We Are Not just Rappers, We Are Not Studio Gangstaz, We are Two Individuals With a Passion To Write, That Decided To Go In The Studio and Lay Down Something To Remind People What Good Music Used To Sound Like. Sankara Dra' Don and Sun Of Man De'HitMen....
We Are Not just Rappers, We Are Not Studio Gangstaz, We are Two Individuals With a Passion To Write, That Decided To Go In The Studio and Lay Down Something To Remind People What Good Music Used To Sound Like. Sankara Dra' Don and Sun Of Man De'HitMen. Birthed Through Poetry These Two Brothaz Put Their Minds Together on Various Collaborations and Through their Growth and Bond of Their Penmanship decided to Formulate De'HitMen. They Are not your Average Writers not Only Have They Lived What They Wrote The Write What They will Live. They Are Not As The Poet and Intellectual Writer "Esu" say They Are Not "GlamRock Stars." They Bring a Message With Their Music Some May Agree Some May not Agree With It. To Contact De'HitMen for Collaborations, Song Writing, Events, Or Motivational Speaking Contact Us at Dehitmenent@gmail.com... "There Is No Degree In Life That You Can Pay For That Will Teach You About The Reality of Life, You Either Live It or Allow Paper To Speak For You... We Lived It So Our Experiences of Walking Through life's Trials And Tribulations Were Paid for Through Our Blood, Sweat, Tears and Desire To Be The Men That We Are" De'HitMen
De'HitMen by Original Thought Magazine De Hitmen... Rhymes with Reason and Much MoreGriots, storytellers, troubadours. The tradition of sharing viewpoints or telling tales of fantasy or reality is one etched in the human condition. It's...
De'HitMen by Original Thought Magazine De Hitmen... Rhymes with Reason and Much More
Griots, storytellers, troubadours. The tradition of sharing viewpoints or telling tales of fantasy or reality is one etched in the human condition. It's something we take comfort in whether it's the spoken or written word. It's taken on modern forms within the past century to include media such as film and television, however, the yearning to be informed or entertained remains constant. In many of our ancestral lands, lessons were taught by the 'elders'; respected people of experience who had lived through the hardship of what was simply regarded as 'life'. Their lessons were passed on to the younger generation who would then live by this example, applying what they learned, and then eventually passing that on to others, fulfilling a cycle that provided spiritual and cultural foundations. The communities thrived on this simple, yet effective tool in bonding the generations. Colonialism and the institution of slavery broke down many facets of community; the lessons of the elders being an extremely important one, as families were literally torn apart, leaving little in the way of contact between generations.
Father Allah bonded with his First Born in the way elders once did and provided the base of a Nation, proving it can be done in modern times, and now, the elders of the Nation continue building in that vein. However, much of the mass media, as we know it, ignores this. No real surprise there. Their attitude towards our communities is based on what kind of returns they get on their mass-marketed drivel. So it's up to elders within our communities to fill this void as needed. Elders, such as De Hitmen.
De Hitmen are Sankara Dra'Don and Sun of Man, two brothers who have encountered the systematic traps set for young black men, been caught in them, and have each survived to teach the sort of lessons that can literally save lives. They met as members of a poetry website and were encouraged to combine their talents by others. As Sankara tells me, 'We relate to each other mainly due to the background being somewhat similar. I mean, we both came from the streets, issues with drugs, prisons, and found redemption in writing.'
Sankara was born and 'half-raised' in Chicago. He says 'half-raised' because 'the better part of my years were spent in prison both in mind and body.' His transformation began through reading, books became his salvation, and inspiration was initially drawn from George Jackson's seminal 'Soledad Brother'. In books, he was searching. 'I was looking for answers to questions as to the why's and what's in regards to the oppressive force that lead my life down the drain.', he informs me.
An Everyday Struggle
He is in transition and driven by determination. 'I, personally, am in constant transition, meaning that I want to transform my old ways, standards and all. I want re-create myself and find my true nature all over again, because we all were born innocent. Circumstances and our environment shaped the current dismal things we may find in our lives.'
Sankara is aware of self as well. 'I struggle everyday because I know I'm a victim and have been affected by society. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder for over ten years now and I'm amazed my damn self when I can write a good poem or have a decent conversation with someone when some people with the disorder can barely speak. And it's a testament to my desire to transform, it's testament to how serious I want to win and overcome the things that held me back all these years.'
Lessons he and Sun of Man have learned through their travails are invaluable to our youth who encounter these challenges daily. While the various entertainment industries cater to a literally unconscious public, De Hitmen seek a higher plane and being 'over 21' is not an issue especially when addressing the youth. The tradition of the elders having a say is alive and well apparently. Sankara tells me, 'The youth are impressionable as hell and a lot of these groups out are young dudes that derive their music concepts based on street madness, and it becomes a liability to the youth instead of medicine to heal them from the genocide that plagues their generation. So with De Hitmen being "full grown", both in mind and body, we feel that you're never too old to bring a message. There is no age limit on saving lives. The music industry we know caters to self-destruction, but we are saying the hell with that! We coming in to save lives, take it or leave it dammit!'
A Movement, Not Just Entertainment
De Hitmen are self-styled renaissance men. They host their own show on Blogtalk Radio and contribute poetry and spoken word in various sectors of the internet. They claim to be unprofessional, though that's relative especially in the cyber-realm. Their aim is quite straight-forward. '…we want to provide a service, not only through our music and poetry, but speaking engagements, etc. We believe that De Hitmen is a movement, as opposed to an entertainment group.' Sankara tells me about De Hitmen's radio show, 'The radio show was essentially for the opening of the poetry site where we really made the decision to form the group. The show basically was like a TV commercial for Writers Unified, to give the people on the site a place to hear each other's poetry and feel the companionship amongst the family of poets. The show has grown, not only for the poetry site, but for De Hitmen as a group, and has given us much notice.'
Their approach to lyrics are different enough to keep one guessing. Sun of Man's verses are spiritual and engaging. He's a master of wordplay and does a superb job of describing the complexities of the human condition, the contradictions that keep many of us straddling the line between heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. He is the leader of the 'Loverlution', a movement to spread love, in contrast to the more easily spread hate. Sankara's poetics reflect a sharp, unwavering, militant stance that use street vernacular to hammer a point home. It's unflinching and uncompromising. He's damn proud and rightfully so.
Like the griots and storytellers of old, spoken word is also a weapon found in De Hitmen's arsenal. The brothers don't want to be pigeon-holed into one constraining description however. Their take on it is a bit more involved, addressing historical aspects of the society we currently reside in. Sankara says, 'The spoken word aspect is, of course, an homage to poetry and the people that have made this art great. However, we don't consider ourselves spoken word artists or rappers. We are more of what one may call "idealistic teachers", and we use both poetry and music as methods to get our voices heard. In past years, our voices were silenced by our own volition or vices, and basically being a colonial subject in this country.' Spoken like a true elder.
And elders must have youth to speak to. De Hitmen are well-equipped and willing to teach as well, in a manner that the babies in our communities will be able to relate to. Sankara tells me, 'I try to express the need for transformation but not in a phony ass way! I want the youth to understand that it doesn't make you a square or a lame to want transformation to start anew and get back to humanity. The youth must understand that you have to fight within yourself first in order to fight the things around you, and once you free yourself you can free others.'
With a CD titled 'Target Practice' soon to be available and three singles already in rotation, in addition to the twice-a-week radio show, De Hitmen are well on their way. Arming themselves with their own personal experiences, their talent for writing and expressing themselves, a refreshing sense of humor, and a determination to change what they witness daily in our communities, they are assuming a much-needed role; one of positivity and the development of all things in that sense. As Sankara says, 'I'm a part of De Hitmen, perfect name, because we are targeting ignorance, racism, or anything that draws society apart and stagnates the growth of those who have yet to see life as beautiful as it can be.' And that's a hitman with heart.