The Illuminati has been derived from the word ‘Enlightenment’, it is the nomenclature used for referring to several groups, both real and fictitious who claim to have supreme knowledge. When it started it’s objectives were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power. The Illuminati was supported by other organisations such as Freemasonry and other secret societies.
Over the past few years, folks who have researched about the movement have said that there is something more sinister to this movement than it’s objectives. Those who are aware of the movement say that there is evidence of them instituting a New World Order. Just like all conspiracy theories, there are a whole bunch of facts which are intertwined in a forest of speculation. One might think how did a tool which was supposed to be used for orchestrating revolutions change into a gimmick being used by rappers to promote themselves.
Illuminati was first mentioned in Hip-Hop in 1990’s. “Illuminati want my mind, soul, and my body / Secret society trying to keep they eye on me,” this was rapped by Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and from what I know this could be the very first bridge between Illuminati and Hip-Hop. In the very same year, there were many rappers who spoke about the impending New World Order and how the world will look like under it. The following is an intro monologue from AZ’s, ‘We Can’t Win’ and it goes like this, “This world is ruled and controlled by societies that exist within societies, that exist within societies, you understand? These secret societies are manoeuvring within society to control society. That’s why society is outta control. Thirty-third and one-third, I heard, the Illuminated ones.”
Illuminati then witnessed a shift from being mentioned in tracks to actually becoming a part of rumors involving the life of Hip-Hop artists itself. Rumours emerged suggesting that certain artists might be part of the conspiracy. The first target was Jay Z. Conspiracy theorists accounted Illuminati for his success, completely ignoring his skills, grind and hard-work. The biggest promoter of this theory was Prodigy himself. He mentioned the following in a letter which he penned from the prison “J.Z. conceals the truth from the black community and the world and promotes the lifestyle of the beast instead.”
The accusations on Jay-Z strengthened after he along with Kanye West and Rihanna appeared in the video for “Run This Town”. The video had a unique run down secret society vibe which along with empowering the existing rumours also triggered ones. Since time immemorial hip-hop icons like Nas, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Nikki Minaj, and virtually every major hip-hop figure have been mentioned to be working with Illuminati in one way or the other. The speculation about Illuminati is not just enclosed to Hip-Hop anymore they have crossed boundaries and invaded other genres as well, other artists who have been targeted are Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bob Dylan, and Justin Bieber. There are plenty of videos on Youtube which are deconstructing lyrics, music videos, and interviews looking for hidden meaning, some with view counts in the millions.
However, a lot of rappers did not buy into the Illuminati theories. Tupac Shakur was among the very first to advocate this theory. He titled an album Killuminati, released posthumously in 1996, explaining in an interview recorded shortly before his death that “I’m putting the ‘K’ because I’m killin’ that shit.” Illuminati has been said to reach it’s epitome in 2011 and has been escalating since. Almost every major hip-hop star has dropped an Illuminati reference into their music—mostly to deny their membership and mock the rumours.
Other artists see the conspiracy theories as pointless and some have even pinpointed a misdirection. Talib Kweli’s 2013 single “The Wormhole” artfully dissects the history, philosophy, psychology, and politics of Illuminati conspiracy theories, ending with a plea to examine the real sources of racial inequality. Kanye West addressed the rumours about he being involved with Illuminati and he dismissed them by saying the following, “if there was actually an Illuminati, it would be more like the energy companies—not celebrities that gave their lives to music and who are pinpointed as decoys for people who really run the world. I’m tired of people pinpointing musicians as the Illuminati. That’s ridiculous. We don’t run anything; we’re celebrities. We’re the face of brands. We have to compromise what we say in lyrics so we don’t lose money on a contract.”
Here is a freestyle that Krs-one did about Freemasonry and the Rothchilds. Check it out :
Music, since it’s beginning, has been used to create awareness and also to influence masses. Other than to inform or incite, it is also designed to entertain and the fact that conspiracy sells is no secret. Many artists are able to exploit one’s inquisitiveness to find about Illuminati, the willingness of someone to seek the hidden meaning of lyrics helps in the selling of music. As we mentioned above it is nearly impossible to reach an absolute conclusion regarding the involvement of Illuminati in Hip-Hop but none the less it is an interesting one.