The Truth Behind Hiphop: Icon says modern hip-hop 'The Devil'

exministriesTruth Behind Hiphop15 Comments

By Jason Whitlock | FoxSports

thouwiltOver the past two weeks, I’ve written several columns decrying the diseased popular culture that baits high-profile athletes to choose a mindlessly rebellious music culture over a superior, healthier athletic culture. I pinpointed N-word-addicted rapper-turned-sports agent Jay-Z as the heir to the cultural throne once held by Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Unitas, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. I argued that Jay-Z’s ascension symbolized America’s dangerous and pervasive love affair with pop-culture anti-heroes such as Tony Soprano and Walter White. Criticizing Jay-Zesus is a sin in the black community. He’s been approved by our President. Jay-Z’s wealth, to some, means he can do no wrong.

Predictably, my email inbox and Twitter timeline filled with angry black men and women calling me an Uncle Tom, a sellout and a hater. People who are in no way offended by Jay-Z’s constant use of the N-word were outraged that I labeled the Jigga Man a n*gga rapper.

To my surprise, one very important person was not offended at all. Dahveed Nelson, formerly David Jordan Nelson, the driving force behind The Last Poets, emailed me to praise my column. Nelson and The Last Poets are the fathers of rap/hip hop music. The politically charged, pro-black poems they performed over drumbeats in the late 1960s and early 1970s birthed rap music.

“Jay-Z is getting well paid,” Dahveed told me Sunday during a 90-minute Facebook Skype. “He’s one of the most wealthy people in America, certainly one of the wealthiest blacks and most influential, for being a n*gger, for putting on blackface and coo*ing. That’s what he’s getting paid for.”It’s going to be hard for anyone to argue that Dahveed Nelson is an Uncle Tom and a sellout. The Last Poets were so militant and progressive that President Nixon had them placed under FBI surveillance. Nelson’s infamous poem, Die N*gger, inspired the title of Black Panther member H. Rap Brown’s autobiography. The rap group N.W.A. sampled Nelson performing the poem at the beginning of one of the group’s songs, Real N*ggaz Don’t Die.
Four years ago, Nelson moved to Ghana, Africa. He lives there now. He’s 74 years old and still an active basketball player. He’s a hoops junkie. That’s how he found my column. He reads my columns and listens to my podcasts from Africa.He’s not a sellout. He’s appalled by what rap music has become. He sued N.W.A. years ago for sampling his voice and perverting the meaning of his poem (he regrets settling out of court).“The message of my poem was just the opposite,” Nelson told me. “The message was for n*ggers to die so the real black man could be resurrected and seek salvation. This whole hip-hop generation, it’s the devil. It’s Satan. It’s hedonism. It’s the pursuit of pleasure. There’s no soul. They’ve captured our medium.”the-last-poets-made-in-amerikkka
I connected with Nelson on Sunday because I wanted to talk with him about the George Zimmerman trial. Although I believe the jury reached the only logical conclusion based on the trial, I’m highly disappointed Zimmerman was not held criminally responsible for following Martin, ignoring police instructions and shooting a 17-year-old kid after losing a fight his pursuit instigated. Zimmerman and the Sanford police force that initially bought Zimmerman’s explanation profiled Martin.But they had an enthusiastic, unapologetic accomplice — N-word-addicted, gangsta rappers and the record companies that pay and promote them. They have branded young black boys and men within pop culture as criminal, violent and people to be feared. America is still a predominantly segregated society. We learn about each other through TV, the entertainment industry.Thug rappers and their employers are partially to blame for Zimmerman seeing a black kid in a hoodie and immediately thinking “punk criminal.” The same group is also partially responsible for making young people think it’s cooler to pose as a wannabe thug than a wannabe scholar.“More than partially,” Nelson interrupted me. “I think you’re being conservative. You can put the blame squarely on hip hop. It’s a marriage. It’s like the movie Django; you have those who collaborate with the enemy. The enemy has its responsibilities, but you’ve got the collaborators. That’s what the whole hip-hop culture is. I know the history of hip hop.“The black cultural revolution that we had started was squashed by party and gangster rap music.”
RussellSimmons276Nelson isn’t afraid to call out the sacred cows.“Russell Simmons was the first big pimp of hip hop,” Nelson said. “He had 99 million groups and only one of them had any positive words to put into it and that was Public Enemy. Simmons and Jay-Z are pimps and prostitutes.”Nelson’s words read as angry, but they were said without animosity. He’s quite satisfied with his life in Ghana. He’s the acting president of the African-American Association of Ghana. He speaks to students. He’s a distance runner. He wants to put on a world tournament for basketball players over 50. His mind is sharp. He effortlessly sang old rap songs, performed his infamous Die N*gger poem and praised socially conscious rappers such as Lupe Fiasco.Nelson even holds out hope that modern rap moguls such as Jay-Z and Simmons can change.”I believe that righteous seeds gone astray can be redeemed, even pimps and prostitutes — I’m not angry with either of them,” he wrote me on Facebook. “I hope they repent, pray for the Creator’s pardon and turn to a righteous path.”But Nelson can’t ignore the human and intellectual rot that is being caused by commercial American rap music.“You can see it in the kids in Africa,” he said. “The influence of the music is global.”

It’s going to be tough arguing the father of rap music is a sellout. Nelson’s critics will just have to claim he’s too old to understand the brilliance of black folks defining themselves as N-words in music and all walks of life.

It’s George Zimmerman profiling and shooting black boys like a video game in Chicago and every other major American city. George-Z is the excuse we use not to check Jay-Z for profiling us for his ticket out of the ghetto and into the White House.

15 Comments on “The Truth Behind Hiphop: Icon says modern hip-hop 'The Devil'”

  1. Aquie Harris

    Wow…One of the best interviews I’ve heard from someone concerning this current crap called Rap/HipHop…It’s sickening the way these clowns exploit people and gullible people believe these rappers are living this life…Jay-Z, Kayne, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beats, Drake, et al others make my skin crawl…When I was still living in darkness I use listen to their music but thank God for waking me up…Their music is NOTHING but from the pits of hell and they are agents of their true father…All they care about is money and praise…~The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out~Proverbs 28:11

  2. Mark Campbell

    You can’t have a discussion on the improvement of black communities without placing an indictment on affluent and resourceful blacks at large. Jay-Z, Oprah, and Barack Obama included. Everybody has a part in the life inequality of the black community. Even you and me.

    We diminish our own value on a broad level. The “prosecution” and the defense in the Zimmerman trial served what was most beneficial to the defendant (one of their own). Meanwhile people like Oprah say “I built schools in Africa because black americans are too spoiled.” While many marched and died for “civil rights” integration crippled our communities because the covert prejudices continued and grew into the fabric of American infrastructure. We are desegregated on paper only but, not in people’s hearts. When our people did strive and try to thrive (like Black Wallstreet in Tulsa) the envious white people destroyed their city. No reparations, no restitution. Somewhere along the line we got caught up in the “American dream”. That’s why affluent, successful blacks placate their prostitution (for lack of a kinder but less fitting term) with grammys, notoriety, token invites to country clubs, and the highly celebrated “acceptance and validation” by mainstream america. Guys like Jay-Z brag about being friends with people like Gwyneth Paltrow (I don’t even remember where I should know her from but I know her name) as a means to say “look at me. I’m somebody. They really like me!” In reality he (nor do his contemporaries) doesn’t even understand that these same people are awe-struck by his presence and gifts. “Be like Mike” worked because the whole world loves what we can do but, they envy us for it. America’s ideals were never intended for us. Just following those kinds of aspirations can get someone in your family hurt. This kid got killed because it was decided by the culprit that he didn’t look like the people in the “nice” neighborhood (That’s SCARY). I believe empowering ourselves through making safer-havens in our own communities, and living where we govern, teach, and do business is a great start. The 47 reported shootings in Chicago last weekend were likely committed by and experienced by black people. If we don’t recognize and address the designed self-depreciation that fosters the self-destruction and rid ourselves of the poisons that contribute to our selfish, apathetic thought patterns then we will never obtain the audacity to care enough about each other because everybody will maintain the “I’m getting mine/If son don’t shine” mentality.

  3. smhallthetime

    #Pow# Ok is this negro wearing A.Crowley’s words on a hoodie? Jay-Z is def anti-christ. Everyone in hip-hop is.
    Even regular folks can see the devil!!!

  4. stephanie newman

    the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Pastor Craige teaches this all the time. It is a pleasure to read things like this it gives me HOPE

  5. K

    I know little if anything about the Last Poets but I would be leary of taking anything Nelson says as gospel or at face value considering he still listens to and enjoys Lupe Fiasco (Hip-Hop) and considers Jay Z and his ilk, …righteous seeds gone astray.” Jay Z, Russ, Hip-Hop et. al cannot be redeemed. But Shawn Carter, Russell Simmons, and those who believe and repent can.

    Regarding the Zimmerman case we have been shown over and over again that African Americans are the barometer of the country. We are the culture, mood, and measurement of the lowest parts of America. The powers that be know that if it moves us then they have but a short time to expect it to manifest in their kids (yes we are still adults that are equated to their kids) and possibly overtake them. But, if we are not moved or are slow to respond to the stimulus then they know that their idea needs to be reimagined and reintroduced at a later date when we are more receptive. Change in America happens because black people push it. This is good and bad change. But Jehovah changes not and we need to hold onto Him and be like His Son if we expect to be delivered.

  6. Isaac

    As much as I’ve disliked previous articles from this man, have to give him due on this one. Black people, who taught you to hate yourselves? By all the killings, you are reaffirming the white man’s view that you don’t value your own lives, so why should they? It’s a double standard and unfair, but we have to value our lives more and live better than them!

    America has always had a love for the outlaw, the gritty, and the thug. There is a reason someone like Johnny Cash still resonates with white folks today. The same is true for Hip-Hop. The main difference is this though, the violence, drugs, women, and excess referenced are so pervasive that you can’t get played if you don’t feed into it. So if you want to be mainstream, you have to feed into the stereotype. You have to sell out your own people. Its cool to “hate authority” even as you love someone like Jay-Z gets rich within the traditional power structure. I just know some white studio exec is laughing every time he gets paid off a 2 Chainz album.

    Hip-Hop is a double edge sword. For white folks, its dangerous and exciting, it still has that allure. But its also highly damaging for anyone who lets it feed or inform their world view of blacks. At its best, its an affirmation our artistic and intellectual talent that is envied throughout the entire world. No other people are the “arbiters of cool” like we, yet so feared and degraded at the same time. We have too many black folks who buy into the negative stereotypes. Common said, “young women with weak minds, but their butts strong”. Original Hip-Hop was protest music, the Black CNN. What we have now is a degrading characterization of black, urban life.

  7. King

    @K I wouldn’t consider what he says Gospel either. I think the point he’s trying to make is that Hip Hop isn’t anything positive anymore. As far as Lupe Fiasco, i’ve listened to his music, and its nothing like what Jay Z & 99% of other hip hoppers but out, in his music he encourages people to get an education, be smart with your money, be respectful to women, etc etc. His music is positive, & just because its Hip Hop i would rather listen to Lupe Fiasco than some of these Gospel artist out here who sound more like main stream Hip Hop. These ‘Last Poets’ may not even be christian, but that doesn’t mean what they’re saying has no meaning.

  8. Drew

    Wow! Great interview! Instead of being in denial, just calling it like it is! Hip hop has become a drug to this nation and the world! Reminds me of what pastor Craige said in tbhh 8! “You messed up my high! But you were about to die!” The music has penetrated folks souls, and they are spiritually blind and dead! Its spiritual wickedness in high places! Jay-Z, obama, oprah and many others are promoting and pushing wickedness! And like the prophet Jeremiah said (Jer 5:20) the people love it! But what will they do in the end! Lord help us!

  9. ryan alfonso

    WOW!!!!!!!!! I Thank God for you PASTOR G C LEWIS….. And all the people who this Prophet of The LORD has awakened I believe all the hip hop music and the ‘JAY Z’ ‘GEORGE Z ‘ acquittal has proven that their are sinister plans of SATAN unfolding before our very eyes this is why as Pastor G C LEWIS has said IT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR ONE TO SEE AND KNOW THAN TO BE SEEN AND KNOWN!!!!!! BUT THE PRAYERS OF ABC EX MINISTRIES AND ALL OF THE PRAYERS OF THE TRUE BODY OF CHRIST…. has been DESTROYING AND PULLING DOWN principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places and rulers of darkness!!!!! SO That’s why the RACE CARD KILL A BLACK YOUTH make sure the individual is WHITE OR A JEW STIR UP SOME HATRED AN EXCUSE TO START RACE RIOTS SO WE CAN DESTROY THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS … WONT WORK!!! DON’T STOP PRAYING IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON………..

  10. Stan Rogers

    Nelson is political, he’s not spiritual. Jay-Z is another one of Satan’s tools. Satan was the chief musician before he fell and he’s still making music. KRS ONE said that rappers are the prophets and the lyrics are the scriptures. This is proof that hip-hop is a religion and that religion adopted the N word in order to replace the family man.

  11. wanda sewell

    Its a shame that things went the way they did for Trayvon Martin and that George Zimmerman got off but isnt it amazing how black folks can tear up ,march , call for justice when someone of another race kills a young black man but when our own kills one another you don t hear for marching for justice ,rioting etc. black men been killing black men for years now when are they going rise up and stand to stop that foolish act ,how many black on black murders have there been in the last say ten years alone of young men in Trayvon age group? Sad but true.

  12. Shawnda

    This is why we put off the old man and culture when we come to Christ. You know it’s bad when the forefathers of hip hop are saying it’s corrupt. If the good within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

  13. Taura Helms

    I have often come across people who state that it is acceptable for us blacks to use the N word because it was used against our ancestors for centuries. “We have to take ownership of the word because that is what they called us”. I have actually had people tell me something to that effect and it is the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever heard. That word is never acceptable and Jay-Z and the like have made millions off of it. I even saw an article somewhere a couple of weeks ago that stated that either Diddy or Jay-Z, I forgot which one, is headed for billionaire status-For nonsense! It sells and its hard for me to get young, impressionable black people to see this fact.

  14. Patricia

    This is a spiritual war. The enemy desires to take out our children and he does not care what color they are. We need to come together as one (the Body of Christ). There is truly a break in the Body of Christ and not seeing each other as anything other than sisters and brothers in Christ has definitely contributed to that break. The enemy is using this against us. We are all human beings and that is what matters. The only thing that should separate us is salvation. Definitely not skin color.
    I am not at all sure what GZ has to do with Jay z. However, what I do know that God is still on the throne and he is still in charge. It is truly a shame that some folks tries to make this about race. TM is dead and there is no saving him if he wasn’t save. However, GZ is still here, so if he is not save, then he still has a chance to get save.
    God is the ultimate judge.

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