The single most important contribution that I can offer, the strengthening of people's spirit and soul, the strengthening of families, the unity of a husband and a wife. To me, that's most important. Without that, we have nothing. If a son doesn't respect a father, if a child doesn't respect a parent, then we're lost.
I think that hip-hop should be spelled with a capital "H," and as one word. It's the name of our [black people] culture, and it's the name of our identity and consciousness. I think hip-hop is not a product, but a culture. I think rap is a product, but when hip-hop becomes a product, that's slavery, because you're talking about people's souls. To me, that's the biggest problem.
The God of your understanding, has chosen you and you've agreed To be here in this space and time to do something, that only you can do Now I won't stand here to try and tell you what it is But deep, inside yourself As you take time to uncover, and ask yourself some vital questions Like - what is it that brings me peace, what is it that brings me joy? What do I love doing? What am I willing to become highly skilled at doing? What part can I play for the betterment of the society And the world in which I want to live? When you begin to ask yourself those real questions And it doesn't have to be done in a formal way It can be done just like we're speaking, right now Ask yourself the question Look at how you see yourself in just a year from now And then go forward And if you have children or even if you don't have children Now begin to, look at your future beyond The space and time that you are Now visualize exactly, the way that you desire to live Don't be afraid to, dream
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Black people are just constantly immature in their thinking, undisciplined, and we suffer as a people. This is not about race in the sense that black people got to get something better than whites or Latinos or Asians. This is just basically that we keep complaining about what we don't have and what we can't do, and then, when we get in positions to do stuff, we fight amongst ourselves like savages.
I think that all journalists, specifically print journalists, have a responsibility to educate the public. When you handle a culture's intellectual property, like journalists do, you have a responsibility not to tear it down, but to raise it up. The depiction of rap and of hip-hop culture in the media, I think, is one that needs more of a responsible approach from journalists.
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...Cops just surrounding me with pistols everywhere. They put me in the backseat of their car handcuffed, Pushed out them chests like they're big rough and tough. A cop come and said 'You'll never sell your guns now.' I said 'It doesn't matter, you'll sell them anyhow. You take the guns from me, you sell them for a fee; Anyway you put it, they'll get in the city!'
When I say hip-hoppers, I mean black, white, Asian, Latino, Chicano, everybody. Everybody. Hip-hop has united all races. Hip-hop has formed a platform for all people, religions, and occupations to meet on something. We all have a platform to meet on now, due to hip-hop. That, to me, is beyond music. That is just a brilliant, brilliant thing.
If I were to critique myself - step out of KRS objectively and look at him - I would say that KRS has introduced the concept of being hip-hop, not just doing it. The concept of rap as something we do, while hip-hop is something we live. The concept of living a culture. Don't just look at hip-hop as rap music, see it as a culture.
The whole world is conscious. It's just that we become conscious at times, and you become conscious when you lose a parent, or just a loved one, period - a wife, a brother, you know. You wake up and say, "Man, it's real. I don't need this pimp gangster stuff anymore, I need something with a little more substance." And there is marketing for that.
If you're true to the upliftment of people and the unity of people, raising the self-worth of people, then you live within your means. But the problem is that we're looking at the grass on the other side, saying, "That's greener. I want to be in the thug market, but I want to be a conscious rap artist." It doesn't work like that.
You can't expect to be on MTV and critique George Bush. You can't expect to be on BET or the cover of The Source advocating Jesus Christ or Buddha or Hindu Krishna or Moses. As a conscious rap artist, you have to play in the arena that you're supposed to be in. What is that arena? That arena is the college market. The conscious rap artist woos the college market, even though the college market is the wildest, most sexed-out, drug-driven market in the country, possibly the world.
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Take a look at the police and how they treat you, Take a look at these corporations that cheat you. Democrats and Republicans are all see-through. Now we votin for the lesser of two evils... Man, don't let 'em deceive you. This is an autocracy, not a democracy, But to call this a democracy without mock interest In the laws of society? That's called hypocrisy.
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We [black people] don't respect our elders. Besides artists, we don't respect Frederick Douglass. We don't respect Martin Luther King. You look at every Martin Luther King Boulevard out here, and it's a crack block. That's not because of white people. That's because of black leadership. We just have that problem, and it's something that I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to conquer.
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