Supporting our Own! The True Mark and Beginning of Hip Hop Nationhood


By Tony Muhammad


This morning I woke up on my good side

Life is just a race against time so have a good time

Heart racing, thoughts racing

Competition, goodbye

I turn around, run backwards

To see what second place look like

Oh Lord, what are we running from?

The police, cause’ they already killed enough of us

Stay out them streets cause’ they don’t f___k with us

They hunting us

We in a race against racists, that’s a color run

I keep my feet above the ground

We gon’ run the town

Heart racing on, beat-beat-beating, knock and pound

Love marathon, getting deeper by the mile

I see no finish line — On your mark, set, pow

– Lil’ Wayne – My Heart Races On



Lil’ Wayne

In 2015, Lil’ Wayne was conscientious enough to write and perform these lyrics (on the Free Weezy Album) and communicating to the world about the horrific condition of terror that Black people and other non-whites experience daily at the hands of police in the United States; a condition that is not a recent “out of the blue” phenomenon, but rather have its antecedent roots in 300 years of chattel slavery and colonialism and over 150 years of mistreatment, murder and abuse of Blacks and others. Flash forward, in the beginning of September 2016, while being interviewed on ESPN and asked questions about what he felt about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s position of refusing to stand for the American flag because of the way that Black people and other non-whites are treated in the United States, he responded that he feels “blessed” that as an artist he has not personally experienced racism because white people along with people of other backgrounds attend his concerts. If our initial disposition of mind as Black people and non-whites was anger upon discovery of this news, I would
propose that we as a people change our mindset and take more the


Colin Kaepernick

approach of scientists. The more important question and answer we need to be focusing on is “Why is ESPN interviewing Lil’ Wayne?” After all, he’s not a professional sports athlete. “Is it because he has much influence on the youth as a rapper?” I believe that is simply part of the reason. “Was he prompted to give the spineless response he gave?” I believe nothing is by coincidence, especially if we continue to study a matter until we get to its roots.

For those of us that watch ESPN, we may have noticed that Lil’ Wayne’s song “Undisputed” is the theme song for ESPN2 sports commentator Skip Bayless’s News FS1 show. If Lil’ Wayne would have responded differently to the question would have his song been removed as Bayless’s theme music? If so, Lil’ Wayne’s royalty checks for ESPN’s use of his song may have been put to an end.


Fat Joe

A week after Lil’ Wayne’s comments, Fat Joe, a Bronx, New York native, joined the bandwagon by Tweeting (with typos) “Having thout about it, I ain’t with protesting the #NationalAnthem. Soldiers died fighting 4 our freedom not cops. Why disrepsected them?” Soon after a wave of Tweets followed, many of them Hip Hoppers blasting him for his complacent stance. The Tweet has since been deleted. The most important question in this scenario is “What was the motive?” Did Fat Joe act on his own or was he prompted as (more than likely) Lil’ Wayne was? Is it a coincidence that Fat Joe’s All The Way Up, probably his most successful hit since Lean Back (in 2004), is the theme song for the current ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown show?

Mary J. Blige recently became the center of attention to many of us for conducting an


Mary J. Blige interviewing Hilary Clinton

interview with Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton for her Apple sponsored show “The 411.” While seemingly begging Clinton (like a slave would her master) for a solution to the rampant nation-wide police killing of Blacks she sang the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s 1999 Amadou Diallo inspired song American Skin, singing these words:

Is it a gun, is it a knife

Is it a wallet, this is your life

It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)

It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)

No secret my friend

You can get killed just for living in your American skin

Clinton, in turn, is regarded by many observers to have had a stoic unemotional and uncaring reaction. After receiving a flood of criticism for her singing, Blige explained that she is an artist and that is the only way that she knows how to express herself. The true question we must ask in this case is “How does corporate America want us to express ourselves and for what purpose?” “Is it to pacify us?”

One of our major downfalls historically has been putting money before principle confusingly thinking that corporate financial success is our ultimate success. History has shown us too often that when it comes to many of our own high profile artists and athletes, their money runs out after a period of time and they end up running back to our former slave and colonial masters (presently corporate masters) for more. The same is when we rely on politicians for answers while our collective condition in the midst of it all continues to be in peril and is worsening day by day.  When we receive notification almost daily of one of our own (Black, “Latino,” Indigenous or others) being killed by police somewhere in this country we must reason that this is not the time for selling out. Our longevity lies with our firm belief in The Divine Supreme Being (by whatever Name we call Him), demonstrating the fact that we are His Chosen People and exercising the act of depending and supporting one another.


The South Bronx – 1970s

Hip Hop and Hip Hoppers needs to evolve from the status of Culture to Nation. But this will not transpire until we realize our True Divine Origins and our True Divine Purpose, as we are taught Scripturally that The Chosen People themselves would come through “the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). Where was ESPN (which is in part owned by Disney) or any corporate establishment, Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton or any politician when poor Blacks and Latinos were suffering in the South Bronx in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where whole communities were allowed to dilapidate by politicians and urban planners, barely leaving any legal economy left, drugs purposefully

article-2343647-1a5f9839000005dc-942_970x658allowed and conflicts among the various street organizations at the time purposefully instigated with the intent to destroy us. After our culture was birthed through the uniting of the Four Elements (DJing, MCing, B-Boying/B-Girling, Graffiti) through Knowledge (The 5th Element) we overcame our condition through our efforts of divinely making “something out of nothing” (i.e. stealing electricity from a light pole in order to power up our sound systems if we had to) and our support of one another. After signing major corporate deals throughout the 1980s up to the present many of us forgot where we came from and we are not actively doing enough to change our condition. As illustrated in this BBC video by Chicago rapper Bo Deal, communities nation-wide continue to be allowed to become dilapidated, drugs are allowed to filter in, street conflicts continue to be instigated and guns are easy access because they are being dropped off by the crate load on our door steps. In many of our communities we have more access to military type weapons. Can you truly reason with this? Can we attempt to argue that our open enemy is not involved? How much longer can we continue this way?

We have to stop supporting politicians that make promises to us using our most beloved artists and in the end experiencing conditions that are worse than before the election. We have to stop supporting corporate establishments that care little to nothing about us and work harder at supporting our own.


Chuck D

What is our own? In the early 2000s Chuck D of the Legendary Rap Group Public Enemy was (and continues to be) a visionary with his well-balanced independent Slam Jamz label and Rapstation on-line radio, giving shine to artists that would not normally gain commercial exposure. Chuck D continues to commit himself to exposing the truth and reality of the system that opposes us not just through music, but through radio commentary. He is a living example that the answer lies not with any corporate backed politician to resolve our problems. The answer lies among us! More of us need to support entities such as Slam Jamz and Rapstation and develop more independent means of success as we work to champion the cause of our people in this very dark hour of American History. This is the true mark and the beginning of the establishment of the concept of Nationhood.

I close this article with inspiring words by Teacher and Philosopher KRS-One from The



Gospel of Hiphop:

“It is a complete waste of our revolutionary effort to complain about issues we ourselves have not matured beyond. When we protest unjust situations we should be able to do better than the situation we are protesting against. We should not just culturally scream out when we are hit by injustice, we should take the hit as an act of validation toward our authority to speak into existence a new nation.”

Until next time (God Willing), Peace, Love and Light!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.


A One on One Innerview with Gat Turner: Thoughts on The Milwaukee Uprisings and Committing to the Work of the 10,000 Fearless

By Tony Muhammad

gat bustIn the midst of the August 2016 Milwaukee uprisings, this Hip Hop Educator reached out to Milwaukee Hip Hop artist and fellow FOI (Fruit of Islam) Gat Turner. In our dialogue he comments on the current social and political climate of the city that the youth in its streets have renamed “Killwaukee” because of the level of violence and injustice that is experienced on an institutional level as well as his perspective on views shared by Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey and Sheriff David Clarke. Gat also mentions his current projects as an artist and his involvement assisting in the 10,000 Fearless Campaign launched by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March in October 2015.

TM: Peace and As-Salaam-Alaikum dear Brother! You’re from Milwaukee and you’re experiencing first-hand what is presently taking place as a result of the recent police shooting and killing of what police say was an armed 23 year-old Black man with a stolen gun and ammunition. From what you’re experiencing first hand, can you describe the current climate of your city?

GT: Walaikum Salaam Beloved! I first want to say that it is an honor and a privilege to take gat vivapart in this interview Brother Tony. From my vantage point the city’s climate is what it has been for the past few years. It has been a place of helplessness and hopelessness. It has been a place of apathy and antipathy. Which in turn makes Milwaukee a cesspool of volatility. It only required minimal agitation for the uprising to happen. This city has been a powder keg waiting to happen. I did a song on the ‘Killwaukee Xperiment’ mixtape that I did with Milwaukee raptivist Viva Fidel entitled, ‘The Fire This Time’, in that song I foretold this day. Like the rapper Nas said, “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” Anyone with any compassion for Black people and their ear to the street could see this coming.

TM: What are your views of the police narrative and what has your experience been concerning similar police narratives in your city, especially as told by police sheriff David Clarke who wants the National Guard involved to stop the uprisings in Milwaukee?


Sheriff David Clarke

GT: Well my Brother… The police narrative is always tainted. That is why it has to be a Gat Turner on the scene to tell the Truth and counter the lies that are being force fed to the people by biased mainstream media outlets. The great Chuck D. of the rap group Public Enemy once said that, “Hip Hop is like the Blackman’s or the Hood’s CNN.” Well Hip Hop has to represent that unadulterated truth to the people because we know that these systems lie and cover one another to maintain their status quo. And honestly Brother Tony… You don’t want me to get started on Sheriff Clarke. Really Sheriff Clarke is like a Muppet. He is just the mouthpiece for a right wing agenda. He is the quintessential sell-out. When you see him and hear him, just know that there is someone else pulling his strings… There is someone else that has their hand up his backside. He has never had an original thought.


TM: Many officials, police and media personalities have been critical of the words of City


Alderman Khalif Rainey

Alderman Khalif Rainey who publicly described Milwaukee as a “powder keg” for potential violence throughout the summer. Coherently, he described there being major racial problems in Milwaukee and really, it being the worst place for Black people to live in in the country. He said that the uprisings from this past weekend came as a result of the inequities, injustice, un-employment and under-education. How true are these statements and what pro-active solutions are there for these problems?

GT: Alderman Khalif Rainey is a good friend of mine. He is more of a truth teller than he is a politician. Politicians are versed in untruths, half-truths, and hide-the-truths… Alderman Rainey is not. He told the Truth! His truth was ‘the shot heard around the city’, because it is unusual for a person in his position to not follow the script already laid out for them by their Master, sorry… I meant Mayor. He told the Truth and I back him in that Truth. In regards to pro-active solutions, Honestly Brother… The only pro-active solution that I see as a remedy for these problems is SEPARATION! The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Separation is the Best & Only Solution! Time has proven him to be correct. We have tried everything else. We have migrated up north, now those jobs are gone. We have integrated the schools, only to have nearly a fifty percent dropout rate of Black males under this current education system. Malcolm said, “Only a fool would allow his enemy to teach his children.” We integrated the police force with Black men and women and they are killing us now, just like the enemy. We need to leave these people and go for ourselves. Everything else has been tried & everything else has failed.

TM: As an artist who has his ear to the street, a member of the FOI (Fruit of Islam), a foot soldier in the community what projects are you presently working on to make the Black and Latino communities of Milwaukee better places to live for our people?

gat walk

GT: I am currently working to assist in the 10,000 Fearless Campaign launched by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Last year during his push for the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, Justice or Else, I was facilitating a Stop the Violence campaign that was affectionately known as 20 Hoodz – 20 Weekz. I, along with other concerned activists in the city of Milwaukee took to the streets in hopes of curbing some of the violence that had taken place at that time. We walked through the toughest and most poverty stricken neighborhoods in the city and provided resources to them, offered conflict resolution to settle their disputes, as well as did neighborhood clean ups and block parties. We had a measure of success and we hope to continue doing that work and make it even bigger and more successful with the help of Allah, and incorporate what we did with what the Minister wants us to do.

TM: What album projects are you currently working on?

GT: Well many people are recognizing now how relevant the project that I did with my partner in rhyme Viva Fidel (who is Latino), ‘The Killwaukee Xperiment’ is to the uprising here in Milwaukee. We have a follow up piece to that will be coming soon. If it is the will of Allah I will be dropping #TheTime on October 16th of this year. Then I will be releasing a project that has been 6 years in the making entitled, “The Death of Gat Turner.” The Death of Gat Turner will feature production by Evolution BeKnown/G Force 7, Black Soil, and Stolen Art. Other artists featured will be Grayco, my wife Melissa Blue, Mook G., Viva Fidel, and a surprise emcee that I will keep to myself right now.

TM: How do you believe your music is reflective of the concerns of our people today?


The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaking at The 20th Anniversary of The Million Man March

GT: I believe that it is very reflective because I take what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gives me and I put it into a song. I take his guidance and his wisdom and I put it over a beat. When I write a rhyme I ask myself… WWFD What Would Farrakhan Do… What Would Farrakhan Say. I then take what he would say and I put it creatively in my own words his message. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan my humble opinion is ‘THE’ Voice of the people. He is THE pulse of the people. He is THE Man of God on the scene to day. So I believe what he has to say is reflective of the Time that we are living in & what must be done to survive in this troubled time.

TM: What is the most revolutionary thing that a Black conscientious artist can do in these very intense times?

GT: I believe that the most revolutionary thing that a Black conscientious artist can do in these intense times is to Accept his own & be himself! & speak truth to power!

TM: Thank you for your time! As-Salaam-Alaikum!

GT: No Thank you Brother Tony & may Allah continue to bless on your walk with His Apostle. Walaikum Salaam!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.

A One on One Innerview with Detroit Supa Sista Emcee Njeri Earth


By Tony Muhammad


Supa Sista Emcee Njeri Earth

Recently I caught up with the phenomenal indie emcee Njeri Earth and discussed her latest album project Return of the Supa Sista, the current climate of the country and what important strategies Hip Hop artists and the “conscious” community must take part in order to help improve the condition of our communities.

TM: Peace dear Sister! Prior to Return of the Supa Sista you were involved in several indie projects, featured on “Beneath the Surface” by the Gza in 1999 as well as an emcee cipher scene in the movie “8 Mile” in 2002. What makes this album project different from all the others you have done thus far?

NE: I’m a mother of two sets of twins and two teenage young men during the creation of this album. I never had that many children and this much responsibility during any point of my career. It was difficult; two 2 year olds and two 5 year olds don’t allow you much free time. My teenagers too, but I always work well under pressure. Also due to the gap of time I spent away musically, I have gained a lot of life experience and inspiration that drove the content of Return of the Supa Sista.

TM: The song Breathe, one of the most impacting songs on the album, the way it sounds to me, it’s like a call for us to look internally at our condition as a people, as you mention “Black” and “Latino.” Then at the end of the song you mention several of our people that have been slain as a result of police terror against us, namely Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner and Sandra Bland. As a conscientious Black mother yourself, what inspired you to come out with this song at this time?

NE: Well honestly the music itself, created by the God Saar3, was what inspired the lyrics. saar-picWithin the boom bap of that track, there’s this light airy sound that made me think about taking breaths. That made me think about the concept of breathing, that it can be healing, however the flip side, our environment, the air we breathe; it’s kind of hard to take healing breaths when you’re in a smog filled environment. I also wanted to talk about child birth and many of the brothers and sisters you mention among others who have died at the hands of the police. There were so many aspects of breathing I thought about touching on. I wanted to keep it to just a little over three minutes though.
TM: How important is it right now for other artists, both “underground” and “commercial” to highlight the realities we are facing currently as a people as far as the peace we need to establish among our own as well as addressing the police terror that we are experiencing nation-wide?

579NE: It’s essential. Hip Hop started out as a voice of the Black youth, which those youth who started it, and nurtured it are now adults, with children of our own. With that being said, it’s double the duty; first the duty to combat the lies and manipulation of the media and dominant society and tell our side of the story to our listeners; and second the duty to teach the truth to the young Black youth, our babies, and young Brothers and Sisters. Change is on its way regardless to who is ready or who is not. It’s better to be the change rather than to be affected by it. With so many distractions, continuing to acknowledge, speak on, and find solutions for the problems that plague the Black community is essential to keeping awareness high.
TM: In your view, what can artists, particularly Black and Latino artists, do right now to
increase our efforts against a system that is inflicting so much injustice on us as a people; for example police terror, environmental racism as in the case of Flint, education, etc.?

NE: Continuing to speak on these issues both in our music and otherwise. This, along with actively participating in the community and encouraging our peers and supporters to do the same. Seek out and form relationships with Black/Brown businesses; do sponsorships in this way, promote black banking like Killer Mike did in Atlanta. I think there’s a sentiment in the air that something must be done. I think we’re seeing that this system under which we live cannot be changed, however we can create and build our own system of freedom, justice, and equality.
TM: Being a member of The Nation of Gods and Earth yourself, we have the same Root


Tony Muhammad and members of The Nation of Gods and Earth outside of Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami

Teachings, which are The Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. In this time of so much unconsciousness in Hip Hop and in general, how important is it to build unity between The Nation of Gods and Earth, The Nation of Islam as well other Righteous communities especially in the area of arts and culture.

NE: I feel the need to build unity among the Gods and Earths, the Nation of Islam, as well as other conscious communities of Black and Brown people is crucial in these times. The devil would love to keep us separated; it’s easier to control us that way. But when we unify for one common cause, the preservation and growth of Black and Brown people, our children, and our culture; we will be so much stronger.

TM: Thank you for your time and sharing your thoughts dear Sister! Peace!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.

Countering the Deception of False Police Narratives: We Are At War

By Tony Muhammad

“There’s a war goin’ on outside, no man is safe from” – Mobb Deep – Survival of the Fittest (1995)

“Coming from the school of hard knocks, some perpetrate, they drink Clorox, Attack the Black because I know they lack exact the cold facts, and still they try to Xerox” – Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype (1988)


Sun Tzu

The legendary Chinese master general Sun Tzu said that all war is based on deception. Deceptive is a very fitting term to describe an innumerable amount of police narratives that have been given to us historically on a daily basis, especially in respects to the unjust treatment, brutality, murder and terror of Black, Brown and Red people at the hands of law enforcement in the United States. As the publisher of Urban Urban+America+Cover+resizeAmerica Newspaper in South Florida for over five years reading such police narratives became common place for me. Likewise was the unraveling of truth covered up within them. Often times the people who were arrested, shot, brutalized, terrorized or killed were presented as being crazy, as if they belonged more in an insane asylum than in a jail cell. It is the same today.

Here’s an example. In 2006 an emcee by the name of Caliba came to me with a story about how he was unjustly arrested on the beach. According to him and several other sources, Caliba ran into one of his rivals near a club in South Miami Beach. g52264gux2wHip Hop open mic and event organizers have for years discouraged emcees from battling in the street like that because of the constant negative run-ins that they would have with police who did not understand their culture. In the midst of the battling in this particular case, police showed up and told the two emcees to “STOP FIGHTING!” Caliba was told specifically to go across the street. Caliba complied and quickly walked across the street. However, because he was upset that his battle was abruptly ended by police with no definite winner he began to vent loudly. Police followed up by arresting him and later tasing him while cuffed in the back of a police vehicle because he refused to stay quiet. The way it read in the police report was incomplete and was phrased in such a way that made Caliba appear crazy. It read that Caliba was “fighting” with someone in the street. He was told to stop fighting and go across the street. He went across the street and “started fighting some more.” After contesting the charges in court, Caliba was cleared of the charges.


Tamir Rice

The way circumstances are today, with the high rate of police homicide on Black, Latino and Indigenous lives, many of our people aren’t as lucky to speak about the truth and reality concerning their negative encounters with police. But it is obvious that almost every time that we get the police narrative it is incomplete and made to appear like the slain was crazy and at fault. A more careful analysis of most cases in which our people are unjustifiably brutalized, terrorized or murdered, as in the cases of Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Mario Woods, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown,


Jesse Hernandez

Dontre Hamilton, John Crawford, Dante Parker, Akai Gurley, Ricardo Diaz Zeferino, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Pedro Erick Villanueva, Anthony Nunez, Vinson Ramos, Melissa Ventura, Raul Saavedra-Vargas, Rexdale W. Henry, Jesse Hernandez and countless others, we find that they were situations that could have been avoided and/or de-escalated as shown in countless of examples dealing with whites in similar or even much more dangerous circumstances.

Coherently, the recent so-called retaliatory shootings and killing of police officers in both Dallas, Texas and Baton


Micah Xavier Johnson

Rouge, Louisiana can have us easily conclude that the narratives presented by police and the media are not only incomplete, but in many ways are flawed and dangerous; meant to unjustifiably blame and target groups in our community that have historically stood for truth and justice. In the case of Micah Xavier Johnson, the identified Dallas shooter, it has been repeatedly said that he was upset with the Black Lives Matter Movement and wanted to kill white police officers, however there are no official voice recordings or witnesses that can verify this argument. All that is known, according to the police narrative, in the midst of a Black Lives Matter demonstration, is that Johnson used military tactics to shoot and kill five police officers while “taunting” and “singing” to them. It is also argued that his identity was ultimately discovered because his identification card miraculously survived a bomb detonation through the use of a robot; unusually, the first time such a military tactic of this nature has been used on a US civilian. Soon after his identity was revealed, a picture from his social media page that has been repeatedly used by the media is one in which he is wearing a dashiki. It was also said that he was in and around Black militant groups that carried weapons; making different “African-centered” groups in general targets. Within an hour of his name being released, some in


Professor Griff

the media were emphasizing that his middle name began with an “X,” making the fraudulent claim that he went by the name “Micah X,” because he was influenced by Malcolm X and The Nation of Islam, making The Nation of Islam a target.  Yet another picture that was repeatedly used by the media was one that he took with Professor Griff of the political Hip Hop group Public Enemy, making not only Professor Griff, but Public Enemy and ultimately all Hip Hoppers that are “Black Conscious” targets. Professor Griff recently held two press conferences stressing that he did not know Johnson personally and how in the digital age it is very common for fans to take pictures with celebrities and post them on their social media pages.


Gavin Long

In the case of Kansas City resident Gavin Long, according to the official police narrative he was walking in an area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana unusually dressed in a “ninja” outfit intentionally seeking to shoot and kill police. However, according to initial reports from WAFB Channel 9 news in Baton Rouge, residents said they had heard shots in the area right prior to the police showing up on the scene. Here again, a false police narrative, in this case exposed by the media itself. When police showed up, three of them were killed and another three were injured by Long. Just as in the case of Micah Xavier Johnson, Long was killed before any information could be gathered from him. A robot was also sent to him as well. In this particular case in order to make sure he did not have any bombs on his person. After his name was publicly released, a video from his YouTube channel, under the name “Cosmo Ausar Setepenra” was posted in the media in which he spoke against the killing of Alton Sterling. Despite him saying clearly in the video that he stood alone and had no group affiliation, several media sources have insidiously emphasized more the statement he made about “how he used to be a member of The Nation of Islam.” Just as in the Dallas shooting incident this poor form of journalism, which is really not journalism at all, is nothing more than what is clearly a plot to inspire white militia groups to target The Nation of Islam and other Black conscious movements that emphasize Self-knowledge and Self-development. No effort has been made to ask members of The Nation of Islam in Kansas City, Missouri or in Baton Rouge, Louisiana or even at its National Headquarters in Chicago if he was an “official member” or not. Just as a note in my own personal experience in the Nation of Islam, I have met many people in over 20 years that have claimed that were “once members” of The Nation of Islam. After I investigated in many instances I came to discover that those that made such claims had actually merely attended Mosque meetings. In some cases they had only gone as far as attending Orientation Class (where more information is given about The Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and how to become registered members). In my own personal experience, most people that become registered but stop attending after a while seldom use the phrase “I used to be a member.” Those who become registered but stop attending after a while usually use the phrase that they are “inactive.” In addition, anyone who is acquainted with The Nation of Islam know as a verified fact that


Dr. Boyce Watkins

registered members do not carry as much as a pen knife. Further evidence shown that not just The Nation of Islam but Black conscious groups in general are being targeted is noted by how several media sources highlighted the fact that on another video on his YouTube channel show Long giving away Black conscious books from his own personal collection to people. Similarly to Professor Griff’s experience with Micah Xavier Johnson, it has been publicly noted that Long had attended business seminars conducted by author Dr. Boyce Watkins and Hip Hop entrepreneur Damon Dash and how consequently had been receiving email blasts from Watkins. Watkins has similarly come out publicly and has stressed that he did not know Long personally.

The fact that both Johnson and Long were dishonorably discharged from the military has been emphasized. But what is not mentioned is how many men in the military suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, often times untreated, and how experiments are often performed specifically on Blacks (and Latinos) in the military using psychotropic drugs, causing them to act in erratic ways both while they serve in the military and afterwards when they are discharged, dishonorably or otherwise. Also consider that when much information is missing from these types of narratives presented to us, it leaves much room to make the accused, who are now dead and cannot speak, appear mentally unstable; as if police are all the way “normal” when we learn of yet another incident of one of us getting shot, injured or killed.

2016-07-09 22.22.37

Educator Tony Muhammad

The war that is being waged on us presently in America begins not with the physical, but with forces that impact the mind which ultimately cause us as a collective to act and react in ways desired by those in positions of power who constantly and consistently work to deny us Freedom, Justice and Equality. Our choices under such a wretched condition that we are presently in limit our perspective of reality which land the majority of us cyclically either in the military, in prison or dead.  As The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has taught us, we cannot afford to lose another generation. A new cultural movement of consciousness is needed for this time that inspires us, especially our youth, to think intelligently and work on behalf of our people in the Spirit of Love and Truth! Our people cannot wait! We need this Movement NOW! In the mean time, let us practice not simply going along with police narratives. Let us come together and organize whether we are Pan-Africanists, Black Nationalists, Nation of Islam, Moors, Nation of Aztlan, Hebrew Israelites, Native Americans, etc. and learn how to write our own narratives; not just the kind that we have to work to unravel truth while living in an unjust system based on lies, but one that we write in advance for our collective benefit where true FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY EXISTS FOR US ALL! Unity is needed among us more than ever before because this war doesn’t affect any one particular group. In truth, it affects all of us!

Until next time, Peace and Universal Love!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.

Jesse Williams, Beyonce’, Kendrick Lamar, the Call for Freedom and the Challenge against White Supremacy

By Tony Muhammad

The unofficial yet official theme of the 2016 Black Entertainment Network (BET) Awards late last month in Los Angeles, California was FREEDOM. This was determined not by any white corporate entity such as Viacom (the owner of the network), but by artists themselves on their own terms.


Jesse Williams receiving the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award

The most noted and profound statement at the award show was made by actor, film maker, activist and BET Humanitarian Award winner Jesse Williams, who earned his award for documenting and participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement. In his acceptance speech he spoke on our perpetual and horrific condition from slavery times to present times as Black, as well as (I can safely argue) Indigenous, “Latino” and other non-white people in this unjust land of bondage called America, a speech that touched the lives of millions who not only were able to relate to his words in thought, but painfully and consistently experience the reality he described every day of their lives. His words were also subjected to harsh criticism and scorn not only by many whites who refuse to confront the dreadful atmosphere that racism, largely in the form of police brutality and police killings in Black communities, continues to produce in this country, but also by many Blacks who argued that he was somehow “NOT BLACK ENOUGH” to make such strong arguments because of his “mixed” background (his mother being white and his father Black). Some Blacks in the “conscious” community even made ridiculous “conspiracy theory” type arguments claiming that Jesse Williams was told specifically by the upper echelon “illuminati” forces in the entertainment industry to say what he said in order to fool the Black viewing audience into believing that BET actually has the vested interest of the Black community.  This myth was quickly debunked when videos of the speech “mysteriously” disappeared from social media time lines the next day and then later reappeared more than likely out of the realization that the powers that attempted to censor William’s message were actually making themselves look worse by doing so. It was obvious that William’s speech was obviously “TOO BLACK” for BET to outright accept. The message was also TOO REAL for many so-called activists, whose activity is mainly concentrated on posting memes on social media rather doing real activist work in their


Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

communities. The fullness of this part of his message became vividly real one week later with not just the post-Independence Day police unjust shootings of Black men such as Alton Sterling (in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Philando Castile (in St. Paul, Minnesota) and Alva Braziel (in Houston,


Pedro Erick Villanueva

Texas) but also the police shootings of young “Latinos” such as Pedro Erick Villanueva (in Los Angeles, California), Anthony Nunez (in San Jose, California), Vinson Ramos (in Fresno, California), Melissa Ventura (in Yuma, Arizona) and Raul Saavedra-Vargas (in Reno, Nevada) along with the lynching (police-ruled suicide) of a Black man in Atlanta, Georgia and nation-wide protests that followed.


In addition, not only was Jesse Williams telling whites in general to “stand down” from criticizing a condition and a struggle that they refuse to admit responsibility over; not only was he challenging Blacks in general to not be “bystanders” and simply watch as their people get brutalized and killed; he was also very specific in his aim in terms of language. In short words he was challenging Black entertainers, Black artists, many who have their roots in Hip Hop culture, which is in its origins about challenging the status quo, to not allow themselves to become exploited any longer, change their focus and realize that the mere pursuit of money, name branding and physical branding will not change our collective condition as 21st Century slaves. A total change needs to take place on our terms, defined by us, in the form of a working towards a “hereafter” while we physically live here on planet earth, not waiting to see heaven after we die.  Williams referred to this work as a “hustle,” as he inferred it has not started yet, but rather has to be ignited.

He ended his speech by saying “We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying Black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

downloadWhat did Jesse Williams mean by “magic?” Could it be referring to a shared secret religious belief that many in the entertainment industry subscribe to? As noted in the final chapter in the recently released book Protect Ya Neck: A Music Industry Survival Guide by Christian Farrad, a very popular underground religion practiced among many in the entertainment industry is Thelema, founded by occultist leader Aleister Crowley. The name of the organization is the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). It is what many, especially the youth, have been popularly been referring to in recent years as the “illuminati” in the entertainment industry because of the high level of secrecy in its practice. Central to its teachings is the belief in the use of magic, or rather “magick” which is defined by Crowley as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” Followers of this religion believe that human beings have entered the “Eon of Horus.” Horus is the Christ figure in the Ancient Egyptian (or Kemetic) theology.  In Thelema, it is claimed that through the dictation of a “super natural being” while under the influence of drugs during his visitation of Egypt in 1904, Crowley received the “law of Horus” for this new era which teaches the idea “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Initiation into the hierarchy of the organization is done so through both perverted heterosexual and homosexual rituals which are meant to “satisfy the will.” These teachings promote a high level of freedom which attracts many in the entertainment industry because artists, as creative as they are, are by and large very free spirited. What is highly problematic, besides


Aleister Crowley

the fact that the teachings corruptly distort and exploit the very essence of the righteousness of Black African culture, is the very contradiction of the practice of freedom that white people advocate through the organization itself. Just picture this scenario: white corporate executives sitting in the same OTO meetings with Black artists signed to their labels. Members are told not to allow the freedom exercised by others to infringe on their own freedom. The next day, those same executives are in meetings with those same Black artists concerning what to say and what not to say in their songs and albums, especially concerning the current state of Black America and the injustice it faces by police and in general by the white power structure that oppresses Black people.

Jesse Williams was not the only one who posed such a challenge at the BET Awards. Beyonce’ and Kendrick Lamar, who have been known for encoding “illuminati” symbolism in their songs and music videos, did as well. During a breath taking performance of her song “Freedom,” Beyonce’ wore a dress with wings underneath her arms, styled in form of

2016 BET Awards - Show

Beyonce’ in Ma’atic form in her performance at the 2016 BET Awards

the goddess Ma’at, which represents Truth, Balance, Order, Harmony, Law, Morality and Justice in the Egyptian (Kemetic) theology. In ad
dition, covered all over her body suit (as well as the body suits of her dancers) were Adinkra (African) symbols of the Sun, representing Freedom and representing a reclaiming of her African identity. Beyonce’ and her dancers walked towards the stage with an African beat with bold words by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. demanding justice and afterwards performing an African-styled dance over water, more than likely representing the Black primordial-liquid matter of the universe that the Original Black God created Himself. Kendrick Lamar arrived towards the close of the song with lyrics not found on the album


Kemetic (Egyptian) Goddess Ma’at

version of the song. He began by repeating the phrase “Meet me at the finish line, 40 acres give me mine,” which symbolically echoes a call for reparations for Blacks who experienced slavery as originally proposed by certain members of Congress after the passing of the 13th Amendment (“ending slavery”) in 1865. However, the reparations he was calling for are for the abuses Blacks have been experiencing up to the present, 461 years long. Lamar ended his rap calling for an end to police brutality and the unjust killing of Black people.


Beyonce’ and Kerdrick Lamar

In the aftermath, Beyonce’ and Lamar were both criticized by white audiences for their “overly Black expression.” In truth, this is not the first time Beyonce’ has caught heat for expressing Black pride and consciousness. In late 2015 Beyonce’ was criticized for releasing the song and video “Formation” which in a coded way sends the message of the intentional blowing up of the levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in


Beyonce’ in the music video “Formation”

2005. Beyonce’ herself is presented throughout the video sitting on top of a sunken police car. Earlier this year, at the Superbowl, Beyonce’ performed a tribute not only to Michael Jackson, but very apparently also Malcolm X and the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Black Panther Party as well; an act that earned her the threat of police throughout the country boycotting her concerts.



In the midst of all of this and over 500 people who have been shot and killed by police this year thus far (the majority of them being Black, Latino or Indigenous), Jay-Z recently announced that he will be finishing and releasing a song against police killing citizens. Many other commercial and underground artists are doing the same. However, the real question when it comes to some of the most financially wealthy personalities in Hip Hop that are pained by our present reality in America and realize the fact that war is being waged on us is not if, but when are they planning to get together and begin a true Black-owned network that not


The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with Jesse Williams on the Breakfast Club Radio Show

only supports Black entertainment with a conscientious message, but present news uncompromisingly with an authoritative voice about the truth and reality about THE TIME that we are living and WHAT MUST BE DONE in this TIME! We can no longer allow the voices of consciousness TMthat are among us to be censored! The Truth must be exposed and Right Guidance must be provided! To the Sean Combs, Jay-Zs, Kanye Wests, Snoops and many others who have been touched by consciousness, the Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the words of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, I encourage you to do everything in your power to bring us closer to this reality so that both our message and cause can be furthered and our survival as a people increased!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.


Muhammad Ali and His Meaning to The Hip Hop Nation

By Tony Muhammad


Can you blame my generation, subjected gentrification,

Depicting their frustrations over ill instrumentation

Cause music is the way to convey to you what I’m facing,

Placing my life in front of your eyes for your observation

Now if you can’t relate then maybe you are too complacent,

Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali statements – Nas – “My Generation” by Damion Marley (featuring Nas)

ali-Cropped-671x377In the beginning of June, the world experienced the loss of one of its most beloved personalities not just in the area of sports, but in life itself, who most notably demonstrated through his example how to stand for justice in a world that is antithetical to its true ideals and practice. That personality is none other than Muhammad Ali. Many artists in Hip Hop have historically been inspired by his boldness and heroism to stand up, speak to power and refuse to back down. The list includes Nas, Jay Z, Will Smith, EPMD, The Sugar Hill Gang, Kanye West, T.I., Master P, Migos, The Fugees, The Game, Common, The Illegal Broadcasters (Hakim Green and General Steele) and even Drake. However, Muhammad Ali’s roots in Hip Hop are deeper than giving honor by shouting him out in song lyrics. Muhammad Ali was known in his heyday to freestyle rhyme about himself and his opponents while on camera, inspiring many young people who were observing him and would later grab the mic and rock crowds at concerts and emcee battles in similar fashion.

Known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. for the first 22 years of his life, it was The Honorable


Muhammad Ali with The Honorable Elijah Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad that gave him the powerful name Muhammad Ali after registering in The Nation of Islam and winning The World Heavyweight Boxing title in 1964 (Muhammad meaning “one who is worthy of praise” and Ali meaning “the most high”). Two years later, Ali faced a greater challenge outside the ring than any opponent he ever had to face in the ring. He refused to be drafted into the US military to fight in what he and many in the world viewed as an unjust and immoral war in Vietnam. Because he did so, he was stripped of his title and put on house arrest. Supported by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and The Nation of Islam, Ali appealed his case of conscientiously objecting to participating in the war all the way to the highest court in the land, The Supreme Court. His conviction was overturned by The Supreme Court in 1971. In accurate historical context, it was The Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad that gave him the courage to stand up for what was just and what was right and to fear nothing but Allah (God) Himself. However, at Muhammad Ali’s memorial service on Friday, June 10th in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali’s wife Lonnie said that it was “Al Islam, true Islam” that inspired him to stand for justice. Not only this, but none of the speakers, with the exception of Bryant Gumbel, made any reference to Muhammad Ali’s first teacher in Islam, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (Gumbel’s reference was limited to seeing and meeting Ali while visiting the home of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the same neighborhood that he lived).


Muhammad Ali with The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

In my own personal analysis, as a follower of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad through his best student The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, I will argue that Lonnie Ali’s “Al Islam” comment can easily be interpreted as a very disrespectful verbal “shot” against The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, his family and The Nation of Islam, who were present at the memorial service. In his lecture The Life and Times of Muhammad Ali on Sunday, June 12th, The Minister said that they were surrounded by police and closely monitored as if they were going to attack someone. While I can very easily defend the point that the followers of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad do in fact practice “True Islam,” Lonnie Ali’s statement and the treatment of The Minister, his family and The Nation of Islam at the memorial service speaks to a larger agenda in place. According to The Nation of Islam Research Group, referencing a New York Times article, Muhammad Ali’s funeral was “produced” by SFX Entertainment, Inc., headed by Jewish businessman Robert F. X. Sillerman, which owns eighty percent of the rights to Muhammad Ali’s name, image and likeness resulting from a $50 million business deal set up in 2006.

Just as the enemy has sanitized Malcolm X, he has sanitized Muhammad Ali and has worked to erase the history of how he came into consciousness (Knowledge of Self). 123af2ecb1f1975fce9db5b56a2c108fEx-President Bill Clinton emphasized at the memorial service that the “most important part” of Muhammad Ali’s life was the second half, in which he battled Parkinson’s Disease; totally disregarding and intentionally leaving out that the one who taught him how to build his faith in order to overcome trials externally as well as internally was in fact The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. As The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has pointed out, the acts described above were and are geared towards keeping the masses of the people from The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and today The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, two leaders that have taught their people to truly love themselves and become self-reliant and independent.

Yet and still, The Minister highlighted in his lecture how a great deal of the distancing also came from Muhammad Ali himself. When The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was rebuilding The Nation of Islam in the late 1970s (falling after the departure of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad) Ali turned down to help The Minister, indicating in few words that it would tarnish the success that he had achieved as a boxer, a career that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wanted him to let go of years prior. A few years later, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease popularly argued for receiving too many blows to the head while boxing. Although, many others have alluded to his condition also resulting from being ill and overly medicated while experiencing a thyroid problem prior to a boxing match.

IMG_20160605_154808What lessons can the Hip Hop Nation learn from Muhammad Ali’s life and trails? Firstly, just as there has been a working to distance Muhammad Ali from the foundational roots of his birth into consciousness, the enemy in the form of the commercial music and entertainment industries, the fashion industry, the prison industry, the education industry and their investors have worked for over three decades to divorce Hip Hop from its foundational consciousness that from its very inception worked to end violence in our communities and have the youth come into the knowledge of their True Divine Selves. Because of the disattachment that has been fostered, which we have had a great part to do with in our own pursuit of fortune and fame, our communities continue to suffer from high rates of violence, homicide, incarceration, poverty and ailments resulting from the foods, liquor and toxic products that we regularly consume. In order for the self-destructive path to have a chance to being curtailed, we, the elders and those of us who are fastly approaching eldership in our Universal Culture must increase our efforts to first improve the quality of our own lives through spirituality, diet and overall better and healthier life choices and work to provide guidance to the youth. We must also work to atone with others we have “beefed” with and hurt in our lives in order to demonstrate cross-generationally that there is a better way for our communities. We should also become actively involved in conflict resolution initiatives wherever we can be a part of them. In our guidance to the younger generations, we should not take a judgmental position in the way and manner in which they convey a conscientious message. Financially supporting one another through business initiatives is a crucial part in this process. We must set up alternative institutions that serve as rewarding outlets that put our Gifts and Talents to good use; demonstrating that financial success does not have to come through “signing our lives away.”

Every vessel is Divinely Chosen to perform a task and the way and manner through which the message is conveyed serves as a part to bring about peace and prosperity among us in every way imaginable; closer and closer in our fulfillment of the true embodiment of a refined Hip Hop culture and movement; a vision closer and closer to the way that our Beloved Brother Muhammad Ali himself saw as being our duty to one another. Ali himself put it beautifully, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

Until next time, Peace!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009).  He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.

Hip Hop’s Golden Era: The Genesis of a Hip Hop Educator, Planting Seeds for the Future

By Tony Muhammad

 Genesis chapter eleven verse ten

explains the genealogy of Shem

Shem was a Black man in Africa

If you repeat this fact they can’t laugh at ya – KRS-One – Boogie Down Productions – Why Is That? (1988)

1988 – Right in the beginning of my second year of Junior High School (8th grade), in my homeroom class, I was assigned to sit at a table with other students who were considered 2016-05-30 18.42.01to be in the “in crowd.” Homeroom only lasted twenty minutes. It was the time of the school day that was routinely used by teachers to take attendance and for students to hear the morning announcements on the PA. But, for me it became the time of the day that I looked forward to the most.

In this homeroom situation, at first I was very quiet, listening to what this group of “in crowd” students had to say about the latest trends. What I appreciated most about them was that they never put me down because I wasn’t in their “in crowd” but they always encouraged me to participate in their discussions by getting “hip to the knowledge.” I listened, did research and slowly but surely began discussing. However, my attention became sparked when they started talking about what was seen and heard in the latest Rap Music videos. Besides Run DMC, a young “Latino” growing up in Miami, I wasn’t aware of any other Rap artists making music at that time. I was told about a new show called Yo MTV Raps! where they could be seen. That following Saturday at 10 am I was tuning in.

What grabbed my attention the most was that the music and the videos had messages that spoke to what I was going through personally. I soon learned that my cousin Willie who had recently moved from New York was into Hip Hop and was moved by the positive


Kool DJ Red Alert

messages found in much of the music as well. Willie mentioned to me how Big Daddy Kane’s version of Lean On Me (the title track from the 1989 movie Lean On Me) had such a huge impact on him that he made the decision to go back to high school (after quitting the year prior) and earn his diploma. The line in the song that stung the most for him was “Are you going to go college or are you going to be garbage.” Willie eventually went to college, got married, has children and is today working in the medical field. But during that time when we were boding through the music, he shared radio cassette recordings of live mixes done by DJs Chuck Chill Out and Kool DJ Red Alert on 98.7 KISS FM (New York City). I made my own copies of them and played them over and over again on the daily. As I bought music from the artists that impacted me the most (including Jungle Brothers, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, X-Clan) I hqdefaultshared it with Willie and he in turn made his own cassette recordings which he constantly played. Sometimes we borrowed the same music several times because we kept wearing out the tape of the cassettes we recorded the music on. A few months later I started purchasing vinyl and was saving up for my first DJ equipment. By my junior year in high school I had my own equipment and was selling my own Hip Hop mix tapes to my fellow classmates.


Chuck D of Public Enemy

Yet, it wasn’t so much the music that made me gain popularity among my peers. It was applying the wisdom that I heard expressed from the conscientious artists of that Golden Era. It was Public Enemy’s relentless demand for justice that inspired me to stand up for students who were labeled as “dummies” by teachers because they were placed in dropout prevention programs. It was KRS-One’s emphasis on history and X-Clan’s constant reference to Black historical leaders that motivated me to look deeper into my own Cuban roots and understand the Indigenous and African aspects of my own identity that had been suppressed due to white supremacy. I began to read books such as The Autobiography of Malcolm X and others related tothe-autobiography-of-malcolm-x The Black Panther Party, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner. They became my gateway to understanding Self and the Journey I was destined to embark. Understanding the seriousness of the things that I was learning, I challenged teachers in history classes that were teaching racist and inaccurate information every time there was an opportunity to do so. Because of this I became known to some of my peers as “The



Philosopher.” However, what I was destined to do became clearest to me during The 1992 Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles when Chuck D and KRS-One were being interviewed by MTV to get their insight over what was taking place. They said in responses to the rioting and the looting taking place that it was “not the way” and that instead we should be “organizing and mobilizing” our people in our pursuit of justice. The idea of MOVEMENT came to my mind and I made a firm decision that I wanted to be a part of it. The idea of doing my part to improve the condition of my people out of love for them had now found its place in my heart. I just needed to know how to do it.

king2In the years that followed I became active with various student groups, especially on college campuses, organizing programs and working on projects oriented towards exposing the TRUTH of what has been done, what continued to be done to us as a people and what to do to improve our condition. Eventually I made the decision to become a registered member of The Nation of Islam under the Leadership of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, continuing THE WORK through ministry, journalism, cultural activism, organizing and participating in local and national conferences.

Why am I sharing this story right now? Because we as a Cultural Community have entered into a dark period in the midst of “Mixed Feelings and Controversy” surrounding one of our most historically respected and iconic elders in Hip Hop Culture and as of consequence too many of us are of the belief that the music and the culture itself is dead and presently serves no purpose to be used to teach and inspire the next generations coming up after us. Too many of us are of the opinion that just because wrong doing has very likely taken place that the enemy has not been strategically working to increase division among us and is fostering an atmosphere that will lead to the shedding of blood in the midst of it all; conditions and circumstances that we will look back towards in the very near future and woefully regret. Too many of us who are knowledgeable and respected are getting caught up like lightweight creatures in webs of rumors circulating like wildfire on social media that are causing extraordinary confusion, public bickering, arguing and overall disrespect among our own. Too much gossip is being presented and passed off as “real news” on OUR news sources, which discredits our own legitimacy.  Too much attention is given to those involved in media that have demonstrated over and over again that they don’t really care about our well being as a community or as a culture, but rather are more interested in breaking stories so that they can further their own careers. Too many of us seek to be seen on camera and on social media commenting (with a serious lack of knowledge) just because the topic is trending, NOT because we have any true solutions to the problem, but because we want to be “known” and at the same time dangerously and unknowingly adding fire to the flames. Too many of us, especially in academia practice intellectual cowardice to the degree that we refuse to discuss the root causes of problems because such discussions in and of themselves may in retrospect expose other illicit or contradictory behavior among our own academic circles that we have either ignored, condoned or participated in ourselves. Too many of us, including sincere ones, are busy pointing fingers at one another and immaturely accusing each other of being “agents” while the real agents work to distract us from continuing the REAL WORK which is taking the necessary time to make strong impressions on the minds of the youth so that they can become inspired to pick up the mantle of responsibility and continue the process of liberating the minds of the masses of our people.  THAT’S RIGHT, we are repeating the same mistakes as our leaders that came before us!

When we enter into a dark place, often times we succumb to the belief that we ourselves have been buried. It causes us to engage in erratic behavior out of worry. However, worry only comes about as a result of an absence of an imagination on how to deal with new trials in life and us forgetting what our true purpose in life is. As we discover more and more TRUTH about circumstances, others and ourselves, we learn that we have ACTUALLY been Divinely planted like seeds so that we can eventually grow and produce THE NEWNESS that we have long been looking for! That NEWNESS is the GENESIS or the BEGINNING OF CONSCIOUSNESS in others, wiser and more refined than before. Just as I experienced my genesis during Hip Hop’s Golden Era, many of you reading this article can reflect back when you were first exposed to consciousness through music, through art, through poetry, through a book, through a neighbor, through a family member, through a friend or through a teacher. This is NOT a time to be stagnant. It is a time to analyze, reflect, plan, go to work and increase our work. HIP HOP, which means to be in with the times (Hip) and initiate motion in a accordance with the knowledge of the time (Hop), LIVES ON!


Allah (God) Willing, more to be shared next time!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009).  He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.