What Hazit does is contextualize pain within a Hip Hop context. He grapples with the current issue of bullying and being GLBTQ through music. If you’re not familiar with Hip Hop’s deep connection with pain, check out this excerpt:
Hip Hop defines suffering in one of five ways. 1) Suffering because of circumstances that you cannot control (e.g. financial hardships, family drama, physical ailments, mental disabilities), 2) suffering for a cause in which you believe deeply in (e.g. socio-political issues, social justice concerns, racial matters), 3) suffering because of the individual personhood (e.g. people hate you because you have money, fame, prestige, or simply doing well in life), 4) suffering as a result of something you as a person have done in life and or something someone has done to you (e.g. past mistakes, current mistakes, life errors or for something good that you did but are now being persecuted for it, and or the good and bad within intimate relationships), and 5) suffering as a result of social, political, and or spiritual oppression (e.g. beginning a new mantra of belief or creating new paradigms for people to see the world differently and society not dealing well with that).
These five suffering contexts come in many different shapes and sizes. They can overlap each other and are extremely fluid. For example, DMX talks about the struggles of forgiveness in his song “Look Thru My Eyes.” He states:
Lost all control, my shoulders hold a lot of weight
Just like first I'm sold an eight, then told it's not an eight
But then it's out of state, and it's too late for changes to be made
That's what I get for f***ing with strangers in the shade
This is it, that n**a's got to give me a place
For the same reason that fate, chose to give me away
Take away hate, now I'm supposed to love the one that cursed me
The one that wouldn't give me a cup of water when I was thirsty
It was always his versus me, but now I gotta teach him
Personal feelings put aside, cuz now I gotta reach him
What I'd like to do is turn my head, like I don't know him
But it seems like I've been called on to show him
So I'ma show him
And if you never met me, then you've no right to judge me
I've got a good heart but this heart can get ugly
In this part of the track we see DMX dealing with having to forgive a person that has been adversarial towards him. Now he has to enact some type of forgiveness. He ends the verse and song, by letting the listener know that his life is a conflicted one; one that has a good side, but also a side that struggles with the “ugly.” This type of suffering and pain is a mixture of suffering because of the individual personhood and suffering for something, you as a person have done in life. This is complex, yet DMX continues to challenge his listeners to see life is not only hard, but also full of paradoxes.
Want to read more? Check out my chapter on Hip Hop’s theology of suffering in my book The Soul Of Hip Hop (Chapter 3, IVP; 2010). Then, check out Hazit’s video and begin to ponder the implications he is posing here.