Identity Mitosis – Part I

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It’s weird these days… I feel like my days are split in to two personalities. I normally wake up refreshed and happy to be alive but by late night before I hit the sack, I question if I done anything with my Life… or more of… who am I? Or what is the real me?

“I hate and I love/
Who can tell me why?”
Catullus, Latin poet
I recently saw a sick-ass-fuck movie that I’d highly recommend. It’s called The Believer. It’s a film about a young, intellectual Jew that got outcasted for questioning the tradition of the Orthodoxy. Being rebellious at his age, in total irony, he becomes a Nazi skinhead. What impressed me about this movie was the articulate abilites of the main character, Danny Balint, to espouse his beliefs (while in conflict of his — still love for — Jewish heritage). Reading many reviews for this movie, no doubt, a lot of critics liked this movie. But, what I found interesting, also, was that most critics feared Danny’s ability to sound so convincing with his hatred for Judaism and its people, that the danger of the “wrong elements” of society may see Danny as a hero of a cause. And there was a question if this movie should even be shown to the public. But, why should we pander to ignorance through a threat of censorship? A person of intelligence would understand, at its basic core theme, that this film is of a person who’s conflicted with his self-identity, which causes his self-destructive mentality. And, that’s whom has the right to watch good movies like this — intelligent people. For more information about The Believer, check out

“Radio stations/
I question their blackness/
They call themselves black/
But we’ll see if they’ll play this.”
– Public Enemy, Bring The Noise
Lately, I’ve been bumping Public Enemy’s Hip-Hop classic It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. Especially, my all-time favorite track,”Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos”. Yes, it’s great to be alive in this era of music (along with Freestyle Dance too!). Being able to witness the birth of Hip-Hop music into the mainstream was being able to experience a revolution in a new mindset of thoughts and ideas. But, not to sound too old school, whaddaphuck is happening to Hip-Hop music? I mean, I love all the latest shit by Eminem and 50 Cent, and I kow tow to anything produced by Dr. Dre. But whaddaphuck happened to Hip-Hop music? Whateve happened to its strength to instigate debate and curiousity in questioning authority? Well, like the subtext to the albums claims – “Freedom Is A Road Seldom Traveled By The Multitude”.

“Rap is rebellious music.
Therefore, only the rebel should use it.”
– KRS-One, How Not To Get Jerked
I’m not gonna get into what Hip-Hop is now but what it is no longer. What happened to the times when Hip-Hop was a platform for Black culture and politics? When it made you go out and get your copy of the Autobiography of Malcolm X? When it helped you question your own self-identity, regardless if you were Black or not? When it told you that the fact that the first human came out of Africa and that Jesus Christ himself was Black? When it told you that 85% (the ignorant masses) was controlled by the 10% (the rich), while only 5% had true Knowledge Of Self. [“Know Thyself.” – Socrates] With legendary artists like KRS-One, Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan, and Rakim (Dr. Dre is producing his next album. Can’t wait! Can’t wait!), there are none these days that can replace ’em… and they are beyond their times. Whether you agreed or not with what was said, Hip-Hop fucked with your head. And I get bored easily if nothing fucks with my head.

My existence is unique but not unusual. I am Chinese-American, and I don’t delude myself to not be, who’s large influence were of Hip-Hop intellectuals. I respect Hip-Hop as a black cultural revolution that rose up during the late 80s and peaked during the 90s. I don’t front by emulating so much of the styles and language; I respect Hip-Hop too much do that. But I do emulate the thought tactics. Hip-Hop made books, empowerment, and self-knowledge cool. And it did that through hard beats and lyrical warfare. If that’s not an argument for a positive image for Hip-Hop, tell me great masses of the people, what is?

For more about the thinking behind Public Enemy, check out: Chuck D’s Terrordome.

One Reply to “Identity Mitosis – Part I”

  1. hip hop hooray! makes you think if the evolution of music is a good thing, don’t it? well, there are handful of organizations and groups working to preserve the essence of it all. college radio supports the roots and unique beats that underground hiphop is all about. everyone tells me that “instead of listening to nelly while you’re driving, support the people trying to keep it real”. but that makes me question, is it bad that ppl like you and me find the commerical static entertaining also? why can’t we have the best of both worlds?

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