New Black Panther Party’s hip-hop ambassador

The chairman of the New Black Panther Party‘s Boston Chapter is a rapper named Jamarhl Crawford (a.k.a. UNO the Prophet).  Besides being the leader of a chapter of a controversial black supremacist organization, Crawford also seems to take aim at conscious rappers.

“I’m respected because I’m not one of these conscious rappers who you can’t find a revolutionary part of,” Crawford said. “If the only thing you’ve contributed to the revolution is a poem or a rhyme, then you’re not a revolutionary, you’re just a poet or an MC.”

He actually seems to think that being revolutionary is somehow more important than being an artist.  That’s not to say he hasn’t done some really good work.  He’s currently organizing a peace march in Boston, which I applaud him for.  He also says this:

“Every single song I’ve ever released has, in whole or in part, been about beheading this beast,” he said of his battle against what he considers an oppressive economic and political system.


[Souce: Boston Herald]

7 Replies to “New Black Panther Party’s hip-hop ambassador”

  1. Peace and Blessings.

    I understand i am late to the game on this, as the piece and the march it spoke to were almost two weeks ago… I also must preface my words by saying i am a pacifist at heart. That said, the only time i would take issue with Uno or the Panthers is if they literally encourage violence or the assumption that one can gage the moral character of another based strictly upon their field of work or their melanin count.

    I’m willing to give both the benefit of the doubt in the latter case and have made decisions on whether to support specific pieces/songs by Uno based upon the former.

    Are their individual Panthers (now or in the 60s) who would have derived pleasure from exacting a bloody serial murder spree on all people who were either not black or not of similar mindset? It’s possible. Just as there are members of law enforcement, politics and the military who (consciously or otherwise) would condone similar actions against those whose ancestors faced the brown bag test. Do i agree with how Uno or the Panthers say everything they say? Not necessarily, however to dismiss either as the Klan in black sheets (directly or by inference) is largely to discard the baby with it’s metaphoric bath water.

    Both speak to some very real issues that need to be addressed, type yesterday. Why is it that the prisons and military are filled with such a disproportionately high number of blacks (really people of color in general)? When was the last time you heard about a couple (and by that i mean both a group of two and a romantically involved group of two) of white lawyers being brought up on criminal charges for asking a white cop why he had to treat a black suspect so harshly? Again, not saying all cops or military recruiters are racist, but it should at least give one pause to wonder.

    As for Uno’s comments about conscious MCs, i have mixed feelings. Because in a world where so many representatives of Hip Hop lyricism (ie. Rappers) are talking about one of five subjects and none of them involve spirituality or disdain for politicians and law enforcement, i salute any and all who speak consciously. That said, i do hold MCs like Uno, Truth Universal, Head Roc and Immortal Technique in higher regard because they do put their metaphoric money where their mouths are. You are just as likely to hear about any of the above (and numerous others) at a rally as you are at a concert.

    As for whether ‘being revolutionary is somehow more important than being an artist,’ i would argue it depends on your perspective. Some would argue its more important to provide for one’s family than to be an artist. When looking from the perspective of someone who loves Hip Hop and recognizes its potential (and sometimes, if only partially, recognized) power as a revolutionary force, i firmly believe anyone who grabs a microphone needs to be mindful of what they are doing when they say what they say. Thus i am a staunch critic of those (by and large) who only see rhyming as a legal drug hustle. That said, as an elder and someone who acknowledges lyrics live on forever, but this physical body does not, i am aware that it can be a challenge to maintain an absolute commitment to one’s art. It, unfortunately, (as many things in this physical journey) is a balancing act. I may find one of the cats i mentioned above to be among my personal list of top MCs of all time. As one who respects their skills, i may wish that they dropped a new album every 6 months. However, as several of them are fathers to seeds (and all are fathers to movements) i can’t let my selfishness stand in the way of their greater purpose.

    I took too much of your time. Give thanks for the opportunity.

    One Love,
    Curry Kid

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