Author Topic: Azreal - A White 5 Percenter  (Read 1140 times)

Ebony Zebedee

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Azreal - A White 5 Percenter
« on: July 30, 2016, 05:24:55 PM »
I recently had a talk on twitter about my understanding that 5 Percenters are foremost a Black Movement and that I assumed, through my limited knowledge, that whites weren't allowed to join. The guy I was talking to has been studying 5 Percenter philosophy for 17 years and told me to check out a white guy named Azreal who is a well known 5 Percenter with ties to the Wutang Clan.

I googled him and found this exert from his book on Reality Sandwich.

One thing this read did was totally change my perspective on Wu lyrics.

The following is excerpted from Why I am a Five Percenter, available from Penguin Books.

DON'T GET ME WRONG before my first trip to the Allah School, they
had me scared shitless. According to 50 Cent's old fence-man, there was a time
when Five Percenters owned the streets like the Bloods and Crips. According to
a State Senate subcommittee, Five Percenters were the ones who ran things
during the 1971 Attica prison rebellion. In newspapers from the 1960s, I found
references to the Five Percenters as terrorists who trained in martial arts with
ambitions to kill white people at random. "If the Nation of Islam is a religion
that finds converts in prison," Russell Simmons once remarked, "Five Percenters
find their converts under the prison.
That's how street it is." It all contributed to an image of Five Percenters as
half-gangster, half-revolutionary, quasi-Muslim cultists, maniacs with names
like Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah. It was said to be a convict's religion or a
rapper's religion or not even a religion, but they had their own wild mythology
of mad scientists blasting the moon from the Earth and believed that they were
all gods and spoke in a secret language that somehow incorporated numbers. How
does anyone work their way through that scene? In a tight situation, would this
white boy even have the vocabulary to plead for his neck?

I remembered these thoughts while
backstage after the Wu-Tang Clan show at Manhattan's Webster Hall, interviewing
Brand Nubian's Lord Jamar in his dressing room and choking on the smoke from a
passing blunt, Jamar telling me how he came into the knowledge. By that point,
I had been building with the gods for a few years; if the Five Percenters were
anything like their reputation, I should have been dead several times over.
Lord Jamar introduced me to other gods in the room, and it was all peace,
everyone smiling and shaking my hand, no one calling me a devil or putting
swords to my neck. "I like your shirt," said one, pointing to Elijah Muhammad's
portrait on my chest, rhinestones making the fez sparkle.

Searching the darkness backstage,
navigating between orange-robed Shaolin monks and groupie girls, I found the
Wu-Tang's "abbot," Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, better known as the RZA, and he
said that we could build outside. Following him down the crowded stairwell,
passing Masta Killa, I thought about art's intersection with spiritual
authority. If this was medieval Iran, I'd be hanging around Sufi orders,
chasing after poets. Sometimes the line between poet and prophet gets thin, and
sometimes it's not there at all. In the Qur'an, God tells Muhammad to remind
his people that these words aren't mere poetry but with a battle-MC's bravado,
God also challenges poets to match the Qur'an's verses.

The RZA toes that line, but only
if you know what the hell he's talking about, and most don't. "The dumb are
mostly intrigued by the drum," says his cousin, the GZA (also known as the
Genius or Allah Justice). Encoded in the Wu-Tang's body of lyrics, buried deep
under layers of references to Mafia culture of kung fu flicks, is a metaphysical
matrix that never gets fully explained; you have to know before entering. At
one point during this Webster Hall show, the RZA stopped the music and told the
crowd that amidst hedonism and crime in the streets, one could also find
wisdom. He then launched into an a cappella version of his song "The Birth."
People didn't know how to take it. "Six is the limitation of the devil," the
RZA recited, "and the million square miles of land that he settles." Unless
you're in enough to get what that
means, it means nothing. So his fans threw up the Wu hand sign and waited for
the drums.

I couldn't have been the only one
in the room to pick up on the verse, but it felt good to pretend that I was.
That's a common experience in both art and mystical orders: the desire to
search between the master's words, to know him better than any of the other
disciples or fanboys. We believe that through our heavy intellectual and
emotional investment, we earn greater intimacy with the poet or saint. Knowing
that not everyone was qualified for the wisdom, classical Sufi masters such as
Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240) would present their doctrines with deliberately
complex language and arcane symbolism, offering privileged knowledge only for
those who were willing and able to dig deep. In hip-hop, this approach also
provides balance between two audiences. The RZA's specialized code allows him
to address the initiated without alienating most of his fans.

If the RZA founded his own Sufi
order, I'd probably join it. Over the years, he has cultivated an
authoritative, semimystical charisma, as though we should look to him for much
more than music. Not many other MCs could write books on the philosophical
underpinnings of their lyrics (there's no The
Tao of Lil Wayne coming out). I had once heard that the RZA was taking time
off from music to find a cure for brain cancer; for at least a few minutes, the
idea seemed reasonable. It wasn't hard to imagine him in the lab not the lab
where he makes beats but an actual laboratory
wearing a white coat and goggles, mixing smoking liquids between test tubes.

As we walked down the street, I
asked the RZA questions and jotted down his answers in my notepad. I was
writing a book on the Five Percenters, I told him; excerpts had already
appeared in the notes for Lord Jamar's new album. The RZA shared his thoughts
and we parted ways with "Peace" at the corner, in front of a giant tour bus
with Method Man's face splashed across the side. The East Village was quiet at
that hour, and I walked alone down Fourth Avenue reciting lyrics that most
failed to catch:

Understand the equality, God in the bodily form

Letting my knowledge be born

You have to know the code; in the
Five Percenters' system of Supreme Mathematics, "Understanding" corresponds to
the number 3; "Equality" corresponds to 6. "Born" corresponds to 9, so
Understanding your Equality (3+6) leads to your knowledge being Born (9). Also,
"Knowledge" corresponds to the number 1; to go from 1 to 9 or to make
"Knowledge Born" means to make your Knowledge manifest in the world. Thought it
doesn't factor into the number play here, "God" happens to be the attribute for

how it would read mathematically:

God in the bodily form

my 1 be 9

Hip-hop is filled with these
secret Five Percenter references, even from MCs who aren't Five Percenters.
Listing to Jay-Z's freestyle with Big L, I would geek out on the part where Jay
says, "Just like the gods, I start with Knowledge and follow with Wisdom, for
greater Understanding." Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding correspond to 1, 2,
and 3. In "Jigga my Nigga," when Jay-Z boasts, "The god, send you back to the
earth from which you came," there's a double meaning for Five Percenter ears,
since "Earth" represents woman.

Five Percenter code appears most
often with New York MCs of a particular generation, but even Lil Wayne uses it
in "Tha Heat," when he says, "I'ma shoot your Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head,"
playing on the Five Percenter understanding of A.L.L.A.H. I don't think the
gods liked that one.



Ebony Zebedee

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Re: Azreal - A White 5 Percenter
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 10:09:55 PM »
I'll cum n yo face Eboney

What a waste!!!

We coulda had a bunch of lil cali lovin e boney lookin midget kids

Your daddy shoulda worn a rubber

Ebony Zebedee

  • Guest
Re: Azreal - A White 5 Percenter
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 03:38:00 PM »
Are you a punk like Sccif? I'm 5'2 who knew? I also have a 13 inch cocky.

Well im 5'9 wit scars on my thighs n ive been known to pass weed in jail kissin it over to my lover.

Im partial to punk rock, and sccit is kind to me which i appreciate.

If ur 5'2 wit a 13 inch schlong thats about as anatomically incorrect as a barbie doll.



  • Guest
Re: Azreal - A White 5 Percenter
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 06:28:55 PM »
Are you a punk like Sccif? I'm 5'2 who knew? I also have a 13 inch cocky.

Well im 5'9 wit scars on my thighs n ive been known to pass weed in jail kissin it over to my lover.

Im partial to punk rock, and sccit is kind to me which i appreciate.

If ur 5'2 wit a 13 inch schlong thats about as anatomically incorrect as a barbie doll.

I'll cam on yur ILids