A Message in The Music: New Orleans forum unites Hip-Hop artists to discuss its power and influence

(Hip-Hop Artist Sess 4-5, Student Minister Willie Muhammad and Radio Personality Wild Wayne stand in unity at the recent A Message in The Music discussion on April 7, 2014. Photo: Video screenshot)

New Orleans, La. - Muhammad Mosque No. 46 partnered with members of the local Hip-Hop community to host an event focusing on the power of the Hip-Hop artists on the youth of today.

"During Saviours' Day, while watching the documentary about the Honorable Louis Farrakhan's life, I was thinking about what I can do when I returned to my city to further the work. When the footage showing the Minister interacting with the Hip-Hop artists showed, it triggered something in my mind. The idea was very clear," stated Student Minister Willie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 46. "Once home I reached out to one of the stalwarts of the local Hip-Hop community here in New Orleans, Wild Wayne, brother was immediately receptive."

Wild Wayne and Hip-Hop artist Sess 4-5 host two monthly Industry Influence, one in New Orleans and another in Mississippi. Industry Influence provides a platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their talent and provide artists with opportunities to learn the business side of the industry via panel discussions and guests speakers. Together, Wayne and Sess have held a total of 77. In addition to hosting Industry Influence, Wayne also is a radio personality on the most popular radio station in the Crescent City.

On Sunday, Wild Wayne has a show that is dedicated to playing the music of local artists. A portion of that Sunday night show is geared to playing music that contains political and social commentary. The segment of the show is called A Message in the Music. It was under that theme that the gathering which took place on April 7th was held.

New Orleans Radio Personality Wild Wayne

“I thought the "Message In The Music" session was a great start. Many positive seeds were laid but they must be continuously watered. I really appreciated the spoken words by Bro Peteh, the music selection by Governor Reiss and words of Min. Willie Muhammad,” stated Wild Wayne.

The gathering began with a powerful performance from Governor Reiss, an up and coming New Orleans artist, who performed his hit, "Gun Violence". After his touching performance, popular hometown poet Brother Peteh Haroon Muhammad performed his soul stirring poem, "Born & Raised on New Orleans Water."

After their performances, Student Minister Willie Muhammad came up to give his thought provoking talk about how Hip-Hop artists are the leaders of this current generation of young people.

Nation of Islam Student Minister Willie Muhammad

"There are brothers in our mosque who have done what many rappers are rapping about. I have heard these brothers talk about how hearing the words of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan moved them to flush a kilo of cocaine down the toilet, put down the gun and leave criminal lifestyles. So when I heard the Honorable Louis Farrakhan say that one effective rap song is worth more than a thousand of his lectures, that statement seriously caught my attention. For a man whom God is using to transform the lives of many to say that about your music: What does that say about your power?," asked the young Student Minister.

He went on to share with those in attendance what the Honorable Louis Farrakhan says about their power and influence. One of those in attendance was Hip-Hop artist and producer Chase N. Cashe. Brother Cashe, who is a New Orleans native, produced a track on Drake's Grammy award winning sophomore album Take Care.

“It was a beautiful and revealing sight to see Hip-Hop brothers and sisters standing and enjoying the positive exchange alongside men and woman dressed in suits and garments. I enjoyed the message that was delivered as well,” stated Cashe, who became aware of the meeting via Twitter.
New Orleans Hip-Hop Artist and Producer Chase N. Cashe

After Brother Muhammad's talk, attendees were given the opportunity to speak. Chase spoke about the need to not blame rappers. Local artists Busy B spoke about the power of rap and Mike Ellis Speaks, who owns a record label and drove from Mississippi, spoke about how he was inspired by the Honorable Louis Farrakhan from his years as a 19 year old.

Members of the M.G.T. & F.O.I. of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 were present. The F.O.I. distributed, in addition to The Final Call newspaper, folders which contained a lecture by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to Hip-Hop artists along with articles talking about the exploitation of Hip-Hop music.

"The goal of the gathering was to inform the artists about their power and the position of leadership their power has placed them in. From the responses I received immediately after and even up to now has me to believe that the efforts of Wayne, Sess and myself were successful," stated Brother Muhammad.

New Orleans Hip-Hop artist Sess 4-5

"This was a great effort and I believe we achieved the purpose of the night. After the first five minutes I was able to see the great potential of the sessions. We must continue to unite so we can feed the people,” stated Sess 4-5, who is also the owner of the only Black-owned record store in New Orleans.

 To view highlights of the Message in the Music event click below:

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