The Pulse of Hip Hop-Artists Set to Honor Minister Farrakhan
By Jesse Muhammad
The Pulse of the Hip Hop Evolution
Hip hop Community prepares to honor one of the greatest of all times
If hip hop is alive, then there is one man who has been apart of its life support. Who is that man? He has worked for over 50 years in the mission of resurrecting lost souls around this country and the world. Who is that man? He is the only leader that the hip hop generation truly listens to and respects for his courage. Who is that man? His messages have been multi-platinum spiritual hits sampled on songs, played in tape decks and in heavy rotation in the cars of rappers and the youth. That man is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. To show their appreciation, hip hop stars are gearing up to honor him on February 25 at this years Saviours' Day Convention in the city of Detroit.
"He has been the soul and the consciousness of hip hop. He has had the greatest influence on me and is my spiritual teacher", stated Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Recording, who is diligently working to promote the event. "Every one in hip hop should be there to honor this man because he has given us so much. He has inspired our music. You can not name one rapper who has not been touched by this man in some way."
When asked why the youth tend to listen to Minister Farrakhan versus other leaders, Simmons stated that "The Minister represents greater insight. He reaches the youth like nobody else and he sees them for who they really are. Most adults today tend to forget that they were youth at one time and are always opposing our young people. But they gravitate to the messages of the Minister because he sincerely wants the best for them."
According to Simmons, Min. Farrakhan was the motivation behind the Hip Hop Summit in 2001 in New York which gave birth to the Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) and later resulted in a similar summit held on the west coast in 2002. Farrakhan's connection to hip hop dates back to the early '80s and '90s, when he crisscrossed the country with a series of Stop the Killing messages to put a stop to the bloodshed in the communities. An increasing number of rappers began using snippets from his messages to elevate the thinking of the masses through their albums. At the 1995 Million Man March, hip hop stars stood in unison and made a pledge to clean up their music and take responsibility. In the heat of the East Coast-West Coast rivalry, Minister Farrakhan hosted several rappers for a 1997 Hip Hop Summit to end the feuding between artists from both coasts and to promote positive, uplifting lyrics in music. At the humble request of Simmons, Min. Farrakhan intervened to end the escalating conflict between Ja Rule and 50 Cent, which many saw as paralleling the violence which led to the untimely deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. He hosted a Black & Latino Unity Summit in Los Angeles and has delivered countless speeches to street organizations while serving as a spiritual advisor to notable Crips founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams. The list goes on.
"His upcoming message of 'One Nation Under God' is a wonderful idea. His words will come to pass and this will be the greatest Saviours' Day ever!" stated Simmons, who also noted that BET will be airing the Feb. 25th message as well. "This is the only man I know who is truly better than the next man but he doesn't act like he is better than anyone. What a wonderful humble man."
Along with Simmons, other hip hop notables will be in Detroit for what could be Min. Farrakhan's last major public address. That list includes The Game, Jim Jones, Chuck D, Common, Dr. Benjamin Chavis Muhammad of HSAN, Lil X, Will.I.Am, Doug E. Fresh, Ice T, Def Poet Black Ice, and others.
"I encourage everybody to be in Detroit because the Minister has shown diligence and commitment on behalf of our people for years", said Jim Jones of the Diplomats, who is scheduled to make his media rounds to encourage people to hear the Minister's upcoming address. "This man is astronomical and always keeps it real. Meeting him was one of the top five experiences in my life."
Growing up in New York, acclaimed hip hop video director Lil X was influenced by the Minister and the Nation of Islam greatly. "You couldn't be a teenager back then and not be touched by Farrakhan. We can't measure how important this man has been to hip hop. This (Minister's invitation) is like the godfather making a request and when have you ever known the godfather to make a call and people don't respond. Everybody should honor this man." Lil X is developing a 10-minute video presentation in honor of the Minister along with producer The RZA of Wu-Tang who is working on the 2007 remix to "Fight the Power", which will feature surprise performers. Both of these will serve as a salute to Minister Farrakhan's contributions to hip hop.
"There are few men that are as consistent as Minister Farrakhan" said Jeff Johnson of BET's The Cousin Jeff Chronicles. "He is willing to tell the truth regardless of whom or what and has never faltered. He always walks in love."
"The ingredient that is missing from hip hop is guidance and Minister Farrakhan represents the guidance that has been and is needed in hip hop. His connection to hip hop is essential and necessary", said NOI National Youth Minister Michael Muhammad. "The youth must now step up to the mantle of leadership with God at the center and learn from the mistakes of those before them."
To hear a special message of appreciation from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan click: http://farrakhanspeaks.podomatic.com/
For more information on Saviours' Day 2007 log on to www.sd2007.com.
All Roads Lead To Detroit!
Originally appeared in DaveyD.