5th June 2020
In this month’s issue of Hip Hop Insight, we’ll be celebrating revolutionary Hip-Hop music that essentially holds a message.
Proud Black Music that shoots a message to the masses, acting as counter against oppression and racism.
Hip-Hop’s foundation were practically formed as a revolt to the system back in the early 70s, Hip-Hop acted as an affective pathway way to voice frustration and take action against racist infrastructures, systematic and institutionalised oppression.
And to this day, the genre is still an affective form of speech used to counter racism and systematic oppression.
Public Enemy, a mid 80s Hip-Hop group famous for their stance against the American state. Featuring their infamous logo that shows a police officer in the crosshairs of a gun were instrumental for voicing their revolution against the system, songs such as Fight the Power heavily include their sentiment.
Meek Mill, a contemporary artist from Philadelphia is someone that has been vocal in his fight against the system. In and out of prison over the last decade, Meek’s last sentence served was an unjust and excessive sentencing. A violation of his probation for “reckless driving” as he was popping wheelies on his motorbike. Something he’s partaken in and documented since the beginning of his career.
On Trauma Meek addresses his graphical past and how the system has failed him and his people.
Solange is an artist that never shies away from vocally expressing her activism within her music. F.U.B.U. is the namesake of the great black clothing brand as an acronym for “For Us, By Us”. And this song is exactly that, a song for black people created by a black person, as a matter of fact, this whole album holds this notion as other songs feature this ideology yet the album was a widespread success, embraced by so many.
$ilkmoney, a newer act co-signed by Tyler the Creator seems to be an artist that has no trouble vocalising his opinions towards black oppression. On Africa (8.7 34.5) $ilkmoney glides through the beat with a complex flow yet impactful lyrics that hit the heart.
Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Praz as the Fugees hit us with groovy flows, ready to tell their experiences of New Jersey and New York in stories. They would curate relatable tales of their experiences as an African American in a Western Society and The Mask encapsulates this.
A figure of speech of how black people sometimes need to wear a metaphorical mask just to live day by day.
J Hus, an African rapper from Stratford, London is someone that’s always been proud of his roots and embraced this in his music.
Fight for Your Right is an open letter to him self as he’s been in and out of prison in recent time, he reminisces on his experiences with the police and prison.
Termanology is a lyrical rapper as his name suggests and this great track featuring Saigon directly addresses a prevalent issue in the United States. However, as Saigon is the only Black artist on this track he voices the opinion of his counterparts and how the oppression they face is wrong.
Rapsody is one from a rare breed of conscious rappers from this generation, responsible for giving us some of the best “Black & Proud” anthems from recent time; such as complexion with Kendrick Lamar. But here she bring along J. Cole as they vocalise whats on their hearts and for the most part, the institutionalisation of their people sits on their hearts.
Kanye West’s New Slaves has become a recent timeless classic as you can feel his emotional presence on this song.
You can feel his “fuck it” mentality directed towards the people that have oppressed his people for so long. Also addressing his own people as he suggests that we all need to do better.
Novelist, a grime mc from Lewisham speaks straight to the powers that be with Stop Killing the Mandem. Showing solidarity with black people in America with this message, he also speaks to his young black brothers; addressing black on black crime with a simple message. Stop Killing the Mandem.
NWA an acronym for N****s with Attitude are a late 80s Hip-Hop group famous for curating music containing messages within.
And F**k the police is a plain and simple message to the LAPD and racist police institutions across the globe. As the LAPD has a rash history of police brutality; especially towards African Americans during the late 80s and early 90s. NWA had something to say about it.
Vic Mensa; an artist from Chicago that voices how he feels and it’s f**k you if you disagree. He’s an artist that’s never had a problem voicing his opinions and he did this well on 16 shots. Directly addressing the unjust murder of 17 year old Laquan McDonald who was shot 16 times in excessive force by Jason Van Dyke, a former Chicago police officer.
AKTHESAVIOR, 1/2 of The Underachievers revolts on his solo project. As Satori details the grim reality people that look like himself face, yet he uses his voice as a means of inspiration and a positive message towards his people on Satori.
2Pac is arguably one of the greatest Hip-Hop artists of all time and this notion is primarily for the messages his music contained.
Changes is an emotional classic where 2Pac sends a message to his fellow humans detailing how we must do better and how not much has changed over the years. However, 2Pac’s emotion come across as fed up on this track with an “it is what it is” attitude.
Joey Bada$$ known as one of the more conscious rappers in this new progressive era. (pardon the Pun) He has an open message for his country of birth America, yet he stylises the country as Amerikkka with 3 K’s a subliminal message for those who understand.
This open letter contains his feelings as to why the place he’s from doesn’t love him like a parent should love its child.
Anyone who reads these insights could probably guess that I consider Jay-Z as the greatest of all time. An artist that’s never scared to address the system, this song acts as a message towards his fellow black people as he looks onto examples of other communities that have been able to accumulate wealth within their culture. A suggestion of steps the black community could take to improve their inner situation.
Thank you for reading and listening.
Here’s a link to sign the petition to get Justice for George Floyd