TBT Militant Music
In keeping with our them of Civil Rights and the current state of affairs in Ferguson, MO, PMA gives you TBT Militant Music edition. When you hear the words militant music you might immediately think of the rap group Public Enemy. Public Enemy consisted of Chuck D, Professor Griff, Terminator X, the S1W (security of the 1st world) and the greatest hype man of all time, Flavor Flav. What could be more militant than having your own army? Public Enemy may come to mind first but there are many songs in Hip Hop as well as mainstream music that demanded change, some nonviolently, some By Any Means Necessary. Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley gave a platform for Hip Hop to continue the march.
X Clan know for it’s Afrocentrism and militant activism as member of the Blackwatch movement, X Clan soon gained fame for the controversy its music aroused, though commercial success was sporadic. X Clan cared more about spreading the message than record sales. The song that had the most effect on me was “Fire & Ice (100% Natural),” growing up abroad and never facing racism until I arrived in the United States, I needed X Clan. I didn’t fit in, I spoke standard English, I knew no slang and I felt hated by my own people. X Clan brought me into the fold and made me realize that black was beautiful and it was powerful.
Unlike X Clan, Public Enemy was militant and received commercial success. Public Enemy wholes premise was Black Power and that the ‘white man were damn devils.” Members of the Nation of Islam, supporters of Louis Farrakhan the leader of the Nation Of Islam, and hater of injustice anywhere. With songs like ” 911 Is A Joke,” “Fight The Power,” and ‘Shut ‘Em Down” Their best album, “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back,” featured “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos,” a song about a man imprisoned because he wouldn’t submit to the draft and his subsequent prison break. Their main objective was to teach you about where you came from and not to feed into what “the white man” was calling the young black man, evident in “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got.”
Boogie Down Productions (BDP) with front man KRS-One (Kris Reigning Supreme over nearly every one) was another militant Hip Hop group, but KRS1 was a teacher and teachers teach. Criminal Minded, their first album which featured DJ Scott La Rock who was murdered a few months after the album’s release was really a battle album. The origins of hip-hop are believed to be from the Bronx, a rival hip hop collective known as the Juice Crew’s lyrics were misunderstood to contain a claim in the song “The Bridge” that hip hop was directly a result of artists originating from Queensbrige Boogie Down and KRS retorted angrily with songs such as “The Bridge is Over” and “South Bronx,” which started one of the first notable hip hop wars as MC Shan, Marley Marl, Roxanne Shanté and Blaq Poet all released songs featuring verses personally attacking KRS and Scott La Rock. The Bridge Wars, however, were only short-lived, and after the death of Scott La Rock prior to the group’s second album, KRS began to concentrate on consciously focused music. The best song on Criminal Minded? Poetry After Criminal Minded BDP was more about knowledge of self and being civilized and rising above the confines of project living and low income, but not by drug slinging, through education and unity. Their second album My Philosophy featured “My Philosophy,” Ya Slippin’,” “Illegal Business,” and “Part Time Suckers” teaching for first track to last. On the CB4 soundtrack KRS-One went in on “Black Cop,” again, teaching the origin of blacks in law enforcement.
Hip Hop wasn’t the only genre to preach militancy, Stevie Wonder one of the greatest musicians of all time wrote “Happy Birthday,” a song penned for the late Rev Dr. Martin Luther King in effort to get King’s birthday to be made into a national holiday. King’s widow and Wonder (among others) are the reason King’s birthday is a national holiday. Wonder’s “Hotter Than July,” is one of the greatest albums of all time. “Master Blaster (We Be Jammin’,) which has a reggae feel to it, know doubt influenced by the reggae master Bob Marley who had a song a “Jammin'” Both Wonder and Marley preached love and that this love would conquer all. Marley once performed the very next day after being shot in an assassination attempt. When asked why he would do such a thing when his life was obviously in danger, Marley stated, “I am love and if I don’t show, then hatred has won and we cannot not let hatred win.”
That is a message that should be carried today. Hatred cannot win, we must fight hatred at all cost, by any means necessary.
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”