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Igniting a cultural revolution through positive expression

By Khadeejah Tahseen | Last updated: Mar 9, 2018 - 2:48:08 PM

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Enoch Muhammad of Hip Hop Detoxx speaks on the importance of a cultural revolution in hip hop.

CHICAGO—The Ministry of Arts and Culture presented a Cultural Revolution during Saviours’ Day 2018. This year’s workshop was moderated by Enoch Muhammad who stated that we are here to look at the creative and constructive side of the cultural revolution. 

Enoch Muhammad creator of Hip Hop Detoxx, a mentoring movement of artists and performers, opened the session in prayer with the small group of attendees by holding hands in a small circle and sitting close together. The circle was organized by areas of interest and genres. Those who were in the music business or similar areas sat on one side and those who were in other fields of interest and/or supporters sat on the opposite side, so they were able to face each other.

Hip Hop Detoxx celebrated its 10th anniversary during Saviours’ Day. Photo: Final X

Attendees went in order introducing themselves describing their fields of work and their interest in music. “There is one thing to see someone sit up on a panel and there’s another thing to sit next to them and synergize with each other,” Enoch Muhammad said of the family style circle.

Synergize means to cooperate with another or others especially to remedy something.

“How can you synergize with the next person if you don’t know their capacity, if you don’t know the capacity of a person then that means even as we sit in this room we cannot take the steps to move the cultural revolution forward beyond an idea,” he continued. 

A cultural revolution is not for the faint of heart. Enoch Muhammad asked of those in attendance “how can the artist who says they want to elevate the culture compete with those who have an industry backing?” 

Enoch Muhammad then spoke of many different artists and their impact in the community who are trying to do good such as rapper Drake who recently gave away a majority of the million-dollar budget for his “God’s Plan” music video and the impact that had on the recipients of the monetary assistance.

Artist and member of the Nation of Islam Akilah Nehanda spoke on what the cultural revolution means to her and what she’d like to see it bring about. “I would like to see the different imagery and inspiration of a new world order. I do what I do [as an artist] because I would like for us to be able to show and spearhead a new image of what we are as a people, who we are as a Black man and a Black woman.”

Enoch Muhammad and Damon Muhammad perform at Cultural Revolution workshop. (bottom) Hip Hop Detoxx celebrated its 10th anniversary during Saviours’ Day. Photos: Michael Muhammad

She spoke about the movie “Black Panther” saying that it “gave us another image from what they usually show us.”  In reference to the cultural revolution she added, “a lot of the time we try to fit into what the standard is already and that’s not truly as it appears because, if you just try to fit in that’s not doing anything revolutionary.”

Enoch Muhammad in closing out the workshop asked the attendees to visit the Hip Hop Detoxx Facebook page, and leave messages in the inbox on how they could advance the culture of hip hop and list three ideas that they would like to see in the involvement and evolution of the cultural revolution.  He asked of those in attendance, “what are you willing to give, of your skill, your gift, your time, to those who might not be able provide?”   He also suggested to watch the videos from the previous Hip Hop Detoxx workshops where the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave words of encouragement in response to that question.

A representative from Hip Hop for Justice spoke about unity and its effect in moving the cultural revolution forward. He spoke about Hip Hop being part of our culture and how our culture is being hijacked. Revolution brings about change, so we have to change the way we address this topic, so we can take back our culture, and that’s what this is all about, he noted.

There is always a strategy to a cultural revolution, from our prospective it must always start with us dismantling the status quo, organizers noted.

Enoch Muhammad closed out the workshop encouraging those in attendance by saying that we must find ways to connect the dots with each other that makes sense. We are not doing a cultural revolution to repeat what was done yesterday and 10 years ago, he added.

The only thing we know now is that we are in that time now. The hour is here. You just have to know if you are willing to invest in the time it will take to change the status quo, said Enoch Muhammad.