The world is truly a Ghetto, a world that indiscriminately embraces and forsakes all. It builds a handful of heroes and destroys a universe of nobodies. At age 1, this environment is where Grand Scheem and his family began their new lives – migrating from Karachi, Pakistan to a 1 bedroom apartment in Opa Locka, Florida (USA) – a section of the Greater Miami area. Like many 3rd world immigrants, the marketing of America was a picture clip from “Leave it to Beaver”, but white picket fences are far from the reality. The negativity of growing up in lower-middle class America began to affect his household. Dad drinking, cheating on Mom – soon after came the divorce. This is the point when we ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?” The confusion of being American AND living in a household that clings to certain cultural values can be overwhelming.
Living life co-dependent on separated parents who refuse to believe that drugs, prostitution, & gun violence are low-income conditions that affect the youth of America, will only make you a stronger hustler. To his parents, the American Dream is having a stable job, because in Pakistan, there are no jobs. To him as an American, a job is being trapped. Acquiring capital and making investments was the ultimate career choice. Following the Jewish blueprint for success proved effective in the years to come. Then came 9/11. This tragedy affected more than just those that couldn’t make it out of the buildings – in fact, it affected the American perspective as a whole. Now the struggle of choosing a side to be on in a Black & White country is no longer the issue – for a taxpayer the Census Bureau fails to acknowledge. Americans who did not know where Wisconsin was, now know about the Middle East – but with a skewed perspective. His plan is to change that perspective.
The birth of Grand Scheem takes place in these Divided States of America. Facing the struggles of being a minority, “home” moved from Pakistan to New York to Florida to Texas to California and back. Scheem witnessed his first car-bombing at age fourteen, an episode he later recalls vividly, “…and the bombers weren’t too intelligent – instead of hitting their target (the police station) they blew up everything on the other side of the street. A man ran out into the street – on flames – and literally burned to death in the middle of the road. About four hours later, the Minister (equivalent to the Mayor) shows up to the scene, gives the family of the victim a briefcase of money, and that was that.”
Even the harsh surroundings of the Middle East couldn’t prepare Grand Scheem for what he would face in America. In Pakistan, “minority” is determined by religion – Grand Scheem was born a Catholic minority in an Islamic republic. In America, he remains a minority in a segregated society, determined by skin color and culture. Having to be searched at airports, being stared at in skyscrapers, being and around constant racial slurs & hate crimes, is the result of constant media misrepresentation. Explains Scheem, “The goal here is not money, but moreso to impact the perspectives of those oblivious to the truth.”
The stereotype of terrorism, though, is only one of many topics Grand Scheem addresses. Getting America and the world familiar with the face you see on television is important – know your enemy before you hate him. “…you even have groups like Green Day, Linkin Park, and Rage Against the Machine that not only see certain issues, but act on them in a major way”, explains Scheem.
Facing the same oppression that many minorities in America continue to battle is why Grand Scheem chooses Hip Hop to speak to those living the struggle. In its purest form, the Black community used Hip Hop to voice their disposition in America. Scheem influences, such as KRS-One, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Paris, NWA, and Nas used Hip Hop as a line of communication to the people, and so shall Grand Scheem.
Americans have become more socially aware in 2005 – Hip-Hop, and music in general, is reverting back to its ‘realistic’ state of mind. The opportunity to get a million dollars worth of game, shrink-wrapped or online www.scheemofthecentury.com, is finally back – through Grand Scheem.