The Illuminati are in Control of Hip-Hop. Allegedly.

You may have heard the whispers and rumours: hip-hop is now where you’ll find the most powerful members of The Illuminati, the super-secret league of elites who secretly control life on this planet. Forget telling governments what to do; the Illuminati give multi-national corporations what to do. That’s power.

So how did this shadowy group with roots going back to the 18th century (allegedly) come to control the planet through hip-hop? The Daily Beast takes a look.

Have you noticed how a lot of musicians have been covering one eye when posing for photos? Or making some kind of triangle with their hands? Or both? And what’s up with all the occult imagery in videos for Jay Z’s “On to the Next One” and Kanye’s “Power”? Is it just because it looks cool and mysterious?

The conspiracy-minded say there’s something more sinister to it. This is evidence, they say, of a vast, nefarious secret society—the Illuminati—and its plan to institute a New World Order.

Like all of the best conspiracy theories, this one begins with an acorn of truth and ends up in a forest of speculation.

There really was a secret society called the Illuminati, and it really did aspire to transform society by surreptitiously placing its members in positions of influence. The group was formed in 1776 by a young Bavarian professor named Adam Weishaupt. Historian John Roberts described Weishaupt as equal parts lofty idealist and petty narcissist. On one hand, Weishaupt really did want to bring about a less religious, more egalitarian, rational society. On the other, he also really wanted to be head honcho of a spooky secret boy’s club. His Illuminati was designed to scratch both itches. He developed a convoluted hierarchy for his Order, gave recruits codenames (taking Spartacus for himself), and had them infiltrate local branches of the Freemasons and pick off their members.

Over nine years, the Illuminati grew to a few hundred members. But Weishaupt’s personality rubbed some members the wrong way, and they spilled the beans.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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