There is no excuse for a billion dollar industry to have somebody who's pushing papers on an administrative level - which is still very important in terms of getting projects done - it's imbalanced and completely illogical and example of how badly this art form has been rapped... for them niggas to have health care benefits but for themselves to share in no part to that? It's very telling about the climate of the music industry.
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Some people learn from mistakes and don't repeat them, Others try to block the memories and just delete them. But I keep 'em as a reminder they're not killing me, And I thank God for teaching me humility. Son, remember when you fight to be free To see things how they are and not how you like em to be. Cause even when the world is falling on top of me, Pessimism is an emotion, not a philosophy. Knowing what's wrong doesn't imply that you right, And it's another when you suffer to apply it in life. But I'm no rookie... And I'm never gonna make the same mistake twice, pussy.
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I don't need to put jewels on to make myself feel important. I'd rather drop them for the benefit of less fortunate people. I don't need to put gold on my body, and I'm not criticizing people who do, but for me, I'd rather be around my family and see them be happy because that's worth more to me than gold.
I work with Kick G.A.M.E., the grassroots artist movement. Not to tell people we have the best union plan in the world, but to show people that if some activists, if some revolutionaries, if some street organizers from the hood can come together and put together a preliminary program to give health care to independent artists.
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The interesting thing about that is one of the greatest critics of socialism and leftwing writings was Robert Michels who wrote a series of essays called "The Iron Law of Oligarchy" and in these essays he discusses how no matter what sorts of freedoms are advertised or put into a society structure, that all societies, all form of governments - whether they be a Roman republic, whether they be a democracy, whether they be a Russian communist system, whatever, a tribe... a tribal council - all of the continuously, throughout the ages, have all converted back into an oligarchy.
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Because I know that the early Greeks and Romans and the early Europeans at that age did not see racism as we see it now - because racism was created to justify slavery to build the capital for capitalism - and back in the day they respected talent over race. We had an African Pope in the late 5th century, we had an African Emperor of Rome, and early church Fathers were black.
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The way music reflects real life, the way that painstakingly, over the years, what I have said is really a metaphor for what's happening to America. It used to be about, or tried to be at the very beginning, about what was right. It has stopped being what was right for America; it started being about what was right for companies that are in control.
Pharoahe Monch is a long time supporter of my music and I'm a long time supporter of his music so when we met each other it was almost like a natural occurrence.I met him before a few years earlier and we were just politicking with each other and we had a conversation about possibly doing something but our schedules have always been in conflict.
Since the police department is becoming more and more militarized we're stuck in a position where we're reverting to that sort of behaviour that other places still suffer from because they're kept in that post-colonial state of development indefinitely so we can reap the benefits of taking whatever natural resources they have.
The Government covers their own ass from things they fail to do to protect its own people from corporations that control the government, which is the reason we don't have checks and balances in this country. They checked how much balance they needed to influence congress and all the other branches of government in some way, shape, or form, and cash is king.
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If we can sell out a venue that's just as big as this in Omaha, if we can sell out DePaul in Chicago tomorrow, which looks like it's going to happen for 1100 or 1200 people, then obviously everyone will know that we can affect between 700 to 1000 people at a time in damn near every city in America, then I think that's a good start. It also tells people, and gives them an example, how independent hip-hop is able to do this without gigantic corporate support.
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People always have these debates about who their favourite rapper is. And I think it's based upon what mood that particular person is in. If someone's favourite rapper is a lyricist then they're focused on rhymes or substance. If someone's favourite rapper is a party rapper, you know, someone who makes music about the clubs... "Oh, he's my favourite rapper". No, his subject matter is your favourite.
Maybe we'll stop training our kids to stop looking at someone and automatically seeing them as Black or White or of this religion or that one etc, and instead, as a human being. Maybe we can stop forcing our ideas like, "I don't want them to marry this person because they are of this religion or this color" on them.
Rich people, they stay out of jail not just because they have more money but because they grew up in a culture where they're educated by people to say, "I don't have to talk to the cops. If I get arrested, I'm not going to say a word to them. I'm just going to wait until my family lawyer gets here".
They [people of Afghanistan] didn't want Al-Qaeda in their country. They didn't appreciate the Taliban taking control. But they really have an incredible amount of dignity. And by that, they are grateful for America's help in ridding them of the Taliban. The average, ordinary person is glad that their daughter can go to school now. There's no public executions, no banning of soccer games. The difference is, they're appreciative, but they don't want any prolonged military presence of the United States there.
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The average ordinary person, in the worst slums of America, someone who might even hate the law and disagree with the government, they would do something about that [abandoned child]. But in Afghanistan, people hardly have the means to take care of themselves, let alone a random child on the street.
I don't think the war is going to end, but the war is just going to change. So we talk about change all the time, well that's what's going to change. You know, we tried having an idiot try and justify the war and give us these rationales and now we're going to have a very articulate and capable black man say it.
How do you think policing is in places like China, or North Korea? Whatever we experience, in terms of our policing, I also wanted to make known that the rest of the world suffers ten times more because of that power dynamic; because of the fact that there is no Posse Comitatus in other places which is what prevents in our country, or what is supposed to prevent the military from taking on a policing role of its own people.
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I spend a lot of time out there. I've got a lot of family that lives in Inglewood and surrounding areas. So I'm right in the hood, every time I go there I go see my peoples. I rep real hard for the people that I see that are the counterparts of what I'm trying to do out here, out there.
I met some brothers out from Canada recently who are real cool people. They make Spanish-language music called Cold Blue and I met then at a Lat-Rap conference and they seem like real good peoples from Central America... and that's what it is. It's just based on mutual respect. So when I meet people like that I'm like, "if y'all going to be real with me, I'm going to be real with y'all" and that's all it takes.
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I've had lots of discussions with my Muslim brothers and sisters who have said to me, "Christianity is a white man's religion" But I'm like, "how is that possible when Christianity went into Africa before it ever went into central Europe?" Even the first people to become a Christian nation were not Romans, they weren't the Byzantines either, they weren't the Greeks... the first people to claim a Christian empire were the Armenians.
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This is the ultimate war of ideas. You're trying to get somebody to change their mind about conservatism, because that's exactly what we're fighting out there. We're fighting an insanely fundamentalist mentality that relies on taking certain things absolutely literally, and they're people on both sides of the conflict doing that. Even now, some people still take the Bible literally, and those are the ones wanting to fight a war against Islam.
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A lot of individuals I've met that I've done a song or two with. But to be honest I'm not incredibly familiar with the scene. I mean, I'm more familiar with people coming from other countries like Latin-American MCs and African rappers... that type of stuff I'm really starting to get a hold on.
When we look at these types of things it echoes to lessons we haven't learned from the past. We still don't see Rome as a negative thing; we glorify the Roman Empire. It was a fascist state under the control of an incredibly authoritarian militant pre-emptive striking genocidal regime.
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Scary rock n' roll bands had all the devilish imagery. But at the same time, it's not because they were devil worshippers, they were saying that society is run by devils. It was human society that created these things, they become the devils. This is what you worship. This money is what you worship. This idea is what you worship.
That as much as we're afraid of New World Order coming and of Canada and America joining together, that if we don't learn the lessons from the past then it doesn't matter what you want to call it: the North American Union or the South American Union, or the European Union, or the African Union... it doesn't matter what you call it as long as the arrangement remains the same.
The military ain't there for the people's protection, They're just there to protect an investment. That's why people get arrested, electrocuted, molested, Connected streets are infested with those tired of protesting. Traumatized children grown in guerrilla garrisons, 9/11 generations pale in comparison. And you will learn a lesson repeated through history: That no matter what you think, occupation is not victory.
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Unfortunately, as inspiring as people find Barack Obama, change can be interpreted in so many different ways. I think he might do a great deal of good things for social programs here in America and as well, as much as people want to characterize anybody who's a leader and try and sell that, and market it and characterize them in a good way or a bad way, I think it's very telling about the system that we have when we come to the realization that the war is not going to end.
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