A Discussion with Quite Chilly AKA Yellow Uncle Snakes: Side B


aw shit, time to flip the record…



SIDE B tracklist:
1. Suffering Olympics
2. What if/What’s next
3. Black Israelite

track 1: Suffering Olympics

Quite Chilly: People always say it’s like survivor’s guilt and shit like that, but I don’t like to be that dramatic with it, but there’s a sense of indebtedness that you have as a more affluent African-American, as somebody who comes from better circumstances than other black people – you always have a certain awareness that your status can be removed that I think white people in the same socio-economic position don’t have, and you always feel a certain responsibility and indebtedness to the people who are in a worse situation to you that I feel like white people in the same socio-economic circumstance don’t [feel]. Now I’ve never been an upper-class black, but I’ve associated with them, but I’ve never been dirt poor neither, ya know what I’m sayin’? Thank God I’ve lived a nice middle-of-the-road life, so I’ve seen kinda both sides of where – and I’ve felt this way myself to where there’s a guilt associated with enjoying your privilege that is not seen in other places…It’s a sense of knowing that your family – for whatever reason – had a rare opportunity that allowed you to be where you are, you feel more of a – this is a part of white privilege that white people don’t know that they enjoy is that you don’t feel responsible for white people in poverty. They’ve made mistakes and we know this because they didn’t have the same weights attached to them that we know that black people had, right? And white people make that same argument that “black people have had long enough to catch up,” or whatever.

Max M.: And it’s the same argument they use for other white people, it’s the fact that they don’t “work hard enough,” or something like that, “they’re there because they didn’t work hard enough, they’re lazy or on drugs.”

QC: Right, but no level of education is going to lead you to the conclusion that that white person has been and continues to be systemically disadvantaged, so your judgment of that white person as a white person feels more valid because it kinda is more valid, right? If we’re still sticking with this idea that America is a meritocracy, and there’s never been any codified laws that prevented this person from achievement then their lack of achievement must somehow be their responsibility.

MM: Well, this goes to the argument, what is black and white? I’ve heard black and white being socio-economic statuses more so than your skin color, you know what I mean? Like, where you live…

QC: Well, people say that, but when your disadvantages were codified into law, it was skin color, so that is always the origin of those disadvantages, you know what I mean?

MM: Yeah. It’s now a matter of where you live, I feel like more than anything. I guess you could be a white person and get out of a lower economic status because, I guess, you’re white, but if you’re living in an environment where you’re not given the resources, the accessibility, than you’re no better off than the person living next to you – could be black, could be Asian, know what I mean?

QC: Nah, see, but the problem is the assumption that you might belong is going to always be easier for you to arrive at with a white person. In other words, when you go to try to better yourself, and you arrive at whatever institution you’re going to try and use to do that; do you look like you’re ‘sposed to be here? Because your neighbor, who might be from the same socio-economic circumstances, is going to look like he doesn’t belong there. So, that’s another way in which your privilege is manifesting, ya know what I’m sayin’? And, again, that’s white and black, that’s not socio-economic.

MM: That’s like skin color, that’s superficial.

QC: Right, I mean, famously Henry Louis Gates was stopped by a police officer ‘cause he was on the porch of his crib – I think he locked his self out his house – and he was sitting on the porch, waiting for a locksmith, or something like that – you can google this ‘cause I’m sure I’m wrong on mad details. But, um, police roll by and ask Henry Louis Gates questions about whether or not he lives there. And he’s like a famous intellectual negro if, I guess, you’re into intellectual negroes, ya know what I’m sayin’? But not a threatening person. I’ve never seen him not wearing a suit and tie. But that presumption that you may not belong is never something that has to do with how much money you actually have. By the time you know how much money somebody has, and you’re judging them based off that, you’ve moved a little bit past the roots of discrimination in this country. You’ve moved to second-level discrimination in this country, which is class – eh, it might be gender, but that’s not my thing, not saying that I don’t care about it, but I can’t speak to it.

MM: I don’t think it would be good to rate things on a level, like “This is number one: racism; number two is classism, number three is sexism,” you know what I mean? [Laughs]

QC: No, no, absolutely. Suffering Olympics: black people, gold, every time. I don’t know, I’m going toe-to-toe. I’ll step in the ring with anybody. And this is one of the reasons why black people are so fussy about the transgender shit is the rate at which these – and I don’t mean ‘these people’ in an offensive manner – but the rate at which these people have acquired rights has out-passed every other minority group. It’s just…I get that transgendered people have existed since human beings have existed, there’s evidence of that in history books – that’s a fact, you know what I’m sayin’? Just like that gays are not new – transgenders are not new.

MM: I grew up with RuPaul. [Laughs]

QC: Right. None of this shit is brand-e-new but the fight for equality is pretty new from transgendered people. And the rate at which they’ve gotten acceptance and publicity for that struggle for equality in a time when we are still having conversations like “Well, do black people really commit more crimes than white people,” it’s insulting to us. Now, I do regret that some people misplace that sense of righteous indignation onto the shoulders of transgendered people and not the power structure that has refused to acknowledge our struggle, but that’s where some of that comes from. For anybody that was curious.

MM: People have this argument between the Civil Rights Movement and the LGBTQ Movement.

QC: I discard all comparisons.

MM: I’ve talked to legitimate gay people, like they weren’t playing a part, you know what I mean? And some don’t understand the transgender part of it. They actually think it’s hindering the progress.

QC: I don’t want to put out my homosexual friends who have expressed that to me, I wouldn’t say who has told me that, but yeah, I’ve heard some ill transgender slurs from gay people that I would never ever repeat as a straight man. I just value my privacy too much to ever say that shit ‘cause they’ll plaster you on the internet saying some of the shit these people say.

MM: I don’t know. I do believe in the freedom of choice, I do think that if you decided you wanted to become a woman because you felt that strongly about it, and there’s a doctor willing to do [the operation], than so be it. You’re goin’ for it.

QC: This is not my space. I can’t make any case for or against it, all I know when it comes to Suffering Olympics is I can make the case for the blacks, and I think it’s overwhelming. That’s all. I just care about Suffering Olympics, that’s all.

MM: [Laughs]

QC: I’m not here to enunciate anybody else’s struggle. I’m not here to give voice to anybody else. I’m just here to let you know that: first place [points to self, inferring black people].

MM: Would you say we should take it a step at a time as a nation?

QC: No, I don’t believe that in any way we need to retard the rate at which we’re accepting other people. I just think we need to absurdly accelerate the rate at which we’re accepting black people.

MM: [Laughs]

QC: You see what I’m saying? For us to be stuck on the same time right now, and the issue being in the mainstream to be hundreds of year apart, ya know what I mean? We have hundreds of years of head-start of trying to start a dialogue about equal rights for black Americans in this country. For us to be like neck-and-neck is insulting. Not because they shouldn’t have rights but where the fuck is our progress at?

MM: I think it’s politically exploitable. I think there’s something political behind all of it, you know what I mean? Is it politically viable to get behind black people when all these people have perceptions of black people? I don’t know. But is it politically viable to get behind the LGBTQ movement because it encompasses a larger group of people? When you say L-G-B-T-Q, that’s like mad people. Anybody could identify as queer. Then you’re appealing to different types of sexualities – it is just a wider group and it’s politically viable to exploit that because you can just get a bigger voting base.

QC: Victimhood is politically popular right now and what I will say that might sound discriminatory to some people, but what I will say is that the LGBTQA+ umbrella has provided a path to victimhood for a lot of people who otherwise can’t find reasons to be victims to satisfy their almost pathological need to be apart of some victimized group. And I don’t know why that’s become so in vogue, but the don’t-you-fuckin-feel-bad-for-me shit is over and the feel-bad-for-me-and-understand-my-feelings shit has hit us like a fucking wave and I can’t understand why.

MM: I think we’re coming a little bit out of it though, especially since the Jussie Smollett thing. I think that’s one of the things that kind of caused a divide.

QC: But this is not the way to come out of it though because this is going to lead to a return to not having victims, and that’s not true – there are victims. But they’re not everybody. And I don’t know why everybody is racing to get into ‘victim.’ I do kind of agree with you – we’re going to see people be like “nah, we’re fed up, we’re tired.” Once you have a couple of people cry wolf, it’s gonna spoil it for actual victims.

track 2: What if/What’s next

MM: You know what’s crazy about the 50’s? I feel like there was opportunities for black people – they were building and moving up. Of course, there was discrimination, redlining, there will always be discrimination in those times. If discrimination didn’t exist back then – which is impossible because it’s coming out of such a mentality –

QC: If black people were entitled to reap the benefits of the GI Bill the way that white people were entitled to reap the benefits of the GI Bill, then, yes, I shudder to think how much better things would be in this country. It makes you want to shed the single G tear to really think about how deeply integrated our communities might be at this point.

MM: For real, though, for real.

QC: But that wasn’t the case.

MM: Yeah, no, that’s the history of it. You know, I hear things about Tulsa, Oklahoma and we were talking about how we don’t learn about these things until, like, after we’re twenty. Tulsa, Oklahoma – I didn’t know about a carpet bombing of the Black Wall Street in the 20’s.

QC: There’s a regressive element, always, right? The same thing happens in Reconstruction where, immediately following the Civil War, you have the first black mayors in a ton of cities throughout the South. And there’s a backlash that wipes out all these gains that are made during Reconstruction that comes a short time after, like a really short time after. You could compare it to the election of Trump right after the election of Obama in the sense that we go through these cycles of fast progression and fast regression. You look at New Deal politics versus the social conservativism of the 60’s. We remember the 60’s now for the counterculture, but it was the counterculture for a reason.

MM: Yeah, growing out your hair. You know, it was coming out of the Golden Era of the 50’s when America was “great,” or something like that. But the thing was, it was very socially conservative and religious. It was not like you had the freedom to think how you wanted, that’s the reason why counterculture grew. They didn’t see it as a great time because they saw it as something cold and [society was] not thinking enough about things.

QC: It was quote-unquote great for everybody because, in the sense of economic growth, it was one of the best economic periods in the history of this country.

MM: Which is sad because what if it was great socially and economically. What if – I can say what ifs all day, but for real though –

QC: I’ve never heard anyone use that hypothetical before, I’ve never imagined it until you just said it. But that’s why it’s the shame of this country, always, that these advancements are not uniform, right, like what if the benefits of the post-war economy were equally available to all Americans. Not just in terms of black people, but Mexicans, Asians – what if there was a truly uniform distribution of the resources we had at our disposable after the second World War, how incredible that could have been –that’s not something that I’ve ever even heard posed as a hypothetical because it’s so contrary to what we know about this country.

MM: Yeah, that’s real. I do think, though, as a country we have made great advancements, there’s still room for improvement. I think that coming into 2020, we gotta think – we’re going into another decade. The 2000’s are blowing by as an adult. 2010 is already almost 10 years ago. In 2010, I was just turning 20, I was just getting out of High School. Now, we’re going into the 2020’s. What does that mean for us and all these arguments?

QC: Well, to give you my typically bleak perspective, it depends on who you mean when you say “us.” For homosexuals and transgenders, I think you have nothing but good things to look forward to by-and-large. I think that acceptance is going to continue to spread. For the Black American, expect to continue traffic, you know what I’m sayin’? Continue to fuckin’ advance in bullshit-ass starts and stops and continue to encounter obstacles that we can’t seem to see the origin of.

track 3: Black Israelite

MM: …I started thinking: what if black people are the Jews, the Israelites, the Hebrews? There were Ethiopians. They talk about Ethiopians as great –

QC: Ah, in a metaphorical sense I can entertain that conversation, but I hate when people do the – don’t-don’t do the Black Israelite thing with me right now.

MM: What?! Aw man.

QC: [Disappointed] Aw, aww. No, nooo. The Jews are not Rastafarians, I’ve heard that one, I don’t wanna hear it. The biblical Jews did not wind up in Jamaica.

MM: It’s not far-fetched.

QC: It is far-fetched.

MM: It’s not far-fetched, though.

QC: It’s far-fetched as a motherfucker that the biblical Jews wind up in Jamaica!

MM: Ugh.

QC: [Laughs]

MM: [Laughs]

QC: Tell me how it’s not far-fetched that the biblical Jews wound up in Jamaica? That’s Mormon level shit! [Laughs]

MM: I’m not saying that the Rastafarians are the lost tribe of Israel, there’s no evidence of anything, but I do think that it’s more likely that Africa is more connected to Judaism than anything else. I don’t think people should write-off the Black Israelite theory – I don’t think you should go out dressed up like a wrestler on the streets either, you know what I mean?

QC: Were there Jews in North Africa? Most definitely.

MM: There’s a biblical quote, an end times type quote: [Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God]. And Ethiopia apparently wasn’t just Ethiopia, it was all of Africa. They used to call Africa “Ethiopia.”

QC: They were referring to a large part of Africa as Ethiopia, yeah. Now, what I will say is that we teach history wrong in this country – I say that all the time – but one way in which we do it is that as territorial organization and nations have supplanted city-states, and as overland travel and air travel have supplanted maritime travel as the number one way that humans move goods and people quickly, we’ve organized the way that we view world history in an inaccurate way. So, we talk about the development of Europe, and the development of Asia, and the development of Africa when really it’s the development of the Mediterranean, it’s the development of the Southeast Asian Archipelago. The trade routes are really how human culture and human civilizations advanced. There has always been more of a connection between what they used to call Anatolia and the Middle East – all of those places that border the Mediterranean from the Iberian Peninsula, all the way around the Mediterranean, and back to Morocco have always been more culturally connected than places that were miles away from them on land because you don’t move goods and people as easily across land than [sea]. So, yes, there’s something to be said for the history of the Abrahamic religions in North Africa being downplayed, but I stop short of Black Israelite.

MM: The thing about Judaism, the Torah, and the modern day bible is that that was the last incarnation of the African spirituality and African stories, that was kind of the appropriation of it on a state level – it became Israel and this idea of Zion – but the stories are still connected to old African stories – these stories are older than we think.

QC: The willingness to accept monotheistic faith, people say, in the Mediterranean has its roots in Sun worship in Egypt, where like the Egyptian pantheon that we’re all familiar with was replaced in the later dynasties by worship of the Sun disk – which was either represented only as a sun disk or the god Ra – that being the only God. There’s not a pantheon, there was one God, and its representative is the Sun.

MM: And Judaism is about coming out of Egyptian culture, out of Egyptian thought, out of slavery – whether it’s if slavery as we know it, like bondage-type slavery – I mean they were in bondage –

QC: Not chattel slavery. What we call chattel slavery is what they refer to American slavery as now, because there is still an acknowledgement that the Jews are human beings, that the Hebrews are human beings, but they are enslaved humans. Chattel slavery is different in that there’s the intended perception of African slaves as animals.

MM: So, yeah, damn. That’s crazy. It is true, there is a difference, and it should definitely be noted because United States slavery is definitely way different than what Jewish slavery was –

QC: It’s thee most vile institution.

MM: We have this image of Jews carrying rocks on their backs to build the pyramids – on the record, I’m Jewish, I know the stories – but if you actually read it, Jacob was accepted [in Egypt] – the Hebrews had their own culture, they spoke a different language, they were different than the Egyptians. If you compare it to the United States dialogue, the Hebrews had their own culture and the Egyptians had their own culture, they all had different languages, they probably had a different word for God, and that made [the Hebrews] a marginalized people within a country, so they had to escape it and that’s the story, they became their own country.

QC: Hence the attachment of modern day Jews to Israel. This idea of the repeated victimization of the Jewish people has happened as a result of their lack of estate, their lack of home turf – so to speak. So, this stereotype that Jews are good with money, that Jews work at banks, that Jews are lapidaries, that Jews are jewelers, these stereotypes come from the real circumstances imposed on Jews in Europe where, once again, they’re viewed as a separate population living inside of the country, rather than, at that time, citizens – they’re not fully the same. So, in a lot of European countries, what professions Jews were allowed to hold were limited and that actually did force Jews into banking and jewelry because they were prevented from entering other occupations. So, I understand where you see that attachment to the state of Israel as a result of that continued – the same reason why Pan-Africanism exists in the United States is this idea that our dispossession of a government and an army, and all of these things, is what is responsible for our repeated victimization in this country. And that’s hard to argue against that.

MM: Yeah, I was about to say, the thing about the Hebrew slavery in Egypt and the African slavery in America is that literally the Africans were forced into the United States. Don’t interpret this the wrong way, but this is not their country. This is not where that people was born and raised and they wanted to come here. It’s obvious why they’re angry. It’s a spiritual thing.

QC: African slaves, no, but at the risk of upsetting people, Black Americans, yes. This is absolutely more my country than any other ethnic group in this nation for that same reason you listed. The perception among Egyptians about their Hebrew slaves were that these were Hebrew people who they had enslaved who were different to them. They may have hated those differences and not allowed them to practice their religion in public, but removing someone’s personhood and literally removing where they came from in relation to their captors, to their enslavers, is not a level that they describe in the bible. The foundational stories, the things that kept the Hebrew people an ethnic group distinct from their oppressors is that shared history that they maintained. That shared history was taken, and often not shared, because actually it may come from very distant locations in Africa – it may not actually be significant shared history. Again, if you come from North Africa, you are much more related to Mediterranean culture than you are to Central African culture.

MM: Exactly, I don’t want to say all Africans are Jews, it’s obviously a very specific thing.

QC: When you rob people of their shared history or their awareness of their history – we’ve only seen it once happen in history – but what you do create is a dispossessed group of people who now do belong to where they are from because they can not belong to anywhere else. The reason why I’m not down with Pan-Africanism like that is why the fuck should I go back to Africa? I don’t know where in Africa to go back to, they don’t want me back there. This is the only place that my people have ever known because we were robbed of our history of the things before which makes it more mine than your’s. White people in this country know exactly where the fuck in Europe they should go back to. If it was time to go “I am such and such percent Dutch, I am such and such percent German,” I’ve heard ‘em do it, ya know what I’m sayin’? Send 60% of ya ass back to Holland and send 40% of you back to Berlin and get the fuck up out of my face.

A Discussion with Quite Chilly aka Yellow Uncle Snakes: SIDE A


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,
Max McMahon

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?

MM: [Laughs]

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.”

MM: What?

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?  


God Bless the Hussle


Music ran deep in Nipsey Hussle’s roots. He had started writing lyrics at nine years old. Through this, he was able to liberate his mind-state at an early age. He was blessed. His given name was “Ermias,” an Ethiopian name which means “God will rise.” When someone blessed comes up in the gang life mentality – which for some starts at birth – the showboating and post-traumatic stress all becomes ingrained within his/her soul, manifested through one’s own personality. But a gang is for life – once out, one could get taken out, on-sight. Not for Nipsey, though, as he claimed in his 2018 interview on the Breakfast Club. His goal was to prevent his friends and family getting stuck in jail for life, and the culture recognized this as a positive force.

“If I fall off, fall out
Will I get back in them trapps
and do the same thing again?”
Nipsey Hussle – Trapps

What Hussle had from the beginning to the end was intent. In the vein of Master P, Tupac, and Jay-Z, he sought to empower the people stuck in the trap of drug sales and violence while still appealing to the culture of the gang that he represented, the Rollin’ Sixties Crips. While never letting go of Crip culture, he strived to strengthen the image of black men through becoming self-knowledgeable and self-successful. But Nipsey Hussle didn’t come from out of nowhere talking about empowerment. He had to have come from the struggle itself and worked his way out of it. He came from where “Question #1” was “Where you from?” and if you answered this question wrong, chances were you were going to get caught up or killed. Most of his early music makes the point very clear that you do not want to be in his neighborhood at the wrong time. As expressed throughout the breadth of his later releases, he was proud of himself for his investments, his ownership, and his movement that enabled him to move beyond the violent gang mentality, while never selling out his image as a Rollin’ Sixties Crip at the same time.

“City council meetin’, they got Hussle speakin’
Billion dollar project bout to crack the cement
So one of our investments had become strategic”

Nipsey Hussle – Blue Laces 2

Although the first Slauson Boy and the Bullets Ain’t Got No Name mixtapes were rife with images of guns, violence, and a 50 Cent cadence, Nipsey Hussle still brought the truth over the West Coast G-Funk flavored productions. The truth and the violence oftentimes contradicted each other in terms of intent, but Nipsey admitted that his earlier tracks were made in attempt to make a breakthrough on the radio – something he quickly found to be unneeded. But the violence was the truth of gang culture, no avoiding it. Never was it glorified, just stories being told. He never shied away from pointing a listener towards history and knowledge either. There was a particular lyric that stood out in the Slauson Boy track “Cali” that could be the thesis of LA gang culture.

“Home of the killers and thugs
Where COINTELPRO turned the Panthers into Crips and Bloods
They tried to cover up the history of what we was
They killed Pac like Malcolm, now we drunk on their blood.”
Nipsey Hussle – Cali

There are Italian mobsters, Russian mobsters, Israeli mobsters, Greek mobsters, British mobsters, but when it comes to the African diaspora in America, their crime organizations are always called gangs. Before gangs, there were street clubs which existed between white and black neighborhoods of South Los Angeles. The Black Panther Party was formed from members of the Slausons and other street clubs in the wake of the Watts Riots of 1965. The Black Panthers, however, were never considered a gang or a street club, but a black nationalist group. Which one to you sounds more productive, more likely to cause a political change, more likely to bring a revolution of thought?

By 1967, the FBI sought to destroy black nationalist thought in the United States because it was deemed a threat to national security. They began a counterintelligence operation against black nationalists (as well as white hate groups, communists, the weather underground, and other political dissidents). This program was called COINTELPRO.

“No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterterrorism techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leaderships of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing black nationalist organizations.

Many individuals currently active in black nationalist organizations have backgrounds of immorality, subversive activity, and criminal records. Through your investigation of key agitators, you should endeavor to establish their unsavory backgrounds.”

This is information pulled directly from the FBI files from their actual website. This wasn’t a conspiracy theory, but a real thing that happened, which culminated into the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Huey Newton. By taking out or weakening the prominent figures that represented unity, empowerment, and even sometimes a militant mindset, the civil rights groups and black nationalist organizations had lost their order and their hope. The pieces of these groups became “drunk” on the blood of the slain leaders of black thought, angered and divided about what to do next without the dream. With everything splintered, those who were on the edge of breaking out of their hoods fell hard back into the lifestyle. Raymond Washington formed what became the Crips, emulating the militant-minded Black Panther Party. The Piru Street Boys picked up what was left after returning from Vietnam and made the Bloods. Added was the violent competition of drug trafficking and the neighborhoods destabilized with crack, and thus was birthed the gang mentality – a mind removed from black nationalism so much so that the guns meant for protecting the streets were soon turned on one another just for living in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong color.

The FBI didn’t need to assassinate anybody if the community ate itself alive.

The man that killed Nipsey Hussle was still drunk off the blood of Pac and Malcolm. Whether it was a personal vendetta or not, whether or not he was in a gang, a jealous rapper, or a hired hitman, Eric Holder was still a victim – a byproduct of COINTELPRO. Holder’s actions were the antithesis of what Nipsey Hussle or his peers wanted, going entirely against the progress the Bloods and Crips have made in recent time in regards to street violence.

Blood-affiliated rapper YG was featured on Crip-affiliated Nipsey Hussle’s
“Last Time That I Checc’d,” wearing their respective gang colors in the official video

Nipsey’s death was a sacrifice – be it intentional or unintentional. It was a sacrifice of another leader of black nationalist thought right at its budding phases. Nipsey Hussle was only beginning, and it is sad to have to write a piece about someone that did not get to be around to see his dreams come to full fruition. Yet, all life is God’s will. One death may be the birth of a revolution.  His death is changing social thought, because it ripped opened his life and what he was doing for all the public eye to see. This was not just another gangsta rapper getting killed in the streets. This was an attempt to stop a movement. Such an attempt shall be rendered useless as long as his family, company shareholders and social influencers take the reins of what Nipsey Hussle left behind and stay his course.

Honoring a man’s life is honoring a man’s word.

God Bless the Hussle,
Max McMahon

Nipsey Hussle – Face the World

a letter to all creators

Thoughts & Dreams

Dear Reader,

Producing content, publishing it, promoting it, and continuing to bring in traffic. These are the steps of your modern-day independent creator. Of course, it has always been this way to a certain extent – but now the system is entirely dependent on independent hustle. You can blame the internet and social media – I’ve done it long enough.

As a creative (musician, writer, producer), I have become frustrated with how the system worked. I could not focus on creating because of this stress that loomed overhead – shameless self-promotion on the void of social media and then continuing to make more content because the void is just going to forget about what you’ve released in a matter of hours. It is disheartening to see not just myself, but other artists become a slave to their hustle for years and still see the same numbers. Some have stopped creating – or at least putting it out there – because they feel like it means nothing but a stagnant couple of hundreds or thousands of views and nothing of substance.

The beautiful thing about the internet, however, is that everything that has been created is still there for us to see. What had been made, self-published, and promptly dropped off the Earth years ago (as far as the creator was concerned) could still pop off at anytime. That’s that voodoo.

A great value all creators – all humans – need to understand is patience. I forget it and relearn it everyday. Always create, always make it happen. It will always be out there in digital form for as long as the digital realm exists. Always keep your hardcopies too. Bury yourself with them when you die because what you create will always be a part of you. But what you create will never die unless you never put it out there in the first place.

Max McMahon