P.L.O. Style – [Political Undertones in Pop-Culture continued…]


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Hip-Hop is always vilified. Guns, crime, jewelry, flamboyance, extreme rhetoric, vulgarity.

Malcolm X once said that governments often oppress people and then chastise them when they express their discontent or attempt a revolution.

It is always easy to rationalize hate of the oppressed, especially for the privileged classes who don’t understand what it means to have nothing, to be hated, and to have their voice suppressed.

The culture of the caucasian community likes to apply harsh & strict values on society, meanwhile, their societal representatives are often caught in scandals in which they are indulging in hypocritical activities.

These ‘strict values’ emanate from a sort of, Disney-esque fairy tale conceptualization of reality, in which man is an innocent child being ‘corrupted’ by cultures like hip-hop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Lion King. My point is not to criticize Disney, but on the contrary, the misconstruing of such fairy-tale enterprises which often establish, engrain & enforce social constructs.

The irony is that the reality is quite the opposite.

Hip-Hop was born out of the corruption of social representatives, from politics to big business. Drawing influence from the ideologies of fanaticism, white supremacy & the Jim Crow culture became a form of institutionalized disenfranchisement which perpetuates almost permanently a state of destitute poverty.

Meanwhile the “white man”, the “Donald Sterlings” of America do whatever it takes behind closed doors to secure their fortunes, which are ironically usually made off the backs of non-whites.

The system of disenfranchisement and racism in America is closely linked to its view of the rest of the world. The late Edward Said, a prominent Palestinian intellectual, labeled this self-righteous dogma of the ‘white man’ as Orientalism, which he argued, revealed a long-standing tradition of Western Civilization’s oversimplification of Eastern (or non-Western) culture.  its tools of invasion and oppression abroad, from the Middle East, to Africa, to South America, to the Far East. This ideological bigotry formed much of the cultural foundations of the Occident, or the West, which was essentially used as a justification of the enslavement and exploitation of the Orient. It was responsible for the trans-atlantic slave trade, and the modern system of disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the US.

That is why perhaps the majority of the anti-supremacist collective uprisings which arose in the 19th and 20th centuries occurred in South America, Asia, the Middle East & Africa. And all the while the propaganda and military systems have been at work in the West. Fox News is our Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi’s propaganda artist.

In their collaborative album, Distant Relatives, legendary MC Nas & Reggae godson Damien Marley express these grievances thoroughly. The following is one of the tracks off the album, “Road to Zion”, with undertones that capture the the trials of modern man, the modern Black man, in a turbulent world.

Let it also be known that just like any genre of music or medium of art can be exploited for the sake of political interests, so too can hip-hop. Since the deaths of giants B.I.G. & Pac, hip-hop’s mainstream has been left largely devoid of even the most remote references to oppression & black consciousness. Among the leaders of movement in today’s America are Kanye West & Jay-Z, whose albums never fall short of addressing personal & social grievances.

As an Arab-American, I would like to express that the modern struggle for freedom is shared by most minorities. I once heard a prominent figure within the African-American community suggest, “the Muslim is the new (black man)”. With Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment at its peak, not to mention the deprivation of the Palestinians at its worst condition, it is more than necessary for me to underline the importance of the role played by the cultures of the Middle East in contributing to hip-hop & the initiative for genuine art & freedom. Thanks to OkayPlayer, I came across Here is a track by another legendary MC, none other than Method Man of the Wu, titled P.L.O. Style, which surfaced at a time when the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict reached heights of unprecedented contention.

Re-Mixed Economics


To understand America’s race problem, it’s foreign policy problem — TO MAKE SENSE OF ANY of America’s imperfections, one mustn’t overlook perhaps the crux of the entire system’s mishaps altogether: Socio-economics.

When Iggy Azalea recently sounded off on twitter fellow Hip-Hoppers Azealia Banks & Lupe Fiasco got involved. But what caught my attention was Q-Tip’s response, riddled with Marcus Garvey-esque jargon that simply could not escape my attention.

Socio-Economix

The irony is that anarcho-capitalists, in the words of political philosopher Noam Chomsky, libertarians & conservatives alike love to tout capitalism & free market values…but the irony is most of these lobbies & parties are run by individuals who inherited oil-conglomerates, natural gas-conglomerates, & other exploitative & unbalanced business assets.

What kind of self-respect, self-reliance and sense of free market is exhibited here? The capitalist is essentially an insecure business man hungry for power; instead of looking inward at his own merits, he seeks to reap the wealth of the merits of others…even the merits of God by taking ownership of raw materials….

In essence, when practiced, capitalism is exactly the same as communism; focusing all natural wealth at the top, enslaving the majority, & using propaganda to mislead, brainwash & control the masses; suppressing them from even ‘thinking’ they have a chance as socio-economic & political salvation.

Perhaps this is why the United States has never exhibited theoretical capitalism & also why it has drifted closer towards the philosophy of Mixed Economics over the past decade; realizing the inherent flaws behind ‘free-market’ fundamentalism. Perhaps it is also why China drifted further from the extreme left of communism and closer to the center; relinquishing itself from the dogma of all-state-controlled business & political apparatuses. Neither has made a full transition yet; it is difficult to shed the skin of their dogmatic histories. The same is true forRussia.

What is democratic-socialism? How does it differ from capitalism & communism?

In essence democratic-socialism is another name for mixed economics. It is not a pseudo-individualist philosophy, like libertarianism, but rather, places emphasis on individual innovation & places ownership & maintenance of natural-resource-based businesses such as oil, gas, food, water under the auspices of a DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED government. While I do think nationalization is an option in some cases, kind of like what Obama did when AIG tanked; I believe we need an unprecedently high tax on the 1% so as to rebalance the economy. This way, all individuals are guaranteed basic human rights & amenities while focusing their time & resources on individual innovation & economic empowerment.

So as Q-Tip explained in his fair warning to Iggy regarding the white community’s place in hip-hop, it is important to understand that this culture emerged as a socio-economic struggle; a response to American negligence & suppression. Before we can overcome issues like race, we must tackle the source of the problem, which is as much caused by hate-filled ideology as it is perpetuated by socio-economic disenfranchisement.

The greatest obstacles to these types of reforms remain largely in the hands of people like the Koch Brothers, AIPAC & every oil, gas & big bank lobbyist. The people must know who they are up against. Our democracy is threatened by a global sense of entitlement & power. Let us fight till the end!

On Democratic Socialism & Hip-Hop’s Place in America Today


Bulworth

Recent tension between hip-hop artists Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea inspired me to address the issue, and how the undertones resonate loudly in America, with associations to systems of cultural repression such as racism, jim crow, the prison-industrial complex, corporate hoarding and finally US foreign policy; and ultimately how all of these issues are in actuality the products of one giant injustice; institutionalized discrimination.

Liberty and individualism are often associated with the American conservative model of capitalism but in reality this model more closely resembles theocratic-nepotism. True free markets, competition and prosperity are more closely associated with genuine democracy and social redistribution of resources in order to correct historical injustices and imbalances as well as to assure that the basic needs of individuals are met as they seek to establish a method for sustenance by relying on themselves.

The reality is that America’s brand of capitalism, especially as it has unfolded in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is less capitalism-based and more authoritarian; more Randian, if anything.

The system which disenfranchised African-Americans is responsible for propping up images like Iggy. That system I refer to is a cult-like religion of people who believe in a disney-esque fairy tale-like America where innocence remains and hypocrisy is rampant.

That’s the point. Racism guised. Zionism hidden. Anarcho-capitalism fully realized.

The selling of a false American Dream which is essentially conformity to a culture of bigotry.

The brainwashing of American children into following the Biebers and Iggys so as to suppress independent thinking.

And the questioning of US decency.

American is the crown jewel of self-idolatry and pseudo-freedom. It is the center-piece of vanity and pretentious ownership of earth.

You don’t have to preach to us about the doctrine of competition of free market that isn’t our problem.

We compete all day the problem is your false portrayal of reality and the hoarding of earths resources under the banner of Americanism.

The world is victim so a false sense of entitlement to consumer culture.

This will end.