Let's face it. Most MTV Clutch readers probably don't know much about "street life." We get our knowledge from rap lyrics and Netflixing "The Wire." It's nothing to be ashamed about--the streets aren't really for the faint of heart. It's a dangerous world out there, and we have to come fully equipped. Luckily, we have our good friend Cappadonna to help us navigate. The Wu-Tang Clan member has a few valuable tips up his sleeve for decoding the streets and life in general.
In between promoting his latest album The Pilgrimage, performing on The Black Cloud Tour and just being all around awesome, Capp spit some interesting (albeit strange) philosophies to MTV Clutch about the streets. Grab a pen and take notes. Don't be scurred. [FYI, many of these commandments have nothing to do with the streets.]
1. Know Thy Self
"The first commandment for the streets from the angel of rap, the unordinary light, Cappadonna is know thy self," Cappadonna says. "In order to find yourself, you gotta dig within. You'll never be able to find yourself looking for yourself in somebody else or in the world or in a book. In order to find out you, you have to sit down and meditate and acknowledge yourself and study yourself--your origins, your culture, where you come from. Trace your lineage as far back as you could, and that'll give you even more knowledge about not only yourself but where you come from, which is the second commandment..."
2. Know Where You Come From
"Because if you don't know where you come from, then you don't even know where you're going. So there would be no need for a third commandment."
"Not just the knowledge of yourself or where you come from, but knowledge of all things around you. God told Adam, 'This is yours. I give you this world. I have only one thing for you to do and it's not to eat from this tree, which is the tree of evil. But you're allowed to eat from this tree.' So that knowledge will give you the ability to overcome the tree of evil. 'Cause knowledge is the foundation for all things in existence. It's to know, think, listen, and observe...and also to respect. Yeah."
4. Don't Mistake Culture for Religion
"Religion and culture are two different things. Religion is something you rely on; culture is something you live. Once you understand the culture, then you don't have to keep questioning why things are how they are. You know we came up through slavery; let's not be fooled. Let's not fool each other, you know? Know where the pain comes from. Know why there's aggressive rap and aggressiveness in our culture and our lifestyle. Know when you have everything taken from you, why you cherish your Nikes so much."
5. Do Unto Others...
"If you can't take it, don't dish it out. If you want peace and harmony, move with peace and harmony. If you want to be respected, show some respect. You wanna be loved? Show some love. You wanna make that money, spend some money."
6. Love Thy Neighbor
"There's a lot of people trying to pull each other down to get up. It's a lot of people selling their soul and altering their appearance to be accepted in life. There's a lot of people that's stealing and murdering to get something they don't have from somebody that worked hard to get it. That's why we need to learn how to love ourselves. That's why sometimes we have to learn how to be alone. Oh, you in there arguing with this one, and this one, and this one, and y'all trying to figure out what it is to solve y'all little problem of who's gonna get the car today or who's gonna do this or do that. But it's like, you need 'me' time, homie. You need a timeout. That's what you need, because by the time you get back, you've got other things on your mind now. Fresh new things. Don't get caught up in pettiness."
"I'm not talking about 'sex' lust; I'm talking about a lust for material wealth and fancy things. Anything that's deterring you from achieving your goal. These are things that are causing you to sell your soul. You ain't just selling it because you want a name, you want the whole package. There has to be a higher level you're trying to achieve. Like, my rap form is ministry, and I'm learning more and more and more to come a little bit cleaner and cleaner and cleaner. I'm still trying to keep it real and aggressive though, because my ministry and the people I minister are not a soft people."
8. Growth and Development
"Growing comes from learning from the situations and the obstacles of life that you've been through. The things that don't help anybody grow is stagnation: being stuck in the same situation, same spot, same place, same time, every single same day. A white man once said in the State of Virginia, he said, 'We're gonna cut off every avenue from which light could enter the mind of a slave.' Every avenue? You know? What kind of person could even conjure up a Jim Crow law like that? This is what we're dealing with. You gotta get out. Even the birds have gotta leave their nest. The mother bird pushes the bird out of the nest, knowing he's got the potential to fall down and break his neck, but she's like, 'Baby, you gotta go.' You know? Hoping that the father's even around so he can go and scoop him up."
9. Family Keeps It Together
"You can front on everybody else, but you can't front on Mama's love. We can't run from big bruh or big sis; can't front on lil bruh or lil sis for that matter. So Mama's love, and if we can find Papa, then he's down too. Stop hatin' on Papa; he's out there, man. We out there. Some brothers don't wanna come home if they've got nothing to give. But you wouldn't understand that; you gotta talk to another man that spoke to another man about it."
"Check out [the movie] 'Soul Food,' that one time when Birdy tried to talk to her ex-boyfriend to get her new boyfriend a job. Oh my God. Nah, that ain't cool. Vivica A. Fox had to tell her, 'No, baby. Listen. Sit down, mami. You don't do that.' You let a man be a man. Are you crazy? Then they came and broke the door at the store. Smash! And then not only that, then she's laughing? Then I guess getting her new man a job, they didn't show the part, but she had a bracelet. You're like, 'What's that?' She's like, 'Oh, it's a gift. We went to dinner.' Argh!!! That was it. It just kept getting worse and worse. Yeah, so you know. Let us make sure that we are in the respectful order of the family, which is man, woman and child."
"'Cause again, like family, without God sitting on top of all of this, none of it's possible. At all."