The Great Debate: Build a Home or Build a Gun? (Pan-African Nationalist Rap)

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“It is vain that we talk of being men, if we do not the work of men. We must become valuable to society in other departments of industry than those servile ones from which we are rapidly being excluded. We must show that we can do as well as they. When we can build as well as live in houses; when we can make as well as wear shoes; when we can produce as well as consume wheat, corn and rye—then we shall become valuable to society.

“Society is a hard-hearted affair. With it the helpless may expect no higher dignity than that of paupers. The individual must lay society under obligation to him or society will honor him only as a stranger and sojourner.”

— Frederick Douglass

I was listening to some great conscious rap that I intend to list in another post.  But I was inspired to write some rhymes as well.  This was the result.  It’s actually based off of an ancient debate on what we as a people should have done following the conquest of Kmt.  I aimed to go into more detail but I was so pleased with how the song came out that I’m publishing as is.  You can also hear my first take on spitting it.

The Great Debate: Build a Home or Build a Gun?
By Onitaset Kumat

Narrator:

I was at Pan-African Nationalist Academy
Heard a crowd tell two dudes to battle me
One said “Ee em Htp (I come in peace)
And I don’t want to battle, I just want you to teach”
‘So speak,’ I responded, the Brother said “First,
My name’s Sankofa and I got this verse,
But before I spit, hear the context
My Brother Akoben spitting nonsense”
Akoben moved but kept his composure,
“He’s said build guns first,” continued Sankofa,
“I said homes, and that’s where we are,
And now that you know listen to the bar:

Sankofa:

Throughout history, it’s never been a mystery
That the Black man should build a home where he be
See, the Black man needs to provide for his needs
And the Black man needs to be inside when he reads
Plus the Black man needs to guide who he leads
And the Black man needs somewhere to hide his seeds
Cause for any battle you need to be well-rested
And know you and yours are safe or you’ll be bested
Cause check it, on an empty stomach without fail
You’ll lose every battle, notwithstanding the steel
So let us be real, at this point we need community;
Cause you ain’t running an army without unity

Crowd:

Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Home!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Gun!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Not sure
But I know I gotta build one!

Akoben:

You can’t have a home in another man’s nation
There’s no debate, there’s no conversation
That’s how it is, there is only war,
The battle doesn’t stop when you close your door
In fact it gets real, crackas on your TV,
Or he steps in your home, in full 3D,
Whether he be, the overseer or the plumber,
He’s a soldier on the war to get you dumber
Thinking that you got something over here
When you ain’t really got nothing over here
You are in a cage, controlled and enslaved,
And he’s amazed you ain’t set his ass a blaze
Talking homes, well remember Africa
We all had homes then, so what happened, huh?

Crowd:

Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Home!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Gun!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Not sure
But I know I gotta build one!

Narrator:

Sankofa and Akoben looked my way,
Both asked me, “What you got to say?”
I stood from my seat and raised my hand,
Explaining, “these five fingers make me a man,
It’s not what you say, anyone can speak,
It’s about doing you, and being unique,
The conversation over the order of operation,
Belong in mathematics, not the foundation,
Cause true you need a home, but also need a gun,
And if you could only do one, then only do one
But you could do two, or get a Brother for the other
And squash the debate by working with one another
Cause blind consuming is bringing your doom in
You need producing, so get to it
Don’t sweat the first step, just get moving,
Action keeps the Nation from losing,
So you build homes and you build guns,
Provide and Protect then guide your Sons
To the destination of cooperation
Then and only then will we have a strong nation”
With that uttered, I surveyed the crowd,
Organized two groups, and threatened real loud,
“Whether you are lead by either Brother’s faction,
You are a traitor til you take some action!”

Crowd:

Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Home!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Build a Gun!
Build a Home or Build a Gun?
Not sure
But I know I gotta build one!

3 thoughts on “The Great Debate: Build a Home or Build a Gun? (Pan-African Nationalist Rap)

  1. Kushite Prince

    I love this! You really have a way with words!
    “You can’t have a home in another man’s nation
    There’s no debate, there’s no conversation
    That’s how it is, there is only war,
    The battle doesn’t stop when you close your door
    In fact it gets real, crackas on your TV,
    Or he steps in your home, in full 3D,
    Whether he be, the overseer or the plumber,
    He’s a soldier on the war to get you dumber
    Thinking that you got something over here
    When you ain’t really got nothing over here
    You are in a cage, controlled and enslaved,
    And he’s amazed you ain’t set his ass a blaze
    Talking homes, well remember Africa
    We all had homes then, so what happened, huh?”
    You should release this has a CD. I think people would appreciate these type of lyrics.

    Reply

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