This should be good…
On this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with longtime friend, collaborator, and legendary West Coast lyricist — Planet Asia. Throughout the interview, we get profound insight into numerous topics including PA’s upbringing in Fresno, CA, linking up with Rasco to form their group Cali Agents, his desire to leave a legacy as an emcee staying true to form throughout his career, and carving out his niche in the game as a West Coast lyricist cut from the same cloth as East Coast acts like The Wu-Tang Clan. Yep, the deep hip-hop heads are gonna eat this up.Later, PA lays down some of the history behind the Five-Percent Nation, to which he is a member, and defines “knowledge of self.” He, Kweli, and Jasmine also speak on the theory of Alchemy in the world of hip hop, keeping it real with white friends about the topic of white privilege, the concept of toxic masculinity, pro-feminist from a player’s perspective, PA’s friendship with Dr. Sebi, and PA’s most prominent influences coming up on the West Coast. Oh, and The Hieroglyphics crew gets one hell of a shout-out.
2:44 — Planet Asia explains the origins of his name and gives his take on why superheroes are so important to kids growing up in the inner city.
7:52 — PA breaks down the uniqueness of Fresno, California in relation to the rest of the state, and details witnessing first hand some of the different phases his city went through from the ’70s to present day,
10:01 — Talib recounts how he and PA met in 1999 through a mutual friend — DJ Danny Castro of Lyricist Lounge, who described PA as a West Coast Kweli.
11:54 — PA talks about his first time meeting DJ Premier at a concert event in the early ’90s, which got shut down due to lack of funds, that would have featured Gang Starr, Big Daddy Kane, X-Clan, and The Click before they were signed to Jive Records.
14:46 — PA talks about several projects he just released, as well as few soon to surface. He also speaks on leaving a legacy of sticking to the same approach and formula throughout his career, not following trends.
18:11 — Talib asks PA to speak on the history of how he and Rasco came together to form the group “Cali Agents”, and PA opens up about how Rasco essentially saved his life in the process.
23:40 — PA touches on Rasco’s early career with the group “C.O.D.” (Children Of Destiny), which included Saafir before he joined Hobo Junction.
24:47 — PA speaks on the culmination of experiences and people he met during his early days, forging a rhyme style that shows the direct similarities of the Wu-Tang Clan.
26:39 — Talib asks PA to break down “knowledge of self” for those not familiar with the true definition of the term, and PA details in length his background of being a member of the Five-Percent Nation.
34:20 — PA explains the concept of “Alchemy” and how it relates to hip-hop, in using a pen or words to manifest real-life destiny. Biggie’s song “Juicy” gets mentioned as a prime example.
35:40 — Talib tells a story about a contentious conversation he had with a lady that questioned his spiritual beliefs and called him racist. PA goes on to talk about being a “real” black friend to his white friends by speaking the truth on white privilege.
43:42 — PA expresses his frustration with the concept of toxic masculinity and asserts that it really breaks down to white supremacy.
45:29 — Talib asks PA if he agrees that black women suffer at the hands of some black men as a direct result of slavery, in the form of imitation of their oppressor.
49:40 — The trio discusses Feminism vs. Womanism, and PA speaks on being pro-feminist from a player’s perspective.
54:11 — PA on looking forward to a beautiful time in the future when black people as a whole reach true enlightenment and knowledge of self.
56:00 — Talib asks PA about his take on people seeking the insight of the Five-Percent Nation through YouTube, and if it’s a viable source.
1:00:20 — PA talks about one of his mentors — Alfredo Darrington Bowman, better known as “Dr. Sebi”.
1:06:16 — Talib asks PA about west coast rap family tree influences, which leads him to describe his influences that range from Wu-Tang Clan to Too $hort. They also touch on the influence of the Hieroglyphics Emporium store on the culture.