The True Value of Hip-Hop:
Minister Farrakhan holds intimate conversation with industry penetrates artists and executives
By Jesse Muhammad,Final Call News Writer
Atlanta, GA —The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the most respected leader by the Hip-Hop community, hosted a private invitation only Sunday brunch with over three hundred Hip-Hop artists and top music industry executives to engage in an intimate conversation with him on the subject of " The Evolution of Hip-Hop" on October 14, 2007 at Justin's Restaurant. The dialogue would bring tears to many as he delved into the value, leadership abilities and potential power engrained in the capacity crowd.
"I am honored to be here with you. I thank Allah (God) for the greatness that is in this room, the power that is in this room, the leadership that is in the room but above all the potential that is this room", stated Minister Farrakhan in his opening words after being introduced by Dr. Benjamin C. Muhammad. "Who are you? I want to encourage you to be the light that produces a revolution. That word sometimes inspires fear but we shouldn't be afraid. Jesus was the supreme revolutionary. Revolution means a complete change that brings a thing back to its original point."
Minister Farrakhan then connected our pain as slaves on the plantation to how it produced the music the artists express today. "Without the pain of slavery we would not have what is called Negro spirituals. Blues was born out of our pain. Jazz was born out of our pain. Our poets like Langston Hughes wrote and spoke pain. Bebop came and then was Hip-Hop. All produced out of our pain."
When addressing the need for people to feel respected with the addition of big houses, fine cars, "bling-bling" and other material things, Min. Farrakhan shared that "we keep adding things to ourselves for respect because there is emptiness on the inside. You don't need a diamond if you are shining. Why do you need gold when you are the standard of value? We only need these external things to cover the nakedness of our being or soul that needs to be fed. To cover a mind that needs to be taught and a people who needs to be raised."
"You talent and genius is being manipulated to create conditions that make your people less than what they should and what they could be", he passionately said. "The enemy makes you wealthy beyond your dreams to make you think that wealth means that you are right."
On the issue of derogatory lyrics and rhymes that unmask the condition of the Black community Minister Farrakhan stated "In the 60s, the language changed. We called one another Brother and Sister. It's one thing to talk about the condition in which we live and say we keeping it real. But is that the way you want to continue to live and keep the reality of what the slave masters and then their children placed our people in? Is that the reality you want or do you want something better for yourself and our people?"
He continued "but how will you get something better if you don't raise their consciousness to a certain level for something better. Who are you? You are the bearers of light or darkness. If you continue to make your people think that the way we act is right, then you are an emissary of darkness and not a bearer or light. The artists are the most important people. You are the teachers."
Min. Farrakhan then answered questions that included an emotional testament from artist Killer Mike who spoke with tears rolling down his cheeks. "I just want to say I am sorry for my part. I thank you Minister Farrakhan."
"I believe Killer Mike expressed it best, the feelings that some of the younger folks felt, that raw emotion. When you hear a kind or caring word that touches your soul, you feel it in a major way and you process it in a way that lasts forever", stated Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur, co-founder of AllHipHop.com. The elite hip-hop site was the lead sponsor of the brunch. "Some of us have to lead by example and set a tone and create the climate conducive for change. I think we'll see it soon. There is a current and a more balanced approach to the art. We have been looking for more socially responsible Hip-Hop and we're getting it."
"The light the Minister shed on us at Sunday's brunch was the answer to all of the social confusion in the world today. I encourage all of the youth and the entire hip-hop community to take heed to the guidance given from our Brother Farrakhan. We can do better", stated Brother Hasaun, brunch co-organizer
"Minister Farrakhan's powerful message to artists, managers, producers, radio personalities and executives is a charge for positive change. His instruction to "Do not be a spokesperson for the hurt of our people" is key . If we adhere to this simple charge, we can make positive change in our industry", said Dee Dee Murray of Murray Media Music Corp and brunch co-organizer. "Working to organize this event on behalf of Minister Farrakhan has forever changed my life and validated my purpose in working to better my community and advancing my people."
"The Minister has inspired me to change some things about my artistry", stated poet Tamika Harper, who performed at the brunch. Up and coming music artist Radiant Amar also performed.
The list of guests also included Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, DJ Toomp, D4L - Shawty Lo, Cee-Lo, Chuck D, Professor Griff, Jahlil (Whodini), Doug E Fresh, Vexx, David Banner, Teddy Riley, N'Dea Davenport, , No ID, Ray Murray, Bryan Michael Cox, Diamond D, Griffey 2 K, Capricco Scates, Bryan Barber, Dave Tolliver, Charles Mathis, Kendall Minter, Omara S. Harris, Ray Murray (Organized Noize), Ric Ross (Capitol Records), and Vision (Dungeoneze).
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(Jesse Muhammad is a Staff Writer for the Final Call Newspaper and is based in Houston, Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)