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Music, love, laughter and wisdom

By Richard B. Muhammad -Editor- | Last updated: May 15, 2018 - 12:58:03 PM

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Min. Louis Farrakhan and Kendra G (left), Leon Rogers (C) and Kyle Santillan (R)

Minister Farrakhan shares ‘Let’s Change The World’ music project, enjoys conversation on Kanye, Trump, Black progress and America’s future over Chicago radio airwaves

CHICAGO—Birthdays are supposed to be the days that you receive gifts but Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan recently delivered special gifts of music, knowledge and wisdom wrapped in humor and laughter over the airwaves of the Windy City.

“You look amazing,” said Kendra G. of the “Chicago Morning Takeover” show on WGCI FM radio, with co-hosts Leon Rogers and Kyle Santillian, looking into the beaming face of the beloved leader May 11, which marked his 85th birth anniversary. The popular hip hop and R&B show airs from its studio in the Chicago Loop.

The Minister credited his youthful appearance and vitality to following How To Eat To Live, written by Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad, eating properly, thinking properly and doing good. Min. Farrakhan came on the show to share selections from his new music collection, “Let’s Change The World,” a seven-CD boxed set, with a DVD and accompanying book.

It was the first time songs from the collection were played on the radio.

Questions, insights and understanding

While the spirit was high and the mood warm, between musical selections from Let’s Change The World and popular music, Min. Farrakhan and his hosts enjoyed interesting and often hilarious exchanges. And, while laughter punctuated the studio during the live broadcast, serious subjects and serious insight were the hallmark of the show.

Kendra G. asked the Minister about controversial comments from rapper and producer Kanye West, a son of Chicago, saying slavery was a choice for Blacks in America. “I was hurt by those comments,” she said, “but I’d like to hear your translation because you might have a different perspective.”

Stephanie Mills (left) and Rick Ross (R) with Min. Louis Farrakhan
“Kanye is my brother and I love him dearly,” said Min. Farrakhan. He went on to describe Kanye, who is pursuing fashion and other ventures, as a very brilliant man, trying to find his way. In an interview prior to the infamous TMZ interview where the slavery was a choice statement was made, Kanye had an interview with Charlemagne Tha God, observed Min. Farrakhan. The “Jesus Walks” producer was “wrestling” with 400 years of Black servitude, the Minister noted. And, he said, as Charlemagne Tha God described Kanye going through an emotional breakdown, the Chicago rapper called the moment a breakthrough.

“And, he misspoke,” said the Minister. “Nobody that loves freedom would choose slavery, but it was a choice. But it wasn’t our choice, it was God’s choice and when you understand scripture, the people of God, the people of Abraham, were prophesized to go into bondage in a strange land, among a strange people for 400 years. We have served that sentence. But that sentence was God’s way of first of all purifying us for the next phase of the world’s existence because he said, ‘I’m going to choose a people that were no people at all. I’m going to take the bottom rail, bring it to the top. You will no longer be the tail, but you shall be the head.’ So, we didn’t choose this, God chose it for us,” said Minister Farrakhan referring to scriptures in the Bible.

“Here’s what I think Kanye was saying: ‘We are slaves again.’ How are you a slave now? You got a chain around your brain and you’re allowing your education, or your miseducation, to make you think you’re better than your little brother, who doesn’t have it.”

“All the education we’ve received, we have never used it to put our peoples feet on a firm economic foundation,” observed Min. Farrakhan. “So he’s trying to break chains … he wants to break those chains that bind him to this or that. He wants to be a free thinker. He hasn’t gotten there yet.”

So Kanye misspoke but rapper T.I., and Kanye have been having a dialogue, “beautifully talking (and) critiquing,” Min. Farrakhan continued. Kanye is also coming back from a psychological breakdown and when you come back, it takes a process to bring you fully back, the Minister said.

“Choosing drugs over sanity, that’s a choice of slavery. Choosing ignorance over wisdom, that’s a choice we’re making, so we’re chained in another kind of way. Truth will set you free. If you reject that which will set you free, you’ve made a choice to be a slave,” said Min. Farrakhan.

“Where the offering at?” exclaimed Kendra G., as the studio erupted in laughter. “That was a word this morning!” Others in the studio offered their “amens” as live video of the show aired over social media. 

Teena Marie (left) and Min. Louis Farrakhan, Common (C), Stevie Wonder (left) and Min. Louis Farrakhan

Min. Louis Farrakhan (left) and Chaka Khan, Snoop Dogg (C), Damian Marley (left) and Min. Louis Farrakhan

Which way for America?

Kyle asked the Minister for his thoughts on the current political, racial climate and was it better to see outright racism? “Trump is letting you know where you really stand,” said Min. Farrakhan. This administration did not plan good for Blacks, he candidly stated. But, Min. Farrakhan noted, the president, who is unlike any other president, is destroying institutions that have been enemies to the rise of Black people.

President Trump is destroying the Justice Dept., which has failed to give justice to Blacks; attacks Congress that makes and repeals laws that favor Blacks; and assaults mainstream media, which has slandered and destroyed Black leadership, said Min. Farrakhan. “I don’t think everything is fake; but I know very well that we have been the victims of some fake news,” said the Minister as laughter echoed through the studio.

Mr. Trump is going after the FBI, which has targeted and destroyed Black organizations and leaders from the work of J. Edgar Hoover and his Counterintelligence program. It used dirty tricks to prevent the rise of a Black messiah that could unite Black organizations seeking freedom, justice and equality in America, the Minister observed. On the international front, Mr. Trump has been a bully, he said.

“Mr. Trump you have to be careful because I did say on a sister station that if we voted for Trump, he would take America to hell on a rocket ship,” said Min. Farrakhan. “If America triggers the third world war, which the bible calls Armageddon, the America that we know we shall never ever know it again. You’re getting the country in deep trouble,” the Minister warned the president.

With his disavowal of an important anti-nuclear treaty with Iran, relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in Israel and other foreign policy moves, Mr. Trump’s actions and brutish manner have alienated and worried allies. And while he is looking forward to meeting with North Korea to ease tensions there, the U.S. finds itself shunned in other places.

Agents, tools for change?

The Minister was asked, how can Blacks change their reality, despite systemic racism and opposition? Blacks can ignite change by seeking God earnestly, not in symbolic ways, but in changing their lives, explained Min. Farrakhan. If we turn, humble ourselves, pray and seek his face, God answers, he said. “When God answers and we submit to his will, the power comes into us to change the world,” he said. “I trouble the world but the world can’t trouble me. You have more power than you realize, if we wake up and hold each other’s hands and walk together in unity.”

If we stop the beefing, the enmity and jealousy, we can come together as a family to change the world, declared Min. Farrakhan.

“The reason that the world is in the condition that the world is in is because there is a Satanic force that has deceived, as the scripture says, the whole world,” he continued. There are righteous Jews who have helped advance civilization but when God sends you revelation through his prophets and you are wiser than others and promote evil rather than promoting good, you are no longer a Jew, he said.

“You have wonderful Jews and you have those that have the power to corrupt the world with their knowledge, their power, their influence—and that’s the wicked one that Farrakhan is exposing,” said the Minister.

“Thank you for clearing that up,” said Kendra G., who heard Min. Farrakhan at his February Saviours’ Day address that the enemy and media have tried to frame as anti-Semitic. She had asked the Minister to explain his position and to clear up any misunderstanding.

“Thank you for asking the question so it could be cleared up,” responded Min. Farrakhan as the small studio erupted again into laughter. He also referred to Revelation in the Bible, where God promises to make those who claim to be Jews but do not practice his way of the synagogue of Satan. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee,” says the King James bible in Revelation, chapter 3 and verse 9.

As the program closed the Minister took calls from listeners. What advice would he give young people and those confused about what is happening in the world? Seek knowledge and seek the truth, he advised. Min. Farrakhan explained the reason why he is miscast and lied on is to keep people from listening to the truth he speaks, reasoning with it and making up their own minds about what he teaches. They don’t want you to hear the truth from the man of God, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, which can free you from White supremacy and Black inferiority, he said. “We need truth today,” said Min. Farrakhan. “The more they talk against me, find me on YouTube. Find the truth of the message that I’m giving to the entire world and if you see that and hear and believe that you are already set free.”  

A life’s journey through music

Prior to joining the Nation of Islam ministry, the young man from Boston played the violin, sang ballads, calypso, danced and was a sensation in his home town. But, Min. Farrakhan gave up music to pursue a word “that would not only make people joyous but would also enlighten our people.”

Years later, the Minister picked up the violin and went on to publically perform with the Chicago Symphony orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. His music teacher, the late Charles Veale, said Min. Farrakhan should do an album. The Minister had performed in 1993 as part of the three-day symposium called “Gateways: Classical Music and the Black Musician” in Winston-Salem, N.C. and other venues. In 2002, he performed a Beethoven Violin Concerto in Los Angeles.

Min. Louis Farrakhan and Luqman Abdul Haqq (also known as Kenny Gamble).

What became “Let’s Change The World” started in 2004.

“I think the music is something that will help to elevate the consciousness of all of us. Whatever kind of music you want, it’s on this album,” said Luqman Haqq, formerly known as  Kenny Gamble. The legendary producer, songwriter and co-creator of the Philadelphia Sound, called Let’s Change the World, “probably the most important piece of music” of his illustrious career. He phoned into the radio program.

For years he and the Minister talked about the purpose of the human being and their role as stewards of the earth. “We have to get back to our original purpose we were created for,” he said. The weather and the earth are fighting back and in the Minister speeches he would always say watch the weather, the music industry giant said. He wrote “I’ll Fight You,” a hip hop song that includes the Minister rapping. The remix, “I’ll Fight Ya,” includes rappers Rick Ross, Snoop and Common and a portion of it was played on-air. “God uses the forces of nature. We have to use unity, intelligence to rid ourselves of ignorance because ignorance is the worst enemy of our people,” he said. 

“You’re no stranger to hip hop,” said Leon Rogers, who first heard the Minister on an intro to a song by Big Daddy Kane in the 1980s. “It was amazing to me that you play the violin but you’ve never been a stranger to hip hop.”

An “iconic day” is how Kyle described the encounter.

“I talked to Snoop,” said the Minister as the hosts laughed again. “I said, Snoop, I want you to make a song because young people all over the world are angry and dissatisfied. And instead of them picking up guns and fighting and killing one another or killing for the leaders of their governments, let’s try to make the youth agents of change. So he went away, and came back with a song called Let’s Change The World, and it was so great it’s now the theme of the whole album.”

Min. Farrakhan’s violin on display during Saviours’ Day 2018.
Five Grammy-Award winners, like Stevie Wonder and Denise Williams, are on the album as are Chaka Khan, Kirk Whalum, Stephanie Mills, Damien Marley, Grammy-winner jazz musician, pianist and composer Chick Corea, keyboardist and songwriter Greg Phillinganes, classical musicians and others. Teena Marie, the late R&B singer, contributed the song “Message To A Black Man.”

The album includes Black, Red, Brown and White as well as Christians, Jews, Muslims, and agnostics, it takes all of us coming together to change the world, Min. Farrakhan said. Let’s Change The World was recorded in 16 studios across the country including Mosque Maryam in Chicago. It includes classical, gospel and jazz, folk, opera, rap, reggae and calypso. “Music is the only thing that brings people together in the best way,” Min. Farrakhan.

To order Let’s Change The World Music Box Set, visit