Scott: “‘My 9mm Goes Bang’ is based on KRS’s brother who got out of jail a couple of months back. His name is ICU and he heads a posse by the same name who hang out around Cyprus Avenue. ICU stands for Intelligent Criminals United — all the smart-thinking, rational thought criminals united as one. They’re called that because while they’re criminal minded, they’re intelligent criminals like the Mafia or Reagan.”
Why call the album Criminal Minded?
Scott: “Because everyone is; it’s just that some are more naked about it than others. Ollie North is criminal minded. Anytime you break a rule to advance yourself, that’s being criminal minded. The government is criminal minded. They raid other countries, take shit. They don’t put that in the paper, but America do that shit all the time. Reagan says ‘let’s screw these mothers up today’. So he sends in a posse. We had this much land, now we’ve got this much more. That’s the way shit is. People think we’re all stick up kids in the Bronx but the government are bigger gangsters and hoodlums than we’re ever be. That’s life, man.”
Doesn’t this criminal minded attitude inevitably demand victims and by being so associated with such an attitude, aren’t you going to be accused of promoting violence?
Scott: “I don’t promote anything. Just because it’s called Criminal Minded doesn’t mean that the record is going to mug you or steal your television. We’re just portraying how things are. That’s how this country is. The strong will survive, the weak will perish. That’s it. If you want it, you take it.”
Does such a situation ever make you feel sad?
Scott: “Yes but there’s nothing you can do. All the talking in the world ain’t going to change shit. You hope it don’t have to be that way but you’ve got to be a realist. Because in the end somebody always wants more than somebody else. It’s human nature.”
Human nature or American nature?
Scott: “It’s human nature — always want, never satisfied. Russia makes a missile, we have to come back with one better so that we’re still the best, still the most powerful. And this won’t stop until we self-destruct. All countries are on a destructive course. The way of the world is that it’s going to destroy itself. That’s the way all civilisations go. Right now we’re having fun, 20 years from now this mother might be Planet of the Apes.”
Scott speaks from a position that’s gone way beyond the land of alienation (where the message raps of the early ’80s were said to come from) and into the land of detachment. The democratic false promises of the Carter and Reagan eras have been brutally demystified to reveal, what was already suspected, that the whole structure is criminal. Everything is upfront. Notions like “the common good”, “the American people”, “the community” are just political abstractions. There are criminals and there are victims and that’s all.
As Scott put it: “This whole country is in such a mess that while I’m living I’m going to make sure I get mine. While I’m alive I’m going to lead the extravagant life.”
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