Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” Rizza Islam slides through to kick a little knowledge with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. Born and raised in Compton, California, he’s spent the past few years spreading the tenets of Islam and becoming one of the most visible faces within the Nation, which he officially joined in 2015. Rizza has an ability to relate to the current generation of rap fans and has a willingness to speak truth to power.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Rizza Islam episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. On The Origin Of The Term “Super Bowl”
There’s been a long-running belief that the powers that be conspire to distract the public with sports and entertainment, thus keeping us unaware of their agenda. This is an assertion Rizza agrees with, as he uses the NFL’s annual Super Bowl game as an example. “The Super Bowl is actually referred to as the Roman Circus,” he explains. “You’re dealing with something that was long ago in Rome. So, whenever the society was going down, the government was pretty much destroying the people, doing real nasty things to people they would put them in the Coliseum. It was called the Roman Circus. It was also called the Circus Maximus to distract the people, so that the government can continue what they’re doing just like the government is doing today.”
2. On The Five-Percent Nation
When asked if he feels there’s a place for the Five-Percent Nation in today’s social climate, Rizza voices his respect for the Nation of Gods and Earth. “Oh, of course,” he says in response to N.O.R.E. “I’ll just say there’s nothing wrong with the old Five-Percent [Nation] because those who strive to do righteous work and good work in the community are a part of the five percent. You are a part of the five percent with whatever good you do. It’s simply the difference with those who know the science, the knowledge of self, the knowledge of who God is, the timing, what must be down, etc. We’re family. The Nation of Islam, the FOI, we’re in the community all the time.”
3. On His Introduction To Islam
During his time with the “Drink Champs,” Rizza shares his personal background including his tumultuous upbringing and first experiences with Islam. “I was born and raised in Compton, California,” he reveals. “Richland Farms, that’s the area where Farm Dog is. Not far from Nutty Block, Spook Town, those areas. I’m the youngest of ten children, five boys, five girls. I’m the tallest, but I’m the youngest. And my mom, she raised us pretty much by herself. Most of my brothers and sisters was gang-banging [or] on drugs. My older sister was on crack cocaine for twenty years on Skid Row. This was the regular, everyday situation [that was] going on. The way I found knowledge of self was that my stepfather brought us to the mosque, Muhammad Mosque 54 in Compton, California. And I was young, brother, I was praying in Arabic before I was praying in English. I was praying at three, four, and five years old on the rug. Praying to the east...washing my hands and feet... I didn’t even know what I was saying. Reading the Quran, all of that. I didn’t know what I was saying. I’m a three-year-old, four-year-old, etc. But, that’s how I found out.”
4. On The Fruit Of Islam’s Role In The Nation
The Fruit of Islam has been an invaluable ally to the hip hop world for decades, serving as security at various live events and calming tensions between opposing sides with their imposing presence. Rizza gives insight to the Fruit of Islam’s role in the Nation of Islam and how it has helped develop and empower black men of all backgrounds. “Well, the FOI stands for the Fruit of Islam,” he explains. “It is a name given to the military training to the men that belong to Islam in North America, specifically those who study Islam who are under the teachings of the most honorable Elijah Muhammad. And today, our monitor is the Minister Louis Farrakhan — our leader, our teacher, our guide.”
5. On Kanye West’s Mental Health
Kanye West’s erratic behavior over the past decade has been the topic of much conversation. Rizza gives his take on his mental health, pointing to the death of his mother as the possible turning point where things went left. “I think Kanye is one of the most misunderstood individuals on the planet,” he says. “We have to look at the pre-passing of his mother Kanye and the post or after passing of his mother Kanye. The evolution, you must look at what that did to him. She was his best friend. She did as much as she could to raise him. That man was broken when his mother passed away. Everyone who watched that saw him decline right after. He just kept doing crazy thing after crazy thing. We’re like, “What the hell is wrong with Kanye?” But, as he evolved and he has continued to grow, again, the enemy always slides in when they see an opportunity to use somebody who is influential over the people. So, he was taken to a psychiatrist. And when you go to a psychiatrist and they label you depressed, and they label you all of these made up — non-scientific labels — they can do virtually whatever they want to you. So with him, what they did with him was he was put on certain psychiatric drugs and what those do to you, some of the common side-effects happen to be death, happen to be suicidal thoughts, homicidal tendencies. So, it manipulates the way you think, it changes your personality, chemically. It physically alters your brain pattern, these drugs.”
6. His Feelings On Kanye West’s Sunday Service shows
Kanye West’s Sunday Service concerts have garnered polarizing reactions from a number of religious leaders, rap fans, and various other figures, with many unsure of what to make of the megastar’s foray into spiritual music. Rizza shares his belief that Kanye’s intent may be pure, but he could empower the black community more effectively. “Kanye, although he’s sincerely a good brother on the inside, he’s being used from what I have seen,” Rizza says. “I don’t know all the facts of exactly what’s going on with him, but for him to do a Sunday Service, him to love Jesus and God, and him to want to inspire the people through creativity — I have no problem against that. That’s a beautiful thing... We just want him to do more for inspiring the community to do things like buy up the community, buy black, establish businesses.
7. The Inspiration For Black Panther
The 2018 film Black Panther took the world by storm, inspiring a resurgence in black pride and putting Wakanda on the map. According to Rizza, T’Challa, the film’s protagonist, was based on Mansa Musa, the richest man to ever walk the earth. “The story is written as King T’Challa, who is the Black Panther, was worth over $90.7 trillion,” he explains. “He had more money and wealth than Batman, Ironman, etc. That was the comic book, how they wrote it. The only man that reached that type pf wealth was Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, a black Muslim. No one else is richer than that man.”
8. His Belief That Superman Was A Black Man
Rizza continues to blow minds by making the claim that Superman was a black man, pointing to various pieces of evidence that give his take validity. “It’s all truth, bro,” he says. “Superman is a black man. Number one, his name is Kal-El, El is a Hebrew name. He gets his power from the sun, which means you must have melanin, Carbon12, you must be black. He had and “S” on his chest, but the original drawing was an upside down pyramid with a snake going through it in Egypt. You have all these different facts that connect it. He also was faster than a speeding bullet, the comic books that was written at the time — during Hitler’s race and Jesse Owens — the two brothers Simon and Shuster fashioned his speed after Jesse Owens because he beat Adolf Hitler. And in the comic book, it was Superman defeating Adolph Hitler.”
9. On The Parallels Between Comic Book Characters And Civil Rights Leaders
One of the other takeaways from Rizza’s sit-down on “Drink Champs” was the revelation that a number of comic book characters were based on various Civil Rights leaders, most notably Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. “For example, Magneto and Professor Xavier,” Rizza says. “Professor Xavier wanted to integrate. The people wanted to kill him, etc. Non-violent, let us come together, he fashioned him after Martin Luther King [Jr.]. Magneto said, ‘By any means necessary,’ is what they put. They said Magneto, in the cartoon, did not want to integrate. He wanted to have a world just with the mutants or these people who have super-human abilities. So, he fashioned him after Malcolm X. Stan Lee, he fashioned a lot of the super heroes after civil rights leaders.”