Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 05 April 2020

Five Percenter Raplocked

  • Felicia M. Miyakawa

Extract

Rap genre. The term refers to rap music created and/or performed by members of the Five Percent Nation (FPN, also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths). The FPN was founded in 1964 by former Nation of Islam student minister Clarence 13X, known to the FPN as Father Allah. FPN rappers often use their lyrics to share theological doctrine, sometimes quoting from lessons learned during their spiritual training. The name “Five Percent Nation” comes from a catechism lesson in which Five Percenters are taught that they—a small percentage of the population—have a duty to teach civilization and righteousness to those without “knowledge of self,” the ultimate level of enlightenment within this Gnostic worldview. Prominent themes of Five Percenter rap include “mathematics” (elaborate number play based on their theology), science, Black Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, Kemetic history, Islamic doctrine, and community uplift. These themes appear not only in lyrical content, but also in album organization, album art, and the use of particular samples. Common FPN phrases, such as “word is bond” have become part of mainstream hip-hop slang....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.