7.25.2006

Catholics Gone Dumb

"Put ya stunna shades on"

DJ Mark Marcelo - Holy Ghost Ride the Whip

According to an article from Pitchfork, Keak states, "Hyphy's a ritual to us, a religion." With that said, one cannot overlook the overt Catholic/Judeo-Christian inspirations within 2006's biggest Bay crossover track, "Tell Me When to Go". The parallels between references in the song and hyphy culture in general to Catholicism is like a lemon to a lime.

Let's begin with the opening 40 Water lines:
Jesus Christ had dreads, so shake em
I aint got none, but I’m planning on growing some
Imagine all the Hebrews going dumb
Dancing on top of chariots and turning tight ones
Within these lines, not only does E-Feasible, aka Earl Stevens, illustrate the religious inspiration to going dumb going as far back as the persecuted Hebrews, who like the communities in politically abandoned Oakland, could likely have created their own subcultural celebratory rituals to escape from the oppression they faced from the Romans and Egyptians. What may also be of even more importance is the claim made by Earl Stevens that Yeshua Ben Yosef did not have the long flowing blonde hair that many of us have been socially constructed to believe he had, but instead had dreadlocks. Stevens does not directly state that Jesus was Black or even Brown, but one can definitely allude to Steven's argument for the erasure whiteness from the image of Jesus within his lyrics. From this, we can see the religious historical revisionism with which hyphy can be used as a tool.

The religious statements do not end with E-40 Fonzarelli, but are also extended by Keak da Sneak, aka Charles Kinte Bowens, who gives direct shout out to the miracles of the late Pope John Paul II:
I said they couldn’t be saved by John the Pope
The Catholic undertones with Bowens' verse is striking; not only does he acknowledge the spiritual strength of the Catholic Church's highest ranking official, but the aesthetics of his lyrical delivery are very much like that of speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is acknowledged by many in the Christian community as a very high spiritual point for humans to be able to speak in a language only understandable by God. Keak exemplifies the spirituality that exists within the hyphy culture that can be related to the spirituality that exists with many Christian groups. When Keak and others say "yarrrrrramean!", it can be described as the Bay's own version of speaking in tongues.

Giggin', turf dancing, or simply the dance that fools do when they're hyphy, is reflective of a spiritual manifestation of the Holy Ghost taking control of one's body. Mistah FAB created a tribute song for Mac Dre entitled, "The Furley Ghost", in which he tells folks to "let Dre get in your soul and lose control." While it would be interesting to capture the thizz inspired energy of Mac Dre, one should not overlook the power of the Holy Ghost in giving many hyphy individuals to do the things they do.

Pat Robertson and Pope Benedict, take note, cop a white tee, some grillz, and shake your helmet.

_____________________________________________________


On a separate note, after all that corporate controversy that happened at Rupert'sSpace.com, DJ Mark Marcelo's Myspace page has been back and running. And on it, you can find a preview of his latest "Dummy Mix" that he recorded live from a gig he had up in Sweden, along with his own interpretation of "Tell Me When to Go" over "Ave Maria", which he calls "Holy Ghost Ride the Whip."

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