From Sun Mar 11 06:53:09 2001
From: Jonah Nadir Omowale <>
Subject: [BRC-NEWS] The Brain Cancer of Black America
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Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 20:02:23 -0500 (EST)

Urban Radio 2001: The Brain Cancer of Black America

By Chuck D <>, Public Enemy, 18 February 2001

Yes, within BLACK MISERY MONTH, during my cross country treks one can’t help to witness the obvious mind-controlled condition of my so-called black community. No I’m not a pessimist, in fact I’m very optimistic about my people. It’s just that I ain’t no damn fool to be blind to what’s really goin on or down for that matter. My topics that I underline in my campus lectures are RAP, RACE, AND REALITY, broad strokes I update in my speeches on the hip hop mindset in today’s society. In fact, they’re the issues dealt with in my 1997 book FIGHT THE POWER. For the past two years I’ve added TECHNOLOGY as a major component in this cultural mix.

But now that hip hop has been included within the fabric of Amerikkkan mainstream society, a seismic cultural side effect is happening in the so-called hood. The reason I say so-called hood because like said in my book the black community is not a community at all, in fact these areas are in a plantation state of existence. The key reality control areas in any neighborhood are its educational, economic, enforcement, and environmental components, and in 2001 these systems might include black faces but little integration of self serving cultural reflection. We rely on Amerikkka’s nipple to milk us on how to be the best Amerikkkan, but not how to survive while being black in Amerikkka. Ok, f#ck it. this might sound like the usual black rant that scared or turned off black folk and other people from thinking on at least a half conscious level. But really tell your friends and family there really is a ‘poison goin on’ and it’s within your midst. The people have been REDUCED to ‘sheeple’. Without the control over the realities that make a community, it means that a fantasy world can be sold or placed to fill a void. Cats flock to images that project the same make-up of people that represent their neck of the hood resulting in people being ‘what they see’. This is dangerous to any consistence of building in the so-called hood. It results in a paradox of not only ‘art imitating life’ but ‘life imitating art’. This twisted life imitating art can mainly be connected to the two central media outlets that black folk have been subservient to for reflective information; the facade and illusion of BLACK RADIO and what we see of us on TELLIN LIES TO YOUR VISION = television. The people have been REDUCED to ‘sheeple’.

Recently, in PHILADELPHIA, I participated in a MUMIA ABU JAMAL book signing rally, stemming from the forward I had written for his TERRY BISSON penned biography ‘ON THE MOVE’. It was there my eyes and ears laid witness to the most touching soulful moment I’ve ever had. About 30 children aged from 3-14 were members of the NEW AFRICAN ACADEMY. They introduced me, and after I spoke and signed autographs it was then I had some amazing chats with these youth. They knew all of PE, KRS, PRT, as well as DEAD PREZ, COMMON and hometown ROOTS. I didn’t know what they did not like, but I knew that most of this music existed before many of them were born and they knew lyrics and everything. These slivers of rhyme culture were implemented in their daily school curriculum, thus a bell went off in my mind about the current hip hop mindset today. What’s the cause? Is it the artists? Indirectly. The record companies? Them too. But the biggest culture bandit culprits have been the controllers of the signals that have washed over the brains of today’s youth. The people have been REDUCED to ‘sheeple’.

Three corporations reign supreme in the ownership of urban radio stations in Amerikkka. CLEAR CHANNEL, and black woman CATHY HUGHES’ RADIO ONE NETWORKS are two of the three that have a large conglomeration of stations, often programmed by a cat who doesn’t even live in the areas he/she programs. Their bottom line, they claim, is the dollar and therefore they lay in cahoots with the five major record companies, corporate retail chains, and sponsors who depend on the black dollar to consume. This has even changed as these outlets have recognized that the white youth disposable income has figured in the listening and buying of black culture on these signals as well.

Television has been no exception as the UNITED PLANTATION OF NIGGERS(UPN) and the WE BUFFOONIN NETWORK (WB) have reduced black acting to a narrow one dimensional call and response game of canned laughter. BOB JOHNSON who recently sold his BET network to the same owners of MTV, VIACOM, has built himself up to billionaire status while publicly stating that he didn’t do it for black folk but he did it for his family. I seriously don’t believe that these negroes in such lofty red, white and blue heights have any idea what is taken place presently with the youth and the less fortunate in this country.

The fact that there are metal detectors in schools shows that gun-culture is marketed, promoted and endorsed. Young single mothers with $200 in their purses feel compelled to spend it on a pair of AIR JORDANS for their child, reverting to such lame excuses like ‘I only want my baby to wear the best’. Head rags might be style but style no longer starts in the street, it starts in the boardrooms of record companies with a video producer conjuring up an image that will sell harder than the cats in the song themselves. As I mentioned before these corporations have liquidated the hip hop culture to a narrow worm of dumbdown.

Hip hop ten years back was propelled with the balance and diversity to make a college professor interested as much as influencing a so-called thug to reconsider his role on the block. Ten/eleven years back however hip hop as a sub-culture was second in respect to the legacy of the people it rooted from. Today one can consider themselves hip hop and give little honor and respect to the people that it spawned from; black people here in Amerikkka. Thus the term nigger flows like water from so-called heads, one in which the twisted logic is accepted as calling it a term of love and brotherhood. You can’t turn every word around though especially one that is soaked in blood and hatred for the past 400 years. This word turnaround has been endorsed and financed by corporations that control print, television, radio, and record companies alike. Its quick acceptance into hip hop culture only took about seven to ten years, damn, it would take much longer to turn the phrase ‘punk’ or p#ssy around because those are fighting and perhaps shooting words if you called some brother one of them.

The bottom line in all of this is that the pied piper of our culture now is the radio stations that play those same ‘black voices’ and the national video outlets that depict these unbalanced images. I’m tired of that powerless black age bracket of 25-40 rolling up to me asking for a better hip hop balance, like it was ten years back. We, from this point, have to single out these networks- black in its selling, white in its ownership- and demand change, balance and diversity, because the effects of the airwaves are as or more powerful than most millennial teaching, and parenting itself.with one-sided side effects. Today the black areas scream for help, teachers and administrators beg for help, religions in their hypocrisies and complexities turn off the average hip hop mind. Its time for a new plan. I believe we as a people couldn’t be worse off if BET or the local ‘urban radio station’ disappeared off the planet for a full year. In fact, in some ways we might be better off, but this is highly unlikely and unrealistic since the airwaves of black culture are ‘white corporate owned marketed, processed and pushed. The people have been REDUCED to ‘sheeple’.

I suggest this movement organization called R.A.T., standing for RADIO ATTACK TERRORISTS. There’s a culprit in every vicinity, some station that fronts as your friend but does as much harm as your enemy. I never really believed in boycotts, but I swear by pressure. This movement will, by default, put balance into the hip hop nation, in time changing some of the artist’s points-of-views, indirectly. Artists will still create whatever but those songs that hit the airwaves with heavily-financed adult themes will hold that station suspect. The reasoning is that the radio’s target audience might be 16-26 but their most loyal audience is really 12-19. Those 18-19 year olds have choices those 12-16 simply should not. Somebody gotta fight. Damn. This ain’t about me. Somebody gotta fight for the COMMONS, GOODIE MOBS, DEAD PREZ’S, TALIB KWELIS, MEDUSAS, for equal if not more airtime, and the positive material that most artists create but record companies are afraid to market because it might appear to be ‘un-hip’ or out of date. Were gonna change the climate by identifying every media owner, music and program director, record and video marketer and expose their addresses and social security numbers, if need be, to hold them accountable in front of regular folks that haven’t a clue who to attack. For those who question the motives of this anger, I don’t think they’ve witnessed the average middle to high school in the inner city. The curriculum has all but failed. CD Walkmans are now carried and listened to in class. As I said before the metal detectors are the norm. There is sexual confusion amongst students who’ve been exposed to adult themed issues and problems without adult explanation and navigation. But at the same time we’re not talking about this being the youths or hip hops fault. It’s the fault of big business as usual and the grown folk who misuse this culture to feed themselves at hip hop and the people’s expense. There should be some very concerned people at the end of JUNE around BLACK MUSIC MONTH.

There’s already massive growing unrest in the cities of CHICAGO, and PHILLY, and DETROIT is the scene of a weekly boycott claiming the stations non-support of local artists. I suggest that local artists try not to out-pimp the UNIVERSAL JAY-Zs, out-ball the CASH MONEYS or out-murder the JA RULES’. If they hold a clean glass to a dirty one and talk about feeding the people instead of feeding off them then the local artists will have fuel against the machine.

On television two months ago UPN had the nerve to put PLAYERS CLUB on nationally on a Sunday night, regular TV, not cable. I had major beef and called the headquarters in LOST ANGELES, yeah. First I talked to the receptionist who fearfully forwarded me to some liaison who defended his boss and his station to the hilt. This person who was white, never saw PLAYERS CLUB himself nor did he reveal the name of his boss. I figured that this was typical of how the black ‘community’ was sh#tted on. I also knew that if these execs were concerned, between leaving their office desks to go to their town cars on route to their isolated cocoons, then black folks wouldn’t be treated like Amerikkka’s orphans respect-wise. BUT.. The people have been REDUCED to ‘sheeple’.

I conclude by stating that I will build a website dedicted to this watchdog movement. It doesn’t censor art, and this ain’t some giant moral crusade. I myself have made many songs I don’t condone children listening to. This is to fight for equal time for those artists that need the push, while mentally, vocally and philosophically threatening any machine that exploits hip hop or children’s minds, or everyday people across the waves. This is not physical, but let some of these cats THINK it might go there if they keep on pushing the rest of us under just so their greedy asses can eat.

In depression era United States, one LINCOLN PERRY aka STEPIN FETCHIT made WILL SMITH comparable money cooning himself on film across white Amerikkka. In the 1930s, cats in HARLEM threatened to tar, feather and hang his ass regardless of how much money he made twisting the image of black folks. The people weren’t having it back then and we shouldn’t be punked to accept this new sh*t now. I’ve been examining this new version of mind control for over ten years now and it’s time. 2001... E-mail and post at cause were takin names, pro and con. Either lead, follow, or get the hell outta the way. It’s gonna be serious and slaves will call us out as haters. But some things need to be hated. All we need is your e-mail. No longer will you feel helpless like the sheeple headed to cultural and mental slaughter.