Music News & Reviews

Charlamagne Tha God's Hip Hop Commandments (2005)

10. Thou must not promote all things ghetto Your lyrics should not celebrate the ghetto life by reminiscing about days in poverty, your mother on welfare and your father not being there. Instead of celebrating and embracing the poverty, crime and ignorance of the ghetto, we should be encouraging our people to move on up out of the ghetto like the Jeffersons.

9. Thou must advocate anything of social redeeming value Your lyrics should reflect that you are aware of the social, political and economic reality of your community. The consumer should assume that you read more than the Source or XXL.

8. Thou shall have a sense of history MC's should refer to historical events that may cause the listener to think about his or her relation to history. Your role is to entertain and educate. Instead of mentioning names like Jacob the Jeweler and Versace, mention names like W.E.B. Dubois and Louis Farrakhan.

7. Thou must not worship money and bling-bling You must not talk about money and bling-bling as if it were a living, breathing thing. Your lyrics should not put money and bling-bling over love, women or religion. (See next commandment.)

6. Thou must talk about God and spirituality MC's should not condone atheism and a false belief system that does not acknowledge the existence of a higher being. You should promote the spiritual beliefs that may have been instilled in you by family. Especially being that the first thing rappers say when they win an award is: "I want to thank God."

5. Thou must not celebrate the drug culture Drugs are destroying the black community. There isn't a dope boy in the country who wants to be a dope boy. The trap is just that: a trap. You'll either end up in jail or dead. It's like playing Russian roulette with your life. Trap or die? You might as well die, because in the trap you're killing yourself and your community.

4. Thou must not promote promiscuity MC's should promote a deep sense of love and marriage. You should talk about commitment, bonding and intimacy. Plus rappers talk about having lots of sex, but not about the fact that blacks represent 57 percent of all new AIDS cases in the U.S. even though we only make up 13 percent of the population.

3. Thou must not lust after things that don't belong to us By keeping this commitment, you promise to promote a strong work ethic in your music and speak out against greed, lust and impulsive behavior. Besides, robbery and rape carry a lot of time.

2. Thou must not kill MC's should not lyrically take the life of another black person in order to secure a hit CD. If the artist doesn't value the life of someone else on a record, then the consumer he influences won't value the life of someone else in the street.

1. Thou must not disrespect black women Women are not our sexual play toys; they are the greatest natural resource on the planet. Without them, we can't create life.. ... Instead of disrespecting black women, empower them by letting them know they are queens, mothers of the planet Earth and that their purpose (is beyond) shaking their (butts) in music videos.

-Otis R. Taylor Jr.