Now I’m a Non-fungible Negro
With this trick
So I’m a damned digital hero
I’m coming to
Your Twitter feed
If you cut me
I won’t bleed
I bring this world
What it needs
DeRicki Johnson (@derickijohnson) / Twitter
DeRicki Johnson (@derickijohnson) • Instagram
On March 10th of 2020, Minster King X released on YouTube, the six minute music video Peace of Pye. It was produced by Kim Pollak, Editor-in-chief of the California Prison Focus, with commentary by American prisoner artist C-Note. All three are doing work as delegates for the Principal Thinkers of the 2011 and 2013 California Prison Hunger Strikes. These strikes, along with the Principal Thinkers’, Agreement to End All Hostilities throughout the California prison system and jails, is what ended the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation’s (CDCR), more-than-a-century use of long-term solitary confinement.
Peace of Pye as the working title, is a play on the work Minister King X was doing behind the prison walls. King in the mid-90s was an Oakland-based rapper known as Pyeface, and was registered with Highside Records. However, his rap career abruptly came to an end when he was sentenced to do time in the Feds and in California. He spent a total of 24 years behind bars, six years in Federal prisons, and 18 in California maximum security prisons. His principal conflict with California prison officials was his peaceful organizing around prison conditions. Pyeface, as he was predominantly known throughout the prison systems, was also affectionately nicknamed The George Jackson of Rapp. Peace of Pye is a provocative work of contemporary Hip Hop that has been seeping out from behind the prison walls. It is a mix of still life photos and video. In the first half, King narrates us through his journey in the prison system and the psychological warfare tactics the system uses; to the returning citizen who takes the lessons learned inside, and uses them to bring positive change to his community and to society writ large; all the while, never forgetting to honor the dignified individuals he meet inside. The second half concludes with a musical track and lyrics that will have listeners up on their feet, shaking their hips, screaming, “Vote’em Out! Vote’em Out!…..Vote’em Out! Vote’em Out!” It is a part of his strategy of using voter restoration and the power of art as a means to bring the death nails to mass incarceration.
[Editor’s Note]: Min. King X recently returned home after 18 years in California Maximum Security Prisons. He is a Hip Hop artist, writer, actor, director, founder of prison-based Anti-Hostility Group K.A.G.E. Universal and Co-Director of California Prison Focus, seeking support to grow a movement through education, culture and arts.
He is seeking support for his K.A.G.E. to the Stage programs including the production of a revolutionary theater production. To support his efforts, send tax deductible donations designated to K.A.G.E. Theater Productions to California Prison Focus, 4408 Market St., Ste. A, Oakland, CA 94608 or on-line at prisons.org.
For more information on Min. King X or K.A.G.E. Universal, visit http://www.prisons.org/speakers/37 or follow Min. King X on Facebook or Instragram: @minkingwilliam]
For more on Donald “C-Note” Hooker visit: https://darealprisonart.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/featured-artist-donald-c-note-hooker/amp/
To follow what’s happening in California prisons directly from those who are most impacted, subscribe to Prison Focus newspaper at prisons.org or follow California Prison Focus. Instagram: @caprisonfocus Facebook: @californiaprisonfocus Twitter: @CAprisonfocus Video Produced by Kim Pollak of California Prison Focus.
“Believe in your fucking self.
Stay up all fucking night.
Work outside your fucking habits.
Know when to fucking speak up.
Don’t fucking procrastinate.
Get over your fucking self.
Keep fucking learning.
Form follows fucking function.
A computer is a fucking Lite-Brite for bad ideas.
Find fucking inspiration everywhere.
Educate your fucking client.
Trust your fucking gut.
Ask for fucking help.
Make it fucking sustainable.
Question fucking everything.
Have a fucking concept.
Learn to take some fucking criticism.
Make me fucking care.
Use fucking spell check.
Do your fucking research.
Sketch more fucking ideas.
The problem contains the fucking solution.
Think about all the fucking possibilities.”
(any fucking questions?)
I don’t claim no sect
We don’t do that round here
My wife and God the only things I fear.
My shoes; nigga you couldn’t take two steps,
Check a ghetto near you, they know my rep.
Been in a lot of major cities, done did a lot of time
Charge it to the game, I lived a life of crime.
Never been a rat I’m a stand up guy.
As for that other nigga he was dropping them dimes.
Took my shyt on the chin cause I’m truly a soldier
No regrets, I’m a man; thug it out til it’s over.
Three hots and a cot thats the sum of my existence
Nothing to it but to do it;
Ain’t no need in bitching.
They say you only do two days
Your first and your last,
Well you can tell whoever said that they can kiss my ass.
I did errday, a nigga wasn’t cut no slack,
Prosecuted and penalized when I went on the attack.
Didn’t ask for no breaks cause wasn’t none being given,
Only goal I had was to continue living.
Surrounded by dope fiends, crazy folks and even a few killers,
Chomo’s & homo’s and of course the squealers.
Year after year this was my fate,
Engulfed in a world misery and hate.
You ask does crime pay and I say hell yeah!
The niggaz playing the game is all you have to fear.
This is a poem to which I lost the Poetess contact information. I even lost the title to the poem. But nevertheless, it’s a piece, with such rawness, it had to be published.
Who got those concrete balls?
The kind that aint scared to let em hang…
Not the ones thats tuckd n they ass.
Im talkn bout courage… ‘ lion balls’.
Where r the brave, secured, strong men at.
Do yo balls hang low?
Can they wobble to the floor?
Can u tie em n a knot?
Can u tie em n a bow?
Can u throw em over yo shoulder like a continental soldier?
Do yo balls hang low?
Where they at?
Where the kings of the jungle at?
Ima strong cat…Lion tamer lol but where r the real strong kings at?
Not these ol water down… sugar n the corner of they tanks ass cats . Assumin only they know bout the sweet water n them.
I like the pure… no additives no perservatives.
One mo time where the cats at that balls hang real low?
who aint scared to b my king of things.
So where oh where?
by Author Unknown but looking for her (contact us)
This is a step away from the norm,
Not just your everyday poem.
This is the tale of one guy
Who really was “about that life!”
Im talking cash & cars
Drugs, guns, & broads!
Anything & everybody had a price tag,
The money came in by the garbage bag!
But what about the other side of the game?
The part where niggaz is dropping your name!
Telling the cops where your moms live & shyt,
Giving up the spot where you hiding them bricks!
Got caught up in a little
Couldn’t hold his own like a man.
Now, he solemnly swearing on the stand!
Suprise, suprise! Its your best friend!
Now,you headed up state to hug that cot,
Even Johnny Cochran would’ve told you to take that cop!
25 muthafuckin years go figure!
That’s what I got for being the realest nigga!
No longer confined to that place.
That total and complete lack of space,
of which there was no room to move or grow. Sophicating without life’s oxygen to breath..
I’ve decided to leave.
I’ve decided to break away from that dark void,
where I was stuck and immobilized. I’ve deployed.
My soul has ejected.
I now stand forth, erected…
Ready to pull away from the dark decay of my broken dreams. Away from the sitting still of my drive and will.
I will pull away from the dark soot clouding my vision.
I have regained ambition.
As I detach myself from the black sands of hopelessness and despair.
They crumble as I seek to claim what is out there,
what is out there waiting for me
in the land of milk and honey…
In the wide open space of possibility,
I have the strength, the will and ability,
to bring into existence the things I want and desire to possess,
by simply getting up off this chair of set backs and give ups that hinder me from my success…
By: Rachel R. Bridgett 4/25/2015
© All Rights Reserved
The system is put in place
to be against us.For people of color,
America has got no love,
for the 30% of blacks
who make up this nation,
60% of them
make up the American prison population.
If we plead the words, “STOP this wrongful legislation!”,
“the new Jim crow!”,
the “3 strikes you’re out!”
They wouldn’t hear us though!
In an oppressive
morally bankrupted society,
the rich buy stock in companies
who get rich off our misery,
the booming business
of keeping black people in cages.
the system is racist.
More and more prisons are being built
that 1 in 3 black men will go to prison in their life,
a modern day plantation
SO MUCH EFFORT,
is being put towards keeping blacks in jail.
Not much effort in rehabilitation programs.
They set us up to fail.
Nobody wants to hire
with prison on the record
seals one’s fate.,
What choices does one have
in order to eat?
With this system set in place,
they’ll be back on the street.
And just because it’s the law
it doesn’t make it alright.
Sisters and brothers
we need to rise up and fight!
Stand up for ourselves, in unity
and come together as one.
Speak out! To be heard,
so that we can overcome!
Put an end to it all
and no longer be victim.
to the unjust and oppressive
American prison system…
By: Rachel R. Bridgett (2015)
© All Rights Reserved