An Open Letter to Rick Ross & all of the so-called “Bosses” of Hip Hop by Gat Turner

This is an incredible an insightful letter penned by Gat Turner..He brings a lot of clarity and insight around the silence f many of our ‘Big Boss’ rappers… U can peep the original HERE -Davey D-

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

May this letter find you in the best of health and spirit.

Peace,

I felt compelled to write this letter because it seems that everybody is screaming that they are a “Boss” in the rap game today, & some of the brothers (and sisters) have become quite clever & adept in their declaration of this title. Dons, Bosses, & Generals are just a few of the titles that these kinds of rappers claim, denoting their authority, leadership and ability to call shots and command allegiance by an untold amount of soldiers, both seen and unseen.

I am an admitted fan of gangsta movies like the Godfather Trilogy, Scarface, Goodfellas, Casino & even “hood” favorites like New Jack City, Paid In Full, and Belly. I study these films, not because I enjoy the sex, profanity, & violence, I am a fan of these films because I like to study the underlying principals in the movies.I like to analyze the principals behind of the rise and fall of the protagonists in these films.

In The Godfather I, it was fascinating to me identifying the intangibles that made Don Corleone powerful. It was not just his wealth that made his network viable, but it was also how he leveraged his money to work for not only himself, but also his “Family”. His power was also in his political contacts, his sacrifice and his charity. Interestingly, both Godfather I & II opened with a wedding scenes, that were also obscure invitations to those in the family, (or close to the Family) to petition the Don for a favor. These favors ranged from monetary loans to political accommodations. These scenes showed how when the Don bestowed his benevolence upon you, there was also an unspoken understanding that in the future, there was a possibility that you may be called upon to reciprocate his graciousness. The Don sacrificed for you, and because of this act of beneficence, you felt obligated to be at his disposal. Many people misinterpret this type of loyalty solely as fear.

With just minimal study of the Godfather Trilogy, I recognized all of the principals of Kwanzaa displayed throughout the stories. I could easily demonstrate how every boss/don commanded Unity (Umoja), had Self Determination (Kujichagulia), inspired Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima), pooled their resources for Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), had a single driven Purpose (Nia), then demonstrated Creativity (Kuumba), & showed Faith (Imani) when pursuing that purpose. These principals are all active ingredients in the recipe of any Gangsters’ success story, and the violation of these principals is always the undoing of not only the protagonist, but also the entire Family.

Gat, why are you talking about this “gangsta shit”? I am talking about this because it is all that I hear on the radio stations, it is all that I see on the rap video shows, & this is all that I read about in the Hip Hop publications. It seems nowadays that as soon as we gets a cash advance, we are screaming that we’re a “Boss” & promoting this so called gangsta culture! Well it’s time for us to examine the people who are claiming to be “Bosses”, and see if they really are.

It is common knowledge that many rappers and record execs do live lavish lifestyles. As the late great Notorious B.I.G. once said, “Money, clothes and hoes is all a nigga knows…” It is also common knowledge that many of these so-called “Bosses” place hefty bets well into the 100’s of thousands of dollars on boxing bouts, Super Bowls, & NBA Championships. I’m sure that there will be some mind blowing wagers on this year’s Final Four, but before you place that bet let me have your attention for just a second. If it be the will of Allah, you may have a change of heart with what to do with your money, by the time that I’m finished this letter.

Trayvon Martin

On February 26, 2012 a young man named Trayvon Martin was murdered in cold blood and his known killer remains at large. There have been a number of substantial demonstrations in the streets across America in protest of this injustice. Our people are outraged at how this travesty has been handled. The New Black Panther Party even scraped up $10,000 and offered it to anybody who had knowledge of the killer’s whereabouts so that they could make a citizens’ arrest.

Well, most of the “Bosses” trick that measly amount of money off at the strip club in one a night “making it rain” or “buying the bar out”. Many underground artists have made songs, written poetry, used their cameras, pencils and paintbrushes in tribute to our slain brother. As much as we rap about killing each other in the mainstream, it seems that at least one of you would have had the courage to make a “Kill George Zimmerman” song. The fact that no one has done this, shows me that we aren’t as ignorant as we pretend to be.

Gat Turner, are you advocating that someone kill George Zimmerman?! All of you scared to death Negroes calm down. No, I’m not advocating the murder of George Zimmerman… not yet at least. My point is simply that we are very vocal, bold and careless with our speech when it comes to “Beef” with each other, but we are very cautious, fearful and reserved when it comes to “Real Issues” that affect our community, our people, and our fan base. I would like to see some of these “Bosses” or “Dons” offer some form of support to Trayvon Martin’s family, whether financial or even just a comforting word would mean a lot to a mourning family in their bereavement, & it would make a tremendous impact and statement to your fans. I will acknowledge that some of these so-called “Bosses” have donned hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon’s family and their supporters, but hell even babies & puppies have done that.

Gat, why are you calling out these so called “Bosses” in general, and Rick Ross in particular? I am calling them out because it’s time. I can’t say this for sure but I wouldn’t doubt that Trayvon has purchased at least one record by a so called “Boss”. I singled Rick Ross out in particular because he is actually from Florida, the state where Trayvon’s murder took place. He is probably the most successful of all the rappers that come from there, & many would argue that he is the most talented. He is also most known for being a “Boss”, or at least proclaiming to be one.

Gat, do you expect Rick Ross to become an activist? No I don’t. I wouldn’t expect to see Don Corleone holding a picket sign yelling, “No Justice, No Peace” either. Do I expect him to give a damn? Yes I do, if he’s indeed what he proclaims to be. A true “Boss” is always concerned with that which is not in order around him, because it affects him, it affects his family, and affects his business. There is no way that Don Corleone would allow some Blackman to wander into his neighborhood/territory and kill some Italian child for nothing & that crime go unpunished. He would be involved. (I will leave the level of his involvement to your own imagination.) If one is truly a “Boss”, everything that happens in his jurisdiction has to go through him. Any criminal activity taking place in his territory, he has knowledge of, because it first had to go through him. Any politician seeking office, first sought his endorsement. Even religious leaders and activists have to seek his blessing, in order to demonstrate or officiate in an area that he has carved out as his own.

If you are not garnering this type of respect from your followers, fans, and communities please stop false flagging, because you are confusing the people. Hell, even the poet/emcee/spoken word community in my hometown (Milwaukee, WI) can call on a hundred men for a worthy cause. How much more should a “Boss” be able to do with millions of dollars in his war chest, and millions of fans at his disposal?

To be a "true" Don or Boss requires tremendous sacrifice.

Before I continue, I think that this title does deserve a little clarity. It is important to note that just because one has sold dope before he/she made a record, doesn’t make him/her a “Boss”. It makes you a former dope peddler. Just because one has excess money that they choose to squander on loose women, expensive alcohol, & drugs, this doesn’t make you a “Boss”either. It makes you a trick, an alcoholic, &/or an addict. If you have killed someone that looks like you and gotten away with it, that doesn’t make you a “Boss”. It makes you a murderer and an agent in your own genocide. Finally, nice clothes, cars, homes or material possessions don’t make you a “BOSS”. It just makes you a nigga with a lot of expensive toys…

I am not disillusioned. I know that we have come a long way from the likes of a Nina Simone, Paul Robeson, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and a Tupac. There are indeed those of us who are out here striving to follow in there footsteps, but you may never hear us on your radio or see us on your television. The enemy has gotten much wiser in his efforts to keep the people focused on filth and indecency so that they remain ignorant. Perhaps it is not even fair for me to expect today’s “mainstream” artists to pick up the torch and carry on where the aforementioned artists left off. It is however fair for me to expect them to represent the Truth in their music, & to step up when the opportunity presents itself for them to be what they claim they are. In this case, many are claiming to be “Bosses”.

Though I admit to admiring some of you self-proclaimed “Bosses” for your lyrical creativity and swagger, there is one thing that history has made very clear and very evident…. YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME! This is the Smokin’ Gat! #justice4trayvonmartin

written by Gat Turner

original article: https://www.facebook.com/notes/gat-turner/youre-not-the-boss-of-me-an-open-letter-to-rick-ross-all-of-the-so-called-bosses/10150660740679858?notif_t=like

 

 

Comments

  1. I agree 100 percent brother.

  2. MySoulOnPaper says:

    I’m speechless! I COMPLETELY agree with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The word, “Profound” sums it up, Peace to Brotha Gat Turner!

  4. cotterscourt says:

    Great read and so true.

  5. Im from Florida as well n its like he read my thoughts this is a materpiece and truth at its finest one luv for this contribution to the cause #justice4trayvonmartin peace from Black Market est. 1985 It’s a black thing!!!

  6. Slick Blak says:

    REAL RAP!

  7. B. Stanley says:

    You couldn’t have said this any better. Thank you for these remarkable true. spoken words. I just hope that those wannabe Bosses get the foreseen message.

  8. Lindiwe Krasin says:

    I will read this later but…ya…I see what you are talking about. The fact is..our hip hop culture needs to be about protecting us and the truth is…welll….I have dealt with pimps only once and they were bad…and I know a lot of money that goes between hip hop and the game/hustle that is out there. What I would say is that we are asking a sub culture to stand up and protect the community and in specific cases it is entirely possible for this to take place…but I would be a fool to ever expect it on my time line. Money is the bottom line in the game not souls. That’s it. I will read your essay when my children are asleep. Thank you.

    • I had contacted you months ago. I realize you have many emails but will you please take this down. Not your discussion but my involvement in it. You already took down one of my responses. So this one is really a dead end. It only seems fair that if you don’t want a response from someone like me, then you erase everything that is here in my name. Thank you. Peace.

  9. antoniaadv1 says:

    This is a outstanding letter! I love it! To me, it is actually an address to all the people to take heed and reflect. I love the fact that there are Brothas stepping to the forefront on many issues as they have such awesome power to make changes in our communities. So many do not know their legacy and do not realize that. As a conscious, soul rap artist and poet, it is my hope this letter or a revision of it will be a track Gat’s soon to be released album. This is something that should go viral. These types of artists do not get the big record deals because they are not talking/rapping/singing about killing, mysogony, drugs or freaky sex against their own people as the labels dictate but as a people, we have the power to change that. These Brothas must have the support and backing of our communities.

  10. Dion Broad says:

    Excellent topic, great words, Powerful,One Love!

  11. Tony Muhammad says:

    Great letter Brother Gat. You hit the nail on the head and sealed the coffin on these so-called Hip-Hop stars, but sadly to say you are barking up the wrong tree. These pseudo Hip-Hoppers are not hip. Most are sell outs and have sold their souls to make a dollar and live a lavished life in this world. If these so-called “Big Bosses” was real Hip-Hop our young people would not be dieing in the streets killed by someone that looks like them.
    True Hip-Hop lifted the social awareness of its listeners to be positive and active for change in self and community.
    Real Hip Hop artist do not get air play or record deals from major record labels, because they are true about making a positive change through their art for the oppressed condition of Black people in America, and the poor and disenfranchised world-wide.
    Keep up the struggle through your music Gat Turner. May Allah continue to bless you with the light of understanding and wisdom.

  12. I’m an old lady and a old black panther and as my revolution has found other ways to continue the struggle I am appalled at how we treat each other. I esp. don’t pretend to understand today’s ‘artists’ and what drives them, but I applaud you my brother for having the wherewithall to take a stand like this. A very well written open letter and let’s see if someone in the community will take heed…

  13. reverend11 says:

    “i wanna kill sam cuz he aint my mufu**in uncle”!
    -ice cube(real gangsta rappin)

  14. Very good! Bravo! Finally! Great article, great thoughts. I really think this should get to tRick Ross so maybe any of those brothas with money can see hoe silly they sound. Thanks you Gat Turner.
    Oh yeah, nice name Gat Turner!

    Peace from Monumental KB out here in the Bay. San Francisco Stand Up!

  15. If these so called “Bosses” are not out in support of our communities. They need to be called out and not supported. PERIOD!!!!!!!

  16. Brother:
    Alright. I am about to reply to you publicly.
    Thank you.
    Lindiwe Krasin

  17. Critical Eye says:

    Let me apologize in advance for the wall of text – I felt it was necessary. Also let me make clear what I’m about to say: I agree to a point on the basic gist of the article – however, I have to seriously disagree with all this gangster fixation that many of our people have. One does not need to see mafia movies to learn about the values of Kwanzaa (you know how ignorant that sounds??!!!), and sadly, most of us will readily look at mafia movies instead of documentaries and/or movies produced, written, and directed BY US to “learn about Kwanzaa”, or anything pro-Black. I personally hate films/movies/shows like “The Godfather”, “Scarface”, and “The Sopranos” and don’t need to or want to watch them – and to those of you that say, “Oh those films/movies/shows are revolutionary cinematic classics!!!!!”, the same argument was used when D.W. Griffith released “The Birth of a Nation”, so save it. Also, let’s not forget how a group of Italian-Americans stepped to HBO to protest “The Sopranos” – google it. I’m not making this up – not all Italians are card-carrying members of the Mafia.

    That’s like saying the KKK or the Neo-Nazis or Militias could teach us about those values, too, – no, wait- THEY CAN’T. Why? Because they distort them TO THEIR OWN ENDS, just like the “founding fathers” (who were pedophilic, molesting, lecherous, slave-owning land-grabbing, indigenous people-killing and stealing deadbeats) distorted the concepts of liberty, justice, and law to have and promote those things FOR THEMSELVES while keeping us in bondage in colonial times, and to make sure that their descendants would continue to try to keep us from having those two things as well. The values of Kwanzaa don’t require adherence to them by the use of tommy guns, the use of chopping off people’s fingers (or other appendages a’ la the movie HOODLUM), the use of bombs, the use of racketeering, the use of cutting out people’s tongues, or the use of fear, which is clearly what Don Corleone used in his relations to those who showed “loyalty” to him, as well as the cats that Scarface was dealing with (as well as Scarface himself). If they were truly loyal, then why did some of those “loyal” parties end up turning against him???? If there was all this loyalty and “respect”, then why is there so much in-fighting going on in these organizations, and why do we see it portrayed in these films????? Those acts alone demonstrate a mindset and worldview which is clearly demonstrated in Dr. Marimba Ani’s book, “YURUGU” – a mindset that is clearly the diametric opposite of the one that created Kwanzaa, or Nye Gyame, or anything like that.

    On top of that, would these mafia dons, and mafia members really love us as much of many of us love them and what they do??? I think not – they’d just as soon spit in our face, tell us, “Get out my face, you #@$!ing moolie!”, and then take part in killing us and brutalizing us just like their racist white brethren and sistren who are in the KKK, Neo-Nazis, Skinheads, FOP, police forces, supreme court, judge’s bench, courtrooms, and neighborhood watch program (yes, I went there for obvious reasons). Brings to mind a scene in Spike Lee’s film, “She Hate Me” when a REAL GANGSTER is talking to the main Black character and asks him, “Why do all you rappers act like gangsters? Why do you name yourselves after us? You know NOTHING about being a Gangster”.

    In closing, real gangsters are way too damn busy involving themselves in illegal activities, making themselves invisible and being SUCCESSFULLY ABLE TO ELUDE THEMSELVES from the authorities (by paying them off, or by being the authorities, which is another discussion in itself), to be worried about photo ops, recording hit albums, making 5 mics in The SOURCE, XXL, or RAP PAGES, to be worried about rap battles, or to be worried about making music videos, awards show appearances, or guest appearances on some rap track that’s overloaded with the same ole’, same ole’ 5-7 rappers over and over again rapping about the same tired shit. In the words of Chuck D in response to all this Black fixation with the Mafia, “Seems like there’s a lot of Black Italians” – and one of these “Black Italians”, is being sued by his namesake, The real Rick Ross for perpetrating a fraud, yet that fact gets lost on many of us. Educate yourselves.

  18. BypassVidots says:

    Rappers are not social commentators. They are silly little entertainers. Rick Ross’s job is to look silly and entertain his audience – just like all rappers, actors, and rock stars.

    Would you expect Bon Jovi to speak out about gangs, police brutality and whatever else? What about the Easter bunny? I think not!

    The fact that so many people in the hood consider otherwise is a problem in and of itself. In fact it’s a HUGE problem in and of itself !

    Bruce Springsteen called himself the “Boss”, was it an issue? no. Because none of HIS fans took it for anything more than what it was……a fun little tag line.

    And that’s the REAL issue here, the confused values the hood has regarding all this entertainment bullshit

  19. @Bypass
    THANK YOU!! I’m so sick to death of holier than Negroes whining when they themselves aren’t doing a DAMN THING about social injustice amd what the f**k does hip-hop have to do with Trayvon Martin what’s next stupid a##es like Crap Truner think they are supposed to fix the deficit?!! It’s MUSIC stupids and should be seen as nothing more and on top of that I find it veeeeery hypocritical that he can praise movies like The Godfather but gets all ‘polly pureheart’ with rappers.Maybe phony Negroes like him are too much of a punk a$$ to callout the filth,sleaze, and perversion coming from the WHITE led Hollyweird but have all the courage in the world to whine about rappers every day.Which has done ZERO to improve life in the ‘real’ hood.

  20. iNeed Voices like Gat Turner’s at this moment in my life journey because iAm currently unable to express myself for the sorrow and anger overwhelming me. as A Caribbean Immigrant who shall forever call North Dade County HOME, if iOpen my mouth to speak about having to listen to Trayvon screaming for HELP on a 9-1-1 tape as He was being murdered WITH the knowledge that ‘Ricky Rozay’ who bought a Maybach by misleading consumers with his theory of ‘Triple Cs’ NOT meaning CAROL CITY CHIEFS (elementary, middle & high school) cannot use his microphone like THE BOSS (Bruce from The Bricks) did in Tampa, am not going to contribute anything positive to this or any discussion.

  21. Its simple
    rappers aren ‘t bosses; they are predominiantly phonies who play music, thats all.
    Once you realize that you can move on.

    If your beyond high school and you believe a quote gangst rappers every move and follow all his lyrics–you got some issues

  22. Gat Turner, you killed it, tell this motherfuckers that they ain’t close to being a boss, they are just fake ass rapper and shit

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