November 30, 2008
Given most rappers’ predilection for power and wealth it should come as no surprise that some well-known hip-hop artists are so fascinated by the power elite of global government and finance. Secret societies such as the Illuminati, the Bilderbergs, the Masons, and their various front organizations represent the quintessential marriage of power and wealth, as well as provide an inexhaustible source of material for weed-induced musings about conspiracy theories ranging from the occult, to a secret government that controls and profits from the boom and bust cycles of the global economy and keeps a watchful eye on all of our activities. If you happen to enjoy rap music then you’re probably already familiar with some rappers’ references to these secret societies, which have become somewhat less secret thanks in part to the glut of information (and misinformation) one can glean on these groups while surfing the Internet. Ja Rule and his ilk at The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.) have vociferously pledged their allegiance to the Illuminati on their own albums, and on guest appearances on other rapper’s songs. Rappers such as Ja Rule are often heard ominously growling the word “Illuminati” at the beginning of a verse. Given these guy’s nonchalance regarding the Illuminati, it’s safe to assume that they’ve merely skimmed the surface in their research on the subject. The Inc. rappers’ emulation of the Illuminati is in keeping with the general modus operandi of the group, however. Members of The Inc. have never had any compunction about openly fanaticizing about secret-society life, after all, The Inc. producer Irv Gotti no doubt lifted his name from erstwhile Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, and I think it’s safe to assume that Irv isn’t a member of that organization either. No matter, the mere mention of names such as Illuminati, Gotti, and Rockefeller evoke ideas of wealth and power that rappers desperately seek to associate themselves with. The Rockefeller name is so synonymous with wealth and power that Jay Z and Damon Dash chose to name their Rock-a-fella record label after it’s likeness. Rappers on the Rock-a-fella label are keen to make the pyramid hand symbol by pressing their forefingers and thumbs together—Kanye West and Nas do it, too. The Illuminati are allegedly big on symbolism, and Illuminati scholars often associate the heavy-metal style devil-horns salute, the five-pointed pentagram, and the pyramid shape with the organization—yes, the same pyramid on the back of the U.S. dollar and the pyramid and five-pointed star on many corporate logos. If you want to reach even further you might consider the fact that Jay Z’s Roca Wear clothing line often features the skull and crossbones symbol—more Illuminati symbolism. You may remember the 2004 presidential campaign when it was brought up that both candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry were Skull and Bones members at Yale University. The Skull and Bones organization is allegedly sub chapter 322 of the German Illuminati. Now a lot of tee-shirts today feature skull and crossbones—ominous symbols like the pyramid, the pentagram, and the skull and bones permeate many aspects of pop-culture, but Jay Z’s references to these secret societies isn’t limited to his hand signals and clothing-line logos. On the Jay Z track titled, “D’Evils” the hook plays, “Dear God I wonder can you save me/ Illuminati want my mind soul and my body.” Tupac seemed to have a darker understanding of what the Illuminati were all about. He clearly disassociates himself from the organization with a song titled “Killuminati.” It’s rumored that Tupac was educated about the Illuminati while in prison, and there’s even Internet chatter that it was the Illuminati who had Pac killed because he was rumored to be getting ready to release an entire album titled “Killuminati,” which he was allegedly going to use to expose his findings about the Illuminati. Prodigy from Mobb Deep is also under the impression that the Illuminati are a powerful force, however, like Pac, he tries to distance himself from the organization. On his song titled “Illuminati” Prodigy exclaims, “I was fast asleep, but now I’m wide awake/ I was under the spell of the Kangol and reserve notes religion and fashion,” and “Illuminati want my mind soul and my body/ secret society trying to keep their eye on me.” Prodigy seems to have a paranoid suspicion that the Illuminati control everything, and he never noticed before because he was blinded by the false rewards of capitalism and misguided by the church and the system. While I was on the Internet reading up on Prodigy’s lyrics a Chase Bank advertisement popped up. I was immediately struck by the irony that Chase Bank was owned by the Rockefellers (Chase National Bank was know as “The Rockefeller Bank”). Through the generations the Rockefellers have helped found and lead organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group—and crackpot conspiracy theorists would have us believe that these organizations are little more than front organizations for the Illuminati. Coincidentally, now Chase Bank is a part of JP Morgan Chase. JP Morgan was another financier of the Council on Foreign Relations and both JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller were part of a handful of bankers who created the Federal Reserve bank—another common target for conspiracy theorists who allege that the Fed operates at the behest of international banking system and globalist power brokers Whether friend or foe, actual or imagined, the organization known as the Illuminati seems to have a strong presence in hip-hop music and in pop culture in general. Still, it remains a mystery why mostly young, black men who don diamond-studded symbols of Christianity are so fascinated by old, white men who are associated with the occult, witchcraft, and Lucifer.If the Illuminati really do run the world they’re probably elated that rappers relentlessly proselytize so hard for capitalism. Most rappers celebrate the persuit of amassing tremendous wealth, and then spending it on cars, clothes, jewelry, and female attention. The often repeated themes in rap such as, “It’s just me against the world” and a “get rich or die trying” help to reinforce the idea that rap celebrates the real-man, rugged individual who is a dangerous competitor in the game of capitalism. The fact that kids look up to the guys who espouse this message must be reassuring to the masters of the universe, because as long as people remain focused on getting more for themselves and beating out the competition, they’ll remain divided and less likely to band together to rally for class-unifying ideas such as restoring civil liberties, fighting for people’s right to earn a living wage, affordable health care, and demanding clean food, water, and living conditions. Instead, the working poor’s pursuit of achieving the glamorous lifestyle of their hip-hop heroes keeps them living beyond their means, and shackled by the chains of debt. And according to the conspiracy theorists, this is all a part of our secret masters’ plan.