Hip-Hop News: Jasiri X on Afghanistan

Hip-Hop News: It’s what the kids are listening to.

This Week With Jasiri X is the groundbreaking Hip-Hop news series by Pittsburgh-based Nation of Islam minister Jasiri X.

Each episode of This Week With Jasiri X features him reporting the national news over the rap and hip-hop tracks. “Using lyrical skills, controversial subject matter, and phat beats, Jasiri X shows that real Hip-hop is not dead,” says his Web site.

Chuck D of Public Enemy once said that “Hip-hop was the CNN of the ghetto.” No artist embraces and embodies that concept better than Jasiri X.

jasiri-x-picHis newest video is on Afghanistan. It examines what lead up to Afghanistan’s intimate and volatile relationship with the U.S.

In the classic tradition of Romantic poetry, Jasiri X identifies Afghanistan as a woman and examines her relationship with the Men (and their armies) surrounding her. The strategic use of video from Dr. King and the resonant refrain “Bring the Troops Home” is powerful!

Jasiri X’s putting the prophetic politics back into hip-hop, returning it to its roots from Public Enemy, with its reference to John Dillinger who was named by the FBI during the Great Depression as “Public Enemy Number 1” (though many of the hungry poor public referred to Dillinger as a “Robin Hood”).

Jasiri X is a MC, activist and entrepreneur who made his way onto the national and international hip-hop scene with the controversial hit song “FREE THE JENA 6,” which played on more than 100 radio stations across the U.S. It was also named “Hip-hop Political Song of the Year” and won “Single of the Year” at the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards in 2007.

Afghanistan (HerStory) was produced by Kai Roberts and directed by Paradise the Arkitech of X-Clan. Check out more videos at Real Talk Express and Justin Richardson’s page at The Gathering for Justice.

On Not Being a Consensus-Leader

On January 14, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King took time out of his busy speaking schedule to travel to the Santa Rita prison to meet with and offer his support to anti-war activist and singer Joan Baez, her mother Joan Bridges Baez, her sister Mimi Farina, and others imprisoned for blocking the Oakland draft induction center. In an impromptu press conference outside the jail, King reflected on civil disobedience and the nature and cost of prophetic leadership.

“Henry David Thoreau said in his essay on civil disobedience that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. I do not plan to cooperate with evil at any point. …

“I’m not a consensus-leader. I do not determine what is right and wrong by looking at the budget of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference or by taking a Gallup poll of the majority opinion. Ultimately, a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but he is a molder of consensus.

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position  that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”–Dr. Martin Luther King (January 14, 1968, in front of the jail in Santa Rita, California)

Listen to the whole podcast here.

.