From the Hip Hop Generation

root - Posted on 01 January 2000

*The Hip-Hop Generation Can Call For Peace by Jeff Chang

*STORM: Four Main Points

*Where is Hip Hop? Right Here! by Davey D

*The WTC Attacks by Ernie Paniccioli

by PNN Staff

The Hip-Hop Generation Can Call For Peace
by Jeff Chang

This past weekend, as we mourned the countless victims of 9/11 and built
with each other in passionate conversations on what to do next, President
George W. Bush finally and unequivocally declared war.

He ordered a call-up of 50,000 reservists—the first step towards
reinstituting the draft—while preparing Americans for a long, ground war
that could leave many innocent Afghanis dead or displaced. Reversing the
Powell doctrine to seize upon a desire for vengeance, he warned that there
may be no forseeable end to this war, and declared no specific enemy.

This does not bode well for the hip-hop generation. As STORM, the Bay Area
hip-hop activist organization says, "Increasingly, safety at home will
require justice abroad." Bush’s open-ended war could leave us increasingly
insecure, subject to more terror not less, with less justice for all in the

Because of its history, the global hip-hop generation can play a crucial
moral role in the call for peace—peace on the streets where we live, and a
global peace free from terror.

At one time, others dissed our generation by saying that we were privileged,
that we had never been tested by war. [This was before Bush’s father opened
the Persian Gulf War.] The fact is that hip-hop was born under the
conditions of war. It grew and spread as a global alternative to war.

Before hip-hop, during the early 1970s, Jamaica’s bloody tribal wars
fostered a music and culture of defiance in roots, dancehall and dub reggae.
This music and culture—a safe space from the bloody gang runnings on the
street—immigrated to the Bronx—a space so devastated by deindustrialization
and governmental neglect that when Ronald Reagan visited in 1980, he
declared that it looked like London after World War II. In the Bronx, the
Universal Zulu Nation, hip-hop’s first institution and organization,
literally emerged from a peace forged between racially divided, warring

As Reagan took office, immigration was rapidly browning the face of America.
The "culture war" was declared—a way to contain the nation’s growing
diversity. Culture warriors went after youth in their schools; they fought
multiculturalism, ethnic studies, and affirmative action. In Congress, they
sought limits on movie and music content.

Hip-hop turned out to be everything they detested—it was real,
truth-telling, unapologetic, and, worst of all, their kids loved it. Imagine
how they felt when Chuck D enlistened millions into the opposition by
rhyming, "They’ll never care for the brothers and sisters cause the country
has us up for a war."

In one sense, hip-hop won the culture war. By the end of the 80s, Public
Enemy and Spike Lee, John Singleton and N.W.A., and other brothers and
sisters had crashed the lily-white pop culture mainstream. Hip-hop became
the single most potent global youth force in a generation.

But the culture war had serious political consequences, too. Right-wingers
manufactured the conditions—moving drugs and guns into the ghetto via the
wars in Central America—for a resurgence of gang warfare. And they succeeded
in stigmatizing inner-city gangs—whose ranks, of course, were swoll with
young, poor people of color—as mindlessly, irredeemably violent and evil.

Hip-hop reveled in the young generation’s diversity. The culture warriors
taught other generations to be afraid of it. When the 90s came, they warned
of a coming wave of juvenile crime, one that would crest with the darkening
demographic surge.

Their apocalyptic predications began a dramatic shift in juvenile justice,
away from rehabilitation towards incarceration. 48 states made their
juvenile crime statutes more punitive. Dozens of cities instituted curfews,
anti-cruising laws, and sweep ordinances (which were ruled unconstitutional
by the Supreme Court but have reappeared in many cities).

Especially after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, as urgent gang truce work
forged peaces across the country, the new laws were implemented at a
feverish clip and enforced with a heavy hand. Juvenile arrests and detention
populations skyrocketed, even as juvenile violent crime rates plummeted.

Local police, the FBI, and private companies began compiling gang databases.
Every young boy or girl of color who fit the profile—sagging, baggy jeans,
athletic shoes, hip-hop swagger—became fodder for the gang databases. In
Cook County, IL, the gang database was two-thirds black. In Orange County,
CA, 92 percent of those listed in the gang database were of color. Angry
Black, Chicano and Latino parents in Denver, CO, learned that eight of every
ten young people of color in the entire city were listed.

Postmodern racial profiling was invented for the hip-hop Generation, the
most catalogued and surveillanced in history. Along with the "war on
drugs"—the only result of which has been racist sentencing and the largest
prison population in world history—what hip-hop activists called the "war on
youth" left a generation staring into a tense present and an insecure

These are the reasons why thousands of hip-hop activists came out to protest
at the Republican and Democratic Conventions last year. They took courageous
stands against the massive profiling and imprisoning of a generation;
against the death penalty; for better education; and for stopping gang
violence. They linked these issues to global struggles for economic and
racial justice.

Now that President Bush has declared an open war with no clear enemy, the
global, multiracial, polycultural hip-hop generation can elevate beyond the
chant of "No justice, no peace"—a cry that, in truth, sounds much different
when uttered by Bush.

If we can understand the history of wars from Israel to Afghanistan the way
that we understand our own generation’s history, we can link what is
happening on our streets with what is happening in our world.

We can call for peace on our streets—to be free from profiling and
imprisoning, to be free from the cycle of violence that causes us to kill
each other needlessly.

And we can call for peace in our world—to be free from the kind of terror
that strikes our bodies and our hearts, to be free from the cycles of
violence driven by geopolitical posturing and economic greed that cause us
to kill each other needlessly.

Everyone deserves a better, safer future. Hip-hop has already survived many
wars. Time and again, we have learned how to react to crisis by forging a
principled peace. As we stand on the brink of the biggest war we have ever
faced, let us come together to find the most powerful, lasting peace yet.

[Reply to:]


by STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary
Movement), Bay Area activist group with deep hip-hop roots

1. Oppose terrorism, and build people’s power: We mourn the loss of life
and the great pain endured by those who have suffered as a result of these
attacks. Those of us who desire a world free from exploitation and
oppression must rely on the consciousness, capacity and confidence of
working class and oppressed people to carry out our own liberation. There
are no shortcuts in this process. Acts of terrorism against civilian
targets do not advance this process, but retard it. We oppose the use of
terror tactics - especially such tactics against civilian populations – as
destructive to the fundamental aims of the liberation movement. We must
organize our people to liberate themselves with the clarity of their own
minds, the courage of their own hearts and the work of their own hands.

2. Oppose the narrowing or elimination of the people’s democratic rights:
The U.S. government must stop using the suffering of the victims of these
attacks as an excuse to narrow and eliminate the people’s democratic rights.
We oppose any and all efforts to increase the funding and authority of U.S.
police and intelligence agencies as a "solution" to this crisis. We are
disgusted by the present attempts by the U.S. security and surveillance
establishment to use this tragedy to orchestrate a cynical power grab and to
cash in on the pain of the victims. We oppose any efforts to wipe out the
people’s fragile and precious privacy rights; we oppose any efforts to
curtail the people’s basic First Amendment rights to assemble, speak,
publish, protest and organize free from government harassment and
surveillance. We must now be extraordinarily vigilant against threats
directed against the people - not from underground cells, but from the
highest levels of government.

3. Rely on global justice to deter future attacks: The system, in the
United States and worldwide, has continually denied peaceful, "legitimate"
attempts by those seeking justice and freedom. Through its own reckless,
violent and oppressive actions against poor people and people of color, the
United States government has fueled frustration, grief and outrage here and
across the globe. Just as we mourn the pain and the loss of life stemming
>from these recent attacks on U.S. soil, we continue to mourn the pain and
the loss of life that U.S. military and economic domination inflicts on
people worldwide. Suffering under this oppression, people throughout the
world are becoming more and more desperate. Neither police repression at
home nor U.S. bombs abroad will ease this fundamental despair; to the
contrary, such actions will only continue this vicious cycle of frustration
and violence. Ordinary people in the United States can best deter future
attacks by insisting that the U.S. government abandon its oppressive role of
keeping down workers and dominating poor nations around the world.
Increasingly, safety at home will require justice abroad. Intensified
police crackdowns at home and military savagery abroad are not the answer;
the answer is justice. We must not allow the United States to respond with
bombs for Third World people and continued support for repressive
dictatorships and rapacious corporations. Instead, we demand that the US
respond to this crisis with efforts to meet the legitimate demands of the
majority of the human family.

4. Oppose racist, anti-Arab bigotry: The media is already feeding the
frenzy of anti-Arab hysteria. We cannot allow U.S. racism to blind our
minds or cloud our hearts. Stereotypes and scapegoating will not lead us
out of this crisis. Solidarity and compassion will. All people – and
especially African-Americans, Asian/Pacific-Americans, Latinas/os and Native
Americans – must stand in solidarity with our Arab and Muslim sisters and

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL STORM/Standing Together to Organize a
Revolutionary Movement, 510.496.6094


by Davey D

Over the past week, I've had a number of discussions and read a number
of emails with people pointing fingers demanding to know what the Hip
Hop community is going to do and where does the Hip Hop community
stand on the WTC Attacks? The questions have been asked in such a way
as to imply that many of us have removed ourselves from tragedy and we
have not been effected. It implies that even at this sad moment cats
are running around drinking crystal and trying to keep it 'gangsta'.
I wanted to take some time out to give props and perhaps set the
record straight.

First, many Hip Hoppers were upset, traumatized, worried and now
grieving like everyone else...When the attacks first occurred many
people were concerned about family and friends. 'We're they safe?'
'Did they witness the horror?' 'Was anyone they know missing?' This
drama was complicated by the fact that many in the Hip Hop community
were still grieving over the loss of Aaliyah who had perished less
than two weeks prior to the WTC attacks. Y'all recall seeing cats
like DMX break down? Others like Q-Tip and Damon Dash were
devastated. Candlelight vigils were being held all over the country.
Grief was in the air from coast to coast. Here in the Bay Area people
were not only dealing with that loss but also the sudden fatal car
accident that resulted in the deaths of two popular Bay Area artists.
This happened a week after Aaliyah died. The funeral for Cougnut was
scheduled the day of the attack. Cats all over the Bay had heavy
hearts. All this was being processed when the attacks occurred.

Shortly after the attacks, I saw an email circulating from my man Yoda
of the pioneering group The Crash Crew letting folks know his cousin
was missing. I'm not sure of the end results. Hopefully tragedy
didn't strike his family. Another email circulated indicating that
rap star Dana Dane who worked at the World Trade in the computer field
was also MIA. For several days people were concerned. Fortunately,
there was a happy ending. Dana Dane was found alive and well. He
wasn't at work that fateful morning. Many other artists and Hip
Hoppers found themselves on the road stranded from their home base.
If you lived in NY and was outside of NY it was damn near impossible
to get phone calls through. I know for myself I was on pins and
needles for several days as I waited anxiously to hear back from
family, friends and loved ones that were on my list who I couldn't
reach from 3000 miles away. It was mad hectic and continues to be for
many within Hip Hop.

With that being said I have to be honest when I say we have to give
major props to many in the Hip Hop community who have stepped up big
time in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks. First we have
Dr Dre who has dug deep into his pockets and donated 1 million dollars
to help relief efforts and rescue workers. His fat donation was done
in conjunction with a larger relief effort being put forth by Los
Angeles' Power 106 radio station. Other artists like Snoop Dogg,
Warren G, Shaq and Jay-Z who was stuck in LA for the past week have
also chipped in... Big Boy [another Hip Hopper] who hosts Power 106's
popular morning show set a goal of raising 1.6 million dollars. It's
an achievable figure if each of Power's listeners donate 1 dollar

Wyclef Jean who recently lost his father a week or so ago, in a freak
accident will be participating in tonight's [Friday] TV Network
telethon 'America A Tribute to Heroes". Others like Busta Rhymes and
Run DMC are participating with the 'We Are Family' benefit project
which is being put together by producer Nile Rogers who is bringing a
number of other artists together to re-record the Sister Sledge
classic of the same name. The Wu-Tang Clan has donated 10 thousand
dollars to Hot 97s Hip Hop has a Heart Foundation. DMX and his Ruff
Ryders crew will be doing a special concert to raise money for relief
efforts.. There are dozens of others who are have been contributing

P-Diddy stepped up and chipped in with his parent company Arista
Records to donate 2 million dollars to relief efforts. Other groups
like the Da Beatminerz have put on charity events like the one they
did last night [Thursday Sept 20th]. The Arsonists have pledged to
donate 50% of their album sales. FUBU clothing has donated 25
thousand bucks. Last week Michael Franti and Spearhead did not one,
but two free concerts to show support and solidarity with Arab
Americans who have suddenly become the victims of vicious hate crimes.

The day after the bombing, Bay Area Hip Hop organizations like Lets
Get Free, Youth Force Coalition, STORM, and Underground Railroad
teamed up with community based organizations and held the first of
several Anti-Arab solidarity rallies drawing more than 500 people.
They felt it was important that communities of color in Oakland come
together and make a statement. Everyone from local artists to poet
June Jordan came through and represented.

Dwayne Wiggins gathered up dozens of local poets and artists and had a
huge event at his Java House Coffeeshop where folks spoke out about
the recent attacks.. BET actually had a crew on hand to cover it.. I
have no idea when it will be shown. So many people came through that
folks wound up having to stand outside to listen.. Local artists
Company of Prophets, Underground Railroad and Loco Bloco are helping
organize a solidarity March and Rally Against Racism and this
Saturday, September 22 at Delores Park at 11 am..

Many Hip Hop writers and journalists have been stepping up and writing
compelling pieces dealing with this event from various angles. For
example, Hip Hop writer Jeff Chang has penned an incredible article
called "The Hip-Hop Generation Can Call For Peace". Author Ferai
Chideya of has a number of articles on her website
dealing with before, during and after the event. Yvonne Bynoe of
Urban Think Tank which is a hip hop think tank and publishes Doula
Magazine, has a reflective essay about how she became 'more American'
after the attacks. Hip Hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli has also
penned some deep words in an essay which is being widely distributed.
Cedric Muhammed of continues to drop all sorts of
knowledge on the ins and outs of Middle East politics and culture. He
clearly explains all the challenges that we as a country will be

Producer/ artist Kwame Anku and his Urban Campfire project which does
a lot of work with Chuck D has been traveling the country from
Connecticut to San Diego holding townhall meetings and providing young
people with an important forum to express their views. In a recent
radio interview he pointed out that a lot of people are being brought
to the table to speak on all these issues. What has been missing our
the voices of young people and the Hip Hop community. He noted that
whatever solutions are laid out, this audience should have some sort
of perspective out there being considered. He has been doing what he
can to ensure that happening. The Urban Campfire project will be
doing a big townhall next week during The Congressional Black Caucus.

All this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many are doing what they can
under what are some extremely stressful and mind boggling conditions.
I've witnessed Hip Hop and mixshow DJs taking time out to educate
themselves so they speak intelligently on the air about this
situation. Others have been launching projects ranging from blood
drives to on air fundraising efforts..

I thought I'd share some of this information because lots of people
who stay glued to CNN and MSNBC have arrogantly stated that they have
not heard from the Hip Hop community.... Mmmm Did they expect artists
to be sitting up there on CNN next to Chris Mathews? Did they expect
artists to be offering expert opinions alongside Katie Couric on the
Today show? There are many within Hip Hop who certainly could speak
on the issue. Many have traveled around the world. Many have
political perspectives. The question is 'did they get the call to be
invited on these shows?

I saw rappers speaking out at some of the solidarity rallies. I saw
cameras there. I saw newspapers there. I even saw some of them being
interviewed. However, when it came time to showing the final cut on
the evening news the artists were missing. It was like they weren't
even there even though they played a major part in both the organizing
and participating. Hence because of the narrow casting in news
coverage, the average person has no idea what Mos Def, Common, Talib
Kweli or KRS-One is thinking.

There are many Hip Hoppers with national name recognition who are of
Middle Eastern descent who stay abreast of international politics.
Why not get a guy like King Tech of the Wake Up Show or famed producer
Fredwreck to offer their unique perspectives on all this? There are
many artists within Hip Hop who are Muslim. Let's get their
perspective. Are they being attacked? Harassed? Accused of being
unpatriotic? Last week we had a number of local Muslims Hip Hoppers
on our airwaves talking about their take on things. It was a powerful
show in which they spoke about the true meaning of Islam. They broke
down how there were people from all races who practice Islam and they
also loaned critical insight to some of the political happenings in the
regions where were are about attack. I know our audience got a lot
out of it. Too bad we couldn't hear these same Hip Hoppers on some of
other news outlets.

We continuously make the mistake of thinking if they ain't on the
local TV show in the local paper or heard on the local radio station
then they don't exist. I always suggest to people, instead of asking
what have the rappers been doing. Ask local reporters have they
gotten a perspective and insight from the Hip Hop community. If I
can sit up here and watch TV shows go out and get opinions of actors
like Arnold Shwartznegger, George Clooney and Julia Roberts, then
certainly they can go out and seek the opinions of Chuck D, KRS-One or
even Ice Cube.

Also I'd like to add this for us to think about. Hip Hop is a lot
larger than the artists we see in videos and hear on radio. Hence
there are a number of people and organizations that people can get
insightful well understood perspectives. I'd love to turn on CNN or
even my local news show and see or hear sitting at the table a Kevin
Powell, Michael Franti, April Silver, Ferai Chideya, Jeff Chang,
Cedric Muhammed, Yvonne Bynoe, Harry Allen, Boots, Van Jones, Kwame
Anku, Cheo Choker, Raquel Lavina, Dominique Diprima, Adissa Banjoko,
Bas-1, Hodari Davis, Akiba Solomon, Will Power, Najee Ali, Kuttin'
Kandi, Christie Z Pabon, Bambaataa, Fabel, Crazy Legs etc. The list
goes on. There are lots of folks within Hip Hop who are out and about
organizing, speaking out and making things happen. Lets not act like
cats aren't around doing things. The Hip Hop community has responded
big time. From Dr Dre to P-Diddy to Company of Profits to Michael
Franti. Hip Hoppers have rose to the occasion. Lets make no
mistake. And the Hip Hop community does not need to be subjected to
some sort 'patriotic' litmus test.

Lastly let me say this.. There are dozens of Hip Hop radio shows and
publications all over the country. I would certainly hope our
'leaders' take advantage and use those mediums to reach out to that
large audience. I know for myself, my very popular Hip Hop shows have
been blessed with lots of insightful, heartfelt discussions.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee blessed our airwaves this past weekend as
did Boots of The Coup. Calls are out to Reverend Al Sharpton,
Reverend Jesse Jackson and Cornel West to name a few. The doors are
open and the opportunity is there for them to speak. Whether or not
they do so is on them at this time. I would encourage such leaders to
speak directly to our audience and provide the insight and expertise
they have worked so hard to achieve. To not do so is to widen the
communication gap and leave all of us scratching our heads asking
'Whats up"?

So where is Hip Hop and What has Hip Hop been doing? Hip Hop is
right here alongside you doing their part and trying to deal with what
was once seen as unimaginable. Now Hip Hoppers have to deal with not
only their grief, but also the the prospect of war that will change
their world forever and certainly involve them. It's a lot to
shoulder, but I'm certain we will do the right thing.


by Ernie Paniccioli

First, before anything keep in mind the loss of life pain and
suffering of the victims and the survivors. The impact of this day
will be felt for generations. No religion, political party, belief
structure, cause or grudge can justify or condone this beast like act.
Our lives will not be the same in America or any other place in the
world. The financial loss alone will be felt even in the poorest
shantytown in the Third World. Anywhere else in this world especially
Japan, the Presidents, and CEO s of the hijacked airlines would have
been on TV apologizing and offering to resign for allowing not one,
but possibly five planes to be hijacked. To my knowledge, this has
not yet happened.

A sad coincidence or irony is the airlines involved were American and
United and now every minute we hear the call for a United America.
Were the hijackers trying to tell us something like using 9-11 (911)
as the day to commit this crime? Many folks slept on prophecy and
when what they though was the millennium had passed they snickered at
scripture and prophecy. If the millennium is the celebration of the
2000th birthday of Christ, then it must be celebrated in 2001. Does
Revelation 18 refer to the World Trade Center; I for one suggest it
does and further it talks of New York City as well. We must now go
from the spiritual to the political and ask what does the future hold
for our youth and the so-called Hip-Hop generation. Try these on for
size to see who benefited from this crime against humanity.

(1) Forced induction into the military.

(2) A vast erosion of civil rights and civil liberties.

(3) Possible Martial Law.

(4) Widespread layoffs and financial hardships including a stand still
of the airline, hotel and tourism industries.

(5) Massive deportation of thousands of undocumented aliens who have
committed no crime being poor, hungry and having the desire to work
and feed their families.

(6) Racial and ethnic profiling, both by the government and misguided
"patriotic Americans".

Experience has taught me nothing happens in a vacuum, the week before
the horror America, Zionism and Israel were being skewered at the
Conference On Racism, America was being asked to pay reparations which
would amount to billions of dollars. All signs and the stock market
indicated America was headed into a recession and the tensions in the
Middle East were at the boiling point Americans were divided over
whether or not we had witnessed a Coup d etat and a stolen
presidential election. There are voices even now that suggest this
horror might be the second phase of that Coup d etat or another phase
of the activities of the establishment of The New world Order.

We must never feed into the Zealot mind set. Never believe as so many
do that we alone are the chosen people, that our religion our God is
the only valid form of worship. That our way is the only way or that
God has put you on this Earth to shame or civilize the heathens.
Fundamentalism, zealotry and racial bigotry will create wars and
hatred for generations to come. The worst enemies of peace on this
planet are the zealots and fundamentalists, they can be found in every
religion. They all worship some musty book and not the creator it is
supposed to represent. They all feel they are the chosen of God, that
they are somehow wiser, more enlightened more sacred, more holy, than
other people who share the Earth. They all have scapegoats, the
filthy Jews, the dirty Arabs, the dumb niggers, those honkies, those
stinking dot-heads, those porch monkies, etc., etc., etc. Remember
the words of Haile Selassie as sung by Bob Marley "Until the
philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is
discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war ."

Lets analyze this Osama bin Laden scenario carefully, he is an avowed
enemy and hater of America, and if he were to admit or boast about
having committed this horror he would become the terrorist "super
hero" and poster boy. If he did it, one of the most heinous act of
modern history why would he not take credit for it? A great rule of
thumb is that whenever anything important happens turn on the VCR and
record every news flash. I taped about 24 hours of events that
happened too fast to be filtered or censored. One amazing item I
"caught on tape" was "someone called the Secret Service on Air Force
One, had their phone numbers and secret codes and said we re coming
for you now" while Bush was in the air fleeing Washington. Either
these assassins had "inside" help every step of the way or else all
the money we have poured into defense and security has been wasted,
stolen or misused. If "angry, red blooded Americans" are seeking
justice by killing and beating up Arabs, Muslims and other "Middle
Eastern" types did they do the same when the Oklahoma City bomber was
revealed to be a blonde haired, blue eyed good ol boy ?

On a more personal note I visited the fantastic restaurant Windows On
The World at the top of the World Trade Center for my daughters
birthday just a couple of weeks before the explosions and felt sick
with dread, told my family we ve got to split and saw dead people
dancing in the club. I have been in those building hundreds of times
and never before experienced anything like that premonition. My
daughter saw the plane crash into the second tower and the buildings
crumble from her window at work.

Lastly I suggest those of you who read to please check out "Rule By
Secrecy" by Jim Marrs and to check out These may help
you explore other insights into what happened and where we may be
heading in the next few weeks and months. My heart aches and I
suggest this is a powerful time for unity as human beings on this
Earth. We need reason, calm, hope and prayer to get through this
together. This is a good time to be kind and gentle to folks, you
don t know if the person next to you lost a love one, a friend or
their job or is just in shock or denial.

Peace Ernie Paniccioli

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The FNV Newsletter

written by Davey D

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