Yasiin Bey, who is currently in Germany preparing for a performance, took time out to have a phone conversation with journalist Ferrari Sheppard about the Paris attacks, media coverage, neo-colonialism, and esoteric happenings.
The conversation can be heard below along with the transcript.
(Photo: Aida Muluneh)
Ferrari Sheppard: So what’s going on man?
Yasiin Bey: So I’m in Germany right now and I’m about to do a set tonight with Archie Shepp, which is a blessing. Just a blessing. You know I got a place in Paris, I been out here several days over the past year, so, yea this is a heavy one. Let me say this too though man, none of this stuff is separated. Everything from Tamir Rice, to the Paris shootings, to what’s happening to the students in University of Missouri, to what’s happening in Wits [University] to what I been experiencing in the negative in South Africa, is all connected, it’s all the same thing. It’s just these forces, right, that are looking to just turn the world into a brutal place and to turn people into machines. And it’s two things man that I want you to spread out. And I’m not on Twitter, I’m not on Instagram or none of that stuff and I appreciate people like you who are using their platform for some good things. But I need everybody, I need anybody, anybody with a Twitter account, Facebook, whatever. This is the time to be talking about the dignity and nobility of being a human being. Not a machine, not a puppet of the state. Of your own desires. For the sanctity and divinity and nobility of being a human being because this is what’s really at stake. They are trying to turn us into machines or just high functioning mammals, animals, beasts, in a jungle that they create, the state, the politicians, the so-called doers of good, who claim to have the interests of the planet at heart and it’s a lie and it’s proven itself to be more and more of a lie every day. Right? People do all of this stuff to the state but the state hates the people. It is suspicious of people and it’s only there to use people for their benefit. It leave people shadows and husks of themselves. This is what these Paris attacks are about. And by the way, a big giant Fuck Off to ISIS. You don’t represent nothing about Islam or nothing about the Prophet. And another giant Fuck Off to everybody who trying to say ‘see, this is Islam’s fault.’ Islam ain’t got nothing to do with colonialism or White power or none of that. And neither do Christianity or none of that stuff. People try to use these beautiful faiths to justify their nonsense and bullshit and just as much as charlatans, and posers, and mall rats walking around with skateboards. You lying. You don’t represent nothing, you represent yourself. You represent bloodlust. You’ve been paid and bought for by people who wanna turn this God’s gift, this spaceship Earth into a hell and cell. You represent nobody, you ain’t out here for the common good, you out here for you. Your small little narrow-minded, bigoted, dumb-ass beliefs. It has nothing to do with the greater good, you ain’t helping nobody, you ain’t for the Muslims, you ain’t for nobody. You a hazard to everybody. Stop trying to claim us like you here for us, you’re not. It’s not what the Prophet was about, the last words of the Quran “[arabic quote]” – “to you be your way and to me be mine.”
I’m not here to defend the sanctity of Islam. That’s not what I’m talking about, we are human beings, we on a spaceship, we all on the same spaceship. We all here together man, I read these comments on this damn internet these comment pages man, people are treating each other so poorly bruh, people don’t know how to disagree even man. That’s the measure of a civilization brother, not how well you agree, but how well do you disagree. That’s civilized. what are we leaving for our children, what examples are we leaving to our children man? Everybody need to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Post it up. Put it on your Twitter. Everybody. And Charlie Chaplin’s speech from the Great Dictator. We live by each other’s happiness, not each other’s misery. and this is the misery bruh, that you just heaping and heaping upon the world.
The state kills the children, and says they justified in murdering children. They kill unarmed people and say that they justified in doing it. I mean everybody who’s sad about Paris should be just as sad and angry about Tamir Rice. How all these young innocent people dying over nothing. Dying over somebodies greed, dying over their antiquated backwards ass beliefs that they more human than somebody else. Cry for them. And leave comments for them. And make the UN acknowledge the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a law. Cause furthermore, with Holland talking about closing the borders, how are you gonna put innocent people under suspicion for crimes that they didn’t commit. Closing these borders does not bring back any of them dead people. Not one of them. And if it’s all about prevention that’s nonsense. I don’t think Francois Hollande cares any more about the Parisian people than ISIS. I really really don’t. Their response, as usual, is to throw more people into more panic, more frenzy, there’s nothing, there’s nothing wise about these types of responses. It’s all meant to just get you into a reactionary phase and to start viewing your brothers and sisters, you human brothers and sisters with suspicion and hatred and judgment man. We have to start loving and caring about one another because guess what, if we did this shit would not be going on. And we have trusted these people who say that they love us, and say that they’re here for us in the names of the state and the government and democracy and the presidency and congress and everything else. We have trusted them too much. They are sickening us, they are destroying our world and they’re destroying the future for our children and we cannot just idly stand by and get into these nonsense, bull-rally, back and forth exchange with each other just to prove how clever we are or to win a debate that don’t change nothing of the conditions that we all experiencing. I don’t care who you are or where you are, white, black, rich, poor, Jew, Gentile, you are feeling it on this planet Earth today. And mind you, the people playing these games knew exactly what they were doing. It was a new moon this week, ok, they trying to put some poison onto this one, they trying to set their intentions to turn this world into a cell with everything that they doing. And they got all of us scrambling around arguing, are you on the left, are you on the right, are you conservative, are you a liberal, it’s nonsense. You know what, it’s like Dave Chappelle said, when they asked him they said who gon’ win between Paquiao and Mayweather, he said “the promoters”. That’s what’s happening. They promote this conflict everywhere. It’s the Muslims versus the Christians, it’s the heterosexuals versus the homosexuals, it’s the women versus man, it’s youth versus the elders, it’s man versus nature. It’s always a fight, but there’s always somebody or some small group that make money no matter what the outcome is and they promote conflict, they don’t promote harmony. They don’t promote peace, they say that, but my grandmother said they say “peace, peace, peace” but they really got evil wicked intentions in their heart. They want to control people, they want to control what you think how you think what you say, where you say it, who you say it to. Read that Universal Declaration of Human Rights, read it. Post it up. People need to see it and see how the majority of governments in this world are breaking every part of that agreement. People say oh, it’s just something to be written down. Well if it’s the standard, that’s supposed to be the benchmark for how we’re supposed to behave as a civilization and how states are supposed to behave with their members, or with each other, then they have failed. They are failing and they are actually committing illegal acts. If you don’t have enough knowledge of the law, they need to learn the law, they need to learn what the real law is, what international law is, they need to stand up for the rights cause they taking all of our power away from us and using it against us to destroy us.
FS: I see that, I see that. I was most frustrated at the fact that we’ve seen this over and over and over. Certain things are deemed ‘terrorism’ and it’s the worst thing in the world and people wear pendents and they light candles around the world, and all of this when we been marching and crying…
YB: So light a candle for Tamir Rice. Light a candle for Tamir Rice. He was born June 25, 2002. He was 12 years old. If you got – come on man.
FS: It keeps happening. We do need the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But I fear that it’s not us, you and I, our the group who we get along with, who we see eye to eye with, we’re not the ones –
YB: I ain’t saying nobody, fuck them all man. Psalms 34 verse 4 “I asked the Lord to deliver me and He delivered me through all my fears.” He delivered me from my fears. What are we afraid of? What are we afraid of? You know I’m really more afraid of living in a world that they are proposing for us through these types of actions, but for my sons and my daughters to have to live in a world where they got to negotiate a relationships with these beasts disguised as human beings. And if you gonna be outraged about what they did at the Balaclav, by the way people can shut the fuck up, I live in Paris, I performed at the Balaclav. One of my dear friends lost somebody, I dunno who I lost, I dunno who I lost in that personally.
FS: I feel you bro
YB: I wish my French was better, I would speak directly in French to the French people. Listen man, don’t be hustled human beings, don’t be hustled. Don’t let them make you think that they care about you. Yeah, Obama was right, this is an attack against humanity. And so it is when Tamir Rice gets shot by the police and the state say that it was justified. So is everything that’s happening at the University of Missouri. So is Japan not telling the world the truth about Fukushima, that’s tyranny too. So is everybody else acting like Fukushima is not a problem for the Earth, like all of the oceans ain’t connected, like that radioactive dust is not showing up on the shores of Canada right now, like it’s not showing up on the shores of California beaches, like it ain’t two-headed babies out here. Tyranny is tyranny, period. Tyranny is tyranny. If we’re gonna be against tyranny, we gotta be against it wherever it’s at. It makes me think of that saying that my dad used to say to me, he said “the government is tough on crime cause they don’t like competition.” Ok, now it’s some bullshit when somebody else is not licensed, like James Bond, or some shit, go ahead kill somebody. But when they got on a uniform, it’s cool. Which stands to the sick-minded people of the world, oh, if I wanna kill, I need to go get out here and get registered and licensed to kill. So I get me a uniform or one of these state appendages whether it be the police or the military and I subvert all of my murder impulses into that I’ll just aim it at whatever or whoever they tell me to aim it at. Cause I was waiting for an excuse to kill somebody anyway. And what do they expect? What type of society are you tryna build – it is the trickle down theory, they state run around killing people so the people like murder must be alright. I’m not justifying that but that’s what happening. You understand what I’m saying? Who is more violent than the state against humanity? People feel it when it’s a couple hundred people because you look at and see, but nobody feel it when it’s half a million Iraqi kids that die from sanctions, or when it’s people going through hell in Palestine. But it’s at more of a premium when it’s people in a smaller group just out tryna enjoy Friday night, then you feel it? Or when it happen to you because them kids in Palestine they ain’t you. And that’s their own fault. See, they showing even the media response, and don’t trust the media neither, cause they’re not there to give you the truth and make you feel balanced, or to tell you the facts. They want you to feel nervous so that you will trust the state more so that they will endorse and gratify their power and ream control over your life, and ultimately you could end up feeling nervous and your cathartic response is to go to the arcade, the mall, the titty club, wherever, just to offload some of that, to offload that negative feeling. You wanna keep this stored up? This is a raving bonanza for all these quote-unquote “news media people” they know all these peoples’ eyes is glued to the screen, they in shock, they in awe, they hurt. Like I’m hurt right now and in the interim they’re gonna try to sell you every widget and gadget and every other useless damn thing that you can imagine cause they got you, you captive. It’s an old axiom in the news, if it bleeds, it leads. So what they gotta do, they gotta make sure that people stay bleeding. But see, Psalms 34 verse 4 “I ask the Lord to deliver me, He delivered me from all my fears.” And this quote is saying in the Quran too, “we will not change the conditions of a people until they change what is in themselves.” You are not gonna get a better world hating your fellow man. You can hate the conditions, but you have to love your brother and sister, and as corny as it sounds, as clever as niggas are, as edgy as they wanna be, got a chip on their shoulder cause it’s fashionable, you know, that’s in style, it’s very involved to be melancholy and moody and edgy and curmudgeonly. The love man, love must and will prevail. I don’t care how corny it sounds. I ain’t tryna win no swag wars, who cares man. The world is in, has been in, a state of emergency. And I hope that these types of things make people wake up, man we keep treating each other like this man If you just get rid of them, they just gonna be gone. The problem is not Islam, the problem ain’t organized patriarchy. The problem is all of these things that have dysfunction to them or people who dysfunction within them, these systems, right. The problem is peoples’ lack of compassion and care for themselves and for their fellow human beings and that’s what keeps all of this nonsense going. We don’t treat each other well. We need to treat each other better than what we’re doing. And we need to stop giving our allegiance to people who are mistreating us. And the government, particularly the US government, many of the Western governments, they are mistreating their own citizens and people around the world. They have a long legacy of this and it has to stop. It has to stop. It’s illegal to deny access to this planet Earth to anybody, we are all on this spaceship. I don’t wanna hear a muthafucking ‘nother thing about Mars. We don’t deserve Mars if we can’t do right by Earth. We don’t deserve it. Shut the fuck up about Mars and do right by Earth, you won’t have to fucking go to Mars. By the way, we’re already in outer space with your clever asses, we’re already here. On this spaceship Earth. Propelling, spinning all the time, everything we need is here. I don’t wanna hear nothing about colonising nothing else. No more fucking colonial fictions and fantasies. Earth is sufficient. But if we don’t do right by each other, we will eliminate ourselves the trees, the oceans, they don’t give a fat baby’s ass. They will continue to go on as they did. We will eliminate ourselves. Please, don’t make Bill Gates right. “We need to thin out the herd”. You got fucking radioactive Fukushmia over here, police running crazy, I was walking around in Paris, I was like why all these people on the streets with a motherfucking AK-47 and all that shit? that don’t make me feel secure. They trying to drive people into a state of high stress so people don’t have the space to really slow it down, love themselves and love one another and work their problems out for themselves because guess what, we got the answers within us. Why it’s these ugly knuckleheads with ties and lifelong pensions representing the people, You don’t represent the people. You represent yourself, you represent the banks, you represent the corporations, you represent the nigga that keeps the tanks running around the world crushing people And taking resources out of the Earth. Talking about we making the world safer, you destroying the world. The world that we all gotta share. And they so dumb, that they think the can build some high fence where they can dominate the world from a striking safe distance and they won’t be in misery. Let me tell you what my grandfather used to tell me. He’d tell all us that to keep a man in the hole, you gotta get in that hole with him. Some part of you is in that hole. If you trying to keep him in that hole, some part of your mind and your spirit is right there in that hole with him. Whoever you digging a hole for, you really digging it for yourself.