Tag Archives: Lupe Fiasco

The Best Hip-Hop Protest Songs Ever

When Eminem released his freestyle as part of the BET Hip Hop Awards’ annual cypher, it turned out to be a 4-plus-minute a capella tirade against President Donald Trump. He indicted the president for his most egregious transgressions: perpetuating racism, emboldening white supremacy, his irresponsibility with North Korea, the attacks on black NFL players, his abandonment of Puerto Rico. The list goes on.

Hip-hop fans, athletes, and mainstream media, praised the lukewarm freestyle as urgent, necessary, powerful and genius. “After 27 years of doubts about rap I am now a fan,” sports and political commentator Keith Olberman tweeted. “Best political writing of the year, period.”

To suggest that Eminem’s mediocre bars were anything other than tepid demonstrates a a shamefully low bar for the craft of hip-hop and for what constitutes bravery. To declare that Eminem’s freestyle about Trump is a turning point in hip-hop is lazy, uninformed. That’s not surprising, though. White artists are often lauded for their courage in speaking out against injustice, while black artists are often overlooked or penalized for the same actions. When Beyoncé showed up to the Superbowl in an outfit that honored the Black Panthers, conservatives slammed her and the police union called for a boycott of her subsequent world tour.

The reality is, rappers have been criticizing the government, picking apart systems of oppression and addressing the pervasiveness of police brutality in black communities since the art form’s inception. It’s why rapper and Public Enemy member Chuck D famously dubbed hip-hop “the black CNN” decades ago.

“To Pimp A Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar, 2015

“Changes,” 2Pac, 1992

“Georgia… Bush,” Lil Wayne2006

“Be Free,” J. Cole2014

“Untitled,” Nas2008

“Fuck the Police,” NWA1988

“Fight the Power,” Public Enemy1989

“A Song for Assata,” Common2000

“Police State,” Dead Prez2000

“Revolution,” Arrested Development1992

“Reagan,” Killer Mike2012

“The Point of No Return,” Geto Boys1996

“Words I Never Said,” Lupe Fiasco2011

“The Message,” Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five1982

“Sound of Da Police,” KRS-One1993

“Bin Laden,” Immortal Technique feat. Yasiin Bey, Jadakiss, Eminem2005

Watch Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco “Made in the USA” Video

Lupe Fiasco has always been outspoken about the issues and social injustices in this country, and his new video paints a strong picture of his views. The Chicago rapper releases the visuals for his “Made in the USA” record, which talks about the toxic events and views that the youth have to absorb daily.

The video from the “Jump” MC depicts some powerful imagery on an older television set, which is being watched by a small baby. The small child cries as he soaks up some of the scenes from moments in history, as Lupe raps his verses on the set. There’s even a moment where the little boy crawls over to a gun on the ground and holds it after seeing it also being shown on the television screen.

The Streetrunner-produced song, which originally dropped last November, speaks on a lot of different topics that are affecting the U.S. today, including guns, drugs, hip-hop and more.

While fans are still hoping for the three albums they were previously promised from Lupe, who revealed they wouldn’t be dropping last year due to clearance issues, he’s tiding them over with these new visuals.

Watch the music video for Lupe’s “Made In the USA” record below to see what the youth are absorbing in this country.

http://www.xxlmag.com/video/2017/08/lupe-fiasco-made-in-the-usa-video/?trackback=tsmclip

MULTIHOP.TV HIGHLIGHTS Mos Def Reneges On Rap Battle Challenge

Late last week, a short video recording of a charged up Yasiin Bey (pun intended) threatening to take all rapper’s lunch money went viral and now the 41-year-old multi-talent is alleging it was all said in jest.

“It was a private opinion made public,” Mos continued. “Without my knowledge or permission or consent.” [Editor’s Note: As if you didn’t think ranting into a recording camera phone wouldn’t make its way onto the Internet.] “I stand by my statement, but at the same time, I’m not trying to arrange some sort of exhibition of that reality, whatever.

Back in 2009, Bey issued an open challenge to rappers to come together and battle it out to defend these same claims—if a rapper wanted to be called the best, they would have the platform to finally prove it. He had proposed the idea to have a full head-to-head battle that would include a battle of the MCs, as well as the DJs and producers.

Unfortunately, his original plan never materialized, but it seems like he hasn’t given up on the idea just yet. With all of these diss tracks floating around lately, rappers have puffing up their chests and talking slick. So it only seems right for Yasiin Bey to reissue this rap battle challenge, because he’s not here for all of these “back and forth corny records.” Bey enlisted Black Thought of The Roots and King Los for his crew and sounds ready to battle whoever is up for the challenge.

King Los immediately responded, admitting that he’s always ready to battle. Lupe Fiasco took to his Facebook to accept the challenge, all while keeping with the current meme response trend.

MULTIHOP.TV HIGHLIGHTS Lupe Fiasco’s Open Letter On Our Nation’s Police Force

Read Lupe Fiasco’s open-letter to our nation’s law enforcement below.

The Police. A letter. The police are not your friend. The police are not your enemy. The same could be said about the law. So let’s say it. The law is not your friend and the law is not your enemy. So what are the police then if they are not friends nor enemies. Well let’s get a definition of the word ‘Police’ from the dictionary: “the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order.” And while we’re at it lets get a dictionary definition of ‘Law’ as well: “the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.” Nowhere in the definition does it say “friend” or “enemy” even though some police officers can be friendly and some can be really antagonistic (see the famed “Good Cop/Bad Cop” routine for an explicit example) it is not the nature of their position in society to be friend or foe. So what are the police then?

The firmest designation for the police is their primary title “Law Enforcement Officer” and again the law is neither your friend or foe so then the police are a merely reflection of the law. Police are the physical manifestation of the law. The police occupy a middle ground of sorts. They are mostly benign in the sense that if they have no particular law to enforce then they are powerless. Also where the law is broken and can’t be seen or is out of the conscious knowledge of the police they are also powerless as is the law itself. Law is only powerful when it comes into direct contact with its child, Criminality. Crime and our relationship to crime is much closer to us than our relationship to the law. Everybody bends or breaks the law in some very minute capacity. We may speed on the highway from time to time. Throw litter on the ground. Lie on our taxes. Disregard a jury duty summons. Download pirated content. Where we feel the law doesn’t “count” or “make sense” we are inclined to transgress the limits.

Furthermore Crime is celebrated in all annals of entertainment and culture. In movies and books and song and TV. When was the last time you heard a song on the radio about the fabulous and sexy lifestyles of being a cop? In movies and TV it is much different as police officers are portrayed as being heroic figures but how many times within those same films or TV shows a police officer goes “outside” the law to rectify some injustice or solve some crime. How many movie cops had to “give up their badge” to the captain because they broke the rules to catch the bad guy? In effect they had to become criminals to enforce to the law. Think of Batman. Commissioner Gordon uses him when things get a little too out of hand in Gotham City and he needs somebody who isn’t bound to the letter of the law and all that that entails to deal with the villainous hordes. This maybe “fictional” but then again is it really? How many real life cops put guns and drugs on people to get an arrest possibly on people who they know for a fact are committing serious crimes but can’t prove it? How many cops “invent” a probable cause to effect a search of someone’s property and eventually “find what they were looking for” even though what they found was not the initial reason they stopped the person? How many cops beat confessions out of people? How many cops flat out lie when it comes to what they saw or did during arrests and follow up investigations? How many cops have used terroristic threats to get people to comply to testifying or admitting to things they didn’t commit? How many cops work for the same criminals they are employed to pursue in the forms of bribes and information? But then how many citizens do the same exact things? “Police Officer” and “Law Enforcement Officer” are just titles, roles, positions, names. No different than “typewriter” or “car.” What gives these things life are the people that use them. Some people just do not know how to type or drive and it must be said that some people just don’t know how to be police officers in strict accordance with the law.

One problem is that becoming a police officer or law enforcement officer is a very structured and ordered bureaucratic process. It is very rigid and rather systematic. It is literally uniformed to stand as the visible and physical counterpoint to the non-uniformed wildness that is on the one smaller end, society itself and on the other larger end, criminality. Crime is subtle and blends well into the wild variety of society. Crime is successful because it is asymmetric and forever evolving. It can go unnoticed. Hence why the most successful police operations are done “undercover” and the most visible criminal activities are the least successful. The ability to blend into the “wildness” of society and mimic it is the best tactic for success outside of pure anarchy. Crime is highly adaptable. It is highly revered because its heroes have excellent leadership qualities and in some cases very deep philanthropic sentiments. Crime is the true equal opportunity employer and is one of the only organizations to successfully overcome the racial divides. Criminals are the embodiment of the material American Dream. Freedom (even from taxation!), upward mobility and the pursuit of happiness. All crimes have victims but one could say quite successfully that all things have victims. In the business world, victims are classified under the term externalities. For example, some people call perfectly legal mountain top removal coal mining a crime against humanity as it has the potential to build up then completely destroy entire communities not to mention the sometimes irreversible environmental externalities. Laws sometimes have a weird way of creating their own criminal enemies, hence the “child” term used earlier. Take for instance prohibition, it was a perfectly sound moral concept to combat what was seen by some as the scourge of drunkenness and all its hideous social and moral externalities, just imagine drunk driving back in the 20’s! This perfectly sound moral law however single handedly created the mafia, the worlds greatest and most successful organized criminal enterprise.

The emergence of the mafia lead to the creation of the FBI which was needed to be a “higher” form of law enforcement to combat the mob. The FBI tactics included all sorts of law bending and law creation to try and successfully tackle the problem the same government that employed them unwittingly created in the first place. The cultural impact of the mafia was instantaneous and deep even up to this day. For example, we all know off top who Al Capone was but would struggle to find out who the president of the United States was during the time Al Capone was alive. And without Google today I’d say some of us would probably never know or even care to find out. The legal limits were stretched to fight the mafia then and they are still being stretched to this day to justify your parking ticket or your “failure to signal.” So what does all this mean? Is it right? Is it wrong? Is it fair? Is there a solution? Unfortunately and fortunately there is no one solution. Law enforcement and criminality are like hand and glove. They are forever connected and as long as you have one you’ll have the other and all the externalities from both sides that come along with them. Abuse of authority by authority will be balanced somewhere on the other side by abuse of the system by criminality. Freddy Grey dies unjustly in police custody on one side and El Chapo escapes from prison on the other side. An eye for and eye to be biblical about it. One hard solution to swallow for many is to just obey the law. Buuuuuut this “simple” solution also can create a set of dubious illegitimate children of its own because the law inextricably represents much more than its face value of “do not do and you will not be punished” for some “obey” is equated to “starve” or “go without” or “be poor” or “be insulted” or “be bored” or “be trapped in a vicious circle of economic and academically induced depression simply because I lost the biological lottery of life and was born into a family of second or third class citizens at a time and place where social status is dictated by race which also dictates access to the apparatuses of upward mobility etc etc etc…”

Sometimes “obey” explicitly means die. This is the root of the plague of vendetta that is sweeping through Chicago. The ever viral and ever rational and true “Kill Or Be Killed” mentality. For some “obey” MEANS “punishment.” This misunderstanding of metaphorical process when it comes to how we refer, frame and live through the narratives of our individual lives is what causes much of the conflict. Objective law has little wiggle room for subjective reality. What “law enforcement officer” means in a dictionary and the courts can be far from the definition that it has on the streets and in practice. Police officers can be defined on the streets as surely protecting and serving but protecting and serving the wills of a corrupt authoritative system that if allowed to have its way will mean poverty forever and access denied ad infinitum. Police officers must be trained to assess not only the dangers of a situation but also the desperation of a situation. Is it just a coincidence that a synonym for criminal is “Desperado”? Law Enforcement has to become much more in tune and educated with the needs (material, PSYCHOLOGICAL, spiritual and cognitive) of the communities it is tasked with patrolling and if they are unable or unwilling to take on the entire scope of their position then they should find work elsewhere. Most police will respond to this by saying that such a comprehensive approach is not in there job description and will have little to no effect on the streets. One must then in reply confront them with the nature of law itself. Law is connected to the mentalities of man. It seeks to control or less invasively patrol the passions and actions of man which stem directly from his mind. And if you cannot fully comprehend the mind of a man as an externality of the environment in which he inhabits then how can you fully understand the mechanics of law itself? Again Law and the mind are like hand and glove.

Some cops will say that it is for the courts to decide. However, one must argue back plainly that judges, prison guards and prosecutors don’t walk the streets or patrol the beats and they rely on and TRUST police officers and their presupposed understanding of the law to bring cases before them that only meet or exceed the requirements set out by the law. That is why POLICE OFFICERS HAVE TO TESTIFY IN COURT because they are considered to be expert witnesses in terms of criminal justice and are expected to expose the very fine details of active criminality that a DA stuck in an office or a judge stuck behind a bench does not have the time nor mental hard drive space to process thoroughly. Be clear on two things: This is not meant to be a belittling or a rebuke of the police or the letter and spirit of the law. I have 3 siblings with long careers in law enforcement as police officers, correctional officers and sheriffs. This is also not an approval of criminality. I have exponentially many more family and friend who have been involved in the world of crime and it is nothing to brag about or applaud as a successful life to lead. Most of the time it has ended in death or prison or both. Both these institutions are reflections of the human condition and our understandings and misunderstandings of the way the world is “supposed” to work. The death of Sandra Bland is the perfect example of when these two amorphous and wandering institutions get it all the way wrong. Sandra perceived the law enforcement officer to be a law enforcement officer and all that that entails in control of his emotions and strictly subservient to the rule of law when in fact he retreated to criminality and reverted to lawlessness to prosecute what he perceived to be a disrespectful criminal threat in Sandra as opposed to her being a law abiding but pressurized citizen questioning the lawfulness of her stop. Her death in jail is a reflection of the misunderstanding of the mental pressure even the tiniest amount of perceived injustice can do to a person.

While I hesitate to judge her cause of death I feel comfortable in saying that if it was suicide it speaks to the depth of the belief we as humans have in right and wrong. Sometimes people would rather die than face the injustices of this world and it doesn’t need to be years or decades to decay someone to such a state it can take hours or days. Even seconds. The direct connection between The Law and The Mind is something that needs to taken very seriously by not only police officers but also by the rank and file citizen. The FULL scope of Law and Law Enforcement and Criminality and what effects they all have on the already overly sensitized and tandemically overly desensitized psyches of the communities they inhabit needs to become a dominant issue in culture. So while law enforcement officers may by definition not be our “friends” it might be time that they damn well think about becoming them or at least stray from acting as our enemies. And it might do us well to accept them as “friends” if they honestly extend the offer and not make ourselves enemies to them based on what we see in the trending multimediums as “Brand Cop.” Otherwise we together run the risk of giving birth to a new child, one that will feed not on milk but instead off the flesh and blood of its parents.

Sincerely,

Wasalu “Lupe” Jaco

MUlTIHOP.TV PRESENTS 10 RAPPERS WITH THEIR OWN APPS

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1. Meek Mill joined the ranks of fellow rappers Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy and more, after announcing the launch his very own mobile game app “Bike Life.”

2.  Lupe Fiasco – In 2013, Lupe Fiasco announced his partnership with mobile app Higi as the creative director and investor of the health and wellness app.

3.  Jay Z  – For the launch of his Decoded autobiography, Jay Z hooked up with Droga5 for the launch of the interactive app called “Decoded.”

4. Birdman – Known for having his hands in several business ventures, Birdman launched the “Shorty Cuts By Birdman” app, which allows for users to create custom keys so they can send acronyms or complete phrases with the touch of a custom key.

5. 50 Cent – 50 Cent is always expanding his empire and in 2013 the Queens MC teamed up with Timbaland, Larry The Cable Guy, Terrell Owens and DJ Kaskade for the launch of the mobile app Hang w/, a real time live stream that allows users to interact with videos and pictures.

6. T-Pain – T-Pain’s career has depended heavily on the usage of Auto-Tune and in 2010, the Florida crooner launched his “I Am T-Pain” app, which allowed users to sing his tracks while using his signature Auto-Tune.

7.  The RZA – Wu-Tang member RZA launched in 2009 his app “RZA World,” which allowed fans to play chess with the Wu-Tang member, as well as interact with fans of the Staten Island collective.

8. Snoop Dogg – Snoop Dogg launched the mobile app Snoopify in 2013. The app allows for people to turn their pictures into Snoop-themed masterpieces.

9.  Drake and Lil Wayne – To build anticipation for the Drake vs. Lil Wayne tour, both MC’s launched a Street Fighter-inspired game that was playable for mobile phone users.

10. Murs – In March of 2014, Murs decided to challenge hip-hop heads with a hip-hop trivia app that was launched through iTunes.