Hip-Hop Reacts to 9/11


Friday, September 09, 2011

Immortal Technique (Cary Stuart)

Right after 9/11, Davey D, a longtime hip-hop journalist and radio host, remembers rappers throwing benefit concerts for firefighters and cops. “I remember Canibus joining the army, and Eminem penned some words about Bin Laden, wanting to get him.”

But hip-hop has a long tradition of distrusting authority, and the War on Terror was no different.

Some rappers focused on American foreign policy that they said contributed to Islamist terror; others began to doubt the official account of 9/11 itself. Immortal Technique’s 2005 song “Bin Laden” produced with DJ Green Lantern includes the chorus:

Bin Laden didn’t blow up the projects
It was you
, tell the truth
Bush knocked down the towers

Jake Paine, editor of HipHopDX.com, says hip-hop has always loved conspiracy, “but now with 9/11, it is a little different because it is such a sensitive issue.” Immortal Technique told contributor Simon Rentner, “My only point in making music which is sometimes incendiary is to make people realize that there is a back story to all of this. When people are like, ‘why are you so distrusting of the government?’ my response is always, ‘Why are you so trusting?’” 

Paine says rappers deserve credit for asking tough questions. But he also thinks the embrace of false conspiracy theories hurts hip-hop’s credibility. “I worry that someone who is not watching CNN or reading the newspaper, and is only listening to MP3 hip hop are running with scissors with some of that information.” Davey D insists that rappers are simply reflecting their audience. “Hip-hop records or not,” he says, “that conversation was already in the neighborhood. It still is in the neighborhood.”


Video: Immortal Technique's "Bin Laden" (explicit lyrics and images)


Simon Rentner

Comments [1]

SupaNova Helix from A FEMA Camp

Immortal Technique would be one of the only people on this planet i'd vote for...But, the fact they'd never let someone so brutally truthful and REAL even get a chance to campaign says it all.

Sep. 13 2011 06:38 PM

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