Artists Influenced by the Five Percent Nation

Kicking knowledge is a time-honored hip hop tradition.

Artists Influenced by the 5 Percent Nation - Jay Z stirred controversy when he wore a medallion emblazed with the symbol of the Black muslim sect The Nation of the Five Percent (or the Nation of the Gods and Earths). But where he's being labeled a possible racist by some, hip hoppers see him as not only displaying his spirituality, but the powerful influence the Islamic group has had on rap music artists for almost 30 years. Check out some of the MCs whose music has reflected the teachings of the Five Percent.  (Photos from left: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, Allahs Nation,Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET)

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Artists Influenced by the 5 Percent Nation - Jay Z stirred controversy when he wore a medallion emblazed with the symbol of the Black muslim sect The Nation of the Five Percent (or the Nation of the Gods and Earths). But where he's being labeled a possible racist by some, hip hoppers see him as not only displaying his spirituality, but the powerful influence the Islamic group has had on rap music artists for almost 30 years. Check out some of the MCs whose music has reflected the teachings of the Five Percent.  (Photos from left: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images, Allahs Nation,Rick Diamond/Getty Images for BET)

Jay Z - Jay Z may be hip hop's king of industry, but there's always been a consistent idea of Black consciousness and empowerment woven throughout his music, which is fueled by the teachings of the Five Percent. Jay classics from "Jigga My N---a" to "Can I Live" drop references to knowledge and wisdom as well as the Black man being God. Jay even twists the God concept for his own moniker, Jay Hova.   (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

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Jay Z - Jay Z may be hip hop's king of industry, but there's always been a consistent idea of Black consciousness and empowerment woven throughout his music, which is fueled by the teachings of the Five Percent. Jay classics from "Jigga My N---a" to "Can I Live" drop references to knowledge and wisdom as well as the Black man being God. Jay even twists the God concept for his own moniker, Jay Hova.  (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Rakim - Shortly after becoming a Five Percenter in the mid '80s, hip hop music legend Rakim Allah teamed with DJ Eric B., released the 1986 classic "Eric B. is President," backed with "My Melody" and, henceforth, altered the poetry of rap by sprinkling in bits of "the lessons" into his rhymes. "Rock from party to party," he uttered on "My Melody," "Backyard to yard/I tear it ya'll, and bless the mic for the Gods." (Photo: Chris McKay/Getty Images for BET)

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Rakim - Shortly after becoming a Five Percenter in the mid '80s, hip hop music legend Rakim Allah teamed with DJ Eric B., released the 1986 classic "Eric B. is President," backed with "My Melody" and, henceforth, altered the poetry of rap by sprinkling in bits of "the lessons" into his rhymes. "Rock from party to party," he uttered on "My Melody," "Backyard to yard/I tear it ya'll, and bless the mic for the Gods." (Photo: Chris McKay/Getty Images for BET)

Nas, @Nas - Tweet: "Congratz to ‪@IGGYAZALEA on the new album... Much love!!!"After three years of pre-album teasers, push-backs and delays, Iggy Azalea finally unleashed her long-awaited debut LP, The New Classic, on Monday (April 21). What greater gift to celebrate the release of an album for a rap rookie than some public fan mail from a lyrical legend? #LifeIsGoodForIggyRightAboutNow(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for VH1)

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Nas - Like thousands of New York City youth, Nas dabbled in the teachings of the Nation. And, of course, the words and references had a huge impact on the self-awareness of his tunes. Like on the cut "No Idea's Original," where he said: "Radios on card tables, Benetton, The Gods buildin'/ Ask for today's Mathematics, we Allah's children."(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for VH1)

Wu-Tang Clan - Although their intense approach to style was heavily infuenced by classic martial art films, the Black empowerment ideals weaving in and out of Wu-Tang Clan's hardcore street rhymes are all Five Percent.   (Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Wu-Tang Clan - Although their intense approach to style was heavily infuenced by classic martial art films, the Black empowerment ideals weaving in and out of Wu-Tang Clan's hardcore street rhymes are all Five Percent.  (Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Just-Ice - Part of the Nation's holy text, the Supreme Mathematics, have made their way into rap vet Just-Ice's material. Proudly displaying his mastery of the lessons, Just spit on "Cold Gettin' Dumb II," "From knowledge to cipher then releasing my bomb/I'm life not living, 'cause living's not life/Manifesting 120, and do it precise."  (Photo: Sleeping Bag Records)

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Just-Ice - Part of the Nation's holy text, the Supreme Mathematics, have made their way into rap vet Just-Ice's material. Proudly displaying his mastery of the lessons, Just spit on "Cold Gettin' Dumb II," "From knowledge to cipher then releasing my bomb/I'm life not living, 'cause living's not life/Manifesting 120, and do it precise." (Photo: Sleeping Bag Records)

A Quest for Rhymes - Lighty put together the deal between A Tribe Called Quest and Sprite, bringing the hip hop group major endorsement money. He was also a member of the Native Tongues crew and rose up the ranks with Tribe's members back in the day. (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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A Tribe Called Quest - While two thirds (Q-Tip and DJ Ali Shaheed) of this pioneering hip hop group are Sunni Muslims and one third (Phife Dawg) is Christian, it is widely noted that the powerful message of the Five Percent has influenced the conscious content of their albums.  (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Lord Jamar, @lordjamar - Tweet: "F--k @Yelawolf and everyone of his redneck fans. I bet y'all had road maps to ur little sisters p---es since u were 10 #inbred"Brand Nubian rapper, Lord Jamar, went off on The Wolf for telling him to "STFU" after he said white rappers are "guests" in hip hop's house.(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images)

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Lord Jamar/Brand Nubian - As a member of the afrocentric rap trio Brand Nubian, Lord Jamar boldly flaunted (and still flaunts) his Five Percenter beliefs via his rhymes. In fact, 20 years before Jay Z's medallion controversy, Brand Nubian's video for "Wake Up" was snatched from MTV's rotation for showing a white person as a devil.  (Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Lakim Shabazz - At the height of hip hop's Black pride era, this Newark, N.J.-bred rapper made a splash in 1989 with his debut LP Pure Righteousness. Fueling Lakim's hit songs of racial cheerleading like "Black Is Back" was his belief in the Five Percenter doctrine.   (Photo: Tuff City Records)

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Lakim Shabazz - At the height of hip hop's Black pride era, this Newark, N.J.-bred rapper made a splash in 1989 with his debut LP Pure Righteousness. Fueling Lakim's hit songs of racial cheerleading like "Black Is Back" was his belief in the Five Percenter doctrine.  (Photo: Tuff City Records)

Poor Righteous Teachers -  From their classic cuts like "Rock Dis Funky Joint" to "Shakiyla" to even the name of this Jersey trio, the Poor Righteous Teachers put their status as Five Percenters front and center in their music. (Photo: Profile Records)

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Poor Righteous Teachers -  From their classic cuts like "Rock Dis Funky Joint" to "Shakiyla" to even the name of this Jersey trio, the Poor Righteous Teachers put their status as Five Percenters front and center in their music. (Photo: Profile Records)

AZ - AZ turned a cameo into a brief rap career after rocking Nas's 1994 "Life's a B---h" with this famous line: "We were beginners in the hood as Five Percenters/But somethin' must of got in us, 'cause all of us turned to sinners."   (Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

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AZ - AZ turned a cameo into a brief rap career after rocking Nas's 1994 "Life's a B---h" with this famous line: "We were beginners in the hood as Five Percenters/But somethin' must of got in us, 'cause all of us turned to sinners." (Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Big Daddy Kane - "Blazay Blah...You know who you are," rhymed Big Daddy Kane on the 1987 classic "The Wrath of Kane," "The red, black and green/The sun moon and star," he continued. The Brooklyn-born rap legend's style, although impacted by his love of soul music vets like James Brown, was also greatly fed by his association with the Nation of the Five Percent.    (Photo: Leon Bennett/BET/Getty Images for BET)

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Big Daddy Kane - "Blazay Blah...You know who you are," rhymed Big Daddy Kane on the 1987 classic "The Wrath of Kane," "The red, black and green/The sun moon and star," he continued. The Brooklyn-born rap legend's style, although impacted by his love of soul music vets like James Brown, was also greatly fed by his association with the Nation of the Five Percent.   (Photo: Leon Bennett/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Busta Rhymes - Although the music of hip hop icon Busta Rhymes may be mostly associated with partying, it's well-known his religious beliefs are steeped in the Five Percent. His spirituality has peaked through the Pass-the-Courvoisuer persona on cuts like  "Struttin' like a G.O.D."  (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Malibu Red)

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Busta Rhymes - Although the music of hip hop icon Busta Rhymes may be mostly associated with partying, it's well-known his religious beliefs are steeped in the Five Percent. His spirituality has peaked through the Pass-the-Courvoisuer persona on cuts like  "Struttin' like a G.O.D." (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Malibu Red)