“I am a Thug, my father and grandfather were Thugs, and I have Thugged with many.”
- Buhram Jamadar
Leader of the Thugee Order
I remember back in the early 90s—between 1990 and 1992 to be exact—the most popular hip hop artists were A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD, De La Soul, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, KRS One, Brand Nubian, X-Clan, Redman, Das Efx, Nice & Smooth, Onyx and Naughty By Nature. These artists spoke for and represented millions of young Black men who were coming of age during that particular era. They conveyed different messages, each with their own style and uniqueness. Within their collective diversity, they were genuine reflections of who we were.
By 1993, however, rap music had become less diverse and more homogenized with the rise of Death Row Records. In the music video for “Nuthin’ But A G Thang,” you see a group of 40 ounce guzzlers pouring their beer out on a Black woman who is clearly less than pleased with how she is being treated. The video scene looks harmless by today’s standards, but up until that time you did not see this imagery in hip hop videos.
This marked the formal introduction of the subgenre of rap music widely known as “gangsta rap.” Many commentators trace the origin of the term to the white media. But the truth of the matter is that before the mainstream media ever acknowledged rap music to any significant degree, Dr. Dre had already coined the term. On the single “Let Me Ride,” off of his multiplatinum-selling 1993 solo debut The Chronic, he raps “just another motherfuckin day for Dre so I begin like this. No medallions, dreadlocks, or black fists it’s just that gangster glare, with GANGSTA RAPS that gangster shit, that makes the gang of snaps.”
Dre basically shat on the Black nationalist agenda and told us that he was all about the dollar. Mind you this is the same Dr. Dre who smacked up the petite female VJ, Dee Barnes, for interviewing Ice Cube when the two rappers were in a heated beef following Cube’s departure from N.W.A. Nearly 20 years later Dre filed a restraining order against Suge Knight whom he never mustered the courage to give the Dee Barnes treatment.
Only after Dre spat his rhyme did the media take the term “gangster rap” and run with it. Only after the rise of Death Row Records did you get a consistent barrage of rap music that conveyed a vehement disdain for the opposite sex, and an unwavering loyalty among men which was never inclusive to women.
Before long, east coast rappers who wanted to make the “gang of snaps” that west coast artists were making followed suit. So much so that the image of the so-called hip hop thug became a caricature that is well cemented in the minds of most Americans. However the misogyny that crept into a lot of hip hop music was all part of an incremental social engineering program designed to promote a disdain for Black women who are emanations of Ma, the cosmic mother in the form of Kali.
Still, the question begs to be answered: what exactly is a thug? To answer the question accurately, we would first have to know where the word initially came from. You’d probably be surprised to learn that it was not even known to English-speaking people before the dawn of the 19th century. The word originated in
, and the story of how it made its way into common English vernacular is not often told. India
The Order of Thugee was an all male secret society that struck fear in the hearts of the British until they crushed it like peppers at a local pizzeria. Its members, who were nicknamed Thugs after their order, spent much of their time robbing and murdering the wealthy by strangling them to death with yellow silk scarves called “rumals.” The Thugs’ membership was estimated to be close to 5,000. Although they were known for committing violent acts against the more affluent members of Indian society—who were usually British colonizers—the Thugs were not known to lay their hands on the impoverished Untouchables.
Indian society is held in place by a rigid caste system and the Untouchables occupy the lowest rung on its social ladder. These Untouchables are the descendants of the Harrapans, who were the indigenous Blacks who occupied a large stretch of land bordering between modern-day India and Pakistan as far back as 7,000 B.C.E. The Harrapans, who set the foundation for Indus Valley civilization, are the ones who wrote the Upanishads, which is arguably India’s most sacred repository of spiritual knowledge. The Untouchables also gave the world many of the elaborate yoga and meditation systems that were later credited to Buddhists.
For those of you who mistake the information I am sharing for some lame attempt to raise Black people’s self-esteem by feeding them lies about Asian history, I suggest that you read Dalits: The Black Untouchables of India. The book was written by Vontibettu Thimmappa Rajshekar, a native of India who was the founding editor of Dalit Voice (www.dalitvoice.org). After not visiting the website for a few years, I was recently disappointed to see that it no longer exists. Fortunately you can still learn about Rajshekar’s incredible work elsewhere on the web. Rajshekar was also a strong supporter of the Dalit Panthers, which was modeled after the original Black Panthers in the U.S. It is already widely known that Tupac’s mom, Afeni Shakur, was a member of this organization
The Harrapan civilization fell to ruin around 1500 B.C.E when it was overrun by hordes of Indo-Europeans who flooded India after plundering ancient Sumer. These barbaric invaders, who had no previous civilization of their own, later called themselves “Aryans”. The word Aryan means “noble” in Sanskrit. Its use was originally indicative of one’s class and social standing. However, the word was later perverted and given racial implications because the European conquerors who implemented the caste system made race THE only grounds for one’s class and social standing.
Hinduism, which currently ranks third as the world’s most practiced religion with over one billion adherents world-wide (Judaism only has about 15 million devotees), incorporated deities from the original Harrapan pantheon. The spiritual system practiced in ancient Harrapa was Tantra, not Hinduism.
If you ask most people who are familiar with Tantra what it is they will likely tell you that it is a spiritual approach to sex. However, the term “Tantric Sex” clearly implies that Tantra can be defined outside of a sexual context given that the word “Tantric” is used as an adjective, a word that describes a subject, which in this case, would be sex. Tantra may involve a spiritual awareness about sex, but it is not limited to sexual activity, at least not in the manner that Western man understands it.
The Kama Sutra does not come out of the Tantric tradition. It is a racist sex manual that promotes the caste system. Hinduism was created by India’s Brahmin class to reinforce the racial stratification of Indian society. This is very similar to how many white Christians use the curse of Ham myth to mind-fuck Blacks. Indians who were very dark, or had Black skin (shudras), were said to be cursed and therefore deserving of their lowly status as servants and nobodies. When India was colonized again by the British in 1757, the Thugs were viewed as a growing threat to British imperialism. As a result, they were eventually snuffed out by William Sleeman, a British army officer who led a crusade against them.
After infiltrating the Order of Thugee, Sleeman discovered that the Thugs’ ritualistic robberies and murders were actually sacrifices to the Black goddess, Kali-Ma. Although she is a part of the Hindu pantheon, Kali, who is also known as Durga, is a holdover from the original Harrapan pantheon of deities. Her worshipers gave her offerings of milk and severed heads dripping with blood. Wearing a garland of 50 skulls, she is colorfully described in original thug poetry:
“Terrific-faced Kali, holding a drawn sword and a noose and a club wreathed with human skulls, lean, emaciated and terrible, wide-mouthed, tongue dreadfully protruded, maddened, blood red-eyed filling the four quarters of the globe with hideous cries....”
To the Western mind which has been predisposed to Judeo-Christian values, Kali might seem to be the Indian personification of Satan. However, she is more like a responsible mother: she loves you to death, but she’ll bust your ass if you misbehave. Her complete name is Kali-Ma. A lot of Black people in America instinctively say “Hey Ma” when greeting a Black female. I’ve never heard a Black person call a female of another race “Ma.” There are a lot of things that we do and say and don’t know why. Kali is the personification of divine retribution, but her vengeful wrath is not directed towards the righteous. It is directed towards the wicked. Metaphysically speaking, Kali is the motivating cosmic force behind those who give the most reverence to the feminine principal in their extreme attempt to rid the world of spiritual wickedness in high and low places.
Tupac Amaru Shakur, who was named after an Inca king, embodied the original thug ethic more than any other rapper that I can readily recall. He recorded classics like “Dear Momma,” “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” It is no coincidence that those hits were recorded BEFORE the T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone) advocate signed to Death Row records. Yet even then, one of his biggest hits on that label was “Kali-fornia Love.” This song takes on special significance once you learn that Tupac wasn’t even from the state of California. He was born in Harlem, New York and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Tupac didn’t move to the west coast until he was in his late teens, so when you consider the fact that he was murdered at the age of 25, he was essentially an east coast artist.
Right before Tupac spits his verse on “Kali-fornia Love” Roger Troutman, who is the father of autotune, sings “shake it, shake it mama. Shake it Kali!” What a beautiful segue for a man who promoted Thug Life “Against All Odds.” Also, Tupac was cremated and among many Kali devotees, cremation is actually preferred to burial. In India, this crematory is called a “smashan.” One of Kali’s names is Smashan Tara. Tupac may not have known who the goddess Kali was in his lifetime, so let’s not be naïve. Nevertheless, he was a devotee to the goddess in spirit, and the spirit is what we are concerned with here at Mind Glow Media.
You are who you are, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Tupac’s early hit “Holler If Ya Hear Me” lyrically exemplifies what the Thugs of colonial India were all about. Tupac was one of the first people to give us the real scoop on the so-called Illuminati when most people who were knowledgeable of it were feeding us nothing but scary stories. Tupac was a multi-platinum selling artist, which means that through his music he was telling millions of people across the globe not to fear the Illuminati. He had much more potential to influence the populace than William Cooper, author of Behold A Pale Horse, ever did.
“Niggas is telling me about this Illuminati shit while I’m in jail right?,” he once said in one of his many poignant interviews. “That’s another way to keep your self-esteem down. That’s another way to keep you un-confident. And that’s why I’m putting the ‘K’ to it, cause I’m killin’ that Illuminati shit.” We all need to kill the Illuminati shit and recognize that we are the only real Illuminati that exists in this day and time. Why should we empower others by jerking off our pineal glands to intellectual pornography that only seeks to glorify the phallic prowess of global white supremacy. Let’s work on empowering ourselves, instead of hyping up conspiracy obsessed fear mongers.
Dre and Snoop Dogg recently gave a live stage show at the Coachella music festival in Kali-fornia. The duo garnered international headlines after they performed alongside a hologram of Tupac. A hologram is an optical illusion, and illusions are the very things that Kali is hell-bent on destroying. So if Tupac was a spiritual devotee of Kali, then bringing him back to life as a hologram can be seen as the desecration of who he was when we examine his life within a metaphysical context.
According to news reports, Dr. Dre’s camp is talking about taking the Tupac hologram on a major tour, which means that Dre will be profiting off of the dead rapper’s memory. Tupac was one of the first rappers to question Dre’s sexuality on the “Toss ItUp” single which was featured on Pac’s last studio album, Makaveli. Maybe The Doctor is still sore about that and is having what he thinks is the last laugh by getting money out of Tupac’s ass. Then again, Dre may have put that all behind him and just wants to celebrate his former comrade’s legacy. Only Dre knows for sure. Either way, I don’t think that the hologram was Dre’s idea. Perhaps, it’s a litmus test for how the general public would respond to the alleged Project Blue Beam.