It’s easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken men – Frederick Douglass
This is my problem with the massive flock of rappers that glorify “street life” or “thug life”. There’s a world view that one could be “hood” and still be a progressive member of society. Pimps and prophets, clean and dirty, dealers and daddy’s, hustlers and husbands, ratchet and righteous are oxymorons, falsely true. The same with women stripping & striving, degraded yet “empowered”, men who are thugs and thoughtful. And long after these rhymers have become successful and witnessed the limits of thug life, most still glorify this world view for the sake of continued street credibility & record sales. While they excel to new levels financially, socially and philosophically, they still pedal thug life to their millions of fans. All of us are to some degree binary, having multiple muses and constitutions, but this glorified “street” life is at best an illusion and at worse a vicious set up that most “OG’s” are well aware of.
Many gangs like the crips were initially created in the 60’s as a collective to protect local blacks against the racist, corrupt, brutality of the police. However, as they entered the 80’s gang members saw a huge money opportunity through crack cocaine. The gangs were unaware of how the CIA was using them as pawns in a larger scheme to flood their neighborhoods with a most catastrophic drug. By nature, the thug mentality cannot be both immersed in political awareness while maintaining the attributes that make thug life valid. Imam Abdul Alim Musa a former drug dealer in Oakland, California the same place the revolutionary Black Panther Party had its headquarters, once said, “drugs and drug lords were used to quell black activist movements that were challenging the racism of that time”. Former LAPD detective and author Michael Ruppert has written extensively about the government’s involvement in drug trafficking.
The hustles of pimping, prostitution, alien smuggling, human trafficking, identity theft, mortgage fraud, theft, murder, gang-rape and drive-by shootings are cloaked as the collateral damages of surviving in the ghetto. However, we now know for a fact that it’s financial pluses are far less than the immense deterioration our community endures. And statistics show that most “thugs” don’t come out alive. It’s time to expose it for what it is.
I admire the OG’s who did just that. For instance, Stanley Williams aka Tookie (California) an early leader in the west side Crips released anti-gang and violence literature plus children’s books after his incarceration. In fact, hours before he was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison he stated, ” I would like my legacy to be remembered as: a redemptive transition”. It’s one thing when any of us have made mistakes but it’s another to wallow within them. Tookie didn’t wallow, he instead fought for redemption. My mother always taught me that no one can control where they are born, but they can control what they do after they’re born, the same goes for those of us that have sen the folly of thug life.
New studies have shed light on various misconceptions about drug dealing. For instance, ‘foot soldiers’ (street level salesmen) selling drugs don’t make a lot money. The top 120 men on the Black Gangster Disciple Nation’s pyramid are paid well. But the pyramid they sat on top of was gigantic, so the highly sought after job of being a ‘foot soldier’ paid a whopping $3.30 an hour! With a l in 4 chance of being killed (more than five times as deadly as being a lumberjack, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls the most dangerous job in the United States) foot soldiers often still live with their mothers! If you were to hold a McDonald’s organizational chart, basically a pyramid, and the crack gang’s organizational chart, the same pyramid, side by side, you could hardly tell the difference! Only the people at the top make “real” money. You owe nothing to the streets! The streets owe you! The streets and thug life owes you the truth about the lives it has swallowed whole. It owes the world the truth about its false power and the fact that its neck is firmly under the knee of the system. There must be a point when truth seekers cut the umbilical cord of thug life and move forward towards true change and true life! Striving to bring as many that you know from the streets as you can! One MUST ultimately make a decision! Choose the hood life or choose the good life. You cannot serve two masters! This whole “thug life” as a rap persona, is utterly played out!
While activist, government programs, religious organizations and good Samaritans try and clean up the mess that all of our collective sins have created, there is a time when one should check their (ROI) return on investment! Thug life brings a negative balance, yet even articles like there will only affect those that want out. No one can change men and women who DON’T want to be changed. However, we can focus on those who are ready to make a decision. We can enlighten the children who are looking for someone to BUILD THEM UP! All of our energies as human beings are limited, let’s spend it wisely.
#LetsBuild #ChangingTheNarrative #RightDirection #ItsStarTime #GetUp NEW REVOLUTIONARY MUSIC right here at: ADtheBand.com P.S. – this IS NOT a diss to any particular rapper, it’s just an observation on the deceptions of rap lyrics and images that gratuitously glorify ‘street culture”.