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First Degree The D.E. Times Begun

Sacramento’s “Rappin Teacher” Promotes Unity and Stirs Up Controversy With New Song

First Degree The D.E. Times Begun Sacramento’s “Rappin Teacher” Promotes Unity And Stirs Up Controversy With New Song
Jimmy Blog of the Fahrenheit Record
Michael Colen is living two lives. In one life, he is a Master’s level high school math teacher, receiving National University’s Teacher Of The Year Award in 2016. In his other life, he is underground rap legend First Degree The D.E.. “The D.E.” is known around the world for his unique music and his Fahrenheit Record label and radio station, airing in 75 counties. First Degree has released over 25 albums, dating back to 1992. He has said that he “delivers the same messages in different ways, in both the streets and the classroom”. His latest single, First Degree The D.E. “Time’s Begun”, tests that theory.
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“I see a day when people see each other. Fighting over what we see isn’t seeing each other!” First Degree The D.E. predicts in Time’s Begun. When asked about the purpose of his new single, The D.E. explains the song is “for us to see each other, so we can move forward”. He continues, “If we see and appreciate each other for what we bring to the table, we will be one”.
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“I’m advocating racial harmony, rooted by a fair system. We’re talking about opportunity. We’re in this for the future” First Degree informs. In Time’s Begun, he promotes Pan-Afrikanism, compares himself to renown strategic masters Sun Bin and Marcus Garvey, and addresses race relations.
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First Degree The D.E. uses a controversial way to address race relations on Time’s Begun. In addition to messages like, “While I’ve got your attention, I will not waste it, will not fail to mention, will not act complacent,” First Degree’s new song also includes racial slurs that he explains are “terms of endearment”. Time’s Begun’s epithets include Japs, Jews, nips, flips, and crackas, which we has used before. These references have expectedly rubbed some the wrong way.
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First Degree The D.E. has acknowledged the controversy. “Did they listen to the song?! Did they take the time to feel what the cut is getting at? Some folks is sleep at the wheel. The great machine has pulled the wool over their eyes and made them into a cog in the system! Sometimes I have to give you a jolt! This record is about coming together” First Degree The D.E. reasons.
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First Degree tells The Fahrenheit Record that “Time’s Begun” was three to four years in the making. The lyrical flow is comical, and the beat is guitar and bass smooth. “Fahrenheit’s Oji El shot me the beat about 3 or 4 years. It took me to a new place, a new truth, I spits on nat. After, Beta touched it up and mastered it. Here we are 3 years later, and all of the sudden the image of the video just comes to me. I spent a couple weeks filming and editing in Fahrenheit’s video production facility, and here we are.”
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First Degree The D.E. Times Begun 2First Degree entertains with a Japanese wig in “Time’s Begun
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The video starts in Tokyo, with a major label looking to own First Degree The D.E.’s music catalog. “You can’t have my mus(ic) Mr. So-Ni!” Like First Degree The D.E. or not, you have to agree that he puts himself way out there for his videos, dressing in several Japanese garbs in this video. The Time’s Begun video is a must see.
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Sacramento’s Rappin Teacher is no stranger to the news. He has appeared many times in the Sacramento Bee, NPR, CBS 13 News, Sacramento’s News and Review and other news outlets. His appearances have been entertaining and all centered around being the best person you can be.
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Most notably, in 2005, First Degree The D.E. was credited in the Sacramento Bee for starting a 6 month gang truce between local gangs after an escalation in violence. The truce coincided with the release of Fahrenheit Records’ “Sacramento’s Bloods and Crips”. More recently, First Degree The D.E. initiated The Sacramento Bee’s Mozzy interview and was quoted in the article as well.
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As noted in First Degree’s documentary, “Street Monster, The Rise And Fall Of First Degree The D.E.”, the “Rapping Teacher” has given himself to community service since high school. Now, with First Degree The D.E. “Time’s Begun”, he has taken his quest to make the world a better place a step further, by tackling race relations, including taking it to the airwaves.
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During the summer of 2017, First Degree The D.E. hosted a nightly show on Sacramento’s 102.5 KSFM called “Fahrenheit Minute”. Fahrenheit Minute was widely talked about and brought unique flavor to the radio waves every night. “We gone make Fahrenheit Minute a summer tradition on 102.5!” The D.E. commits. 102.5’s Fahrenheit Minute was the first to break First Degree The D.E.’s “Time’s Begun”.
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To close out, we asked First Degree The D.E. something he’s never answered publicly. We asked him who he thought the best M.C. was, who was his favorite, and who was his top favorites. He gave us this list.
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Best M.C.
Rakim
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 Favorite M.C.
Professor X The Overseer
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Top M.C.s
Professor X
Rakim
PM Dawn
E-40
KRS One
First Degree The D.E.
Roxanne Shante
Brotha Lynch Hung
Be Gee
AK The Teflon Don
Ice Cube
Bigg Ocean Mob 415
Unc Imo
Josh Rizeberg
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When we asked what was next, The D.E. told us he was concentrating on the upcoming school year and writing a math curriculum for the district. However, First Degree The D.E. turned with a smile and assured, “I’ve got a secret video I’ve started, too.” Oh my!
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First Degree The D.E. “Time’s Begun” is OUT NOW in digital stores. The video can be seen HERE. Time’s Begun is featured on First Degree The D.E.’s upcoming “Black Bane 2” album. Also check out First Degree The D.E. “Story Of A Lonely D.J.” produced by Oji, video by Jae Synth, out now.
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Times Begun Cover
First Degree The D.E. “Time’s Begun” Out Now