While performing in Phoenix, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) premiered “Black Jesus” and another tuned called “Young Love.” Mannie Fresh and Bey’s collaborative album will be called OMFGOD (or maybe OMFGODBKNOLA). Although, we have to wait until Bey’s acting schedule slows down the album will be dropping soon.
dead prez continue to promote positive vibes on a new track, “No Way As The Way,” which can be heard on the deluxe edition of the duo’s most recent release, Information Age. M1 and stic.man video was directed by Danny Hastings.
The song ‘No Way As The Way,’ that title comes from my martial arts practices. Jeet Kune Do is one of the arts that I’ve had the chance to practice. Jeet Kune Do was created by Bruce Lee. It’s an approach to martial arts that says that having no way as the way, is the way. To make it simple: not being locked into any particular way as the only way to get something done, in terms of your fighting…When we decided to write a song on Information Age about spirituality and religion, it was so fitting. — stic.man to Complex Mag
(Note that “Voodoo” is an American racism amalgamation of Vodou which is a religion of the Haitian people which derives it’s beliefs from various West African religious traditions. For that reason I don’t use Voodoo in this piece but instead Vodou)
The story of the clash between Vodou and the Catholic Church in Haiti during the American occupation is an interesting one indeed. This historical backdrop can contribute to the understanding of the dynamic relationship that exist between race, class, and religion in capitalist society. The basic political dynamic of this period was that the mulatto upper class sought to collaborate with the American occupiers of Haiti and Vodou being what it was (an African, communal religion) constituted a threat to the occupation therefore laying the stage for its demonization and perversion by the Americans, rich Haitians, and the Catholic Church.
Neo-colonialism by definition is the economic and political domination of a nation by an outside power using indirect means such as economic sanctions, cultural imperialism, and allied politicians (puppet governments for example). Haiti in the early 20th century was ripe for this kind of domination mostly because of the people in power at the time. The mulattos in Haiti had a cultural and political investment in European capitalism especially in France. Many of these people in power saw themselves as white (especially in relation to the dark skinned Haitians) and acted accordingly. Therefore when the Americans came into the nation they welcomed them thinking that they would become part of the new elite. Although the Americans looked down on the mulattos they still did what they could to help keep the system in order, almost right up till the Americans decided to leave. Continue reading
Way back in 2007 when I started college, I had to take an intro writing class. In order to prevent students from hanging themselves in these classes each teacher was required to center their class around a topic of discussion. Unfortunately for me I chose the one class that centered around terrorism and was run by a neo-con with a severe hatred of Islam. So the whole semester we argued in class and during office hours about why Islam, of which my aunt and cousin is members, is not analogous to terrorism or dictatorships. Four our final essay we were suppose to write out our thoughts about “Islamic Terrorism” into a 20 page essay. I decided to go hard and try and destroy any neo-con argument around the origins, goals of, and ways to stop terrorism that’s perpetrated by groups like Al Qaeda. I just found the essay I wrote in the bottom bins of my documents folders and I decided to clean it up and share it with all of you. I go through the origins of Arab/Muslim resistance to the west, the origins of “islamist” organizations, why current solutions to terrorism will only create more, and what I think we should do to end it. Continue reading
Just a thought for the night…
“The people who God will truly smile down upon won’t be the one who sacrifices for their family, friends, and spouses but those who sacrifice for people they will never meet and generations they will never know. It’s those whose love is for all and not just some that will have truly walked in the footsteps of Jesus and are the perfect reflection of the creator.”
My conversion to Christianity and being added to the Church is the single biggest thing that pushed me to become a socialist and revolutionary. Trying to be the truest reflection of our God and his son not only meant I’m suppose to go to service, be sober in thought and mind, give to the Church, or pray ceaselessly. It also meant to develop a love for humanity that goes beyond family, friends, and your wife/husband, one which spans across to people and places that you will never meet, know, or see.
Jesus gave his life up for people who dies thousands of years before him, those who had yet to be born, and most importantly for those who were killing him on that cross. How many of us would allow ourselves who were without ANY fault to be killed for those who don’t even know they need saving? If that’s not love I don’t know what is and it’s something Christian or not we revolutionaries need to emulate.
Like Jesus and his story being a revolutionary and freedom fighter is not for the faint of heart. Like Jesus most of us will likely never see the manifestation of our work, sacrifice, or dreams for a new world. Like Jesus many of us will spend just as much time trying to free people as we will trying to convince them they need to be free. And like Jesus and the other early Christians whose name we don’t know we may not ever have an award, plaque, or book giving credit to our work or sacrifice.
This work is not conducive to those who want to just save themselves cause they likely won’t, but their work will help save all of humanity. For me, I don’t plan to see the new socialist world, or even the fall of this one but I do want to be able to know in the end that I gave my body and soul to the people in the same way Jesus and the prophets before him gave themselves for their people for their salvation and freedom. If we can develop this kind of selflessness in just a small part of humanity we would be 99% of the way to freedom. Like it has been stated many time in the past, once one loses the fear of death and harm what else do you have to stop him with? Just words for thoughts people.
This morning I was woken up to go and help my cousin and his dad move a mattress for my other uncle. While in the car they wanted to stop at a corner store to get something to drink only to find out the store was close. Like the vast majority of the other Arab run corner stores in Buffalo (and probably the rest of the world) they were close for the day. Today is the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday celebrating the incident where Abraham proved willing to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael to God, thereby proving his unrelenting obedience to God. My uncle that was in the car reminder my cousin that all the Arab stores would be closed because “today’s their Christmas”. I corrected him (not actually knowing what the holiday was about although I know it wasn’t “their Christmas”) by throwing out it was a celebration of the birthday of Muhammad, not the coolest thing I’ve done but I felt I had to pull the conversation out the gutter somehow. Continue reading