Saturday, May 07, 2011

the five percenters: islam, hip hop and the gods of new york

I recently finished reading Michael Muhammad Knight's The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip Hop and the Gods of New York. The book is a pretty informative and detailed treatment of the early history (birth record) of Clarence 13X and the Nation of Gods and Earths. I definitely recommend it if you want to learn more about the movement.

My initial impressions: I was surprised at the extent to which Five Percenters seemed to get in trouble with the authorities for petty crimes even after being "civilized". (And Knight describes how he himself would "elevate with equality" i.e. smoke weed, with other Five Percenters). At the same time, I also was surprised by the extent to which Clarence 13X seemed to get along with with the "powers that be". (He had a good relationship with the New York City bureaucracy including the mayor and he was even a supporter of the Vietnam War.) Personally, I wish he been more thorough and in-depth when it came to the Five Percenter teachings, but all in all, it was a decent book.

See also:
Hip-Hop Linguistic: Interview with Michael Muhammad Knight

Grenada's Past:
Blue-Eyed Devil

No comments: