Culture Long Reads Opinion

“I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died” – Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s tricknology usage sounds much like the reverse racist cries used by those who are being held accountable for their racism. After all, Jay-Z basically called his audience dumb in the past.

Almost 53 years ago, the U.S. government killed a revolutionary that had the organizing ability to unite all oppressed people to confront and dismantle capitalism. Fred Hampton was his name. As the state was murdering him and other revolutionaries with a military-style raid on 4 December 1969 at 4:30 am while he slept next to his 8-month pregnant fiancée; in Akua Njeri, 811 miles away, a soon-to-be talented entertainer was in Kings county after being delivered from his mother’s womb 4 hours and 20 minutes before the guns fired by the pigs went off at 2337 West Monroe Street on the West side of Chicago.

Now, I must admit I’m a recovering Jay-Z fan, so I know what it is like to be carried away by his talent and not be able to think critically about what he is saying and doing. “On to Tha next” point. The kid that was raised in Marcy Houses grew up to become a parasite as a drug dealer, more than likely forced into the survival economy, and as an ex-drug dealer, he became an even bigger parasite, a “billionaire.” Then, at the age of 42, he decides to convince us, “dumb fans,” that he, as an aspiring Black capitalist, is the continuation of our revolutionary ancestor Fred Hampton who was, without a doubt, an anti-capitalist and militantly for socialism: “I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died, uh / Real niggas just multiply / And they say by 21, I was supposed to die.” 

I will try my best to disabuse my fellow “dumb” Jay-Z fans. But if Shawn Carter is your history teacher in 2022, then this damn article ain’t gonna help you!! On a serious note, the “American dream,” which many know as the Afrikan and all other Indigenous people’s nightmare, has always had a component to it called “The Negro Problem.” In other words, what is to be done with those negros after we have no more use for them? This created not only a problem for the White American elite class and its government but also for the Afrikans who were survivors of the American dream. Fred Hampton was a problem solver, and America was and still is a problem, not only for Afrikans and Indigenous people but for the planet. So it is ironic, tragic, and conspiratorial that the delusional entertainer who claims he is the new Fred Hampton is running behind the banner of “Black capitalism,” which Fred Hampton proved was a “Solution That Don’t Solve” before – as Nas called him – this “camel Judas” was born.  

So we will credit his and others’ misunderstanding to their inability to comprehend that Black capitalism is just as impossible and condescending as “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps,” which wasn’t meant to be taken literally. Based on a few back-and-forths with a mutual acquaintance of myself and Jay-Z, I think his a-political comments were referring to the concept of “Black capitalism” and not capitalism itself.

Also, I think we have to really visit the conversation about representation, as it is not liberation nor expiation. From “Black Girl Magic” to the counter-insurgent “Black Excellence” that Jay-Z and Kanye put in songs that have us celebrating mindless music, this so-called form of education is nothing more than representation and us trying to close our proximity to Whiteness. This is why Jigga would make a comment stating, “And then when we start getting in, they try to lock us out of it. They start inventing words like you know, ‘capitalist,’ you know, things like that.” I know he called us stupid, but I don’t think he is really that ignorant. This is why I think he is responding by saying that “Black capitalism” is a new creation, even though it is a well-documented concept that was used in a counter-revolutionary and tactical way in the LBJ and Nixon administrations in the 60s and 70s

Former civil rights lawyer-activist Floyd McKissick poses with an architect’s rendering of Soultech I, the first permanent building that will be part of the future “Soul City,” to be built in Warren County, N.C., June 20, 1974.

Harold Valentine/AP

“We’re not gonna be tricked out of our position,” Jay-Z continued. ” Y’all locked us out. Y’all created a system that, you know, doesn’t include us.” Actually, Jigga My Ninja, this system of exploitation includes us, our labor and blood; it exploits us, and wanting in on some of that exploitation isn’t new or started with your recent wave of parasitic celebrities. But, again, looking at the video above, Fred Hampton was talking about making opportunists like you in his day taste blood in their mouth before you were born, G! 

“And, you know, now it’s like, you know, you know, ‘Eat the rich,’ and, man, we’re not stopping, so that evolution is, you know, from us.”

Before I get to this dude talking about “eat the rich,” let’s bring Fred Hampton back into space. In organizing, our revolutionary ancestors had to struggle through street movements like the Black Disciples and the Blackstone Rangers.  The leader of the Rangers told Fred that he and some of the Black Panthers would be rich if they joined their drug operation. I am sure you know our beloved chairman declined, but WWJD (what would Jay-Z do?). The a-historical philosopher “Jigspeare thine negus” obviously doesn’t know what his fellow European-minded philosopher meant in the 18th century when he said, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.” 

I mean, Jay-Z was right; being called a capitalist or a Black capitalist is derogatory, but the title fits; it means you are exploitative and a parasite and that, of course, you are anti-Afrikan and hate the planet.

When Marco Rubio spoke out against Jay-Z for wearing a shirt with Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s face on it, he and y’all were sure he was a revolutionary doing a revolutionary act… but guess who said different? “Once more, I was able to convince myself how criminal the capitalistic octopuses are. On a picture of our old and bewailed comrade Stalin, I swore not to rest before these capitalistic octopuses are destroyed” (Ernesto “Che” Guevara). “Che” also said, “In capitalist society, individuals are controlled by a pitiless law usually beyond their comprehension.” Eminem and Nas weren’t the only ones to give Jay barz. “Che” seemingly was referring to Jay-Z when he said, “The leaders were only propagandists that make capitalism out to be better than what it truly is… propagandists are liars in how they show capitalism because they would leave the images of poverty and suffering that a capitalist society brought.”

I don’t know how we can come to the painful reality that these celebrities are used by the actual capitalists who are their ventriloquists that are ultimately in control of how our entertainers move and what they say. When Jay-Z called his White weed man “plug” to get in on some of the money and offer up the Black masses to the actual capitalist, the then Caliva CEO answered the phone like, “How did you get a hold of us, and tell me who you are again?” 

Of course, I’m sure you have people in your face and on your timeline defending this clown, being carried away with the propaganda that Jay-Z has spread. “Now a nigga wrist match the status of my records / Used to rock a throwback, ballin’ on the corner / Now I rock a tailored suit, lookin’ like a owner.” Whether it’s him or Diddy or whoever, the write-up of all their “partnerships” is mainly their J.O.B. of being the marketing and branding guy for the actual capitalist: “Brand strategy and marketing playbook led by Shawn ‘JAY-Z’ Carter and Roc Nation, leveraging unparalleled cultural influence of leading artists and entertainers to build the most valuable and scalable brand IP in cannabis.”  

Photo Cred: From TPCO’s Investor Presentation 2020

Shit, I’m too annoyed to keep going, so I’m gonna wrap up here. When Judas, I mean Jay, says “power to the people,” this is what he is saying  (read it slow or a couple of times if you need to): “All-black everything, nigga, you know my fresh code / I’m out here fighting for you, don’t increase my stress load / Niggas watching the throne, very happy to be you / Power to the people, when you see me, see you.”

On the other hand, you have Fred Hampton speaking about power to the people months before Jay-Z moved into the birth canal of his mom. “We have to understand very clearly that there’s a man in our community called a capitalist. Sometimes he’s Black, and sometimes he’s White. But that man has to be driven out of our community because anybody who comes into the community to profit off the people by exploiting them can be defined as a capitalist. And we don’t care how many programs they have, how long a dashiki they have. Because political power does not flow from the sleeve of a dashiki; political power flows from the barrel of a gun—it flows from the barrel of a gun!”

“Financial freedom my only hope / Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke.” Lastly, check out my bro Dr. Jared Ball as he exposes the silliness of this financial freedom fraudster as he goes back to prey on his old hood Marcy.


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