Warning – this article contains graphic and mature content.
This article is an experiment, to get the full effects, please follow the instructions. I’m going to offer you an experience to learn about yourself. The theme of this lesson is on the sacred and the profane, and how to find the sacred in all things… Please take a listen to the youtube song below and get an initial impression of the rapper (Immortal Technique). If your pressed for time, listen to the first minute or two or simply skip ahead.
So then… What did you notice?
I grew up listening to Immortal Technique. He spits hard lines and though much of his lyrics may rub people the wrong way, if you examine his content without judgement and personal bias, it’s hard to not admit that he speaks his truth more boldly than most people on the planet. How many people do you know who could openly share such triggering words?
Read over these lines:
So I’m a mercenary, I don’t care how I get richer
Like American companies that did business with Hitler
Get the picture, nigga? I’m the best of both worlds
Without the hidden camera, and the 12-year-old girl
Let’s face it, you’re basic, you aren’t half the man that I am
I’ll throw your gang sign up, and then I’ll spit on my hand
Give me a hundred grand!
Give me your watch! Give me your chain!
That’s your girl? Bitch, get over here! Give me some brain!
I’ll bust off on her face, and right after the segment
She’ll probably rub it in her pussy, tryna get herself pregnant
I said it, I meant it, that’s the way I deal with enemies
Like pro-lifers that support the death penalty
And don’t talk about war when niggas know that you puss
A fuckin’ hypocrite draft-dodger like George Bush
It takes a great gravitas to speak so boldly. And this isn’t praising his words and encouraging what he is saying.
I stopped listening to Immortal Technique and much of the rap music I use to listen to as I became ‘spiritual’.
I find my journey is common. When an individual becomes more conscious, they may choose to listen to music that is more soothing, filled with light, and love…all that spiritual stuff, right!? So then, what of rap music especially dirty rap music or rap music that deals with explicit content? Should a spiritual person not listen to this ‘low vibe’ music….after all, aren’t we always programming our mind what we consume and does that not encourage rappers to make more of the music?
Well, yes. Sure, that’s a valid perspective.
And yet, I recently got the urge to listen to immortal technique. I knew intuitively there was a valuable teaching there. Then I listened to this next song (see link below). This track brought me to tears.
The Song is sung by Immortal Technique as he describes the true story of a gangster named William (Billy).
Billy grew up poor and tried to find his way through life by selling drugs.
Read the lyrics below and get a glimpse of his energy.
So Billy started robbing niggas, anything he could do
He’d get his respect back, in the eyes of his crew
Starting fights over little shit, up on the block
Stepped up to selling mothers and brothers the crack rock
Working overtime for making money for the crack spot
Hit the jackpot and wanted to move up to cocaine
Fulfilling the scarface fantasy stuck in his brain
Tired of the block niggas treating him the same
He wanted to be major like the cut throats and the thugs
To gain initiation with a gang Billy was tasked with going out with the crew and raping a woman. They threw a bag over a woman’s head and brought her to Billy, and he proceeds to rape her with his gang, one after another. His crew then offers the full initiation into their gang if he kills her…
Please read the following lyrics
Right before he pulled the trigger, and ended her life
He thought about the cocaine with the platinum and ice
And he felt strong standing along with his new brothers
Cocked the gat to her head, and pulled back the shirt cover
But what he saw made him start to cringe and stutter
‘Cause he was staring into the eyes of his own mother
She looked back at him and cried, ’cause he had forsaken her
She cried more painfully than when they were raping her
His whole world stopped, he couldn’t even contemplate
His corruption had succesfully changed his fate
And he remembered how his mom used to come home late
Working hard for nothing, ’cause now what was he worth
He turned away from the woman that had once given him birth
And crying out to the sky ’cause he was lonely and scared
But only the devil responded, ’cause God wasn’t there
And right then he knew what it was to be empty and cold
And so he jumped off the roof and died with no soul
This gut wrenching story takes two twists, one that Billy was actually raping and killed his mom. And two, that Immortal technique was also there, and raped Billy’s mom, and watched Billy commit suicide. He goes on to share his regret and speaks these cold words “now the devil follows me everywhere that I go”.
It’s heavy content.
What are your initial reactions?
When I first heard these two songs after many years they brought me to some powerful realizations. The first was to trust my intuition and guidance when it asks I listen to something even though I don’t understand why at first. Because Yes, what immortal technique did was horrible. But, the more I listened to him, I started to sense where he was coming from. In another song he talks about losing a child, and how the love of his life died due to an HIV infection after a blood transfusion. He shares about the abuse he went through as a child and the rough neighborhoods that made him who he is.
It’s easy to judge him and take moral high ground. No one’s arguing what he did was right. But, as I started to empathize with him, I saw the beauty of his songs. I saw the contribution he made to the world, though it was harsh, there is also something important that is easy to overlook.
In spirituality it can be easy to stick to high vibe music and avoid the darker parts of life. And it is important to have safe places where one can be supported. But, as a light worker and someone here to share love, I recognize my work as also being able to see the light in the dark. This song may have been his heart’s desire to be open up about what he did, allow the world to judge him so that he may feel the full weight of his actions. He could have kept this all a secret, and most people I suspect would, and yet, he chose to publicly share the darkest thing anyone could do. Though I don’t want to confuse anyone with encouraging the actions he has done, I found it commendable what he did to share his story.
Listening to Immortal Technique became a spiritual practice for me as I listened without judgement of right or wrong, and just listened to appreciate another aspect of the All, another aspect of the Great Self trying to find their way. As I mentioned earlier, he speaks his truth more boldly and honestly than most I know, admittedly more than I do. So then, he is my teacher. To see him as lower or lesser for what he has done is of no spiritual value. We are all one. Given an alternate universe where I was in his shoes, would I have done different? I don’t know.
I’m not the judge of his fate. But, I do know that he offered me a valuable lesson in getting to know the soul of another person, and not simply judging them by the words they speak. We are all carrying a collective burden of multi-generation trauma and abuse, and each life is carrying more than most can imagine. Judging him is easy, to find his humanity, that takes something more. to humble ourselves a no better than him, that takes something too.
So to answer my initial question, can you be spiritual and listen to dirty rap music or watch movies with violence? Yes. It does open the question to whether one is supporting that type of media, but, my opinion is that trying to ban and prohibit things never keeps them truly underground. Trying to run from violence and seek safe places with high vibrations doesn’t make the rough areas of our planet disappear. Unless we can know and understand life in it’s fullest, how are we to understand ourselves? How are we to understand those are trapped in cycles of violence. Listening to Immortal Technique offered me great wisdom into the mind and heart of someone whose lived a life far removed from mine.
I can listen to him and many other rap songs, and I don’t feel it mentally programming me, because I listen with an intention to understand their energy and perspective. There is a way to appreciate the flow, without signing up for the life they live. One can listen to a song sung about how great pineapples are, even if they don’t like pineapples. I can appreciate a gangster movie, or a world war 2 movie, but it does not mean I support the actions of those films.
If you are a non-dual thinker and believe the world is sacred, then the whole cosmos, even murder and rape is part of the divine. It takes great spiritual maturity to create harmony and love among these polarities, but without harmony between light and dark, one will always be opposing the opposite energy, and not aiming to create balance.
There’s a lot more to unpack and I’m still discovering why I felt called re-connect with an earlier part of my life and make peace.
And I’m sure you have a unique opinion, and maybe can see some things I don’t…Leave a comment below any reactions, triggers, or questions you have.
Until next time, stay curious and examine everything and see if you can see it from a new perspective. You never know where you may be able to shine some light, love, and understanding.