A “mumble rap” alliance based out of Atlanta is taking stupidity to a new high, naming themselves after -and showing support for- the Taliban.
Known as the Taliban Gang, the members utilize heavy use of repetitive lyrics, autotune and often unintelligible lyrics in their songs, a far cry from the days of Tupac Shakur and the De La Soul of older, better times.
Recently praised by rapper Future, the group have also been referenced by Canadian artist Drake, the crew already has their own unique chains, depicting an AKM rifle separating the words “TALIBAN” and “GANG.”
According to DJ Booth, the “Taliban Gang” name originates from Atlanta’s gang culture -the Southside Mafia Gang is frequently involved in conflict with the Hit Squad Taliban group- that originates on the infamous Riverdale Road, also known as “Grove Street.”
However, one member of the Taliban Gang, William “DJ Esco” Moore, admitted that he has actual ties to the Taliban.
Imprisoned in Dubai for nearly two months in 2014 for marijuana possession while visiting to perform at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with rapper “Future”, Moore recounted a story to The Fader on how he came to respect a Taliban member.
Instead of spending the weekend partaking in the “swanky” festivities with celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Prince Harry he ended up in a jail without any due process.
“In the jail it’s two sides,” he said. “There’s the Arabic side and the other side is predominantly African. and it’s like a war between both sides. But I could go on both sides ’cause I wasn’t neither. When I first moved in, both sides were tryna see who was gonna get the American. And I’m like, I know I’m gonna be cool with them Africans over there, but I need to make sure I’m cool with the Arabic side too. We had one dude in there who’d been in the Taliban, and he was celebrated. He got caught because he fell asleep when he was supposed to be detonating a tank. He was waiting so long that he fell asleep, and the U.S. found him with this bomb in his hand and he said he got tortured by the CIA for 40-something days. With no clothes on, in the cold. And he never gave no names, so the US let him go. This was his little legend.”
During his stay in prison, Moore learned about Islam and befriended a warden, who eventually helped him get out of jail.
With such glowing reviews of a member of a violent extremist sect simply because he didn’t “snitch,” one has to question how legitimate the so-called “Taliban Gang actually is, particularly given the rise in urban gang-related crime in relation to Future’s rap music. Take for example the song “Draco,” a reference to AK-pattern pistols which exploded in popularity after the song was released.
“Draco season with the bookbag,” the lyrics read, possibly referencing the weapon’s concealability, “Rat tat, got a little kick back.”
One gun shop owner, who wished to go by the pseudonym “Ricky,” told Popular Military how much the rap industry influences firearms purchases.
“You’d be surprised how many people come into the shop asking for a Draco, just because of that song,” he said. “Most of them ultimately don’t pass a background check, either.”
While some may argue that entertainment and real life are separate, there is no denying the connection between many in the rap game and organized crime.
Shortly after Chicago rapper Clint Massey, aka “RondoNumbaNine,” released the music video for his song “Taliban” -which has had over 6 million views on YouTube- he killed a cab driver. He was sentenced to thirty-nine years in prison for first-degree murder.
In a world where rap glorifies degeneracy, “mumble rap” does so using unintelligible grunts, references to violence and a limited world view.
With this in mind, it’s only fitting that a group like “Taliban Gang” would name themselves after what are essentially illiterate Afghan tribesmen armed with AK-47s.
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