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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

God-Hop


stetsasonic
Originally uploaded by ALifeAllah.
Peace,
Now many are only aware of the Gods in Hip Hop via the ‘prominent’ Gods of the ‘Golden Age’ era. This awareness is usually due to the overt usage of the language of the Gods and Earths in song. From this presence ‘scholars’ have determined who is in Hip Hop. Unfortunately many ‘scholars’ have had faulty research methods and neglect going to the source many times in order to make sure that their findings are right and exact. For instance, if you talk to many of the ‘scholars’ nowadays they will tell you that the Gods and Earths aren’t forces in Hip Hop today. While it is true that many aren’t in the MC field as in the ‘Golden Age’ era (though one could argue that there are just as many, just spread out; N’jeri Earth, J-Live, C-Rayz Walz, RZA, Born Allah, Tru N’ Livin’, Harlem 6, etc) there are many who are involved in Hip Hop media/magazines, there are MANY managers whom are part of the Nation, there are many producers, etc..

There is always a lot of talk of the presence of the Nation in Hip yet what is never usually approached is WHY. I could (probably will in the future) write a whole segment on the why. What it boils down to is that the streets were SATURATED with the Gods and Earths during that era. ‘Scholars’ usually focus on either the years that Allah the Father was with us (from 1964-1969) or the ‘Golden Age’ of Hip Hop (circa mid 80’s to early 90’s). One of the most important eras though is the 70’s to the early 80’s as this is when the Nation solidified and spread throughout the youth of NYC. THAT is an unwritten story. Even within the Hip-Hop discourse only the Zulu Nation or Dancing Crews (all of the forms B-Boys, Rockers, etc..) are given credit for the reduction of ‘gang violence’ in NYC. From the inception of the Nation a lot of those who came into the Nation were FORMER gang members (we are not a gang by the way). So when Hip Hop came on the scene it is no mystery that many Gods and Earths came into Hip Hop as they were the YOUTH.

One Hip Hop crew that is not ‘usually’ classified as being of the Nation is Stetsasonic, the original Hip Hop band. They weren’t a ‘God’ crew yet 2 of the 4 members are part of the Nation; Wise Born and Frukuan. Daddy-O is a Sunni Muslim. Yet one would never even notice any of the above because they didn’t really utilize Hip-Hop as a platform for their ways of life or religion (this is not to say that they didn’t ever approach topics from their set of values though). In fact, they are one of the earliest groups on record to have Gods in their crew (first record…..). The Gods knew that Frukuan was of the Nation because Frukuan is a common God name. It didn’t become detectable to the naked eye amongst the general public until Frukuan became part of the Gravediggers crew where Frukuan started to use overt God language.

The reason I bring Stetsasonic is because this is just one of the many cases where the presence of the Nation gets hidden in a fine mist. Little did people know that the Gods and Earths were in the midst.


Peace

2 comments:

MJ said...

Peace. This would be a great introduction to a book! I would encourage U to strive to write at least one volume on this. With the Miyakawa book on "5%'er Rap" now in publication, featuring some mis-information in the introduction, there's a need for someone within the Nation of Gods and Earths to respond with the true history of the 5% in Hip Hop. I've been researching Hip Hop in Southeast Asia this week, finding artists and scenese thriving in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Phillipines, and Indonesia.

The truth of the matter is that this total globalization of Hip Hop culture is a work-product of the Gods and Earths who've contributed both as artists and behind-the-scenes; with Wu-Tang Clan in the 1990s being at the forefront of the global movement. Without 120 degrees and 12 Jewels, the Wu's music and message would hardly have been magnetic enough to create this "gathering of all nations". So again the credit goes back to the root, to Father Allah and his teachings, and all the subsequent "student teachers".

Don't stop rockin CBS!

P.E.A.C.E.
Miranda Jane

p.s. THANK U for mentioning Stetsasonic! I told my sis yesterday how when Doom took me to meet Prince Paul, I said "Thank you for Stetsasonic!". A testament to their power - my Moms LOVED Stetsasonic back in the day when we used to bump it, despite her anti-Hip Hop stance that lasted for a number of years. Go Stetsa!

Brother OMi said...

no doubt Stet was the crew. I still rock their stuff.

i agree with you, C'Bs, on a few of your comments, but i think that when "scholars" mention hip-hop during that era in the 70s they tend to focus on Zulu because we dealt with all four elements.

I will say that recently more and more work is coming out that discusses how the NGE influenced the vernacular and ideas found in hip-hop music.

for some reason the term Gangs is such an ugly word that "scholars" who normally are outside of the culture like Miyakawa (who actually did not physically interview any God or Earth in her book) don't know who to go to when it comes to gangs.

i did tell Jeff Chang that he should have included the NGE in his book (he does not even though he dedicates an entire chapter to gang culture in the BX)