Professor Griff, former minister of information for seminal rap outfit Public Enemy, shouldn't be one to trash-talk.
His recent conversion to the "hip-hop is evil" camp is, shall we say, a bit bewildering. This is the same cat who headed up PE's militia-like dance squad, S1W (Security of the First World).
For anyone still tuned in to Griff's freaky frequency, the race-baiting and conspiracy theories were never too far away at a Ryerson confab on May 19 entitled Hip Hop Is Dead: The Covert War Against Hip Hop And Black Youth.
What ensued before a less than rapt audience of 100 was a meandering diatribe buttressed by a maddening slide presentation with one overriding message: "White people put us in this situation; they have to help get us out."
Griff's common refrain: "Are you following me?"
Well, sometimes yeah, but just as often no in this unintentionally gut-busting comical routine.
Griff's intended rap - about how "there's no place like ohm" and how hiphop don't live there no more, with its morbid fixation on "weed, drinking and unscrupulous sex" - is lost in the jabber about alleged "Satanic rituals" on the part of mega corporations and networks (the cited list is exhaustive). And the need for blacks to become "symbol-literate."
For instance, look again at Exxon - "because you've been double-crossed."
When remaining topical, Griff spat gems like "I'm a victim of this war on hiphop - a war to prevent the rise of the black messiah."
Beyond the content of today's pot (and why Jay-Z gets away with "still making music for 13-year-olds"), Griff opined that "low vibratory frequencies that make you other than yourself" are embedded in those grooves you're listening to.
Soulful "melanated [as in melanin] wax" has given way to demonic digital distortions.
"The madness we're hearing over the airwaves is very deadly and dangerous," Griff said, speaking directly to his disdain for mainstream MEDIA (Maniac European Devils In Action) and their bastardized depiction via rap music and videos of how the great majority of blacks live their lives.
A woman in the audience interrupted him to point out that his categorization of the bling-possessed, rump-shaking hoochie mama of rap video lore is a mostly "American thing."
Her position was met with grumbles rather than cheers before Griff countered, "It would behoove us to put some damn clothes on."
While lamenting that "we used to use music to heal ourselves, but now our enemy is taking it to destroy us," Griff saw a white boogeyman or the all-encompassing Big Brother G-man and his myriad machines keeping a brother down around every corner.
"There are only two races - white and non-white," he said.
Uh-oh. Isn't this the same Ryerson that had to nix an intended appearance by Malik Zulu Shabazz (front-man for the New Black Panthers) just the week before due to public gnashing of teeth over his alleged racialist notions?
Griff doesn't give a SHIT (Strategic High Intensity Training). "How are white people going to learn if you don't tell them?" he roars.
Up goes a slide showing various black male celebrities with their non-black significant others - white designs, says Griff, on "diluting our melanin."
In the past, he's less succinctly referred to this phenomenon as "sweethearting the devil" or, in the case of black women crossing the racial chasm, as an unshakable slave-era compulsion to "take care of the master's children."
Make of it what you will.
Griff says we should think of him as the mailman. "It's not my fault you have a bill."