If the way all those MCs hold their hands up like triangles is any indication, the Spirit of '76 -- Bavaria-style -- is alive in well in Hip-Hop.
In Freemasonry and Black Nationalism I touched (far too) briefly on Freemasonry in the Hip-Hop community. I should have said a lot more, but I ran out of steam -- but not out of information. It seems at quick glance that both pro- and anti-Masonic lyrics are fairly common in Hip-Hop, as are references to the the Illuminati. Indeed, a whole genre of conspiracy theory has grown up around this subject and a Google or two will bring up scores of videos, articles and even books dedicated to the Illuminati's Hip-Hop hijinx. A word or two is required to light up the shadows cast by these large-looming and wonky ashlars of bad information. Or to put it another way, there are a lot of turds caught up in the slick green threads of the Internets!
If my memory serves me well, Public Enemy and X Clan referred to Masonry quite frequently, often echoing the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Quite a few groups had NOI affiliations to some degree or other. The Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the NOI with Masonic influences, was a huge influence on the development of Hip-Hop slang. It's clear some MCs were drawing from a rather deep lyrical well when addressing the subject.
On the other hand, it almost appears that in recent years dropping references to Masonry or the Illuminati has been a kind of fashion among MCs, perhaps as a way to enhance their mystique, or as another means of projecting power, much like references to firearms and symbols of physical prowess, sexual charisma, financial success and lyrical mastery.
I'm hoping perhaps LoS follower Burger Boy will help us out here! He had this to say in response to a recent post
Jamaican DJ Vybz Kartel openly displays his Masonic affiliation, especially prior to his recent arrest on murder charges (in no way am I attempting to connect his Masonry with his arrest). He proudly displayed his Masonic ring on one of his most recent CD releases. Vybz is not what dancehall fans would call 'conscious' or 'Rasta.' He's more along the lines of guys like Bounty Killer or Ninja Man, in that they are 'slack' with their themes/lyrics.
The Wu Tang Clan was overtly 5%'er, as were groups like Poor Righteous Teachers. Wu Tang would wear you out with 5% proselytizing, and I've read that ODB was, suprisingly, the most adept at its teachings.
So whaddaya say, BB? For that matter, it's an open call to anybody.
- Can you cite us any references to Masonry and/or the Illuminati in Hip-Hop lyrics? I know a few, but I haven't really listened to Hip-Hop on a regular basis since the 90s.
- Do you know of any MCs or DJs who are Masons? What about affiliations or sympathies with the Nation of Islam?? The 5 Percenters?
I'd like to tackle this one in a bit more depth, but I'll be fishing for leads for a while. For the moment I'll just whet yer thirst with an example by Rick Ro$$, featuring Jay-Z, whose appearances last year in Five Percenter gear prompted a minor media hubbub....not to mention my own post. This track appeared on Ro$$' album Teflon Don (2010), a critical and modest commercial success.
from Ro$$' Free Mason
Free Mason, freelancer, free agents, we fasterI have nowhere near the breadth of knowledge necessary to do this topic full justice, so any advice or references are welcome. I think my track will be to look at the origin of the conspiracy theory and its variations, a broad overview of lyrical references and finally, try to see if I can compile a reliable list of Masons in Hip-Hop. But I'm open to suggestions and collaboration on this one.
Big contracts, big contractors, built pyramids, period we masters
No caterpillars, it was just a lot of niggas
A lot of great thinkers and a lot of great inventors