Quite Chilly, aka Yellow Uncle Snakes, co-hosts comedy/commentary podcast Wake N Hate alongside fellow gunner, BabyFace Chem. As described to me by Mr. Snakes, the show conveys the cynical bitterness of a person waking up and drinking once realizing the fuckery the world has to offer. The hate is all jokes, though, and shouldn’t be taken as a serious source of news or highbrow opinions. Rather, Chem and Snakes provide a different perspective – one that is unfiltered, maybe even a little obscene, but certainly is funny as all hell.
Besides being one of my long-time friends, Quite Chilly is also one of the most intelligent people I know. This is not hyperbole. Dude really almost got a perfect score on the SATs – but he’s not a square so I suppose they took off some points for being too cool for school. So, sitting down and talking to him about conspiracies, race, class, and everything else controversial under the sun, isn’t just beating around the same ol’ bush. It is always an enlightening experience, a conversation one can learn something from. “It’s important to talk at length about these things,” Chilly said to me, because it forces you to express what you think you know and, most importantly, teaches you what you really don’t understand. Iron sharpens iron.
Be forewarned, though, as we were “deep in the cups” for this particular discussion.
From the editor,
SIDE A of this debut Discussion centers around understanding the difference between a conspiracy and a conspiracy theory, and why it is important not to conflate the two.
NOTE: This is a transcription from a conversation recorded in the Wake n Hate studios, which, at the moment, is also a bedroom.
Max M.: Everybody has articles about people already famous, and everything done to death, you know what I mean? There’s so many articles, for instance, about Nipsey Hussle. Once it happened to him, it all came loose – all of these things came out. You were talking on your show, “You gotta wait for the man’s body to get cold.” I completely agree with that.
Quite Chilly: I do want to be clear where my stance is on that. In the event – you know, there are lynchings and shit like that – in the event that something heinous is going on that people are clearly not going to address, then no, you take to the streets immediately if you have to take to the streets. But if you’re doing nebulous conspiracy, then yes, I do expect you to wait and develop your nebulous conspiracies – days later, you know what I’m sayin’? I thought about it when I was going back and listening [to Episode 81 of Wake N Hate]. I don’t want it to sound like “oh, you always got to be calm every time somebody dies.” I’m not saying be calm. I’m saying be respectful.
MM: Absolutely, I completely agree with you. ‘Cause I wrote an article on it, you know what I mean? It happened, and it was like I can’t stay quiet about it, but I can’t be like “it was Dr. Sebi,” or whatever.
QC: I’m interested to hear where you fall on that ‘cause I know you lean conspiracy sometimes.
MM: I do lean conspiracy sometimes. But that’s because sometimes there is a conspiracy and everybody just wants to write it off as if nothing happened. This particular case is not a conspiracy. I’m thinking about what Nipsey Hussle was all about – what he was trying to say and [what he was] trying to get people out of. He was trying to get people out of the violent street gang mentality. On his first mixtape, he talks about how COINTELPRO is basically responsible for the Bloods and the Crips. [The FBI] divided black nationalist movements and thus the creation of the street gangs becoming the Bloods and the Crips. And that is the conspiracy – the fact that gangs exist, you know what I mean? What is the creation of that, like why do they exist?
QC: I was talking to [BabyFace] Chem after we did the last pod, after we stopped recording. A lot of people who romanticize the gang culture and the gang lifestyle are kind of married to this idea, still, of gangs as community protection organizations. The Crips notoriously started out as being a community-oriented protection organization that devolved into a violent gang. But our attachment to that part of the history, I think, also has – I don’t want to say this as an excuse – it does allow us to ignore the fact that that’s not what it is anymore. If anything, the way that he just died should show us in a very clear way that this ain’t that.
MM: So that was essentially what I was trying to say, too. The Bloods and the Crips have moved long past the gang-war-street-violence like to the extent it was in the 80’s and the early 90’s, maybe even the late 90’s too.
QC: America has moved past violence, though. We always talk about the crack epidemic, and the gang wars, and how bloody a time it was in the urban history of America but people always do that out of the general context of violent crime being at an all-time high nationwide in that time. Serial killers – ya know what I’m sayin’ – it was much more dangerous in every major city in this country at that time, whether due to gang activity or not, and across small-town America with the serial killers. Violent crime was way higher then. Sorry to stop you there but that’s always a part of the conversation that’s neglected.
MM: That is the thing, I still feel like it’s attached to COINTELPRO – it’s this perception of black people. I was saying that there’s Italian mobs, and Israeli mafia and all this stuff – mobs, mobsters, mafias – but when it’s black people, it’s gangs. It’s never organized crime, it’s always this thug mentality. It gets sensationalized because it is black people – now there is this negative image, and it is easy to paint a negative image on black people in America. I feel like it is something more deliberate. I’m not saying the FBI puts out movies, like they put out the Boyz in the Hood movie – it’s nothing like that. That’s just the depiction. It’s really complex. It’s not like a conspiracy theory in the sense that there was two shooters instead of one, or something like that. It was just a very deliberate thing and it caused something to happen. It was a chain reaction to the original black nationalist movements and the leaders getting assassinated, or kidnapped and killed, or arrested even – just separating the thinkers away from the criminals that were trying to get out of the crime element that were trying to building themselves. You take away the leader and they’re falling back into the same lifestyle, you know?
QC: This is where conspiracy and conspiracy theory gets used interchangeably and they shouldn’t be, where like there is an FBI conspiracy established against black power in the United States. Yellow Uncle Snakes will tell you don’t believe these conspiracy niggas; you have to get a job, you have to work, you have to pay your taxes – it is your responsibility to live a good life in this country – you can’t get preoccupied with these conspiracy theories. But there is a real conspiracy that has existed within the FBI against black power in this country and that’s the difference between a conspiracy and a conspiracy theory, to me – when you can provide documented evidence of this. So, like the fact that to this day, the FBI crime statistics always show that black people are responsible for like 80-something or like 90-something percent of crimes despite making up 20 percent of the population. That’s the statistic that lowkey bigots love to throw around – “if police are being unfair to blacks, how come blacks commit disproportionately so many of these crimes. The incarceration numbers,” they say, “are proportional to the crime numbers,” and I say “Of course.” It’s who’s being charged and who’s not being charged for doing the same thing that varies, but to somebody who hasn’t thought about or had experience to expose to them to the fact that people doing the same thing get vastly different sentences or either be arrested or let go with a warning and shit like that – if you don’t believe that, if that’s not a part of your accepted reality, then what I’m saying is a conspiracy theory. You see what I’m saying? If you don’t believe that the Black Panthers arose in response to police brutality and were not a violent terrorist organization, then you don’t believe that COINTELPRO was a racist movement, you believe it was an anti-terrorist part of the FBI – not a racist part of the FBI.
MM: Which it is what it is on paper but who got targeted the most with that program?
QC: Right, but then my assertion, which I will maintain as fact, is that racism is a conspiracy theory to you if that’s not part of your accepted reality. If you don’t understand the backdrop of racial violence in this country because you’ve never been made to, or because you refuse to because you’re a bigot – I don’t care why – but if you don’t know what’s going on, then yes, it is going to seem like an insane conspiracy theory to you. And that’s the same shit that these fuckin’ broke-ass, living-off-donation conspiracy peddlers on the internet will tell you. But, I guess I’m just saying, you shouldn’t be altering your perception of reality to fit with their conspiracy [theory] just because that argument can sound so compelling – like “Well, if you knew then it wouldn’t sound like a conspiracy [theory].” That doesn’t mean you should do away with what you know about the world.
MM: You should still do your own research on whatever you hear, you know, at the end of the day. What I was going to say, Eric Holder – the man responsible for Nipsey Hussle’s murder – I’m not going to say he was a Manchurian Candidate, and this was some plot, I’m just saying he was stuck in the mentality, you know what I mean? He was stuck in the hood mentality. He saw Nipsey Hussle and he became jealous – this is the story at least, this is the narrative they’re putting forth – we can find out years later that he was hired by the fuckin’ FBI or something like that – but right now, what I’m seeing is, and this is what I really think it is, is that he was stuck in that mentality, “he’s better than me, I’m gonna shoot him, I’m gonna bring the king down.” Maybe he was, I don’t know, on drugs, maybe he was fucked up, like I don’t really know the facts like that, but the way I see it now was that he didn’t listen to the message, and now there’s another black man in jail for murder of another black man, on the streets of LA. Same ol’ story, you know what I mean? It’s like damn. It’s just the fact that it happened to somebody that was a community leader.
QC: But I mean, that’s who it happens to, right?
MM: Exactly, exactly, that’s what I’m saying. That’s who it happens to. It’s never the opposite – or it shouldn’t be the opposite either. Nobody should be getting killed on the streets. This shouldn’t be happening at all. But it always seems to be the person that’s trying to free the minds, so to speak. It’s so weird, you know?
QC: It raises a “chicken or the egg” question of our tradition of martyrdom, ya know what I’m sayin’? To what extent does our reverence for martyrdom just come from this sense of “why did it have to be this person, it should have been anybody else,” you know what I mean? Like there’s a level of personal guilt attached to martyrdom, and that’s why it’s so compelling in religious scenarios and shit – the best one has to die for the worst one. It comes from, genuinely, this idea that we should aspire to be like this person, and the good die young, and God takes people too soon, and all those things – as much as that is an important part of the message, I think the subtext of that message kind of is like “You are living an undeserving life because you’re not as good as this person, but you’re still alive.” Now you want to prove you are deserving of the life that this person didn’t have the opportunity to lead, and you become exploitable when you are looking for people to tell you how to do that. That’s why I get pissed off at the Dr. Sebi pushers, and shit like that, because they want the donations that they pay their rent with. They want people to buy their books and their speeches and shit. But what you’re doing is taking somebody’s real sense of guilt and sadness, and you’re capitalizing on it.
MM: Yeah, it’s manipulative.
QC: Right, and, again, it grants you undue power over somebody when they turn to you in a time of grief and that’s why I wish people would stop listening, again, to the conspiracy peddlers.
MM: Yeah, wait for the dust to settle before the quote-unquote truth comes out, how they put it, “the truth is exposed now.” You know, It’s worth thinking about, but I don’t think there’s a direct link [between Dr. Sebi and Nipsey Hussle’s murder].
QC: Only time will tell with just about anything. Like Reagan importing cocaine into this country sounded crazy. Over time, more and more has evidenced that that is true.
MM: The reason why I know a lot about this COINTELPRO thing is because the FBI had released the documents. The FBI release their documents years after the statute of limitations. They let you know, yes, we were researching these people. Sometimes it’s not as serious as people thought it was originally, like, I looked at Jimi Hendrix’s document – why were they watching Jimi Hendrix? They were keeping tabs on him because he was performing at events linked to COINTELPRO. He would be performing at some sort of rally for political dissidence, and now the FBI would be keeping tabs on him.
QC: Well Jimi Hendrix had a power to subvert. So, anytime you have these artists that are in the mainstream and they have this following, people are looking to them for inspiration. People base way too much of their lives on what their favorite artists are telling them. So, he has a very subversive influence on the white portion of his demographic that presents a potential threat to the white supremacist power structure inside the FBI. So it only makes sense. That’s why they say that Sam Cooke was killed.
MM: Did you watch that documentary [The Two Killings of Sam Cooke]?
QC: Yeah, I did, it was really good. I love that documentary ‘cause they got Smokey Robinson in the beginning of that shit, right? Smokey Robinson does the most light-skinned shit ever. This guy goes, “He would have been playing what we would call the Chitlin Circuit,” and he’s explaining the kind of clubs they would play at and stuff, and you realize slowly that he’s not talking about Sam Cooke at all anymore. He’s like “People would be packed in these joints shoulder-to-shoulder – one time I was in there, I’m singing ‘Bad Girl’ to this guy’s chest ‘cause everybody was packed in the venue that tight to see us, and uh, y-y-yeah that’s the kind-kinda places we were playing.” I’m like, you did all that just to remind us that ‘Bad Girl’ was a sleeper from your catalog? You just did all that to remind me you got depth?
QC: Like, I know you got depth, you’re Smokey Robinson. This is about Sam Cooke. [Laughs]
MM: So, would you call those conspiracies, though? Was it a conspiracy? Or is it a conspiracy theory?
QC: Do I believe there was a conspiracy to silence Sam Cooke? Yeah because it’s consistent with things that went on at the time. Do I have conspiracy theories about it? No. That’s also a key difference, I think. I believe in a conspiracy – the noun – people acting in secret to accomplish a goal. I believe that that happened. I wouldn’t say who or what or why, and I don’t think that there is a need to.
MM: I hear what you’re saying. I think that the most important thing about anybody’s death, especially when they’re of political importance, is to remember their message, remember their life, remember what they did. Don’t get caught up in the death, and who killed him, and why, and stuff like that because you’re gonna get distracted from the message that they were actually leaving, you’re gonna get angry, and you’re gonna forget about the message, and the cycle starts all over, and the next person that comes up is gonna get shot again because we live in a world that is like that – we didn’t make the change necessary to live in the world where the leader doesn’t get shot.
QC: I said this on the previous podcast that we did that came out on Friday Morning [April 5th, 2019]. I saw somebody posted “Do the Nipsey Hussle Challenge.”
QC: For seven days, eat only fresh fruits and vegetables. Right? Because this person has so heavily conflated the Dr. Sebi shit with the Nipsey Hussle shit. Now, eat healthy for a week and then get shot at the end of that week, what does that do you? Nipsey Hussle was not telling you to eat fruits and vegetables. Nipsey Hussle was telling you to fuckin’ learn about money, learn about finances, learn about taxation, open a bank account, own things, take care of yourself, take care of your hood, take care of your family – do that for seven days! Don’t eat fuckin’ fruits and vegetables for seven days, you see what I’m sayin’? Fruits and vegetables, that’s cool. Is healthy food an important issue? Absolutely. But you’re letting the hijackers come in and steamroll what Nip was telling you to do because you’ve gotten wrapped up in this conspiracy theory bullshit. Like you said, which one is going to accomplish the change that we are really supposed to see? Because you could have a bunch of healthy shooters runnin’ around an impoverished neighborhood.
MM: Yeah, now they’re more psychically powerful. Now they hold a spiritual power over you.
QC: It’s actually much worse because they can run faster, jump higher, aim better.
MM: Be awake late at night.
QC: Yeah, now they’re gonna have more energy to beef with.
MM: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez she was talking about how she needed only four hours of sleep working the Dr. Sebi diet.
QC: Oh – aw, man. Why are people bringing Left Eye into this? People talkin’ about “The government killed Left Eye for following the Dr. Sebi diet.” Meanwhile, Dr. Sebi was still fuckin’ alive. Why wouldn’t they start at the source? Why would they wait another decade and a half to kill Dr. Sebi? Why wouldn’t they have killed Sebi first and then Left Eye if she continued with the shit?
MM: Have you ever watched that documentary? The Left Eye one [The Last Days of Left Eye]?
QC: No, I did not.
MM: They show the moments before she crashed her car. It didn’t seem like anyone was chasing her. I gotta watch it again, but people were saying somebody ran her off the road, or whatever. And they go black before – but nobody wants to watch Left Eye get into a car accident. They cut it off before it happens. But she’s driving mad fast.
QC: You can always do that. You can always say “Somebody was running her off the road, they’re just not in the video.” That’s what I mean. Part of the difference between conspiracies and conspiracy theories is that conspiracy theories are endless, they can always double down, it’s just another layer of conspiracy. An actual conspiracy has conspirators – there’s a limited number of conspirators, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s a thing you commit. Conspiracy is a thing you are a part of, there’s a beginning and end to. It’s not this nebulous, “Be afraid and watch the Youtube,” cycle of endless invisible white supremacy. It’s individual white supremacists with names. If you can’t connect them to this, then this does not fall into the conspiracy when you have no evidence to suggest that it’s not the most common thing. That famous, what’s it called – an expression, I guess it is –
MM: A figure of speech.
QC: A figure of speech. If it’s got four hooves and a mane, it’s probably a horse and not a zebra, right? I need more information to determine that it’s a zebra, but where you leave it at, it’s a horse. Unless you have exclusionary evidence that tells me this is not a horse, then it’s a horse, because it’s usually a horse. You have to show me that the thing that makes it not just another jealous nigga shooting the most beloved man on his block because that happens – more often than whatever type of assassination scheme they think this was.
MM: The tragedy is just…I could just say it’s the hood mentality, but what about – to bring it to Jesus – not to say Nipsey Hussle was Jesus, but it’s the same mentality –
QC: Well it’s not hood mentality but human mentality, human nature.
MM: Yeah, I was about to say, what about Judas? That’s exactly the story.
QC: It’s human nature. Jealousy is baked into every foundational story – if it’s a religion or an epic, in all the great literatures, you see time and time again – this is baked into human society, human civilization, human social behavior.
MM: It’s environment, though. That’s why I’m saying it’s “hood mentality,” not to marginalize it or anything like that. It’s just your environment, too. Not like everybody that’s jealous of somebody else is going to go out and shoot them, you know what I mean?
QC: But it’s if shooting is the way that you handle jealousy in your environment then that’s how you’re going to do it. So, yeah, then to that extent I kinda hear what you’re saying, whereby if there was other ways for him to backstab or undercut him that was the way it was supposed to be done in his community, he probably would have done it that way. The way that we express ourselves with violence and shit like that can be interpreted as a symptom of being from a violent place, yeah, definitely.
MM: And especially coming out of it. You gotta look at everything with context. [Nipsey] was coming out of it, but he was remaining in the same area.
QC: See, the thing is, Nip – by all accounts – was an active Crip still and that’s also something that people kinda downplay.
MM: Yeah, exactly. People were downplaying it crazy. Once I started listening to his music, and actually reading the articles, reading what he was saying, he was still out there –
QC: Well, not still gangbanging.
MM: No, he was against the gangbanging.
QC: But he still associated with the people he associated with, but that’s who you know.
MM: Yeah, that was his family, that was who he came up with. He’s not going to say “I didn’t come from that, I’m better than that,” because that’s even worse. You’re gonna make the people you came up with even more angry. You’re not gonna build them up by saying “Eh, they’re pieces of shit, I’m gonna just leave them and do my own thing.” You may become successful, and you may stay alive, but at the end of the day, what is your message to the people that you actually came from? Where’d you learn all the things you know now if you didn’t come up from where you came from?
TO BE CONTINUED…