D.L. Chandler

The Meaning Of The 5%: A Look At The Nation Of Gods And Earths


In Hip-Hop music and culture, the terms “Peace, God,” “Word Is Bond,” and “Cipher,” among others, all pepper the language of the participants and proponents within the culture. While the phrases and terms have flair, the sayings have origins that were established just as Hip-Hop was forming as a known entity. The Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE), also referred to as the Five Percent Nation of Islam, is the source of those and other popular phrases.

The Nation of Gods and Earths has developed a connection with Hip-Hop culture that stretches far beyond the sharing of lingo. Labeled as the “Rastafarianism of Hip-Hop” because of the similarity to many Reggae artists embracing Rasta faith, several Hip-Hop artists have claimed ties to NGE culture. The most famous NGE Hip-Hop artist is Rakim Allah, who still remains as one of the most influential rappers ever. The “God MC” has many contemporaries such as Poor Righteous Teachers, King Sun, Lakim Shabazz, Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay Electronica and others, who  have all delivered NGE ideology within their verses.

“The Five Percent is built on the premise that 85% of the population lack ‘knowledge of self’ while 10% percent have this said knowledge & hide it from the larger group.” 

Nas, AZ and rap duo CNN also dropped occasional hints of the culture in their songs. Other acts such as Digable Planets, Big Daddy Kane,Gang Starr and X-Clan also followed suit by consciously putting some of the culture’s ideas forth via their recordings. Worth noting: MF DOOM, often confused with being a member of the Five Percent, was actually part of the Ansaar Allah community.

Considered an offshoot group of the Nation Of Islam (NOI), the Nation of Gods and Earths fashions itself as a separate group forging its own identity. Using “degrees” or lessons fashioned after the NOI’s Supreme Wisdom, the “120” degrees are a slightly varied version of scientific facts, conversations between NOI leaders Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Wallace Fard Muhammad, and a vast history lesson as well. The lessons teach that Blacks are the original people of the planet Earth and responsible for every facet of civilization.

The degrees also present a complex set of machinations that led to Black people suffering under the rule of White slave owners by way of oppression and fear. The Five Percent angle is built on the premise within the lessons that 85% of the population lack “knowledge of self” while 10 percent of the population have this said knowledge and hide it from the larger group. Five percent of that population are the “poor, righteous teachers” who will liberate the minds of the 85%.

The Father, or Allah as he was also known, was the founder of the Five Percent Nation and his approach to Islam was not much different than the NOI’s but far more inclusive. The Five Percent’s rise to prominence happened by way of the defiant nature of The Father, a one-time lieutenant in the NOI. Then known as Clarence 13X, the Virginia native saw a need for the Supreme Wisdom to be taught to the youth in the street.

Clarence 13X

The Father felt that the rigid nature of the NOI would turn away the urban youth, and he was more comfortable amongst the people than in the temple. By empowering Black male youth in referring to them as God, Father Allah sought to inject a sense of importance into members of the Five Percent Nation. Female members were referred to as Earths or Queens, placing heavy emphasis on the woman’s ability to give birth. It was custom to greet another Five Percenter with an exuberant “Peace!”



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Photo: MCA

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Comment Comments: 26 Tags Tags: busta rhymes, wu-tang clan, rakim, islam, mf doom, muslims

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  • koffybrown

    You don’t say.

  • CriticXtreme

    This world and deeds that are done are based on symbolism. This is just one. Black folks these days are white on the outside that they can’t see the truth nor understand the plight of being has nothing to do with anyone from black race but White-t. Ancient text, wisdom and teaching have told you not to follow white-t but yet you do. Just take a look at all those fake black reality shows, do you really think someone black is behind that? Hip Hop and Love NYC, now Atlanta? Defaming blacks is white-tee’s job and most of you follow along. You’re supposed to make money off white-t then go home and take care of business with your family. Black people were strong Kings and Queens. Now you tards are going on TV telling the most inner secrets of being black and black life. White-t is not your friend but your universal pimp. He/she makes black women in the street feel like ish because black men defect to white women, so black women get fake hair will make them acceptable. Well Sis, it don’t. Maybe in the hood, yep outside of it, no. Showing black men as flaming moes is horrible and brothers nuts taken by females in these fake as shows. Some of you will listen to white-t talk you about your race before you listen to someone in your race. That’s effed-up. I’m not saying that you have to be militant everyday, but not if there were more Clarence 13x out there, the DNA, respect and self-worth would be a lot better.

  • ericjones

    Comments are being removed from the main bossp page. I posted twice and my comments were removed within seconds. No profanity or anything. I know done type on diz enfo mation agent is writing the comment on the bssp page because if all the hundreds of thousands of people visiting this site daily you know more than one person commented on this story. The gov etc are trying to supress support of these movements so when people go to read about it and there is only one comment and the comment us negative they are unlikely to folloq that movement. People wsnt to join something that us on thw uptick. Look into the topic deeper. If ghet are going that fee to keep something away from you know it must be powerful.

  • me

    Jesus is God.


    This is a cult! Nothing good has evey come out of this brain washing cult and nothing every will. Anyone with God given common sense can see this demonic filled hate teaching cult is garbage and should run in the opposite direction quick, fast and in a hurry!

    • thought

      Simply because one does not subscribe to “your truth”, does not make it demonic.

      • BJ

        It’s only one truth Yeshua declared to be the truth the way and the life

    • Rite and Christians took over the world with LOVE, # gimme a break!

    • BJ

      It is a demonic cult based on free Masonic symbols and principals Yeshua died for our sins and he also was black not that it matters but Satan has deceived people with foolishness such as “you are God” it was the very first lie Satan told to eve why should he change his stragety now?

      • Jones

        christians ignited the Spanish Inquisition, Witch Trials and Crusades, so you shouldn’t be talking. Anyway, my master thesis is going to be on the Five Percenters, so looking forward to that. Just look at the albums they created — Paid in Full, Illmatic, 36 Chambers, Liquid Swords, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. I’ll be sure to bring that up. and Jay Electronica’s debut album, of course

  • Aly

    interesting…i know a few people who follow this

  • NOI teachings are very introspective – I’m not a religious person but I’ve learnt a lot from their lectures.

  • Excellent article! For those interested in learning more, please pick up the book mentioned above by Supreme Understanding Allah, and also the books by Wakeel Allah, “In the Name of Allah: The History of Clarence 13X & the Five Percenters” volumes 1 & 2.

  • Small correction, The Father was assassinated on June 13, 1969. Peace!

  • Mariposa69

    Know_ledge of self…….that should clear things up.

  • Mariposa69

    Recently I have srarted learning lessons…and G7 has been empowering me…me learning and understanding..applying GOD BODY principles in my life is working because I get it. This shows me that G7 purpose as a 5% is true…to teach and empower. I love being an EARTH. PEACE GODS N EARTHS

  • mecca 1

    Are white people accepted in this

  • mecca 1

    I only have a splash of black in me. My new boyfriend is in this group. I want to know if I will be accepted. I look totaly white

    • mecca 1

      He is black

  • mecca 1

    Im trying to learn about this . Im very in love with him and want to be a part of whatever he is.

    • BillyJack85

      5%’rs hate white people. if you have any white in you whatsoever you should drop him. they think all white people are devils. it’s literally one of the most inherently racist and hateful philosophies out there. of course, they will pretend it’s not, but all you have to do is go online and read the 5% teachings for yourself.

  • G


    • glenda

      what G this is G17 self savior

  • Nordicist

    This is dumb. So you mean to tell me there are actually people who believe that white people were invented by some scientist named yakub? WOW! I mean really, everybody knows civilization was perfected by Nordic People. European people are the most innovative and creative people in the world!