Ras Kass Explains Why He Wrote How To Kill God. It’s Not What You Think.
One of the more celebrated independent Hip-Hop albums of 2014 was Ras Kass & Apollo Brown’s Blasphemy. The Mello Music Group release returned Ras Kass to the studio album format, and—after work with O.C., Guilty Simpson, and The Left, gave Brown a West Coast collaborative full-length.
Part of Blasphemy‘s charm was its fully-executed theme. Initially intended to be titled “How To Kill God,” the controversial title would instead be a video single title within the late October release. Other songs like “Deliver Us From Evil,” “Animal Sacrifice,” and “Roses” all led to a bigger commentary, and sonically cohesive LP.
The waterproof MC penned an editorial, at Medium’s Cuepoint, delving deeper into his title, songwriting, and intent for what may seem as a comeback album from the HRSMN member.
The rare editorial from Razzy reveals that “How To Kill God,” as a concept, dates back to 1999, in the months following Rasassination, the late 1998 album that some consider the MC’s last studio release prior to Blasphemy. With honesty and some humility, the MC who reps both Watts and Carson, California explains why even by the mid-2000s, his visions of the work were challenged by industry and personal hurdles. He admits writing the would-be 2014 single back in 2003, while incarcerated for evading police in a memorable (and extended) fugitive run.
“The original album title of this album was How to Kill God, but pressure from digital/physical distributors and buyers forced the last minute name change to Blasphemy. This showed me the hypocrisy and blasphemous nature of so-called free speech in America. I always joke that if we would have called it How to Kill Allah, or How to Kill a Nigga there would have been little or no resistance. But when you appear to attack the Judeo-Christian (white) ideal of God, then its offensive. Blasphemy indeed,” wrote Ras Kass in one excerpt.
In another paragraph, Ras Kass encourages those who may deduce the verses as simply an attack on faith to look closer. He writes, “We kill God through ignorance which leads to hatred. Especially, through rationalized ignorance, which I believe is original sin. Verse one of the song extensively deals with major inconsistencies within Judeo-Christian theology. Because of the history and core root of those religions, it still denotes the Egyptian King of the Gods, Amen-Ra (Amun-Ray), so I ask why would any logical person who worships a monotheistic God repeat the name of a polytheist God at the end of their prayer by saying ‘Amen?’ Didn’t those two gods fight when Moses’ brother Aaron turned his rod into a snake in Exodus 7:8–13? When Ashkenazi Jews create an anti-narrative towards Egyptians (Muslims), while Arabs create a counter-narrative towards Jews, it is ironic as they all share a similar African heritage.”
Ras Kass writes about the hypocrisy (as he sees it) throughout history in many organized religions, specifically various denominations within Christianity. In promotion of Blasphemy, Ras Kass released ChristMESS in late November, to coincide with the Christmas holiday.
Do you think Hip-Hop is at its best when lyrics and themes can be this dense?