by Khanverse (Mouqawamah Music Exclusive)
Lupe Fiasco was born in 1982, as Wasalu Jaco, to a Black-West African Muslim family in Chicago. His parents exposed him to a wide array of cultural phenomena, life experiences, and influences that led to the cerebral and sensitive character who emerged on the national scene with the release of “Food and Liquor” in 2006.
On this album, released by Atlantic, Lupe hinted at a possible future in Islamic Liberationist Hip-Hop with tracks like “American Terrorist” which yielded two sequels. On a later album there was “Words I Never Said” which dropped this:
I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip?
9/11, Building 7 did they really pull it?
Gaza Strip was getting bombed
Obama didn’t say shit
But if we know better than we probably deserve it
Jihad is not a holy war, wheres that in the worship?
Murdering is not Islam!
And you are not observant
And you are not a muslim
Israel don’t take my side cause look how far you’ve pushed them
On “Conflict Diamonds” Lupe says:
I see the Russian Mafia, the Jewish Mobsters
The undercover terrorists and the traps for the hustlers
Homie, it’s a rap for the nonsense rhyming
Props to Kenya I call it conflict diamonds
Delineating “Islamic” Identity
Though both Islam and Hip-Hop both have deep roots in Mouqawamah Consciousness, Islam is also a codified way of life complete with personal, social and international spiritual codes of conduct. Harmonizing a demanding religion’s dictates with a life marinating in the throes of the self-destructive hedonism that pervades the music industry proves very difficult, practically. Rather than feel weak or ashamed of their hypocrisy, most ‘Muslim’ musicians wear their indiscretions proudly on their sleeves and express their solidarity with the spiritual life through references in their art, banal gestures, and lifeless symbolic amulets and adornments.
Some identify with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, others with a more esoteric offshoot of the NOI known as the 5 Percent Nation of Clarence 13X. The Moorish Science Temple of Noble Drew Ali gets love too. Usually, these identities are seamlessly interwoven with Pan-African spiritualism and the deification of the ‘original’ African man. We surmise this is likely a reactionary phenomenon to the unique historical experience of Black Americans as a survival mechanism in a hostile, slaughterously racist environment.
Wu-Tang is the most notable and memorable collective which promoted a loose Islamic identity, but many others have made references to the 5 Percent Nation like Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and the Poor Righteous Teachers to Nas and AZ.
Noted Jewish stooge and masonic rap godfather Jay-Z recently anointed protégé Jay Electronica — who threw away his lyrical gifts and bright, awakened Hip-Hop future for a bizarre fling with a Rothschild heiress — on stage with a 5 Percent Nation medallion. As these fringe ideologies become co-opted by the power matrix, they lose their power and only recycle inert symbols devoid of revolutionary transformative power.
Ultimately, a variety of pseudo-Islamic identities flourish in the industry and are more than tolerated because they have neither liberationist aims nor transformative principles. In fact, many artists who identify as “MuslIm” betray elitism, to enhance a brand image of being different, controversial, fearless, disciplined or any number of loose associations with the term “Muslim” in a Hip-Hop context. Artists from Brand Nubian to Busta Rhymes and Ice Cube identify as “Muslim” with their own undefined nebulous connotations.
Lupe has been unique in this context in the mainstream. Though he grew up with his parents’ Black Nationalism, quiet and withdrawn Wasalu was also raised in traditional Sunni Islam with roots among the Palestinian and Arab communities of Bridgeview, IL. It was inevitable for Fiasco to develop an internationalist activist sense. In the past he had waived the Palestine flag at concerts and said things like,
“So this just my personal political view. I just so happen to have millions of fans that listen to what i say. Lupe Fiasco, as a member of the human race, put in my vote for Palestine to be the newest state, yeah……Free Palestine everyone… Free Palestine.”
Or on “The End of The World”,
She love her people so much
Came to my show just to throw her flag up and
Pray to God that I saw her
Wonder if she saw my scarf for Palestine all on it
Most mainstream personalities rarely venture into these subjects though recently, despite the ever-present toxicity, random squeaks like Rihanna’s tweet, Free Palestine, immediately deleted, proved the Jewish-Zionist Power Matrix still doesn’t tolerate solidarity with Palestinians from public figures.
What’s interesting about this latest genocidal massacre of Protective Edge in Gaza, is that while almost universally there was anger and frustration towards Israel, there was Lupe trying to be cool and different again:
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) July 8, 2014
#12 I apologize to all who took offense to my hard advice as well as to the Israeli people if my tweets in any inspired violence against u
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) July 9, 2014
How utterly pathetic and disrespectful for an intelligent, aware, politically conscious lyricist who grew up deeply embedded in the Palestinian liberation cause to apologize to the genocidal Israeli occupiers and their psychotic collective of supremacists pretending to be a “society” for meaningless spineless tweets? This change in Lupe’s sympathy from oppressed to the oppressor belittles the legacy of all stalwart defenders of the weak whose narrative Fiasco has co-opted through toothless symbolic gestures as part of his wide branding canvas.
The Obama Inauguration
Many saw Lupe being booted off the stage in Obama’s celebration as a brave moment of speak truth to power rather than the manufactured controversy it was. Someone on the edges of mainstream can certainly corner its defanged share of the boisterous rebellion niche. Given that Fiasco pronounced that Obama is the ‘biggest terrorist’ in 2011, getting invited, and no doubt, paid handsomely to be part of the 2nd term celebration festivities does seem rather oddly incompetent for a president’s staff. Apparently, it took quite a spat of inflammatory commentary and bizarre repetition of a supposed “anti-war” song to get Lupe reluctantly booted off stage to fulfill the controversial non-event. The gaffe seems rather superfluous unless to validate Lupe as a political or even revolutionary artist. The phony adversarial narrative is even more laughable because Lupe performed at the pre-party the night before as well with no issues.
Lupe bit off more than he can chew with emotive odes to Conscious, Political, Socially Just Islamic Hip-Hop through the years. Catering to this audience requires consistency and unrelenting resistance to the cultural architects molding the zeitgeist. Lupe has done just enough to get by on his hipster fanbase, especially as compared to commercial, cookie-cutter rappers, with tracks like “Bitch Bad” or “The Cool“, leaning towards the abstract rather than the concrete.
This hypocritical inconsistency is, ironically enough, consistent through all his interviews and public appearances.
“At the end of the day, it’s about power and control. They control the world. It’s already theirs. So it’s just a matter of, people want to be aware about it, make a game out of it. … It sparks people interests. It’s the ‘Boogeyman’.”
Lupe says later,
“If you know what you’re doing, if you have a message, you got, kind of a game plan.. I got a full game plan, for me, this is all middle game. My end game is very wicked.”
Let’s hope so. Backtracking to the side of the oppressor on obvious issues like Palestine or Iraq or even hedonistic nihilism, to be different, cool and edgy doesn’t suit Mr. Fiasco.
But then he finishes with, “Play as much as you want, at the end of the day, get what you want out of it,” so we won’t hold our breath.
On the song “Change”, Joy Denalane, the sultry, soulful German crooner outshined him with her powerful chorus and verse, sung in a melodious joyful tune.
Lupe, presented with a grand opportunity to hit a home run with this verse on a song to breed consciousness, solidarity and optimism, delivered a woefully inadequate performance, even by his own assumed standard.
You can compare their lyrics.
Among his core, hipster fan base the notion that he is holding back until he’s finally independent holds significant weight as they tolerate his deplorable retrogression in lyrical dynamism and coherent message with confusing self-indulgent yawners like “PU$$Y” and “SLR”
Justifying the promotion of negativity in Hip-Hop, Lupe says,
“I don’t know [if it gets tiring being a conscious rapper], it all depends on what your intentions are, what you’re trying to get out of it, how much you’re willing to put up with, how much you can actually take at the end of the day,” he said. “There’s all these different factors, so it’s not like a simple yes or no kind of thing; there’s certain things you have to do for the sake of sending your little sisters to college – that’s the greater good, and sometimes greater good means you have to go through a lot of nonsense to get there. But I don’t really look at the industry in those terms as black and white, conscious or not. Everybody do their piece and do their part – a lot of the most, that kind of ignorant music that people make sometimes, they can turn around a massive fortune off of that and…in one check, write away the ills of their community.”
Proliferated democratized access to new forms of media makes us instantaneously interconnected. Our collective wisdom is increased with the useful and similarly diminished by the useless as confusion erodes the morsels of practical information we gain, resulting in stagnation in views and actions.
Thus, given the access created by these technologies, the wrath of the booing fan or biting critic can create echo chambers of doubt, insecurity, and spiritual confusion in artists consciously pawning off their autonomy to create corrosive tunes for their Judeo-Masonic masters to hypnotize the masses, especially those artists who have no spiritual center to keep them grounded and protected from the insidious influence of the hyper-ungodly music industry.
The last few years, Lupe’s interviews have been increasingly void of substance and he has slid down the slippery slope of nihilism shaping the environment in the New Age industry. There were his whiny histrionics about retirement over an internet “beef” with troubled young Chicago “thug” rapper Chief Keef, as well as the rumors of suicidal depression plaguing him and pushing him to the brink.
In 2011, after it became known that Atlantic was delaying the release of his record, Lupe got 15,000 signatures on a petition to release his album. Curiously, even notorious Jewish-Israeli industry puppeteer Lyor Cohen came out with a boombox in support of Lupe at a rally arranged in protest of Atlantic delaying the release of his record. Hip-Hop historians may recall Lyor Cohen was behind the move that anointed Jay-Z as the undisputed King of Hip-Hop while banishing his outspoken partner Dame Dash to the fringe of the industry.
Lupe Fiasco has always been more of an abstract, babbling, Aesop Rock-type of lyricist. Cerebral and sensitive, Lupe seems to have struggled in the trappings of the industry life, the degenerate hedonism of our cultural architects, proving he too is not immune as a “positive”, “conscious” even “Muslim” rapper.
However, in order to adequately fill the void of the urban hero archetype he styles himself to be: Malcolm, Huey, 2pac right before his execution at the hands of the JDL, Lupe must dig in his heels, against his flight instinct, and give a peek behind the curtain to his fans in a principled and disciplined manner. Passive sloganeering and inconsistency are making his core audience question his motivations:
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) July 8, 2014
Hamas, along with other Palestinian Resistance groups like Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and the Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades, shot rockets after repeated, unprovoked Zionist operations which resulted in the extrajudicial murder of Palestinian civilians. No liberationist guerrilla force should ever relinquish arms in the struggle for emancipation and decolonization.
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) July 8, 2014
Wait. Hamas, the legitimate, democratically elected voice of Palestinians in Gaza, has no right to self-defense? The same geneva conventions (4th) Lupe mentions in “Conflict Diamonds” establish the right of occupied peoples to resist the occupation with armed struggle in self-defense of basic human rights. In the midst of a massacre carried out by a supremacist bully against a defenseless, besieged civilian population — half of them children — how can a politically conscious emcee who braggadociously proclaims to be “for the people” ever entertain siding with the tyrant and the colonizers? Were the sanguinary Islamic slave revolts in Brazil unjustified? Were there two sides that were both overreacting?
No, of course not. Lupe’s just trying to be cool once more and is thus exposing his aura as an amalgamation of fictionalized funk, deceptive dopeness and artificial intellectuality.
As many of our astute readers may be aware, Zionist puppet and war criminal Tony Blair has played a very prominent role in keeping Western nations inundated with hasbara about the “threat of radical Islam.” Tony Blair has unabashedly offered all of his talents to the multi-pronged Zionist war on Islam, especially in polemics.
As exposed elsewhere on Mask of Zion, Tony Blair’s “jewish cabal” directs him towards accomplishing the ultimate aims of the Jewish Power Configuration: Fratricide in Islamic countries and consolidation of large blocs through powerful international think tanks’ lobbying.
After being lambasted repeatedly with angry tweets Lupe reluctantly offered this about the event that brought him and Tony Blair together:
Yeah it was about teaching Islam and other faiths in US schools to curve radicalism based on ignorance and closed mindedness.
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) September 19, 2014
The US-British-Zionist-Nato axis, which has routinely installed closed-minded, heavy-handed, vile puppet dictators all throughout the Global South, is now leading the charge of interfaith dialogue to curb radicalism? Not exactly. What this shaytanic alliance is doing is the exact opposite in fact; it is furthering the expansion of radicalism through the arming, funding and training of various Takfiri gangs, most prominently ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. But Lupe’s down for Blair nevertheless.
As the vitriol increased in intensity and volume, Lupe, exasperatingly said:
Funny party is after today he has more faith in the ummah than I do…ain't that a bitch
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) September 19, 2014
Really? What kind of Muslim would say such a thing? This murderous Zionist war profiteer Blair — who is responsible for the deaths of millions of Iraqis and Afghans — believes in the Muslim people more than Lupe? Or is this more contrived cool?
Blair’s foundation was appreciative of Lupe’s support:
— Tony Blair Faith Fdn (@Tonyblair_TBFF) September 19, 2014
Lupe also reveals his underdeveloped historical sense with a salutatory ode to Haile Sellaisie, Ethiopian dictator, crusher of the Eritrean liberation struggle and close friend of Israel. Sellaisie, who considered himself a “Lion of Judah”, was so intimate with Israel after developing political and military ties that the usurping Zionist entity helped preempt a coup against his rule in 1960. Not exactly the kind of example that should or would be promoted even by atrocious liberals obsessed with “human rights” in the empire sense of the overused phrase, let alone a revolutionary emcee steeped in Black Consciousness and Islamic Liberation Theology.
Public Diplomacy through Jazz & Hip-Hop
In the 50s, the U.S. State Department dispatched black Jazz musicians for cultural outreach tours from Jim Crow America to counteract Soviet exposure of America’s racial caste system culture and law and lynch mob society. In the early Cold War era, American cultural imperialism was dealt a major blow when the horrific images of the very gruesome cruelty with which supremacist whites murdered and subsequently grotesquely disfigured a 14 year old black child from Chicago, Emmitt Till, for allegedly whistling at a girl. Adam Clayton Powell Jr, an advisor to Eisenhower, suggested a “black face” of diplomacy would soften the anti-American sentiment growing in the rest of the world. Soon Jazz “ambassadors” were sent across the world to win over hearts and minds.
Hisham Aidi, a notable professor at Columbia University in NY has drawn attention to this subject in his book, “Rebel Music.” Aidi recounts how there was widespread mistrust and skepticism from the indigenous to these tours and some Jazz musicians later questioned the merit of their involvement.
Black consciousness and free expression transitioned from Jazz to Hip-Hop in the 70s and 80s. As early Jazz music represented boisterous, uninhibited black redemption sound, Hip-Hop, the revolution from the Bronx, took those qualities to another level with the additional layer of powerful words, speaking to and for the people. “The Message” and “Fight the Power” are iconic cuts, symbolic and emblematic of the revolutionary fervor in the black community, in the 70s and 80s. Reinvigorated in fiery Afrocentric pride despite having leaders assassinated by the power matrix like Malcolm, Medgar, Martin and Huey, through this liberationist Hip-Hop, Black Americans gained a greater overstanding of the power structure and ways to organize against it.
It’s from the primordial milieu of the COINTELPRO-era, Black Panther and NOI influenced, Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron and the Watts Prophets that later acts like the Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan, KRS-One and Rakim drew their inspiration and ammo.
The modern State Department emcees like Omar Offendum and the Narcicyst promulgate soft liberal platitudes around plurality and nuanced diaspora experience. These pseudo-Islamic cultural-marxist Hip-Hop artists serve as tokenized symbols of Western intellectual freedom where diversity of political opinion is tolerated. Outside of the unique circumstances of immigrant Muslim ghettos in British cities and the banlieues of France, this attempt to legitimize America’s Zionist War on Terror through friendly and pacifistic art is transparent and largely unsuccessful if not counter-productive in changing perceptions around reality on the ground.
Unfortunately, some of these eccentric brown artists helped ignite clamor for NED-imposed freedom and democracy in places like Libya and Syria, specifically through Khaled M and Omar Offendum. Far beyond serving the State Department’s strategic communication and perception management agenda, these plucked artists help legitimize the “humanitarian” wars and deceive both the nation and the diaspora with hasbara-filled sloganeering. Though the Axis of Resistance is still strong, Libya was utterly devastated and is now overrun by the dreadful violence of the aforementioned Takfiri scourge sponsored by the GCC, the illegitimate Israeli regime and NATO.
Lupe’s future involvement with Blair’s Foundation would be along similar lines to alter the organic discourse, and, in true orientalist fashion, put the blame of the victim’s plight, in this case innocent Muslims, onto the victims themselves, who in their blind, backwards savagery have failed to appreciate the loving embrace of the Western world’s glorious democracy and culture which far supersedes any and all things in Muslims’ civilizational lineage. The mere thought of it embodies self-hatred and mental colonization.
Traditional Islam and purist Hip-Hop intersect in the manner of righteous rebellion, social revolution, and the clear potency of message. Where these vortices are utilized for their collaborative brilliance, a potent Global message of unification against all tyrants and oppressors can emerge. It is in this very vacuum that Love & Truth and Mouqawamah Music artists will engage the discourse through Hip-Hop from the Enlightened Liberationist Islamic stance.
(Relevant corrections and additions provided by Mouqawamah Music Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Azaziah)
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