An Open Letter to RZA Claps Back at his Hurtful Remarks

Recently Wu-Tang founder and leader RZA stirred up a lot of controversy when he made some off-color remarks that suggested Black youth were victims to police terrorism because they dressed wrong. He asserted sagging pants and street gear should be replaced with nice suits to avoid police harassment. Rza also shouted out the police, said he always wanted to be a cop and concluded that ‘All Lives Matter’.. You can read his remarks HERE..

In response to RZA’s remarks was this powerful open letter penned by Demetrius Clayborne who tactfully reminded RZA how flawed hsi remarks were. He also reminded him of Wu-Tang’s unique role played over the years  influencing people and their style of dress..Read the letter below

Black man hung with suitDear #Rza,

Peace to the God. I come in the name of All Powerful Allah. I had the pleasure of meeting you in 2012 during the “Man With The Iron Fist” Tour in Detroit; I was one of the individuals responsible for promoting your event.

With all due respect, I must say that I was very disturbed by your comments in regards to black youth and their choice of style/dress as it relates to police brutality. A man of your intelligence and experience can’t possibly think that the way our youth dress will change how they are perceived by law enforcement. Surely you must know that logic only applies to the workforce, and even then it isn’t full proof.

How can you make such statements when in the 90s you, Power, and your associates fed us Wu Wear; making millions as we ate it religiously. Hoodies, denim, shoes, t-shirts, colorful button ups with bees on them and countless other ‘street’ and ‘hip hop’ fashion came directly from the Wu brand; your brand. You never sold us suits nor told us to button our shirts up because that was not the brand you were selling. I get the concept of growth and development however you should be careful in the words you choose to convey the message of your newfound understanding. Wu-Tang Clan helped born a generation of army fatigue wearing, hoodie rocking, Timberland boots sporting, hip hop lovers who never stepped foot on New York City soil; and now you condemn the product of the same people you helped create?

RZA

RZA

Brother we grew up and had children of our own and guess what…we played YOUR music for them. We showed them YOUR videos. Why? Because you were one of the few who weren’t sending negative messages to us so we knew it was safe for our children. Now you are telling us that the same image you advocated and made you the wealthy man that you are today is contributing to the rise in police brutality and senseless black death? Well if that’s true then you too my brother are directly responsible for the murder of our lost young brothers and sisters.

You cannot play both sides of the fence whenever it is convenient for you and we as black people can no longer have an open door policy for people who get rich and famous then switch channels on us. With all that being said, I respectfully disagree with you my brother and hope that the negative blowback of your statements forces you to reevaluate them. Besides, most of the slave and free blacks that hung from trees were well dressed or wearing suits. So I must ask you, why were they murdered?

Peace God, your brother in mathematics,

All Powerful Allah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE3hb__ylG4

 

 

19 Years Ago the World Was Introduced to Wu-Tang Clan..’The 36 Chambers’

19 years ago today…one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all-time was dropped Enter Wu-Tang the 36 Chambers and the world was introduced to an incredible group, that many initially thought was Chinese.. When we first heard the lead joint Protect Your Neck and heard them claiming they were from Shaolin and was going by the name Wu-Tang Clan many of us outside of New York were marveling at how Hip Hop had expanded and some raw Asian cats were repping hard on the mic..

Later we discovered the who the group was and their depth of talent and remained impressed. We loved how artists like Rza and Gza who had previous stints as solo artists  or in groups like Grave Diggaz under the names Prince Rakeem and the Genius respectively, had remade themselves and resurfaced as cornerstones of this new 9 member crew..that would flip Hip Hop upside its head. Many of us were left awestruck to see how Staten Island, the so-called forgotten borough had become the epic center for Hip Hop nearly overnight..Its been almost 20 years and many of us still have not fully come to know and appreciate all that is and has been Wu-Tang..

This is what writer  Christopher Muhammad who reminded us about today had to say..

This day 19 years ago one of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time by arguably the best rap group of all time was released November 9, 1993 on Loud Records and distributed through RCA Records. The album’s title originates from the martial arts film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978). The group’s de facto leader RZA, also known as Prince Rakeem, produced the album entirely, utilizing heavy, eerie beats and a sound largely based on martial-arts movie clips and soul music samples.

The distinctive sound of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) created a blueprint for hardcore hip hop during the 1990s and helped return New York City hip hop to national prominence. Its sound also became hugely influential in modern hip hop production, while the group members’ explicit, humorous, and free-associative lyrics have served as a template for many subsequent hip hop records. Serving as a landmark record in the era of hip hop known as the East Coast Renaissance, its influence helped lead the way for several other East Coast hip hop artists, including Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z.

Despite its raw, underground sound, the album had surprising chart success, peaking at number 41 on the US Billboard 200 chart. By 1995, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies in the United States. Initially receiving positive reviews from most music critics, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) has been regarded by music writers as one of the most significant albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all-time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 386 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Salute to RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa,and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCZrz8siv4Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjZRAvsZf1g

Two Words: On Wisconsin! by Tina Bell Wright

Two Words….

Self Determination.

Corporate Fascism.

Your Choice.

TWO WORDS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkFOBx6j0l8

From the debate raging online and via twitter, I see miseducation is alive and well. Workers from teachers to firefighters once called public servants are now being called freeloaders. It reminds me of something RZA said in the documentary, Rhyme and Reason [paraphrasing]:why am I beefing with this brother and he has nothing and I have nothing while these other folks over there have everything and nobody is beefing with them. That doesn’t add up..I deal with mathematics.

Well, here are some numbers to consider:

1. The Walmart Corporation is richer than over 150 countries.

sources: http://www.globaltrends.com/features/shapers-and-influencers/66-corporate-clout-the-influence-of-the-worlds-largest-100-economic-entities

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2010/full_list/

2. And a good amount of that wealth goes to 4 people: The Walton family members who take 4 of the top 10 spots on the Richest Americans list, with net worth totaling 80+ billion dollars.

http://www.forbes.com/wealth/forbes-400

3. While the pay gap between a company’s CEO and its employees has a ratio of 11 to 1 in Japan and 12 to 1 in Germany, the United States ratio is an exorbitant 319 to 1.

source: http://csis.org/blog/us-tolerance-income-inequality

4. And for the most staggering numbers: the 500 richest individuals in the world have the same income as 416 million people on the poor end of the pay scale….416 million.

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/13/opinion/13kristof.html

TWO WORDS: CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS

Probably the two most dreaded words in American politics = class warfare. But they are still embraced quicker than these two hated four letter words: Karl Marx.

The reason Karl Marx is so feared is because he rightfully exposed the fallacy of wage labor.

Capitalism is a way to make money off of other people’s labor. But Walmart could not make any

money without the cheap labor it gets from the workers that make the manufactured goods it

sells [usually Chinese workers making slave wages], or the employees that provide the labor and customer service at its’ stores [making near slave wages with few benefits], or the customers who buy the goods its’ WORKERS produce [and those customers are spending money that they earn working for (sometimes near slave) wages ].

Marx predicted that this alienation (outlined above) would eventually lead to class consciousness…and the truth is, we may finally be seeing forms of class consciousness playing out all across the globe as we speak..from Egypt to Wisconsin…Bahrain to Iran. And the bigger truth is, we have corporate fascists and overreaching leaders to thank. As I’ve said many times, power will take as much as it can get away with and no less…people must fight for what we rightfully deserve. No one will give it to you.

The choices in this country could not be clearer.  On one side is the language of “cuts” and “deficits” and “sacrifices”, but in this language only one side of the coin is being shown. As I tell my classes all the time, one’s advantage is directly linked to another one’s disadvantage. They are inevitably linked. The big lie that hegemony in society perpetuates is that folks gain at no one’s expense. But on a finite planet, the pie of resources is limited. And how it is dished out at the dinner table matters. If one person takes 99 slices, that leaves 1 slice for 99 people to fight over. The other option is a more equitable distribution of resources. Only people that get more and are okay with others having less prefer the former.

What free trade did to the private sector, political corporatists are now trying to do to the public sector…weaken collective bargaining and workers’ rights. Instead of all seeing the reality of a new guilded age where the rich are getting richer, the middle class is being asked to accept the new “reality” and join the ranks of the working poor while big banks get bailed out with our tax dollars so they can horde that cash or use it to open markets overseas.

The truth the U.S. middle class has not been told is that it is expected to join the global race to the bottom, where we will be expected to compete in a global market where workers make less than a dollar a day. They are setting up Americans to “sacrifice” …to get used to a lower standard of living and accept this new world order where a small elite of corporate fascists get 95% of the pie while 95% of the world must fight for the 5% crumbs…including you now America.

Unfortunately it never is the 1% that does its own bidding…it always is the manipulated who have bought in to the narrative that the elite has sold them. People that believe that giving tax breaks to corporations and busting unions will bring jobs to America have no geopolitical sense of reality.

example = http://www.huffingtonpost.com/video/video_4000.html?1298147211

Instead of bashing me and my fellow union members for collective bargaining and securing better wages and benefits, why not demand the same for yourself?! Stop doing the bidding for corporate fascists and start putting your interest first!

TWO WORDS: STAND FIRM!

http://vimeo.com/20089255

Despite the resistance to change by some, resolve and growing class consciousness may be too strong to stop this time. But know this, even where peaceful protest can not overcome police state barbarity, universal law will. The house of cards will fall…it always does.

Two Words:

Stay Strong

Keep Pushing

People Power

In Unity

….On Wisconsin!

For more on this topic. please see my previous note: The Fire this Time: A Few Thoughts on Egypt

Link: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150134175456131

 

Ol’ Dirty Bastard is Really Crazy

Long before Kanye, the late ODB was known for bumrushing stages during award shows. At least ODB said he was doing it for the kids

By now everyone has heard numerous stories about the zanny antics of Wu Tang’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Thus far this year he has done everything from bum-rush the stage of the American Music Awards and proclaim that Wu-Tang was for the kids. He also had to respond to a law suit that claimed he had not paid child support for his 13 kids. ODB made headlines when he was shot in the back this year by armed intruders who stormed his Brooklyn apartment. He stunned the world by walking out the hospital within hours of the shooting. He became the talk of the town days later when he went to a sporting goods store in Richmond Virginia and stole a pair of 50 dollar sneakers. A warrant was issued for his arrest and from what I understand-to this day ODB still has not dealt with the matter. I know he has missed a couple of court dates.

Now, while people were recovering from the whole Virginia incident, ODB made headlines again when his jeep was stolen from in front of his recording studio. ODB also shocked the world when he changed his name to Big Baby Jesus. Needless to say, his non-Christ-like behavior angered a lot of church going folks who don’t like taking the Lord’s name in vein.

ODB found himself making headlines when he saved the lives of some kids who were caught inside a burning vehicle. He also made noise when he got himself arrested not once but twice in LA. First he set it off by booted from the House Of Blues nite club after acting ill while in a drunkin’ stupor. He found the handcuffs being slapped on him when he began threatening the security guards. His most recent LA arrest came when he was found scaling the security fence of an ex girlfriends work place. He had threatened to kill her. Prior to all that, ODB shocked folks over in Germany by standing on the balcony of his hotel butt naked. The list of ODB and his antics is a long one indeed. If memory serves me correctly, he was probably arrested close to 10 times over the past year.

Most folks, reading about ODB may think he’s doing all this for publicity. They may think he’s out trying to get a good laugh. Well last week we at KMEL Radio in San Francisco got a chance to see ODB in action for real. He came along with RZA to sit in on Sway‘s afternoon show. He was reeking with alcohol. They had to bleep out all his comments because he kept using profanities. Lucky for Sway he was wise enough to pre-record all the phone calls from fans so he could edit them before they aired.. ODB was off the hook in the studio.

He later on scared the receptionist by first asking for a hug. She attempted to give him a polite hug at which point he grabbed her and tried to ‘feel her up’. He then demanded her phone number and when she repeatedly refused, he got mad and told her he wasn’t impressed by her. He walked away and came back and again demanded a phone number. The receptionist left the office and did not return until he was escorted out the building. He then upset the receptionist from our neighboring radio station which is housed on the same floor by asking if he and her could make babies.

ODB then took it to another level by pulling out an electric stun gun and loudly proclaimed that he was going to take a dump. At that point he walked into the men’s room and proceeded to live up to his words while at the same time he was loudly singin’ for all to hear about his excremental prowess.

ODB left his mark in the city of San Francisco by allegedly stealing a leather jacket from a local record store and a pair of sun glasses from another locale. He was not caught and apprehended for any of these incidents. To put it simply, ODB is definitely on some different stuff. He for one without a doubt has a serious drinking problem. Hopefully he straightens up before he seriously hurts some one or some one hurts him..

Davey D
c 1998

 

Ole Dirty Bastard Arrested Again

ol dirty bastard

Hip Hop’s most notorious bad boy Ol’ Dirty Bastard has had happened to him what has taken place at least ten times this year.. He was arrested. This all took place last Thursday in Carson, California.

According to authorities, ODB had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend. When sheriff deputies caught up with him, he was found scaling the security gate to his ex’s job local.What makes ODB’s situation so interesting is the number of times he has been arrested this year.

One would think that he would be locked up considering all the charges that have been levied against him. There are numerous people who get pulled over and are sent away for not paying off a speeding ticket or some other ‘minor’ infraction. With ODB he’s had all sorts of charges ranging from assault to robbery to failure to appear and yet he still manages to get out and get himself rearrested. The other thing that people are speculating on is whether or not all these run ins with the law are publicity stunts..