Star of David: Ricky Rozay vs. Black Gangster Disciples
By Khalil Amani
I used to be a Hebrew Israelite under the notorious and infamous leader Yahweh ben Yahweh in Miami. Our symbol was not the holy cross, but rather the Star of David. Since 1980 I’ve been reppin’ it! I even have the Star of David tattooed on my arm! The Star of David is a sign of my spirituality—and the symbol of one the most spiritual personalities the world has ever known—Yahshua Hammachiah, erroneously called Jesus Christ. The Star of David is a hexagram, a six-sided star or two pyramids intertwined. It is also called the “Shield of David” and “Mogen David” (pronounced Mah-gan Da-veed). In Judaism, the Star of David became its symbol somewhere around the 17th century. The Star of David is to Judaism what the cross is to Christianity and the five-pointed star and crescent moon is to Islam.
But there are others, far removed from any religious persuasion, who wear the Star of David, like Chicago’s gangs the Black Gangster Disciples and Folk Nation. They too, rock the Star of David, having very little to no knowledge of its significance. For them, it’s just cool and represents their set/gang. They’ve co-opted this very religious symbol and gave it new meaning.
In sociological terms, they call this “Cross cultural-borrowing” or “Acculturation”—what hip-hop heads call “biting.” The Black Gangster Disciples have borrowed Judaism’s sacred symbol and made it theirs. Cool.
But now the GDs are upset with rapper Rick Ross aka Ricky Rozay for using the Star of David on his mixtape The Black Bar Mitzvah—as if they have exclusive rights to the symbol—as though they own the copyrights to the logo—as though, they themselves did not hijack it from another people! What gives?
Here’s the problem for the Black Gangster Disciples and others. When your little world revolves around a ten block radius, which you call your “hood,” you don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the country and world. The GDs thought (or think) they’re the only black folk wearing the Star of David. The minute they see another black person from another part of the country repping it—they automatically assume that this person has stolen something they’ve made chic.
Black people have been wearing the Star of David dating back to the 19th century by people like black Jews F.S. Cherry and William Crowdy and even Marcus Garvey! And for sure, right there in Chicago where the Black Gangster Disciples originated, a group of Black Jews under Ben Ammi Ben Israel (Carter) have been rocking the Star of David since 1968! Should they wanna tax the GDs for wearing their holy religious symbol? I mean, one could argue that the Black Gangster Disciples are profaning and blaspheming this symbol and bastardizing its usage! How would they feel if the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and/or the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) came a-callin’ with cries of “You gon’ pay us to wear our symbol?”
The GDs have a problem with Ricky Rozay using Jewish imagery, as does rapper Shyne. Shyne’s acting like he’s an authority on Jewishness and the ghetto-gatekeeper of all things Jewish. Well guess what Mr. Po and all you Black Gangster Disciples? Ricky Rozay has every right—even more right to wear the Star of David and attach himself to that great religious symbol! Why? Because when you speak of Judaism, you’re speaking about a once great black religion!
That aside, Rozay grew up in Miami, which had a hella Hebrew Israelite (Jewish) influence by way of the black Jewish sect “The Yahwehs.” Its leader, Yahweh ben Yahweh and their headquarters was in Miami. Nearly every black person in Miami had a relative who was tied to the sect back in the 80's and 90's. Black people in Miami are very familiar with the Star of David and the claim to a Jewish birthright. The Hebrew Israelites and the Rastafarians—both wear the Star of David in Miami. It’s no coincidence that Rozay identifies with Jewish religious imagery! Rozay knows the relationship and correlation between the Hexagram (Star of David), black people and Judaism.
But because most of these Chicago Negroes ain’t never been out of their ‘hood—they think Rozay just haphazardly and randomly stole their symbol to make a buck hocking mixtapes! Rozay doesn’t owe the Black Gangster Disciples a motherfucking thing! The nerve! All that Internet thuggin’ and threatening to shut down Rozay’s money train… Ha! These coons ain’t got no power to affect change. Yeah, they talk a tough game and look mad-scary, but take each of them away from the pack and they’re just silly young males who would not be selling wolf-tickets one-on-one—mano-a-mano. These niggas looking for a come up!
If they really thought that Ricky Rozay would bow down and pay some kind of hood tax for reppin’ the Star of David, they’re going about it all wrong! What would Ross look like paying after being put on front-street? That would kill his street credibility! So what if Ross might have to stay out of Chicago for a minute! So what? And these Alabama coons reppin’ GD? Smh. I’ve lived in Mobile for a summer—God-forsaken dump of a city! I see why them niggas is mad! LOL.
Mr. Rozay! You’re my homeboy! Carol City raised! Chief pride! Keep doin’ ya thang and making great music! Get you some goons around you and do you! Let these niggas keep catchin’ da vapors! One.