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Conscious Music

This is Dedicated to those who are in positions of influence in our society and use those for good.
by Nicholas Bc Shumate
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The song "Prayer of a Refugee" by Rise Against is a song in tribute to those people who are suffering the injustices of another, those who have fled their homes in fear of death and imprisonment.

This is an issue of grave magnitude, and yet in 2013 the New Zealand Catholic Bishops conference was held to apparently address this issue, with a day of Prayer. Yes, because thoughts of a bunch of strangers with no unified image in mind is going to help more than the millions of dollars these churches rake in under "Charitable Organization".

I often also find myself wondering on the same lines if a lot of the issues resulting in these refugees are caused by some sort of Religious influence somewhere a long the line that cascaded.

How could we work to solve this issue? We are after all talking about millions of people world wide. Something must be done, but how to attack an issue so huge?
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 5 years ago Edit
@Nicholas, I am not sure if I totally understand your comment! What I meant was that, we should discourage and rebunk the irrational parts of a philosophy but should not as such prevent organizing around a philosophy. We risk getting into an totalitarian / authoritarian state if we do so.
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 5 years ago Edit
@Praveen- Sorry for the confusion, to put it better, there is a theory of Memes; Ideas, states of mind, prejudices, etc, that compile to create the Individual conscious stream, but a Meme is literally anything, you can selectively "Breed" memes, to weed out the ones that replicated not because of a benefit of the organism, but because the meme is "good at replicating" so to speak. I'm still trying to iron out the details myself, its a bit of new theory to me.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 5 years ago Edit
@Nicholas - True, some ideas and memes are more viral than others. Supernatural ideas are somehow more interesting to a majority than pragmatic themes. But, with time people get over these things when confronted with the right questions and explanations. Church, etc. no longer make decisions for many countries today! I am not proposing to breed memes selectively but to actively refute inept memes such as superstition and supernatural beings! Religious philosophy cannot survive without them!
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 3 years ago Edit
I concur whole heartedly! I am an outspoken atheist for that exact reason! The tricky part comes when trying to identify the meme itself, as well as how and when you were exposed to it, as this information collectively gives you a better insight into how you ended up with, say a certain prejudice or bias, and what exposure helped cement it. By doing so, you can then begin actively dismantling it.
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Bitch Bad: This song by Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, known as Lupe Fiasco on stage, is a perfect description of the state of attempted indoctrination, and the perfect device to help reverse the effects if repeated exposure is maintained. The industry has associated the image of Women with the slang "Bitch" which also is a term used to define a female dog, as well as
( http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bitch ) a term of service used to describe one performing degrading and disgusting tasks in either employed or unemployed service: "Dish washing is Bitch Work dude!" or other things along those lines. It is quite maddening to see it affect the Women in our country from early ages as well.

I.T.A.L. (Roses): Ital foods are from the Rastafarian Diet that is said to be filled with all of the vital nutrients to the body, the foods selected for nutritional value and only includes naturally grown and harvested foods, mostly vegetarian, possibly poultry depending on if it was 'free-ranged' or a growth hormone product. The song is basically a call to attention of what our world has become, and that if the 1% here want to try and crush everyone, go for it, we have the ITAL, we can grow our own food, we can return to the way of the earth to fight back.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
I am short of words for this man's insight into current social status quo. His songs are nothing short of gospels for those who can hear through his voice, his vision and ideology. Television, the idiot box, is what needs exorcism! Mass communication turned into mass appeasement and then into a hypnotic influence on the young and gullible. Both 'Bitch Bad' and 'Lamborghini Angels' speak of this pungent influence of our media. The metaphor of a thug as a kid under bad influence speaks of it all.
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 6 years ago Edit
Indeed! I find him truly awe inspiring. Unfortunately he is being persecuted by the very industry he has been trying to derail. He was disowned by his starting record label, and so became his own producer, now he is taking heat in both the music industry and every day life for saying what needs to be said. I'm trying to think of small things lots of people could do to help combat this. nothing beyond start doing the same, saying what needs to be said.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
Anybody who raises a conscious voice against popular culture is an immediate threat to the industry milking this cash cow. No wonder he is being persecuted for that. The least we can do is to support and evangelize his music and ideology!
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I truly am humbled by the pure emotion behind this particular Track. It is a real insight into just how bad it can get in certain areas of our Country, I remember when I was a child I had heard talk of "America is a 1st World Country", If that is so then why do we still have people living without public transportation in places like Detroit, where people have to cross literally miles of "Gang Territory" (I despise the notion of gangs claiming territory), to take children to school, and go to work, the only option for them is to drive, if you cannot afford to own a car, you are on your own, especially if you call for Emergency Services, that is on average a 53-58 minute response time. So much for Emergent Care. There are so many issues that Music like this brings to light, a message to those whole listen, and a lesson to be learned by those who apply it. Talib Kweli's background (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talib_Kweli#Early_life
)
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
The world is full of hypocrisy Nicholas! Its all about the money! The wars, the aid, everything! They just paint a benign benevolent picture for the masses. Even Lincoln when he abolished slavery had to strong arm and bribe his way through it. Very few if any wanted to abolish slavery! But today many are splurging on charity without actually scrutinizing where the money is going. Maybe we can sell this concept to them - One kid away from the ghetto is one less thug to live with tomorrow!
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 6 years ago Edit
Haha indeed it is Praveen, I find that People as whole kind of suck in that regard, but that the Individual is where the magic happens. There is a certain degree of separation from reality that seems to plague a lot of Americans these days due to the propagation that stuff equates to happiness. How do we reverse this?
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
Yes, we are searching for happiness in all the wrong places. But happiness is a state of mind and has little to do with what one has or doesn't have. On the other hand, its not happiness that we are after but diversions, trivial ones! The shiny new iPhone or the sexy new car are just diversions to handle our pathetic pointless lives and later peer-pressure is what perpetuates this indulgence! contd..
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
Pursuing an idea, a nice little hobby, a good conversation, etc. are much more satisfying than the above. But one needs to experience them to know their power and for that they need to pull themselves out of the slumber. The only way to spread this ideology is by reaching out and intruding our peers to them one at a time. If we are successful, we will be able to seed a renaissance. Talkonomy itself is one such effort to bring the magic of ideas and conversation to the online social scene!
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Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, or Lupe Fiasco, is an American Hip-Hop artist, born in Chicago IL, who has attracted my attention simply because of the pure energy and passion behind the lyrics. His whole goal is to inspire people, let them know that anything is possible "I was once that little boy, terrified of the world, now I'm on the world tour". He is the closest representative I have found of the true voice of the American People. Conscious Hip Hop is not an Official Title, simply one that has been adopted to set those that are not just a bunch of noise and curses from those with a message, one that needs to be heard.

I'm keenly interested in the opinions of people who do not live in America, who are on the outside looking in, what do you see? Does this change your opinion? Personally I think America was intended to be amazing, and we have ruined it as a people. We have let Materials be our way to happiness, but in reality less is more. We let planned obsolescence brainwash our consumers, all for a shinier piece of tech.

This section of music is our only hope as a nation in my opinion. We are divided by race, what race? Human? Color is nothing but an illusion used for distinction.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
@Nicholas - Interesting music and inspiring too but this type of music and other media are common to every nation and generation. They all call for a conscious stance against the existing ways and means of life but nothing addresses the crux of the problem. Normal people everywhere are too busy surviving and in this ordeal patronize certain illusions to be at peace with themselves. Popular culture can be seen as a diversion that people internalize to tide over their pointless lives.
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
One interesting observation though is how these themes adopt popular culture in a bid to attract wider attention. Previously there was conscious rock and now conscious hip-hop! It could be the other way round too! Popular culture through every generation takes up a conscious flavor at some point to tap into this ubiquitous and widespread resentment / emotion. Whether this form of music provokes any change or not, it definitely reminds us to stop and think for a moment!
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Nicholas Bc Shumate, Evangelist - 6 years ago Edit
Indeed, It is interesting how it seems to shift from generation to generation, I wonder if there is some sort of underlying data pattern to it? Perhaps in Economic Downturn certain genres become more popular than others, or perhaps it comes down to the individual personality type?
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Praveen Baratam, Maven - 6 years ago Edit
An artist's affinity to a certain theme is definitely driven by his personality but whether his works gain popularity or not depends on the then prevailing circumstances in my opinion. Whether there is a correlation between economic downturns and popular music trends needs to be investigated! Even movies tend to be based on current affairs and issues in a slow economy! Surprisingly at the macro level people are either splurging time and resources or castigating depending on the circumstances!
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