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'Conscious' rappers and The Hidden Hand - is nothing sacred?!

By Ewen Ramsbottom | 22 August 2016

As if to drive home the absolute corporate dominance at all levels of the US market, even those artists commonly thought of as 'conscious' rappers, whose music has stayed outside of the obvious corporate agendas, have offered the odd clue as to the true nature of their industry owners.

Common, generally thought of as offering thoughtful and positive rhymes throughout his canon of work, put out the track 'Universal Mind Control' alongside Pharrell Williams in 2008. The title speaks for itself, and it came with a video very much pushing Transhumanist imagery. De La Soul, heralded as the original 'Native Tongues' rap crew, put out a promo pic recently showing frontman Posdnous striking the same tired one-eye pose that all the more obvious puppets of the industry do. De La defendants will claim that the pose is mocking and ironic, but I wonder if this would really be the case?  Would a group with a fan base in the tens of millions risk many of them getting it twisted in this way, knowing how it would work against them if their clever joke were to be misunderstood?

Erykah Badu's place, meanwhile, remains as open-for-discussion as her overall image and style always have. She was the girlfriend of the aforementioned Common, in the midst of further inter-industry relationships with Andre 3000 of Outkast, (with whom she had her first son,) and fellow Texas-born rapper The D.O.C, (with whom she had a daughter.) She then had a third child with equally enigmatic rapper Jay Electronica.

Having changed the spelling of her first name from Erica in protest at it having been a slave-name, Badu has always been marketed as something of an Earth goddess figure, very spiritual in nature, showing a reverence for the religions of Ancient Egypt, or Khemet. These credentials were very much cemented by her debut album, 1997's 'Baduizm.'

As the years progressed, however, some suspect symbolism started to creep into her work, some of it hinting at Transhumanism, (a robotic/ cyborg headpiece in a promo shot,) and some at the presence of Monarch Programming, (she wears butterfly wings on the sleeve to her 'Erykah Badu Live' album, and guests in the video to the song 'Queen' by Janelle Monae, which is absolutely laden with trauma-based mind control symbology.) Other esoteric and mystery-school imagery has routinely appeared in her promotional material and live shows.

Badu has never been a stranger to controversy. Her most infamous video, to the song 'Window Seat,' sees her stripping naked as she walks the streets of her native Dallas, culminating at the spot of the JFK assassination, at which point a shot is heard and she falls to the ground bleeding blue blood. Go figure.

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