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Hip Hop and accepting the responsibility of leadership

By Rhodesia Muhammad | Last updated: Jun 12, 2015 - 2:03:34 PM

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Hip Hop performer at Mosque No. 46.

NEW ORLEANS - On May 27, Muhammad Mosque No. 46 invited local Hip Hop artists to their Wednesday night study group to discuss the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s words that came from a message he delivered to the leaders of the Hip Hop community titled, “Farrakhan Challenges the Hip Hop Community: ‘Accept The Responsibility of Leadership’ .

The sanctuary was filled with community artists, including rappers, poets, and musicians. The first half of the study group began with Student Minister Willie Muhammad leading a discussion on the power of rap and the influence it has on the youth and the world and the second half was a Hip Hop cypher, where rappers came together to freestyle.

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Muhammad Mosque No. 46 Power of Hip Hop Study Group

“The Honorable Louis Farrakhan sees the immense value of the Hip-Hop community,” Brother Willie explained. “They are leaders whether they realize it or not. I wanted to share with them the lessons I have learned from the Honorable Louis Farrakhan to help them see their power and help to familiarize them with the guidance that the Minister has shared with other Hip-Hop artists,” he said, explaining the aim and purpose of the event. “We decided to use this Wednesday night meeting to do so.  I reached out to some artists personally and we used social media to invite others,” Student Minister Willie continued.

“In my 20 plus years of being in the Nation of Islam, I’ve never been to a study group where the artists and the guests expounded and engaged in our Teachings and the Minister’s words as much as they did tonight. This bears witness to the Minister saying that some of his best followers are still in the streets,” said Hip Hop artist, Brother Hashim. 

As the discussion came to a close, the words of Minister Farrakhan echoed throughout the room.  The artists, in particular, were impacted by his guidance.  The M.G.T, F.O.I., guests and artists gathered around the DJ as the cypher began.  The microphone was passed from hand to hand as clean and uplifting lyrics were spouted.  The spirit in the room was high and overflowing with positive energy. 

Sister Ayanna, a spoken word artist said, “The Power of Hip Hop reminded me how rich New Orleans is with talent and heart. It also gave me a chance to deeply reflect on how powerful of a tool Hip Hop is and how it can change everything about our state right now,” she said.

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Jr. M.G.T. enjoying positive rap music. Photos: Patrick Melon
“Through the reading and the thought-provoking questions, I’m clear that minds were changed, energies were shifted and the wheels were turning. I am thankful to have been there and will gladly be a part of the next steps. It is a necessary discussion, but also a necessary experience for artists and lovers of music alike,” said Sister Ayanna.

Let’s ‘face the music’ then pull all our talents and resources to change the music! The Power of Hip Hop was excellent.”

Devious D, rap artist agreed. “The unity within the group proves that stakeholders in our communities of New Orleans care about the message in the music and how it affects mankind, especially the youth,” he said.

“I was reminded of my charge as a leader and noticed how each of us need each other to advance and fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle within the complex and challenging music industry.  It is clearly evident that change is happening in hip hop. The future is bright and we should all embrace it fully,” said the local artist.

“The hip hop discussion group at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 was itself an example of the power of Hip Hop,” Bro. Marzy expressed.  “As a native of New Orleans, a city where endless possibilities take place whether good or bad, to see hip hop at the forefront of uniting our community has to be divine intervention,” he said. 

He said he gained much insight from the discussion. “The most important thing I gained was the value of the work that I do in the community.  It was confirmation to hear that being a Hip Hop artist makes me a leader.” Bro. Marzay said he “proclaimed” himself a leader since he picked the mic up at age 13.

“Now that I am of 28 years of existence and active in the community, Hip Hop is the tool I utilize mostly in my music to deliver positive messages. To have these messages not only desired but also expected is a complete honor.”

The Believers of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 will use the momentum from the study group to aid in promoting the 20th Anniversary of the historic Million Man March that will take place Oct. 10 in Washington, D.C. 

Highlights from the Hip Hop cypher can be viewed on YouTube under Mosque No. 46 Hip Hop Cypher May 27, 2015.

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