a little piece of change..."

Last week, Hip Hop superstar, Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges released the 1.21 Gigawatts mixtape. While much of the Hip Hop buzz has centered around his disses of rival rappers, little attention has been paid to the disrespect of his primary target; black women.

A few years ago, the song "Do Sumthin," where Luda and Rick Ross trade verses about the freaky stuff that they would make a starvin' sista do for a Klondike Bar would have just been written off as another strip club anthem. But with people facing dire economic situations, the song takes on added socio-economic significance. With single mothers in the real world strugglin' to feed their kids, millionaire rappers promoting ho'in as a viable option is done in extremely bad taste.

Do rappers hate women that much?

While the disrespect of all women is a problem for all cultures, the disproportionate economic suffering of black women plus the fact that they own most of the booties that are seen shakin' in Hip Hop videos makes this issue more race specific. This is compounded by the jacked up relationship between black men and black women that has been promoted by the entertainment industry for the last couple of decades.

Black men dissin' black women is nothing new, as its roots can be traced back to antiquity. Chancellor Williams in his classic work, "The Destruction of Black Civilization" wrote that the problem goes back thousands of years in Africa when foreign invaders raped black Egyptian women, causing the sons to hate their mothers and identify with the nationality of their fathers, the conquerors.

So the seed with which we are dealing today was planted eons ago.

Of course, this is not to say that white men have not exploited black women, as this has been well documented for centuries. South African, Saartjie Baartman was paraded across Europe as a freak show attraction because of the size of her badunkadunk almost two centuries before Niki Minaj appeared on the MTV Music Awards.

Nor can the disrespect of black women be totally blamed on Hip Hop, as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were singing "Brown Sugar," a song glorifying the rape of a "slave girl" and "Some Girls" a decade before The Bad Boys dissed "Veronica" and Slick Rick "treated em like a prostitute."

But that does not give black men of today a pass. Especially grown men with young daughters.

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing gave a psychological reason for rap's virtual rape of sistas in "The Isis Papers" when she wrote that "black males engage in this activity out of their imposed frustration and sense of political powerlessness and inadequacy."

However, some have pointed to a more insidious reason; a conspiracy to turn black men against black women and initiate them into a secret society known as the "Hip Hop He-Man Woman Haters Club."

If what Immortal Technique alleges in his song , "Natural Beauty" is true, that "men who don't even like women control the business" this is not only possible but probable as they take enjoyment from the gender war between black men and black women.

As noted historian JA Rogers wrote in his book "Sex and Race Vol III, " the deadliest form of the conflict and process of extermination within a civilization lies in the conflict between the two creative forces-Sex (woman) and Intellect (man).

Now some may argue that Luda is telling a true story and there are really women who act like that. But there are also women who act like Ida B. Wells, Assata Shakur and Kathleen Cleaver. Why are these stories not being told? Not to mention the story of the OG ride or die chick, Mary Turner, who, in 1918, along with her unborn child, was murdered and mutilated by a lynch mob in Valdosta, GA for reppin' her husband who had been murdered by the same mob. Some may consider the actual details of the horrific event, like how one of the members of the mob removed the fetus from Turner's belly and pounded it into the ground , too graphic. However, they are no more graphic then the acts rapped about on Luda's CD or in songs being played on the radio about black men riding around with "choppers" in their cars hunting other black men like prey.

Perhaps, if rappers were taught this history, they would be less likely to make misogynistic songs.

Personally, I think that a group of brothers should find Luda and kindly "escort" Mr. Bridges to the Folsom Bridge, the spot where Turner was lynched, and leave him there until he reconsiders his position on black women.

Either way, this madness has got to stop.

Like Nas said in "Black Girl Lost" "Say men are all the same? What we need to do is break this chain."

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jay Z: Hip Hop's "Hustle Man"

Jay Z: Hip Hop's "Hustle Man"

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"Well, it might be sad. Or might sound funny but that's what people do for money."
Divine Sounds

There is one in every 'hood, a "hustle man." Like the dude from the old "Martin" show, "Hustle Man" is the type that would sell vitamin water to his grandma on her deathbed. The type of guy who hawks R.I.P. hoodies outside of funeral homes. The type of person who would use one of the most revolutionary events in modern history to sell T-shirts.

Last week, Shawn "Jay Z" Carter made headlines when he vandalized the Occupy Wall Street movement by creating "Occupy All Streets" T-shirts that are to be sold by his Rocawear Company. Although, it is still being debated whether Jay will go through with it, the fact that he had the cahoonas to attempt it in the first place says a lot about the character of the man.

If you ask the folks from "The Roc" and supporters like Russell Simmons, they will tell you that Jay is just trying to spread the message by launching an Occupy All Streets Movement. If you ask others, he is either trying to make a quick buck ,or worst, trying to dilute the movement by diverting attention away from the economic center of the planet.

What Jay Z is trying to pull off is a textbook example of the Hip Hop Hegelian Dialectic .(thesis, antitheses, syntheses) In this case, create the "problem", front like your solving the "problem" and then sell the "solution" for $22.

Ask any true Hip Hop head what is the major problem with the art form, today and he will say, without hesitation, "commercial exploitation" However, this is not limited to Hip Hop alone, as commercialism has invaded every aspect of society. What makes Hip Hop different is that it started as a movement to give a vehicle of expression to poor and oppressed communities. So, when you co-opt Hip Hop you are co-opting the voice of the people.

It must be noted that commercialism did not start with Shawn Carter, as the practice has plagued Hip Hop every since Adidas found out that they could make a dollar using RunDMC to promote their sneakers in the 80's. One can also remember that infamous Nike commercial from the 90's where KRS proudly proclaimed that the "revolution" was not about fighting for human rights but the revolution was merely, "basketball."

In a capitalist society, nothing is sacred, not even social movements.

In his book "There's a Riot Going On," Peter Doggett traces the genesis of corporations jackin' social movements back to a 1968 meeting of advertising agents and entertainment company bigwigs , "Selling the American Youth Market." According to Doggett, attendees paid $300 dollars a head to find out ways to make money by exploiting the Civil Rights and Anti-War Movements of the 60's.
It must be noted that commercial exploitation is not just limited to music. Remember, Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech" has been used to sell cell phones and Malcolm X's entire ideology has been reduced to the price of a postage stamp.

What is interesting about the Jigga scandal is the straw man argument where a conversation about the exploitation of a movement was quickly flipped into a debate over who he was gonna break off with some Benjamins.

Although entertainers have been known to give donations to social causes (Marlon Brando and other celebrities supported the Black Panther Party), for the most part, it's strickly business.

As Herbert Haines wrote in "Black Radicals and the Civil Rights Mainstream 1954-1970," "business support for pro-civil rights changes was brought about not by moral enlightenment but by recognition that racial trouble damaged business interests." Historically, social unrest has been bad for business. And a business owner is more than happy to throw a couple of dollars at "radicals" if it means not having to worry about about a brick being thrown through his store window.
(Just look at how many hood dudes got sneaker franchises after the '92 LA rebellions.)

So, when millionaire missionaries such as Shawn Carter and Russell Simmons support projects, it is more so to calm the restless natives then to aid the revolution. The reason why Simmons is given a hood pass is because he holds the golden microphone. Over the last decade Hip Hop activists such as Rev. Conrad Tillard (formerly Minister Conrad Muhammad), Rosa Clemente and Dr. Jared Ball have all pointed out how Simmons has used his star power to, allegedly, undermine legitimate grassroots movements.

The problem is that in the past we have placed symbol over substance.

In his book "An African Answer" Edgar Ridley, argues that "those who are victims of symbolism are, invariably, the ultimate losers in any dialogue or conflict." So, we have to realize that the symbolic act of showing up at a protest or wearing a bootleg version of a movement's slogan on a shirt does not mean that your favorite celebrity is getting ready to toss a Molotov cocktail.

However, the outrage generated by the Occupy All Streets T-shirts does signify a change in the collective consciousness of the people who are beginning to realize that everything is not for sell. Especially the economic future of our children. Finally, Hip Hop fans are beginning to demand accountability from those who exploit the art form.

But Jay Z is not the first person to exploit Hip Hop and he won't be the last.

Unfortunately, there will always be those who are willing to sell their souls to the highest bidder.

And the culture.

Paul Scottcan be reached at (919) 451-8283 Twitter @truthminista

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time to Occupy Hip Hop

Time to Occupy Hip Hop

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

"Y'all been eatin' long enough now, stop bein' greedy
Just keep it real partna, give to the needy"
Stop Being Greedy-DMX

One morning last month, tired of the state of corporate-owned Hip Hop, a small group of people gathered in front of Intergalactic Records with picket signs saying "Hip Hop Sucks!" That night, a DJ rolled up with some old school Kool Herc-type speakers and started blastin' classic, underground Hip Hop, shaking the walls of the building. The movement has since spread like wildfire across the country as thousands of disgruntled former Hip Hop fans have begun gathering at radio stations across the country yelling "Give Hip Hop back to the 99%!"

Think this can't happen? Think again.

With the Occupy Wall Street Movement in full swing, it is only a matter of time before somebody asks the question that will spark the rap revolution.

"Hey, don't those 1 per centers also control the entertainment industry ?"

I think that I can safely say that 99% of the people reading this are fed up with the current state of Hip Hop and are ready to take it back from the 1% that are controlling the direction of the culture. There are only a hand full of major record labels (Sony, EMI , Warner and Universal) most of the radio stations are either owned by Clear Chanel or Radio-One and the major music video programs are all controlled by one company; Viacom. This explains why the same five Hip Hop artists are being played over and over again.

Without a doubt, Hip Hop is one of the most lucrative commodities on the planet and generates billions of dollars, annually, not only for entertainment companies but also for the other Big Willie corporations that the Occupy Wall Street warriors are fighting against. Also, it can be argued that, unlike many of the resident Wall Street tycoons, the entertainment industry moguls are most dependent on "the streets" for their economic survival, making them the most vulnerable to successful protests.

In his book, "Black Labor, White Wealth," Dr. Claud Anderson wrote that " black music is the basis for one of the world's wealthiest industries." He also argues that "the historic exploitation of black music and other art forms provides a strong philosophical reason to target these industries as visible examples of a new black economic agenda."

So, the question becomes not whether an "Occupy Hip Hop" movement will happen but why it hasn't happened yet.

To jack that famous line from Public Enemy, " the reasons are several, most of them federal."

It has been reported that Hip Hop was one of the major motivating factors in the "Arab Spring" uprisings, as it captured the frustrations of the youth overseas. While the average person in the US may not fully grasp the international power of Hip Hop, the government has long recognized the tremendous influence that entertainers have globally: a power that they are not willing to let fall into the " wrong hands."

According to Dr. Penny Von Eschen in her book, "Race Against Empire," during the 1950's the US State Department set up "Cultural Affairs, Psychological Warfare and Propaganda" programs to control Uncle Sam's international image. According to Von Eschen, the State Department recruited entertainers from jazz musicians to the Harlem Globetrotters to travel the globe proving to the world that living in America wasn't that bad.

This is why, even today, despite poverty and record high unemployment, the Feds still need the image of millionaire Hip Hop artists destroying $300,000 cars in videos and throwing up hundred dollar bills in the clubs beamed to every country on Earth. Despite what the Occupy Wall Street "whiners" are crying about on CNN, the Feds need to project the international image that all is still good in the 'hood.

Another reason why Hip Hop has not been occupied is that the people who you would think would be on the front line fightin' the power are actually part of the power structure. Despite the revolutionary rhetoric of even some of the most socially conscious Hip Hop writers and artists, they are still trapped in the corporate matrix and aren't really gonna spark the Gil Scott-Heron "Revolution that Will Not be Televised" or heard on the radio. Like most folks, they are just tryin' to eat and they ain't gonna go back to eatin' Oodles of Noodles for dinner for none of ya'll.

But then you have that pesky 5% at the bottom of the oppressed 99% ladder who really want to see complete constructive change and are willing to do any and everything to get it. Even if it means camping out in front of the Hot 99.9 station and starting a bonfire with Rick Ross cd's and Lil Wayne posters. These are the ones who will put Hip Hop back in the hands of the people .

I know that I speak for the rest of the 99% when I say, "Enough of the Maybach music. It's time for some "payback" music!

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Are We Still Marchin' ?

Controlled Chaos:
Why We Are We Still Marchin' ?

Paul Scott

I have marched until my feet have bled and I have rioted until they called the Feds.
What's left my conscious said?
"Revolution" Arrested Development

When folks gather in DC for the Jobs and Justice March and the Martin Luther King Memorial dedication this weekend, I betcha a million bucks that somebody is gonna pose the same question that people have been asking for the last 40 years. "What would Martin Luther King Jr say if he was here, today ?" If MLK was at the march, he would probably mean mug the crowd and yell "after all these years, why are y'all still marchin' ?"

While people have accused the Hip Hop generation of being politically, apathetic (many times for good reason) the hardcore truth is that many young folks are just tired of traveling down the same road that has led us to nowhere-ville. They just need for someone to tell them the best way to bring about change.

Unfortunately, most old school cats are still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, themselves. They can't answer the basic question, "after all these years of marching and protesting, why are the conditions of poor people, relatively, the same as they were back in 1963?"

The reason is simple. It's called controlled chaos: when things appear to be out of order but they are really being controlled by a master shot caller. There are forces at work making sure that we stay lost in the wilderness and never make it to the Promised Land.

The government's repression of political dissent goes back decades. One can trace it as far back as the early 20th century with the Bureau of Investigation's attack on Marcus Garvey or the House UnAmerican Affairs Committee's attacks on Paul Robeson and others.

While it is known that the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) played a major role in destroying political movements during the late 60's and early 70's, what must be examined in the 21st century is "how" they did it.

According to Ward Churchill and Jim Wall in their book, "Agents of Repression," the FBI used several techniques to disrupt movements, including infiltrating organizations with agents, falsely tagging activists as "snitches" and assassinations. Another strategy was setting up phony, militant organizations or "pseudo gangs" "designed to confuse, divide and undermine, as well as do outright battles with authentic dissident groups." This may even account for the street gangs of today who will kill on sight members of rival gangs but would never consider bangin' on the system.

Also, although politicians praise the strategy of nonviolence, history teaches us that it is only after riots, when people start tearin' stuff up, that the government suddenly is able to "find" money for all sorts of social programs that they couldn't find before the rebellions. This is a technique that President Richard Nixon used as he transformed Black Power into Green Power.

One of the least talked about strategies to stop radical movements did not come from the Feds but from philanthropic foundations. According to Robert W Allen in his book "Black Awakening in Capitalist America," these foundations used their money to co-opt the Black Power movement. The main organization responsible was the Ford Foundation, headed by former US national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, who's brother just happened to be William Bundy, former director of the CIA. Allen called the Ford Foundation "the most important, though, least publicized" organization manipulating the militant black movement."

Not only did the foundations influence the direction of street organizations but they also manipulated Black studies programs at colleges to make sure they produced "Clarence Thomas's" instead of "Malcolm X's." Noliwe Rooks discusses the efforts of the foundations to take the "black" out of Black studies in her book, "White Money, Black Power."

Later, during the Hip Hop era, we see the role that entertainment corporations played in diverting the rebellious energy of poor and oppressed ghetto kids.

During the golden age of conscious Hip Hop (1988-92) we witnessed a period that best represented how rap music could be used as a tool to organize the masses. This was a time when Hip Hop artists, not only made songs about fighting the power, but also participated in acts of civil disobedience such as when members of the X-Clan were involved in the "Day of Outrage" following the murder of Yusef Hawkins in 1989.
However, after '92, conscious Hip Hop was replaced by a materialistic music that made people want to be part of the system instead of fighting against it. They have made grown men walking around with their drawers showin' the ultimate act of rebellion.

Perhaps the most telling example of the political manipulation of Hip Hop was the 2004 election when, instead of using their influence and resources to politically educate their constituents in the 'hood, Hip Hop moguls created a politically ambivalent marketing strategy called "Vote or Die" that did little more than sell overpriced T-Shirts.

The most interesting political movement in recent history is Occupy Wall Street, as activists have successfully broken out of the box of the Republican/Democratic dynamic and have taken the fight straight to the seat of power. If this movement continues focusing on the source of the multiple problems facing the 'hood ( the multi-national corporations) this could be a major tipping point, effecting the economic balance of this country.
However, we have already seen filthy rich celebrities co-sign what is supposed to be a poor people's movement. And it is just a matter of time before some slick politician tries to turn radical, revolutionists into mild mannered voter registration political reformists good only for putting "Vote for Me" posters on people's front yards.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Today we find ourselves at the crossroads; one way leads to Freedom and the other road leads to perpetual oppression.

We all have a choice to make.

Do we we leave the next generation a movement for real socio-economic change or just sore feet and worn out Air Jordans?

"TRUTH Minista" Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupying E. Chapel Hill St (A Black Perspective)

I don't often hang out with white Liberals. Any student of African American history will know that coalitions between black activists and white Liberals, many times, have been problematic. As Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael) said during the '60's, even the most Liberal white folks are fighting for power but we are fighting for survival.

But I respect the grind of Occupy Wall Street. Anybody who is organizing it to stick it to "the man," I'm down. So, that's why I headed to downtown Durham for the Occupy Durham rally.

I do, however, think that the few black faces in the crowd in Durham, probably represent the demographic makeup of other Occupy rallies across the country.

I gotta admit. I like the way that the Occupy Wall Street people are taking care of business. They have latched on to a concept that black folks have yet to grab, a virtually, leaderless movement that organizes around ideas instead of personalities.


For years, black folks have frantically looked for a messiah to lead us into the Promised Land and the "powers that be" in this country have been all too happy to pick one for us.

Starting back with Booker T. Washington during the eraly 20th century, we have let outside forces choose who was going to be at the front of our march to Freedom. Those in power need one person with whom to negotiate, instead of of dealing with 30 million black folks with issues.

If black folks get upset and start a riot, no problem. They just get on the phone with Rev. "What's his name ," cut a deal and the riot is over. The leader gets a new sponsor for his next event and the masses of black folks get nothing but a speech.

Fortunately Occupy Wall Street hasn't fallen into that trap as the theme was echoed in Durham today "we are the 99% opposing the 1% who control the resources of this world we live in." So, it is hard to pinpoint a leader. In theory, as long as the poverty remains, the movement remains.

As it is said, absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Already we have seen, nationally, how filthy rich celebrities have started giving props to what is supposed to be a poor people's movement. Next politicians will try to turn the revolution into a glorified voter registration drive.

If you can't beat 'em; join 'em.

So, will the Occupiers stick to their guns or will they become like others and switch from being vocal social revolutionists who are going to change the socio-economic dynamics of this nation to mild mannered political reformers who are only good for putting "Voter for me" signs in people's front lawns.

Time will tell.

But for now, I join them in their collective chant of:

Power to the People!

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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Secessions and Insurrections

Secessions and Insurrections

Paul Scott

Today is the day that Durham was supposed to start its great discussions on race, triggered by an exhibit that made its debut at the Museum of Life and Science, "Race: Are We Really So Different." So what better way was there for a black dude like me to kick off my series examining race then to visit the Civil War commemorative event at Bennett Place State Historic Site?

For those not familiar with Bennett Place , according to the brochure, it is the site of the largest surrender of the Civil War." A fact that a lot of white Southerners are still not too happy about.

I must admit, when I rolled up in the Bennett Place parking lot and saw all those Confederate flag license plates, I started to make a u turn and head to the museum but since the Race exhibit was 14 bucks and the commemoration was free, of course, I headed on into Bennett Place.

Now since I have seen more than a few white folks make themselves right at home at black cultural festivals in Durham; Bimbe, Junteenth, so, I thought that I would see, at least a couple of black faces in the crowd. Or at the very least, see some half clothed black man running frantically through the field chased by hound dogs yellin' "save yourselves!"

I was wrong. I was the only "person of color" within a five mile radius.

See, black folks get nervous around Confederate flags, we expect at any moment to hear "Yeeee Hawww, we got us some live ones, boys ! Gimme a rope!"

Fortunately the commemoration was not that type of party. Just a bunch of white folks celebrating the good ol' days. When life was simple and black people like me knew their place.

They had a wagon ride, some dude teaching people how to load a musket and even a recruiting station to sign up for the war. Now, I wasn't exactly sure if the recruiting station was a reenactment or if they were actually planning to take over West Durham.

But that was about it. I made it out alive without getting lynched. Exit the black guy, stage right. None the worst for his hair raising adventure.

I guess the Confederacy is part of American History. But so are slave insurrections.

What if next August 21, African Americans got together at some state park and had a commemoration of the Nat Turner slave rebellion? Instead of hanging up Confederate Flags, we decked the joint out in the Black Liberation colors of red, black and green. How about instead of playing country music we cranked up some Public Enemy jams and instead of being sponsored by the "Sons of Confederate Veterans" the affair was sponsored by the Sons of the "Deacons for Defense" or the "Daughters of the Black Panther Party."

That would go over real big. I can hear the cries of reverse racism, opening up old wounds or instigating a race riot from the area Right Wing radio hosts, now.

Although, the state of North Carolina flips part of the bill for Bennett Place, I doubt very seriously if they would fund "Insurrection Weekend."

See , black folks and whites folks perceive the Civil War differently. To white folks, Confederate soldiers are heroes who should be honored, to black folks they are a bunch of traitors who got their butts kicked trying to keep our ancestors picking cotton.

Kinda like a glass half empty/half full, situation.

While, there is a fear that anything dealing with the more militant aspects of black history might produce the next Malcolm X, there is no such fear that a Civil War commemoration may produce the next David Duke.

Also, while many white folks (and some black folks) are scared to death that any attempts to teach Arican American children the more "nontraditional" parts of Black history in fear it may cause Mr. Buchanan's 8th grade history class to rise up and give him a beat down, there is no concern that a Civil War reenactment might inspire some southern sore loser to get a little payback for their bitter defeat a century ago. Given the history of this country, the latter is more probable.

All people have the right to tell their own stories. However, for black folks, we have very few venues to speak our own truths. The reasons are several.

Many black folks who put on cultural events work so hard at not offending white folks that they sacrifice historical accuracy. People who put on events from a white perspective have no such hang ups.

See, the bottom line is , white folks embrace their history; the good, the bad and the ugly. It is a shame that we run away from ours.

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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Missing: Black Voices

This week folks in Durham will begin discussing race, courtesy of a new exhibit at the Museum of Life and Science called "Race Are We Really That Different?." If things go the way that they usually go 'round here, there will be one thing missing from these discussions; black voices. Especially, black folks that won't white wash the issue.

Seems like, in recent years, someone came up with the novel idea that race issues could be discussed without black people. Don't believe me? Name some African American columnists or radio talk show hosts in the Triangle area?

(I'll Wait...)

And the one or two that you probably named have been there for at least a decade or two, right? You mean to tell me that no black person with an original thought has come around since Bill Clinton was the prez?

It is a cryin' shame that with thousands of black folks in this area we're supposed to be too stupid to notice the lack of African American opinion shapers. Although many people preach about diversity, the most segregated places in this part of NC are media newsrooms. It seems that the only integration going on in some of the local newspapers is in the weekly crime sheet, other that they are lily white.

Now, I know that some are going to argue that there are quite a few African Americans on the TV channels, especially WTVD, who "report" the news. However, this is not the issue. The issue is the serious lack of black folks who "editorialize" the news of the day.

Since I'm one of the dudes that is rarely invited to these feel good "race" discussions, (imagine that) for the next few weeks, I am going to run a series on No Warning Shots dealing with the race issue from a black perspective.

So, stay tuned as we give you the real, uncut, deal about Race in America.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Let's Talk About Race, Baby

Let's Talk About Race, Baby.

Paul Scott

Back in '91, Hip Hop legends, Salt N Pepa shook up America when they released the controversial song, "Let's Talk About Sex." The song was a wake up call to a mainstream America that was reluctant to talk about sex even in the face of a growing AIDS crisis and teen pregnancy epidemic. This month, Durham will tackle the "other" issue: race.

On October 8th, the Museum of Life and Science will host the exhibit, "Race: Are We So Different" that will address the origin of race in both anthropological and sociological terms. There will also be a series of community discussions surrounding the issue through the end of the exhibition, next January, dealing with an issue that is rarely discussed in an open and honest minor. Usually, any racial discussion that does not end with a group of folks sitting around quoting Martin Luther King speeches and locking arms singin' "We Shall Overcome" is not exactly welcomed in this town. Although, racial conflicts effect all cultures, in America it has been mostly black and white.

So, where do we begin tackling the taboo issue? We start at the same place you start when your five year old comes home from kindergarten and asks "where do babies come from." We start at the beginning. However, we have to make the decision whether to tell the awful truth or send our kids down the road of misinformation by telling them that "the stork brings them."

It must be noted that there was not a beef between the races before antiquity as historians have pointed out that the early Greeks actually had respect for the Ethiopians and Egyptians. It was not until the Trans-Atlantic slave trade that racial inferiority began to be used to justify the enslavement of Africans. After that period, pseudo-scientific theories were constructed to prove the superiority of one race over the other. While Johann Blumenbach is credited with dividing humanity into racial groups, prior to that it was, Carl Von Linnaeus that started attributing natural ability to skin color.

Besides serving as the rationale for racial oppression, there has been the fear of race mixing (miscegenation). The "browning of America" has been such a fear of white folks that the one drop rule was created to establish that one drop of black blood would make even the whitest, white dude want to watch Black Entertainment Television.

Has this changed in recent years? Only in Hip Hop. Artists such as KRS have long argued that the "great American melting pot concept" only exists in the world of rap music where little white kids have posters of Lil Wayne on their bedroom walls" and black kids download Eminem songs on Itune. But outside of Rap World things have not changed much.

So, why do we still feel so uncomfortable discussing the issue ? It's just like when, after being chastised for kissing a boy at school, your 12 year old daughter, asks you about your first time.


Race puts us smack dab in the center of the storm where we have to weather questions like "do you hate all white people" or "have you ever used the N Word ?"

What happens when we don't talk about sex? Just go to the Durham Health Department or to Northgate or Southpoint Mall and count all the teenage girls pushing strollers. What happens when we don't talk about race, just take a look at the polarization taking place across the country.

So, yes Durham. Let's talk about race, baby.

For more information about the "Race Are We Different" exhibit visit

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

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tyrese vs the Real Decepticons

Tyrese vs the Real Decepticons

Paul Scott

Last Summer, fans flocked to movie theaters in droves to see Tyrese Gibson help the Transformers save Earth from the Decepticons. Now, he is in a fight with the real "Decepti-Cons" who are destroying the 'hood.

You know who I'm talking about. Go to any 'hood in America and you will see the invaders who pimp the community with overpriced chewing gum, stale potato chips and enough 40's to get the whole city tipsy. If you go in and ask for a bottle of natural spring water, you're fresh out of luck but if you are searching for a vintage bottle of 1988 Olde English 800, they got you.

Last week, during a radio interview on Wilmington, Delaware's Kiss 101.7 , Tyrese went in on the "homies" there for allowing a liquor store to be in close proximity to a school. Apparently, this did not sit too well with the station's head dude who, allegedly, bounced him out the door, not because of his stance against liquor stores near kids but because he had the nerve to refer to his listeners as "homies" on a Hip Hop radio station.

(Doesn't make sense to you, either, huh?)

Either way, allegedly, Tyrese's music has been banned from the station until further notice.

As Gibson has pointed out, this is not just about Wilmington. Go to any poor community in America and you will find more liquor stores (liquid crack houses) than anything else. For years, community activists have accused the high proliferation of these stores in predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods as being acts of genocide. However, while community activist Raheem Jackson can stand in front of a store with a protest sign and bullhorn for years and be ignored, one word from a celebrity like Tyrese can spark a revolution. An issue that has plagued communities for years is now being discussed at bus stops, in barbershops and tattoo parlors.

This is why Tyrese's stand sent shock waves through an industry that works in cahoots with corporations to keep the masses of the people blind to the facts.

What if people start really examining the question of why there are really so many liquor stores in the 'hood and then demand answers? Or if people start actually organizing to push legislation to keep liquor stores out of school zones? How about if other artists start using their star power to raise questions, not only about liquor stores but the prison industrial complex, high unemployment in "urban" communities, or how drugs really get into the 'hood ? It could start a domino effect that could upset the socio-economic order of this country.

That is why a socially conscious artist who uses his celebrity status to do more than make people buy cds or movie tickets is considered a threat. And many who have dared to speak out against social injustice have committed revolutionary, career suicide.

Instead of addressing complaints by celebrities, the "Decepti-Cons" use the oldest trick in the book: try to discredit the messenger. Back in the day, they would call outspoken artists, "Communists," then "militants." Today, they try to make using the term "homie" a federal offense.

Another tactic that they have used is a con game called the "straw man fallacy," which is when the real issue is replaced by a fake issue that has nothing to do with the real issue in order to distract attention from the real issue. (Rewind that back twice and think about it.) In this case, they are using Tyrese's, allegedly, dissin' the folks in Delaware as a straw man argument to draw attention from what should be the primary question, "should liquor stores be near schools."

As they say, the players change but the game remains the same.

Unlike the poor righteous teachers who are the community activists, celebrities have something we don't; influence and access to capital. Suppose, Tyrese and a few of his Hollywood homies put some dollars together and open up a health food/book store in Wilmington to compete with the liquor store? Or, what if he takes some of that Transformer money and opens up a radio station in Delaware that features talk shows and plays nothing but conscious Hip Hop? The possibility is there but it all starts with a conversation.

However, we can't put all the weight on celebrities. They can be catalysts for change but the real work is going to have to be done by the homies in the 'hood who are tired of seeing their children drop out of school in order to embrace a life full of addiction and prison bids.

Even though Megatron and his crew have lots of power, we must be willing to fight them if we are going to save this generation from destruction. And this fight won't be easy.

We must all make a commitment to become the "Transformers" of our own communities.

As Optimus Prime said at the end of Transformers 3 ” there will be days when we lose faith but the day will never come when we forsake this planet and it's people.”

Or the ‘hood.

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tyrese Takes a Stand Against Liquor Stores Near Schools

According to TMZ, R@B star, Tyrese, is having his music pulled from Kiss 101.7 in Delaware for challenging the folks in Delaware for allowing liquor stores to be in school zones.

We have to support artists when they stand up for what's right.

Send Kiss 101.7 a Tweet and let them know that we support Tyrese and they are dead wrong for banning his music. @Kiss1017

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Obama, throw the Bomb!

Obama: Throw the Bomb!

Paul Scott

What do the Carolina Panthers and the US economy have in common?
They both suck. And truth is, they have sucked for a while now.

The Carolina Panthers solution to their slump; Cam Newton. America's solution to her economic slump; Barack Obama. Panther fans are looking for Cam to be that spark that will finally ignite the Panthers to get that coveted Superbowl ring that has alluded the franchise since its 1995 inception. Obama was elected to be the agent for change that will bring jobs to the hard working folks of America.

Honestly, I don't know who is facing the toughest odds.

Cam is a rookie, so we won't know his total effectiveness until 'round about October. Obama is in his third season and already, folks are beginning to talk about trading him next year.

Not that some folks ever really gave him a chance from the jump. Many of the bookies were already betting against the Prez before he even suited up for his first State of the Union Address. And many of us North Carolinians , who threw away our Panther caps five years ago, now take more pleasure in seeing the Cats lose than celebrating the occasional victory they manage to snatch a few times a year.

But don't cry either one of them a river too soon. They both knew what they were in for when they took the gigs. I'm quite sure Newton watched the highlight reels of the last 10 seasons before he signed his 22 million dollar contract. And Obama knew that millions of people were hungry and out of work before he got got sworn in. Even though I don't think that he was quite prepared for the strength of the Tea Party offensive, defense nor the audacity of the opposition to scream, "You lie!" during the post game press conference, it kinda comes with the territory.

Also, as die hard Panther fans and Democrats, as well, are always quick to remind you, they both inherited the sloppy seconds of their predecessors. Sometime around the middle of the third quarter, I always got the feeling that former QB, Jake Delhomme would have rather been catfish fishing in New Orleans and George Bush would have rather been riding a horse in Texas than running the country.

Let's face it. Fans and voters have a lot in common; we are self centered, impatient and fickle. We want results and we want them now! So what if the cheerleaders are busy texting "LOL" instead of rallyin' the crowd. Who cares that the band is playing "Taps" instead of "Eye of the Tiger." All that matters to the football fans is the trip to the big game in February and all that matters to the voters is a way to pay the rent at the end of the month.

That's not to say that they are not going to need help from their perspective teams. Even though Cam Newton broke all kind of records, last Sunday, they still loss. It takes a whole team to win a game, not just the quarterback. Just like Cam's teammates are gonna have to put some pep in their steps, Obama's offensive front line Dems are gonna have to stop having panic attacks every time they look in the eyes of a snarlin', 300 pound Right Wing linebacker.

But fair or not, at the end of the day, everybody praises the quarterback when they win and blames the President when they lose. So, it's time for President Obama to show the brilliance that he showed three years ago in the pre-season. The team is down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It's time to throw a bomb down field, a Hail Mary to the end zone an ally -oop to the...(my bad, wrong sport, but you get the point.)

He needs to not just win one for the Gipper but for all the parents in Durham and everywhere else in America who are depending on the outcome of this game to feed their kids.

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

Friday, September 9, 2011

How 9/11 Missed Hip Hop

Survivin' the Era of Terror:
How 9/11 Missed Hip Hop

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott

September 11, 2001 is a day that will never be forgotten. On that day, an event happened that will effect the lives of generations for decades to come; socially, politically and economically. No, I'm not talking about the attack on the World Trade Center, 9/11/01 was also the day that Jay Z released The Blueprint...

This week, when many people reflect on what they were doing the moment the Twin Towers fell that faithful Tuesday in '01, most won't admit that they were standing in line trying to be the first person on their block to get the new Jay Z CD but that pretty much sums up the collective attitude of Hip Hop during a 10 year period known as the "Era of Terror." It can be argued that The Blueprint had more of an impact on Hip Hop than the attack on the World Trade.

While the 9/11 attack sparked a "War on Terror" that would have a major impact on nations around the planet for decades to come, the effect on the Hip Hop Nation has been minimal, at best.

But was this a matter of apathy or fear?

Maybe the streets just didn't care. For residents of the hood who were constantly trapped between gang wars and crooked cops, 9/11 was just another day in the neighborhood. One more problem to add to the 99 others that we faced on a daily basis. As long as it didn't mean that cable would get cut off or the club would shut down for the weekend, it was what it was.

The fear factor probably played a greater role, especially among the rappers, themselves. And who could blame them? Historically, Uncle Sam has never taken too kindly to being dissed in front of the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King did not really start catching major heat from the Feds until he spoke out against the Vietnam War and Muhammad Ali got his world championship belt snatched because he refused to fight a bunch of Vietcong who "never called him a nigger."

Rappers weren't the first artists to punk out when the price of Freedom of Speech got too high. During the 60's even outspoken artists such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan were accused of abandoning the anti-war struggle to either smoke dust or start making nonpolitical, country music. Not much different than the rappers of today who would rather smoke blunts and go jewelry shopping than fight the power.

We have to remember that the period immediately following 9/11 wasn't the best time to attack America's policies as the general public was out for blood and George Bush was playing an international game of "Who Shot Ya." If the good ol boys would call for the heads of the Dixie Chicks for chin checkin' G-Dub, imagine what they would have done to the brothers on the block?

Although, not totally clear on the legal ramifications of the Patriot Acts, rappers were pretty clear that political Hip Hop was deemed illegal in at least one of them. Nobody wanted to be seen as part of Bush's Axis of Evil. Spending a few months on Riker's Island was one thing but nobody wanted to wind up in a cell in Guantanamo Bay, never to be heard from again.

Remember, we saw how the face of terrorism could change overnight from "Middle Eastern" to a young black male in the hood when back in 2006, seven black men in Liberty City Florida were brought up on trumped up charges of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago.

So most in mainstream Hip Hop decided it was best to keep quiet in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. (Unless, you count Petey Pablo doing his ultra-patriot USA remix to "Raise Up. Making him the first rapper to raise his hand when Bush threw down the mandate "you are either with us or against us.")

A few artists did speak out against America's foreign policies. The usual rap revolutionaries like Public Enemy, Paris and a few others continued to do what they did best; challenge the staus quo. Also, relative newcomers like Immortal Technique began to make their fans think that there was more to the story than what they were seeing on the news. In the mainstream, fueled by the popularity of documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Loose Change, a few mainstream artists such as Eminem and Jadakis began to either literally or figuratively accuse Bush of "knocking down the towers." Also, a new group named the Black Eyed Peas asked "Where is the Love" but perhaps the most hardcore hate letter to the Prez was penned by Fredwreck and the STOP Movement.

The period has not been without it's random Sister Souljah moments such as KRS's "chickens coming home to roost-like " statement at a New Yorker Magazine panel discussion or the infamous Kanye West post- Katrina revelation that "George Bush doesn't like black people,"

However, these were exceptions to the rule of a Hip Hop "culture" that has been increasingly more obsessed with producing materialistic, Maybach music instead of message music. Instead of dealing with serious issues it is safer and easier just to simply pretend that they do not exist and the world is no bigger than the block on which one lives.

For the most part over the last decade, Hip Hop has remained mostly apolitical and detached from reality. A great escape to a mystical land where the champagne is always flowing and the strip clubs never close. Even when the rest of the world is at war.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fall 2011: The Return of No Warning Shots Fired !

It's been a long hot summer but the fall is gonna be even hotter. (Yeah, I know it's a worn out cliche but it works!)

The No Warning Shots Fired column will return and the No Warning Shots Fired lecture tour will be coming to a town near you.

For more information on the column or to book a lecture tour stop contact: or (919) 451-8283

Friday, July 8, 2011

Runnin' Blast Out of the Hood

Min. Paul Scott aka THE TRUTH Minista runs the Blast by Colt 45 Malt Liquor truck out of Durham NC.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Move Over Tea Party. Here Comes the Malt Liquor Party

Move Over Tea Party. Here comes the "Malt Liquor Party."

Although, Michelle Bachman recently announced that she is reppin' the Tea Party in the next election, a NC activist is starting the "Malt Liquor Party."

Tired of the negative images of African Americans in the media, Paul Scott aka the "TRUTH Minista" is calling for a "Malt Liquor Party" to fight back.

The reason Scott chose the name "Malt Liquor Party" is because next to watermelon and fried chicken, malt liquor is most used to stereotype Blacks.

Not only have 40 ounces of malt liquor been the main staple at the racist college theme parties where Frat boys put on blackface and mimic black stereotypes but recently Fox News commentator, Eric Bolling caused quite a stir when he accused President Obama of "chuggin' 40's" instead of taking care of business on the domestic front.

Scott has also accused Snoop Dogg of being Pabst's "Blue Ribbon Pimp" for promoting the new Kool Aid flavored, Colt 45 malt liquor called "Blast."

Scott says that the Malt Liquor Party will attack the negative stereotypes of African Americans in Hip Hop and the media and, also, educate black youth about the dangers of substance abuse.

For more information contact (919) 451-8283 or email website:

Monday, June 27, 2011

As a Dogg Returneth: Colt 45's Controversial Comeback

As a Dogg Returneth...
Colt 45's Controversial Comeback

Min. Paul Scott

Many African Americans of my generation have fond (or not so fond) memories of getting up on Saturday mornings to watch our favorite Hip Hop video show, only to be scared out our wits by the sight of an angry, giant blue Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull bustin' through our tv sets. Even today, if you ride through any 'hood and yell out the window the familiar '90's ST Ides Malt Liquor jingle, "just hit the corner store, you know what I'm lookin' for..." I guarantee that some wino in the alley is gonna yell back, " ST IDES!!!!" There was even an evil scientist who came up with the diabolical formula to mix malt liquor with gen-sing, call it Phat Boy and pour it into giant bottles with graffiti on the label. However, thanks to the tireless and thankless work of grassroots activists, for a decade, the blatant advertising of cheap, high powered malt liquor to the "Hip Hop generation" virtually, disappeared.

Fast forward to 2011, as the folks at Pabst Brewing Company are amped up to send another generation on a one way trip to Alcoholics Anonymous.

The company has launched its latest monster piece, "Colt 45 Blast," a 12% high octane malt liquor that comes in a variety of fruity flavors that would put the makers of Kool Aid to shame. The marketing scheme that Pabst is using is pretty much the same that the malt meisters of the past have used; grab a rapper with questionable morals and a bunch of video babes and, bingo, a match made in heaven (or some other place.)

Pabst has launched a major marketing campaign staring the Doggfather, himself, Snoop Dogg. Ironically, it was Snoop who was one of the first rappers to appear in liquor commercials almost two decades ago. He has a history of getting people to join him in the game of "get to' up 'till you throw up" . So, to borrow from the scriptures, in 2011," the dog has returned to his vomit."

Unlike the marketing schemes of the early 90's, in the 21st century, liquor companies have gone high tech. There are Colt 45 Blast Youtube, Facebook and Twitter pages set up that will deliver the latest booze news straight to your child's smart phone.

One may ask how, in the wake of the Four Loko controversy, can a company come out with a product that so blatantly, targets underage drinkers. The answer is quite simple.

Nobody cares.

Quiet as kept, when dealing with black youth issues, many people follow the sage wisdom from "The Godfather," "they're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls." And if you can make a profit in the process, so be it.

By the owners of Pabst own admission, Colt 45 has been known, primarily, a 'hood drink and as long as they keep it ghetto, they do not have to worry about those underage drinking crusader organizations throwing a monkey wrench in their program. Most of these organizations only seem to get MADD (pardon the pun) when alcohol abuse starts affecting middle class white kids at college frat parties.

I can remember on more than one occasion, going to an anti-teen drinking event and loudly proclaiming with a 40 oz bottle raised in a gesture of moral indignation , " In the name of the 'hood, I have come to warn thee of the plague that is about to come upon thy children" only to receive the classic "deer in headlights" look from a crowd who saw nothing wrong with a rapper bragging about malt liquor giving him super sexual prowess but thought some darn talking Budweiser bullfrogs signaled the coming of the Apocalypse.

Only when Bifffy and Buffy, start passing out in the middle of English Lit 101 will it become a problem. Which brings us to the proverbial question "if black kids start falling out in the 'hood do they make a sound?"

I think you know the answer.

What is, also, problematic is the liquor industry's uncanny ability to buy off voices of dissent within the African American community. Any time you start cutting checks to Hip Hop radio stations, Hip Hop magazines and start sponsoring (Black) cultural festivals, you can almost guarantee that your favorite Civil Rights leaders won't say a mumblin' word.

So, where does that leave the community activists who are going to be the ones picking up the pieces when the Colt 45 Tsunami floods the hood with alcohol? What can be done?

Community activists must demand that the neighborhood stores where their children go every morning, before school, to pick up honey buns and orange juice for lunch not stock the product in their establishments. We must also ask our local Hip Hop radio stations not to take the blood money that will have our children dancing down the road of destruction all summer long. Also, black organizations must not accept the 30 pieces of silver to have a malt liquor company sponsor "cultural" events that are supposed to be promoting the health and the well being of the community.

Finally, Hip Hop fans must stand up and tell Snoop Dogg and the legion of other rappers who will come behind him not to be "Pabst Blue Ribbon Pimps" putting poison in the 'hood.

We must not look for politicians nor underage drinking organizations to solve this problem. No one is going to save us but us .

As former malt liquor promoter, Ice Cube, once said in a classic line from a popular gangsta flick.

Either they don't know, don't show or don't care what's goin' on in the 'hood."

Paul Scott is a minister, activist and lecturer based in Durham NC. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or Website

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I'm Mad at MADD

Why I'm Mad at MADD:

Min. Paul Scott

It's been over 100 days since that faithful March morning when I called the reporter at the Wall Street Journal to tell him about a nefarious plot that I stumbled upon to push high powered malt liquor to our children. Yet, more than three months later, most anti-teen drinking groups have continued to ignore the two ton drunk elephant with a flower pot on his head blasted in the living room. There has been no real outcry about Blast by Colt 45 Malt Liquor.

When I say outcry, I'm not talking about polite little letters" kindly asking that the good, wholesome, community oriented folks at Pabst Brewing Company to kindly remove Blast from store shelves or else we are going to write you another letter." No, I'm talking about letters that convey moral outrage, not a minor irritation.

Most of the dialogue outside of the usual thorn- in- the- side grassroots activists has gone like this:

"Gee, kind sir. If it does not bother you too much, will you stop putting Blast in our neighborhoods."


"Okay sorry to have bothered you...."

See, so far Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the rest of these groups have done just enough so, when some kid OD's off of Blast they can say, "hey, we gave it a shot. "

We have also heard next to nothing from the habitual "grant grabbers" who do just enough to serve as resume material for the next time they have to apply to their friendly philanthropic foundation for another hand out. It has been my experience that many of these nonprofits won't even pick up a telephone unless Mr. Grant is on the other end.

This is especially problematic in North Carolina....

Don't believe me? Google "North Carolina against Blast by Colt 45" and see what organization's name pops up.

I'll wait.........

OK. I rest my case.

See for these types of groups, the joy (and money) is in the hunt.

I wish I had a dollar for everyone of these heroes for hire who have told me stuff like:

"See, we don't actually fight against the targeting of our kids by the liquor companies...We put on big elaborate conferences to discuss what the companies are doing..."

Well, OK....huh?

Well while these groups are working on next year's conference on the beach, grassroots activists have been working their butts off trying to keep this poison out of the hands of our children.

What is really ironic is that while MADD and the rest of the groups that oppose drunk driving have been twiddlin' their thumbs, Pabst has sent a pimped out, Skittles colored, Blast Truck (no doubt pumpin' Snoop Dogg songs) on a cross country tour to promote the liquor.

(If there's any justice in the universe that Blast truck will get totalled by a drunk driver with an empty can of Raspberry Watermelon Blast in the passenger seat....)

Surely, these groups see the irony in that...Or maybe not.

As the saying goes, " none are as blind as those who refuse to see. "

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

Winter in America: Rest In Peace Gil-Scott Heron

Winter in America:
Of Black Heroes and Black Homicides

Min. Paul Scott

Back in 1974, Gil Scott-Heron recorded a song called "Winter in America." No, he wasn't talking about the weather. He was mourning the death of activism after the Civil Rights/Black Power Era.

I thought about those lyrics during a lecture that I recently gave in front of a group of black male teens regarding black leadership. I had almost finished discussing the assassinations of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr when I was interrupted by one of the young men.

"You guys are always telling us to be leaders but all the black leaders get killed ," he said. "How can we be strong black leaders and still survive?"

Good question.

Being a black leader has been the hardest job in America for the past 300 years. The earliest black leaders in this country were those who led slave revolts such as Nat Turner , Denmark Vessey and Gabriel Prosser. The leaders of those rebellions and their co-conspirators were rewarded with hangman's nooses. One must also not forget writers such as David Walker, whose "Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World' resulted in a $10,000 bounty being placed on his head. In 1830, Walker was found dead in the doorway of his shop.

Lerone Bennett in his book, "Before the Mayflower" wrote that during the Reconstruction Period of the late 1800's , "at least 5,000 Negroes died for their political beliefs."

Beginning in the early 20th century J. Edgar Hoover's Bureau of Investigation (later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation) targeted black leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson and WEB Du Bois. Later, under its Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) many black leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, were targeted by massive disinformation campaigns to "prevent the rise of a black messiah who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement," according to Kenneth O'Reilly in his book, "Black America: The FBI Files." COINTELPRO and its affiliate programs contributed to the deaths of many young African American leaders like Bobby Hutton of the Black Panther Party, barely 18 years old when was murdered by Oakland, CA police.

This led into the Richard Nixon Era, as his "get tough on crime" policies finished off what was left of groups like the Panthers.

Although, the COINTELPRO program had been "officially" over for more than a decade, during the the early stages of the Hip Hop movement of the late 80's and early 90's, rap artists like the members of Public Enemy, Sister Souljah and Ice T were targeted for their outspoken political stances.

Although, some would like to write off the late Hip Hop artist , Tupac Shakur as just some common street thug, author John Potash makes some pretty convincing arguments in his book "The FBI War on Tupac and Black Leaders" that Shakur was not targeted by law enforcement for being a "gangsta rapper" but because of the possibility that he would follow in the footsteps of his mother, Afeni Shakur and extended family members Mutulu and Assata Shakur, who were members of the Black Liberation Army.

This is why many of the rap artists of today find it safer to rap about gangs, guns and girls instead of black empowerment.

Although, many folks (especially Conservatives) are quick to blame the various pathologies facing black youth on Hip Hop, unwed mothers and absentee fathers, they refuse to acknowledge the calculated societal factors that turned revolutionaries to gangsta rappers.

As much as people like to talk about Freedom of Speech, for black men and women speech has been anything but free as, even today, there are still consequences for daring to speak truth to power.

Whether it be sacrificing that six figure dream job with the great retirement plan or knowing that your uncompromising style of writing will never get you a Pulitzer or even that coveted columnist job at the daily paper, the price of Freedom has been too much for most to be willing to pay.

Only a choice few have been willing to put the needs of future generations above their own. Their only rewards being the possibility of pictures on postage stamps or streets in the hood named after them long after they are dead and gone.

Why go through all the hassle when it would be just as easy to look the other way and adopt "Don't Worry be Happy" as a personal mantra?

Maybe it's the voices of the ancestors that whisper to you in the still of the night, urging you to keep on, keepin' on. Or the sense of responsibility as you walk through neighborhoods filled with young men who will either wind up in jail or the grave before they are 21 years old unless some one intervenes.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown of thorns.

But how do you explain that to a 15 year old?

Perhaps Scott-Heron was right. Maybe "nobody's fighting because no one knows what to say."

As I started to wind down my lecture, the young man interrupted me, again.

"But you didn't give me an answer to my question!"

Truth is... I didn't have one.

Min.Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or
Dedicated to the memory of those who died so I may write.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

40oz of Racism

40 ounces of Racism:
Bollings Boilermaker of a Statement

Paul Scott

Recently, Fox News' talking head, Eric Bolling complained about President Obama being in Ireland "chugging 40's" instead of TCB-ing (Taking Care of Business) on the home front in the wake of the tornado tragedy in Joplin. For those who aren't hip to the Hip Hop vernacular, a "40" is short for high octane, malt liquor, also known as "liquid crack" that comes in giant 40oz bottles.

The response from black folks?


The response from the right wingers ?


Most Conservatives are at a lost as to why a comment about the Prez sippin' on a 40 would make black folks wanna give Bolling a back-alley beat down.

Let's look at the history of the marketing of malt liquor.

For over a generation, the image of malt liquor "drankin'" has been a negative stereotype of African Americans, taking its rightful place among other stereotypes such as tap dancing, watermelon eatin' and a love affair with Colonel Sanders' extra crispy fried chicken.

This is, mostly because ,over the years, alcoholic beverage companies have targeted the black community aka "urban neighborhoods" with high powered, cheap alcohol. During the 1980's, movie star and Colt 45 spokesman Billy Dee Williams inspired a nation of future alcoholics and wanna-be Casanovas with his motivational slogan "Works Every time," alleging that one sip of the drink would land you in bed with a supermodel. In the early 90's, ST. Ides Malt Liquor recruited such Hip Hop artists as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, to promote a drink that would not only get you high as the sky but also increase your sexual performance, making malt liquor the forerunner of Viagra.

These marketing schemes outraged black activists during that era who launched successful campaigns against malt liquors such as "Power Master" and "Phat Boy," which came packaged in a graffiti decorated can and was laced with gensing.

Despite the success of activists in the 90's, the marketing of malt liquor continues to be a major problem facing African Americans, as the liquor companies are now targeting an even younger demographic. Recently, Pabst Brewing Company, in an attempt to elevate the Colt 45 brand back to its former glory, pulled Snoop Dogg out of the malt liquor pimp retirement home to promote "Blast by Colt 45," a new Kool Aid flavored, 12% alcohol drink that comes in colorful soda pop-like cans. The company has also used Hip Hop magazines and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to push the product. Blast has been nicknamed "genocide juice" because the company seems to be using malt liquor to exterminate a whole generation of African American youth.

That's not to say that white kids don't get blasted off of malt liquor. Over the last year, Four Loko malt liquor has come under fire because of college kids passing out during English Lit 101 after a night of getting Loko off the joy juice. Also, many homeboys in the vanilla suburbs like to, vicariously, experience life in Chocolate City by getting tipsy off a tall can of booze. Malt Liquor is also the featured attraction at the racist college theme parties where
frat boys put on black face and Afro wigs and boogie to old 2 Live Crew albums. However, malt liquor is still mostly marketed as a "hood drink;" the bulk of the liquor being sold in communities that suffer disproportionately, from poverty and unemployment.

So, yes, not only was Eric "Easy E" Bolling's joke tasteless and racist but the marketing of malt liquor to the black community, is racist, as well.

And if you can't see that, you need a sobriety test.

Paul Scott is a minister, activist and writer based in Durham NC. In 1997, he led a successful boycott against Phat Boy malt liquor and is currently part of a national campaign against "Blast by Colt 45" malt liquor. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or His blog is No Warning Shots

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Letter to Family Fare Convenience Stores

Dear Family Fare,

I was recently in several of your Durham area stores and noticed that you are selling the new high alcohol, fruit flavored malt liquor by Pabst Brewing Company , "Blast by Colt 45." As you know, many of your stores are near elementary, middle and high schools. The drink has been at the center of controversy over the past few months because, not only does it come in "soda pop-like" containers but the company is using Hip Hop superstar, Snoop Dogg to promote the product. The artist has recently appeared on such child-oriented shows such as the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and Black Entertainment Television's "106 and Park." This has outraged citizens across the country who feel that the product is targeting underage drinkers. Also, in 18 states, attorney generals are calling for its removal from store shelves.

It is known that Family Fare prides itself on being a respectable, family oriented business and I am sure that you will agree that this product is neither respectable nor family oriented. Therefore, we are asking for the immediate removal of "Blast" from your shelves.

Thank you,

Min. Paul Scott
PO Box 3474
Durham, NC 27702
(919) 451-8283

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Letter to NC Attorney General Roy Cooper

May 1, 2011

Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

Dear Attorney General Roy Cooper,

Last April 5th, a new malt liquor was released by Pabst Brewing Company , "Blast by Colt 45." The liquor contains 12% alcohol and comes in fruity flavors that will appeal to under-aged drinkers.
Also, Pabst Brewing Company is using popular Hip Hop artist, Snoop Dogg to promote the liquor.

All across the country, politicians, activists and organizations have expressed their concern over the marketing of this product.
Recently, attorney generals in at least 19 states have called for the removal of the product from store shelves in their states.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is not one of the states represented.

Therefore, I am asking you to join the other attorney generals in demanding that this product be taken out of the neighborhoods of North Carolina. As the president of the National Association of Attorney Generals, your stand will encourage other states to follow suit and send a strong message to Pabst Brewing Company that North Carolina will not allow a product to enter its borders that is, potentially, dangerous to our young people.

Thank you,

Minister Paul Scott
Durham, NC
(919) 451-8283