Hip-hop legend Professor Griff from the iconic rap group Public Enemy recently sat with YouTuber @blackmagik363 to have a wide-ranging conversation about the state of Black artists, music and the overall culture today.
For nearly 45 minutes, Professor Griff addressed the disparities between Black people shaping the world positively since the beginning of civilization to the rapid decline in various aspects of the community today.
The culture-shifting artist didn’t mince words when he spoke about various topics, including spirituality, Kanye West, health and nutrition, mental illness and Candace Owens.
In response to the host’s statement that Black people are “soul people,” Griff explained why he believes multiple crises are getting worse in the culture. He also applauded @blackmagik for not having the conversation in a “controlled environment” where people are often prohibited from speaking freely.
“Every aspect of what we did connected back to the soul,” Griff said. “So what is about the soul that we’re not connected back to … that’s causing the mental health?”
He went on to say Black people no longer practice many things that kept the community grounded and thriving – even when facing the harshest challenges.
“We’re not centered on a nutrient level. We’re not centered on a spiritual level because we’re worshipping gods that don’t look like us. We’re not connected back to the soul simply because the vibration and the spirit of the music is not connecting with us anymore because now it’s in a digital format as opposed to an analog format,” Professor Griff explained. “So everything that we used to do and interact with and resonate with, we’re losing touch with the soul.”
He then turned his attention to Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West.
“When you see someone like Kanye West … he’ll say something very profound, very deep, make you scratch your head and think, ‘Like wow;’ and then you’ll end up hearing some stuff from him [that makes you say] ‘Wait a minute, where did that come from?’”
“But you see that is the clinical definition of what being bipolar is,” Griff continued. “Bipolar extremes, going from one extreme to the next, and this is what you’re seeing simply because [Kanye’s] trying to stay relevant in a world that was made without a thought of you in it.”
Professor Griff referenced Biblical scriptures and a lecture he said he’d just attended about the African origin of Christianity. He noted how biblical figures lived between 800 and 1,000 years due to their knowledge of the right foods and herbs to eat and use for healing.
He then contrasted that to Black people today, either dying or battling mental illness at age 40 and younger. He reiterated that it’s “because we’re no longer centered and we’re no longer grounded.”
The host then asked Professor Griff his thoughts on Ye wearing a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt and whether or not there was any justification for it.
“That’s a very deep, intricate question. The idea of us being able to move who and what we are forward and having to reclaim those things that were taken from us is a very difficult task,” Griff answered before highlighting that sometimes in effort to find allies, Black public figures sell out their own people.
“I think coming from the perspective of understanding and witnessing mental health crisis and issues, I think individuals like Kanye West look to further himself, his business, his brand but it’s steeped in self-aggrandizement,” Griff explained.
“He wants to basically be something so much … he feels certain things that he needs to do in order to be in the bosom of his open enemy. He feels he have to disrespect black people. He feels he has to say these kinds of things to quote unquote stay relevant,” Griff said.
“Now if you damn near a billionaire and you gotta pull off antics like wearing a white lives matter shirt just to keep people’s attention and stay relevant there’s a problem with that bro,” Griff continued. “What signal are you sending to young brothers that’s coming up looking at you and say okay I want to be the next Kanye West?”
He answered his own question saying, “You’re sending a signal to them the only way you could do that is by selling your people out. That kind of energy and those kind of individuals and that kind of thing, our people we could do we could do without.”
Griff also said he wasn’t surprised when he saw Ye and Owens’ wearing the shirt but was more analytical about what they were trying to accomplish.
“When I first saw it, I wasn’t surprised because of who was wearing it and who was doing it. You’re walking arm-in-arm with Candace Owens, a known coon, so I don’t think I was surprised. I was saying to myself, ‘What is this for?’” Professor Griff said.
“What is the end result of white lives matter? … Have white lives always mattered? Yes. Even when no other lives mattered,” Griff said. “If you are centered in who you are … in order for you to operate in the world that they’ve created now … they make it so that you have to bow down to them.”
PHOTOS: Candace Owens, of PragerU speaks at the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House, Oct. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) / Kanye West speaks at the Oval Office with Trump, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) / Professor Griff screenshot from blackmagik363, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxAba197GBE&t=440s