H.I.M. Emperor Tewodros .. of Egypt?
Question: What does an American Hip hop Artist considered as “one of the best lyricists on the West Coast” and an Ethiopian Emperor of the 19th century have in common?
Answer: A title! And perhaps, with it, a dream. Of a better world. Of a redemption, and a readiness to do the dirty work himself if needs be.
That’s what I have always thought about rapper Ras Kass (born ‘John Austin IV’ in Watts, CA, on September 26, 1973). Imagine my shock, therefore, when I read the following paragraph on Los Angeles CityBeat regarding Ras Kass’ career journey. It says:
By the start of high school, he was Ras Kass, self-named after Egypt’s King John the Fourth (a.k.a. Ras Kassa). And the rhymes were about something other than coping with bigger, older rappers who mocked the runt’s expansive language.
Apparently, somebody has confused Emperor Yohannes IVth (“Atse” Yohannes) with a non-existing King John IV of Egypt! I don’t wanna know if this confused person is Donnel Alexander or John Austin IV. But I want it corrected. Yassair, I do. Ya hear?! This is Ethiopia! Yes, Ethiopia. Ī.T.Y.Ō.ṗṗ.Y.Ā! And that’s our King. Ours, I tell you! And while you are at it, put it down as “fact”, instead of one of many claims, that “coffee” came from Keffa/Ethiopia and not Arabian peninsula/Yemen; and that Queen of Sheba ruled from Ethiopia (and not Yemen) all the way to the Southern parts of Arabia.
Is it me or is Yemen starting to sound like our arch enemy?! 🙂
Seriously though! Where do these people get their information from? The “Guess the name” for dummies? I mean, here I was taking my time about recovering from the shock that Hollywood was so careless as to cast an Ethiopian Archbishop by the name “M’butu” (first name basis, my friend) in the 2007 movie “Shooter” and now … THIS? What next, right?!
Ok, Lesson time.
Ras, is a title in the Amharic language (one of the many languages spoken in Ethiopia, a country in East Africa. You know Africa?!) meaning “head” or “chief”. In this case it was given to Kassa Hailu who later became Tewodros II , an Ethiopian Emperor, from 1818 – April 13, 1868.
Quote (favorite of my husband’s):
“I know European deceit. When they want to conquer a part of the eastern world, first they dispatch missionaries; later they will send consular diplomats who would reinforce the missionaries; finally their army of occupation. I am not a Hindustan Raja who would be hoodwinked by this [European deception]. Before anything else, I would like to confront their soldiers.”.
For more information, visit here. And good luck to you ;-)!
On the other hand, for all of you who are aware of this fact, I present to you Ras Kass’ “Nature of the threat”. It’s kindda long, but .. boy.. is it educational! Enjoy!
Entry filed under: Latest Posts.