“They gave us lemons we made lemonade,
but this nigga’s paid, ancestry of slaves,
Descendant of Kings, its necessary I…bling,
Puts rims on every thing wear Timbs on every scene.”
The Titanic is sinking. The world economy is headed for disaster. America’s middle class is being systematically destroyed while the already eroded pillars of the once great republic begin to give way. The price of oil is skyrocketing with no end in sight. Food prices soar. The collapse of the American dollar is on the horizon, while the country is fast approaching a 10 trillion dollar deficit. The beast of the New World Order is finally beginning to rear its ugly face…and, as we march into the line of fire, the only thing we all seem to still worry about is …Hip Hop. It is our matrix. It is our life, our….culture. We are permanently hardwired in, our children are tuned to its frequency, the world is listening…and the Beast is watching. While the banksters, through the global elite, continue their assault on all sovereign peoples and free nations of the world, we are just now awakening to the stagnant stench of this archaic system, and only now realizing that it is too late, we brace for impact in its ultimate crash. We are entering a time of darkness, of tribulation, as we are seeing the end of an age…and the birth of a new one. For out of order comes chaos, and from that chaos comes order, as the chess pieces are shifted, and the play is played out. We are the pawns and are to remain totally ignorant of the game being played. We are the cattle. We are the stock. We are the capital. We are their slaves, and we must be dumbed down, distracted, entertained, and kept from the light of truth, because when we awaken, the vale will come down and all will come crashing to the ground. This is why we are held in bondage, in captivity, and purposely kept in the darkness, to keep that light hidden, and replaced with an artificial light, a matrix of sort that we will plug into, accept as reality, and even fight to protect. However, for some of us who have unplugged, we find refuge in the light, and we seek that truth to kindle this little fire called hope, for in that hope lives this thing we like to call…Hip Hop.
“Cuz my seconds, minutes, hours go to the all mighty dollar,
And the all mighty power of dat cha cha cha cha chopper…”
The euro has trumped the American dollar, while the value of the dollar, along with the world economic institutions’ faith in the American economy, continues to fall, more and more countries are dumping the dollar in favor of the euro. The days of the almighty dollar are finished. But what does that mean for hip hop? Money has become our God, our idol of worship, or end all be all, as we sing along to the tunes of I Get Money, Money on My Mind, All About the Benjamins, Money in the Bank, and other cash worshiping anthems. But as the Federal Reserve readies the final nail in the coffin, the only way we hip hoppers peep the Dow Jones is if he’s a nigga that make hot beats. Instead of watching the NASDAQ, we live check to check on soundscan, hoping that through the numbers we will find our next savior of the month. We are haunted by the ghosts of our past, looking for the next 2pac, the next Biggie, and at this point…even the next 50 Cent. But the aforementioned has warned us repeatedly that there will be no more after him, that the death of the multi-platinum American rap star has occurred, and as album sales descend into all time lows, most would unwillingly have to concur. The average drop off in second week sales for any major hip hop release is about 60% and growing, festering rumors of inflated numbers and exaggerated sales statistics on behalf of the major labels, which if true, only points to the prolonging of the inevitable. Hip Hop elitism continues to divide the people, while as one half of the nation mourns the death of hip hop, the other keeps it on life support hoping for, what at this point would be, a miraculous recovery that isn’t coming. Hip Hop is dead and the end of the material age is upon us, but remain positive, for the best has yet to come.
“They say hip hop is dead or on life support
Maybe not …it could be something I just thought…”
The last vestiges of Hip Hop’s golden era were buried and given a 21 gun salute with the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, 2pac and Biggie respectively, marking a huge victory for the government’s War on Rap, while ushering in a new age of mainstream commercialism epitomized by the popularized phrase “bling bling,” coined by artist Lil Wayne. With the throne empty, and the nation without a ruler, the grim results of the immense power struggle had left a power vacuum in hip hop leading many battling for control of its reigns….the number one contender being Jay Z. The death of spiritual hip hop, at least in the mainstream, was at its end, and a new age of materialism was birthed. Hip Hop had stopped being revolutionary, and therefore evolutionary, and instead bought into the system it had once opposed. Hip Hop had sold its soul. It had become…republican. Gone were the days of “U.N.I.T.Y,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “Headed for Self Destruction,” as our mantras would now be replaced with odes to materialism, consumerism, drug sales and use, pimping (mixed in with a lil chuch!), and of course sex, sex, sex. The strong conscious black feminism necessary for the uplifting of a people, so eloquently conveyed through female emcees like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, has been drowned out and suffocated by the sex-capade tales, designer wearing, and fuck-a-nigga anthems by the new female rappers, with the likes of Lil Kim, Trina, and Khia. Sex is hip hop’s number one commodity, import and export, with the ever celebrated drug culture as its backdrop. For the past decade and some, we have been sold a dream, we have bought everything these major corporations, in cooperation with these major labels of course, ever had the desire to sell us, every liquor, every car, every fashion trend, every designer label…down to our last dollar, and we still continued to buy and consume. Then something happened. The music started to suck, and the people stopped buying, and more people began to get worried…very worried.
“…if skills sold, truth be told, I’d probably be…lyrically Talib Kweli
Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
(But I did 5 mil) I ain’t been rhymin’ like Common since…”
“Moment of Clarity”
As we approached and entered into the new millennium, the substance and spirituality in hip hop was replaced with materialism, record labels became sweatshop factories for slave labor, music videos became three and a half minute commercials for corporate advertisement and product placement, rappers became walking billboards, and hip hop listeners, who had become mere consumers, began to catch wind of the whole scheme. As major labels refused to stray away from the same cookie-cutter formula, a couple radio friendly club songs with the rest being filler, the labels began to rely solely on their monopoly of radio (clear channel) and television programming (MTV and BET both owned by media giant Viacom) to sustain their system of modern day slavery, and the listeners started to catch on. Record sales hit their peak around 2000 and slowly began their steep decline sometime after 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin” in 2003, with sales dropping over 40% from 2000 to 2007. With the rise of digital downloading, file sharing, mp3s, and online digital retailers, music buyers could no longer stomach ripping the plastic packaging off of the cd, much less taking the time out of their busy schedules to go all the way down to the record store, look for a cd, and purchase it all while running the high risk of being severely disappointed in its content. Fans knew that since there were only going to be a few songs worth listening to, it really didn’t make sense in buying the whole cd for $15 when they could listen to the whole cd ahead of time, pick what songs they wanted, and simply download those single tracks. This gave birth to a new wave of one hit wonders…respectively called “ring tone rappers,” as artists and labels became focused on the sales of singles and ringtones, instead of pushing quality music. The majors again attempted to take the easy road, again only prolonging the inevitable….which was the system’s ultimate crash.
“Some say they expect Illuminati take my body to sleep
Niggas at the party with they shotties just as rowdy as me
Before I flee computer chips I gotta deal wit brothas flippin
I don’t see no devils bleedin’ Only black blood drippin”
“They Don’t Give a Fuck About Us”
The almighty American dollar is about to collapse, the economy is caving in on itself, and it is far too late to do anything about it. Since 2001, the value of the American dollar has dropped a staggering 32%, and as foreign central banks begin to diversify their investments, moving away from the dollar, their dumping of the American dollar will further push billions of dollars back into circulation, further lowering the value of the dollar due to inflation. The American dream is on the verge of becoming just that, a dream, as the American way of life as we know it prepares to come to an abrupt halt. We have been living off of borrowed money and borrowed time for far too long, and the reaper has come to collect. The international bankers are bankrupting the nations of the world, and Americans are oblivious to the severity of the situation as most could never imagine the reality of what is about to take place. But where does hip hop fit in all of this? Well, hip hop, in effect, is a mirror, if you will, of American society, as it is a self-sustained living matrix built within the framework of America’s capitalistic caste system. However, in hip hop, the rules are reversed, as it is the poor and marginalized who have the power, and it is the rich who are frowned upon, that is up until recent times, before we bought into the system. Now, with that system about to be yanked out from underneath us, hip hop as a whole will have to kick its long time addiction to fast money, materialism, and consumerism cold turkey, ending its dependence on that system, as it is forced to re-inherit its own independence. This will have a major trajectory effect on hip hop itself, namely in the form of honesty, and quality music from its artists.
“Brooklyn breed emcees, the Bay breed drug dealers, show me a youngsta with flows, I’ll show you a young nigga that push coke, plus he got hoes, stay on the road, can’t tell you ‘bout life but grab the mic and make the track explode.”
The record industry is faltering, labels are consolidating, Universal has a virtual monopoly of the hip hop world, controlling the two major labels where 90% of all major releases are manufactured, Interscope Records and Def Jam Records. As far as mainstream releases concern, sales are at all time lows, as we are entering a digital age, where in a short time, major record labels bearing the burdens of corporate interests will become a distant thing of the past. More and more artists are starting to wake up to the sheer slavery of the current system, and they are ready and able to take control of their own destinies and careers by going independent. As hip hop is pushed deeper and deeper underground, due to ongoing world events and the upcoming collapse of the world’s monetary systems, we will start to see an influx of independent artists rising from the ashes to reclaim what is rightfully theirs….real unadulterated hip hop. However, in actuality, hip hop is just a name, a phrase coined to describe this current matrix, and subsequently hip hop lost most of its power once it was named and corporations began to demand stake in it once they figured out how to control it. Furthermore, hip hop in itself could never be controlled as it is the essence of the underclass and the unspoken for, it is the private property of the poor, the soul of black folk. In its death it is reborn again with new vigor, new life, and a new energy. Unrestricted and released from the chains of corporate control, hip hop, or whatever its new name will be, will mobilize an army of the underclass, of the underground, and those exiled from society in their rejection of the status quo. Hip hop will once again, as it was originally intended, be the voice of the people, with its own language, customs, and culture undecipherable to outsiders and off limits to those who trespass against us. Hip hop will once again be….independent.
Written by Amadeuz Christ on 06.29.08
“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? … The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”
Hip Hop is dead. Its been dead. In fact its been dead for a long time, the problem is that we are just now starting to realize it. Hip Hop, or the matrix we know to be hip hop, has long been pronounced dead, been buried and mourned by those who truly knew her. What we are witnessing now is its decay…its decomposition, as its body, its dead flesh slowly rots and returns to the earth. The bacteria that was feeding off of hip hop when it was still fighting for its life has now begun to digest the internal organs of the body after its death. The flies have begun to lay their eggs and the maggots hatched from them are now eating away at the remainder of the body while the odor is deathly unbearable. Sorry but Nas’ diagnosis on the current state of hip hop is about two decades belated…and too little too late. Hip hop, in its most present form, was ritualistically murdered from the moment it was named, because once you name something, it is locked into a box and looses its power. Once this particular art form was named, labeled, and formatted for commercial use by the machines, it had forever lost its power and meaning, was crucified in sacrificial fashion, offered up to the material machine gods who rule this world, and distributed to the masses. The machines have taken over…Zion is no more.
Those whose minds are still locked into and controlled by the matrix have since failed to recognize the fact that hip hop, as a music, was killed the very instant that corporations began to control it. The minute that the corrupted profit driven global corporate entities monopolized the creation, production, manufacturing, and distribution of hip hop, the machines had breached the walls. The hip hop holy land, our Eden, was destroyed and replaced with something else. Something else that was not art…but artificial. Its promise of quality has now been replaced with quantity. The spirituality that it once possessed has been substituted with substance-less materialism. Its natural acoustic instrumentation, its jazz roots, its innovative re-sampling of the past in order to create something new and fresh has been drowned out. Today’s hip hop is the repetitious and redundant noise of artificial synthesizers and meaningless mind numbing chants. The spiritual element of hip hop has since been re-presented in physical form as hip pop, as our collective consciousness has moved from the streets and the struggle to the club and the clinic.
What we, today, recognize as hip hop is no more than a mere shell of what it used to be and what it has been replaced with is something far more sinister…far more evil and digressing to the minds our youth, far more mis-educating than what any negro has previously experienced, and yet…it is being forced down our throats more than ever before. As artists and industry insiders we play an important role in all of this because in our eagerness and willingness to engage ourselves in this game, as we plug ourselves into it, we do nothing but become mere agents of the matrix as we fight to protect it by further its goals. Our ignorance and arrogance act as sunshades blocking out the light of reality. Our greed, our hustling ambitions, our dreams to be successful…to get out of our current situations act as the fodder and fuel to drive us in our acknowledgment, and therefore encouragement, of this present day matrix that we think is real. Every step we take in preserving its present form, is a step towards finalizing the death of the art, and preventing its reincarnation into something better, something more spiritual…something more uplifting and inspiring. We are killing the phoenix before she has a chance to rise from the ashes. But we have seen this before.
As previously stated, this hip hop is just one matrix of many, there were others before it, the one that we are witnessing now is just the most powerful version of it, as it has transcendent all races and color lines, all nations and languages, and has encompassed all different genres of music into itself seamlessly. The last matrix we experienced that was close to this was rock music, which started as black music but later succumbed to occultism and satanic influences. It is important to understand that this current version called Hip Hop, as a music, was born on Cedric Ave. in the Bronx in New York City, but as an art form, has existed for ages since the beginning of our creation with the original man. The Art form, now being exploited through this matrix we call hip hop, is simply the art of taking things from the spirit world, or realm, and bringing in into physical manifestation in our physical world via our creativity and accessing of the oracle. Us artists are just the conduits. We create something from nothing. But because this matrix has us vibrating at such a low frequency, all we produce is materialism, where as the higher frequencies illuminate consciousness and spirituality. This art is nothing more than modern day alchemy, hip hop is just the name used to keep it, and therefore us, in a box so that we are not further initiated into the knowledge and true power in which we possess. We are the architects but they are the beneficiaries.
So the question arises…how did we become slaves to something that we created? When did we become servants to a system we built? Well, look at the United States. America was original designed as a government with checks and balances and designed to protect its people from tyranny, including those who would try in infiltrate it from inside through political power moves and maneuvering. The founding fathers of this nation drafted the constitution knowing that the government was only a shell, and the republic could easily fall if its people not constantly vigilant. Today, hundreds of years later we have the United States Corporation, a privately owned corporation in the form of a hijacked corrupted government that uses fear to control it citizens, when instead it should be controlled by its people. It is almost the exact same story with hip hop, as our negligence, our dodging of responsibility, our failure to uphold our hip hop constitution has led to fall of our great republic, only to be controlled and terrorized by it. We work for it, instead of against it, and it had infiltrated every single faucet of our everyday lives, our households, families, our children, and yes…our minds. We are wards of the state of hip hop…we are slaves to pages in our rhyme books.
By Amadeuz the Christ Child