I’m often asked where does the name SilencioBarnes come from and I always wanted to write a post that I could direct people who want a full explanation to (is that pretentious?) –
Anywho, it’s no big mystery. However, to understand the name you must understand a coupla things first:
What’s In a Name?
Really? If you were called by anything else…wouldn’t you still be you?
I’ve had quite a few names over time, and I still answer to all of them. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:
- Lil Shady (after a name they apparently used to call my father)
- Preacher (from how I talk)
- Malcolm (from how I carried myself…and talked)
- Poet (I would guess for obvious reasons)
- Nalij (Knowledge)
- Barnes (or Mr. Barnes)
There’s a few more. Some of which I’ve forgotten and some are the types of pet names I got from relatives or women (such as SheenyBeeny and Boops). Some involve my government name (such as RaRa and SheenSheen) and some just came about in an organic way involving a place, time and situation (“Great Mind”…again, supposedly after my father…but in a different town).
However, although I still answer to each of those, SilencioBarnes (or Silence Born) is the name I’ve settled on 🙂
SilencioBarnes is an amalgamation of two different names – Silencio (Silence) and Nalij Barnes (Knowledge Born)
SilencioBarnes is written in CamelCase when used as my uh, rap name. It’s written separately as Silencio Barnes when used in any other context. Why? I don’t know.
So, here it is. I’ll start with the Barnes part, as that came first. Around my way, I chose the name Nalij for myself (a bastardization of Knowledge) – there are many reasons for this. For one, I felt the name suited me; the name fit my personality…more or less. Even the deliberate misspelling of it had more to do with my idea of twisted knowledge than any sort of hooded out affectation 🙂
To this day, I’m still known as Nalij (or Barnes) to many and I readily answer to it.
It must be noted that at this time I was also on my 5 Percenter shit, studying my 120 and all that. (Side Note: Here’s somebody’s interesting challenge to the 120) Barnes is a bastardization of the word Born. Born being represented by the #9 in Supreme Mathematics and Knowledge by the #1.
When the movie Belly came out, there was a character named Knowledge in it (yes, the name Knowledge is quite ubiquitous among the Nation of Gods and Earths). Now there’s a point where the character played by Method Man greets him with “Knowledge Born! What’s the Science?!?” – this saying spread around the hood like wildfire and from then on out, anytime I was introduced to somebody as Nalij…they would say that catch phrase…it stuck. But understand, that when ya say “Born” it comes out sounding like “Bones” or “Barnes” :)) That’s just hood vernacular in action for ya.
It got to the point where people would just drop the Nalij and call me Barnes. That’s where the Barnes comes from.
Silencio – well, that’s a different and much shorter story. At one point in my life I went to trade school, the Cassadaga Job Corps center to be exact. While there, due to my initial reticence to talk much when around strangers, a bunch of the Spanish kids started calling me Silencio. It stuck. To the point where non-hispanics would call me Silence. I liked the name and ran with it. It fit who I was at that place and time.
I also wanted to get away from the GodBody stuff as it no longer held any interest for me. I always appreciated it’s core concepts…but building with the Gods can get a little confusing (imagine talking politics and race relations with a dude named C Peace Cipher Divine I Allah that throws more slang, acronyms, abbreviations, big words and metaphors at you than a street poet’s bible (in ONE sentence!) and you’ll get the picture).
At one point, I was thinking of doing something with my music but was dismayed when I did a search for Nalij and found that there was a million of em – but as I identified with Nalij most, I was at a loss as to what to do about it. Eventually I came up with the idea of putting the Silencio with the Barnes. I thought it was rather clever and unique (yes, I know it’s a mouthful at 5 syllables). The problem with that was…what to do with all the music where I call myself Nalij? :))
There is a special, spiritual and poetic significance to my name as well. Playing with the concept of Silence and the idea of Born. Sometimes it pops up in my work although I can only think of one example at the moment; the chorus of my quick track challenge track, Silk
“I think, therefore I stay in form, with darkness comes the quiet storm
Within that storm my thought is formed and that is where my Silence Borns”
– And sometimes it just means to bear the weight of silence.
Get it? No? Well…fuck it then, I tried.
— yea…and if you actually just read all of that…then I love you. No, seriously.
The Five-Percent Nation, sometimes referred to as NGE or NOGE, the Nation of Gods and Earths, or the Five Percenters is a cultural movement founded in 1964 in the Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan, New York City, by a former member of the Nation of Islam named Clarence 13X (born Clarence Edward Smith and later known as “Allah the Father”).