Wu Tang Clan aint nothing to fu&k with! I survived high school with lines like that. Urging me to protect my neck and stay awake to the ways of the world cause sh*t was deep. The clan out of Shaolin (Staten Island) came and in true hip hop fashion “bum rushed the show” in 1993. It was my sophomore year in high school. The Wu Tang Clan, comprised of the RZA, the GZA, Old Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Rae-Kwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, and the Method Man continued the tradition of teaching the lessons of the 5% Nation (NGE: Nation of Gods and Earths) through Hip Hop. They taught a generation of hip hop listeners that the Black man and woman were the original people. A generaton was given a story (not to imply its fake), but a story/myth true or false can be a powerful tool in galvanizing the people. Brothers were called Sun, because they shined like one. Sisters were called Wisdoms or Wiz because that is what a refined woman represents. We were learning the supreme mathematics and alphabet and it was quite a time to be young, to be hip hop. We felt powerful and it is in part to the jewels that were shared via the 5% rappers.http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/the-five-percent-nation-a-brief-history-lesson-news.11319.html
I remember looking up Noble Drew Ali after hearing Rae-Kwon say it in “Triumph”. That was 1997 so I cannot front like Wu Tang did not have a hand in the development of my consciousness. 1997 is the same year I read the Isis Papers by the now ancestor Dr. Frances Cress Welsing so it was a powerful time for me and many of my generation. So I owe on some level and I am grateful. Thank you Wu tang Clan. Let’s begin there. Say thank you Wu Tang Clan if you ever learned something from one of the members, one of the songs.
Recently comments from the RZA, the Abbot have sparked debate and reflection on social media. RZA in talking with the Bloomberg Television Series, “With all due respect” (why?) made comments that drew some sharp words from critics and nods of support. Here’s what they were in a nutshell.
- Trump keeps it real and he would like to see Hilary Clinton become President.
- We are living out freedom, justice, and equality, and the pursuit of happiness, liberty.
- “Of course black lives matter. All lives matter”- Goes on to speak about not eating meat because he feels it’s cruel to raise a cow to kill it and their lives matter as well.
- He admires the police who uphold the law, yet wonders how some can uphold the laws if they do not understand the communities they police.
- “If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day — things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them,” he said. “I tell my sons, I say, ‘if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie — we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid.” (my italics)
There are multiple ways to look at these comments and they have to be taken in a certain context. We cannot be sure how it was edited and truly worded and emoted at the time (says the calm me upon reflection). Yet the immediate reaction was one of disappointment in and anger towards the RZA, manifesting itself in true social media form with the hash tag #tellrza complete with pictures of Black men in suits who were lynched or killed for their beliefs while in their sharp suits (i.e. Dr. King and Malcolm X). Some went on to question his 5% teachings calling him a jive percenter. While others argued this was the true meaning of the 5% teachings, to see the unity of humanity and to evolve and grow in one’s maturity.
My immediate reaction was harsh and swift. The hash tag went up as well as the picture of an ancestor swinging from a poplar tree. I went in on RZA on various posts, bringing up all kinds of dirt and emotions I had towards him, which were quite a few since I have supported and respected the group from the onset. I still stand by that immediate feeling in that he is misguided in his beliefs. Not wrong for saying it because we all have a right to live and speak and think as we feel. Yet we are also to be held accountable for the dumb ish that comes out of our mouths.
I took the posts down though. Not because my respect of his producer skills or homage to his legacy is such that he cannot be critiqued. Although that played a part in my decision to remove my posts and limit my social media bashing of him to it was not the main inspiration.
He is my brother. Love is all that will save us and we have to find ways of teaching, reacting, talking that is productive. After everyone bashes RZA on FB, IG etc., what’s going to manifest in the community from that discourse? More divisions between the 5%? Hoteps vs. 5%? Old vs. Young? Those that rock Timbs vs. The Suited and Booted? Is some young person or over 40 super teen going to go out and buy a suit? Maybe.
If there is no bridge being built I am not picking up any bricks to throw no more. I’m feeling old school like: I’m not going to study war no more. At least not war with my own kind.
It gets tricky talking “kinds”, because I do not believe every same skin is kin. I’m still a bit tribal and I realize like Garvey that not everybody needs to go back to Africa or wherever “we” decide to go, because everyone aint on it like that; that is fine.
Still RZA is my kind. We are Hip Hop. Home will always be home. So I will not throw the baby out with the bath water. Yet I will wash that baby well.
- There is nothing admirable about Trump. He is a typical capitalist, descended from questionable sources that in 1973 a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department was brought against the father for refusing to rent to Blacks. There is furthermore no honor or admiration to be had in his character which is arrogant and not civilized. In addition his stance toward the Mexican and Muslim original peoples is an affront to all the Nation of Gods and Earths know to be right and exact as they would say. http://www.villagevoice.com/news/how-a-young-donald-trump-forced-his-way-from-avenue-z-to-manhattan-7380462
So what are you saying RZA? You admire home boy for being cut throat, racist, and having money and women? That is not what I want the refined civilized children and people to desire.
- The election of Hilary Clinton will not be any prophets’ fulfillment of freedom, justice, equality, etc. On the contrary it will be the continuation of the Clinton dynasty. The same one that always pandered to the Black community while doing whatever dirt on the side to keep the money, image and legacy flowing. If you are going to pander to this inherently corrupt and flawed election process then Vote For Bernie Sanders or Rand Paul muh fuggah. http://financialjuneteenth.com/hillary-clinton-has-been-accused-of-stealing-billions-from-haiti-should-black-america-support-her/
- Of course all lives matter, more than ever the affirmation of the value of Black life is necessary for some. Don’t get me wrong tho, if I have to keep telling you my life matters, Im apt to keep my distance from you because something is inherently off with you if you cannot see the value of another human beings life off the rip. Do we all long for a day when the color of our skin pales in comparison to the value of the content of our character? Well most of us do. Remember tho what happened to the Black man who said this.http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/nation/problem-saying-all-lives-matter
- I don’t really have a problem with the police. Ok yes I do. If you really want to break it down the police are here to protect property, not your ass. If you research the history of policing in America it comes out of slavery-the overseer, the rise of the prison industrial complex following “emancipation”, and later straight from the gangs and streets to again guard the property of the rich and keep the poor separated from everyone else. We need the police because we have greed and the inability to share. Or else why would they exist? Do good cops exist? To an extent yes. My paternal grandfather was an officer as well as his nephew and I can only hope they were “good cops”. I also believe that in the face of a bad cop, many good cops have stood silent for fear of being ostracized or even killed. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=nypd+officer+reveals+racism+among+officers
- #tellrza I was wearing a suit. That is a meme for the ages. Succinctly articulating what many know to be true. Do I believe that one should have self-respect and dignity and that should be made manifest in their clothes? Sure. Do I believe you should mature and dress age appropriate? To an extent, muh fuggas got to do them and if you are a 60 year old lady who wants to wear halter tops, far be it from me to tell you to stop mama! Do I think that wearing a suit may bring less racism your way? Depends on where you are, who you are and what you are doing. True you don’t hear about Nation of Islam brothers slinging pies and Final Call’s dying from police gunshots. Yet, I know it’s not the clothes that keep the police away from them. I actually don’t know what does keep police away from a Black, Brown, Immigrant, or poor person in general. I live in a suburb and know of males who do not sag or look anywhere “scary” to me, who still get treated as inferior by the police. I know grown men in town who are constantly stopped in their luxury vehicles, again nicely attired. So will your clothes save you? NO. White people suffer from such a deep seeded genetic inferiority complex that has festered into an insanely violent driven quest to degrade, oppress, and eliminate the Black and Brown people of the world. (See Iceman Inheritance by Michael Bradley, The Isis Papers by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, and Yurugu by Marimba Ani) This is not to say all whites are devils and inherently evil. They are though dealing with years of psychological trauma that they have to deal with in order to not be constantly consumed with survival so much so that they “cut their noses to spit their faces” (you know melt the snow caps, piss off indigenous people so much that we revolt and there is war, mess up the water of poor people etc.).
We (humans) are going somewhere together, there is no getting rid of us, the Black and Brown people of the world (Jay Z voice-Now how the fuc% they gon’ deal with me, I aint going nowhere, they gotta deal with me…You scared muh fuggah, keep it real with me).
I will always send love to the brother RZA, for his creative genius, his vision, and the works of the God that he has borne and made manifest for us all to share. I think he meant in regards to the youth’s attire that they need to have a revolution of consciousness.
I think he meant that he would like to see and help them (by showing himself as an example) gain knowledge of self and begin to have such pride in themselves that a drug, gang, crime culture is no longer glorified and codified with gear in our community.
Maybe he wanted to say, “My bad” I was young and dumb and I had a generation of y’all effed up, doing drugs and dressing like hoodlums did at that time.
He meant to say that he’s grown up and he wants those in his generation who have not done so as yet, to see the damage, the war zone that we live in called Amerikkka and how it is killing our babies for any and all reasons one being the fear in how they are perceived.
Maybe he wanted to say he got the suit plug.
He didn’t say all that though.
So wrong is wrong beloved and I hope this treatise finds you well and reflecting on your words and their impact, as wise ones do. I still know we need our own spaces to have these debates and not air out our dirty laundry on FB and IG, where people watch and laugh and nothing is created.
What’s the point of going in on RZA if you don’t attend parent teacher conferences, if you still eat like crap, have trauma you are actively not dealing with, don’t speak to local children, or even your own family for that matter???? Charity and Improvement begin at home. See yourself. This obviously does not mean we do not address what was said and critique it. It means we are careful to not assassinate the character and spend hours bashing a community member who has contributed to the culture. We See Ourselves. As Wu affiliate KillahArmy taught us years ago we need, “silent weapons for quiet wars”, not obvious pointless beefs on social networks.
“Yo RZA, you razor, hit me with the major” die hard fans demand more.
Peace, Love and Light from Soul Force Worker #1 Lola Fulani aka Bonitaah Applebum or Bonita, Bonita, Bonita.