M1 interview at the Free Your Hood Coalition concert

M1 interview at the Free Your Hood Coalition concert

Tonight is dedicated to police brutality and racial profiling. At times they go together but what is the bigger issue here?

The bigger issue is oppression against our people. That is the primary contradiction that everything stems from when you talk about all the issues in the world. Police brutality, oppression against women, oppression against gay people. We start talking about war on poverty, war on gangs, war on drugs. All that stems from oppression against poor and exploited people of the world.

Do you feel that any of the actions by police/government is ever justified or do you think that it is completely one sided?

Its never justified. Realistically the person committing an act never gets to judge. It’s not about whether the police is ever right. The system itself is never right. If you try to make it subjective to a person, then a person could be right or wrong, but the system does not have the ability to assert between the oppression and exploitation. The system has no sympathy for the oppressed people. The system is built on slavery and exploitation of our people and it goes forward and never stops or does any reparations or repair that it has done.

When you say our people, are you referring to African-Americans or to a greater issue?

I refer to the poor and oppressed everywhere. I represent African. Not African-Americans. I represent Africans who ended up here. Some call it African-Americans, negroes, people of color. Our origin is in Africa and it’s a serious serious serious thing. We really have to focus on that, because if we solve the problem for Africa we solve the problem all over the world.

Do you feel that the recognition of African history is done well in this country?

No, of course there hasn’t. It would go totally against the new history for Africa they created. See, when they did that, it legitimizes where America stands today. That’s why they can’t talk about it, the history of Africa barely gets a mention. The resistance movement barely gets a mention. It makes it seem as if we didn’t resist.

Recently rap music has been dealing with social issues far less and more with gang violence, drugs and partying. Do you feel like rap music has been sort of removing itself from the culture of Hip Hop?

The culture of Hip Hop vs. rap music? Definitely. There is a difference there. At the same time it is transforming itself into what this country is letting it be. If we let the US make this culture it will only be a white power culture. Hip Hop represents US imperialism around the world. Its not because of me, its because of white power. There is nothing that we have done through our music that says the things it does now. White power has coerced it into doing so.

How do you feel an average Hip Hop listener can empower him or herself to help with the situation?

One has to become informed and find practical solutions. Becoming informed means getting political education. Not one based upon statistics of sinister projects. we have the information, what will you do about it?

A lot of people would like to take a stand but are not skilled to do so. Is there something less orthodox that you would recommend?

Theory, practice, theory. I learned this from Omali Yeshitela of the African people. Theory, practice, theory means that we access the world how it is and form a theory on how we got that way. Practice based upon how we can change the world. Then come back and see if our theory worked. Then form a new theory. This is something that is age old. I was taught this by Uhuru movement. Realistically based on the idea of how the world works we can change it.

Guliani and Bloomberg cleaned up the city a great deal. The crime rates went down everywhere here. Do you feel like they have truly been affective or have things been swept under the carpet?

They did not clean up New York and crime did not go down. The things that they did is more arrests. People are not any less impoverished or suffocated by capitalism and misery thou. Reality is that we still try to make ends meet. With Guliani we see more of overt realism and with Bloomberg we see a regressed approach.

The prison population in the US is like no other in the world. What are your thoughts on that and do you propose any solutions here?

The government can’t find a solution because their solution is prisons. That’s why so many prisons are being built. So solution to that would be figuring out why the criminalization of the community takes place. It’s not a coincidence that the black community is so criminalized. It’s not a coincidence that the most effective laws against the black community are the drug laws. The policies create a booming prison economy. It’s not a system, it’s an economy. The US has created the criminalization process and that’s what we have to fight against.

Talking about police, there is a lot of police, mostly in rural communities, that stay very close to public and help out a great deal. In New York police seems to have committed a great deal of crimes against people, Sean Bell and many others. Do you feel like we have a broken link of communication in our city or is this a never-ending story for New York?

There will never be a communication with police that’s clear. They are the protectors of the system, protectors of the state. They are the first line of defense for the state, their army, air force, marines. They represent the rich and ruling class that opposes the position of the oppressed. They can not be linked. The only link is reparations and revolution. I know it’s hard and I’m sorry that it seems so black and white, but this is how it is. The only grey area is where we can built coalitions and have solidarity. There is nothing that we can gain by policing of our community by our oppressor. What we need is being able to make our own calls and resolve our issues according to the leadership in our community. That’s all. Other than that its all oppression.